EQUITARIAN ASSOCIATES CONFERENCE
Frontlines correspondent Paul Varnell reports:
The spring Equitarian Associates conference on Libertarianism and Justice was held March 28-30 at the Point West motel complex near Holland, Michigan, with about 65 people in attendance. Conference Chairman Doug Den Uyl of the University of Chicago led off the eight papers with a discussion of "Aristotle, Hobbes, and Rand on Social Justice" which used a basically Aristotelian framework to probe the roots of those philosophers' views on both the nature of justice as well as the sort of society each envisaged as following from his concept of justice.
Immediately following was a brace of papers on "right" by Tibor Machan (of SUNY at Fredonia), criticizing philosopher Gregory Vlastos' attempt to substitute "prima facia" rights (which may be over-ridden by superior goods) for indefeasible natural rights; and by Eric Mack (of Eisenhower College) who distinguished between rights and justice and argued that justice must consist of more than simply rights being recognized.
Rounding off the first day's session was Doug Rasmussen (of Marquette University) who argued in a paper to be subsequently published in the PERSONALIST that John Rawls's THEORY OF JUSTICE contains less than meets the eye and that Rawls's own conception of justice is not the only one consistent with his method of deriving it.
The second day of papers included a three-cornered discussion of the rationale for punishment by Joel Myklebust on "Retribution and Punishment," Roger Bissell on "Coercive Punishment: An Unnecessary Evil" and a reply to Bissell's views by John Hospers (of U.S.C.) asserting the inadequacy of a simply restitutionist view of punishment. Bruce Den Uyl closed the conference with a largely economic analysis of the externalities problem in "Justice in an Imperfect Market."
The papers were but half of the conference: the other half was the energetic discussion and rapid exchange of information that occurred during meals and in the evenings, people sitting around arguing about things ranging from modern art to Solzhenitsyn, to philosophy of sex to (as usual) the State of the Movement. Most attendees agreed that despite the uniformly lousy weather, it was one of the best conferences ever, and both the excellent food and accommodations provided by Point West lived up fully to their advance billing. Happily, plans are already being made for the next conference, to be held July 5-6 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The subject of the conference will be art and aesthetics—for further information contact Thomas Marsh, 1735 W. Hampton Ave., Milwaukee, Wl 53209.
The Free Libertarian Party held its second annual state convention in New York City March 29-31. The FLP nominated Jerome Tuccille for Governor and Percy Greaves for Senator. Tuccille, an author (RADICAL LIBERTARIANISM, IT USUALLY BEGINS WITH AYN RAND) and lecturer, will lead the FLP's attempt to gain permanent ballot status in New York through polling at least 50,000 votes in November. Newly elected state Chairperson, Ray Strong, said the FLP must broaden its support outside of New York City in order to achieve this goal.
Greaves, a nationally prominent economist, was a student of Ludwig von Mises' and has been active as a lecturer for the Foundation for Economic Education. He was nominated by Murray Rothbard and gave an acceptance speech via telephone in which he pledged to bring the message of laissez-faire to every voter in the State of New York.
Other FLP candidates for office in New York included Louis Sicila, Lt. Governor; Leland Schubert, Attorney General; Bob Flanzer, Comptroller; Ken Kalcheim, 17th Congressional District and Sanford Cohen, 25th Congressional District. Kalcheim is active in tax resistance and hopes to receive the Republican nomination as well. Cohen has been actively campaigning in his district for over a year.
In other action the FLP elected Mike Nichols and Bill Lawry to the two Vice Chairperson posts. Fran Youngstein and Howard Katz, defeated as candidates for Vice-Chairperson, were elected to the State Committee along with Charles Blood, Andrea Millen and Ellen Davis.
To get more information on FLP Activities write to the FLP at 15 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018.
The first regular convention of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota will be held May 18 and 19. Contact Evelyn Shapiro for further information at (612) 533-0441…Ray Anne Kibbey, a reference librarian at the University of South Florida, is currently compiling A BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR LIBERTARIANS: IN THE NAME OF THE BEST WITHIN US which will include books, essays, articles, and pamphlets on a gamut of subjects from the LP through revisionist history to fiction. It will also include a listing of tape courses and lectures, associations, book services, and periodicals. Anyone who has published items and/or offers the services listed should send information to Ray Anne Kibbey, 5649 Del Prado Drive, Apt. 235, Tampa, FL 33617…Robert Steiner, co-founder and first chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party, has received the unanimous endorsement of the NJLP for his Independent candidacy for the U.S. Congress (12th District). Those interested in contributing time and/or money to his campaign should contact Bob Steiner for Congress, Box 112, Westfield, NJ 07091…Campus Studies Institute, which produces pro-free-market educational material for distribution on college campuses, is now accepting student applicants for its summer seminar, August 19-31, 1974. The seminar will involve participation in SimPoSoc (Simulated Political Society)—a simulation game where three economic systems (mixed, socialist, and free) are investigated—as well as reading assignments and a written analysis of the seminar. Room and board at the University of California, San Diego will be paid by CSI and seminar participants will also receive a $50 honorarium. Students should apply by sending a letter to CSI (1172 Sorrento Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92121) indicating interest and including a one-page essay they've written on any topic…The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has announced the Ludwig Von Mises Memorial Essay Contest, open to college undergraduates only and carrying $2000 in prizes. The essay subject is the respective roles of government and the free market in meeting America's energy needs, and entry deadline is July 15. For information and entry forms write to ISI, 14 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010…The Second National Convention of the Libertarian Party of Canada will be held May 23-26 at the Howard Johnson Motor Hotel, 1150 Wellington Road S., London, Ontario (between Detroit and Toronto). Featured speaker at the convention banquet will be Ms. Tonie Nathan, and libertarians from both Canada and the U.S. are encouraged to attend. For information on registration contact Vijay Basdeo, 121 Broadway Avenue #10, Toronto, Ontario…The Libertarian Circle is a supper club which meets monthly at the Roast Beef & Brew, 1015 Madison Avenue, New York City. The next dinner, at 7 p.m., May 21 will feature Jerome Tuccille speaking on "Libertarianism and the Future." Reservations must be made in advance and pre-paid—send $9.95 per dinner to The Libertarian Circle, 208A Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012 (or simply write and ask to be placed on their mailing list to receive announcements of future dinners)…On Tuesday, May 14 REASON editor Manuel Klausner will speak at the CalTech Libertarian Forum on "A Libertarian Perspective on the American Legal System." For further information contact (at CalTech) Greg Simay, Ruddock House, 449-9886; or Karl Blasius, Arms Lab, ext. 2143…The Libertarian Party of Hawaii's May 20th meeting will feature Andrew Leonard of the Church of Scientology speaking on "The State and Psychiatric Abuses." (Place: McCully-Moiliili Library; time: 7:30 p.m.) For more information on the LPH and its myriad activities write to 190 Niuiki Circle, Honolulu, HI 96821; and every Monday at 7:45 p.m. listen to KHVH (1040 kHz) and the LPH's "Libertarian Commentary" program.
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