More on Mary Ruwart

Libertarian philosopher (and homey) Roderick Long has neologized this term: Ruwarchy!

I note with interest that my old friend Mary Ruwart is entering the race for the LP nomination. Leaving aside the tangled question of whether electoral politics is an appropriate venue for libertarian activism (for the record, my view is that it shouldn’t be central but is not forbidden either), I have to point out that Mary is clearly a more acceptable candidate to those of a left-libertarian persuasion than is Ron Paul. [...]

Plus she’s even an anarchist, though she doesn’t trumpet it or use the term. Go Mary!

25 Responses to “More on Mary Ruwart”

  1. Daniel J Walters, Sacramento Bee Says:

    : Moderate militants make their move
    By Dan Walters - [email protected]

    Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, March 25, 2008
    Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A3

    Print | E-Mail | Comments (8) |

    “Militant middle-of-the-roader” has an incongruous, oxymoron-like ring. Almost by definition, those who are neither true-believing liberals nor conservatives don’t get excited as ideological fires consume others.

    Yet, polls indicate that self- described moderates comprise about half of the California electorate. Both major parties, dominated by adherents of rigid ideological doctrine, continue to lose ground, while “declined to state” is the fastest-growing voter segment.

    The unifying features of political moderates are their frustration with the political status quo, which freezes them out of meaningful voices in government, and their desire for movement on long-stalled policy issues such as transportation and education. They sense that California has become, functionally if not structurally, ungovernable and yearn for reform.

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    That’s where militant moderation is beginning to evolve. An informal cadre of influential business and civic figures, operating either individually or through foundations with names such as Irvine, Hewlett and Packard, is laying the groundwork for what it hopes will be a renaissance of political life - a renewal of the days 40 or 50 years ago when governments were responsive and responsible.

    One manifestation of the syndrome is the involvement of a small group of wealthy moderates - Southern California developer Eli Broad most prominently - in several Democratic legislative primary contests. Their common denominator is their connection to EdVoice, an advocacy group that has battled with the education establishment over such issues as charter schools, and one of their candidates is Christopher Cabaldon, mayor of West Sacramento and former president of EdVoice.

    The “Voices of Reform” project of San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, which advocates “structural governance reform,” is another manifestation of militant moderation, focused on such issues as legislative redistricting and the state budget.

    The most ambitious effort, however, is a new organization called California Forward, headed by Democrat Leon Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, and Republican Thomas McKernan, the top executive of the Automobile Club of Southern California, with a bipartisan board that’s a virtual who’s who of political moderates and a broad array of prestigious foundation backers who’ve committed $16 million.

    California Forward’s staffers have been touring the state for months, talking with opinion-makers and civic figures about what would be needed to make government more effective. It will formally launch its drive this week with a high-profile event in Sacramento to frame its issues.

    It’s a laudable, long-overdue effort by those who have a stake in the state and have been frustrated by its endemic political gridlock.

    Whether renewal is possible, however, is uncertain, since much of California’s ungovernability stems from the factors that generate so many of its knotty issues - population growth, economic evolution and cultural diversity.

    Any major issue spawns dozens, or even hundreds, of stakeholder groups with specific interests, and achieving a workable consensus borders on the impossible, as the demise of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health care scheme attests. We Californians may be discovering, the hard way, a fatal flaw in the American system of government, in which the diffusion of authority through “checks and balances” makes rational action nearly impossible.

    Like Schwarzenegger’s largely failed governorship, California Forward’s crusade is another test of whether the state’s governance is fixable without a massive structural overhaul that would look beyond the American system into another form of representative democracy.

    About the writer:

    * Call The Bee’s Dan Walters, (916) 321-1195. Back columns,

    The Sacramento Bee SUBSCRIBE NOW!

  2. Alex Peak Says:

    In an article she wrote some years ago on, she mentions that it was The Market for Liberty that swayed her toward anarchism. It is the only time I ever found her using the term. Although I had bought her book last year, I have yet to find the time to read it.

  3. Robert Milnes Says:

    Barr was asked whether he’s running on Antiwar radio by Scott Horton. He did not say yes or no. Anyway it boils down to whether he advocates the progressive alliance strategy or not. That puts him in the role more or less of Teddy Roosevelt/1912. Mary Ruwart vp. If yes, he has my support & may I say I could use a paid position as special advisor in this campaign. If not my position has not changed. Progressive Alliance Strategy>Karen Kwiatkowski or Mary Ruwart vp. Let’s get on with it. We’re burning daylight.

  4. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Barr was asked … He did not say yes or no.

    That’s how Barr seems to answer most yes/no questions.

    Remember, he was a ‘successful’ politician. :)

  5. BillTX Says:

    Jesus Christ, you’re not letting this “Progressive Alliance” horseshit
    go anytime soon, are you?

  6. Lex Says:

    The libertarian-progressive alliance strategy has some merit, but libertarians aren’t exactly prone to compromise. As long as progressives are willing to compromise on taxes and regulations (as in not pushing for any new or higher ones), libertarians would welcome them and offer them a strongly anti-war and pro-civil liberties platform.

  7. Robert Milnes Says:

    Lex, ok. Now you are talkin’!

  8. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Milnes:

    You believe that Dr. Ruwart should not be the presidential nominee?

    Alex Peak

  9. Roscoe Says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Bullmoose overlords.
    Yeah, great strategy by TR - opened the door to Woodrow Racist Wilson, who took the U.S. into World War I, thus ensuring victory for the Allies, humiliation for Germany, and the rise of an obscure Bavarian corporal.
    TR should have stayed on Long Island.

  10. Robert Milnes Says:

    Alex Peak, As a loyal party member, unlike Ron Paul, I will support the nominee. Obviously I like Mary. I wouldn’t state that Barr/Ruwart could be ok. Or that I-I-would find her a good second to KK. If Mary wins the nomination the strategy is still priority & would need adjustment. The strategy calls for a left libertarian or leftist m. p. & left or right libertarian f. vp. Expedient in that I’m going on the calculation the American voters would be LESS resistant to a male p candidate heading ticket than female. Plus-I admit- that this fits me as p. also. I’m trying to WIN, OK? You would prefer to win than lose, wouldn’t you?

  11. Robert Milnes Says:

    Roscoe, come on. War with Germany was in the cards long before TR & the progressives got into power. I’d say that when the national language was decided to be English over German by one vote, that was in the cards. & WW2 is more consensus to have been caused by punitive Versailles Treaty than anything else.

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    Roscoe, when do you plan to tell your mother, wife/girlfriend, sister and daughter they can’t vote?

  13. Carl Says:

    “Plus she’s even an anarchist, though she doesn’t trumpet it or use the term. Go Mary!”

    Ah yes, be an anarchist but don’t tell anyone. Bait and switch, it’s the key to being principled.

    “The Libertarian Party, the Leninists of the Right”

  14. Dave Williams Says:

    Dan, thanks for half a page of bullshit. Maybe you can borrow BillTx’s gun and share one of his bullets…right after Milnes is done sucking on it.

  15. Dave Williams Says:

    “The Libertarian Party, the Leninists of the Right”

    Carl, it would seem to be true.

  16. Dave Williams Says:

    “I, for one, welcome our new Bullmoose overlords.”

    LOL, Roscoe.

  17. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Carl:

    A lot of people avoid the term “anarchist” because it implies support for things that the person might not actually want. At worst, people think of black-cape wearing, bomb-throwing houligans when they hear the term. Dr. Ruwart, of course, is not a bomb-thrower, a nihilist, or a nut; but rather a sweet human being who wants people to be secure in their rights. Moreover, she can appeal to persons from all corners of the political spectrum with her compassionate and pragmatic arguments for Liberty, including the moderates and the radicals.

    Ms. Ruwart would be the first to tell you that you do not have to agree with her on everything to be a libertarian. Just look, for example, how she handles the question of abortion. Although she personally is pro-choice, she explains that one can be a pro-life libertarian, and that there are principled libetarian arguments on both sides of that fence.

    She handles the communication of libertarian ideas delicately, aiming not so much to bash opponents as to win over hearts and minds. Read her articles, listen to her speeches—you will be impressed. :)

    Alex Peak

    P.S. I also take issue with your implication that we’re on the right.

  18. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Milnes:

    It just seems a bit patriarchal that the presidential candidate has to be a male. But, yes, I certainly understand your desire to win.

    Alex Peak

  19. paulie Says:

    Rod Long and Alex Peak are correct.

  20. Carl Says:


    Yes, Mary Ruwart is a “sweet human being”, especially by LP activist standards. And she has done a stand-up job doing her homework in an attempt to reconcile consequentialist and ZAP based libertarian schools.

    But there is still an element of spin—spin which people can see through quickly enough no matter how sugar-coated the words.

    Take the privatized police force example cited in her book. She cites an example of privatized police doing a better job than government hired police. An example does not proof make. I have read lefty treatises citing examples of government owned utilities doing a better job than privately owned utilities. Once again, this is not proof.

    For the utility example, one must stack up AT&T, MCI, etc. against the wide range of nationalized phone services in other first world countries. Methinks private (regulated) utilities win this one.

    For police and armies, you need to compare the police and militaries of democratically elected governments with a wider sample of private counter examples: campus police, Pinkertons, Vikings, William the Conqueror, slave traders, pirates, militias, death squads, Blackwater, mafias, yakuzai, and your local mall cops. The winner of this comparison is rather unclear to me.

  21. Nigel Watt Says:

    Carl, that’s a debate that will be very useful to have once the federal government is 1/100 the size that it is now. As it stands, I think we have some very clear directions in which to be moving.

  22. Less Antman Says:

    Roderick Long’s term was too good not to steal, so Ruwarchy! is now the unofficial home for the unauthorized supporters of Mary Ruwart. And, just for Carl, I admit to being a market anarchist in my endorsement message on that site.

  23. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Carl:

    I highly doubt she will give any focus to privatising police in her campaign. It’s not a major issue, unlike healthcare, war, and the economy: the three issues her campaign will focus on. Harry Browne focused on taxes, social security, and the war on drugs: three issues. Ron Paul focused on inflation and the war: two issues. Candidates are usually best who focus their campaigns on certain areas. It’s never good to focus too broadly.

    It’s not “sugar-coating” to not bring up privatisation of police and courts, it’s simply common sense not to bother bringing up such reforms that we all know wouldn’t get pushed through Congress even if Ruwart were elected president. She should, and will, focus on those reforms most needed right now and most likely to get people interested in the broader libertarian movement (which includes minarchists, anarchists, constitutionalists, &c.), like free-market healthcare and peace.

    Alex Peak

  24. Less Antman Says:

    I agree with what Alex said about having to choose issues for focus. Given all the research she has put into the tough questions, though, I’m pretty sure she’ll give straightforward answers on all the issues when reporters bring them up, even if it means having to defend non-monopoly, non-tax supported, non-sovereign immune police and courts. She will also, as she ALWAYS does with respect to abortion, preface her comment by making clear that some libertarians disagree with her on these issues. Since she has all her positions easily accessible online at her Ask Dr Ruwart column site, she couldn’t hide from them if she wanted to do so, and she has never offered the slightest evidence that she wants to do so.

    By the way, my understanding is that her Foreign Policy plank will be far more than just opposition to the war(s), but will emphasize the twin objectives of free trade and military non-intervention, which she’ll undoubtedly describe as using win-win strategies instead of lose-lose ones. ;)

  25. The State Says:

    Patient Carl, always spinning.

    Thank you.


    The State

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