SP: Please don’t forget about women libertarians. All I see is guys on your page. Feature women on those pages too. Victoria Varga, for example editor for Libertarian Review
She is still around and on FB
JE: I will try to interview more women. How did you become libertarian, Sharon?
SP: I read Atlas Shrugged. Then became active in college at UC Berkeley.
JE: How old were you?
JE: So, how do you feel about Ayn Rand today?
SP: I think Rand had a lot of good things to say but had some blind spots. I appreciate the former and accept the latter.
JE: Did you enjoy being active at Berkeley?
SP: There was a conservative group but we libertarians always knew we were different. One of my fellow libs is on my FB today, BTW
JE: Was that after the free speech movement at Berkeley?
SP: I was there for the FSM
SP: No not YAF. Cal Conservatives for Political Action. Then the libs started the Alliance of Libertarian Activists.
JE: Yes, those were historic times at Berkeley I hear, I wasn’t there…
SP: I must record my thoughts on those times!
JE: So, how have you grown as a libertarian since those times?
SP: I have always been tolerant of other views. That has only grown. Maybe it’s because I am a psychologist and understand that people can have different values and still be good people.
JE: What “type” of libertarian are you?
SP: HAHA I hate that question because my view is mostly–let’s see what works. . I see anarchism as merely a lack of monopoly force. There must always be ways to protect people against coercion.
There would be ways in even an individualist anarchist society. Maybe it could work at some point in the future. Certainly not now.
JE: Yes, I understand… So, you see anarchism as a lack of monopoly force. What are your views of an ideal society and world?
SP: Yes, The idea that it is simply people running amok is silly. Not what the anarchists have ever said. I have read many of the Individualist anarchists.
JE: Who is your favorite individualist anarchist?
SP: Lysander Spooner
JE: What is it about Spooner?
SP: 1) He pointed out that none of us have actually agreed to the documents that we are obligated to abide by–he was a lawyer and figured that out.
2) He started a private post office that was much more efficient than the govt one so they closed him down.
JE: What if JO isn’t elected in November? How do I move the group from “party” mode into “agorist” mode?
SP: You mean the LP? Probably would require a change of personnel. I don’t like the LP very much. It’s not my kind of activism. I’m a writer.
JE: No, I mean the Self-determination Advocates group.
SP: Let me think about that; I live out in the boonies where there are probably about 3 other libertarians besides me and my partner Art.
JE; will there be grief after the election?
SP: If Trump wins, yes!!
JE: Did I ask you about an ideal society/world?
SP: I’m a psychologist. I don’t think there is any such animal. 🙂
JE: Hehe, Utopia is nowhere! What advice do you have for new libertarians and the curious?
SP: Read the libertarian classics– “The Libertarian Reader” by David Boaz especially. Depending on the level of interest and background, also Spooner, Tucker, Frank Chodorov.
JE: So, you are a psychologist and writer. Remember Nathaniel Brandon?
SP: Yes, I had lunch with him once. I like his ideas about psychology very much.
JE: What do you write about?
SP: I have two books–one written and one edited plus dozens of essays for libertarianism.org
here are the ones I did for libertarianism.org:
JE: I recently ran across Étienne de la Boétie
SP: Ah, you saw my essay…
JE: Have you ever read “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World?”
SP: Of course, I knew Browne personally. I liked the book.
JE: Do you think the party is a group trap? How much freedom can we attain outside of politics?
How much of it is just in our heads? I’m not good at expressing myself sometimes.
SP: I think that many of them are stuck in a way of thinking that is old and not helpful. They need new ideas. They need to be doing things like what I describe on my page Compassionate Libertarianism