Liberty Union Party Platform (revised 2020)
Liberty Union is a non-violent socialist party, founded in the state of Vermont in 1970. LUP has minor party status in Vermont. We offer a slate of candidates for statewide and national offices in general elections. We affirm this platform as a socialist platform operating within a capitalist economy.
Society must move in the direction of assuring that the wealth and resources of the world will be used to provide a materially secure life for all people on the planet simultaneously preserving the planet and its resources for future generations.
Democracy must exist at all times in all the processes of society.
It is wrong for any country to take advantage of the labor and resources of any other country.
Everyone must have the right of choice and privacy, free from government or corporate interference, as long as these choices do not negatively infringe upon or cause personal harm to others.
Everyone must have socially productive, personally satisfying work available and a universal basic income (UBI) generating a real sense of security.
Everyone is entitled to a fair rate of return for their labor and that rate of return must be the same for everyone. We support a living wage that allows for workers to live comfortably with reasonable working hours. Farmers and small business owners likewise have a right to a living wage and such decent working conditions.
We declare that housing is a human right. We demand an end to the criminalization of ‘houseless-ness’ and the poverty which often causes it. Society must provide safe, decent housing to all persons regardless of means and free from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, visible or invisible disability, religion or national origin. We call for collective tenant ownership and control of all current large scale rentals working towards an end to the system of landlord-ship.
Education services and opportunities, from birth to death, from quality childcare through college, trade schools/polytechnics, university, to post-graduate adult education, must be provided free of charge at point of service and free from discrimination on the basis of economic means. race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, visible or invisible disability, religion or national origin; paid for through progressive taxation. The delivery of all educational services must be kept free from coercion.
Medical and Health care services must be provided to all, free of charge at point of service, free from discrimination on the basis of economic means. race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, visible or invisible disability, religion or national origin; paid for through progressive taxation. We support the call for Medicare for All, a single-payer, national health care system guaranteeing care for all regardless of registration, identification or insurance: “Everybody in. Nobody out.” The delivery of all medical and health care services must be kept free from coercion
Women’s Rights (1)
The Liberty Union Party is a socialist feminist organization that recognizes that the struggle against habitual male dominance and patriarchy must go hand in hand with any struggle against capitalism. Therefore, we pledge our opposition to all forms of sexism, and demand equality in all aspects of life.
We demand full reproductive freedom for all women and the removal of all discriminating barriers to reproductive rights and reproductive health care. We demand full support of every woman’s right to choose when, if, and how to have children, including the right to free abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy; all without interference or coercion. Clinics providing abortion services must have the full protection of the law. We call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and all other legislation limiting access to abortion services thus denying “the right to choose” to millions of women, particularly low-income women, women of color, and young women.
We demand the banning of all involuntary sterilizations. We oppose the performing of any medical research or medical procedure without a woman’s full knowledge and consent.
We demand that local governments place a priority on preventing violence toward women, with coordinated programs to educate, provide shelter for women and children, and vigorously protect women from their abusers.
We call for 16 months paid leave to be shared by new parents or in its entirety by a single parent, along with the expansion and full-funding of quality child care facilities and services.
We support comprehensive educational and training opportunities, comparable worth laws, and affirmative action for women. We believe that women must be able to enter any occupation they choose, without hindrance.
We believe that women must be free to improve their working lives through unions and other organizations, and that work at home, including child care, must be shared to enable women to fully participate in society. Where child care in the home is not available or convenient we support societally based childcare free at point of service. In order to promote greater participation in society, tasks like child care and housework for those who cannot do it must be socialized and free. We oppose means or ability testing as a condition for receipt of socialized services.
In organizations with leadership structures we insist upon gender parity. We call for organizational structure based on mutual consideration and respect, rotating leadership, gender balance, and processes that welcome and enable open and equitable participation in discussion and decision-making.
We demand the long overdue passage of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) that seeks to redress income and other types of inequality faced by women. (Vermont ratified the amendment March 1, 1973).
All genders must be treated with respect and dignity having equal rights and sharing equal responsibilities.
We recognize the transformative and revolutionary nature of the struggle for LGBT* rights. The fight of LGBT* people for dignity, equality and recognition is inseparably linked and overlaps with the struggle for women’s rights. From the beginning, sexism, gender stereotyping and coercive standards have forged the links in the chains of oppression coupled with racism and discrimination against multiple other identities. The following are transitional demands leading to a better society for LGBT* people and all sexual and gender minorities:
We demand an end to discrimination in education, housing, work, parenting, relationships, adoption, foster parenting, marriage and services for all LGBT* people.
We demand an end to bullying, particularly on the basis of real or perceived gender or sexual minority status, in all institutions especially schools and institutions for children.
We support community self defense to ensure the safety of LGBT* people and oppose all measures by institutions, from schools and hospitals to society as a whole, to punish or criminalize appropriate self and community defense.
We call for free appropriate medical care for specific LGBT* people delivered in a respectful, affirmative manner.
We demand an end to the coercive, unscientific and deceptive practice of ‘conversion therapy’ in all settings, religious or secular.
We envision safe, inclusive and affirming settings for TGNC and LGBT* people that are free from discrimination and violence. (2)
We call for an end to required identification for access to services or safe passage. Where necessary, ID can be replaced by electronic tokens protected by pass-phrases, or keys of the digital or physical kind. (3)
We call for immediate rescinding of intrusive laws that criminalize gender expression, clothing or consensual sexual behavior between adults or persons of age. We seek pardons and reparations to all persons who have been victimized by the enforcement of such laws.
Senior citizens are valuable and important members of society and must have the right to meaningful participation in society, free from economic deprivation. We are responsible for our elders. Care in elder years ideally takes place in a home setting if at all possible. The cost of care, whether in the home setting or in quality elder care facilities, should be borne by society as a whole.
No person is illegal. All national, political and economic borders must be open. We categorically oppose the identification, harassment, arrest, detention and deportation of any so-called immigrant, regardless of documentation status. We demand the rescinding of all policies that criminalize immigrants based on citizenship status. We demand the cessation of all practices that target, harass, endanger or discriminate against people on the basis of perceived national identity or status.
Freedom of Speech and Association
All people must have the right to express opinions, ideas and dissent through all forms of non-violent assembly and protest, not confined to free speech zones, and this right must be affirmed and protected by government. The freedom of association must not be abridged. However, the right to freedom of association must not be construed to support discriminatory organizations created to exclude people on basis of identity.
Utilities, communication services—internet and phone–and transportation services are necessities which must be made available and kept free to all under combined community and worker control.
Internet and phone services must be treated as common carriers making no distinctions between services used by the public as long as the service and communication are not harmful to the service or the public as a whole. (The only types of communications that could be blocked include hacking, viruses, bots or other such attempts to harm individuals and society.)
Nuclear power is intolerably and incurably unsafe. We oppose the existence and construction of nuclear power plants. It is imperative that all nuclear power plants be decommissioned immediately in the least hazardous manner, with environmentally responsible clean-up of all nuclear waste and all resulting costs borne by the investors. We further demand that research, production, testing, deployment and sale of ALL weapons including nuclear, depleted uranium, biological, chemical and reactor waste immediately cease. We demand universal conversion to alternative renewable energy sources.
We oppose fascism at every level of government and society. We assert that a conspiracy to commit genocide, ethnic cleansing, torture, wars of aggression, or denial of human rights to individuals and groups of people is criminal. Establishment of a theoretical framework or institutional structure to support the commission of genocide, torture, ethnic cleansing, wars of aggression, or denial of human rights, is also criminal. We recognize that fascism is inherent to social, economic and governmental systems founded on forms of domination that include racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia and discrimination against disabled people and the elderly.
We seek to dismantle the racism and white supremacy upon which our country and other imperialist countries were built. We recognize the enduring legacy of racism that continues to disadvantage people of color in the U.S. and in Vermont. Black Americans disproportionately suffer at the hands of police in Vermont, as in the U.S. as a whole. We condemn absolutely racial violence in any form, while recognizing that racism persists in our “progressive” state of Vermont. We support the movement towards defunding and abolishing the police and likewise support the movement towards abolishing prisons and the “un-justice” system as a whole. In seeking to negate the impact of racism in Vermont, we commit to the work of dismantling racism in our laws and legal structures, institutions, workplaces, schools and in ourselves.
First Nations Sovereignty
We fully support the indigenous communities of Vermont, all people with historical connection to this land prior to first contact and/or who continue to live here including the Abenaki, Mahican, Missiassik, Pennacook, Pocomtuc, Anishinaabe Nations, as well as others. We call for formal recognition of each of these nations. We stand in solidarity with indigenous interests, rights to self determination, calls for reparations and restoration of all rights once guaranteed by treaty, and we support the demands for land to be returned to the rightful stewardship of First Nations’ people and communities..
Liberty Union unconditionally supports the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Liberty Union stands in unconditional solidarity with labor unions, nationally and internationally. We oppose Right-to-Work legislation as a thinly veiled effort to exploit labor. We call for immediate repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, and the “hot cargo” provision of the Landrum-Griffin Act which place severe limits on labor unions, organizing and actions.
Ending the Drug War
We call for an end to drug prohibition. The so-called “War on Drugs” generated the racist policies and laws that have driven the incarceration epidemic in the USA ever since the 1970s. Drug addiction is a health issue outside the purview of the justice system. We support the right of those who so wish to use these substances for their personal medical and recreational purposes.
Separation of Church and State
We demand complete separation between institutions of Church and State. Recognizing that everyone has a right to their own spiritual, religious, or nonreligious beliefs and practices, the domains of the State and the domains of the Church must be kept distinct and apart. Accordingly, public education, public housing, the workplace and government facilities and functions must be free of all influence and interference from the Church.
In an authoritarian state, religion and government are often intertwined and the dominant religion is often employed to insure control of the population. Religious language and ritual are used to manipulate public perception, even when the tenets of the religion contradict government policy. Therefore, we condemn the incorporation of any religious practice in the function of institutions of government, particularly the imposition of religious ideology to discriminate against, preference or persecute any group or minority, religious or otherwise.
The Liberty Union Party is anti-military, anti-war, and unequivocally for peace. We oppose militarism in all forms including the actual military, police, prisons or border forces. We call for the prompt and orderly demilitarization of all of these forces leading to their abolition. We call for all prisons to be replaced by humane rehabilitation facilities. The murder and mistreatment of people at home and abroad by these forces is intolerable and must be opposed by all people of conscience. We oppose intervention in the lives or countries of the world by capitalist forces. The maintenance of standing armies steals resources from society as a whole and does direct, grievous harm to everyone who lives with poverty. While Eisenhower did some heinous things in his day, he came to oppose militarism, stating, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower (Washington, D.C., 16 Apr 1953, in Public Papers of Presidents, 1953, 1960. p. 182)
Declaration of Independence from Government Dictation of Conscience
The following is an historic document of the Liberty Union Party. It was written in the throes of the American War in Vietnam, during the era of the so-called Cold War with the (then) Soviet Union.(4) Today we are deep into the time of the ‘worse wars’ that we predicted would come. We remain committed to bearing witness against all wars and to speaking out for peace.
“Therefore, we call for TOTAL UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT on the part of the United States, regardless of what any other nation may do.
“We must raise the standard of WORLD-WIDE human love and SOLIDARITY.
“WE MUST REFUSE to burn and kill each other NO MATTER WHO orders us to, or under whatever pretext.
“WE REJECT the situation ethics and moral relativism which claims that ‘the end justifies the means’ and that ‘we must kill them before they can kill us.’
“THIS SELF-RIGHTEOUS, SELF-SERVING rationalization and nationalization of conscience in NO way cancels our RESPONSIBILITY to REFUSE to be used or co-opted by any of the bloody wars or empires.
“Worse wars will come, apparently. But WE must bear witness against them, and against war preparations, which are part of the wars.
“We cannot do everything especially in view of our individual limitations. But we CAN and MUST SPEAK OUT for peace and NON-VIOLENCE NOW.
“A war to end war is a snare and a delusion ”like our destroying a village in order to save it.
There is no way to peace ”PEACE IS THE WAY.
“Even our gun-bearing predecessors, in support of THEIR Declaration of Independence, said we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
DARE WE DO LESS THAN THIS?”
1) portions copied from the platform of the Socialist Party USA
4) In memory of Peter Diamondstone (1934-2017), a founder of the Liberty Union Party, who proposed the inclusion of this document in the party platform.