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Why or how did Roderick Long become a left-libertarian?

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Kenneth Posted: Sat, Apr 24 2010 9:52 AM

Now this question is not intended to enrage anyone cause I know there are also a substantial number of left-libertarians here like BrainPolice but I really don't understand why libertarians would call themselves right or left. And especially 'left' since left gives the impression that you support equality and democracy, which are the basis for the total state. Although I myself am convinced that a stateless society would produce much less inequality, I think libertarians should have an impartial attitude towards equality(and utter distaste for democracy and its god-state).

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NewLiberty replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 10:25 AM

Also, what is in left-libertarianism that isn't already in libertarianism?

Because whenever I hear a left-libertarian say anything, it's just like "don't apologize for the current market"... but that's not anything different from libertarian philosophy.

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Sage replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 4:58 PM

Long was an Old Right pro-war hawk in the 80's; he's said that after he became an anarchist he became more and more attracted to cultural leftism, and now he's a left-libertarian market anarchist.

And especially 'left' since left gives the impression that you support equality and democracy, which are the basis for the total state.

Well, on one interpretation you get that conclusion. On another interpretation they are the basis for anarchism.

Also, what is in left-libertarianism that isn't already in libertarianism?

See Long's interview here.

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Also, what is in left-libertarianism that isn't already in libertarianism?


This is a quest in of itself to list, honestly.

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Nielsio replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 5:42 PM

Interesting... I just dugg into Benjamin Tucker's wiki (because of Long's interview mentioning him), and it looks like I misjudged him before (and not including him with the voluntaryists ).

He was against intellectual property (unlike Spooner).

He was in favor of the liberty to engage in lender interest (even though he thought it was immoral), unlike the mutualists.

"The end, he declared, could never justify the means, if the means were intrinsically immoral — and force, by whomsoever used, was immoral except as a means of preventing or punishing aggression."

..looks like a straight-up anarcho-capitalist gangsta!

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Nielsio replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 6:07 PM

Nitroadict wrote:

This is a quest in of itself to list, honestly.

Based on what I just read in that interview, left-libertarianism is exactly libertarianism, but some other concerns thrown in. I don't see how this can cause anything but confusion and weakens the movement.

As I see it, the left-right paradigm is born in the state and should be entirely rejected.

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"left-libertarianism is exactly libertarianism, but some other concerns thrown in."

...but that's just the thing, those other concerns are already part of libertarianism.

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As I see it, the left-right paradigm is born in the state and should be entirely rejected.

I disagree, Niels. I would say that leftism and rightism are both channeled into certain areas by the rise of the modern state and totaltiarian democratism. That being so, I would argue that the 'right' is generally the alignment of traditionalism, order, security and 'minding-one's-own-business' whereas the left is the alignment of egalitarianism, communitarianism, anti-heirarchy and minding-your-neighbour's-business'. The 'statist' branches of both these movements are especially retarded and murderous, though statist or stateless I would say that the 'right' has the edge in terms of realistic sociology and aims, whereas the left is basically a revolt against civilization and reality. In fact I would say that most of the failures of the 'right' are from not being right-wing enough. The Reactionary is the epitome of civilization.

"The right is right and the left is wrong." - Erik von Kunnelt-Leddihn

“Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail.” - Benito Mussolini
"Toute nation a le gouvernemente qu'il mérite." - Joseph de Maistre

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Nielsio replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 6:22 PM

NewLiberty wrote:

"left-libertarianism is exactly libertarianism, but some other concerns thrown in."

...but that's just the thing, those other concerns are already part of libertarianism.

Yes, but only implicitly. Certainly they are part of the libertarian movement. But apparently all that is not enough.

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Nielsio replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 6:40 PM

Liberté wrote:

I disagree, Niels. I would say that leftism and rightism are both channeled into certain areas by the rise of the modern state and totaltiarian democratism. That being so, I would argue that the 'right' is generally the alignment of traditionalism, order, security and 'minding-one's-own-business' whereas the left is the alignment of egalitarianism, communitarianism, anti-heirarchy and minding-your-neighbour's-business'. The 'statist' branches of both these movements are especially retarded and murderous, though statist or stateless I would say that the 'right' has the edge in terms of realistic sociology and aims, whereas the left is basically a revolt against civilization and reality. In fact I would say that most of the failures of the 'right' are from not being right-wing enough. The Reactionary is the epitome of civilization.

"The right is right and the left is wrong." - Erik von Kunnelt-Leddihn

It still looks to me that at best, the right is a throwback to the traditionalist order of private slavery (monarchy). And order itself is not what we want, we don't want orderly extortion. We want a voluntary order.

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Vichy Army replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 10:51 PM

And order itself is not what we want, we don't want orderly extortion.

I would say that there are inherent tendencies for and toward order that the left is opposed to. I agree that monarchism, feudalism, etc. are not ideal. In fact I would say they are, from a 'right' or 'reactionary' point of view inconsistent - because the traditional norms and customary dispute resolution involved in 'reaction' are inconsistent in not being opposed to the arbitrariness of the monarch and his apparatus of governance. But while this is a problem with most of the really existing 'right', there are elements of the traditionalist (Robert Nisbet) and 'nihilistic' right (Oakshott) that come incredibly close to full customary propertarianism. This is something which, when found on the left, always appears incongruouse and forced, because the Sine qua non of leftism is egalitarianism (correlatively) anti-heirarchalism. Property, whatever one says for or against it, is heirarchical to the extreme: some people are allowed, others are not, and there is only a monarchy or oligarchy of people who can alter this status, and they are free to do so arbitrarily and without the approval or even consideration of 'public opinion'.

And, all things considered, orderly extortion is better than disorderly extortion.

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>> orderly extortion is better than disorderly extortion.

better at extortion or better for fans of Mussolini?

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Vichy Army replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 11:04 PM

better at extortion or better for fans of Mussolini?

It's a better business model, it's better for the well-being of the people being extorted, and it would probably appeal to certain elements of Mussolini's fanbase.

“Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail.” - Benito Mussolini
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you say the strangest things.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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"In fact I would say that most of the failures of the 'right' are from not being right-wing enough. The Reactionary is the epitome of civilization."

Libertarianism is a revolutionary ideal not a reactionary one...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard33.html

 

As for Libertarians being left-wing or right-wing, I personally think we're neither. We're correct-wing!  cheeky

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Vichy Army replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 11:14 PM

Libertarianism is a revolutionary ideal not a reactionary one...

You're right. Of course, I'm not a libertarian. I'm an amoralist with a preference for traditionalist or customary property orders who defend themselves with extreme prejudice and absolute ruthlessness. Libertarians are nothing but the antiquated branch of the Progressive movements, which is to say one of the many splinter groups from Atheistic Calvinism born in the American Revolution. Revolution is chaos.

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Esuric replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 11:30 PM

I'm an amoralist with a preference for traditionalist or customary property orders who defend themselves with extreme prejudice and absolute ruthlessness.

lol

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Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

"No person is so grand or wise or perfect as to be the master of another person." ~ Karl Hess

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Vichy Army replied on Sat, Apr 24 2010 11:40 PM

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

I forgot how goofy he looked in that outfit.

You can say one thing about the fascists. They weren't Bolsheviks.

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William replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 12:48 AM

Liberté:

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

I forgot how goofy he looked in that outfit.

You can say one thing about the fascists. They weren't Bolsheviks.

 

I don't think I share your sympathy for the fascists /nazis but it is true that they are the lesser of two evils than Bolsheviks and Maoists.  

This gives them two (and only two) advantages in life

1) It really pisses off left libertarians when you bring this fact up ("let's just say they are both bad", this works with monarchy vs democracy as well)

2) they have awesome uniforms, this is just a fact

 

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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nandnor replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 4:35 AM

You're right. Of course, I'm not a libertarian. I'm an amoralist with a preference for traditionalist or customary property orders who defend themselves with extreme prejudice and absolute ruthlessness. Libertarians are nothing but the antiquated branch of the Progressive movements, which is to say one of the many splinter groups from Atheistic Calvinism born in the American Revolution. Revolution is chaos.
How about stop being such an attention whore and turning every thread into a discussion about your views on whatever.

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>>They weren't Bolsheviks.

Mises:
The fact that the capitalists and entrepreneurs, faced with the alternative of Communism or Nazism, chose the latter, does not require any further explanation. They preferred to live as shop managers under Hitler than to be “liquidated” as “bourgeois” by Stalin. Capitalists don’t like to be killed any more than other people do.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

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JAlanKatz replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 3:36 PM

Well, I have no insight into the original question.  I can say why I call myself a left-libertarian, though.  Essentially, I believe that libertarianism (defined as NAP or something like that) is necessary for a free society, but not sufficient.  To be free, a society has to be libertarian and, in my opinion, culturally leftist - that is, have things like tolerance for diversity and make it possible to pursue non-monetary values.  So I'm a libertarian because of the first part, and add on left- because of the second claim.  Of course, I don't think that it's acceptable to use non-libertarian means to get those ends.  Libertarianism comes first, which is why left is the modifier on it, not libertarian-leftist.

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 4:24 PM

Where you do (and others) get the idea that libertarianism is only about economic (monetary) freedom?

When we say that you own your life, your liberty and your property, this goes just as much for economic matters as it goes for the exchange of any other values.

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JAlanKatz replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 4:30 PM

I don't get that idea Nielsio.  NAP is of course not just about economic freedom, and I don't think I've suggested otherwise.  However, it doesn't include things like not being homophobic or racist, which are clearly compatible with libertarianism.

Now, you might be referring to the fact that one of the leftist values I identified is the option of pursuing options in life that don't maximize monetary income.  It is true that libertarianism does not guarantee such a world.  It is possible for such an arrangement to come about in libertopia that there is not sufficient arable land to buy for me to live, and that food is very expensive.

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1) It really pisses off left libertarians when you bring this fact up ("let's just say they are both bad", this works with monarchy vs democracy as well)

And I do love pissing off left-libertarians. Though, as they tend to be economically retarded in addition to being philosophically retarded, they are even more annoying to talk to than Libertarians.

2) they have awesome uniforms, this is just a fact

Yes, in fact this is probably something that appeals to me about them: the assertive and aesthetic identarianism, the futurism. I have something of a Heidegger or Ernst Junger feeling about this: there is something to be said for an entire nation basically saying, "F*** you!" to the world and dressing up in midnight black gear with skulls on it, even if their reasons for doing so were ultimately silly.

The fact that the capitalists and entrepreneurs, faced with the alternative of Communism or Nazism, chose the latter, does not require any further explanation. They preferred to live as shop managers under Hitler than to be “liquidated” as “bourgeois” by Stalin. Capitalists don’t like to be killed any more than other people do.

Mises, as usual, was right.

“Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail.” - Benito Mussolini
"Toute nation a le gouvernemente qu'il mérite." - Joseph de Maistre

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Sage replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 9:11 PM

How about stop being such an attention whore and turning every thread into a discussion about your views on whatever.

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Nitroadict replied on Sun, Apr 25 2010 10:32 PM

How about stop being such an attention whore and turning every thread into a discussion about your views on whatever.


Is that against the rules? 

Nope.  

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AndrewR replied on Mon, Apr 26 2010 4:18 PM

Libertarian was actually a moniker created in revolutionary France to identify a movement of proto-communists, so 'left-libertarians' are probably ideologically closer to their philosophical progenitors, from what I've read in various places. As such, I now consider myself a reactionary liberal in the same sense that Mr Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn did. In Liberty or Equality he explained how the term liberal shares two different meanings:

The American/Anglo-Saxon definition identifies someone who is obsessed with rights, levelling society and all the various strains of leftist thought.

The Continental European definition instead refers to someone who is a traditionalist, a believer in the natural order and deeply suspicious of a managerial, democratic government.

I used to think that libertarianism was being subverted by left-wingers, but now I suspect it was their baby all along.

Ludwig von Mises: "We must see conditions as they really are, not as we want them to be."

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Marko replied on Mon, Apr 26 2010 11:06 PM

Long was an Old Right pro-war hawk in the 80's; he's said that after he became an anarchist he became more and more attracted to cultural leftism, and now he's a left-libertarian market anarchist.

The zeal of the convert then.

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"You're right. Of course, I'm not a libertarian. I'm an amoralist with a preference for traditionalist or customary property orders who defend themselves with extreme prejudice and absolute ruthlessness. Libertarians are nothing but the antiquated branch of the Progressive movements, which is to say one of the many splinter groups from Atheistic Calvinism born in the American Revolution. Revolution is chaos."

 

What are your reasons for preferring the traditionalist order over the hypothetical spontaneous order in a libertarian society as predicted by praxeology?

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