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Two Groups of "Left" Libertarian? I'm confused.

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Libertyandlife Posted: Thu, Oct 7 2010 9:59 AM

I don't understand. So, silly me, I've always thought that Left Libertarianism/Anarchism is just Libertarianism mixed some type of egalitarian ideals (think Chomsky, Proudhon, ansyndic, ancommunism & mutualism). Basically, no markets, but no government too. But wait, what is this then:

http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/index.php

At the top of the page it says : "Freed Markets, Mutual Aid, and Equality of Authority"

Freed Markets? What the? And all "left" libertarianism links:

Alliance of the Libertarian Left, Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left, Agorism.info, Mutualist.org, Voluntaryist.com, Geolibertarian Homepage, Molinari Institute, LeftLibertarian.org, Center for a Stateless Society, ALL Ad Hoc Organizing Committee

Now I'm confused. Left Rothbardian. LEFT ROTHBARDIAN?! What?! Molinari? To me it seems there are perhaps two left libertatrians:

1) Traditional Left Libertarians: Mutualists, Ancommunism, Ansyndicalism

and 2) Agorists, ?Left-Rothbardian? Voluntaryist (anarchist w/o adj) mutualists. Basically like us, except they like left connotation more.

The second group confuses me. It seems the traditional left libertarians see us as non libertarian or not a good thing. The second group just seems to be a twisted version of free market libertarian ideas, in the sense that, they just do not like the association with capitalism or right winged (though we aren't right winged). Is that their point? A name change? I mean it makes no sense for agorism be called "left" libertarian. With that logic, we might as well be calling our selves leftists.

I hate political jargon.

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Oct 7 2010 10:37 AM

"The second group just seems to be a twisted version of free market libertarian ideas, in the sense that, they just do not like the association with capitalism or right winged (though we aren't right winged). Is that their point? A name change?"

They're "thick" libertarians, i.,e it is usually baggage left over from the statist wing they came from. Or they've taken their personal dogma / infatuation... with stuff that doesn't actually have anything to do with political philosophy and try make it so by incorporating it into the libertarian label, which fails remarkably.

Most ancaps would read this (mutualist.org) and skim over this part...

"We believe in private property, so long as it is based on personal occupancy and use."

... after reading the introduction, there doesn't seem to be much difference at all.. so it's like, yeah whats wrong with that?

A lot actually -

http://blog.mises.org/5194/mutualism-a-philosophy-for-thieves/

http://blog.mises.org/10386/a-critique-of-mutualist-occupancy/

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Traditionally "leftists" like to side against power structures in general.  Many do not see them as destructive as others, but at the very least, all power is to be watched with suspicion.

Traditional libertarians, proudhounists, etc, are against private owning resources in general.  Left-rothbardians just see the current system as requiring massive peasant/commoner re-seizure of resource. 

I can't speak for all, but I can try to give a glimpse of myself and my compatriots.

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Oct 7 2010 12:07 PM

"against power structures in general"

The only power structures that exist are that of the state.

"Left-rothbardians"

No such thing. It implies there is a "right" Rothbard, and a "center" Rothbard. Fail.

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Fail

What are you 15? Gona call me a noob next, broski?

For the sake of argument I call them Rothbardians because they generally follow his model, yet they feel some other libertarians don't go far enough in recognizing wealth as a power structure.

The only power structures that exist are that of the state

Blackwater and Mafia are okay with you?  Unions?  Organized special interests?

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

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To be fair, all those groups derive their power from the state, the mafia indirectly via state prohibitions.

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Epicurus is right; the state is only one part of a broader problem of the lack of property rights, which can also manifest itself in the form of congested, dirty commons where squatters force themselves without the original inhabitants wanting them to do so, in the form of people who regularly embezzle or cheat you, in the form of not getting the specie payments due to you from the bank deposits, and so on.

It's not that the state is the problem, but the symptom of the problem. Just the way governments can create invisible destruction of scarce resources by shifting resources from area of high productivity to low productivity by a creating a forced path that cuts across any possible peaceful negotation or mutual exchange, so does any ordinary activity of cheating or dispossessing a person. We created an entire system of negotiation and a system of ethics for the sake of survival, that comes from businessmen who trust each other to live up their end of the bargain and by people who make sure they don't despoil crops that others grow and so on.

For this very reason, I find anti-establishment thinking to be useless and petty - where the problem was in ordinary human beings, we try to blame power structures.

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 3:12 AM

"What are you 15? Gona call me a noob next, broski?"

I thought it was fitting - given the experience I've had with most "leftists" be that of any flavour. There is nothing Rothbardian about them trying to impress their personal preferences upon a political philosophy.

"Blackwater and Mafia are okay with you?  Unions?  Organized special interests?"

Blackwater - 'is a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of the United States Federal Government'... so product of the state.

Mafia - organised crime, get all their money from and hence existance? ZOMG you guessed it, state laws - drug prohibition etc... product of the state.

Unions - same deal. They only get their power from the state. Voluntary association I have no problem with. Without the state they have no real power.

Organized special interests? - lmao, special interests of what? What power does the local cub scouts have?

"Epicurus is right"

Nope. And neither are you.

"It's not that the state is the problem"

So misguided. Absense a state, the free market is the natural process that develops. Individuals don't even need to think about it. That is how money arises as well. Fraud will always exist. So? The state allows it to happen in many cases, they perpetuate it.

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Conza88:
"Epicurus is right"

Nope. And neither are you.

"It's not that the state is the problem"

So misguided. Absense a state, the free market is the natural process that develops. Individuals don't even need to think about it. That is how money arises as well. Fraud will always exist. So? The state allows it to happen in many cases, they perpetuate it.

Good communication requires listening.  Re-read Prateek's post.  He's spot on IMO.

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 6:00 AM

It requires reading, not listening... and that's what I did cheeky Anyway, how is Epicrus right?

"the state is only one part of a broader problem of the lack of property rights which can also manifest itself in the form of congested, dirty commons where squatters force themselves without the original inhabitants wanting them to do so"

Removing the state, I don't see why there would be this problem. Why squat on someone elses property - when there is a near endless supply the world over - of lands that have been restricted because of the states laws [which would then no longer exist thus allowing them to be homesteaded]? That makes no sense what so ever.

"in the form of people who regularly embezzle or cheat you"

Regularly? Again - makes no sense. The proverb: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." comes to mind. These people aren't going to get far in an environment that places a premium of reputation as a stateless society would - espcially in the age of the internet. With no "FDA" type of state org, which lowers the cost for people to investigate others products and businesses, should that be removed - you'd have greater "costs" and when that happens, for eg. individuals buying a car, as opposed to buying candy - they spend more time investigating the alternatives, assessing the risk.

"in the form of not getting the specie payments due to you from the bank deposits"

And when has that happened in a free banking system / 100% reserve?

"All these limits, of course, rest on one fundamental obligation: the duty of the banks to redeem their sworn liabilities on demand. We have seen that no fractional-reserve bank can redeem all of its liabilities; and we have also seen that this is the gamble that every bank takes. But it is, of course, essential to any system of private property that contract obligations be fulfilled. The bluntest way for government to foster inflation, then, is to grant the banks the special privilege of refusing to pay their obligations, while yet continuing in their operation. While everyone else must pay their debts or go bankrupt, the banks are permitted to refuse redemption of their receipts, at the same time forcing their own debtors to pay when their loans fall due. The usual name for this is a "suspension of specie payments." A more accurate name would be "license for theft;" for what else can we call a governmental permission to continue in business without fulfilling one's contract?

In the United States, mass suspension of specie payment in times of bank troubles became almost a tradition. It started in....." - WHGDTOM - MNR

"It's not that the state is the problem, but the symptom of the problem."

To me, this is like blaming the people on welfare and those who take the money... as opposed to the people whoconfiscate and take it in the first place!

"For this very reason, I find anti-establishment thinking to be useless and petty - where the problem was in ordinary human beings, we try to blame power structures."

"We try to blame power structures" - who is we?

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My personal interpretation is that there isn't that much significant different in policy and all between someone like Roderik Long and Walter Block in general. The 'biggest' difference is, however, an interpretation of the consequences of a libertarian world. Long formulated it like this: 'leftist ends with libertarian means', i.e. the estimate that a libertarian world will be far more eqalitarian, less hierarchical, more tolerant, etc. than the current status quo.

And I think there is some truth in that. 

But again; we don't know that for sure. But there is no problem with thinking that. There is no 'real' difference between people like Long and Block regarding issues like that; only the estimate what will happen in a libertarian world. 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 6:12 AM

"The 'biggest' difference is, however, an interpretation of the consequences of a libertarian world. Long formulated it like this: 'leftist ends with libertarian means', i.e. the estimate that a libertarian world will be far more eqalitarian, less hierarchical, more tolerant, etc. than the current status quo."

Yep. But they have pretty much zero basis for their beliefs. At least Hoppe makes some kind of attempt via time preference. lol

Whatever the case...

"But again; we don't know that for sure."

That's absolutely right, they don't know for sure.

"But there is no problem with thinking that."

But there is. Their attempts of speculation about what it would look like are based on nothing but their projections & personal preferences. Why is that a problem? Besides the fact that they try elevate their views to the level of those in an axiomatic-deductive political philosophy - that of libertarianism... the problem is it directly affects their real world activism and strategy for getting there.

That's why you see them trying to align with or cater their rhetoric to the left. "Libertarians should speak out more against racism and inequality" etc..

They want to cater to the "left" - what's that do? Competely castrates the "right".  And as Ron Paul has shown, liberty lovers can be anyone from anywhere on the political spectrum. Talk about a losing strategy they want to employ.

Ron is neither "left", nor "right". Liberty in unique, it's neither - and the only overall strategy that will work is one that accepts that.

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Conza88:

But there is. Their attempts of speculation about what it would look like are based on nothing but their projections & personal preferences. Why is that a problem? Besides the fact that they try elevate their views to the level of those in an axiomatic-deductive political philosophy - that of libertarianism... the problem is it directly affects their real world activism and strategy for getting there.

That's why you see them trying to align with or cater their rhetoric to the left. "Libertarians should speak out more against racism and inequality" etc..

They want to cater to the "left" - what's that do? Competely castrates the "right".  And as Ron Paul has shown, liberty lovers can be anyone from anywhere on the political spectrum. Talk about a losing strategy they want to employ.

Ron is neither "left", nor "right". Liberty in unique, it's neither - and the only overall strategy that will work is one that accepts that.

 

Well; obviously; libertarianism is neither 'left', nor 'right', because 'left' and 'right' originated in the French parlement as visions on the level of privileges. (Socialism and 'liberalism' (Frederique Bastiat) both started on the 'left', though.) But if we you want to do away with the institution of a parlement altogether; the terms 'left' and 'right' don't make much sense, now do they?)

 

In any case; the point that they are trying to elevate their views to the same level of those of the axiomatic deductive scheme is an assertion. I'm not saying that you couldn't read (some of) them making an argument like that, but it's certainly not necessary and I don't see any reason to read the whole lof of them arguing like that. Left-libertarianism is a combination of social philosophy - 'what are the consequences of a political philosophy' - and a political philosophy. It's important to keep the distinction; but obviously there is nothing wrong with philosophizing about what will happen in a libertarian world. Obviously; it's not a stringent as the natural law libertarian position - which is often argued based on a causal-realist deduction from certain propositions - but not all philosophy is like that. Obviously; natural law is - for lack of a better word - ontological prior to social philosophy, but it doesn't follow that social (or cultural) philosophy is thereby useless. 

 

By the way; libertarianism doesn't equal 'axiomatic deductive' reasoning. Some libertarians argue for libertarianism like that; other libertarians - even ones that accept moral or natural law reasons - do not. 

 

I don't see the problem how it affects their activism. If you want to convince a lot of people, it is obvious that you have to make your 'idea' attractive. Speaking out against racism and government created inequality doesn't seem all that bad in my book if you want to attract people to your ideas. But even if you disagree with this kind of strategy; I don't think there is any 'superior' way of achieving liberty. If left-libertarians want to do so by their own means which are compatible with libertarian political philosophy; what's the problem? It is true that there is no identity between 'not liking racists' and 'being a libertarian', but there is also no problem with libertarians who don't like racists. 

 

If you want to cater the racists; feel free to do so. There is no wrong there. But I fail to see the 'wrong' in catering anti-racists? :? 

 

Claims like 'the one strategy' are not axiomatic deductive; so I fail to see why someone should accept that as the only possible truth? 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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Conza88 replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 8:19 AM

"Well; obviously; libertarianism is neither 'left', nor 'right', because 'left' and 'right' originated in the French parlement as visions on the level of privileges."

It originated there, yes. And it's used in different descriptive ways today. So? It's still illegitimate as you gather.

"the point that they are trying to elevate their views to the same level of those of the axiomatic deductive scheme is an assertion."

Fair enough (since many don't go with the axiom-deductive reasoning to begin with). What I meant by that was they are trying to elevate their personal preferences as to being more than just that - but then I guess, some aren't even doing that - which therein lies the problem that they don't understand the divide between political philosophy and personal ethics.

"Left-libertarianism is a combination of social philosophy - 'what are the consequences of a political philosophy' - and a political philosophy."

And libertarianism is political philosophy. Libertarianism is a noun. "Left" or "right" are adjectives. Adjectives influence the noun. You've essentially said those labels are useless - good. They are. Even from simply taking the NAP, whatever way a persons gets to that - their "views" are still illegitmate with the political philosophical sphere.

They need to get another word to represent them and their views then... because then I wouldn't care. What I'm sick of is them & others trying to take over the label / corrupt it.

"By the way; libertarianism doesn't equal 'axiomatic deductive' reasoning. Some libertarians argue for libertarianism like that; other libertarians - even ones that accept moral or natural law reasons - do not. "

Yes, I understand there are other ways people reach the principle. I reject those approaches as being nonsensical - as stated elsewhere, but yes - if someone has the non aggression principle and they try apply that to every situation, I consider them to be in the movement, big tent.

"I don't see the problem how it affects their activism. If you want to convince a lot of people, it is obvious that you have to make your 'idea' attractive."

Obviously, and who has done it better than Ron Paul? Ohhh look, no catering to the "left" or "right".

"Speaking out against racism and ...inequality doesn't seem all that bad in my book if you want to attract people to your ideas."

When you're doing so, you're not doing so as a libertarian qua libertarian. Are you now?  I took out "government created inequality", because that would be related to political philosophy... they can go harp on about the rulers versus the ruled (class analysis) and how that is inequality.

But that's NOT what we are discussing now is it? We're talking "other power structures"... and that's what they go harp on about as their hobby horses instead. That ain't libertarian in the slightest.

"If left-libertarians want to do so by their own means which are compatible with libertarian political philosophy; what's the problem?"

Lmao! What is this? The problem is them harping on issues that aren't related to political philosophy & them trying to act as if they do... by using the label of a political philosophy no less.

"If you want to cater the racists; feel free to do so."

no. How about you feel free to go cater to the drug guzzling hippies down at the nudist colony. Yeah, two can play "that" game. How about we don't.

"Claims like 'the one strategy' are not axiomatic deductive"

Most of the second half of your comment was close, but this one is just blatant. And thus deserving of a pic.

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I wish I could say 'I too can play this game', but I can't. 

So I'll leave it at that. 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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In my experience, "left libertarian" gets used in at least three different ways:

1. "Libertarian" used to be used, and to some extent still is, to describe left anarchists--anarcho-communists, syndicalists, and the like. That usage predates the  modern meaning of "somewhat extreme classical liberal." One might say that the moderate left stole the label "liberal" from us, so we stole the label "libertarian" from part of the extreme left.

2. "Left libertarian" is sometimes used for Georgist and similar folk, people who are in general in favor of free markets but also in favor of what other libertarians would see as redistribution, often based on the argument that some resources, most notably land, are not produced by anyone and so no individual has a just claim to the income from them. There are a couple of books by Peter Vallentyne and Hillel Steiner that use the term in that way.

3. The term also gets used for people who pretty much agree with other libertarians on the underlying economic and philosophical issues, but identify much more with the current left than the current right, and are inclined to interpret things accordingly--for instance, to view large corporations as essentially illegitimate because dependent on special privileges from the state and  to have a more favorable view of movements attempting to overthrow governments allied with the U.S. than other libertarians are likely to have.

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"

"Left-rothbardians"

No such thing. It implies there is a "right" Rothbard, and a "center" Rothbard. Fail."

 

There was a right Rothbard. Followed by a left Rothbard. Followed by a right Rothbard.

Defined, in each case, by whom he was trying to ally with at the time.

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William replied on Fri, Oct 8 2010 1:15 PM

"Libertarian" is orginally a leftist term and is synonmous with "left wing" anarchism (as is "anarchist", in the modern use of the word).  Market anarchism is fundamentally incompatible with any form of "left wing" anarchism.  Thus far, most "left market anarchists" I know of seem to be non cognitive of their own positions.  I think this stems from the use of words such as "libertarian" and "anarchist"; they are simply bad words to use for thoose in favor of free enterprise. 

"Anarchist" is an awful term for anyone to use as a word describing political theory.   It is a confusing word, and it should be the nature of the word to only carry a negative conotation (the use of the word since the 19th century is probably a major causeof "anarchist" infighting; they undermined the use of the more appropriate definition).

"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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It's nice to see you post here Mr Friedman. smiley You may want to address some confusion about you on this thread:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/20119.aspx?PageIndex=2

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Oct 9 2010 8:32 PM

"There was a right Rothbard. Followed by a left Rothbard. Followed by a right Rothbard.

Defined, in each case, by whom he was trying to ally with at the time."

That's not how they see it though. His position on political philosophy never changed (elaboration by Rockwell below). Which makes them using select readings from a period and claiming as such - intellectually dishonest. The fact that Rothbard tried it, and "failed" to some extent - only goes to show that it's not a viable strategy (as an overall one for the movement - again to spell it out for others, I'm not saying "don't individually cater your rhetoric to a "leftist" when dealing with one").

It is one thing to be a libertarian and seek alliances depending on the times, with either the "left" or the "right"... [those strategies have failed and will continue to - if those whom you are aligning with don't understand and are not willing to learn Austrian economics] and it is another to adopt a label of a political philosophy and try infuse cultural and other values into it.

"He left libertarianism to become a leftist in the 1960s. Raimondo's book puts all this in perspective, at long last. The upshot: Murray never became a leftist in the way we understand that term. Again, his views never changed. His "New Left Period" had nothing to do with hippies; it was an attempt to seek soldiers for the libertarian cause within the ranks of the Left because it was here you found the anti-statism of the day: the complaints about federal police, the anti-draft protests, the anti-war sentiment, war revisionism, the praise of civil disobedience, and all the rest. Murray worked to find the best parts of the New Left and steer its leadership to a pure position. It didn't work, though it didn't entirely fail either. In any case, it was the best hope he had at the time.

He departed libertarianism during his paleo period. Again, Murray never left libertarianism. He did leave the Libertarian Party and its surrounding movement (including the DC crowd trying to ingratiate itself with the state) in 1989. I was there when Murray was hooted down during a convention when he rose to speak on behalf of his candidate for party chairman. Yes, it's true: outrageously, they booed him because his candidate was too bourgeois and too middle class, despite being politically radical. Recall that 1989 was the year the Cold War ended, and a new opening appeared to achieve Rothbard's dream of bringing about a middle-class revolution against the state. He saw that the Libertarian Party was not the vehicle for doing this. Might his judgment have changed later?

In later years, he sucked up to the Right. This is a very odd claim given that most of his popular writings from the 1990s, as collected in The Irrepressible Rothbard, consist of attacks on the mainstream of right-wing individuals and organizations, particularly the welfare-warfarism of the neoconservatives. This claim also fails to understand a point that Raimondo hammers again and again: foreign policy was a top concern for Rothbard. He saw that the Left was becoming committed to "humanitarian imperialism" after the destruction of the Soviet Union, while the grass-roots Right was becoming isolationist on foreign policy. He sought to encourage this trend.

...

He was a great theorist but a terrible strategist. Also absurd. Raimondo demonstrates the acuity of his strategic thinking even in some of his most controversial moves to reach out to the Left and reach out to the Right. In its time, each move made sense and fit with the overall strategic plan. In fact, one of Rothbard's seminal contributions was developing libertarian strategy. Moreover, Raimondo also shows that his detractors, who were always anxious to sell out to the powers-that-be, invariably flamed out. Raimondo only takes issue with one strategic judgment Rothbard made over a particularly bitter LP nomination fight, but even here he provides the reader with enough information so that you can see it from Rothbard's point of view." - Enemy of the State, Lew Rockwell

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David Friedman:
There was a right Rothbard. Followed by a left Rothbard. Followed by a right Rothbard.

Defined, in each case, by whom he was trying to ally with at the time.

The risk of folk activism (to borrow a phrase from Patri).

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I'll take another shot at a qualified defense of 'left' or 'right' libertarianism. As said before; libertarianism is a political philosophy. It talks about justified political structures and asks wether or not the state and it's agents (if anything) is justified in doing. (The answer is 'no'.) This conclusion is derived from a more general point: thou shall not aggress other beings. We are all very clear on that. 

As I said before; I take the 'right' and the 'left' to be qualifiers referring to a certain position on what would happen in a libertarian society. Obviously; 'left' and 'right' before the word 'libertarian' can not refer to any kind of policy as such. So - if it has any meaning - it has to refer to something else. Echoing Roderik Long describing 'left-libertarianism' in one sentence: 'Leftist ends by libertarian 'means' grasps the concept well. It doesn't mean an means/ends-structure as with an individual action, but it does imply a certain relation: i.e. a society that will be based on libertarian principles will (according to their estimate) be 'more' equal, less hierarchical, more tolerant, etc. Of course; in a libertarian society it will depend on individual preferences and what not; but the 'left-libertarians' have a certain _social_ (not political) analysis that current government intervention actually creates more intolerance, inequality and hierarchy than would be in a more libertarian society. Again; this is a _social_ analysis, not a _political_. One can analyze a society in terms of it's effect on social relations, without asking the question wether or not it is justified. (That's what 'social' or 'cultural' philosophy does - or should do. I'm not responsible for everyone who can't distinguish between social analysis and normative political ideas.)

Another interesting thing why 'left' and 'right' libertarianism are valuable in their own way is this. Again: it can not mean that there are different 'kinds' of libertarianism as a political ideal. But compare 'libertarianism' to 'democracy' as a certain meta-position, as defended by Rothbard in The Ethics of Liberty or by Den Uyl and Rasmussen in 'Norms of Liberty' or Nozick in ASU. Democracy and statism is a meta-concept; it talks about what the meta-framework is in which people act with another. But you can have a liberal democrat and a conservative democrat, i.e. both talk and act within (what they think is the 'moral framework') the meta framework of 'democracy' (and statism). Obviously; democracy and statism are immoral. But they act within it and have both distinguish opinions on what should happen within it, without losing the common background of democracy. 'Left' and 'right' libertarianism could have a similar meaning regarding this meta framework. You want a libertarian society first; but you would prefer a more tolerant, pluralistic and all society over a more hierarchical, more closed religious (or whatever) society. Again; this doesn't invalidate you being a libertarian first - but within a libertarian society, you could still have certain preferences. Again; in a libertarian society you can not coerce people in accepting your views, but obviously there is room in a libertarian society for social advocacy. 

It doesn't follow, obviously, that one necessarily has to 'cater' to 'leftists' or 'rightists' to form alliances. Nor does it follow tat catering is a good idea. But it does follow that 'left-libertarianism' and 'right-libertarianism' are ideas in their own right. _not_ as a 'political philosophy' as such, but as a combination of social and political thought. Like Conza said: speaking out against racism isn't done by libertarians _qua_ libertarians. But obviously it doesn't follow that there is anything wrong with it. 

The key issue, I think, is to make a distinction between social and political philosophy. There is nothing libertarian qua libertarian to speak out against non-government created and/or sustained power structures (like within a firm or something), but there is also nothing wrong to speak out against it when one is a libertarian. Someone who is a libertarian can also have other preferences about social organization, who are not related to libertarianism as such; but who are related to more social issues. Someone who is a libertarian _and_ has 'leftist' social views can reasonably be considered a 'left-libertarian', just as a democracy who has 'conservative' views in the status quo isn't called 'a democrat' but a 'conservative' (and the meta-framework of democracy is taken for granted). 

In a libertarian world there wouldn't be 'political' discussions as such - because libertarianism is the eradication of politics (and preferably all coercive actions); but there would be social discussions: wether or not certain (social) power relations should or shouldn't exist. Again: this is outside the realm of where libertarianism qua libertarianism has opinions. It's like Rothbard says in the ethics of liberty: libertarianism doesn't talk about what is the moral thing to do; just wether or not someone has the right to do something. In a libertarian world the rights of people would be (relatively) well defined; but there would still be moral issues - Rothbard, for example, used 'abortion' as an example of something which might be immoral, but one should have a right to do it. Other examples are clear. 

Again; concerning these kinds of discussions the axiomatic deduction won't do. That's the 'problem' with this part of normative philosophy. It's even an interesting discussion wether or not one could call it normative philosophy. But it is clear that even in a libertarian world there will be differences in opinion regarding the morality of abortion, 'power structures' and stuff like that. 

I agree with Conza that we should be more careful in distinguishing between the part of our analysis that is 'political', i.e. relates to rights and what is more 'social', which is more fluent. I don't completely agree that all 'left-libertarians' make points that are completely irrelevant to political philosophy as such: if you take the center for a stateless society for example; most of the time they are arguing why the government creates more hierarchy in society than otherwise would have been - which basically relates to libertarian class analysis. 

But this would be my defense of terms like 'left' and 'right' libertarianism. Obviously; I'm more of a 'left'-leaning libertarian in this regard. But I'm first and foremost a libertarian. (Actually; I'm first and foremost a philosopher and an economist.) 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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^ Well said.  I would say there is also a certain "ceo's and bankers will forever be trying to set up a new state" aspect to it, and have the power to do so (the new Wall Street movie explains it well).  I think Trotsky (sorry to bring up the devil wink) was right with his concept of "permanent revolution" being needed to protect against a new state.

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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Politics is anti-market.  Libertarianism is a social philosophy which places emphasis on market relations, not power (political) relations.

The concept of left and right libertarianism is nonsense.  Left libertarianism in particular.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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I don't see how your third sentence follows from your second? 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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AdrianHealey:
I don't see how your third sentence follows from your second?

It's all about the ratio of leprechuans to unicorns.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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liberty student:

AdrianHealey:
I don't see how your third sentence follows from your second?

It's all about the ratio of leprechuans to unicorns.

That's real nice. 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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AnonLLF replied on Tue, Oct 12 2010 3:14 PM

Libertyandlife:

"I don't understand. So, silly me, I've always thought that Left Libertarianism/Anarchism is just Libertarianism mixed some type of egalitarian ideals (think Chomsky, Proudhon, ansyndic, ancommunism & mutualism). Basically, no markets, but no government too. But wait, what is this then:

http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/index.php

At the top of the page it says : "Freed Markets, Mutual Aid, and Equality of Authority"

Freed Markets? What the? And all "left" libertarianism links:

Alliance of the Libertarian Left, Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left, Agorism.info, Mutualist.org, Voluntaryist.com, Geolibertarian Homepage, Molinari Institute, LeftLibertarian.org, Center for a Stateless Society, ALL Ad Hoc Organizing Committee"

 

Well there's two meanings of left-libertarian.Historically in europe libertarian meant socialist.

 

The two meanings are:-

 

1. Basically a kind of left wing anarchism.

2. Pro market libertarianism with leftist aspects .

 

sometimes the lines between the two are fuzzy.

 

 

 

"Now I'm confused. Left Rothbardian. "

Heres my definition.

 

Left Rothbard:- a Libertarian who takes inspiration from Rothbard's 'left' leaning days when he favoured alliances with the left and was accepting of leftist ideas like participatory democracy.This person mixes Rothbards leanings from those days,his economics,usually his views on rights, his propertarianism with left-libertarian ideas in general.

Agorism is a form of Left-Rothbardianism.

 

" The second group just seems to be a twisted version of free market libertarian ideas, in the sense that, they just do not like the association with capitalism"

Some left libs hate capitalism because it is often used to mean corporatism,some hate it because they oppose bosses and wage labour,some because it's confusing and has too many meanings(I agree) ,some hate how the term as used by libertarianism is conflating private property in free markets and wage labour under the banner of capitalism- again I think they have a point.

"or right winged (though we aren't right winged)."

If you use Rothbard's view of left and right (left being radicals for social change and right being reactionary and pro-status quo)then some libertarians are(since statism is reactionary minarchists would be right wing)  ,though I don't buy that argument.

 

"Is that their point? A name change?"

It varies.To some yes.To others it's more than that.Left-libertarianism is a particular branch of libertarianism concerned specifically with a libertarian perspective on traditionally leftist issues e.g. bargaining power,corporations etc seeing the cause of many of these issues as the state and the solution free markets. 

 

"I mean it makes no sense for agorism be called "left" libertarian. "

 

Well it(usually) has all the qualities of left libertarianism.It's concern for leftist issues from a libertarian stance.anti-corporation.anti-electoral politics and pro-revolutionary tactics.

 

"With that logic, we might as well be calling our selves leftists."

As above their is a Rothbardian argument for that.

 

 

 

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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AnonLLF replied on Tue, Oct 12 2010 3:28 PM

Conza88:

"The second group just seems to be a twisted version of free market libertarian ideas, in the sense that, they just do not like the association with capitalism or right winged (though we aren't right winged). Is that their point? A name change?"

"They're "thick" libertarians, i.,e it is usually baggage left over from the statist wing they came from. Or they've taken their personal dogma / infatuation... with stuff that doesn't actually have anything to do with political philosophy and try make it so by incorporating it into the libertarian label, which fails remarkably."

 

Nope.They're usually thick because they see connections between values that lead people to become libertarian or are implied in it and wider issues  also because they see there are values that would help lead to or are pre-conditions of a free society and would help maintain it.There's more than one kind of thickness too.

Walter Block isn't really as thin as he claims.

 

 

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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