The left-styled libertarians seem to see themselves as the best of two worlds; those being “statist leftists” and “libertarian rightists,” which can also be referred to as “vulgar socialists or liberals” or “vulgar libertarians.” The implication often seems to be that either of these ideologies, minus vulgarity, equals left libertarianism. Thus, if they are effective enough with both vulgarities in their message that “you’re really one of us,” they can form a coalition of three quarters of the Political Compass™. I wish them well with that. I really do.
I’m neither a statist leftist nor a libertarian rightist. The most concise description of what I am, in plain English, is probably that which is represented by “PE>$” in the Geek Code: “Distrust both government and business.”
Carson opens with a reference to a comment by Anthony Gregory on The Market Shall Set You Free… in the NY Times? at George Mason University’s “History News Network” website:
If libertarians can explain that the right actually opposes free markets, but instead embraces corporatism and state capitalism, the battle to win them over will be half-won. One reason they don’t like markets is because people like Bush pretend to like them, but I think the left is catching on.
It’s true that one reason I don’t like markets is because people like [George W.] Bush pretend to like them, but another reason I dislike markets is because people like Bryan Caplan like them. Too many of the actually-principled right libertarians who (to their credit) actually define free-market as synonymous with voluntary, also have disgustingly elitist attitudes, such as believing that IQ is real, or that poverty is a symptom of lack of conscientiousness, or that businesspeople are more valuable members of society than intellectuals, or that American conservatives (in public opinion, not necessarily in political careers) are more commonsensical than American liberals. Would it absolutely kill left-styled libertarians and libertarians-without-adjectives to publicly distance themselves from people who brazenly declare “inequality of results” (which I believe to be a straw-man, anyway) to be a feature rather than a bug?
Mention is also made to jeanine_ring’s comment:
And there’s a *cultural* side to this too: what many leftists oppose in their antagonism to corporations into just mercantilist exploration but the heirarchical, conformist structure and “Dilbert” culture of corporate modernity.
I was never much into Dilbert, but one thing about that comic strip spoke to me quite directly—the character Catbert, the evil HR director. The idea that there’s something evil about human resources resonates very strongly with me. I am offended by the idea that competition (making the sale; HR is the most visible symbol of that) is a prerequisite for work…which in turn is a prerequisite for independence, and then solvency, de-facto political freedom, and on down the line. This appears to me to be a consequence not of “a world where corporations aren’t the specially priviledged [sic],” but of a world that recognizes the moral authority of negative liberty. The former is in inevitable, almost axiomatic, consequence of the latter. Perhaps inclusivity and freedom really are a “pick one” proposition. Perhaps I, if push comes to shove, will prioritize inclusivity over freedom. Or perhaps I’ll sacrifice myself in the name of freedom, demonstrating the fatal flaw in Objectivism.
Mention is made in Carson’s post of Robert Anton Wilson. Robert Anton Wilson managed to direct my attention to a number of subjects I usually avoid. Wilson had a sense of humor, and one of those would probably be the single most important strategic asset to those libertarians seeking engagement with non-libertarians in general.