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How Libertarians plan to reclaim the Left (english)
28 Apr 2003
Modified: 08:54:59 AM
The ground seems fertile for libertarians to forge alliances with the Left. And who knows? We might even "outflank" the socialists eventually and reclaim the Left for libertarianism!
From Why Not Reclaim the Left?
How Libertarians plan to reclaim the Left
by Tom Wheeler, 26 June 2002

Is there, today, enough common ground between Leftists and libertarians to build a brand new coalition to smash Corporate Leviathan? Well, the Left's "official" leadership is now a toothless lapdog to the Democratic Party, on the verge of hanging its "out of business" shingle. The commies are out of the picture. But a "Newer" New Left is growing, made up mostly of young anarchists. A new anti-war movement is flowering on campuses in response to the current War Without End. A mass anti-IMF/World Bank movement has been up and rolling for a couple of years. (Remember Seattle, Quebec, Washington, DC?) As Raimondo writes: "[The Left] is where all the vitality, the rebelliousness, the willingness to challenge the rules and strictures of an increasingly narrow and controlled national discourse resides."

One group of radical libertarians has been laying the groundwork for a day of reconciliation with the Left since 1978. And they've actually made inroads. The Movement of the Libertarian Left (MLL) was founded by Samuel Edward Konkin III with this goal: to develop a coherent, long-term, non-political, anti-party strategy consistent with hard-core Rothbardian theory. Konkin and other Libertarian Leftists now interact regularly with New Leftists like Alexander Cockburn, Christopher Hitchens, Carl Oglesby, Jon Rappoport, and Noam Chomsky. MLL has a web page, a busy e-list, and newsletters and pamphlets appear frequently under its banner.

So the ground seems fertile for libertarians to forge alliances with the Left. And who knows? We might even "outflank" the socialists eventually and reclaim the Left for libertarianism!

Now, how do we approach the Left? And who do we approach specifically? Obviously, we shouldn't bother with lefties whose goals are generally hostile to individual freedom. But I think we can work with a growing number of today's young Left anarchists, with one proviso: abolition of the State must be their primary focus. Much contemporary anarchist literature, sadly, suggests that smashing governments is secondary to destroying businesses and shaping communal utopias. As the hardest of hard-core anarchists, we can't waste time with such socialist sentimentality. Our first duty is to stamp out all political power. But keep in mind that since we radical libertarians consider corporations creatures of the State and would abolish them to free the market, some of our laissez-faire ideas might intrigue and even persuade potential comrades on the anti-market Left.

We should, jointly and individually, dedicate ourselves to studying diverse Leftist movements--animal rights radicals, feminists, poverty crusaders, AIDS activists--to determine with whom we have points in common, or with whom we at least share some issues. This means we must tirelessly monitor Leftist magazines, journals, newsletters, and websites. The Nation, Z, and CounterPunch are a good start.

Opposition to war, the undeniable health of the State, is the one barometer we can rely on to judge suitable allies. We should feel free to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any Leftists at anti-war demonstrations, seminars, teach-ins, film festivals, etc. The anti-war issue is fundamental to our cause.

This may sound elementary, but we should take time to study or refresh ourselves in the insights of Etienne de la Boetie, the civil disobedience of Thoreau, and the non-violent resistance tactics of Gandhi. These ideas are fundamental to consistent non-political libertarian strategy. Possessing a "leftist hue," they also offer good common ground for reaching out to the Left.

Principled libertarians now stand at a crossroads. The Cato Institute and the so-called "Libertarian" Party, now mere front groups for the warmongering right-wing, have hammered a wedge into the libertarian movement. So I applaud Justin Raimondo's call for a libertarian rapprochement with the Left. We have a lot to talk about, and I look forward to the coming dialogue.

In the meantime, those afraid to make a sharp left turn and join us should heed Samuel Edward Konkin III's suggestion to "wake up and smell the tear gas!" And to those courageous enough to shrug off the right-wing, unite with other staunch enemies of the State, and reclaim the Left for libertarians, I say, "Forward to liberty!"

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fine with me (english)
28 Apr 2003
i, for one, welcome the unification of the left and libertarians; if for no other reason, than because a unification with the opposite side of the spectrum (Authoritarians) would almost negate an attempt to combine 'anarchism' with 'left-liberalism'. I would also like to see eradicated the non-educated belief that libertarians are conservative, a belief equivalent to the belief that communists are libertarians, conservatives are authoritarians, authoritarians are communists, etc.
scavenging for followers (english)
28 Apr 2003
... is just sad.

Few will see through your attempts to sell "libertarianism" as a cool new anarchism.

It's not anarchism. It's worship of private property "rights" above all other considerations of social justice. I should know - I have had to deal with a lot of so-called "libertarians" even at the national office level.

Bugger off.
Still Divided and Conquered? (english)
28 Apr 2003
The "Big Boys" love it when the "right" bickers with the "left". They are neither.

Who gains? The World Banksters.

From the radical center,

neither "right" nor "left" but real...
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