Class Struggle, Libertarian Style

some people protesting something Here at last (in PDF format – HTML versions to follow in futuro) are two broadly left-libertarian articles I wrote in the 90s that I’ve been promising for some time to post here. (The second one is broken into two parts because I can’t upload files greater than 5 MB.)

1. Immanent Liberalism: The Politics of Mutual Consent

2. Toward a Libertarian Theory of Class, Parts One and Two

[Originally published in Social Philosophy & Policy 12.2 (Summer 1995) and 15.1 (Summer 1998), respectively; © 1995 and 1998, Social Philosophy & Policy Foundation; posted by permission of the Foundation.]

The first article critiques mainstream liberalism for privileging indirect and hypothetical forms of consent over direct, actual consent; the second explores the relation between big government and big business and argues that the malign power of the latter depends mostly though not entirely on that of the former. Both articles attempt to overcome the dichotomy between “capitalist” and “socialist” versions of antistatist radicalism.

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6 Responses to Class Struggle, Libertarian Style

  1. Wally Conger November 5, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Kevin Carson November 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Nunc dimittis servum tuum in pace, Domine…

    This is great, Roderick. For some reason this post doesn’t show up yet on my feed at Google Reader, so I can’t share it.

  3. Administrator November 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    My RSS feeds are screwed up — a byproduct of hacking, I suspect.

  4. Joel Schlosberg November 6, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Well, thank you! I’ve been waiting for you to put up “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Class” for a long, long time — you announced that you’d be putting it up way back in June, and I was trying to find it even before then (since a book that contains the article is on Google Books, providing just enough of a sample to make one want the rest):

  5. Richard Garner November 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    Excellent. The piece on class theory was the first thing of yours I ever read, in Paul, Miller and Paul’s Problems of Economic Liberalism.

  6. Nick November 28, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    You write:

    “LibCaps often have trouble recognizing entrenched power except when it comes attached to some governmental office. This may also explain why in recent years some writers associated with the libcap movement have been attracted to theories of innate sexual and racial superiority. If women and minorities systematically lose out on the market, despite the absence of explicitly discriminatory laws aimed at impeding their success then this failure cannot be the fault of the beloved market-so perhaps it indicates inherent inferiority!”

    That women and minorities lose out on the market isn’t by itself proof of some inherent disadvantage. On this much I agree. I disagree however with dismissing a priori the possibility of biological racial and gender differences existing and having some, smaller or greater, effect on the success of women and minorities.

    If you embrace the dogma of biological egalitarianism, as many on the Left do, then you may become, like LibPops, “susceptible to the suggestion that perhaps it is the wrong cultural or ethnic groups that have gotten in power” –in this case “Straight White Males”.

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