Charles Johnson is both inviting participants and raising money for the Southern Nevada branch of ALL to have a presence at the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair next month. This is an outreach-to-the-antistatist-left event, to complement the outreach-to-the-antistatist-right event well be involved in a month later.
I wish I could go, but Ill be in Prague. But want to go to San Francisco and hang out with anarchists? Or want to donate for this worthy cause? Details here.
I don’t understand the outreach to Right-Libertarians. Some of them may be anti-state, but most of them are pro-bureaucratic capitalism.
Look at Ron Paul. He practically started the popularization of libertarianism during campaign season. Now he’s got three intra-party challengers — all who think they’re more libertarian than him! Yet they have no clue what non-bureaucratic capitalism is. I hear their kind all the time on Facebook: “Let big business loose!”
I understand the notion that they’re half-way home. I’ve been there. But I’m afraid that — in the Space of Reasons — most Righties root their libertarianism outside of egalitarianism. Most of it is racism and love for class systems.
That’s not to say that all Righties are like that. Some just need a hint here and there. I’m just afraid that reaching out to Right-Libertarianism may scare off more Left-Libertarians than you pickup from the Right. Of course this is a hunch. No more scientific than a gut response. Could just be gas. 🙂
Well, I started out as a right-libertarian. So did Karl Hess. I’d hate to lose the chance to recruit a Hess, and I can’t universalise the maxim of not recruiting me.
I’ve known a lot of right-libertarians, and I don’t think most of them are motivated by “racism and love for class systems.” Often it’s more a matter of associating certain things together so that a positive evaluation of one bleeds over into a positive evaluation of the associated things.
That’s totally fair.
Are comments going to be closed for good May 20, 2010?
Not necessarily. Comments will never be closed on a popular post. It’s impossible to say exactly when any post here will be closed.
Oops. I didn’t know that meant for this particular post. I thought it meant for all posts. My bad.
This should be interesting. Rachel Maddow has Ron Paul on tonight to talk about “mutiny in the tea-party.”
I didn’t mean to plug for MSNBC. 🙁
I think that there’s hope for economically rightist libertarians with broadly Enlightenment philosophical premises. But there’s no hope for the paleolibertarians whose essential loves are for patriarchal religions and closed societies. You can’t reason with people whose souls are constructs of tradition and authority, or those whose identities are inseparable from their positions of power as bosses, or as dominant husbands and fathers. Libertarians should be creatures of the future, not enchanters of mythical pasts.
My trouble with left-libertarianism is that it doesn’t have any conceptual anchor to liberatory values on social issues. Left-libertarianism has inherited the operational relativism of the 60s-70s libertarian movement which it is attempting to recreate, and this relativism makes it impossible to take binding stands on cultural issues which require ethical as well as political commitments. Carson’s anti-classist free-market economics are a step forward, but there isn’t a parallel structural commitment to feminism, anti-racism, and LGBT rights equivalent to those of social anarchist society.
Fair enough; but I’d say Charles’ work is doing for that side something analogous to what Kevin’s work is doing for the economic side, no?
Yes. My taste differs with Charles as to precise flavours of emancipatory politics, but those are mostly lesser details. However, Johnson’s cultural libertarianisms aren’t canon the way that Kevin’s anti-classisms are. And more importantly, left-libertarianism refuses to ground itself in Enlightenment reason and a firm commitment to the Enlightenment refounding of civil society upon abstract liberty and equality as opposed to an inherited sense of place. Unless left-libertarianism explicitly sides with reason and 1789 over tradition and relativism there’s nothing to keep it from drifting with the sentiments of the times and future constituencies. The first libertarian movement reacted against Ayn Rand’s narrow demands for conformity by jettisoning all value commitments outside formal politics altogether, and the result has been Lew Rockwell. There’s currently nothing to keep left-libertarianism from doing the same, and the natural weight of social tradition and conformity will pull any movement without firm grounding to betray minorities and nonconformists absent firm structural guarantees to the contrary.
I’ve heard an interview in which you talk about the first Iraq war as the event which made you first consider anarchism. Will you say what it was that made you reconsider Right-Libertarianism and move to Left-Libertarianism?
Kind of funny how right-libertarian is normally a social anarchist term which loosly means “any person in America calling themselves a libertarian”.
And “left-libertarian” is used, depending on the speaker, to mean a) social anarchists, b) neo-Georgists, c) Konkinite agorists, d) libertarians who care about (some) lefty issues, e) libertarians who compromise libertarian principle in order to promote (some) lefty issues [that’s how the paleos used to use it, though they tended to run (d) and (e) together], and e) whatever it is that the members of ALL have in common. (Not all of those are mutually exclusive, of course.)
Let’s inscribe (e) on our banners!