Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why Left-Libertarianism Matters

Left-libertarianism is motivated in part by indignation over the historical power disparity between workers and owners of capital. Nonleft-libertarians respond that there is no disparity in the free market. Left-libertarians agree. The difference is that nonleft-libertarians often talk about the present capitalist world as though it were the freed market. (This is what Kevin Carson calls "vulgar libertarianism" and Roderick Long calls "Right-conflationism.")
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Kevin Carson said...

And of course the Daily Kos liberals attack the world that produced AIG, Bear-Stearns and Bernie Madoff as if it had been a freed market.

ToryII said...

Liberals either don't understand basic economic theory or don't care about deficits or good money management.

cheesechoker said...

Conservatives either don't understand basic economic theory or don't care about deficits or good money management.

D. Saul Weiner said...

I would say that Left-libertarianism also matters when it demonstrates the damage done to consumers from heavy-handed government interference in free exchange (sometimes mistakenly referred to as "regulation").

For instance, how many Americans really understood why the health care system is so screwed up, versus thinking that it was another "market failure"?

So these ideas matter, at least potentially. In the context of the health care debate, few of these ideas ever reached the masses, so they didn't matter there, unfortunately.

D. Saul Weiner said...

My designation for the type of libertarian criticized here is "Panglossian libertarian".

The rest of us still see some room for improvement via reductions in state violence.

Jackson88 said...

Carson's vulgar libertarianism is an important distinction, but it isn't determinative. The limits of homesteading is what separates the right- from the left-libertarians.

Gary Chartier said...

Really? How do left-libertarian Roderick Long and right-libertarian Hans-Hermann Hoppe differ regarding "[t]he limits of homesteading"?