Libertarians, the Left, and the Future of Freedom

Mark Thompson at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen made the following comments that resonate with me:

[I]n order for libertarians to more consistently act as political free agents, or even to sign on to a coalition with the political Left, something else will need to happen to free libertarian philosophy from the predispositions that have resulted from such a lengthy alliance with the political Right.

I would propose, then, that the “something” to which I refer is “liberaltarianism,” “soft Hayek” as Jim Henley calls it, or “actual Hayek” as I like to call it.  The promise of this derivation of modern libertarianism is not that it attempts to paint libertarianism in a light that is palatable to modern liberals/Progressives, which our friend Kip rightly fears; instead, its promise is that it can help to rescue the fundamental worldview of libertarianism from the prejudices instilled in it by such a lengthy alliance with the Right.

Simply put, the promise of liberaltarianism is that it can help to build a libertarianism that is more true to its classically liberal roots.  In so doing, it is possible that it will become a libertarianism that modern liberals are willing to take seriously, and even learn from.  To be sure, if this were to completely succeed, I find it likely that libertarianism would eventually become as corrupted by the Left as it has been by the Right, thus creating the need for the cycle to start anew.

I have never understood the alliance of Libertarians with the Right.  the religious disconnect is an unsolvable problem.  Libertarians are a largely atheistic bunch, and that is hard to reconcile with Christian Conservatism.   Among other things, it drives a wedge between the groups.

In contrast, Liberals and Libertarians, while they have many disagreements about the methods of political action, share many of the same values: peace, freedom, equality for all, and a belief that education can bridge divides and bring people together.  It’s a natural marriage.

(HAT TIP: The fly bottle)


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