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Reply #208: Rapprochement with the Left [View All]

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T.Ruth2power Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #202
208. Rapprochement with the Left
Rapprochement with the Left
The first attempt at rapprochement between the postwar American libertarian movement and the Left came in the 1960s, when Austrian-School economist Murray Rothbard came to question libertarianism's traditional alliance with the Right in light of the Vietnam War. During this period, Rothbard came to advocate strategic alliances with the New Left over issues such as the military draft and black power.

Karl HessWorking with radicals like Ronald Radosh, Rothbard argued that the consensus view of American economic history, wherein government has stepped in as a countervailing interest to corporate predation, is fundamentally flawed. Rather, he argued, government intervention in the economy has largely benefited established players at the expense of marginalized groups, to the detriment of both liberty and equality. Moreover, the "Robber Baron Period", adulated by the right and despised by the left as a laissez-faire haven, was not laissez-faire at all but in fact a time of massive state privilege accorded to capital. Rothbard criticized the "frenzied nihilism" of left-libertarians but also criticized right-wing libertarians who were content to rely only on education to bring down the state; he believed that libertarians should adopt any non-immoral tactic available to them in order bring about liberty.<16>

Rothbard's initial leftward impulse was maintained by Karl Hess, picked up by activists like Samuel Edward Konkin III (founder of the Movement of the Libertarian Left) and Roderick Long. These left-libertarians agree with Rothbard that presently-existing capitalism does not even vaguely resemble a free market, and that presently-existing corporations are the beneficiaries and chief most supporters of statism. By this line of reasoning, libertarianism should make common cause with the anti-corporate left. Rapprochement with the left has led many left-libertarians to reject some traditional libertarian stances, such as hostility to labor unions and support for intellectual property, or even to limit valid real-property rights to use-and-occupancy.

The Movement of the Libertarian Left is, or was, a radical libertarian movement founded by the late Samuel E. Konkin III, exploring his favored approach of agorism, but traditionally welcoming and attracting collaboration from non-agorists as well. Inasmuch as the apparent executor of Konkins estate, who has since abandoned left-libertarianism as we understand it, now claims legal ownership over the term Movement of the Libertarian Left, a need has been felt for new institutions, unaffiliated with the MLL, to carry forward what we see as the MLLs authentic legacy. In brief, we consider ourselves the legitimate heirs of the MLL, but refrain (under protest) from using the label because of the threat of legal thuggery. /

While it's true that Rothbard wasn't "the founder" of the Libertarian Left he was certainly influential and pretty much influenced quite a bit of that movement. And as nutty as Rothbard was he still looks sensible compared to the whacko many actually consider the "founder" of the LL, Samuel E. Konkin III.
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