The “civil libertarian” and “liberal” views on rights, the NSA, PATRIOT act, etc, are identical.
Same with economic libertarians and “conservatives”. (They call themselves conservatives, but they’re actually reactionaries – they want to drag the US back to the Coolidge / Harding days, rather than real conservatives, who instead simply want to consolidate and improve what we’ve got)
Economically, what distinguishes libertarians from right-wing fat cats? And why are libertarians so obsessed with “freedom from government” rather than freedom from corporate power?
When I talk to libertarians, they often trot out anecdotes about zoning laws, licensing laws for florists, etc for examples of government abusing its power to help firms seek rent. This is petty-bourgeois territory. Liberals are against that too. Where libertarians and liberals break is not over obvious/basic examples of corruption, but rather on the big stuff. Social Security. Single Payer Health Care.
I’d argue that Social Security is a proven success story and Universal Health Care is not only a moral issue but pretty strikingly better policy than what we have now.
Of course that’s a rather broad generalization of a diverse economic philosophy. I was just thinking to myself, though. Libertarians who embrace sane economic policy are pretty much liberals.
That’s not to say we can’t work together, though. I have a lot of respect for people so passionate about defending against the Imperial State. Two fists in the face of Empire! Right on.
2 responses to “Thoughts on Libertarians at 5 am”
Have you read all of the posts on Daily Kos et al. about Liberal Libertarians. The discussion over what it means to be a libertarian was fascinating. I find myself leaning in a liberal libertarian direction most of the time, even if this means breaking away with progressives on certain issues.
Right on man.
Libertarians never understand that corporate rule is a far worse fate than a government that cares about its people.