In Defense of Left Libertarianism
I am an anarcho-capitalist, so I am by no means a left libertarian. However, I am a little tired of seeing right wing gatekeepers claiming that left libertarians are not “real libertarians.” Perhaps there are leftists that claim to be libertarian and aren’t, but I truly believe that left libertarians exist.
Libertarianism is a very broad term. It’s as broad as it’s antonym, Authoritarianism. It simply refers to political ideologies that favor less government (state power and size). Anarchists are the most extreme libertarians. Obviously, you can’t have any less government than no government (when I say government, I am referring to the state). It’s also a somewhat arbitrary definition, which I think makes gatekeeping mostly pointless. Although, we shouldn’t call authoritarians libertarians, since that may cause confusion, or it may be used as a rhetorical tool against us.
The left and right divide is more extreme, in my opinion. It all has to do with property, which is control of a good. The left tends to be against property, while the right is all for it. The authoritarian right usually has some hybrid of private property (property that has been obtained peacefully) and state involvement (like mercantilism). The libertarian right, such as myself, believe in the privatization of either almost everything (classical liberalism and minarchy) or literally everything (anarcho-capitalism).
The authoritarian left advocates for public property (state owned property), and the libertarian left tends to advocate for the commons (no property). It should be no surprise that those that advocate for common goods are against the state. Public property is not the same as having no property.
Perhaps the confusion and gatekeeping is the result of viewing the political spectrum linearly as opposed to quadratically. The y-axis being the libertarian and authoritarian spectrum, and the x-axis being the left and right spectrum. This subreddit is for those on the bottom hemisphere of the political spectrum (square). However, there is a still that left-right divide, hence the gatekeeping.
While the fundamental beliefs of left libertarians and right libertarians are dramatically different, it’s unproductive to claim the other side isn’t a “real libertarian.” Instead, this subreddit should be used as an opportunity to learn from and argue with each other. Libertarians are often criticized for our constant arguing with one another. I view it as a virtue. Authoritarians would rather force others to comply to their beliefs.
If we are to agree on anything, it should be peace. We ought to discuss our ideas, not use violence to enforce them.
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society