Sunday, 30 April 2017
My opposition to the Iraq War lead me to question whether the political right in North America was really such a good home base for people who lean libertarian. Because of their relationship to freedom one of the foundations of libertarian though is rights. But right wing parties have increasingly fought for policies that encroach on rights. Their advocacy of torture and eminent domain are cases in point.
I am also quite discouraged by how many libertarians buy into conspiracy theories and outright fascism. The way some right leaning libertarians buy into tyranny and authoritarianism makes their affiliation to libertarianism outright contradictory, at times.
Looking particularly at the situation in USA, its fair to say, the “big tent” of republicanism is increasingly excluding libertarian thinking people. Those who think along these lines are going to have to build up a small party or remain party-less. The other side of the coin, is their minds might become more open to alliances on the left and in the Democratic party. The type of pro freedom ideas they would like to champion have some representation from those who are on the left or centrist. Camille Paglia comes to mind, because she was someone fighting the biggest excesses of feminism and political correctness, even as she did so as a democrat.
Will Wilkinson, in his bloggingheads.tv discussions, didn't seem to reject libertarian values so much as talk about how they can be achieved through a long game. And let's face it, many of us who see ourselves as libertarian leaning are thinking about the long game now. The VERY long game...sigh.
Rights and freedom based libertarianism strongly rooted in the left?
It's probably best to remember that rights and freedom based libertarianism has some strong historical roots in the left. If we think of the original republican party's association with abolitionism, as one of the places this grew out of in America, then the “big switch” that happened in the civil rights fight (where Strom Thurmond became a republican) explains why the heritage of fighting for freedom belongs as much with democrats than with republicans. (And, they were the ones who passed civil rights, after all.)
The US Left has its own tyrannical impulses
All this has to be tempered with the fact, that there are enough on the American left, who cheered on the shutting down of speeches by Charles Murray and Milo Yiannopoulos. In America, students who use violence to quash free speech are often acting on the ideas taught to them by their professors. So while many of us worry about the authoritarian and tyrannical impulses rallying the right right now...we should remember where their ideas and techniques came from...