When a group of young libertarians gathered in Pepperdine last week for a Students for Liberty conference, they probably did not expect to begin their day listening to a speech advocating for greater cooperation between the Liberty and the Occupy Wall Street movements.
However, that was the message of left libertarian philosopher Prof. Gary Chartier, who called for the ideologically disparate movements to work together to change the world. Calling it an “alliance worth rebuilding,” Chartier reminded the young libertarians that the dissidents of the Occupy Movement correctly identified a host of problems stemming from state-sanctioned violence and coercion. From the bank bailouts and massive debt, to war and empire, libertarians and occupiers alike are united in their opposition to these manifestations of state aggression. He urged libertarians to reach out to the dissidents and help them see that more state aggression and violence are not solutions to these problems. Chartier confidently stated, “libertarians know, and can readily explain, how concerns like these can be addressed without the state.” And while I believe this to be true, I also believe that the Liberty Movement can learn a thing or two from their brothers and sisters in the Occupy Movement.
It is the Occupy Movement, which is leading the way in providing non-state, non-hierarchical solutions to not only disaster relief, but also to personal debt slavery. Their efforts with Occupy Sandy — providing disaster relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy — garnered praise from not only the left-leaning New York Times, but also Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. It turns out the decentralized structure of the Occupy Movement was better, faster, and more efficient in providing relief to hurricane victims, beating out FEMA and more established organizations like the Red Cross in their own game. The dissidents of the Occupy Movement are now applying this ethos of voluntarism and charity with their latest activist effort: Rolling Jubilee.