I first heard of libertarians in 1980 when Ed Clark ran for Prez on the LP ticket. I first heard of anarchists around 1983 when I came across William Godwin in a high school English literature class (which I probably failed). I first became an anarchist by reading Proudhon’s encyclopedia entry around 1987. What started as youthful fancy became a lifelong activity.
Proudhon was Not a Communist
Proudhon was not a communist. Proudhon agreed with Bastiat on basically everything, except he was more extreme about it. He wanted to deprive the illegitimately-wealthy of their monopoly of credit. Look into the history of how ‘capitalism’ actually happened, as opposed to the pure theory – the State was involved at every turn, old feudal monopolies were liquidated into state-subsidized and protected industrial monopolies. Proudhon was not a ‘socialist’ in the sense that Marx or Bernie Sanders is.
Libertarians really need to learn more about fucking history, brah. The 19th century was not unfettered laissez-faire, it was the massive expansion of the state and an non-stop incestuous relationship between big capital and big government. That’s how the modern world was born.
Also, the Marxists are right about almost everything except Communism. Marx’s economics are basically rehashed Ricardo with a bunch of nonsense, but the general theme of Marxist work is more or less correct – that a super-elite of politically advantaged banksters and capitalists are funneling resources into their own pockets and levering up global trade with imperial expansionism. Any well-informed libertarian can give you exactly the same story, it’s the dumbasses who think historical capitalism was a ‘free market’ that don’t get it.
Keep in mind that I say all of this as a supporter of unilateral free trade, unlimited property accumulation, joint-stock companies, and heavily armed citizen-militias supplemented by mercenaries as the sole defense force. I ain’t no Red. But I do read.