By Jason Lee Byas, Center for a Stateless Society
As you might have noticed, one of the (very quickly) upcoming Virtual Reading Groups will cover a wide selection of readings on left-libertarianism. So a reasonable question to ask, then, is just what is “left-libertarianism?”The term (as it’s being used here) points to a broad tradition of intellectual undercurrents that are simultaneously radically libertarian and radically leftist.
It includes some of the most radical elements of English liberalism (such as Thomas Hodgskinand the earlier writings of Herbert Spencer), nineteenth-century individualist anarchism, the 1960s alliance between free market anarchists and the New Left, and the contemporary resurgence of left-wing market anarchism.It’s probably impossible to come up with any concise, neat, and fully exhaustive definition of what ties together the general cluster of ideas that fall under “left-libertarianism,” and there will be clear counter-examples for any attempt at doing so. However, here are three of its most important features.