BySpringtime of Nations
The worldwide culture war between what we call the “left” and “right” has by now infected all political discourse, and Libertarianism is no exception. “Right-Libertarians” have socially conservative mores and favor more hierarchical forms of economic and social organization, while “Left-Libertarians” are socially progressive and believe that an egalitarian social order should and will be the outcome of a free society. The radical (who we will focus on for the purposes of this essay) wing of both agree that the initiation of the use of force should never be used to impose a worldview on the other. This commonality is of the utmost importance, and should be the basis of an ironclad alliance, one so obvious that at first glance it does not seem necessary to even write about.
Sadly however, these two groups have spent decades at each other’s throats, slandering and ostracizing the other. Even more dangerously, right and left libertarians have both sought at different times and to different extents to ally themselves with left and right statists of various stripes. Working with statists (which also includes people like classical liberals and minarchists) can be useful, but should never take precedence over or to the detriment of libertarian causes. The founder of modern radical libertarianism, Murray Rothbard, managed to compromise himself both to the left AND to the right in different periods. His defense of Stalin as a peacemaker and the USSR as a defensive organization is as embarrassing and regrettable as his laudatory evaluation of David Duke as some kind of small-government conservative. Murray’s mistakes should be our lesson, and we should avoid being fooled into an “alliance” with the power-hungry only to get stabbed in the back for our trouble. In the 2010s, many right-libertarians sought to ally with the Dissident Right, which would later become known as the infamous Alternative or “Alt” Right. Being enemies of both the neoconservative establishment and the Left, many Right Libertarians saw them as natural political allies. In practice this normally meant Right Libertarians conceding every major point of disagreement to their National Socialist “allies”, and either shutting up about economic and social liberty, or abandoning any talk of it altogether. Christopher Cantwell, the infamous ‘crying Nazi’ was once a stalwart and consistent libertarian. When he associated with the Alt-Right, going on the Right Stuff’s podcast, he tried to argue with the hosts about free trade and was muted until he agreed to stop “sowing dissent”. The hoped for victory against the neocons and the left had turned into a nadir of interest in libertarianism.