Max Borders, writing over at The Freeman's website, has some interesting observations on why progressives seem so especially mad at libertarians lately. (For some Reason blogging on this, see here, here, and here.)
Borders argues that libertarianism is now the new center and progressive dreams of big government programs and management are no longer progressive but old-fashioned and quaint; that libertarians' vision of a free people building a free and rich world is powerful and inspiring; that libertarians transcend a dying partisan politics and that libertarians are clearly the real communitarians; and most importantly:
the old rules are becoming obsolete. People are connecting and cooperating across national boundaries. They’re practicing what James C. Scott calls “Irish Democracy,” which is another term for people simply turning their backs, on a massive scale, on an imposed order. Together, whatever our moralistic stripes, we are simultaneously creating a new order while rendering the old order obsolete. And now we’re aided by technology. This is not a libertarian ideology, but a libertarian reality carved out by people who simply refuse to be controlled by peers who purport to be superiors.
All the way back in 2001 I was predicting that the progressive left would more and more realize that libertarians are a more serious foe to them than is the conservative right.