Go Left, Young Libertarian


Roderick Long looks back at two classic libertarian essays, Herbert Spencer's "The New Toryism" and Murray Rothbard's "Left and Right," and concludes by echoing Rothbard's 41-year-old suggestion that libertarians should find common ground with the anti-authoritarian left:

We've seen one "conservative revolution" after another: Reagan, Thatcher, Bush; we've seen what happens when conservatives get in power and finally are in a position to scale back the state like they've been telling us for years they'd do if those awful liberals didn't keep blocking them. We've seen the purge of libertarian elements from the Right, begun by Buckley and others during the Cold War, reach its apogee during the War on Terror….Today we face a situation remarkably similar to the one Rothbard was facing in the 1960s, including shifting ideological alliances and an increasingly unpopular war.

Proposals like this inevitably set off a flame war in the Hit & Run comment threads, so I thought I'd ask our commenters a question, which you're free to follow or ignore as you see fit. If you support greater cooperation between libertarians and the left, please list three left-wing leaders, groups, or broad tendencies that you'd be happy to embrace. If you think libertarians belong on the right, please list three right-wing leaders, groups, or broad tendencies that you'd be happy to embrace. Ambidextrous readers are welcome to list potential allies of both the left and the right, and of course you're free to announce that both sides of the spectrum are hopelessly, thoroughly infected with cooties.