Daily Kos appropriates the Libertarian Left for Progressivism

This is just disgusting. In a post entitled Rise of the Libertarian Left in the Mountain West, Kos makes left libertarianism sound like orgiastic fawning for the regulatory State. Instead of observing that meddling in private moral issues, waging wars, and corruption cost Republicans the election, he draws a sweeping conclusion intended to redefine libertarianism into a pet project of the progressive liberal family:

The other half [of the argument for the libertarian Democrat] is the realization that global capitalism is now just as much a threat to personal liberties as is government, and that judicious governmental regulation will oftentimes be the only thing separating us from heavy corporate intrusion, be it on privacy issues, property rights issues, or whatever. Privacy, self-determination, opportunity, fairness, the cultivation of an entrepreneurial small-business environment. We cannot have personal liberties without those values.

The problem here is that he's turning libertarianism - and left libertarianism in particular - on its head. Left libertarians do oppose the particular form of globalization we're experiencing. Some of us even voted for Democrats this past election cycle (or on a regular basis). And we certainly don't see Republican hypercorporatism as any help in the matter.

But there's more to us. When we look at the situation, we see supranational, ueberstatist bureaucracies like the WTO running the game, undercutting domestic self determination and strong arming less developed nations. We see an IMF bent on keeping corrupt third world countries in continual debt. We see tax policies and accounting pressures that encourage outsourcing overseas. We see businessmen using the corporate structure enshrined in U.S. law to bully people at home and abroad. From where I'm standing, it looks like regulations and various government intrusions in the market are the problem, not the solution.

I'd give Markos more props if he actually had the patience and curiosity to examine and critique how globalization actually occurs in the real world, instead of simply accepting it as a given and prescribing the regulatory agenda as the only cure. He's not even addressing root causes in any way. His typical Democrat failure of imagination doesn't even make him progressive in any sense - more conservative, actually. He does more for corporatism than any right wing talk radio shill out there.

I'm starting to suspect that these Democrats Kos is always talking about simply want all their globalization goodies without the guilt. They don't want to actually change the way the world works - that would mean their lifestyle would have to change. It's easier to focus on political posturing than grassroots efforts to change the market from the bottom up.

Left libertarians are bent on organizing and taking action beyond politics to effect a more just world. We see the State as the central problem, not as a convenient rally point for letting the world know that we feel their pain. If Markos wants to work with us, he needs to start listening and stop this embarrassing focus group talk he's been engaging in.

Token actions no longer suffice; we need an alternative to the entire system. That's what the Movement of the Libertarian Left is about: demonstrating an alternative to preachy, ineffective governance. Establishment politics and their online mouthpieces shall not colonize our agenda. While Markos is busy writing another post blurring the lines between principled leftism and his positively conservative centrism, the MLL will be taking action.

Note: I found out about this Daily Kos post via Freedom Democrats, a great site that I'm enjoying a lot. Check it out sometime.

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Written on Wednesday, November 15, 2006