James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Recent controversies in email lists that I'm reading make me want to clarify what I mean by "left-libertarian," and to explain why I include myself in the "Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left."

When I joined, I explained what I thought "left-libertarianism" to be. Maybe it's time for further clarification.

1. Non-defensive war is the #1 issue whenever our country happens to be engaged in one. It must be opposed strongly and vigorously, with as many allies and partners as we can muster - and they will mostly be on the Left.
2. The right to habeas corpus, along with the right to self-defense, over-rides any economic, welfare, or moral issue. In an age like ours where gun-owners tend to be Red State Fascists, habeas corpus is particularly important, because the gun owners, if they were ever going to collectively resist tyranny, they would have done so by now.
3. Something is not necessarily wrong-headed or evil just because it was a left-liberal's idea, or because most left-liberals tend to embrace it. And pundits and politicians on the Right are no more likeable than Leftists anyway.
4. Defending the rights and freedoms of small business is more important than protecting the (government-created) privileges of Big Business.
5. Left Libertarianism should frame its ideas in ways that resonate with and appeal to the social, economic, and environmental Left. Thus, one would not expect a Bush supporter, for instance, to proclaim himself or herself a leader of the Left Libertarian "movement." Particularly if he or she harshly condemns anything that comes from the Left. Such a person can only undermine the movement. Afterall, which libertarians can succeed in reaching out to the Left, if not left-libertarians?

UPDATE: You may ask "what am I talking about as to #5?" Roderick Long and Freeman explain so I don't have to.


  1. Good job. Excellent in fact.

    As a First-rate Right-wing Libertarian, I agree with your definition of Left-wing Libertarians completely.

    Only one tiny little quibble. I would argue, that you all should consider abandoning the noun in the phrase, "libertarian." Why include libertarian in your description at all.

    Have the courage of your convictions. Be a Proud Lefty-Liberal.

    Eric Dondero, CEO

    Acting Chairman, Libertarian Defense Caucus www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

  2. Just for reader's information, in Eric Dondero's world even his own former boss Ron Paul is a "lefty liberal" for opposing the illegal and useless War on Iraq.

  3. Gosh, I guess that makes Rothbard a lefty liberal too, since its pretty clear from a reading of "For a New Liberty" and "The Ethics of Liberty" he'd be against this war too.


  4. Not quite. My former boss Ron Paul is a Lefty Liberal nationally. Here in his conservative South Texas District he campaigns and portrays himself as a Red, White & Blue, Patriotic, Pro-Troops, Pro-Veterans, Pro-Defense Conservative Republican.

    I prefer the TX CD 14 version of Ron Paul, to the national persona.