Friday, September 08, 2006

On reaching out to the left

There's a bit of a dustup over at the Lew Rockwell blog, primarily between Anthony Gregory and Stephen Kinsella, over the value of reaching out to leftists. (My own view, for what it's worth, is that such efforts will be more fruitful than Kinsella believes, but probably less successful than the left-libertarian crowd hopes for. Still worth trying, though.) My favorite quote comes from Gregory, who says:

Certainly, the left is very statist, but not all leftists are unreachable. I can sympathize with many of them, when they think the only alternative is the right, which threatens liberty, just as I can sympathize with many on the right, who probably think the only alternative is the left, which also threatens liberty.

This also drives home the great evil wrought by the one-dimensional left-right spectrum that dominates public thought. Attacking that should be a major priority. I'm not sure what should replace it; I dislike the idea of making economic and personal liberties separate axes, partly because the edges are so fuzzy (For instance, is prostitution a personal right or an economic one? For that matter, Isn't the right to sell your labor just as "personal" as the right to choose sex partners or have an abortion?), but mostly because it encourages the idea that these are two different and unrelated kinds of freedom, which I believe to be a major pillar in the ideology of many strands of statism. I don't have any better suggestions, unfortunately, so I suppose it'll have to do for now.

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