Scratch an egalitarian, and you will inevitably find a statist.

-Murray Rothbard

Left-Libertarianism: A Critique: This article critiques an FAQ on Left-Libertarianism written by Nick Ford of Center for a Stateless Society identifying and debunking a variety of left-libertarianism positions including (but not limited to) capitalism and “thick libertarianism”.

The Bastardization of Value: The most famous objective theory of value is the labor theory of value, which (depending on who you’re talking to and which or whose version they mean) basically says goods take on value according to the amount of labor expended in their production. The subjective theory of value is a principle of value that promotes the concept that the value of a good is not based on any inherent property of the good, nor by the amount of labor required to produce the good, rather value is based on the importance an acting individual places on a good for the achievement of their desired ends — its utility. This article critiques Kevin Carson’s own theory as laid out in Studies in Mutualist Political Economy which is a “subjectivized” LTV where the real source of the value isn’t the labor itself, but the subjective disutility of labor assigned to it by the laborer as a reason to reject him overall.

Anti-Capitalism, A Love Story: “Capitalism” is a controversial word. Controversial enough that the libertarian left argues that the term should be abandoned by libertarians. This article addresses arguments presented by left-libertarians Kevin Carson, Gary Chartier, Charles W. Johnson, and Anna Mortgenstern discussing problems with the term, tackles the historical arguments, considers why left-libertarians may oppose it, and argues why the term should not be abandoned.

Let the Free Market Abolish the Unions: As it stands now, many unions are creatures of the state, get much of their power and privilege through state intervention. Most (if not all) libertarians oppose unions as they are today. Also, many of those libertarians, especially left-libertarians, aren’t opposed to unions in a free society. This article addresses the sentiment of unions as voluntary associations in a free society, and argues that in a free society unions would be futile while addressing contrary left-libertarian analysis.

Sophistry Through Thick and Thin: In 2008, Charles Johnson wrote an essay entitled Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin. This was an attempt to explain why libertarianism should be thought of as having to do with more than just aggression against person and property. This idea of libertarianism being more than just the “thin” doctrine related to the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle), caused many to begin to conceive of libertarianism as a “thick doctrine.” In this way, thick libertarianism is the idea that libertarianism qua libertarianism has to do with cultural preferences, social authority, acceptance of a variety of lifestyles, and so on. In other words, thick libertarianism accomplishes primarily a great blurring of the language. In this article, Johnson’s various points are responded to one by one… until there is nothing left on which left-libertarianism can stand.

Only the Individual Acts: Methodological individualism is defined as the theory that social and economic phenomena can be interpreted by reference to the actions of individuals as opposed to groups or collectives. This article addresses and acknowledges that groups can exist, but refutes the collectivist — albeit leftist — claim that groups can act or experience injustice in any analytical sense from a methodological individualist standpoint, while distinguishing the differences between cooperation and collectivism (especially in the market), despite left-libertarian claims.

The Left-Libertarian Case for ConfiscationIn terms of wealth redistribution via the state, libertarians outright oppose it. What of wealth that was acquired illegitimately though? This article invokes and then critiques both young Rothbard from his days in the New Left, and Gary Chartier, who call for property being returned to it’s “rightful owners,” including, for example, the descendants of slaves who are considered the legitimate heirs to the wealth of the descendants of slave owners, as well as, citizens who have had their wealth stolen from them via taxation.

Something Something Privilege: “Check your privilege,” a statement meant to remind you that when you find yourself in opposition to the claims of a member of an underprivileged group you are to ask yourself if you are in the right sort of “epistemic position” to be so opposed. This article brings into question the legitimacy of the concept of “privilege” as argued by left-libertarians, addressing a number of defenses such as differential advantage, being born “a few steps ahead of someone else,” etc.

The Bastardization of KnowledgeIn 1945, F. A. Hayek published The Use of Knowledge in Society. The main point of “The Use of Knowledge in Society” is that central planners can’t determine how best to allocate resources to meet the demands of society. This article addresses the left-libertarian analysis that smaller, flatter firms could be expected to out-compete larger, more hierarchical firms due to the knowledge problem impacting those larger firms.

Free Market Anti-Socialism: Anarchists of all kind posit what type of economy would arise should the state end. As a result of this discussion, anarcho-capitalists and left-libertarians are at odds with each other whether the market would trend towards capitalism (private ownership of the means of production) or socialism/communism (various stripes of common or collective ownership). This article goes over Kevin Carson’s article Who Owns the Benefit? The Free Market as Full Communism, countering his arguments that the market would trend towards communist/socialist norms.

Words, What Do They Mean?: Come across an article by a left-libertarian about left-libertariansism and it will usually say that the philosophy is becoming more prominently debated among libertarian circles. Why is this? This article argues that one of the contributing reasons that this may be is due to the way left-libertarians communicate their ideas withthe terms they use, tying postmodernist/deconstructionist thought and left-libertarians use of ambiguous terminology that seems to attract non-libertarians and libertarians alike, while smuggling in leftist rhetoric.

The “Left” in Left-Libertarianism: Gary Chartier attempts to help distinguish left-libertarianism as its own brand apart from basic libertarianism by grounding it in values that are uniquely leftist. In this essay, we have sought to show that it the values he fleshes out are not in fact clearly distinguished, and seem to function in name as more of an encoded signal to subvert libertarianism for an implicit agenda.

In Defense of “Vulgar Libertarianism”According to the libertarian left, “vulgar libertarianism” refers to those who treat the existing marketplace as one which closely approximates how a freed market would look. We can praise the benefits of market exchange, as it exists today, even when it’s hampered in various ways by the state. We must recognize all the ways in which the state distorts our society and economy, but at the same time discern between state-hampered business practices and outright rent-seeking and state privilege while not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

How to Become  a Left Libertarian: There can be no tolerance toward anarcho-capitalists in a left-libertarian safe space. They will have to be whined at then shamed to leave, so to speak. (Satire).

More to come…….