} What the heck is this business with Libertarianism and Socialism being
} used as synonyms? Libertarianism may be defined very simply as the
} belief that government is evil and that the optimal society has a
} government which does not act except in cases of "force and fraud"; many
} are unsure about "fraud"; a few dispense with "force".
There is a separate belief needed, as to whether private property is
theft or not. The term libertarian was first used as a movement by
anarcho-syndicalists or similar types in the 19th century; most of the
first libertarians were socialists, or rather had Left goals, but were
more anarchist in their means than most current day, propertarian
libertarians. Kropotkin, Bakunin, Proudhon. Kropotkin at least had
good criticism of much societal ill, especially prisons; I'm not so sure
what sort of economy he did want to see. I don't think there are very
many Proudhonites active these days; I've seen some on the net; many of
those have had a higher coherence and complexity of thought than those
they were debating with, either usual socialists or modern libertarians.
Again, absent a good and specific vision (that I can see) of how they
would want society to work. Many of them also still resent the
propertarian co-option of 'libertarian'.
Of course, if we gave them back libertarian by the same logic we could
go back to being liberal, which term I prefer anyway.
Weird experience: on the same day reading a Nation article decrying
NAFTA and GATT, and a BusinessWeek article praising the increasing
liberalization of world trade.
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*> http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix
A man without God is like a fish without a skateboard. -- Anon