Sunday, January 15, 2012

A left libertarian platform

It is often hard to describe what "left libertarianism" is, particularly because the movement includes many idiosyncratic (and strongly expressed) opinions. Furthermore, any explanation is at risk of being bogged down by preconceived notions about "libertarianism" and "anarchism". Finally, it is often difficult to clearly distinguish between ideology and utopianism.

To avoid these communication problems, I'd like to lay out the main agenda of left-libertarianism in the form of a political party platform. I'm not suggesting that left-libs actually attempt to implement this platform through electoral and legislative politics; I'm just trying to present the left-lib perspective in a manner that is compatible with mainstream political discourse. I'd like these articles to be accessible to readers who are not familiar with libertarian debates. I also would like for readers to decide that they support part of the left-lib agenda even if they don't accept the more abstract conclusions about institutional analysis and moral philosophy, or the ultimate goals of some activists.

Inevitably, the opinions expressed here are my own, being informed by my engagement with the Left Libertarian community. Some planks will be summaries of common arguments made by left-libs, others will be my own attempt to understand an issue in light of the principles and concerns that seem to motivate left-libertarianism. I see two main principles in left-libertarianism: eliminate legal (i.e. forcible) obligations as much as possible; eliminate barriers to attaining the basic necessities of life. 

Below are a list of issues that I intend to address. I appreciate any input; whether it be suggestion for additional planks, independent attempts to write a plank, or links to influential writings on these issues.

Planks:
Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks
International Trade 
Immigration
Global prosperity
Labor law
Cultural diversity
Terrorism
Banking
Secrecy
Free speech
Religious freedom
Sexism
Debt
Military intervention
Taxes
Victimless crimes
Death penalty
Social services
Corporations
Elections
Contracts
Privacy
Pollution
Licensing
Police and prosecuters
Education
Domestic slavery
Abortion
Healthcare
Guns
Due process

1 comment:

rulingclass said...

good list