Saturday, January 31, 2009

Has Anyone Else Noticed This?

I don't want to give the impression that I'm having some kind of anti-left-libertarian field day on this blog, especially since I don't disagree with LLs on everything, and am generally only criticizing the excesses of some self-described LLs.

But I've always found it kind of ironic that LLs (including the authors of "An Anarchist FAQ") are so obsessed with self-employment, considering that self-employed people are mostly right-leaning. According to wikipedia, "Republicans are about 50 percent more likely to be self-employed." (Some other interesting political statistics here.) Add in all the independent conservative and libertarian-leaning individuals who aren't Republicans, and who knows how high the number would get?

Do the left's constituencies really identify with this interest in self-employment? At all? It seems like more of a "rightie" thing.

Anyhoo...just a random observation I've made.

8 comments:

Neverfox said...

This observation is only ironic if you think that LLs are trying to model themselves after Democrats.

Also, if we look past this, is it not equally ironic then that right-libertarians aren't so "obsessed" with it?

That's why I think it's irrelevant as far as libertarians are concerned. I don't bother looking to the US left-right party system as my compass. They are all confused statists with little to offer me in terms of political or economic inspiration.

Cork said...

I don't bother looking to the US left-right party system as my compass. They are all confused statists with little to offer me in terms of political or economic inspiration.

Agreed. I just thought it was interesting, is all.

I suppose I don't feel strongly about it one way or the other. I've been an independent contractor before and had a lot of fun. It really depends on the individual though--some will be fine with it, others will hate it.

I just question whether working-class folks really have that much enthusiasm for it. There's autonomy for sure, but it can be a pain in the ass.

Raskolnik said...

Looking through your anti-left category, I'm still trying to get a handle on what your problem is with LLs in the first place... Do you take issue with what Charles Johnson calls thick libertarianism?

I think your definitions could be fixed as well:

The “left” has generally stood for egalitarianism, collectivism, and democracy.

The “right” has generally stood for individualism, free markets, and private property.


This, of course, is a modern, somewhat parochial perception (after all, Bastiat and Proudhon sat on the left). One could easily counter that the right stands for authority, tradition, and hierarchy while the left stands for anti-authority and social progress.

We're defining this stuff as we go along, and I see the ALL as an attempt to merge radical libertarian politics with some of the more noble Leftist cultural concerns.

While I would consider myself a proud, if quiet (I'm only a teenager and am still more or less forming my philosophy), member of the ALL, I am a bit sick of this left-right shouting match, (Yet I read all these "debates" daily, so I must be a glutton for punishment.) as it's getting us nowhere. That is not that the creation of the MLL/ALL is a bad strategic move...

Otherwise, keep up the good work. I like your blog!

Cork said...

Hi Raskolnik!

Looking through your anti-left category, I'm still trying to get a handle on what your problem is with LLs in the first place

First, just to be clear, I'm only talking about some LLs. The sane ones (Rorshak, David_Z etc) don't get any guff from me.

Basically: I think their predictions of what a free market would like are wrong. I think their opposition to hierarchy in business organization is both unfounded and unworkable in the real world.

(The "anti-left" tag is a bit tongue-in-cheek btw--I concede that much of it is just childish ranting ;)

One could easily counter that the right stands for authority, tradition, and hierarchy while the left stands for anti-authority and social progress.

People on the right are certainly more likely to support things like tradition, but I think one's economic views are really the thing that defines them as "left" or "right."

While I would consider myself a proud, if quiet (I'm only a teenager and am still more or less forming my philosophy),

Heh, no worries. I'm pretty young as well.

I am a bit sick of this left-right shouting match, (Yet I read all these "debates" daily, so I must be a glutton for punishment.) as it's getting us nowhere. That is not that the creation of the MLL/ALL is a bad strategic move...

I hear ya. It has become a bit of a shoutdown. There's a lot of good stuff in the ALL, and those who identify with it are at least interesting to discuss stuff with.

Otherwise, keep up the good work. I like your blog!

Thanks! Drop by any time.

Raskolnik said...

Thanks for the kind welcoming,

Basically: I think their predictions of what a free market would like are wrong. I think their opposition to hierarchy in business organization is both unfounded and unworkable in the real world.

Well, I think the crux of what people like Carson are saying (particularly in Organization Theory) is that the strictly hierarchical structures found in modern-day business practices are so bad (hell, they're downright evil) for society that they would be unsustainable in a free market economy. As you well know, a free market will tend to produce the optimal results for society through the various games that produce stable relationships. And since these hierarchical constructs are mostly incorrigible, they'll be engaged in a constant battle with more egalitarian practices; I suspect this is one they cannot win.

People on the right are certainly more likely to support things like tradition, but I think one's economic views are really the thing that defines them as "left" or "right."

Why the limitations? After all, 'social views' probably have a cleaner-cut (in the historical sense) left/right division than do economics.

Cork said...

Well, I think the crux of what people like Carson are saying (particularly in Organization Theory) is that the strictly hierarchical structures found in modern-day business practices are so bad (hell, they're downright evil) for society that they would be unsustainable in a free market economy.

I actually kind of agree with this. See my post Bringing Spooner's Vision To Life...Realistically
http://corktageous.blogspot.com/2008/11/bringing-spooners-vision-to.html

But the problem is not hierarchy per se. It's the authoritarian stuff that happens under some hierarchies (which I agree are evil). There are some hierarchically structured business where one rarely ever even sees the boss--how can they be authoritarian? Even the favorite examples of left-anarchists (Semco, Mondragon, etc) have some degree of hierarchy. Division of labor inherently leads to hierarchy.

Why the limitations? After all, 'social views' probably have a cleaner-cut (in the historical sense) left/right division than do economics.

I'm not sure about this. If a person supports socialism, he is considered a left-winger, regardless of whether he also wants abortion banned or something. I can't think of a single well-known left-winger who supports free-market capitalism, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Bastiat was one. Hess was certainly left-wing for some time. Rothbard, perhaps. Molinari, who knows? Today, Roderick Long, Sheldon Richman and other left-Rothbardians are genuinely left-wing, by most standards.

I can't think of any right-wing socialist, but I suppose I could imagine one..

Cork said...

Eh...I see what you're getting at, but don't really agree. Bastiat may have been part of the original left, but he isn't a leftie by today's standards. Long and Richman don't buy into capital vs. labor exploitation theories (nor do any left-Rothbardians).

When I think "leftist," I think Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, etc. Not so much anti-authoritarian ancaps.