Left-Leaning Libertarianism

Short (and derivative) post today, but, hey, short (derivative) posts are better than no posts at all (under the questionable assumption that I am, in fact, a blogger).

Anyway, Josh points to some hints that Bob Barr will be the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, which reminded me of a recent Cato-at-liberty post on how non-libertarian Bob Barr was as a representative.



  1. Joshua
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t find Cato’s post as convincing as you do. While I don’t personally agree with the embargo on Cuba, of course, it at least has a property-based justification in the fact that it was retaliation for the nationalization of American property in Cuba by the Castro regime. Voting to uphold it isn’t orthodox libertarian, but neither is it particularly anti-libertarian. Ditto the deal with China and Vietnam. They don’t play fair with us, so there’s a certain school of thought that says “why should we with them?” Again, not orthodox libertarianism and not my personal view, but not exactly anti-libertarian either.

    The votes on South American imports and for steel tariff are, of course , anti-libertarian, however.

    But look at the field of candidates. Bob Barr and George Phillies are the only ones worth anything. I can vote for either of those people over McCain or Obama. The others? I’m not sure… So if Bob Barr wins the nomination, I count that as a good thing. If anyone besides Barr or Phillies wins it, I’m probably just not voting in 2008

  2. noahpoah
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I suppose I could have written a longer post, but I’m just trying to get by blogger legs back (or I’m trying to get them in the first place).

    My thoughts on it are not so much that Barr is terribly far to the left of orthodox Libertarianism, but that any (apparent) move left is surprising, given how much big governmentism (to coin an ugly phrase) we’ve seen over the last 7 years or so.

    It’s a bit surprising to me that the Democrats have moved significantly leftward this election cycle, and that Republicans like McCain are so keen on National Greatness Empire Building while the top two Republican VP contenders – Huckabee and Romney – are essentially religious conservative socialists.

    I suppose, though, that given the current political environment, it’s not so surprising that a viable Libertarian candidate could be a bit left of the orthodoxy.

  3. noahpoah
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Man, now my comment is longer than the post (and makes the point that was in my head when I wrote the post better than the post does). Oh well. I’ll get the hang of this sooner or later.

  4. Joshua
    Posted May 21, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Actually, those were my thoughts exactly after reading your post. That it’s striking that the response to Bush’s big-state “red Tory” conservatism has been … more of the same … even from the libertarians. I was gonna draft up a post on this, but I think you should do it instead. Exercise for the reader – in the vein of “Language is innate and governed by UG – proof is left as an exercise for the reader.”

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