imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Words to Seduce the Left

by Perry De Havilland Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 11:00 PM

Watch as I make a seemingly "anti-business" argument designed to fit within the Left's world view, but ... TA-DA!!! ... I actually make an argument in favor of laissez-faire... now that's how to "serve it up with a LEFT SPIN"

Using their meta-contextual language to win over the Left

Perry De Havilland

Libertarians come in many hyphenated flavors, but very few genuine libertarians see themselves as being on the political left.

So called socialist-libertarians are not libertarians at all. They are as oxymoronic as meat-eating vegetarians: Any value set that would deny economic free-association and property rights denies personal liberty, and you are not a libertarian unless you advocate personal liberty as first amongst civil virtues.

Thus, from this fairly self-evident proposition, most libertarians see themselves as being on the "right" -- or at least they do not see themselves as being on the "left." However just what do left and right really mean in this post-Cold War era?

I would contend that within the context of libertarianism, left and right are actually meaningless, ideologically speaking. Conservatives and socialists ascribe various meanings to these terms, based on their respective statist perspectives.

Whilst conservatives and socialists see what differentiates them, as libertarians our perspectives allow us to see the shared statist axioms that in fact make them so similar. Libertarians can see that there is actually little to choose between "conservatism" and "socialism" circa 2001 in real terms of policy and underpinning assumptions as to the role of the state.

What libertarians need to understand is that there are indeed important differences between the left and right, but they are meta-contextual rather than ideological. That is to say, the left and right come from very different traditions that strongly color their respective views of how the world really works, and thus how they interpret any ideological issue presented to them.

Bearing this in mind, libertarians need to realize that by mentally allying themselves to the right, they are actually not making a useful ideological distinction at all. In fact, by doing so, they run the risk of clothing themselves in cultural meta-contextual baggage that is often profoundly unhelpful.

What is needed is a more dispassionate analysis as to what other people understand by left and right and a more pragmatic use of that meta-contextual baggage for our own purposes.

For example, a key "vibe" of the left tradition is the view of the world as a struggle from the bottom against forces of hierarchy. Thus, an anti-business proposition that portrays the corporate boardroom as an essentially hostile power center to the "common man" employee is an "easy sell" when presented to someone who views the world from within that meta-context.

However, a meta-context is just a tradition of thought, not a philosophy per se.

Let us take the fact that as the airline industries across the world are said to be in dire troubles, various interventionist governments are pouring tax monies into these companies to prop them up.

This is not really the sort of issue to greatly exercise people on the traditional left, who view economic intervention as perfectly normal, or the right, who view "helping" companies as perfectly normal, provided they are big companies. However, this issue can indeed be made to resonate with the left by framing it precisely in the terms that fit their traditions of thought:

"Yet again the boardroom is using its corrupting influence with politicians to screw the common man and take our tax money to reward poor management by the board and bail out some fat cat shareholders. It is hard to say who is worse, the incompetent directors who did not plan for unforeseen problems, the greedy shareholders, or the money-for-the-boys politicians doling out our tax money."

What have we just done? We have just made a seemingly "anti-business" argument designed to fit within the meta-contextual world view of the left. We have also just made an argument in favor of laissez-faire.

Many on the left are actually natural allies of the libertarian view on civil liberties -- yet they cannot extend the same logic to economic liberties. Part of the problem is the fact that libertarians, largely speaking from the meta-context of the right, frame economic issues in such a manner as to predispose opposition from the left.

If we are to rescue the left from collectivism, we must learn to speak the language of the left and tap into deep traditions of resistance and non-deferential social values that could serve us well. It is not just a case of picking the issues to attract people from the left, but how we present them.

Hostility to business regulation is almost invariably presented as a right issue and framed in the language and meta-contextual frames of reference of the right. Yet why not pitch this very issue to the left in terms that resonate for them as well?

"See how entrenched businesses work with their political stooges in government to keep undercapitalized common people from competing with them? They raise regulatory barriers to keep the working class would-be entrepreneurs out by raising the cost of establishing a new business, thereby keeping the market safe for the forces of oligopoly."

Rather than the usual "right" arguments, involving imposed costs to the business being regulated, we take an equally true consequence of regulatory imposition and serve it up with a left spin.

Whilst the use of language may be cynical, no ideological compromise is required and there is nothing dishonest about the argument being made.

Once we realize that left and right are just traditional meta-contextual frames of reference and do not have any real objective political content in and of themselves, we can effectively inject our libertarian memes into both the left and right world views. By doing this, we broaden our ability to communicate with people who might otherwise see us as being "one of them" rather than "one of us."

When in the ring and fighting the good fight, do not deny yourself a good left hook.

- - - - - -

Perry De Havilland is a British libertarian. This essay is appeared reprinted from the Libertarian Alliance’s Tactical Notes No. 29

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
But there ARE "libertarians of the left" Mike Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 11:57 AM
Words to Seduce the Left bah! Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 2:28 PM
Free Association other Mike Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 6:44 PM
Other Mike, take your finger out of your ass Crush the Left Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 8:42 PM
Question fopr the anarchists... mr wilson Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 11:29 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy