Anthony Gregory on Why the Left Hates Us
By David Henderson
Libertarian Anthony Gregory has written the best article I’ve read this year. I’ve been trying to decide what excerpts to paste in and I found myself wanting to paste the whole thing in. I’ll restrain myself and use a few excerpts. But read the whole thing.
But libertarianism, however weak its influence today, is a much greater long-term threat to the left than is any form of conservatism, and the leftist intellectuals sense this even if they can’t articulate why. Leftism, whether they know it or not, is a distorted permutation of the classical liberal tradition. The statist left did their deal with the devil – the nation-state, centralized authority of the most rapacious kind – supposedly with the goal of expediting the liberation of the common man and leveling the playing field. More than a century since the progressives and socialists twisted liberalism into an anti-liberty, pro-state ideology, they see that they have made a huge mess of the world, that, as they themselves complain, social inequality persists, corporatism flourishes, and wars rage on. As the chief political architects of the 20th century in the West, they have no one to blame but themselves, and so they target us – the true liberals, the ones who never let go of authentic liberal idealism, love of the individual dignity and rights of every man, woman and child, regardless of nationality or class, and hatred of state violence and coercive authoritarianism in all its forms.
Anthony also quotes leftist historian Thaddeus Russell who doesn’t hate us and who, in fact, out of the blue, “friended” me on Facebook a few months ago. Here’s Russell on antiwar.com:
I’m a man of the left. I was raised by socialists in Berkeley. I’ve always been on the left. I stumbled upon Antiwar.com about three years ago. . . . This is what the left should be doing. This is what the left should be saying. . . . Libertarians like Antiwar.com, like Ron Paul, have been the leading voices of the antiwar movement. They’ve been the most principled, the most consistent, no matter who’s president. They’ve been saying again and again and again: “These wars are disasters. The empire must end.” And the left shuns them because they either think they’re shills for corporations or they’re racists or they don’t care about people. How could they not care about people if they’re the leading voices against killing people in our name?
HT to Bob Murphy.