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Context: OnLibertarianism

Quora Answer : Why is left libertarianism not popular in American politics?

Feb 23, 2017

There's plenty of left-libertarianism in the US.

Chomsky is a left-libertarian who has had a massive readership and influence in the last 40 years. He's far better known and admired than any right-Libertarian thinker / writer.

The Occupy movement was left-libertarian. Etc.

But the right-libertarians have decided to define "Libertarianism" in their own "propertarian" terms.

In practice you're no less "libertarian" if you think that the government can have a minimal role redistributing wealth and providing welfare than if you're a minarchist who thinks government has a minimal role protecting property and defending the borders. Both are positions that recognise a small, pragmatic, at least temporary, role for government authority even while asserting that the ideal is the elimination of the majority non-essential, government oppression.

But right-wing Libertarians will say that the first is "Marxist progressivism" and closet authoritarianism, and so very different from their own benign "night-watchman" ideal for the state.

This is purely their own ideological bias.

There is nothing more "minimal" about providing property-protection than providing health-protection. Both require an authority which can, in the last resort, initiate violence to constrain people to its ends. But propertarians have declared that their preferred constraints are "more free" than everyone else's and so only they can claim to be "real" libertarians.

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