There are elements of both the Left and the Right that are opposed to governmental control of our lives and totalitarian rule. On the right, this includes Libertarians and those conservatives who base their views on the Constitutional rule of Law. On the left they are the Progressives. Using the war as an excuse (especially under the Bush administration), our government is destroying constitutional liberties at an alarming rate. Our new administration is not making any effort to reclaim them. Though all civil libertarians should be working together in opposition to this trend, it is rare to find progressives and libertarians working together on anything. At most anti-war rallies, for example, libertarians are nowhere to be found - only leftists. How can that be?
Beyond Good and Evil:
Politics is a broad and complicated subject. Though generally not acknowledged, it consists of several component subjects which are themselves quite deep and interrelated. To name a few: we have law, history, current events, economics, religion, ethnicity, gender, morality, symbolism and more. Who has time to study them all, or even recognizes a need to? People of differing "political" viewpoints tend to leave out several of these, and invariably form over-simplified paradigms that don't take all into consideration.. The usual categorization of "Left" and "Right" is itself over-simplified, leading nearly everyone to form opinions containing blind spots in the neglected disciplines. Too many have a quick answer for everything which is in conflict with the wider realities.
Americans are generally ignorant of current events because most of their information is filtered by mainstream corporate owned news sources, or by their advertisers. Only a small percentage of Americans read books, but nearly all watch TV and get their news in sound bites or spun by talking heads. Historical perspectives are extremely shallow - and distorted by feelings of nationalism and jingoistic propaganda. The Republican Party's most loyal base is religious and patriotic, but largely ignorant of modern world history and thus easily lied to. To these conservatives, politics is all about religion. Libertarians are primarily about economics, and nearly all of the right wing is about character assassination and name calling. Some wrap themselves in the Constitution, but actually can't count past two (the 2nd Amendment). Many with money cannot see beyond the perceived effect on their bank accounts and investments, so they seek to keep their taxes low (and ONLY theirs), widening the deficit and deferring payment on the (mostly republican) National Debt to future generations.
And so the Left is very different. Ethnically it is more diverse, and includes all the oppressed minorities - victims of racism. A leftist can often see beyond the narrow interests of his/her own race, religion, or nation. They always side with the underdog - period. Many are oriented toward single issues: civil liberties, the environment, gender issues, human rights, gay rights, their own oppressed minority, education, opposition to war, opposition to fascism, and more. The left has its own ("Alternative") media. Though very small, it is the highest quality journalism on the planet. Leftists also read a lot of books. Political content on best seller lists is usually from leading intellectuals and journalists on the left. Conservatives (and many libertarians) get their information primarily from TV and talk radio, a closed information loop which calls itself "too liberal" to justify a continual drift further to the right. Leftists tend to read more books (which some define as "eliteism"). Thus, the left is far more informed on topics of history, world affairs, foreign policy and current events. Their weakness is simply in economics, a problem which I don't believe is insurmountable. Economic issues are seen as moral issues of class and exploitation, and rarely as supply and demand driven market forces.
Most troublesome, however, are those on either side who form their beliefs entirely on the basis of moral judgment. This is the most emotional of the political components, and the least objective. Yes, there are many people who can judge wisely, but most do not. Moral presumptions are the basis of virtually every conflict on every scale, from international relations to disputes within a family. Simply stated, people tend to polarize their world views based on good and evil. The judgmental mind is not an opened one. It tends to filter out and reject facts when they are in conflict with boilerplate belief systems, and even accepts lies which support them. With minimal knowledge of facts, underlying history, economics or law; a lot of people have opinions anyway - and they vote. Such is the state of politics today: dominated by hatred (which is actually intense moral judgment). Every issue in debate is fraught with exaggeration, character assasination, name calling and demonization. People one disagrees with are automatically evil and lying, and those who agree are as pure as the driven snow. In this two ring circus, facts are not very important. Much of politics is now about assigning blame to a member of the opposite side, using whatever rhetoric serves that end. The media has played a major role in defining the debate by moving the intellectuals of both Left and Right into the background. In their place, we have the numerous raving sociopaths of talk radio representing the Right, and shallow mediocrities speaking for everyone to the Left of center. Politics is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator: hatred of one group against the other We live in an era where the substance of our differences can never be resolved because none of the rhetoric has any traction unless it is preached to one's own choir.
There is also something called the "Middle of the Road", which consists mostly of people who aren't interested in anything political at all. They are simply interested in other things: their jobs, TV, kids, investments, home improvements, TV, sports, hobbies, getting laid, TV, church, music, recreation, TV, etc. They certainly have that right. In times of crisis, however, they can be counted on to wave flags, tie ribbons around trees, and spike the approval rating of the politician that offers the lamest and most expensive response (usually war). Since they are uninformed, they don't need much convincing. Since they are the majority, their opinions matter. And to the extent this majority can be manipulated by slick, repetitive media propaganda, Democracy has become irrelevant. With a shallow historical perspective, minimal facts (or even lies), the Middles give our "leaders" the mandates they need to pursue their hidden agendas and dismantle our Constitution.
It is the manipulated Middles who choose our politicians to begin with. In any modern election, the left and right have already chosen sides, so the Democratic and Republican parties fight over the Middles. We hear about waffles, purple hearts, flip flops, swift boats, tax cuts and other irrelevant nonsense which is aired in attack ads that scientifically target only "swing voters" and run primarily in "battleground states". Then the computers "count" the votes using proprietary software written by contractors with republican connections. In a close election, an excuse is invented to declare the exit polls wrong (coincidentally, only in the battleground states), the Democrat concedes, the Republican is inaugurated, the truth comes out later and the real story is buried. The Middles go on with their unpolitical lives. The Left and Right continue advancing their incomplete paradigms to their respective choirs. Meanwhile, we lose move rights every day. The Middles could care less, since they don't use them.
On both sides of the spectrum there are people who champion civil liberties and oppose oppressive government. They are Libertarians and Progressives. For the most part, they don't work and play well together because of misconceptions they have about each other. Libertarians are staunch supporters of free-enterprise, which the left confuses with corporate fascism. Libertarians know next to nothing about Progressives and wrongly believe they are all Socialists or even Communists.
Communism and Socialism:
It's true that if you hang out with leftists for any length of time, you will eventually meet a girl who will offer you a "free" copy of the Revolutionary Worker (and then hit you up for a donation to the Communist Party if you take it). The Marxists are a tiny minority, and do not have a significant voice - even on the far left. The right, however, greatly inflates their prominence while drawing on the oppressive reality of Soviet Communism to demonize the entire left and all it has to say. Thus, the left's staunch advocacy of civil and constitutional liberties is marginalized and pushed to the fringe, as well as its vocal opposition to warfare and the encroachment of fascism. This is a problem, especially where many libertarians are doing more to help marginalize the left than they are to advance these same causes of freedom themselves.
It's also true that the left includes some who advocate "Socialism". These too are a small minority. If you were to Google the words "socialist" or "socialism", you would find on blogs and message boards that there are over 100 posts by conservatives accusing people of these thought crimes for every blogger that actually advocates for a socialists cause. It is very uncommon to meet someone who promotes a Socialist utopia in the same sense that libertarians incessantly champion their Laissez-Faire Capitalist utopia. Even so, a Socialist position is NOT based on a knowledge or understanding of market economics. It is primarily a moral perspective - a reaction against the historical tendency of Wealth to oppress the majority. The terms "capitalism" and "fascism" are used almost interchangeably, because the distinction is not drawn. This is the main problem on the left. In the event they would come to power, they would throw out the baby with the bath water by discarding markets and market pricing - without a valid economic theory to guide them. The chance of this happening in America anytime soon is very remote. European countries have tried it to some degree, and the result has been stagnated economies, high tax rates, and excellent health care.
Communism, Socialism and even Anarchism were popular movements several decades ago, and America's communist movement was then truly dominated by Russian espionage. None of this is true anymore, but it may take a few more decades before conservatives and libertarians stop labelling people - precisely because it works so well. There is no longer any need to listen to what the left is actually saying. With so many media talking heads railing against it every day, you would think they would take the time to research their subject - especially considering the big bucks they make pretending to be experts on the liberal left. That's not their job. They are being paid by their corporate advertisers to misrepresent the left and demonize it endlessly with obsolete labels, because one thing the left does extremely well is to focus attention on the corruption and political influence within our private sector. The desired effect is to keep any debate critical of corporate power confined to the fringe. This smokescreen approach protects the pundit's sponsors, while diverting the blame for all of America's problems on the very people they seek to silence.
None the less, sympathy for the ideals of socialism across the spectrum on the American left is widespread, but is in fact no deeper than a bird bath. Among leftist intellectuals and activists, socialist utopias are almost never even discussed. The laws of supply and demand are not understood well enough to mount an effective economic argument against them, and the consequences of ignoring them are never foreseen. Socialist economic theories are themselves primarily about moral issues. An overview and discussion of these economic theories and models can be found on Wikipedia, under the heading of "Socialist economics". However, fewer than 5% of leftists have studied any of these. Thus, even the small minority who label themselves "socialist" are really only wannabees. Most would be perfectly satisfied with a return to constitutional government. It is therefore a gross intellectual mistake to dismiss the entire left as Socialist or Communist. It is primarily pro-constitution, pro-civil liberties, anti-war and anti-fascist. These are qualities to be admired, and not demonized by libertarians.
Capitalism and Fascism:
On the left, nearly everything is blamed on the private sector. Usually it's true that corporate or financial power really is the problem. However, let's distinguish between the operation of a free market (capitalism) and the extension of corporate control over the market and foreign policy through the exercise of state power (fascism). Ideally, both the Left and the right would understand this crucial difference - and work together to fix only what's broken. Delicate balances between supply and demand (aka prices) are easily tipped in favor of those with wealth and influence. In a true free market, CONSUMERS RULE!
So where is this “true free market”? None has ever existed, as there is opposition from both the left and the (corporate) right. One problem is that the profit motive isn't very popular. The feeling is widespread, but especially dominant on the Left, where it is extensively demonized. What is not understood, is the element of entrepreneurial risk involved in investing the time, capital, labor and other costs necessary to bring a product or service to market. Profit only exists if consumers are willing to pay a price that exceeds all these costs. If the demand is great, a higher price can be asked. This means production can be increased to fill the demand, while profitably lowering prices to offer the product to those unwilling to pay the higher price. A high profit margin also attracts competition. It is the reward of profit that encourages entrepreneurs to come to the forefront and bring products into the marketplace, at no risk to anyone but themselves. If consumers will not pay a price that delivers a profit, the price must be lowered to below cost and the entrepreneur accepts the loss, taking the product off the market or going out of business. Profit is the reward for judging consumer demand, exposing oneself to risk, putting everything together, and getting it right. Nobody forces anyone to take such risks, and people who are risk averse are free to choose lower rewards (day jobs).
The left does not make the connection between profit and risk. This is not part of the debate. For some reason, our TV and talk radio pundits never get tired of labeling people socialists and communists – but never step to the plate and defend the profit motive by explaining that the right to receive profit is justified by the prior assumption of risk. Thus, leftists dream of a perfect society where the is no profit motive, and producers fear the lefties might get the power to implement a system where there is none, such as socialism. In such a system, entrepreneurs move to the background, as there is no reason to undertake risk if there is no reward. The decisions as to what to produce, in what quantity, at what price, all become political ones:functions performed by some bureaucracy. It doesn't work. It can't work, because the process is too complex. Markets do the job better, almost always.
The problem with our system is that the efficiency of the market is corrupt: Big Time. Though our corporations are happy to pocket any profits they make, many large firms rely on the government to minimize risk – shifting the cost of their mistakes (losses) onto the rest of us, especially on people with day jobs. This can take many forms: subsidies, loan guarantees, government contracts, protection from foreign or domestic competition, price controls, bailouts, captive consumer markets, exemption from environmental damages, tax breaks, and more. The largest and most expensive category of government is the militarized access to foreign resources at way below market prices, usually called “defense”. All of this comes under the heading of risk aversion – where the right to profit is considered absolute, and the responsibility to assume costs and risk is avoided or shifted. In this context, corporate opposition to a true free market is understood, The relationship between the right to profit and the duty to assume all entrepreneurial risk needs to be established and enforced as a matter of law.
When our Constitutional system of government was formed, an early Supreme Court decision established the concept of a Separation of Church and State. At that time, European history had already taught the lessons of religious persecution. Whereas Church/State separation has protected us from church oppression for 200 years now, the Constitution and the Law have never provided for a similar separation of Commerce and State. This is the problem today. Political influence originating in the corporate sector is now completely out of control, and only the left fully understands this.
Our private sector is massively subsidized, owns our media, controls our foreign policy, and uses expensive military power to secure access to the entire world's natural resources for private gain. We live in an economy that is addicted to endless growth financed by bank credit (backed by government debt and the power to tax). It is this bank credit and paper currency that is responsible for an investment bubble which finances our huge manufacturing infrastructure. The result is an unsustainable consumption level of FINITE natural resources used in manufacturing, environmental degradation, and a widening gap between rich and poor. The money isn't real (most has never even been printed), and that's also why there is an economic boom and bust cycle. I could say more, but need to keep this short. Go here: Money as Debt. (This is an excellent animated documentary that can be viewed in full screen.)
History does not provide an example where Wealth has refrained from using and abusing the power of the State. Economics does not provide a scenario where it would be to Wealth's advantage to abstain. In the real world, "Capitalism" has problems that are rightly criticized by many. Libertarians have no right to hold these critics in contempt, since their own concept of a "Laissez-Faire" alternative is purely theoretical. Absent a Constitutional Amendment establishing a separation of government from the private sector, corporations and lobbyists will never relinquish their power - and such an Amendment would never pass through Congress without their approval. In other words, we're hosed, and libertarianism in America is probably a lost cause.
Why Libertarians won't work with other civil libertarians:
I would identify myself as a Libertarian Leftist. I was among the original activists in the Harris County Party and was the County Chair in 1975. However, I began listening and supporting KPFT in the late 70's. Thus, I have been exposed to the entire spectrum of leftist intellectual thought for over 30 years. Though I am in basic sympathy with the left on most moral issues, my belief in free markets is 100% intact. The left offers in depth perspectives on every conceivable problem the world faces, and it is abundantly clear that leftists have a better understanding of world history and current events than my fellow libertarians. I enjoy working with leftists, and they are my friends. Where most libertarians are working primarily to bring about a utopian version of capitalism, I do not believe they will ever succeed because of Corporate America's opposition - not the Left's. America is in trouble NOW, and it is important that all who seek to preserve our civil and constitutional freedoms work together to oppose the drift toward fascism and expanding war. I feel that I am in a unique position to identify the obstacles.
The standard mantra of libertarian dogma is that it is neither right nor left wing. They believe in civil and constitutional liberties championed by the left, along with limited government allegedly favored by the conservative right. In practice, there is no such balance. Nearly all libertarians (myself included) were originally ultra-conservatives, and most still carry partisan baggage from their prior lives. These are rarely open-minded, and continue to hate leftists in spite of their adoption of progressive views on civil liberties and opposition to war. Like most right-wingnuts, they scapegoat the left for everything and get all their news and information from other ultra-conservatives. They promulgate views for civil liberties and against war primarily among conservatives, where they are often unwelcome. Thus, you are more likely to find a promotional libertarian table at a gun show than at an anti-war rally - recruiting still more right-wingers. As the right wing has grown more partisan through years of exposure to Rush Limbaugh and his wannabes, the libertarian movement has also changed to where a significant faction is now pro-military and pro-war - or rabidly anti-immigrant. This is not the movement I joined in the early 70's. (BTW: the on-going internal debate over who is and isn't a "True Libertarian" is especially amusing. After years of recruiting extreme conservatives into their Party, many do not tow the party line. See how they whine!)
If you hang out with some libertarians for any length of time (10 minutes is often enough), you might hear some absurd statements. They seem to think a socialist is hiding behind every tree. I collect these gems: "Anybody who voted for John Kerry is a socialist." "The Democratic and Republican parties are socialist." "Newt Gingrich is too liberal. (heard from Ron Paul)" "Hillary is a Marxist." My favorite, however, comes when the subject turns to Nazi Germany. The first thing out of their mouths is often "National SOCIALIST!" (emphasis is clearly on the 2nd word). In other words, they pull this one word out of context to imply that the Nazi's were on the left!!! This exposes a profound ignorance of 20th century history and of the most fundemental features of right wing dictatorships. The German fascists included the word "socialist" in their name to give their young movement appeal among the working class, which was especially betrayed because the Nazi party preempted the power of unions (keeping wages low at the behest of industry). It is appalling that so many are not aware that this dictatorship committed its atrocities in the service of German industry. This also reveals a certain naivety regarding the direction corporate America took under George W. Bush, who is considered, BTW, "too liberal". Far too many libertarians implicitly believe that all totalitarianism comes from the left, while the real threat to our freedom encroaches from the right.
America's private sector is massively corrupted by access to state Power. As advocates of a pure free-market, libertarians would do well to educate everybody about how well it might work in the absence of that Power. Instead, with our country sliding rapidly into totalitarian fascism, libertarians are still fighting the Cold War - against "Socialism"! They blame the left for any excess of government power, believing Big Government to be an evil threat to the private sector. No! Big Government is an evil under the nearly total control of their beloved private sector. It is our corporate and financial interests that are pulling the strings and dragging us into war. Also, it is the private sector which sponsors the 24/7 propaganda machines of talk radio and cable news, twisting every news event into an excuse to scapegoat and marginalize the voiceless left. With their superior knowledge of economic theory, why don't libertarians "get it"?
It's because the libertarian movement is mostly confined to the Libertarian Party. It is not diverse like the left. Activism within the Party is a dull routine. They have a ballot drive to get on the ballot, run candidates, lose really big, wait four years, and then start over. If the left consisted primarily of the Green Party, it would be equally ineffective. Libertarian candidates preach a utopian party line unaugmented with an adequate knowledge of history, foreign policy, or how America's economy really works. Why are libertarians so uninformed about the real world? It's because they don't have their own alternative media like the left does, and because they aren't tuned in to this alternative media. They don't have a clue to what they are missing, because their misconceptions about the left preclude the possibility that they would ever turn to it as a source of news or intellectual content.
Like other conservatives, they get their daily information primarily from FoxNews, talk radio, and right wing web sites. Everything else is considered "too liberal" to be worth their time. Many have been listening to Rush and Hannity and even Savage for years, and have allowed these bullies to misrepresent, redefine, demonize and marginalize everyone to the left of Ronald Reagan. Focus on the corporate role driving big government, foreign policy and war is absent from this media (because they own it), and conspicuously absent from most libertarian analysis and opinion (because they listen to it). It's the left that knows what's really going on, and that's why it's so important to those in power that it be demonized, marginalized and ignored. Leftist media never looses its focus on the high level collusion between corporate wealth and government power. Millions of dollars are spent every day by corporate sponsors of right wing media pundits, who attack the left 24/7 because of its outspoken criticism of corporate influence over big government and the economic incentives for war. Leftist journalism threatens this power by exposing it. Libertarians most definitely do not, which is why the media ignores them and smears only the left.
Too many libertarians are fighting the wrong battle. The left is fighting the battle for constitutional preservation and against fascism and war, while many libertarians are fighting primarily the left. This is a redundant waste of talent, since the entire right wing noise machine is doing the same thing. Some libertarians actually sound like this: "Liberal media blah blah blah Hillary lesbian blah blah black helicopters..." Ironically, Limbaugh's dittoheads are currently more welcomed in the Party than I am. They are a liability because they bring negativity and hatred to the libertarian cause of freedom. The Ayn Rand twinks are also a liability: immature pseudo-intellectual snobs (BTW, I was one back in the 60's). It is hypocritical to point to the false economics of socialists and communists on the left, when libertarians have far more baggage of their own. The persistent presence of these negatives may mean that both causes of freedom will forever remain on the fringe. Unless, of course, they work out their differences. The left could learn economics, libertarians could tune into the vital source of information provided by Alternative Media, and both could unite in mainstreaming the causes of civil liberties and opposition to fascism and war. This is what I really wish would happen:
Libertarians need better information sources:
It is a mistake to think that libertarians are uninformed. They are voracious consumers of information. But since they have never thought to establish their own independent media, nearly everything they hear is from the heavily financed media of the partisan right. When a libertarian watches a television, it is usually glued to Fox. You will not find criticism or exposure of the degree of corporate influence in our system by watching a corporate owned media. This influence is the proverbial "elephant in the living room" which is never acknowledged. Libertarians are woefully MISinformed. Their analysis of current events is distorted by the influence of both corporate and government propaganda, which deflects public criticism primarily against the marginalized left.
It is similarly a mistake to assume that conservatives are ignorant of history. Many of them do study history, but from different perspectives. Take the subject of war, for example. Conservatives love war. They may know many details about the wars we have fought: the locations of the battles, the names of the generals, the strategies, and the capabilities of the weaponry used. They will NOT, however, understand why the war was fought. Conservatives think we fight wars for freedom, which hasn't been the case for at least 100 years. We send our youth to secure access to foreign natural resources, labor and markets - on behalf of domestic industry. The "freedoms" we fight for are not the ones enumerated in the Constitution. We have a right to gas up the SUV, drive to the mall, load it up with stuff, and take it home - without ever knowing or careing why it is that Americans have more stuff than people who live in the countries of origin. We do not have to know why our corporations can have access to the wealth of a foreign country, while its own citizens live in poverty and under military dictatorships supplied with American equipment. Our economy is dependent on military power to tip the balance of supply and demand in our favor - so that we get more and the majority of the world's citizens get much less. Libertarians advocate cutting military spending, and believe we would benefit from the savings in taxes. They do not realize that ending military spending would release market forces strongly adverse to the American way of life, but beneficial to most of the world's people. Dictatorships all over the world would collapse without our covert support, and standards of living among nations would tend to equalize. This would be a good thing.
You won't hear any of this in the "Liberal Media". The shrill pundits and spin doctors of talk radio and television have told everybody that CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS are the infamous "Liberal Media". If you are among those that believe this, we know where your head is buried. Consult a proctologist.
In these modern days of slick, dumbed down news, responsible and investigative journalism has been pushed to the fringes - primarily the "far" left Pacifica Network. Here you will find a wide spectrum of political, historical, legal and even economic thought that is fairly represented. Facts are researched, controversial subjects are discussed, and the overall intellectual content is much higher than what most are used to. Character assassination (the mainstay of the right) is far less prominent, and you will rarely hear advocacy of "Socialism" (or even mention of the word). These are important sources of news and information unavailable in the mainstream. If you ignore the left's alternative media, then your opinions are missing a foundation in facts and history, especially regarding the reasons for war. You are missing everything that has been censored - the important stuff.
Leftists need to learn economics:
A huge portion of right wing rhetoric against the left consists of red baiting. I think it would be great if the merits of socialism and the free market were carefully examined, not from a moral, but from an economic perspective. Sympathy for the poor and oppressed is fine, but does socialism actually work? I do not believe the left needs socialism, which has become a serious liability to its many causes.
In the field of law, an attorney must research a case from every angle - especially that of his opponent. Every attempt must be made to find the flaws in his own position, and correct them. Otherwise, he looses in court. Moral arguments carry little weight there, because a case must be made in a legal sense. Socialism is an economic system. The advocates of socialism have made their case in a moral sense ONLY. They have not proven that socialism is an effective alternative to supply and demand driven markets. However, it is usually a welcomed improvement over the more oppressive forms of fascism that often precede it.
In rare instances where free market economic theories are even mentioned on the left, they usually attack the obsolete 18th century economist, Adam Smith. A sarcastic remark is made about the "invisible hand" metaphor, and that's the whole argument! Nobody even reads Adam Smith anymore! Our financial elites are in love with Milton Friedman, whose monetarist policies still give control of our economy to the bankers. Thus, we have the Federal Reserve continually walking our economy on a tightrope between runaway inflation and financial system meltdown. Libertarians favor a gold standard, which would prevent bankers from controlling everybody and every nation with debt. There are strong reasons why every leftist should advocate a gold standard, which I can't go into with this short article.
So, should libertarians teach lefties economics? Would this work, when a libertarian's knowledge is so heavily laced with partisan politics, historical fiction, FoxNews gobbledygook, or Ayn Rand? I don't think so. But they have some good books - comprehensive economic treatises. Here you will find an economic system based entirely on free choice. Every possible argument in favor of socialism is objectively examined and dissected. Leftists, and especially progressive economists, should examine how a pure market works (in theory). Then, they could either prepare a proper academic argument against it, or (more likely) reject socialism as a solution. The treatise I am recommending is Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises. It is the undisputed cornerstone of libertarian economic thought.
Everyone needs to recognize that Corporate America is the problem. It controls both major political parties, congress, our foreign policy, our currency, and our propagandized media. The problem is not with the free market itself, and it certainly isn't the left.
History has proven the validity of the legal concept of Separation of Church and State, which has thus far prevented America from becoming a religious Theocracy. Separation of Commerce and State is also a valid legal concept, but it hasn't been tried or even suggested. Thus, there are no Constitutional protections against the encroachment of corporate power. Such an Amendment would result in a libertarian style market economy, and this would be an improvement over the increasingly fascist system we have now. The left shouldn't have a problem with this. They currently believe a free market would be oppressive, but they also have open minds. And the lefties could teach libertarians how to be effective as activists. All should focus on rolling back the encroachment of fascism in America.
In my lifetime? I doubt it. I feel that the entire libertarian movement should have joined with the left immediately after the collapse of Communism (as I did), and focused on the next big problem: globalized corporate fascism. Instead, it forever clings to the Cold War paradigm - believing the left favors bigger government. If they would actually listen to leftist journalism, they would know better. Instead, sociopaths like Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity tell everybody what the left is saying (when they don't listen to it either). It's a closed information loop. Most will never know that the left is opposed to the State when the State serves a corrupted private sector, a war driven foreign policy, disregard for its Constitution, and a privatized media that advances these fascist agendas.
All our lives, we have been hearing that "Liberals are Soft on Communism" (which is nearly dead anyway). The libertarian movement is actually about the same size as the left, but where is its vocal opposition to the fascist totalitarianism originating in the corporate mainstream? The prevailing feeling among libertarians is that the private sector can do no wrong. Their definition of socialism is far to broad. It has been stretched to include everything America does wrong, leaving corporate America with minimal blame. In other words: "Libertarians are Soft on Fascism." That needed to be said. Quote me.
America is building mass detention camps to control dissent in some future crisis. Does it comfort the libertarian to know that their construction has been privatized? The $385 Million contract was awarded to Halliburton's subsidiary, KBR. But of course, these are only for illegal immigrants, terrorists and "enemy combatants". Or maybe they are only for those leftist dissidents who are out in the streets protesting the war (where libertarians are always AWOL). Dream on, white boy! As a priority, totalitarian regimes ALWAYS go after intellectuals and activists of all stripes. It would take a massive effort to suppress the traditions of political and intellectual freedom here in America, but there is plenty of evidence suggesting that preparations are already in place to do this. Click here for details.
The main obstacle preventing progressives and libertarians from uniting to oppose America's drift toward dictatorship is the partisan right-wing libertarian groupthink. Thus, it is entirely up to libertarians to start communicating with Progressives. Leftists have very open minds, and listen when you explain economics to them. We can mingle now, or wait until we are all behind the same razor wire.