PPAU as "classical liberals"

I found this text on “left-libertarianism” interesting for how closely it tracks with PPAU’s values:

The minimum list of demands of left-libertarianism should include abolition of all artificial property rights, artificial scarcities, monopolies, entry barriers, regulatory cartels and subsidies, by which virtually the entire fortune 500 gets the bulk of its profits. It should include an end to all absentee title to vacant and unimproved land, all “intellectual property” monopolies, and all restrictions on free competition in the issue of money and credit or on the free adoption of any and all media of exchange chosen by the parties to a transaction. For example, the abolition of patents and trademarks would mean an end to all legal barriers that prevent Nike’s contractors in Asia from immediately producing identical knockoff sneakers and marketing them to the local population at a tiny fraction of the price, without the Swoosh markup. It would mean an immediate end to all restrictions on the production and sale of competing versions of medications under patent, often for as little as 5% of the price. We want the portion of the price of all goods and services that consists of embedded rents on “property” in ideas or techniques — often the majority of their price — to vanish in the face of immediate competition.

Early post-enlightenment thinkers conceived “classical liberalism” as the antidote to state-imposed monopolies and entrenched privilege. It was pro-science and pro-liberty. Modern ‘libertarians’ may have twisted it towards social darwinism and anti-science and big-business-worship, but the original vision is curiously close to what PPAU is about. The internet and the changes it is driving could even be seen as a kind of validation for it.

Not that we should be running around describing ourselves as “left libertarian”. But it’s worth noting that our (supposedly hyper-modern) ideas do have a philosophical tradition which no other party comes close to.

The full article (which I highly recommend) is here: http://c4ss.org/content/28216


Having recently read “On Anarchism” (after @Frew randomly gifted it to me), which is a series of chunks of Noam Chomsky’s writings, there are of course significantly parallels between the Pirate movement and Chomsky’s definition of anarchism or “socialist libertarianism” as he also terms it, especially regarding our propensity to delegate responsibility as opposed to delegating power, and keeping structures as horizontal and accountable as possible, without disregarding the pros of a stable but open bureaucratic process.

Quite an interesting read.

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This comes as no surprise to me, I’ve always known the political/historical roots which helped formulate the belief in certain basic freedoms and rights from way back. Hell, my first political treatise was called Liberty and Authority … it was very idealistic, but the core components and values I still believe in and stand by. That would’ve been twenty years or more ago now … yeah, more.

I suspect that there are deficiencies in both left libertarianism and anarchism that the other theories solve.
I could never find anything about providing universal access to education, healthcare etc when I was digging through left libertarian writings, despite that being of keen interest to me. Maybe they exist, I don’t know. I think both are necessary for equality of opportunity. Anarchists, being more concerned with social organisation than production just argued that collectives (or whatever they label they choose for work organisations) would run these as essential services.
Anarchists don’t have much to say about innovation and creating new products, ideas, tools etc. and don’t offer too much space for experimentation. Left libertarian ideas have an entrepreneurial aspect that encourages innovation.
The way we practically work at issues from the basis of giving everyone as much say in their lives as possible is, to some extent, the best of both worlds.


Yeah, and the so-called right libertarians argue that if it’s trule essential then that will be reflected by demand in the market. So people will fill those roles for as long as they are paid (through whatever medium of exchange) to do so.

Is there some pinned post or wiki page listing some recommended reading? I’m trying to read more but fiction is not appealing to me lately and I’m on a politics binge. Figured maybe you guys would be ideal to ask for some recommendations. Assume I know nah-sing.

For a fun intro to economics, I’d recommend Economix

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Depends what sort of political books you are interested in.

Wealth of Networks is very good. It is a free PDF.

I recently read The Global Minotaur, about the economic causes of the GFC. It is great, well written and easy to understand. The author, Yanis Varoufakis is a consultant at Valve.

For more general political philosophy, Chomsky’s On Anarchism is very good.

I like Julian Assange’s essay explaining the ideas behind Wikileaks, the full essay seems to have been taken down, there is a shorter version here: http://www.thecommentfactory.com/exclusive-the-wikileaks-manifesto-by-julian-assange-3342/

I am currently reading Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, which goes through the broad and gradual decline of violence over history. It is very interesting, can’t really offer an overall opinion of it yet though as I am only 1/2 way through.

I also like stuff like Guns Germs and Steel by Jarred Diamond, which goes through how Europeans came to colonise much of the rest of the world. Various books and papers on evolutionary psychology as they help to explain why people do things, which in turn explains how to relate to people politically.

Its always good to read the classics too if you are so inclined.

Justice with Michael Sandel is an exceptionally good series of lectures on political philosophy. If you’d rather something you can hold in your hands, there’s an accompanying book (wikipedia precis), which I suspect I will also be delighted to recommend, once I get around to reading it myself.

Props! ty ty fist bumps all round

One of my favourites is 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang. Short and easy to read, but covers a lot. For something more classical I recommend Progress and Poverty by Henry George.