Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Die Lektüreempfehlung für 2008: Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, herausgegeben von Roderick T. Long und Tibor R. Machan.

Aus dem Inhaltsverzeichnis:

1. Why the State Needs a Justification – Lester H. Hunt
2. Libertarianism, Limited Government and Anarchy – John Roger Lee
3. Rationality, History, and Inductive Politics – Adam Reed
4. Objectivism against Anarchy – William R Thomas
5. Reconciling Anarchism and Minarchism – Tibor R. Machan

6. Radical Freedom and Social Living – Aeon James Skoble
7. The State: From Minarchy to Anarchy – Jan Narveson
8. The Obviousness of Anarchy – John Hasnas
9. Market Anarchism as Constitutionalism – Roderick T. Long
10. Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism – Charles Johnson

Für an den theroretischen Grundlagen der Idee der Freiheit interessierte Freunde auf alle Fälle eine lohnende Investition!

Als anregendes Appetitshäppchen hier vorweg schon einmal eine Einführung in den brillanten Essay "Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism" von Charles Johnson:

Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism

Charles Johnson

The purpose of this essay is political revolution. And I don’t mean a “revolution” in libertarian political theory, or a revolutionary new political strategy, or the kind of “revolution” that consists in electing a cadre of new and better politicians to the existing seats of power. When I say a “revolution,” I mean the real thing: I hope that this essay will contribute to the overthrow of the United States government, and indeed all governments everywhere in the world. You might think that the argument of an academic essay is a pretty slender reed to lean on; but then, every revolution has to start somewhere, and in any case what I have in mind may be somewhat different from what you imagine. For now, it will be enough to say that I intend to give you some reasons to become an individualist anarchist,1 and undermine some of the arguments for preferring minimalist government to anarchy. In the process, I will argue that the form of anarchism I defend is best understood from what Chris Sciabarra has described as a dialectical orientation in social theory,2 as part of a larger effort to understand and to challenge interlocking, mutually reinforcing systems of oppression, of which statism is an integral part—but only one part among others. Not only is libertarianism part of a radical politics of human liberation, it is in fact the natural companion of revolutionary Leftism and radical feminism.

My argument will take a whole theory of justice—libertarian rights theory3—more or less for granted: that is, some version of the “non-aggression principle” and the conception of “negative” rights that it entails. Also that a particular method for moral inquiry—ethical individualism—is the correct method, and that common claims of collective obligations or collective entitlements are therefore unfounded. Although I will discuss some of the intuitive grounds for these views, I don’t intend to give a comprehensive justification for them, and those who object to the views may just as easily to object to the grounds I offer for them. If you have a fundamentally different conception of rights, or of ethical relations, this essay will probably not convince you to become an anarchist. On the other hand, it may help explain how principled commitment to a libertarian theory of rights—including a robust defense of private property rights—is compatible with struggles for equality, mutual aid, and social justice. It may also help show that libertarian individualism does not depend on an atomized picture of human social life, does not require indifference to oppression or exploitation other than government coercion, and invites neither nostalgia for big business nor conservatism towards social change. Thus, while my argument may not directly convince those who are not already libertarians of some sort, it may help to remove some of the obstacles that stop well-meaning Leftists from accepting libertarian principles. In any case, it should show non-libertarians that they need another line of argument: libertarianism has no necessary connection with the “vulgar political economy” or “bourgeois liberalism” that their criticism targets.

The threefold structure of my argument draws from the three demands made by the original revolutionary Left in France: Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity.4 I will argue that, rightly understood, these demands are more intertwined than many contemporary libertarians realize: each contributes an essential element to a radical challenge to any form of coercive authority. Taken together, they undermine the legitimacy of any form of government authority, including the “limited government” imagined by minarchists. Minarchism eventually requires abandoning your commitment to liberty; but the dilemma is obscured when minarchists fracture the revolutionary triad, and seek “liberty” abstracted from equality and solidarity, the
intertwined values that give the demand for freedom its life, its meaning, and its radicalism. Liberty, understood in light of equality and solidarity, is a revolutionary doctrine demanding anarchy, with no room for authoritarian mysticism and no excuse for arbitrary dominion, no matter how “limited” or benign. […]

1. For the purposes of this essay, I will mostly be using the term “anarchism” as shorthand for “individualist anarchism;” since the defense of anarchism I will offer rests on individualist principles, it will not provide a cogent basis for communist, primitivist, or other non-individualist forms of anarchism. And I will use the term “individualist anarchism” in a broad sense, to describe any position that (1) denies the legitimacy of any form of (monopoly) government authority, (2) on individualist ethical grounds. As I will use it, the term picks out a family of similar *doctrines*, not a particular self-description or historical tradition. Thus it includes, but is not limited to, the specific nineteenth and early twentieth-century socialist movement known as “individualist anarchism,” whose members included Benjamin Tucker, Victor Yarros, and Voltairine de Cleyre. It also includes the views of twentieth and twenty-first-century “anarcho-capitalists” such as Murray Rothbard and David Friedman; contemporary self-described “individualist anarchists” and “mutualists” such as Wendy McElroy, Joe Peacott, and Kevin Carson; and of others, such as Gustave de
Molinari, Lysander Spooner, or Robert LeFevre, who rejected the State on individualist grounds but declined (for whatever reasons) to refer to themselves as “anarchists.” Many self-described “socialist” anarchists deny that “anarcho-capitalism” should be counted as a form of anarchism at all, or associated with individualist anarchism in particular; many self-described “anarcho-capitalists” deny that “socialist” anarchism should be counted as a form of genuine individualism, or genuine anarchism. With all due respect to my comrades on the Left and on the Right, I will use the term in an ecumenical sense, for reasons of style, and also because the relationship between anarchism, “capitalism,” and “socialism” is one of the substantive issues to be discussed in the course of this essay.

2. See Chris Matthew Sciabarra (2000), Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical
Libertarianism. See also Sciabarra 1995a and 1995b.

“Libertarianism” as discussed in this essay is a theory of political justice, not as a position on the Nolan Chart. “Small government” types who speak kindly of economic freedom or civil liberties may or may not qualify as “libertarians” for the purpose of my discussion. Those who treat liberty as one political good that must be balanced against other goods such as social stability, economic prosperity, democratic rule, or socioeconomic equality, and should sometimes be sacrificed for their sake, are unlikely to count. Since they are not committed to the ideal of liberty as a principled constraint on *all* political power, they are no more likely to be directly convinced by my arguments than progressives, traditionalists, communists, etc.

4. Of course, the male Left of the day actually demanded fraternité, “brotherhood.”
I’ll speak of “solidarity” instead of “brotherhood” for the obvious anti-sexist reasons, and also for its association with the history of the labor movement. There are few causes in America that most twentieth-century libertarians were less sympathetic to than organized labor, but I have chosen to speak of “the value of solidarity,” in spite of all that, for the same reasons that Ayn Rand chose to speak of “the virtue of selfishness:” in order to prove a point. The common criticisms of organized labor from the twentieth-century libertarian movement, and the relationship between liberty and organized labor, are one of the topics I will discuss below.

—Charles Johnson (2008), Liberty, Equality,
Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism in Roderick T. Long and Tibor Machan
(eds.), Anarchism/Minarchism:
Is a Government Part of a Free Country. Ashgate Press, ISBN
. 155–157.


Lydia Krasnic said...

Weckt schon mein Interesse, aber ist doch für eine arme Studentin eine etwas teuere Anschaffung.

Anonymous said...

"When I say 'revolution', I mean the real thing."

Oh je. Also offenbar bin ich kein Libertärer. Gleichwohl lese ich dieses Blog ganz gern, weil ein wenig mehr von jenem Freiheitsimpetus, das sich hier äußert, dem organisierten deutschen Liberalismus (sprich: der FDP), im Grunde doch ganz gut tun würde. Aber so radikal, wie sich das die Libertären vorstellen, wünsche ich mir liberale Politik nun auch wieder nicht. Gibt es denn keine Möglichkeit, eine Position einzunehmen, die irgendwo dazwischenliegt? Das hielte ich für ideal.


Anonymous said...

Ein Freiheitsimpetus, das sich hier äußert?

Sorry. Ein Freiheitsimpetus, der sich hier äußert, natürlich.