The fact is, most left-liberals do hate and fear libertarianism more than they oppose modern conservatism. It makes sense. For one thing, the conservatives and liberals seemingly agree on 90% of the issues, certainly when compared to the views of principled libertarians. They all favor having a strong military. We tend to want to abolish standing armies. They all think the police need more power—to crack down on guns, if you’re a liberal, and to crack down on drugs, if you’re a conservative. We libertarians think police have way too much power and flirt with the idea of doing away with them altogether. The conservatives and liberals all want to keep Medicare, Social Security, and public schools intact, if tweaked around the edges. We see these programs for what they are: the parasitic class’s authoritarian and regressive programs to control the youth and foment intergenerational conflict.
Second of all, conservatism is a much better foil for liberals to attack than libertarianism is. They can deal with the friendly rivalry between red-state fascism and blue-state socialism. With the central state as their common ground, the two camps enjoy hurling insults at each other, playing culture war games, vying over power, doing what they can to expand government knowing that even should they lose control, it will eventually come back to them. This might explain why when leftists condemn conservatism for its hypocritical claims to libertarianism, they seldom follow up by saying true libertarianism would in fact be preferable. To the contrary, the argument is usually that since the conservatives are collectivists after all, they should warm up to the liberal flavor of collectivism espoused by Democrats. The left correctly says the right does not embrace genuine free enterprise, but socialism for the rich, and that the right is not really for small government, not when it comes to imposing its values. But then does the left conclude that libertarianism is not so bad, after all? Not usually. For in the end, the more anti-government the right is, the more a menace it is to the left’s project of social democracy and humanitarian militarism.
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