In response to attacks in a lengthy and convoluted thread here (closed group for LP delegates, relevant portion shown at right):
I defended Matt and “rent is theft” during his hashtag campaign because I understand that fiat title represents a statist program for enclosing unowned property without justly acquiring it according to libertarian principles. Even Rothbard acknowledges this. I don’t believe that rent is theft in all times and places but I believe that in an open, voluntary market it would cease to be a widespread practice because supply and demand would no longer be distorted by the interference of the land monopoly.
I don’t have an “enmity for property rights” in fact I think the right of the individual to prosper directly from their own labor is so important that I’ve been able to move past state capitalist languaging that fronts the word “private” to describe a gross range of statist machinations that extract wealth from ordinary people in the name of “protecting” it and pool that wealth in the hands of a parasite class. Property rights are too important to take its state-sanctioned rhetoric at face value, we have to look underneath the surface. Why does that make right libertarians so mad?
Getting hung up on whether market anarchists should refer to these statist machinations as “capitalism”, “socialism”, “communism”, or something else is to keep playing checkers while the people with the wealth and power play chess. I call it capitalism and advocate its abolition in favor of open, voluntary markets. If you want to call it corporatism and advocate “capitalism” great, but in a movement of intellectuals one would hope we all have the insight to recognize these as parallel, not contradictory goals.
Actually existing, modern state capitalism does have a very high death toll, beginning with the colonial period during which the aforementioned criminal land titles were first introduced as feudalism, then mercantilism took their great leaps forward to become what they are today – whatever your preferred name for it. I can hardly see the benefit of a modern libertarian from anywhere in the bottom half of the political compass denying this.
To do so strikes me as counterproductive and likely to conflate our message with the old parties in the minds of the average voter, as to defend things like “private property” and “capitalism” which are so thoroughly coopted by the enemy sounds like we are defending and upholding its economic practices as norms, rather than a complete overhaul and transformation. Is it any wonder the average person views us as an offshoot of the corporate status quo?
I don’t expect everybody to get on board with the same rhetorical framework. We don’t all have to use language the same way and in fact, having us use different methodology to reach different people and get them on board with #BottomUnity is tactically powerful toward the cause of uniting a successful coalition of libertarians against the state. The thing about bottom unity though, is that it abandons older ideas about “left unity” or “right unity” that are proven failures. The authoritarian faction inevitably turns against the libertarian faction with violence when these have been tried.
Also published on Medium.