The Mises Institute on how libertarians and some on the Left have common ground.
There are many, many left-wingers whose primary motivation for their left-wing political stance is the very libertarian impulse to protect people who are being pushed around. These left-wingers look at contemporary society and see an economy dominated by mammoth, impersonal corporations with enormous and seemingly unaccountable power; they see lower- and middle-income people disempowered in the workplace and struggling to make ends meet; they see institutions and social practices rigged against blacks, women, gays, immigrants, and other oppressed groups — and they turn to government to redress these inequities, viewing the democratic state as an institution in principle accountable to the public, and thus able to serve as a bulwark against private power and privilege. Call this variety of left-wingers the “antiprivilege Left.”
And this is the Left we can reach. The antiprivilege Left is already largely on our side when it comes to civil-liberties issues and to war; these are the folks who didn’t switch their positions on those issues when the White House turned from red to blue.
We of the antiprivilege Left need to realize there is plenty of common ground with libertarians. The primary problems in this country are not Red vs. Blue, but rather captured governments and legislatures that are beholden to corporate interests. As an example, when banks like Wachovia admit to laundering hundreds of billions in drug money and receive a fine and no one goes to prison, then our system of justice is barely functioning and something is very wrong indeed. When big corporations pay zero income tax because they’ve rigged the system then again, something is very wrong.
The left can and should join forces with whoever they have common ground with. That’s what real coalitions are about.