Jason Kuznicki links approvingly to mistermix’s last post and points readers to this Cato Unbound series on corporatism which he says “may be the most important thing Cato Unbound has ever published.”
I agree, and highly recommend anyone interested in thoughtful libertarian discussion of corporatism to go check it out. Jason also has a really good explanation of his own libertarianism here.
As I said in the comments to mistermix’s post, I think a lot of the problems with current libertarianism boil down to its priorities. Rather than focusing so much on tax rates, welfare programs and so forth, libertarians should be focusing on crony-capitalism and how it distorts the markets and creates an uneven playing field, and on the security/police state (the Wars on Drugs and Terror) and the military-industrial complex. Libertarians do write about these things (Julian Sanchez and Radley Balko both leap to mind) but they aren’t nearly close enough to the top of the priorities list. This may be because a certain strain of right-wing revanchist philosophy has captured libertarianism in this country. Left-libertarians and liberaltarians are seeking to unravel this, but at this point the damage has been done.
I think libertarians would do well to focus on those issues which most aversely effect the little guy – the new healthcare law may indeed be an example of the government benefiting private corporations (vis-a-vis a mandate to purchase health insurance from a private insurance company), but it is hardly as liberty-destroying as increasingly militarized police forces or powerful multi-national oil companies whose carelessness leads to epic environmental disasters, let alone a military-industrial complex which foists one war after another on the American public at nearly a trillion dollars a year. Indeed, there are many ways the new healthcare law will help average Americans in spite of its many flaws. The libertarian narrative, in other words, needs to shift or come into focus – to differentiate itself, at the very least, from the Republican narrative.