THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 840, September 27, 2015
Common sense—which apparently is
so rare these days among the elite as
to practically count as a super-power.
E-Book Round Up: Why I Left the Left and Became a Libertarian
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
This is a nice little gem that I found when I was searching for libertarian based titles at the Nook Store. What I find the most interesting about the book, Why I Left the Left and Became a Libertarian is that it reminded me of the time when I discovered libertarianism. Though, I never identified as much with the left as the people in this book did, I was still able to relate to them.
The book has a series of stories told by people who started off as self-proclaimed liberals, socialists and even Marxists who abandoned their beliefs and became libertarians. The book manages to show how libertarians come from all walks of life by including articles from teachers, college students, environmentalists, reporters, firefighters, gay rights activists, lawyers and even independent film- makers. One of my favorites on the list was an attorney named Matthew T. Austin who started off as a Marxist before transitioning into a libertarian while attending college. The transition would come about when he realized that there was another side to his Marxist arguments. After doing more research on Marxism and the free market, he came to realize that the position that he originally took was the wrong one. Needless to say he found his libertarian position less popular with his fellow students, then the one he originally had on Marxism.
Then we have Michael W. Dean an independent filmmaker who said that he was a staunch liberal until he had his home broken into. This made him afraid for his life, so he decided to buy a gun for home-defense. This would create a rift between him and his so-called "liberal" friends.
The best written of all the contributors was by Lori Heine, a gay rights activist who decided to forsake the left, when she saw how it kept gay people in the state of victimhood. What I found the most interesting about this contributor is that most of the flack that she received didn't come from the right, but from those on the left who couldn't comprehend how a gay person could toe any position that wasn't part of the Democratic Party tagline.
The article that I related to the most was Neema James Vedadi because like me he lived in the Houston area at one point and has the same love of rap music that I had when I was a teenager. His first step toward libertarianism began when he realized that raising the minimum wage as he advocated would leave him with less money in his pocket. He has also created a few rap numbers in the name of freedom.
I also find it somewhat fascinating to see parallels between these former leftists with that of other libertarian or libertarian leaning celebrities that have also abandoned the left, such as magician/comedian Penn Jillette, reporter John Stossel and comedian PJ O'Rourke. Jillette said that he was a typical Hollywood Liberal who was actually "beaten up" by a libertarian friend who told him that he was wrong and even gave him the literature to back it up. Of course he didn't mean physically beaten up, he just meant that the arguments supplied by his friend were much better than his. Then we have John Stossel, who started off as a consumer reporter who advocated for more government oversight of the free market. He later became a libertarian after seeing how ineffective the government was in action. Libertarian leaning comedian PJ O'Rourke said that he was a socialist until he saw his first paycheck. He said that he realized that all his years of fighting for socialism was all for nothing because according to his paycheck, it was already here. What these more known libertarians have in common with the libertarians in this book is that they were all staunch leftists, until reality hit them with a jack hammer.
I also find it somewhat telling that the people who seem to be the most intolerant are those on the left, who call themselves "liberals." The same people who ironically like to pride themselves with being tolerant. Apparently that tolerance doesn't extend to those with different ideas, which is one of the reasons why I hate using the word "liberal" when referring to a leftist. Austin, the former Marxists said that the same people who thought he was so cool when he was a Marxist, practically shunned him when he became a libertarian. Michael Dean, the filmmaker said that when he decided to become a gun owner and move from California to Wyoming, his "liberal friends" on Facebook tried to stage an intervention before abandoning him completely. Even Heine, the gay activist wrote that the worst animosity that she received didn't come from religious fundamentalists, but from other leftists. I guess that there are many on the left who just want to live in their own little bubble and don't want to be around anybody who could potentially burst it.
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