Don't get what you're referring to, Don. Marxist general assumptions address all of history, not just the industrial era. Anyway, don't get distracted by that squirrel. Mr. Carson makes an argument about all of civilization up to today, because he's responding to the same obsrevation addressed in my post, of a complete lack of "true libertarianism" on the historical record.

I disagree. He seeks to make his argument all-encompassing, under Marxist general assumptions.

incidentally, here's a piece of self-consciously very left libertarianism

Ironically and typically, his thesis and concluding statements regarding the impossibility of "genuine economic and social justice" (as the author understands the terms), and his intended moral indictment of apparently all state systems ever existent, can be taken as support for the conservative premise in regard to leftism or democratism, which goes roughly as follows: given the everywhere evident lack of genuine economic and social justice on democratist definitions, supporting the philosophical inference of the impossibility of the attainment of same, or of the secure attainment any of the alternative ideals of the best society - whuddowedo?

Some anarchism fits the description you give, Robert - as verging on pacifism - but not "anarchism" historically, far from it, since anarchism was also the name given to a politics of assassination, bombing, and other acts that we would today tend to call terrorism, the latter word having entered into the modern political vocabulary in direct association with the former. It's not simply a bad coincidence. The sensibility of the pacifist and the terrorist significantly overlap, since both begin with an imaginary annihilation of "how things are." In discussion with bob and our old friend Scott (who is still around and still a friend, just no longer actively participating in blog stuff), I would frequently return to Hegel's explanation for fanatical violence, as an external expression of a more primary ideological and emotional disruption or loss of direction, impossibility of satisfaction with any real or positive expression or institution, or directionlessness - that Hegel also ties to (idealized) Hinduism.

The mentality that rejects conventional judgments, including the conventional political moralities justifying the resort to military action, finds a very highly problematic fellowship with the mentality that begins with the same perception, of the falseness of conventional political morality, as a removal of the inhibition against military and other aggression. Gandhi's scandalous letters to Hitler and comments on the fate of the Jews, or the "Eastern" interests of Goebbels and yoga-practitioner SS officers, or the shared origins of ecologism and fascism, also figure into this picture that always seems to be pushing us to premature and self-serving conclusions. Sooner or later, Hegel also succumbs, or is relatively easy to associate and implicate with genocide.

I'm going to dig up the Hegel, and also refer you to the comment I just left for bob pleading a lack of time to do this thing/thinking right:

The Hegel of relevance (not the preferred translation, for me, but serviceable enough):

Thanks, Robert - very thoughtful and articulate comment.

First, I'd say that elements of the critique ought to apply to anarchism and left-libertarianism, but some might apply to one and not the other. Unfortunately, I'm uncertain about what left-libertarianism really is, or what its concept of the state is, or whether there's any coherent theory of left-libertarianism at all. Is it just leftism but with a greater emphasis on personal freedoms? Is it just wishful thinking along the lines of "Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to choose between the attractive aspects of socialism and the attractive aspects of its opposite?"? Anarchism isn't inherently committed to individualism or, as you point out, related libertarian ideas about property, but I think the cost of its greater conceptual coherency is even greater political impracticality. The more consistent it is, the less it has to offer.

Also, I understand that you're writing somewhat loosely, but I never took a position on the "morality" of different types of governance, or for that matter on the morality of different types of violence or coercion. What I do dispute is that removing elements of governing power from nominally public institutions is ever a simple subtraction of oppressive or distortive, etc., governing power (or coercion and violence) overall. Furthermore, proceeding as though it must be such, or that power in the hands of a business-person is somehow better power than power in the hands of a public official, has often, and perhaps necessarily, merely resulted in less accountable power in the hands of those favored by circumstances, elected by fortune rather than directly or indirectly by voters.

In the total "disallowing of business regulation" scenario (itself resting on a kind of super-regulation against regulation, however defined), we're left to imagine the government being left to enforce property laws, and I'm not sure what else. I'm not sure what happens to the power to tax, but I suspect that government becomes capital's enforcer and protector: I mean really, of course, not in utopian schemes that the libertarian is never in a position to actualize, or in spontaneous orders that never actualize themselves. There are many possible variations, of course, but the real results have never looked like libertopia, in part because they always must start from initial conditions of inequality that tend to be re-produced and reinforced. As for informal regulation, or the power of communal suasion, unfortunately we have a long history of its total insufficiency, and of the ability of the capitalist to salve, ignore, or fail ever to acknowledge a guilty conscience, or to go ahead with one anyway.

But maybe I'm not clear on where you mean to be pointing us. I also don't understand where my, ahem, First Law of Conservation of Governance results in self-inconsistency.