Right and Left Wings in Libertarianism/LA DROITE ET LA GAUCHE DANS LE LIBERALISME

Article excerpt


In Political Science one can observe various discourses to defining the essence of libertarianism, which are based on (Boaz, 1998) different philosophical approaches to the institutions of central political power (especially the state). Today, interpretations of right-libertarian ideological complex are most popular in the scientific literature and in the popular imagination. Yet, since the middle of 19th century - the concept of libertarianism had been used in a left political context, and only in 1950s its right ideological context use came into fashion.

The authors consider the left libertarianism (libertarian socialism) as series of theoretical principles and the socio-political practices aimed at the liberation of both individuals and collectives of people from various kinds of oppression and exploitation. Besides, they propose to adopt the approach which treats anarchism and libertarianism as rather related, though not identical ideological and socio-political phenomena.

Keywords: left and right libertarianism; anarchism

Résumé: En science politique, on peut observer de différents discours pour définir l'essence du libéralisme, fondés sur les approches philosophiques différentes à l'égard des institutions du pouvoir politique central (en particulier l'Etat). Aujourd'hui, les interprétations de complexe idéologique liberal de droite sont les plus répandues dans la littérature scientifique et dans l'imagination populaire. Pourtant, depuis le milieu du 196^ siècle - le concept de libertarianisme avait été utilisé dans un contexte politique de gauche, et seulement aux années 50, l'utilisation de ce concept dans un contexte idéologique de droite est devenue une mode.

Les auteurs considèrent le libéralisme de gauche ( le socialisme libertaire) en tant qu'une série de principes théoriques et des pratiques socio-politiquse visant la libération des individus et des collectivités de diverses sortes d'oppression et d'exploitation. D'ailleurs, ils proposent d'adopter l'approche qui traite l'anarchisme et libéralisme plutôt d'une façon liée, même s'ils sont des phénomènes idéologiques et socio-politiques non identiques.

Mots-clés : libéralisme de gauche et de droite; anarchisme


What is the essence of the concept of libertarianism? As David Boaz of the Cato Institute states, "libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others . . . Libertarians defend each person's rights to life, liberty, and property - rights that people possess naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involved the initiation of forces against those who have not themselves used force - actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud. (Boaz, 1998) In Libertarianism: A Primer, Boaz attempts to trace the ideas of libertarianism to the Ancient World and where they were further developed during the Enlightenment. (Boaz, 1998)


Today, interpretations of right-libertarian ideological complex are most popular in the political and historical literature and in the popular imagination. This interpretation is intensified by the fact that according to Alyson Edgley, the left-libertarian (socialist libertarian) message is that "on the contemporary American left-right spectrum libertarian is neither left nor right. Libertarian believes in individual freedom and limited government consistently, unlike either contemporary liberal or contemporary conservatives. Some journalists say that libertarians are conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues, but it would make more sense to say that contemporary liberals are libertarian on (some) social issues but statists on economic issues, (Edgley, 2000) whereas contemporary conservatives are libertarian on some economic issues but statists on social issues". …