Sunday, October 04, 2009

From Australia but still relevant...

This first part of A dose of libertarianism would enhance our democracy caught my attention because I think while written in Australia, it also pertains to our country here as well.

I CALL myself a libertarian social democrat, but many of my left-wing mates condemn such a position as a contradiction. They forget that the potency of the French Revolution lay in its marriage of liberty with equality and fraternity, and that Left libertarianism has a fine pedigree.

Social democracy ensures collective intervention in the marketplace to enhance structural equality and advance the full development of our potential as human beings. Libertarianism cultivates a sceptical attitude to the self-serving claims of state bureaucracies and rent-seeking businesses alike, and ensures vigilance against the encroachment of our governments on individual and community freedoms.

Taken together, these two approaches can promote alterative ways for us re-imagine the old Westminster public service as a democratic commons more accountable to grassroots communities. Many Australians, especially in traditional Labor areas, have lost faith in the capacity of government to deliver even the most basic services, and restoring faith in the public is a key challenge for the Left.

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