Sunday, June 12, 2005

Symposium: Building a New Libertarian Movement


I'm not especially qualified to act as primary promoter of -- let alone build upon or add to -- the work of Samuel Edward Konkin III. Any number of people knew him better than I did (I met him only once, and corresponded with him personally only a few times), and any number worked with him on various projects and ideas (at least two of them, Jeff Riggenbach and J. Neil Schulman, have written eloquently about his life and legacy).

It's likely that some who knew him will reply to this proposal using words like "cheeky" and phrases like "unmitigated gall and temerity." However, I believe that something needs to be said, and I haven't really heard it said by anyone else, so I'm going to say it: SEK3's work needs to be disseminated, used, revised, extended, built upon and advanced. Now.

At no time since the Vietnam era have we found ourselves more in need of a vital, active Movement of the Libertarian Left -- and the intellectual infrastructure that SEK3 worked so hard to create for one is not just disintegrating due to our failure to maintain its currency and relevance, but is under active attack, not least in the form of attempts to expropriate and alter the meaning of the proud title New Libertarian.

I am not a preeminent libertarian theorist, nor am I an especially prolific author, nor am I considered (or applying for consideration as) an intellectual heavyweight in the libertarian movement. I am, however, fairly good at one thing, and that thing is stirring shit. Give me a keyboard and a pint of Kentucky Tavern, and I can usually nudge, budge, or piss off a few people such that they start doing something I'd like to see done.

This announcement -- the commencement of an ongoing Symposium on Building a New Libertarian Movement -- is intended to be that nudge/budge/pisser. I'm floating the idea, and trying to be irritating enough in how I go about it to evoke responses.

Here's how the symposium works:

- The topic is pretty much anything related to SEK3, his New Libertarian Manifesto, or the Movement of the Libertarian Left. It's time to revitalize the ideas associated with these topics, to give them new currency and to start moving them into real world application.

- The tools are Technorati Tags (click the link to find out what they are and how to use them; if you have any doubts, just do a "view source" on this blog entry and grab the code). Specifically, there are two tags -- "new libertarian" and "movement of the libertarian left" (inside the tag URLs, put a "+" between the words) -- which appear for the first time in this very post, and which I'm asking symposium participants to include in any and all blog posts they make which they wish to be considered participatory entries into the symposium.

This symposium is not going to be conducted on my blog alone. Hell, it's barely going to be conducted on my blog at all -- I hope to make a few entries myself, and I hope that they're useful ones, but it's an open, decentralized, non-hierarchic thing. Anyone can click on the Technorati Tags in any post, and get a list of all recent symposium entries, and so far as I know there's no way for me (or anyone else) to block, censor or otherwise interfere with anyone's work being included in the list of entries as long as the tags are included in that work.

All you have to do to participate is write about the topics, include the tags in your posts, and ping Technorati whenever you post something new. Additional helpful things you can do are read other entries, leave comments on or trackbacks to them, and flog the idea and the Technorati Tag URLs so that people visit them and read other people's entries as well.

graphic by Brad SpanglerOur politics? Anarchy.
Our economics? Counter-Economics!
Our style? Action.
Our flag? Black.
Our slogan? Agora. Anarchy. Action!


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