Sunday, January 14, 2007

Karl Hess on building alliances

There is so much gold to be found in old issues of Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum newsletter (1969-1984). Here’s a nugget from Karl Hess, our Left Libertarian granddaddy, on the question of building alliances (“The Real Rebels,” August 1, 1969):

“With whom does an enemy of the state make alliances? There may be a million answers of contentious detail. There is only one answer of overall principle: You do not make alliances with the state itself, you do not make alliances with agents of or supporters of the state — even though you may attempt to change them. The range of alliance, therefore, is restricted to those who also oppose the state.

“Within that range there may be many variations of principle, many different goals. Those differences should and must determine future actions. Present actions, however, should be determined by present needs. No need is greater than opposition to the state and reduction of its power. Without that reduction of power all meaning of other differences must remain purely academic.”

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