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A Lefty’s Guide to Liberty


A Lefty’s Guide to Liberty

K.H. Anderson

The liberty ideal should be perfectly at home in every nook and cranny of left-wing rhetoric and activism, elevating issues as wide-ranging as racial justice, reproductive rights, net neutrality, and climate change. But while conservatives and libertarians will talk about liberty all day long, lefties have little to say on the topic.

Why are we content to let the right define this most basic of American values? Because equality and justice are “ours,” but liberty is “theirs”? Because the word sounds old fashioned? Too flag-wavy?

We’ve got a problem.


This piece confuses libertarianism and license with human rights, liberation and socialism. Human beings are part of many collectives which nurture them and which they are responsible to: family, community society and the biosphere to name a few. This “lefty’s” guide is soaked in the blood and corruption of the “American Dream.”


Martin’s characterization of the Democratic Party’s “brand” is spot on and has been in that state at least since the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation. Addiction to corporate money continues to sustain that brand. Rebranding will require a 12 step program to shake corporate money addiction


I think the problem runs deeper and is more prevalent with the “not Republican” brand in the wholesale adoption of messaging experts that force (culturally) self-censorship on the movers and shakers in any governmental organization. I watched this fascination inside governmental agencies (at all levels, local, state and federal) which tend to have something akin to the corporate Democratic culture.

Yes, the brand is “sh$t”. It took nearly 25 years (since Clinton’s first term) to get this low point. In my opinion, it’s all about the insiders controlling the message 24/7. Open and frank discussions within these organizations are strictly forbidden. Those with the courage to pursue these discussions anyway are swiftly ostracized and punished (mostly lack of access to the inner circle) for extended periods of time.

The shenanigans of the DNC during the 2016 presidential primaries (coupled with Hillary’s private backyard meetings fundraisers with wealthy elites) formed the icing for the cake. We felt they couldn’t get much lower or mendacious. But we were wrong. The post election manufactured outrage directed at Russian “hacking” of the election was designed to distract and misdirect attention away from the manifest corruption of the Hillary machine.

Nearly two years later, not one piece of actionable evidence has been produced. Innuendo, double-speak, cynicism and shunning are used to silence those that question the corporate media and corporate Democrats narrative.

The DNC will not likely survive much longer than the RNC. The curtain has been lifted and anyone with eyes can see the whole stinking system is rigged. No one in politics can be trusted any longer to be ethical and honorable with the People. Americans are very slow learners I guess. But even a blind squirrel will find an acorn from time to time.


So funny! Excellent satire,


What the author states is true. We need to own liberty. What’s more important: to say liberty is not having a guarantee of health care, or saying you have more liberty with guaranteed health care? I think most would opt for the latter. The concept of liberty is ambiguous like most terms we commonly use in political discussions. In any case, let’s try and own the concept!


YES!!! I totally agree with everything in the article! That’s why I try to remind people that having a democratically elected gov’t is a classical liberal gov’t. You can’t be anti-liberal and be a liberty, democracy loving American. Otherwise, you’re just being a hypocrite. A true conservative gov’t is an aristocracy. During the American revolution, the Tories who supported the Crown were conservatives. The Patriots in the Continental Army were liberals. Read your history and choke it down the throats of conservatives. History is on our side. As the author stated, its a tool- use it!


Squirrels use their nose more than their eyes to find nuts anyway. Even if they see a nut first, they’ll sniff it before they pick it up. Not sure if I’m making a political point here… but I’ll try- “if it smells like sh!t then is must be sh!t even if gilded with gold”? Ok I’ll stop.


Does the incarceration of a prolific rapist reduce liberty, or increase it? Certainly it reduces liberty for the rapist, but it increases it for everybody else. One man’s liberty is another man’s burden.


Dumbest thing I’ve read all day,


I’m not saying liberty is not good - if it doesn’t affect others. I’m saying right-wing blowhards, free market zealots, bun fanatics, and christian conservatives argue for liberty and ignore the cost of that liberty to others.


Something the author seems to have completely missed in writing this article is the concepts of positive and negative liberty.

  1. Positive liberty is the capacity and provisions in a society that provide everyone with the capacity to act upon ones free will. This implies the provision of measures that remove structural or individually-imposed constraints on a person’s agency i.e. absence of discrimination of all kinds and the provision of a basic level of living resources that allow a person to act on their ambitions as opposed to the manifestly un-free state of bare survival and flight from hazards.

  2. Negative liberty is the freedom from constraints on individuals from doing whatever they want, with the implications that the negative external effects of a single individual doing whatever they want on the liberty and agency of others (and the welfare of other living things sharing the biosphere) is something a proponent of this kind of liberty is not terribly interested in. This is the “liberty” promoted by Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and the so-called “libertarians”.

The problem with the US left and liberty is that in the USA, and almost uniquely in the USA, negative liberty has become the very definition of liberty - and even the slightest nuance to include positive liberty in the definition is vehemently denounced as “socialism!!!

So is it any wonder that we tend to cringe at all this talk of “freedom!” and “liberty”? The US version of “freedom” is something only a wealthy minority will enjoy, while the rest live lives that are nasty, brutish and short - and very in-free.


I decry the use of violence to achieve political ends short of immediate self-defense. Doesn’t matter if the violence arrises from liberal or conservative sources, an individual, a corporation or a government. Karl Marx and Jesus both advocated sharing the wealth. Jesus was voluntary using persuasion, Karl Marx was coercion - a government gun in the ribs. I am all for equality if it can be achieved without violence using persuasion instead of coercion. The last century the Russians and the Chinese tried to make things equal and killed a 100 million people in the process. We are not much better - look at our idiotic immoral wars and corporate violence assaulting us daily such as Monsanto glyco-phosphate, GMOs, and lately microwave smart meters blasting us 24/7. Too much of both the Democrat and Republican agendas are based on violence, taking away other people’s liberty for some ideal cause. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Voluntary socialism is great but not violent socialism. Equality is great too but not if it is based on violent equality. It is too easy for the designated repository of violence - the government - to get out of hand such as the National Socialist Party of Germany. Not much liberty, eqality, or justice there. Gopherit


Any true revolution will be non-violent.


I think you got the word wrong—its freedom or more to the point INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM( economic , political ,and social freedom) and part of understanding INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM is that we all have a right to the COMMONS( land , clean water, clean air , and natural resources(fire)-----and yes as we form a society or state keep these core values in place. Instead the state has become a vehicle of the elite to steal from the common people.

The American revolution was about taking power from the elite-----people came here to get away from the elite. The true power of the people of the US resides in Congress not the president. This was a major step forward in the 1700’s.

Healthcare is a shinning example of ECONOMIC FREEDOM—we live in a society or state we call the US some get great healthcare because they have lots of money, most get crappy healthcare and many simply go without because of roadblocks in the system. And the question being raised today doesn’t everyone deserve good healthcare. Or should it be based on how much money you have? Its amazing how indoctrinated we have become into thinking money equals freedom------this is the construct of the elite.


I just noticed that KH Anderson, the article’s author, liked your comment.


There is no right, wrong, truth, justice, knowing/etc., there is–and since millennia ago-- classes against masses and the classes’ huge politico-informational-military-economic power.

But there is wishes: To marry, have children, to be secure and safe, to eat, to hope, to believe, to learn, to get along with others/etc.

To obtain it; the presently cosa mias [atomized, scatter-brained, at sea {made that way with vengeance by the clergy and the rich} ], masses, must organize and become one.
And, above all else do politics; for if you don’t do politics, it will forever do you-- the crying and complaining you. Stop it, please!! Then go to do the only thing that will [100% sure] change America.


The nail on the head, so to speak. If we allow others to define terms, we allow them to define our future. i.e, look how well The Shrub defined “terrorists” as brown-skinned people from the mid-east, bombs around their waist, killing liberty loving tea-partiers.

When in fact, terrorism is “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”— OED

And if we agree with the saying by MLK, that the USA is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” and that the violence is directed primarily at civilians for political gain (which is tied to economic–it is always the bottom line), it makes the USA the #1 Terrorist organization in the world.


I like that. Thanks


Okay, sorry; guess I misunderstood.