When I was younger, I thought that the defining distinction between and was solidarity — as in, the former necessarily has to have way more of it than the latter.

Gradually I came to realise that characterisation is problematic for three reasons:

  1. want to impose , which is an oxymoron (by definition, you can’t mandate voluntary inclinations, such as affection or desire, on people).
  2. In practice, and at least in my own country (), the Left has become pro-independence and sympathetic towards secessionists (but more solidarity would require larger unions, stronger federations — not the richest regions going their own way).
  3. Sometimes the Right puts in practice more solidarity towards certain groups or causes (eg, non-elites, non-conformists, disadvantaged people who reject the orthodoxy) than the Left itself.

I now think that the ratio personal freedom vs economic freedom better categorises Left vs. Right (cf ). I like to think of those two dimensions as “ to do what you please with your body” (food, drugs, euthanasia, suicide, sex, read, speech, thought, association, religion) and “freedom to do what you please with your property” (save, invest, buy, sell, donate, build, trade, settle).

This is not a defence of or , by the way — I do believe certain restrictions on both kinds of liberties are necessary for any society to function at all.

@tripu libertarians have restrictions though; just not very many. it’s predicated on the idea that if the state doesn’t enable monopolies then people will use their own means of meta regulation.


It depends on your definition of , doesn’t it? I was discarding radical libertarianism (ie, ).

Even if all monopolies are cancelled, as long as there is a State, there is central authority exerting some coercion, limiting some freedoms. What I meant to say is that I’m fine with that. ie, I think I agree with you in that even a libertarian society ought to have some restrictions.

@tripu @icedquinn When it comes to libertarians, I’d imagine the restrictions are on the central government’s powers towards the citizens, right? They probably like some sort of government with restictions as long as it’s local and its policies are relevant to the locals. Anyway,I’d mention I’m not very familiar with it.

@OmegaVariant the government just deals with contract disputes. otherwise market forces are supposed to contain the businesses (ex. if one gets abusive, you start a new one that isn't.)

although much of the philosophy was also built before zaibatsus were the norm.

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