It has come to my attention that Ralph Nader (the consumer advocate and repeat third party candidate who regardless of what one thinks of him really needs no introduction) has recently put out a book titled: Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. The book apparently discusses what Nader sees as the recent trend of traditionally-right leaning libertarians and traditionally left-leaning progressives working together in opposition to such things as the warfare state and various forms of corporate welfare.
I have not yet read the book but I like the idea of the development of such an anti-establishment left/right alliance. This is specifically an alliance that is in opposition to such things as massive military spending and build up and international-warfare, the Obama Administration’s ongoing Drone Program, as well as opposition to such things as the Patriot act, the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs and the general militarization of the police. This is in addition to opposition to massive bailouts for big business, and what have generally become recognized as corporatist economic policies (that is government intervention that benefits big corporation at the expense of the tax payer and consumer). I tend to find that both the small government types as well the progressive types who can find common ground on these issues can often find common ground on what are generally called social issues like legalizing marijuana, if not outright abolishing the war on drugs, as well as openness to marriage equality and even things like legalizing prostitution. All of which of course are things I have personally advocated on this blog.
In both camps I see a willingness to question things like tort-reforms that favor big business, overly long lived patents and copy rights, and what I see as generally corporatist international trade deals like NAFTA, or the US involvemnt with Noe-liberal international organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Any moves to get issues like these into the general conversation would be highly welcome from my point of view. I have to wonder to what extent Nader’s book discusses other thinkers and movements who I suspect would fit comfortably in his alliance. I am thinking of people like Dean Baker who’s free E-book the Conservative Nanny State gives an excellent introduction to places where progressives and libertarians should want to cut government, much to the chagrin of the conservative establishment. I am also thinking of course of left libertarians and individualist anarchists like Kevin Carson, Gary Chartier or Sheldon Richman who in my opinion take the potential of such an alliance to it’s ultimate conclusion.
Anyway, I hope Nader is correct that a general anti-establishment and anti-corporatist left/right alliance with a possible openness to radical ideas could really shake things up, because it is well past due.