If you are attempting to apply the principle of non-aggression, sure - it should be a big tent, no matter the philosophical foundation. Issues of contention within the movement (abortion, immigration, fractional-reserve banking etc) need not exclude one from the movement. War however is a disqualifier… as there is no real attempt to apply the non-aggression principle, and to put it simply “war is the health of the state”.
There is no legitimate form of “left” or “right” wing libertarianism. These concepts are the remnants of the false left / right paradigm and fallaciously try to apply an adjective (eg. left or thick) to a noun (libertarianism), in an effort to influence what it means… except the attempt is bogus & violates what libertarianism actually is. When a person speaks of things (outside the realm of political philosophy) they do not do so as a libertarian.
Hence, libertarian qua libertarian has nothing to say on those matters. It is left over baggage people still possess. Their earlier positions failed under scruitiny, so the individual undertook an investigation into libertarianism but has not yet succeeded in ridding themselves of a tainted ideology. Libertarianism is unique, it is neither left nor right.
Remaining a ‘statist’ isn’t the key issue either. Hating the state (loving liberty) & being a radical (abolitionist) is.
“…Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays,you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark. I can think of hardly a single limited governmentalist of the present day who is radical – a truly amazing phenomenon, when we think of our classical liberal forbears who were genuinely radical, who hated statism and the States of their day with a beautifully integrated passion: the Levellers, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine, Joseph Priestley, the Jacksonians, Richard Cobden, and on and on, a veritable roll call of the greats of the past. Tom Paine’s radical hatred of the State and statism was and is far more important to the cause of liberty than the fact that he nevercrossed the divide between laissez-faire and anarchism.
And closer to our own day, such early influences on me as Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and Frank Chodorov were magnificently and superbly radical. Hatred of “Our Enemy, the State” (Nock’s title) and all of its works shone through all of their writings like a beacon star. So what if they never quite made it all the way to explicit anarchism? Far better one Albert Nock than a hundred anarcho-capitalists who are all too comfortable with the existing status quo.
Where are the Paines and Cobdens and Nocks of today? Why are almost all of our laissez-faire limited governmentalists plonky conservatives and patriots? If the opposite of “radical” is “conservative,” where are our radical laissez-fairists? If our limited statists were truly radical, there would be virtually no splits between us. What divides the movement now, the true division, is not anarchist vs. minarchist, but radical vs. conservative. Lord, give us radicals, be they anarchists or no.
To carry our analysis further, radical anti-statists are extremely valuable even if they could scarcely be considered libertarians in any comprehensive sense. Thus, many people admire the work of columnists Mike Royko and Nick von Hoffman because they consider these men libertarian sympathizers and fellow-travelers. That they are, but this does not begin to comprehend their true importance. For throughout the writings of Royko and von Hoffman, as inconsistent as they undoubtedly are, there runs an all-pervasive hatred of the State, of all politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients which, in its genuine radicalism, is far truer to the underlying spirit of liberty than someone who will coolly go along with the letter of every syllogism and every lemma down to the “model” of competing courts.
Taking the concept of radical vs. conservative in our new sense, let us analyze the now famous “abolitionism” vs. “gradualism” debate. The latter jab comes in the August issue of Reason (a magazine every fiber of whose being exudes “conservatism”), in which editor Bob Poole asks Milton Friedman where he stands on this debate. Freidman takes the opportunity of denouncing the “intellectual cowardice” of failing to set forth “feasible” methods of getting “from here to there.” Poole and Friedman have between them managed to obfuscate the true issues. There is not a single abolitionist who would not grab a feasible method, or a gradual gain, if it came his way. The difference is that the abolitionist always holds high the banner of his ultimate goal, never hides his basic principles, and wishes to get to his goal as fast as humanly possible. Hence, while the abolitionist will accept a gradual step in the right direction if that is all that he can achieve, he always accepts it grudgingly, as merely a first step toward a goal which he always keeps blazingly clear. The abolitionist is a “button pusher” who would blister his thumb pushing a button that would abolish the State immediately, if such a button existed. But the abolitionist also knows that alas, such a button does not exist, and that he will take a bit of the loaf if necessary – while always preferring the whole loaf if he can achieve it.
Ron Paul is a voluntarist*, however to many he is considered a supporter of limited government (and yet would fulfill Rothbard’s criteria of a radical regardless). This indicates precisely why he gets so much support from some areas and so little, even negative from others.