Bionic, do you believe that Libertarianism is constitutionally right wing (Hoppe), left wing (Anthony Gregory), or neither (Block)?
I have read a good amount of Hoppe and Block, not enough of Gregory. However, for the left I will answer based on what I have read and considered from several other left-libertarians.
Libertarian theory is thin – in your terms, “neither.” It is the non-aggression principle (NAP) – do not initiate aggression. It is nothing more than this. On this, I am certain Block agrees; I am almost as sure that Hoppe agrees (some are screaming at me now for writing this about Hoppe; I say “patience”). From the left-libertarians I have read, I would say it is a mixed bag – some seem to want libertarian theory to be much more than this.
Within this “thin” theory, there is room for all types – stretching from traditional (family, religious, etc.) to as far out as one wants to tread (alternative lifestyles, drugs of any type, prostitution, etc.) – as long as one does not violate the NAP. This does not mean, in my opinion, that any theoretically acceptable choice is also conducive for moving toward and sustaining a libertarian political reality.
And this is where Hoppe comes in. Hoppe has it right, I very much believe, when it comes to considering the conditions under-which libertarianism can develop, survive and thrive. I do not read him as trying to expand the meaning of libertarianism; I read him as describing the environment necessary for libertarianism to survive and thrive.
I have written much about this (as you know), but summarize here: there will be governance of some sort; the traditional family and kinship models have served this function from the beginning of recorded history; these models also offer the most decentralized examples of governance in recorded history. Therefore one might consider that cultures that value traditional family and kinship are more conducive to developing and sustaining a libertarian political order by avoiding the necessity or desire to introduce artificial, centralizing, governance institutions.
Left-libertarians I have read (Sheldon Richman, Jeff Tucker, and Kevin Carson, among others) hold to views that include (and I do not attribute all of the following to each of them or any of them – just that I have read these from many who describe themselves or otherwise write as “left-libertarian”): we should be happy for gay marriage, we must serve any customer who walks in our store, there should be no hierarchical institutions of any type, libertarianism should be something more than the NAP, etc.
In other words: a combination of leftist, communist, and anarchist (in the bad sense of the term) views to go along with faulty libertarian logic. Many of these views cannot be considered libertarian in any sense, although this is not true for all of these views.
While it is true that thin libertarianism does not speak against gay marriage (as one of dozens of examples), it does not follow that such a condition is therefore conducive to furthering libertarianism. I do not intend to dive into this further now – I have written enough about my view of the necessity of traditional family structures as a defense against calls for (or even the need for) governance by centralizing institutions.
There are common philosophical roots, however, for all parties: left, thin, and right. I will not go into detail here. If you are interested, here is an extensive post on this topic – mostly examining the roots of Kevin Carson’s left-libertarianism, but also finding in his views roots also common to Rothbard. To make a long story short, they both find reason to lean on Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker. If I recall correctly, I believe this is where Rothbard’s “anarcho” portion of anarcho-capitalism came from – these common roots.
Carson also leans on others who are common to communism. Here is a further post examining the commonality between his views and communism (in the form of Antonio Gramsci). To make a long story short, both want to destroy culture in order to usher in their version of heaven on earth. For this reason, it seems to me that cultural Gramsci-ism is a more accurate term than cultural Marxism (as their approaches to usher in a communist world were quite different, to my understanding; I don’t believe Marx addressed culture – at least not as a priority as did Gramsci).
What is libertarianism, constitutionally: left, thin, or right? The theory is thin, but…. To make a long story short, I don’t know if libertarianism can mature beyond its current state – move toward understanding and accepting that a) application in this world requires considering the humanness of humans, and b) there will always be some form of governance (which, I guess, is a subset of a)).
The dialogue may never move past this – it may be an unavoidable consequence of holding to a beautifully simple political philosophy – one so beautiful because it has non-aggression at its core; something to be found in every major religion on earth. The dialogue might not move past this because there are those who want to bury the name. This seems to be the case for institutions affiliated with the beltway.
There need not be conflict even in this – in a libertarian world of ten-thousand communities, each community is free to determine its own conditions for entering and remaining; a libertarian world will certainly have many communities with very non-libertarian conditions – discrimination and exclusion being a natural outcome of respect for private property.
As long as the number of options is in the thousands (city-states, homeowners associations), everyone should be able to find a place that they can call home. This is why I always favor secession and decentralization – it can only increase the number of choices.
In any case, the dialogue certainly won’t move past its current state unless someone writes it. In this, Hoppe (and Rockwell and others) has done tremendous work.
Should the name “libertarianism” be changed to reflect something more focused on property and perhaps even to include a cultural aspect? I think not. Every term that comes close to depicting anything associated with liberty, freedom, classical liberalism, etc., has been diluted and changed. It is easier to defend an existing brand than to create a new one out of whole cloth – a new one that will only be diluted and co-opted as well.
In the meantime, there is much common ground: on the most important issue, military interventionism and the over-reach of the police state, many of the left, thin, and right are very much on the same page. It is one reason I spend much time in this sandbox.