Where Libertarianism and Social Justice Share a Common Foe

It’s time for me to earn my dirty anti-libertarian leftist social justice warrior creds. Except I’m actually going to discuss a situation where libertarianism and so-called social justice warriors have a common cause (in reality what libertarians often disparagingly refer to as social justice has a lot in common with libertarianism).

Libertarianism and property rights tend to go hand in hand. In fact the biggest gripe many libertarians have with the state is its constant violation of individual property rights through taxation, confiscation, eminent domain, and other powers it has granted itself. Of all the ways the state violates property rights though the most egregious is probably the issuance of decrees that either prohibit property owners from performing or require property owners to perform certain actions with their property.

The social justice movement tends to fight against discrimination in any form. Recently many members of the social justice movement have been working to fight discrimination against transgender individuals. Although they oftentimes clash with libertarians over the property rights issue, as some social justice advocates want the state to prohibit individuals from discriminating even on their private property, they actually share a common enemy. The most egregious violator of property rights and the most dangerous discriminator happens to be the state.

Florida has become a battleground where violation of property rights and discrimination will be one and the same if HB 583 passes. The bill would make it a first degree misdemeanor for a transgender individual to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. Likewise the bill would also open any property owner who allows transgender individuals to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as to civil lawsuits in the state’s monopolized courts.

In other words the bill, which has passed out of committee, would require property owners to enforce bathroom usage in the manner decreed by the state and that manner happens to be discriminatory.

Libertarians often have a knee-jerk negative reaction to anything the social justice movement advocates and vice versa. These knee-jerk reactions often cause each side to refuse to work with the other side even when they share a common foe. It’s stupid and allows the state to use divide and conquer tactics to stomp on all of us. Both groups should be able to put aside their labels, declare a truce, and work together when they face a common enemy. Who knows, maybe both sides can learn a little bit from each other and create a longer lasting alliance.