I fear that Chris is too patient in his defence of the term liberal left. He could, far more easily, gone on the offensive against the notion of a liberal right.
"I have a problem with this whole "liberal-Left" issue: to me, the terms are near incompatible. Many of us have long argued that the terms Left and Right are effectively meaningless, and that the actual fight is between those who are statist...and those who are free-market libertarians."
You can see the problem with it by revisiting Mr Eugenedes' point. Bloggertarians, as he points out, will always gravitate towards something pragmatic, right-wing and populist like the Conservative Party or possibly UKIP, because they don't have any positions of their own that could be sold to a sceptical public. They have a critique, of course - and the bloggertarian position is absolutely stupendous as a standpoint from which to oppose something.
But if you ask a right-wing libertarian to explain what they would actually do on any given subject (with an audience consisting of some members of the general public, as opposed to wonks from the Adam Smith Institute) ... well, don't hold your breath waiting for anything coherent.
Here's what I mean. Have a quick look around a few bloggertarian sites. It's easy enough to find out what they are against. In the example of 'law and order', generally it's...
- ID Cards
- DNA databases
- Police powers in general (though the distinction between bloggertarians and libertarians is that they only oppose police powers where they are endorsed by a Labour PM).
For example, let's look at what a more libertarian alternative to a publicly funded and accountable police force would look like. How will it be funded, in whose interests will it operate as a consequence? What powers will this atomised entity be provided with? How would the end of socially-funded policing impact upon the environment that we live in? Would there be less CCTV? Less by way of gated communities and general obstructions in the way of the free individual walking about where they please?
I don't think so.
Would commercial risk aversion demand that we have more robust means of proving our identity? Will well-heeled lawyers be able to demand access to any information held by organisations that verify our identity, should such organisations exist? Will we wish to provide these atomised entities that we pay to look after our personal security some kind of legal leeway to make mistakes? Or will every standard of the law apply to them even though we expect them to constantly place themselves in situations that demand the use of force or coercion in our interests?
Will we be a more, or less regulated society? Will we be more or less intruded upon? Will life generally be fairer? Will our initial choice of womb be any less of a future-defining decision than it is now?
In this case, I'm pretty sure that market liberalism would result in less of what most people would call liberty.
In the meantime, any examples of bloggertarians not simply being negativists would be greatly appreciated.