Left is left and right is right, but Tuccille believes they can meet at their far extremes under the black flag of...



Left is left and right is right, but Tuccille believes they can meet at their far extremes under the black flag of anarchism, united by a common libertarian desire for total laissez-faire, radical decentralization, and complete individual freedom. With a growing corps of disaffected conservatives (Karl Hess, Murray Rothbard), Tuccille condemns William F. Buckley and his ilk for selling out their Old Right birthright and aligning themselves with the status-quo corporate liberal center. These dissident rightists find more affinity of purpose with the New Left, and Tuccille demonstrates how Black Power, community control, legalization of marijuana, and opposition to the draft and the Vietnam war are policies directly consistent with right-wing libertarian ideals. The central analysis of anarchism isolates and illustrates two distinct varieties of anarchist thought converging from the left (the collectivist school) and right (the individualist school) toward a radical anarcho-libertarian position; thus anti-statist socialism and anti-statist capitalism can coexist fruitfully if people take control of their own lives and state authority is dismantled and eliminated. Tuccille presents a detailed vision of New York City functioning as a decentralized liberated zone (which doesn't entirely dispel more pessimistic vision of chaos around the corner) and a semi-concrete picture of how an anarchistic nonstate would operate in the international sphere. Radical libertarian strategy calls for direct challenges to offensive governmental institutions, culminating in a refusal to pay taxes which will break the state's back. A revealing ""Afterword"" describes the racous confrontation at the 1969 Young Americans for Freedom convention, with the Buckley camp shouting ""Sock it to the Left"" and the Hess insurgents yelling ""Sock it to the State."" Not a weighty ideological tome, Tuccille's book offers enthusiastic explanations and heat-of-the-battle advocations of dissension in the right-wing ranks.

Pub Date: May 5, 1970


Page Count: -

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1970