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Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism by [Garrison, Tom]
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Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974 (magna cum laude); earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and finished everything but my PhD dissertation (ABD) in political science at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980.

I began political life as a typical McGovern liberal, moved left to become a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, and in the late 1990s evolved into a libertarian. In 1972 I joined the War Resisters League and participated in and organized anti-war protests, including giving public speeches before crowds numbering in the hundreds at UC Santa Barbara. For more than 15 years I protested a portion of my income taxes as being war taxes.

In 1980 I was arrested, along with hundreds of others, for civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s I was a hyper-active socialist: twice running for Santa Barbara City Council openly as a socialist in the mid-1980s; worked with tenants (three city-wide rent control campaigns in seven years), and gays and lesbians (Deb, my wife, was the first heterosexual on the Gays and Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors); and fighting political cultists in California's Peace and Freedom Party (the only socialist party with ballot status in California). During this period I also found time to work full-time as an editor (from 1982 to 2000) of a political science journal published in Santa Barbara.

In the last three years (since 2010) I have concentrated on publishing essays in regional newspapers--The Salt Lake Tribune and The Spectrum (local St. George daily newspaper). The majority of my more than 35 published articles (as of September 2013) are hiking/travel stories along with some political and humorous essays.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2454 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (June 22, 2012)
  • Publication Date: June 22, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008H7HH0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The last Libertarians I remember seeing in the flesh were a couple of college students shouting humorous but unprintable things about Dick Cheney while they handed out leaflets. That was obviously a few years ago. "Spirited but extreme" was the thought that went through my mind.

So I was curious to get a more balanced perspective on this political viewpoint.

This collection of short essays from two dozen former self-proclaimed leftists who came to embrace Libertarianism did just that. From college students to businessmen, plainspoken to eloquent, these pieces reflect opinions that are accessible to Democrats like me who think it's important to see the other guy's POV.

Although I'm still a (disgruntled) Democrat, I came away with a deeper understanding of a position not unlike my own. Living in the People's Republic of San Francisco, I found myself sharing many of the sentiments of these everyday people looking for a voice in a limited political landscape.

Tom Garrison's compilation of these stories is thoughtful and thorough and his piece and foreword some of the most insightful. If you want a quick deep dive into a political stance different from your own, you won't go wrong with this collection.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the most hopeful book I have read since I became concerned about the status and direction of our country. No doubt because I independently came to the same conclusions from the opposite political side.
Mr. Garrison describes his journey from a self-described "card carrying socialist activist" to a libertarian. It offers stories by other leftist liberals who also came to see individual liberty and responsibility as the fountainhead of true human freedom and dignity.
As a leftist, he was willing to use the power of government to force people to live one model of justice and harmony. He saw government control of enterprise as a way to make life fair.
As a conservative, I saw maximum liberty and maximum personal responsibility as the ultimate goal of anyone who believes in freedom. I knew that the individual making decisions for himself and the "unseen hand" of the free market was the best solution to poverty and want. However, I was comfortable with allowing government to make laws, use force, regarding beliefs, practices and activities where a free man’s government has absolutely no business being involved.
Mister Garrison and I were both raised high on our own carefully constructed petards! If we valued freedom above all, how could we embrace governmental models that were repugnant to the freedom to others? How could we expect the world to respect our individual concepts of liberty while advocating the denial of liberty to someone else?
I am quite sure Mr. Garrison and I will disagree on some issues. The difference now is he and I are both in close agreement with the premise of maximum personal freedom with maximum personal responsibility.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book! A must read!
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