The Greatness asked earlier about references to left-libertarian thought, and wondered whether perhaps a lot of the proponents of left-libertarianism might not be just as far in the clouds as right-libertarians.
It's a fair question, and the reason I didn't deal with it right away is that it's very difficult to get into because the nature of left-libertarianism is that almost nobody agrees with one another closely enough to talk about a doctrine or a unified theory or anything like that. If there's one commentator in the discourse I track with most closely it's Chomsky, both with regard to his focus and his reasoning, but there are plenty of things we interpret differently.
The core principle of left-libertarianism is basically identical to the core principle of right-libertarianism, which is that the purpose of the government is to maximize the liberty of the individual while preserving above all the individual's right to life.
It's rather humorous that libertarianism, even if you add the right- and left- strains together, should be such a marginal point of view in the U.S., since the principle I just described is the stated mission of the government set forth in the United States Constitution. But presumably this is just some sort of misunderstanding.
Anyway, the differences between the philosophies of left- and right- libertarianism are subtle, but they lead to wildly different perspectives on the way the world works and how we can go about improving the condition of human beings.
A good place to start is with the writings of Rudolf Rocker (no relation to John) who was an anti-Nazi German who was basically the founder of Anarcho-syndicalism. You can probably get more than your fill of Rocker from reading his book online here.
But to get caught up in the high-level theory of anarcho-syndicalism is to miss what is the main modern current of left-libertarianism. Modern left-libertarianism as Chomsky exemplifies it is much more concerned with practical, moral matters than with a vision of an alternative society. This is naturally the case since left-libertarianism and anarcho-syndicalism specifically rejects the idea of imposing a top-down structure on society; thus the roots of a left-libertarian society must be planted within the existing society, and nurtured over many generations.
So while it might be fun to discuss the merits of anarcho-syndicalism as a theory in itself, it would be much more appropriate to talk about questions like: What would be the left-libertarian perspective on CAFTA?