16. “Libertarianism, Feminism, and Nonviolent Action: A Synthesis”

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Abstract: There is a need to develop libertarian responses to writings on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Offering such responses not only demonstrates to potential opponents of libertarian reform that libertarianism can seriously address these issues: libertarian responses can also help us confront forms of “private” oppression that are not per se un-libertarian, but which support state oppression. Drawing on thinkers such as Murray Rothbard, Roderick Long, Charles Johnson, Gene Sharp, Wendy McElroy, and bell hooks, this paper establishes historical links between the intellectual traditions of feminism, nonviolent action, and libertarianism, and explores what a nonviolent, libertarian resistance to patriarchy might look like. By demonstrating the analogies between Sharp’s and Rothbard’s theories of political power and hooks’ theory of patriarchy, this paper shows that Sharp’s techniques for resistance to state tyranny can be adapted for use against patriarchal oppression.

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