However, like so many other philosophical traditions, I cannot completely buy into left-libertarianism. First, I cannot subscribe to very strong support for free markets even in the anti-elitist form described and supported by left-libertarians. I cannot completely agree with a philosophical system that might, for example, demand legal prostitution or legal abortion because of a refusal to restrict certain services or individual liberties in a free market economy. Furthermore, I am convinced that in advanced economies, certain industries, such as the post office, libraries, utilities, health care, etc., should be under public ownership. Evidence suggests that natural monopolies are probably best reserved for public ownership or at least heavily regulated private ownership.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, left-libertarianism, like right-libertarianism, Marxism and other philosophical schools coming out of the Enlightenment milieu, has the downside of falling into the errors of economism and utilitarianism. Again, this goes back to the problem of the state and the market, and when the state ought to intervene in the market. If you believe that the economy is ultimately subservient to higher values, then you open up the stage to state intervention. Amintore Fanfani, in his important work Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism (1934) noted that capitalism and communism were both guilty of subjecting all of life to the rule of economics and materialism. The various forms of libertarianism pose a similar problem in that they seek to subject all of life to the values of the free market, even if it is the fairer, more egalitarian version of the free market supported by the left-libertarians.
Still, I appreciate much of the work done by the left-libertarians, and I believe their analysis of various topics can be very useful. Socialists, social democrats and populists should be interested in what the left-libertarians have to say, even if they do not always agree with them.