Saturday, January 5, 2019

Alternet revives "libertarianism is racism" smear

Here’s why this economist believes libertarianism is essentially a form of white supremacy – - Cody Fenwick:

January 3, 2019 - [I]n a recent Twitter discussion on several different economics themes, documented by economist Brad DeLong, Marshall Steinbaum offered a theory.... The discussants were debating the merit of anti-monopolistic policies and to what extent it could be useful to frame the messaging around the topic in a way that would get libertarians on board.

“'You might have noticed that I don’t particularly care about "winning over" libertarians given their longstanding intellectual commitments,' Steinbaum, research director at the Roosevelt institute, said. 'If it is self-defeating to refuse to ally with white supremacy, then fine.'

“'Are you equating libertarianism with white supremacy?' asked E. Glenn Weyl, founder of RadicalxChange.

“'I am indeed, with much in the historical record to back me up. For example: "the United States, with trivial exceptions, has never been a colonial country." —Milton Friedman,' replied Steinbaum. 'There are flavors, but they all serve one another’s purposes and are part of the same political movement, yes.'

"Weyl, for one, outright rejected the view: 'Marshall is equating libertarianism with white supremacy. I think this is roughly equivalent to equating socialism with Stalinism, conservatism with Nazism or Islam with terrorism. This attitude of some of the left is unbelievably destructive and dangerous.'

"But DeLong, noting that he does not always agree with Steinbaum, argued persuasively for his point of view in a follow-up blog post. Libertarianism, he wrote, 'is a Frankenstein’s monster that got its lightning-bolt juice from massive resistance to the Civil Rights Movement'....

"DeLong pointed out that when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) first entered national politics, he sparked a backlash by saying he opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it restricted private businesses’ right to engage in racist discrimination. Paul has since avoided discussion of this view, but it remains a revealing episode of his thinking....

"In principle, of course, anyone might discriminate against anyone else at public accommodations in Paul’s view. But we know how this plays out: White people use their property rights and 'freedom' from government regulation to further marginalize and oppress the black minority. Thinking that this is a world more in line with the ideal of 'freedom,' rather than a world in which fair treatment can be more readily enforced, is an unavoidably white supremacist idea.

"It’s also worth noting that Ron Paul, the senator’s father and  predecessor in the Senate and at the forefront of national libertarianism, was caught having published wildly racist remarks in his own personal newsletter."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

UPDATE: The AlterNet article was reprinted January 4, 2019, by Salon, under the title "Here’s why economist Brad DeLong believes libertarianism is essentially a form of white supremacy"

1 comment:

  1. There is some plausibility to this point of view on the surface, due not to the ideas behind personal freedom, but due to the types of people who, in the USA, embrace the libertarian label.

    But the USA has a unique history of widespread slavery, and the rebound effects of the institution still manifest themselves today.

    In Canada and other liberal democracies, you don't see many people claiming to like liberty because they oppose legislation that tries to make society colour-blind.

    The basic core behind the idea of equal freedom is that each person is inherently of equal moral worth. This is as far from White Supremacy as can be.