Monday, May 12, 2014

How Much Racism Exists in the Libertarian Movement?

Although I believe the issue of racism in general in America is blown way out of proportion (SEE: Why Racism Is No Big Deal), the topic seems to be one that continues to surface. I think racists are goofy, but if they are not breaking the non-aggression principle, so what? I have my own illogical, goofy prejudices (SEE: About My Racist Friends, My Homophobic Friends and My Own Prejudices).  That said, I do want to talk about racism in the libertarian community.

The topic  racism in the libertarian community was, of course, most recently raised by Cathy Reisenwitz. She has apologized for her remarks (SEE: BREAKING Reisenwitz Issues Apology for Making Racist Charges) and appears to have deleted the tweets that carried the racism charges. She specifically apologized for "Making inflammatory accusations without thoroughly backing them up with concrete examples..."

Well, I do have some concrete understanding of racism, or lack thereof, in the libertarian community. It is admittedly anecdotal, but never the less I consider it enlightening.

Although EPJ provides commentary on a number of topics, some of which do not have a particular libertarian angle, EPJ can in many ways be considered a libertarian site, more specifically, a "thin libertarian," or as I would call it a pure libertarian site.

Anyone looking at the comments left under the posts would certainly understand that the readership is, not exclusively, but heavily libertarian. But, here's the thing.

There are hardly any comments, ever, that are anti-black. I really have to rack my brain to think of one that I had to delete. There was probably one about six months ago, but that was it. Given that I post regularly about President Obama, and occasionally about Michelle Obama and Al Sharpton, the opportunity for someone to leave a racist comment is certainly there, it just doesn't happen.

The same goes for anti-gay comments, there may be a couple more than anti-black comments but again they are few and far between.

There are some anti-Semitic comments. When I post about the Rothschilds, I may have to delete an anti-Semitic comment. And occasionally when I post about the banksters, I will have to delete a comment that charges that the banksters are all Jews. I find this type of charge particularly absurd, given that, arguably, the top bankster is Jamie Dimon, who is Greek Orthodox.

But even when it comes to  anti-Semitic comments they are very rare. There are many more vicious attacks on individuals in the libertarian movement. I can't think of any major thinker in the libertarian movement that I have mentioned in a post that has not been the target of a vicious comment.

Most interesting, the most frequent attacks come against various Christian libertarians. It is rare for me to mention, or post a story by a Christian libertarian, where that libertarian is not attacked in the comments for his religious beliefs, even when the topic of the post has nothing to do with religion. Further, I find this attack curious, given that the "thick libertarians" would classify most Christian libertarians as "thin libertarians," because of some of their beliefs. Thus, if there are any serious attacks based on the grounds of religion, it does not appear it is coming from the thin camp.

This is admittedly only anecdotal evidence of what is going on in the movement, but I have been clearing comments here at EPJ for years and I just don't see any regular attacks based on a person's color and extremely limited attacks on gays and Jews. It just doesn't happen with any regularity at all. As far as I am concerned, there aren't many racists in the libertarian movement, at least as far as those who read EPJ. And those who have a problem with Christian libertarians certainly are in conflict with the editorial view of EPJ, which is hardcore pure libertarianism---and which means, as far as Christian libertarians are concerned, that they should be free to hold any views they wish as long as they are not violating the non-aggression principle.


  1. Usually the racism charge is thrown at us when we say that welfare makes minorities worse off. Lauren Lyster, of RT at the time, was apologizing for Walter Block making such statements. Grrrrr

    Jerry Wolfgang likes to throw out the "Racist Ron Paul Newsletter" allegation, and baselessly allege that all libertarians are racist.

    These same people either will say that Lincoln was not a racist (because he freed the slaves!) or write off his racism, because "so was everyone else, big deal."

    1. I should add that Jerry Wolfgang alleges that we don't like Lincoln because he freed the slaves, not because Lincoln was a racist and only issued the E.P. for political reasons.

    2. I saw Lauren Lyster as an anchor on CBS News this morning. I predict either:

      1. CBS News is going Austrian or

      2. Lauren Lyster is going mainstream.

      Any bets?

    3. At RT she had more freedom to be herself.

      I bet #2

  2. Scientific racism was the invention of Arthur Gobineau, a race theorist whose views informed Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Nazism.

    Scientific racism is the ordering of human beings in terms of value, using physical criteria (which shifts over time) to create a category of undesirables that proponents then target for disenfranchisement and elimination.

    Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a true racist and eugenicist who espoused Gobineau's theories:

    Commenting on Australian Aborigines, Sanger noted, “The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets. According to one writer, the rapist has just enough brain development to raise him above the animal, but like the animal, when in heat, knows no law except nature, which impels him to procreate, whatever the result."

    Sanger's outfit Planned Parenthood has murdered millions of children, as part of a sustained campaign to weed out the unfit.

    The abortion industry is now advertising (through videos) to low-income women (mostly underclass) that it's a good thing to kill their unborn children, for whatever reason.

    Knowing all that, funny what some people will worry about.

    1. If anyone is actually interested in race beyond screaming RACIST I'd recommend taking a look at Steve Sailer's race FAQ and his coverage of Nicholas Wade's new book.

  3. Christian libertarians seem to be attacked from both sides (or multiple) (statists atheists, statist Christians). This article and analysis just totally destroys both types of attacks - ie Romans 13, "Gospel Only" and anti-Christian. Though I would think that the more vicious attacks or blatant on comments sections would be from statist atheists.

    1. What is "Romans 13, 'Gospel Only'?" Romans isn't part of the gospel. I'm not saying Romans is any less important to Christians (it's all inspired), but taking a "Romans 13, Gospel Only" stance would seem contradictory.

    2. It's just the 2 of the many things that statist Christians throw at Christian libertarians. Didn't mean to make it look like I was combining them. However, the statist Christians do espouse those two things often. They say, at one instance, that Christians ought to "only concentrate on the Gospel", then turn around and advocate that Christians ought to obey laws because laws from (the current) government are good. (I kid you not; I've heard them say that) and that we ought to pay taxes. Basically, it's all about keeping Christians docile and keeping the gravy train going for the state.

      Often times the attacks from statist Christians are just as vicious but more sinister, not overt.

    3. Oh my fault. I misread what you typed. I get what you're saying now.

      The "gospel only" stance doesn't make any sense to me. The entire Bible is inspired, not just select parts of it. I hear versions of this argument when I'm talking to more of the liberal-minded believers in my family. They seem to pick and choose the parts they want to follow. Oddly enough, they don't even follow all of the gospel. And when you point that out they just question the inspiration of the Bible altogether. At that point, I kind of scratch my head as to why they insist they're "Christians" at all. Being a Christian means you're a follower of Christ, not that you believe whatever you want to believe. Of course, then I'm called a "fundamentalist," which seems to be the Christian equivalent to the liberal secularist's "racist." (It's supposed to end the conversation without addressing the facts.)

      When it comes to Romans 13, I do differ from some Christian libertarians here. The teaching is clear: you obey the authorities so long as what you're doing doesn't conflict with any of His commands and pay whatever taxes are due. Likewise, you accept whatever punishment comes your way if you disobey (even if you're disobeying because of a conflict with His commands). Whether or not you assent to the conduct of the state is irrelevant. "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compell thee to go a mile, go with him twain" (Matthew 5:38-41). Christians are soldiers in a spiritual war. It's easy to get engrossed in a particular battle while losing sight of the larger war at hand. Fortunately, we have the one true King as our General. We don't always have to understand His strategy perfectly, we just have to obey.

  4. The tenets of critical theory have poisoned the mainstream of conservative and libertarian thought.

    Critical theory holds that you can viciously attack or joke about white Christians at will, but any mild criticism or jokes directed at Jews, blacks, gays, et cetera are beyond the pale and will get you ostracized from polite society.

    1. It's just plain old hypocrisy from the weak minded.

    2. The white man is the victim. Of course. How old is the Earth Ricky?

  5. Racism,or more appropriately, the accusation of racism, is just a Macavelian tool of the progressive movement used to move us all along to the planned collective utopia (of course our collectiveness not theirs). Once we are there, racism, along with all the other 'isms, will be discarded. They will have served their purpose. Ever get the feeling the new American left is the same ole aristocratic crowd who used to parade around Europe?

  6. I wonder aloud how much of the charge of racism stems from a problem of definition. In his tweet , Roderick Long claims to find racism in a speech by Hoppe. I wouldn't call it racist but what I find very interesting is further in the Twitter conversation, Long asks "How do you define racism?" His respondent replies, "The belief that a group is inferior or superior to another based upon their race" and Long seems to agree. If you define racism as a belief structure, then you can find racist bogeymen everywhere. As Thomas Sowell points out, he's a horrible racist by believing that black women are superior for the position of his wife.

    Of course people can define terms any way they like but I do think it's worth pointing out that some definitions are inherently more useful than others. Defining racism as "beliefs" is not particularly useful because it hardly distinguishes racists from non-racists. A much better definition would follow from the non-aggression principle: A racist is someone who initiates violence against a person because of that person's race. Libertarians qua libertarianism may question the value of examining the motivation for the violence but, there is no one that is purely a libertarian. While we all might agree with the NAP, there's nothing that says it must be the highest value for the libertarian. Some libertarians may value treating historically oppressed races with respect higher than the NAP so the motivation behind violence matters a lot. This is simply a reflection that there is more than one dimension to an individual's preferences and that the individual may value some things higher than the NAP. So long as the higher preferences don't contradict the NAP, there is no problem.

    Therefore, I think the real opportunity in this whole kerfuffle is to help people straighten out their thinking regards to a useful definition of racism and let them decide how best to incorporate it into their worldview.

    1. Define racism so that a true libertarian can never be a racist.

      You want a definition of racism? A racist is someone who is opposed to Brown v Board of Education. A racist is someone who is opposed to Title II of the Civil Rights Act. A racist is someone who believes the slaves states had a unilateral right to secession. A racist is someone who belongs to the League of the South. A racist is someone who glorifies the Confederacy and portrays Lincoln as a tyrant. A racist is someone who says the ONLY problem with slavery was that it denied the slaves a right to free association. Otherwise, slavery was not that bad, you could pick cotton and sing songs. A racist is someone who wonders if blacks were better off as slaves. A racist is someone who wonders if blacks are in prison because nobody taught them how to pick cotton. A racist is someone who writes a revisionist and inaccurate history of the Civil War. You get the picture?

    2. I also asked the question of what is meant by a racism in comments on Cathy Reisenwitz's apology post, in particular, in these two comments:

    3. Oh, wow. I see what you mean. This is my first time seeing them. (They were not why I sent you the book recommendation earlier.)

      Yes, Cathy, you're right. When accusing someone of one of the least popular things a person can be accused of, you have to back it up.

      I do have a question for you though. What do you mean by racism?

      Is acknowledging there are aggregate, average differences between groups of people—as one would predict would be the case if the theory of evolution by natural selection is true—racism?

      Because then it seems to me being informed, honest, and rational = racism, in that tortured construction.

      Or is racism disliking people because of average group differences? Because yeah, I would agree that's wrong. As in phenomenally stupid.

      But as there are differences between men and women, between families, between individuals, between species ... really, between anywhere you care to look on the spectrum of life ... as nature is an engine for diversity, not for sameness ... so there are differences between groups of people.

      This is just the reality of the situation. I don't see why it should be upsetting. But even if it is, it's still reality.

      And it certainly is not my fault or anyone else's that that's how the world is.

    4. Careful, that definition may have some problems as well. Declaring a racist to be someone who "initiates violence because of race" gets dangerously close to the problems with 'hate crime'. It's impossible to externally determine that this act happened because of race, so suddenly any old burglary or mugging can be declared racist when the victim has a race (read, always) even if the real reason was regular financial gain or personal revenge or whatever.

    5. Someone asked above and for those who wondered why I expanded the conversation to include whether there are differences between groups of people, there are three reasons for that.

      1. I find learning about people, including biological diversity and its interplay with our societies, interesting as I do many areas of science, philosophy, history, etc., and I refuse to credit the idea that it's OK to learn about every single species on Earth—with the exception of my own.

      2. I'd passed on a recommendation to Cathy earlier today, before learning about the tweets, to read Nicholas Wade's new book 'A Troublesome Inheritance' and she responded politely and positively to the suggestion, with an open mind, so I looked upon this as a bit of a broadening upon that involving others who might find it interesting or challenging.

      3. The main reason was this: Cathy accused various people of saying racist things. Well I believe this begs the question of what does that mean? Is every person who believes that differential biology plays some role in group dynamics a terrible person, even when there is growing evidence to support this? And when it's perfectly predicable through an understanding of the theory of evolution? Is actual understanding (or an attempt to understand) itself immoral?

      Or does racism mean disliking people for belonging to a different population, wishing to disadvantage them (or advantage one's own group), and believing your group is superior to others, has a right to rule, etc?

      Because I believe those are very different things; and when Cathy was forming her views on who is or isn't "racist", I feel that she likely conflated the two.

      Now maybe I've given her ammunition. Perhaps she could go, "Ah ha! Libertarians are racist scum. See?! I was *right*!"

      However, if she did that, she would have to explain how people who don't hate other groups, nor think their own groups (I'm mixed race), should have a privileged place in society, are racist. And while I think people can mindlessly bully and try to make that argument, people who are more intellectually honest see through it.

      She hasn't done that, which is good. So I invite Cathy and others to be open to the idea that it's possible for someone to believe there are differences between people—diversity—without believing in hatred or even not loving others who are different.

      I think diversity is widespread and love, relationships, and connections should be as well. But we don't have to lie to ourselves or others to have that.

      I made this comment on an article written by much-(unfairly-)maligned libertarian Charles Murray in defense of Jason Richwine. I do invite you to read it.

      It's my view that human biological diversity is factual and also that we should extend and grow human rights wherever possible (including to children, such as protecting them from socially-approved violence). Even if a person was inclined to be insular and "keep to their own", I believe the Internet, nearly-free telecoms, and especially airplanes render those efforts moot.

      Which I like. I enjoy variety. I always have, at least since moving to Vancouver at 18 and living among many different people.

      Since increasing understanding of the human genome and evolution will render untenable ideas that there are no non-cosmetic differences between groups of people at all, I believe we should grow up, accept diversity here like we are elsewhere, and use this to better understand, love, and cooperate, while always recognising that the greatest diversity remains between individuals.


      Absolutely one of the best articles on intellectual honesty, academic freedom, and the bullying tribal groupthink taking over the tradition of free speech.

      [to be continued]

    6. ...

      Charles Murray is a great thinker and caring man who suffered a heavy price for pursuing his work openly and honestly. Jason Richwine has already paid a hefty price for his good scholarly work. In my own way, I've paid a heavy price by sometimes self-suppressing due to the heavy climate of intimidation in this culture for saying provably true, but unpopular, things and the negative emotions that result, at least in part, from that suppression of expressing the truth about the world as one sees it — with the best of intentions.

      I'm through with that.

      Society, with its bigotry and unreason, will probably deny me opportunities and it may well do much worse to me, but the truth is still the truth no matter how much I and anyone else wishes things to be otherwise. There are many things I would change about nature (illness, accidents, estrangement, suffering, and unwanted death come to mind), but nature did not consult my wishes during its formation, which long proceeded me.

      I love and have loved people of many different ancestral histories: I'm of mixed ancestry myself with some being native to North America and more coming from Europe, which should not matter, but apparently "race" is super important to some people.

      The fact is nature is an engine for diversity, not for sameness. Evolution via natural selection simply had no mechanism for keeping all human groups identical in every respect, except cosmetic, while being separated for tens of thousands of years, interbreeding with different Homo sapiens subspecies (some of our ancestors interbred with neanderthalensis: others didn't; the Human Genome Project makes this clear), and being subjected to tremendously different natural environments ranging from the arctic to the tropics.

      With respect, nature simply doesn't work that way.

      It not only doesn't, *it can't*. The common opinion on this is not even possible, much less likely.

      Nothing — absolutely nothing about what I'm saying — means we can't still communicate with, love, befriend, work alongside, and cheer for our fellow humans of both genders, any permutations thereof, all ages, and all places of ancestry. We do not have to throw out the truth in order to have love and shared brotherhood, sisterhood, or romantic partnerships, as well as business and social relationships of all kinds.

      We are still a closely related species, despite whatever differences we may, on average, have. Similarly, two siblings or friends or partners are different, but that doesn't preclude them from respect, connection, and honest communication.

      We should stop the bullying of people with the courage to say their opinion. This isn't tolerance and it isn't appreciating diversity. It most certainly is not intellectually honest.

    7. "Jerry" must not be aware of racial polling data at the time of the Brown decision. If half of all blacks are racist against themselves, what the heck are we even talking about?

      According to "Jerry," all libertarians are automatically racist because we believe in basing society on consent rather than force.

    8. JW: "A racist is someone who says the ONLY problem with slavery was that it denied the slaves a right to free association. Otherwise, slavery was not that bad, you could pick cotton and sing songs."

      So if you're a slave and you're treated well it's OK... I think I see where your statism is coming from.

  7. That was very interesting, Bob...thanks for the insight!

    I much appreciate EPJ's comment section- both the ability to utilize it, and the comments folks leave. This is a very powerful tool for discourse and truth-seeking, and our focus on things of real importance (actions or propositions) verses the superfluous (race, sexual preferences, etc.) comes from viewing events via the Non-Aggression Principle. Consider the types of comments which you will find on mainstream media websites- the majority of which are inherently Statist- and you will see there is no comparison. Those websites are filled with all the typical intellectual pitfalls (i.e. racism) which can be mostly attributed to feeling rather than thinking (i.e. rationalizing via the NAP). Is it any wonder that commentators on State supported (or even infiltrated) media websites would display these awful and strange tendencies when they are spoon-fed the State's propaganda 24/7? Identifying individual people based on their superfluous qualities and then categorizing them into a group is inherent in the Statist philosophy (and is part and parcel in the State's version of efficiency- to make big groups of things so it is easier to cartelize them).

    --Weird side note--

    In the past, I made many hammocks and tarps for backpacking and was a member of a forum called "Hammockforum". This place was a brilliant example of genuine truth seeking- although the focus was on the most "comfortable lay" of a hammock- with all discussions focused on achieving the best way to do this or that relating to hammocks. I can't even think of one example of derogatory personal attacks on that forum. However, it's trademark was the constant innovations in hammock making (believe it or not!) from the members of the forum all courteously "one-upping" each other for the most comfortable backpacking hammock.

    On another forum, I found a community of dog trainers with many of them being current and former police officers (K9 handlers). Many of these members (and seemingly all of the moderators) also have a special fondness for the warmongering military. In this forum, there was a certain "thought filtering" and censorship from the members of the forum and moderators wielding vicious -and unjustified- personal attacks.

    I think of EPJ as the "Hammock Forum" of websites in its class. The courtesy we afford each other to make innovations to the libertarian philosophy- and subsequent scrutiny of those ideas- create an environment most conductive to figuring out the right answer to different questions. It is a pleasure to be a part of that!

  8. Is there racism? It depends on how you define racism.

    If you think it is OK for govt to police fractional reserve banking but not OK for govt to police racist business practices that obstruct interstate commerce, then you are a racist.

    1. If you think blacks should abort their children and disappear, you are NOT racist. If you oppose this, you ARE racist.

      Try to make sense of this p.c. automaton!

    2. Re: Jerry Wolfgang,

      Seems that after making a total donkey of yourself in the subject of economics when alleging that competition does not work because liars would sell more stuff, you found a new tether in this "racism" meme from which to hang on for a little while more. Unfortunately for you (and fortunate for the rest of us who can use a good laugh) you continue to showcase your incompetence by equating auditing the Fed with racism.

  9. @Mark

    Racism has already been defined a hundred times. It is an invention of the scientific race taxonomists of the 19th century who are the intellectual god-fathers of the new world order's eugenic practices, via reproductive rights, war, and economics.

    The reason the elites keep using that term to demonize any kind of theorizing or generalization about race is to protect their own control of the discourse.

    The reason it is defined ambiguously is so it can retain its use as a political tool.

    When will people figure out this is a game of POLITICS, that is, POWER, not THEORY and abstraction.
    Ideology is just a tool for them..

    Wise up and use the tool against them, my friends. Quit obsessing over whether your are racist or not. If you are a racist, you wouldn't be here on this blog. You would be drawing up devious media campaigns to get other races to terminate their own progeny or to fight each other and die, or destroy their most productive elements and turn their culture over to the barbarians.

    The fact that you are here, trying to figure out how to live and prosper without hurting anyone, suggests that you are not intentionally racist. Whether you get used by those who are is up to your own powers of analysis and willingness to work.

    1. Human biological diversity is factual, Lila. It could hardly be otherwise. We are not immune from the forces of nature which have governed life on Earth for over almost four billion years.

    2. typo correction:

      *which have governed life on Earth for almost four billion years.

      (although I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually over)

    3. That's Alex Jones nonsense. The elites are not promoting eugenics they're promoting dysgenics, the opposite of eugenics, through government welfare programs.

    4. @Dave
      Loss of life from abortions over the last 50 years is 2 billions, globally
      If that is not depopulation, what is?

  10. As a rule, Libertarians are too intelligent to be true racists.
    That is why most racists identify with the Democrat or Republican parties.
    And even in these two parties made up of really stupid people, true racism is rare.
    Bigotry yes but not racism.

    1. Intelligent people can't be racists (in the sense of viewing themselves superior to others)? I don't think that makes sense. Your statement that some people are too intelligent to be true racists strikes me as unsupported by; nay, contradicted by; historical evidence.

  11. The state murders, tortures and imprisons innocent people of every ethnicity, color, creed and sexual preference, every day. And we're spending our time arguing about who's racist and who isn't. I can't help thinking that makes some group/s of people very very happy.

  12. Some definitions consider that any assumption that a person's behavior would be influenced by their Racial categorization is inherently racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative, because stereotyping necessarily subordinates individual identity to group identity. often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. We all know that if we want to be respected? we must respect others first, spread kindness, I have here an important application it really works, it helps a lot in terms of emergency and it help locates sex offender in your area, actually it really inform you ones you have sign up for this website if you have an emergency just click the panic button and help is coming.jUST CLICK THE LINK

  13. Frank Bacon has pointed out Hoppe's invitation of Jared Taylor and others to speak at The Property and Freedom Society, which I just heard of today.

    Now I have mixed feelings about this. Jared Taylor is not my cup of tea, but then I don't dislike him either. I don't think he has a bad motive behind what he's doing, but I don't know for sure.

    While I can understand ethnic nationalism and even believe it should be considered when analysing the world in terms of realpolitik (for example, to understand Vladimir Putin's actions in the Crimea), I don't think it's the best way to live. I think we should understand ethnic nationalism, but not aim for it. I agree with Steve Sailer who said:

    "White Nationalism is worse than a crime, it's a mistake."

    In any case, the Internet, nearly-free telecoms, and airplanes will increasingly render attempts to be insular moot. Which I like, personally.

    However, epistemologically, Taylor does raise some accurate points from time to time and it's a mistake to think we shouldn't hear them, particular if few others are willing to say them. I don't believe knowledge itself is wrong. If one opposes Taylor's agenda, that's alright.

    So regarding Hans-Hermann Hoppe, I assume this is the sort of thing Cathy Reisenwitz had in mind, however vaguely.

    1. What complicates things is the reality that libertarianism seems to be a tendency that's naturally more prominent among whites due to our more individualistic nature that we've evolved. Kevin MacDonald has written about this. He doesn't like libertarianism though and wants explicit white nationalism, and seems to buy into a lot of the left's economic ideas. I do like libertarianism and I wish everyone would become libertarians but for some groups like blacks and Latinos especially it doesn't really seem in the cards. Probably the Arabs as well are unlikely to adopt it as well. And as of now Asian Americans favor leftism as well although I'm hoping this will change as they're a high earning group and the high taxes and affirmative action programs will hurt them not help. That's why it's bad to have mass immigration of those people in a way because you're importing all these statists who are only going to vote for more government and then we're not allowed to use a comparatively small amount of government on the borders just to keep this from happening because to do so is 'statist'. The line of thinking by open border libertarians is this utopian notion that because libertarianism is so obviously right, all people everywhere are going to soon realize this and adopt it. But that's not likely to happen, but I'm bad for saying so. So we just have to pretend that it is, forever. You're a 'racist', 'collectivist', etc. for pointing this out but the problem is that those words don't make this or other harsh realities go away.

  14. As an analogy, I have religious friends who oppose homosexuality. However, I don't oppose homosexuality. It's obviously natural, and more to the point, completely ethical between two, or more, consenting people—not just ethical, but good: loving another and giving pleasure to another are some of the finest parts of life. Receiving pleasure's not so shabby either.

    Does this make me an anti-homosexual or homophobe? I think that's a stretch.

  15. This article hits home in a lot of ways. Politics aren't really my thing, I hate discussing them, and people that are "my way or the highway" turn me right off on either side. Probably for this reason I have aligned myself Libertarian since I first heard of the movement at least 20 years ago. That and whenever I do read about it, it actually makes a whole heck of a lot of sense!

    Anyway, a few days ago I got into a debate with a very over sensitive and very left wing friend who was extremely upset that a celebrity he enjoyed was endorsing a candidate he didn't like at all. Anyway, I defended the celebrity saying "they have a right to vote for whoever they want, think whatever they want, it doesn't and shouldn't affect what you think of their stuff that you already enjoy, and what they may make in the future." If this isn't how a Libertarian would answer...I really don't care...I was answering as a friend who values free thought and someone's right to choose.

    The answer didn't seem to jibe with him, and I went on to explain that people vote for different people for different reasons: some party related, some economic, some religious, some gut reaction and what have you. This sort of led to me explaining what Libertarism meant and what it was all about.

    Well, I gotta say, that went over like a led pipe. I didn't say I was Libertarian, but maybe he sensed I was. Struck me as an odd reaction...being hit so harsh by just the mention of the word. Guys close minded and about as left as it gets (which always struck me as a weird contradiction), but whatever I guess.

    Anyway, put it behind me, but a few days later I read an article about how coo-coo this election is and how at every turn it was defying our expectations. It was from a Libertarian site (not this one), and I thought it was excellent. Hit the nail on the head, my feelings exactly, all that good stuff.

    But the comments underneath, not so much. Lots of very proud hate speech, even Holocaust denying. Again, all well written (even the racist Libertarians are smart!) but the message was disconcerting to say the least.

    As a lifelong Freedom of Speech Advocate, yes absolutely...they are ALLOWED to say those things. But the content...pretty tough. My ultra Left friend has zero tolerance for any racism...his main life quibble actually. He's extremely PC. And I think he associated the entire Libertarian movement with racism.

    Looked around that site a bit more, and the reoccurring theme seemed to be "pretty good articles, extreme and weird racist rhetoric in the comments." Caught a bit off guard I must say.

    Wondering if I had somehow misunderstood what Libertarism was and was inadvertently aligning myself with the Aryan Nation or something I googled "connection between racism and Libertarianism" and came upon this article. Which assured me...I am absolutely not!!! Whew!

    But my friend's glare, the darn comments on that other page and the existence of this very article has shown something: this is a problem. If its not a problem in the movement itself, its at least a problem in how we are precieved. If Libertarian philosophy is to be taken at all seriously, especially by people of color, its a problem we have to find a way to address and correct.

    Oh, if this ever comes up again (especially with this particular friend) the very Spock-like "I believe in logic and racism is illogical" should be helpful!