Monday, May 19, 2014

Mercer On Charges of Racism; Hoppe on Charges of Racism

Stay Out Of The Dark World Of A Racism-Sniffing Bloodhound
By Ilana Mercer

"You're a racist." "No, you're a bigger racist." "No way; you hang with the Hoppe, Rockwell and Ron Paul crowd of libertarians; they're ‘known’ racists, so you're racist." The tiff is between defenders of the anti-establishment libertarians, aforementioned, and an establishment libertarian, or a "regimist," as Mr. Rockwell likes to say.

The "regimist" in question is Cathy Reisenwitz, a sally-come-lately libertarian, whom Justin Raimondo, a life-long, creedal libertarian, has "smoked out" for libeling Paul, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell and Hans-Hermann Hoppe as racists.

Mercifully, Reisenwitz, the S.E. Cupp of libertarianism (light and fluffy), is not on a mission to rearrange the income curve. But like any member of the egalitarian project, she vaporizes
about the obligation to vanquish so-called endemic, structural and institutionalized inequalities in America. Thus her fee-fi-fo-fem’s expedition to sniff out “homophobes,” “sexists,” “xenophobes” and “racists.”

So what on earth is going on here? Why have serious libertarians succumbed to a tit-for-tat spat? Are libertarians as dazed and confused as Republicans? The latter have certainly dignified the rival gang's Stalinist show-trial tactics, with more holier-than-thou racial one-upmanship: “Democrats are the real racists; Republicans are the party of Lincoln, the liberator of blacks. We're against abortion and welfare because we love blacks. ... Blah, blah, blah.”

Reisenwitz adduced no documentary evidence to support her claims. However, what will Mr. Raimondo do if, in a fit of pique, Reisenwitz retracts the apology she's issued and ferrets out unkosher quotes attributed to the men maligned? Res ipsa loquitur. Intelligent men (and a few women) invariably give voice to reality. Consider, for instance, tracts from Murray Rothbard's splendid December 1994 essay about "The Bell Curve." These are bound to send Cathy into one of her fee-fi-fo-fem frenzies. Therein Rothbard writes:

Until literally mid-October 1994, it was shameful and taboo for anyone to talk publicly or write about, home truths which everyone, and I mean everyone, knew in their hearts and in private: that is, almost self-evident truths about race, intelligence, and heritability. What used to be widespread shared public knowledge about race and ethnicity among writers, publicists, and scholars, was suddenly driven out of the public square by Communist anthropologist Franz Boas and his associates in the 1930s, and it has been taboo ever since. Essentially, I mean the almost self-evident fact that individuals, ethnic groups, and races differ among themselves in intelligence and in many other traits, and that intelligence, as well as less controversial traits of temperament, are in large part hereditary. ...

Egad! (Or OMG in Millennial speak.)

Clearly, libertarians should not partake in a dance adopted by the political establishment to cow contrarians into submission. By going on the defensive—allowing themselves to be drawn into these exchanges—libertarians are, inadvertently, conceding that speech should be policed for propriety, and that those who violate standards set by the PC set are somehow defective on those grounds alone, and deserve to be purged from "polite" company.

Incidentally, I had hoped that "Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises," which deconstructs the poor quality of Cathy Whatshername's arguments, would have convinced libertarians to marginalize a mental midget. Alas, libertarians have generally opted to conflate public prominence with intellectual importance, ponderously responding to the woman on the grounds that she's … famous.

That someone has a penchant for publicity, takes a good “selfie” and gets herself on “Stossel” is not proof of intellectual gravitas. No matter how energetically Reisenwitz is promoted as the new face of libertarianism, and no matter how skillfully she suctions face to camera—she'll likely never muster an opinion or an analysis that is not hackneyed.

To adapt a saying by a smart wag, Cathy Reisenwitz might be said to belong to the history of publicity rather than to history.

JUNGE FREIHEIT, a German weekly committed to combating the thought polizei on The Continent, interviewed this writer. One of the questions posed was, "Have you been blamed for racism because of your book, 'Into the Cannibal's Pot'? What would you answer?"

The reply, taken almost verbatim from "Into the Cannibal's Pot"(pp. 41-42), ought to help in fending off bloodhounds scenting their prey:

My answer to those who’d fault me for daring to make broad statements about aggregate group characteristics, vis-à-vis crime, for instance, would be as follows: Generalizations, provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.

Before rushing headlong into the dark entrails of Reisenwitz's world, consider something the inimitable Hans Hoppe once told me, after we had both been marked with the “racist” Mark of Cain: “If you are not called a racist, then it seems to me you are in intellectual trouble and it is high-time to reconsider your own thinking.”

Ilana Mercer is author of Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.

RW note: In doing fact checking for the above article, I asked Professor Hoppe to verify the quote attributed to him and amplify on his thought. He replied:

I don't remember that particular quote, but I am sure that I said things along these lines many times. In writing, I remember only this, from an interview with Daily Bell, reprinted also in my THE GREAT FICTION, that should make matters clear. 

Daily Bell: Any final thoughts? Can you tell us what you are working on now? Any books or websites you would like to recommend? Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe: I once deviated from my principle not to speak about my work until it was done. I have regretted this deviation. It was a mistake that I won't repeat. As for books, I recommend above all reading the major works of my two masters, Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, not just once, but repeatedly from time to time. Their work is still unsurpassed and will remain so for a long time to come. As for websites, I go most regularly to and to As for other sites: I have been called an extremist, a reactionary, a revisionist, an elitist, a supremacist, a racist, a homophobe, an anti-Semite, a right-winger, a theocrat, a godless cynic, a fascist and, of course, a must for every German, a Nazi. So, it should be expected that I have a foible for politically "incorrect" sites that every "modern," "decent," "civilized," "tolerant," and "enlightened" man is supposed to ignore and avoid. 

To this I would add that personally I find people who have not attracted at least one or two of these labels typically bores, and those, who have attracted most or all of them, the most interesting conversation partners. I also have occasionally started speeches "outing" myself from the outset as all of these "bad" and politically incorrect names, the whole shebang, to make clear that I did not want to talk about labels and names but about substantive issues, whether empirical or logical ones, and so forestall the otherwise inevitably following "dumb questions": "So, in what you are saying, aren't you then an ABC or XYZ? What an outrage! Buh!"
I despise all political correctness, especially in libertarian circles. It is cultural Marxism masquerading in libertarian clothing. An intellectual joke, indicating the loss of all common sense and, propagated by self-described libertarians, seriously harmful to the intellectual reputation and further development of libertarianism and libertarian scholarship.



  1. libeling? Someone does not know what libel is.

    Whether or not someone is a racist is a matter of opinion. You can't libel someone with an opinion, only with a misstatement of fact.

    Article fails.

    1. Let me guess. You got to the second paragraph, read the word "libel," disagreed with its use, then stopped reading. How openminded.

    2. The statement "You're an idiot." is a factual claim on the beliefs and or actions of the person accused. That's not an opinion.

      The statement "I think you're an idiot". is a statement concerning the state of mind of the person making the it. It's an opinion.

      However when it comes to you both statements are correct.

  2. "libeling? Someone does not know what libel is."

    apparently, you must've been speaking about yourself: printed, mendacious smear is libel. Now, whether it's prosecutable is another issue. but, if Cathy claims someone is racist, without providing proof, yes, it's libel.

    "racist is a matter of opinion. You can't libel someone with an opinion, only with a misstatement of fact."

    indeed "racist/racism" IS a matter of opinion, but when used to impugn someone's character, especially a known 'public' figure with a 'brand' and the impugned can demonstrate financial harm, sure, one may choose to sue for libel. which is why libel is a civil suit, in which anything goes.

    there's a difference between whether something is libel, or successfully prosecutable as libel. what you're actually alluding to is the latter.

    but definitionally, yes, it's libel.

  3. Calling someone a "racist" today is the equivalent of calling someone a "heretic" or a "witch" in Medieval Europe.

  4. "By going on the defensive—allowing themselves to be drawn into these exchanges—libertarians are, inadvertently, conceding that speech should be policed for propriety, and that those who violate standards set by the PC set are somehow defective on those grounds alone, and deserve to be purged from "polite" company. "

    This is the main point of the article. For argument's sake, assume that the aforementioned libertarians had incredibly racist statements attributed to them. The point the author is trying to make is, so what? Opinions on race, gender, etc., don't. Rockwell could be a card-carrying KKK member and it wouldn't affect his arguments against the state at all. Only arguments matter. It would be a logical fallacy to say, "Rockwell's arguments about libertarianism are wrong because he's a racist."

    That being said, human beings are terrible at reasoning. We give more weight to people's arguments that we perceive have good character. It would be damaging, at the level of marketing, if the main speakers/thinkers within the ranks of libertarianism were racists. I would find it very hard to announce "I'm a libertarian" if most libertarians were racists. I don't want to be associated with racists.

  5. "Racism" is so vague that anyone and anything can be "racist." It is such a vague and nebulous concept that the accused can not refute it. Ethical people do not make such accusations considering the damage that is done through such accusations through either loss of employment; educational opportunities; social relationships; or even potentially being targeted for violence. Such accusations are generally no more than an expression of personal animosity and an attempt to harness popular hostility towards "racists."

  6. I admire Ms. Mercer's talent, insight, and courage. But the vulgar references to S.E. Cupp are tactics best left to the left, from where they emanated originally.

    I've read Ms. Cupp. She's not stupid by any means. And if she were, there would be other ways to establish that besides depicting her pornographically, or linking to people who do.