Tag Archives | Antiracism

Peek Beneath the Hood

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Who (probably) said this, in 1957?

The central question that emerges … is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists. … [T]he South’s premises are correct … It is more important for the community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numerical majority.

See the answer.

Brother From Another Planet, Part 2

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

cover of French edition Four Black History Months ago I blogged about Alexandre Dumas’s neglected status as a black writer. France’s most commercially successful writer, the author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo was also the grandson of a freed Haitian slave; in response to a racial insult he once responded: “It is true. My father was a mulatto, my grandmother was a negress, and my great-grandparents were monkeys. In short, sir, my pedigree begins where yours ends.”

I’m happy to see that Georges, the Dumas novel that most directly addresses issues of race, is now back in print in a new English translation. For a plot summary see here.

It would be fun to see a conference on issues of race and slavery in French romantic literature, organised around Dumas’s Georges, Hugo’s Bug-Jargal (which I see is also out in a new translation), and Verne’s A Captain at Fifteen (which desperately needs a new translation).

Rights, Racism, and Responsibility

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Several people have asked for copies of my working papers “Why Libertarians Believe There Is Only One Right,” “The Racist Syndrome: Sartre, Rand, and the Will to Concreteness,” and “Stakeholder Theory for Libertarians: A Rothbardian Defense of Corporate Social Responsibility,” so I’ve decided to post them online.

Ayn Rand and Jean-Paul Sartre These drafts were written a few years back (I actually started the stakeholder one in 1997 – prompted by my first reading of Friedman on this topic in preparation for teaching my first business ethics class when I came to Auburn) and I suspect I’ll want to word things differently when I return to revising them, but in the meantime here they are.

The Justice League

Two days ago was Spooner’s birthday, and today – by convention – is King’s (though his actual birthday was six days ago).

Spooner and King would have disagreed on a number of issues (most notably the legitimacy of the state), but these two opponents of racial oppression would also have had some important points in common. In particular, both were eloquent defenders of the idea that state decrees in violation of natural justice have no legal authority – that unjust decrees have no claim on our obedience, while just decrees have such a claim only because they are just and not because they are decrees.

In honour of the season, why not read, or reread, Spooner’s Natural Law, or the Science of Justice and King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail?

Forefrontal Lobotomy

I just heard Hillary Clinton say: “The Democratic Party has always been at the forefront of civil rights and women’s rights.”

''Nothing will sway us from the middle road.''  German Democratic Party poster, 1924 Always? Really?

The same U.S. Democratic Party that upheld slavery? that imposed the Jim Crow laws? that opposed women’s suffrage? that interned the Japanese? that sponsored the Klan?

The “forefront” of the struggle for the rights of women and of minorities has always been outside the framework of either of the major parties. Even after the Democratic Party decided in the 1960s to reinvent itself as the champion of women and blacks, its actual support for these causes was always tepid and lagged far behind the actions of private citizens on the ground.

Here, as so often, government (in Paine’s words) “robs industry of its honours, by pedantically making itself the cause of its effects; and purloins from the general character of man, the merits that appertain to him as a social being.”

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