“The most ambitious effort of any author...to promote laissez-faire ideas to a black audience”

As I noted last month, the historians David Beito and Linda Royster Beito have published a fascinating article on the “laissez-faire antiracism” of libertarian writer Rose Wilder Lane. Thanks to David Beito, that article is now available online [pdf]. Here’s the opening paragraph:

The ideals of liberty, individualism, and self-reliance have rarely had a more enthusiastic champion than Rose Wilder Lane. A columnist and popular author, she held firm to these beliefs during the New Deal and World War II era, when faith in big government was at high tide. Through her book The Discovery of Freedom, she became a key transitional figure from the Old Right of the 1930s to the modern libertarian movement. Of equal fascination but much less known today is Lane’s sustained effort to promote laissez-faire ideas in columns for the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest black newspaper in the United States. Although Lane was white, she used this unusual venue creatively to promote the philosophy of limited government. During World War II especially, her outspoken activism generated headlines. She was not only investigated by the FBI for “subversive” remarks, but denounced by Walter Winchell, the leading nationally syndicated journalist and radio commentator in the country.

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  • New Deal Liberal||

    You can't teach the Negros about the free market. What in the world is the matter with people. They can't handle that kind of information. Arming a Negro with ideas about freedom and self determination is like giving a child a machine gun. Certain people are just not competent enough to handle that sort of thing. Good God, let a Negro think he can start just any old business or do what he likes without the government's help and permission, next thing you know he will think he can do other things, like date white women.

  • Old Mexican||

    +1, for the satire ;-)

  • Conservative From Whenever||

    Hang all the blacks.

  • Historic Progressive||

    If it weren't for you damn conservative Bible thumpers saying "there is neither Jew nor Greek" and that "ye are all one in Christ Jesus" and your "all men are created equal" nonsense, our Racial Science would help us build a perfectly harmonious civilization.

  • The Truth||

    Thanks for having my back!

  • T||

    I think the countering effort about depending on big government was more successful based solely on voting patterns.

  • alan||

    The incredible voting assymetry we see today has its roots in the migration of blacks from the rural South to urban centers. Before that event occurred in the early twentieth century, most urban political machines were instruments of the Democratic party. They became ripe to be taken over by the newly arrived black migrants integrating themselves into the body politique of the cities because the previous generation of ethnic whites who ran them began to shift out of the cities and move to the suburbs (this started in the twenties, however, the Great Depression was a disruption of many trends that were not generally noted until the late forties) where they became more integrated in to a more generalized American culture, and not so dependent on machine politics.

  • Old Mexican||

    The ideals of liberty, individualism, and self-reliance have rarely had a more enthusiastic champion than Rose Wilder Lane. A columnist and popular author, she held firm to these beliefs during the New Deal and World War II era, when faith in big government was at high tide.

    Thank you for posting about one of my personal heroes. The woman deserves all the praise she can get and more.

    She was not only investigated by the FBI for "subversive" remarks, but denounced by Walter Winchell, the leading nationally syndicated journalist and radio commentator in the country.

    More evidence of the fascistic nature of the US Gov in that era (a fascism it has not shed yet) when an outspoken champion of laissez-faire and individual liberty could be taken for a "subversive."

    You know what, you Statist fucks? I AM SUBVERSIVE. I AM ROSE WILDER.

    Educating Tony:

    http://oldmexican.blogspot.com.....-help.html

  • Tony||

    If one person finds morally reprehensible the use of force to compel another person to be charitable, then why would the use of force by a majority be less morally reprehensible?

    All you have to do is frame things in the correct way. Taxes aren't charity. They're payment for services--and the best deal you'll ever find. I don't need to be educated about how you base your dogma on selective definitions of things.

  • Otto von Bismarck||

    They're payment for services--and the best deal you'll ever find.

    Payment for the lesser sort to stay away from talk about Communism and revolutions.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    All you have to do is frame things in the correct way[:] Taxes aren't charity. They're payment for services[...]

    That's a lie, Tony. Most taxes go to pay payroll and pensions - who's served by that, except the lucky recipients?

    [...]and the best deal you'll ever find.

    Your opinion. Opinions are not arguments.

    I don't need to be educated about how you base your dogma on selective definitions of things.

    I certainly received an education on what you base your own misconception of reality, Tony.

  • ||

    "Taxes aren't charity. They're payment for services--and the best deal you'll ever find."

    Tony, the government spends 80,000 dollars a year per family of four. A retarded monkey could spend government money more efficiently. If the government can spend 80,000 dollars a year per family and there are still people who are struggling, that is not a fucking good deal.

  • Trespassers W||

    You could use some Sudden Testicular Compression Therapy, Tony.

  • ||

    ... the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest black newspaper in the United States.

    How could people read the paper if it was black? This sounds like a gimmick.

  • Mean Atheist||

    Maybe it was black with white type, like that of so many of this blog's blog-whores.

  • T||

    They printed in yellow on the black. Haven't you ever heard of yellow journalism?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: T,

    They printed in yellow on the black. Haven't you ever heard of yellow journalism?

    That would be yellowjacket journalism, then.

  • T||

    Invented at Georgia Tech, no doubt.

  • ||

    There's a whole website devoted to yellow on black. You have to be 18 to see it, and need a credit card.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It comes with the "black guy packet" we all receive when we hit puberty. It comes with special glasses to read black paper, the recipe for fried chicken, and a copy of slang terminology for secret communication and to confuse Whitey™.

  • ||

    It comes with the "black guy packet" we all receive when we hit puberty.

    Not to be confused with the "black guy package", also delivered at puberty.

  • Spur||

    Great piece on a great American that I fear will not be read widely enough even among libertarians let alone everyone else.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    she held firm to these beliefs during the New Deal and World War II era, when faith in big government was at high tide.

    Yeah man. It's at a real low tide now, compared to back when she was around. I don't know how anybody tolerated it back then.

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