Zora Neale Hurston, Libertarian?


Philosophy professor Roderick Long has a fascinating post up at his Austro-Athenian Empire blog about the arguably libertarian politics of novelist and cultural anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. A snippet:

Again and again in the academic literature on Hurston, one finds some version of the puzzled question "Why does she seem so sensibly left-wing on some issues and so horrifically right-wing on others?" Libertarianism is so far off their radar that they don't even recognise that that's the best label for her. Hurston makes most sense when placed in conjunction with such other "Old Right" literary figures as H. L. Mencken, Isabel Paterson, Albert J. Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, Garet Garrett, and Ayn Rand—but their works are largely terra incognita in contemporary academia.

And from a lengthy passage Long excerpts from her autobiography, Hurston's less than flattering take on liberal icon FDR:

President Roosevelt could extend his four freedoms to some people right here in America before he takes it all aboard [sic, presumably for "abroad"], and, no doubt, he would do it too, if it would bring in the same amount of glory. … He can call names across the ocean, but he evidently has not the courage to speak even softly at home. Take away the ocean and he simmers right down. … Our country is so busy playing "fence" to the mobsters that the cost in human suffering cannot be considered yet. …

Whole thing here.