Property Rights

Bruce Bartlett Explains How Libertarianism Created Jim Crow

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Writing about Rand Paul's comments on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Bruce Bartlett makes a valid point that he then obscures with an unhinged attack on foolishly consistent libertarians, whom he bizarrely accuses of complicity with state-enforced racial discrimination. First the valid point: Given the social and cultural environment created by centuries of government-backed slavery and oppression, segregation in the South would not have been eliminated simply by withdrawing state support for it. Even if every racist law and government policy were abolished, racist business practices would have lingered, punished but also rewarded by market forces:

Any store owner in the South who chose to serve blacks would certainly have lost far more business among whites than he gained. There is no reason to believe that this system wouldn't have perpetuated itself absent outside pressure for change….

Undoubtedly, changing mores would have broken down some of this over time, but there is no reason to believe that it would have been quick or that vestiges wouldn't still remain today. Indeed, vestiges remain despite the Civil Rights Act.

This is a serious objection that opponents of bans on private discrimination have to address. Although there is plenty of room for argument over exactly how long racist business practices would have persisted, and how common they would have been, in the absence of forced integration, Bartlett is right that change would have been slower in many respects. That is not necessarily a decisive objection to Paul's position (which I basically share). But the fact that racism was endorsed and enforced by the government for so many years did create a kind of social inertia, and even a libertarian might argue that a ban on private discrimination against blacks was an appropriate response to this artifact of state action.

Unfortunately, Bartlett conflates this argument with a puzzling claim that the Supreme Court was at "its most libertarian" when it blocked enforcement of the 14th Amendment (which requires equal state treatment of all citizens regardless of race) by, among other things, upholding state-enforced segregation of private railway cars in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson. But Plessy was not only at odds with the 14th Amendment; it ran roughshod over property rights and freedom of contract by letting state governments dictate to businesses how they should treat black customers. These are the very principles that libertarian opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act's "public accommodation" provision are defending. As Damon Root noted last week, state-mandated segregation "is not a market failure; it's a racist government assault on economic liberty."

Bartlett's careless conflation of private and public discrimination renders Paul's position, which is based on the vitally important distinction between the two, incomprehensible. Bartlett then uses his own confusion to portray Paul and libertarians generally as apologists for racist government policies:

The libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation, white supremacy, lynchings, chain gangs, the KKK, and discrimination of African Americans for no other reason except their skin color. The gains made by the former slaves in the years after the Civil War were completely reversed once the Supreme Court effectively prevented the federal government from protecting them. Thus we have a perfect test of the libertarian philosophy and an indisputable conclusion: it didn't work. Freedom did not lead to a decline in racism; it only got worse.

The "perfect test" of freedom was a legal regime in which the rights of African Americans were systematically denied, murderous assaults on them went unpunished, and businesses were forced to discriminate against them? And all that was somehow the result of "libertarian philosophy"? It's hard to believe that Bartlett, a former Ron Paul staffer and occasional Reason contributor, believes any of this. This deliberately dense rant reeks of Bartlett's desperation to distinguish himself from libertarians who have been unfairly tarred as racists by joining in the ad hominem assault.

More Reason coverage of Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act here.

Addendum: David Bernstein responds to Bartlett's "weirdly ahistorical attack on libertarianism" with a detailed explanation of why upholding Jim Crow was not the libertarian thing to do.

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  1. I think the answer to his serious argument is that society has changed since 1964. It may be that the situation in 1964 called for drastic measure but that the need for those measures has now past.

    As far as the rest of it, what can you say other than they don’t teach history in schools anymore and most of the media have no interest in learning it.

    1. So the CRA was like a wartime measure or something?

      1. sort of I guess. Those laws were drastic responses to what was then a drastic situation. But a situation that although drastic no longer exists.

    2. What really matters–and this is clear from Sullum’s piece–is that Bartlett is a heretic. He used to write for Reason, and his departure from the dogma is inexusable. Circle the fucking wagons!

      1. No, what really matters is that he should know better. Read the article, Max.

  2. Is there nothing we libertarians aren’t responsible for? Really, what’s next–tattoos to make us easier to identify?

    1. Don’t your tramp stamp and “barbed wire” arm tattoo already make you easy to identify? As a douchebag?

      1. Well, my body remains pristine, but if you mean us collectively, maybe so. Do libertarians tend to have such silly tattoos? I’d like to think those of us that are so marked have “Live Free or Die” or coiled snakes or that sort of thing tattooed on them.

        1. LOL, I got a Gadsen flag tattoo two weeks ago, it offsets my tramp stamp well.

          1. *gadsden

            1. Okay, that’s good. Your tattoo artist reported you to DHS, of course, but it’s still good.

              1. i got a dont tread on me too, hopefully i’m on a watch list lol

          2. I dislike those “tramp stamps” and tattoos in general, but I think a Gadsden Flag tattoo might be allowed to offset the ick factor of ONE tattoo.

      2. Well done.

        I went to an MMA event this weekend (The Brawl at the Mall 6! in Auburn), and while I was not at all surprised to see so many people with tats, I was impressed that neither of the ring card girls had any…that I could see.

        1. That costs extra.

            1. Why?

              WHY???

              1. Because.

                Also, I’m willing to bet the girl doesn’t exactly look like Marisa Miller, IYKWIM.

              2. Why the tattoo, why did you click it, our a hideous frothing mixture of the two?

            2. Jesus, that must have hurt!

            3. Mebbe where you work public union scum.

        2. I found them. ALL of them.

          1. Sounds like a scam to me.

    2. “Is there nothing we libertarians aren’t responsible for?”

      Its amazing how often a group that has held virtually no political power is always the whipping boy for everyone else.

      1. The establishment is terrified by the prospect of a coherent political philosophy that actually works.

        Big business is terrified that they might have to compete on a level playing field.

        Big government is terrified that they might be dismantled and the little kings of their departments might have to work where they might get fired for screwing up less than they do now.

        The Democrats are terrified that someone somewhere might be getting something done without state help.

        The Republicans are terrified that someone somewhere might actually be happy.

        Both parties are terrified that they might lose contributions from special interests in exchange for favorable legislation.

    3. “Maybe a libertarian ate your baby.”

    4. So, sorry, this is going to be a bit of a rant:

      The present state of the country is that it has a Democratic President, large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, and the Democratic President has already appointed one Supreme Court Justice and is about to appoint a second. Prior to that, we had an explicitly non-libertarian Republican administration and Congress. Prior to that, Democratic President. The last time anyone with any avowed libertarian sensibilities had any real power in the country was Congress during the first Clinton Administration — and how libertarian they were is arguable at best.

      So clearly, libertarianism is to blame for all the evils facing the country today.

      Right now, the people who ACTUALLY run this country, and their ideological sympathizers, are desperately trying to find a scapegoat for the country’s problems, and the only scapegoat they have that actually makes some sense to blame (ie, neo-cons/Bush), they don’t want to point at because they’re enthusiastically continuing an embarrassing number of the neo-con’s policies.

      The Democratic party, purely as a political party and ignoring its ideology for the moment, is completely incompetent. It has proven absurdly incapable of getting its candidates elected until such time as the Republicans utterly self-destructed. Finding themselves thrust into power, they’ve been unable to put their policy agenda into place without an extraordinary amount of pain. (Seriously, imagine that the Bush-era Republican party had the presidency, 58-60 seats in the Senate, and a strong majority in the house, and that they for some reason wanted to implement health-care reform. They would have passed the bill they actually wanted to pass, and they would have done it in about a month, instead of a worst-of-all-worlds compromise bill that takes a year to pass).

      So, seriously, Democratic party, incompetent. The one thing that they’ve had success with recently is saying, “Horrible people are screwing up the country, you have to give us more power.” Seriously, that’s the one electoral argument that they’ve made that has had any success. So they’re trying desperately to continue to apply it to the present situation, despite the somewhat awkward reality that they have all the power.

      End result: They’re going to find a political minority that they hope can’t defend itself, and pin all their hopes on demonizing us.

      1. Don’t sell yourself short. Try as you might to distance yourself from the Bushies, they operated with a very libertarian-ish economic philosophy, inherited from Reagan (and perpetuated in the Clinton years). This era has NOT been one of New Deal progressivism. Laissez-faire has been the dominant paradigm, and we are now trying to clean up the wreckage.

        1. Idiot.

          1. Fuck you. Just because we didn’t deregulate everything doesn’t mean we weren’t operating by a laissez-faire paradigm. You people just want to rewrite history so you can shuffle off the blame for the economic collapse, which is what ideologues prefer to do rather than admit they’re fundamentally wrong about everything.

            1. Oh, your desperation is so yummy and sweet. You amuse me greatly.

            2. Stupid or Dishonest? You decide are the next edition of “Trolls”.

            3. Just because we didn’t deregulate everything doesn’t mean we weren’t operating by a laissez-faire paradigm.

              And just because one party is more likely to argue the slogans of free enterprise doesn’t mean that we were actually operating in a laissez-faire paradigm. Regulatory budgets in the federal government massively increased under GWB.

              Your statement is as silly as claiming that the Clinton years were “socialist” simply because Clinton represented the “somewhat more government than the other party Party.”

              You people just want to rewrite history so you can shuffle off the blame for the economic collapse, which is what ideologues prefer to do rather than admit they’re fundamentally wrong about everything.

              I believe that you’re projecting, since you’ve never produced any actual evidence of all this deregulation, whereas I have demonstrated that both the regulatory budgets and the size of the Federal Register massively increased during GWB’s Presidency.

            4. Federal regulatory budgets increased at a faster rate from 2000 to 2010 than from 1990 to 2000. I don’t see how you can claim that the Bush era was one of deregulation. I guess you’re just an ideologue desperate to rewrite history.

              1. Oil and natural gas were deregulated under Reagan. Electricity was deregulated under Bush I and Clinton. Telecom was deregulated under Clinton. Banking was deregulated under Cliton (goodbye Glass-Steagall, hello Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999).

                So it’s not that Bush was a big deregulator–the damage had already been done by the time he came around. Bush’s contribution to the problem was I’d argue mostly about putting industry cronies in charge of agencies meant to regulate the industries they came from. There was a serious lack of enforcement of regulations during Bush II.

                Which is to say, since at least Reagan (and helped in very large part by Clinton), there has been a deregulatory paradigm in this country, and everyone who’s paying attention to reality–even industry leaders who think things got way out of hand–blame that atmosphere for the economic collapse and many other problems up to and including the BP oil disaster.

            5. Up your ass, fuckneck. Even a sub-grade moron could figure out the difference between free trade and crony capitalism. Your constant collapsing of the two is both facile and dishonest. And since there is an obvious difference between libertarianism and Republican policy your posting here to bitch about the Bush administration is 100% pure bad faith.

              You’re an idiot. You’ve always been an idiot, and hanging around here for years hasn’t helped out the situation because you are incapable of taking off you partisan blinders. This insures you will continue to be an idiot far, far into the future.

              I’ll give you time to look up the big words.

              1. the difference between free trade and crony capitalism

                There is no difference. You want a complex economy to operate with less oversight. All based on the ridiculous fairy tale that people will act fairly because, I dunno, we’re all good deep down? Because the market will weed out the bad actors? A weak government is a government easily manipulated, and a market without watchdogs rewards the unscrupulous.

                1. It wouldn’t matter if a weak government was easily manipulated. They wouldn’t have the power to do anything.

                  The inability on your part to grasp this simple fact is one of they many, many ways you have proven yourself an idiot. This is why so many people think you are some long running spoof; it’s simply unbelievable that someone as stupid as you could even turn on a computer, much less be literate enough to string this sort of nonsense into reasonably readable sentences.

                  Do you think yourself some crusader, here to bring enlightenment to the savages? You matter less than a pustule on the left testicle of a roadkill possum. You are small and worthless and a waste of the precious resources of this Earth that you claim to care about so much. That you come here to project the despair you feel over the utter ruin that is your insignificant life makes you absolutely contemptible and everyone here is sickened by it. You disgust me.

                  1. It wouldn’t matter if a weak government was easily manipulated. They wouldn’t have the power to do anything.

                    The inability on your part to grasp this simple fact

                    This isn’t a fact, this is utter cognitive dissonance. If government doesn’t have the power to regulate, then other powers can get away with more, ipso facto. And I have yet to meet the business that is willing to clean up after itself if it’s not compelled to do so.

                    Your lashing out is what I’m here for. It’s music to my ears. You’re so obviously wrong about everything in the universe, yet you balance your complete and utter wrongness with a matching amount of arrogance and certainty. Most people who hold kooky, nonsensical, fringe views are at least humble enough to admit it, rather than scoff at the 99% who don’t follow your ridiculous little cult.

                2. All based on the ridiculous fairy tale that people will act fairly because, I dunno, we’re all good deep down.

                  No, you idiot, you have it exactly backwards. You’re the one who requires perfect angels to rule over us in government. That’s why you’re the one reduced to arguing that, even if Bush did massively increase the regulatory state and regulatory expenditures, it doesn’t count because he was evil.

                  1. John,

                    Bush didn’t “massively increase the regulatory state,” whatever his expenditures were. Fucking Jesus. You people will believe anything as long as it confirms your stupid religion, no matter how false.

                3. There is no difference. You want a complex economy to operate with less oversight.

                  Hahahaha! So when you take the responsibility for oversight in a particular industry away from many different competing actors, and hand it all over to a single entity, with the ability to pick winners and losers, that is somehow more oversight and less crony capitalism?

                  1. mark,

                    Welcome to the idiocy. And just how exactly do industries self-regulate? Their motivation is profit–their competitors would, it seems to me, compete to cut corners as much as possible. It’s not like responsible consumers can shop around to find the best regulated oil industry. That is completely beyond the realm of consumer rationality and you goddamn well know it.

                    Why did BP neglect to drill a relief well, which would have prevented the disaster (as is required in Canadian oil wells)? Was that a bad business decision or a good one, short term?

                    1. And government has been effective at preventing any of this, even when it has had massive regulatory authority? In my industry, medicine, which is probably the most heavily regulated and supervised industry this side of banking, the government has succeeded in doing nothing more than dramatically increasing costs while doing absolutely zero for quality. While I’ll grant you that BP should have drilled a relief well, it is within the government’s current regulatory power to mandate that they do so as a condition of being granted a permit to drill a well.

            6. Idiot.

              Obama’s assertions to the contrary, the 43rd president was the biggest regulator since Nixon.

        2. [citation needed]

          1. The man’s entire economic philosophy consisted of a) cutting taxes for rich people and b) putting industry hacks in charge of “regulating” their own industries. Have you ever read anything the Republican party believes about economic policy? It’s basically laissez-faire libertarianism. And from Reagan through Bush II that was the direction policy was headed. My source is obvious historical reality any 8th grader knows.

            1. So you made it out of 8th grade? Shocking.

            2. Have you ever read anything the Republican party believes about economic policy? It’s basically laissez-faire libertarianism. And from Reagan through Bush II that was the direction policy was headed. My source is obvious historical reality any 8th grader knows.

              So:

              1) You apparently trust anything that a politician says, no wonder, you are a Democrat, and

              2) No, you have no data at all, just “obvious historical reality that any 8th grader knows.” Guess you don’t trust data and them science folks with PhDs or anything, just your intuition.

            3. b) putting industry hacks in charge of “regulating” their own industries.

              And Clinton and Obama, you see, put different Goldman Sachs hacks in charge of finance. So exactly how would things have been any better?

              1. You think I’m happy about that?

                Tell me, with what do you fill all the brain space you’ve freed up by turning everything into one giant false equivalency?

        3. Tony:

          Fuck you. Just because we deregulated some things doesn’t mean we were operating by a laissez-faire paradigm. You people just want to rewrite history so you can shuffle off the blame for the economic collapse, which is what ideologues prefer to do rather than admit they’re fundamentally wrong about everything.

          Sound familiar?

          1. You’re right, I’m converted, it was all Freddie Mac and Barney Frank’s fault. *eyeroll*

            1. Once again with the strawman argument, Tony.

              The question is not whether the problem was “all government’s fault.” The question is whether the government would have done anything to make it better or worse. The answer is quite obviously worse, as all the forces (of majority opinion as well) push government to make the housing problem worse, not better.

              Libertarians don’t think that the market never fails. They just think that the government fails worse.

              I don’t have to say that it was all the government’s fault, just that the government made it worse, and there was no chance of the government making it better.

              1. Except this contradicted by the events in the reality you presumably inhabit. Survey economists across the board, not just your pet libertarians, and see how many think not doing stimulus spending would have been a good thing for the economy.

                1. Survey economists across the board, not just your pet libertarians, and see how many think not doing stimulus spending would have been a good thing for the economy.

                  It won’t.

                  Think about it. Can people in dire financial straits get themselves out of those dire straits by taking out $100,000 credit cards and spending to the limit in a month?

                2. The same economists, you mean, that failed to predict this financial disaster and who generally make fortune tellers look reliable with their predictions? The same ones who said we were in the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression? The same ones that are now saying, after maintaining the recession would last years, that we are on the road to recovery? Those guys?

        4. I’m pretty sure that libertarians were complaining about spending increases just being delayed taxes during Bush.

          1. Dig into the archives and answer your own facile question.

            1. Too lazy. Also, it wasn’t a question.

        5. So, just to be clear, and taking into account the existing subthreads of this conversation:

          1. Clinton was, in your view, a crypto-libertarian.

          2. All the deregulation that is the evidence that libertarians are a clear-and-present danger to America happened 15-30 years ago.

          3. But for some reason that damage wasn’t seen up until now.

          I assume you’re going to blame the banking crisis on Clinton (and, thus, libertarians. Obviously). Can you name some harm that was caused by all of your other examples of deregulation?

        6. I’m sorry, but using the power and authority of government to enrich your already rich pals is not even remotely libertarian in even the most distorted sense of the word.

        7. Don’t sell yourself short. Try as you might to distance yourself from the Bushies, they operated with a very libertarian-ish economic philosophy, inherited from Reagan (and perpetuated in the Clinton years). This era has NOT been one of New Deal progressivism. Laissez-faire has been the dominant paradigm, and we are now trying to clean up the wreckage.

          And why is that wreckage not a good price to pay for freedom?

    5. This is good:

      ? Anwar al-Awlaki And Incitement, Ctd. | Main | Lightning Round: All Politics Local. ?
      Was The South Post-Reconstruction A “Perfect Test” Of Libertarian Philosophy?

      Last week, Bruce Bartlett wrote:

      The libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation, white supremacy, lynchings, chain gangs, the KKK, and discrimination of African Americans for no other reason except their skin color. The gains made by the former slaves in the years after the Civil War were completely reversed once the Supreme Court effectively prevented the federal government from protecting them. Thus we have a perfect test of the libertarian philosophy and an indisputable conclusion: it didn’t work. Freedom did not lead to a decline in racism; it only got worse.
      Jacob Sullum objects:

      The “perfect test” of freedom was a legal regime in which the rights of African Americans were systematically denied, murderous assaults on them went unpunished, and businesses were forced to discriminate against them? And all that was somehow the result of “libertarian philosophy”? It’s hard to believe that Bartlett, a former Ron Paul staffer and occasional Reason contributor, believes any of this. This deliberately dense rant reeks of Bartlett’s desperation to distinguish himself from libertarians who have been unfairly tarred as racists by joining in the ad hominem assault.
      Sullum isn’t actually contradicting Bartlett’s history here, he’s objecting to the idea that the culture of white supremacist violence and coercion in the South, supported by local and state governments, could be described as “libertarian.” That’s actually beside the point Bartlett is making.

      When I first read that paragraph, it seemed clear to me that Bartlett was referring to the fact that Civil Rights Act of 1875, which did many of the things that the 1964 Civil Rights Act did, was overturned on what can be described as “libertarian” grounds, namely that private discrimination was a private, not a state matter and the Constitution did not protect against it. As Justice Joseph P. Bradley wrote in his majority opinion, “it is proper to state that civil rights, such as are guarantied by the Constitution against state aggression, cannot be impaired by the wrongful acts of individuals, unsupported by state authority in the shape of laws, customs, or judicial or executive proceedings.” (There’s even a shoutout to the Tenth Amendment). That 1887 decision led ultimately to decades of white supremacist violence and coercion in the South, as the Federal government was no longer empowered to do anything about it.

      I understand why Sullum is upset, but Bartlett isn’t saying that “libertarians” did these terrible things, or that “libertarians” are responsible for white supremacy. What he’s saying is that the reading of the Constitution that the Supreme Court made in 1883 is very much along the lines of what Rand Paul was arguing. The history following that ruling speaks for itself.

      — A. Serwer

  3. So is the new game that if there is something you don’t like, you call it “libertarian”? Kind of like how “deregulation” caused the recession?

    1. Deregulation is code for a whole bunch of laws were passed controlling how things worked but somehow it screwed up and we have to pass a bunch more laws to fix our original screw up and we need a reason that the original laws didn’t work and these new laws are needed.

      1. Deregulation is code for a whole bunch of laws were passed controlling how things worked but somehow it screwed up and we have to pass a bunch more laws to fix our original screw up and we need a reason that the original laws didn’t work and these new laws are needed.

        Anyone who knows about Series 7 and Series 63 knows that there is no such thing as deregulation in the financial markets.

    2. “Libertarian” is the new “fascism”

      1. There is one crucial difference: Fascists could organize lunch.

        1. There is one crucial difference: Fascists could organize lunch.

          Even with a mere nine words you are capable of displaying a breath taking level of ignorance and stupidity.

  4. I wonder if every self-described libertarian in the media semi-annually condemning every libertarian outside the media as a crypto-Confederate has anything to do with this.
    Gee!

  5. I’m confused as to how Bartlett is so confused about what “private” and “public” are. Did he recently suffer a stroke, or possibly was involved in a car accident with resulting head injury, much like JW?

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    5. Deregulation is code for a whole bunch of laws were passed controlling how things worked but somehow it screwed up and we have to pass a bunch more laws to fix our original screw up and we need a reason that the original laws didn’t work and these new laws are needed.

      So let us bring up another issue, Holocaust denial.

      Most commenters oppose Holocaust denial.

      Would they know the difference between private Holocaust denial and public Holocaust denial?

      Would Bartlett?

  6. It’s hard to believe that Bartlett, a former Ron Paul staffer and occasional Reason contributor, believes any of that.

    With “friends” like that…

    Seriously, it’s bad enough when opponents conlfate or misconstrue (deliberately or through ignorance) actual libertarian positions. When it’s done by someone who ought to know better, it’s really fucking shameful.

    I hope Reason won’t be buying anymore of Bartlett’s articles.

    1. when opponents conlfate

      Edgy!

  7. My favorite revisionism of history is “Jim Crow just codified practice”, as if hundreds of cities and a dozen states inacted very similar laws to make people do what they were already doing.

    1. see thats key… the very fact that such laws were passed was because some businesses were not segregating, and other people didnt like the fact that they werent. Now i totally think that a lot of business owneres would have segregated willingly without the law, but some wouldnt have.

      1. Now i totally think that a lot of business owneres would have segregated willingly without the law, but some wouldnt have.

        Right, and the point is that big government is only helpful to the majority. Smaller government is more helpful to minorities and allows a diversity of opinions to flourish.

        Sure, after majority opinion switched from being in favor of segregation to de-segregation, government switched from being pro-segregation to anti-segregation. But for the same reason that small government would allow some racist businesses to survive today, it would have allowed some non-racist businesses to de-segregate back when the majority supported Jim Crow.

    2. My favorite revisionism of history is “Jim Crow just codified practice”, as if hundreds of cities and a dozen states inacted very similar laws to make people do what they were already doing.

      In a democracy, Jim Crow laws would not have passed without public support.

      But why would the public need laws to mandate racial discrimination? Could it be because they wanted everyone to segregate?

  8. Verdammt libert?ren!

  9. I think most people are catching on to this whole, we’ll just call everyone a racist or nazi crap. Seriously, is grade school playground name calling the best these people can come up with? The quality of debate in this country is just sad.

  10. “The libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation, white supremacy, lynchings, chain gangs, the KKK, and discrimination of African Americans for no other reason except their skin color.”

    And here I thought we had all that stuff because people were racist. If only I would have known that it was the desire for small government that produced that.

    Barlett is living proof that living and working in politics will eventually make you stupid.

    1. Since slavery, racism, xenophobia, war, hate, theft, coercion, etc. all predated any notion of libertarianism, perhaps another scapegoat should be chosen?

      We’re a fucked up species. Giving any of us too much power over others is a stupid idea. We libertarians are stupid, too, but we’re less stupid since we don’t expect some crazy miracle where people get not-very-limited power and suddenly begin to wield it in a benign, rational way.

      1. We’re a fucked up species. Giving any of us too much power over others is a stupid idea.

        Amen, brother, amen…

      2. Since slavery, racism, xenophobia, war, hate, theft, coercion, etc. all predated any notion of libertarianism, perhaps another scapegoat should be chosen?

        Racism predates the Neolithic, back when people lived in hunter-gatherer tribes and had to exclude outsiders from their territory to avoid starving to death.

  11. The libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation, white supremacy, lynchings, chain gangs, the KKK, and discrimination of African Americans for no other reason except their skin color.

    When I read stuff like this, the first question I have is whether the person writing is really that stupid or just dishonest. Dishonest you can deal with, but stupid is a stupid does.

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  13. And of course a lot of the things that Barlett is blaming on Libertarians continued because of that great Libertarian Slaughterhouse case.

  14. I’ve seen a few people insist that if that one small part of the Civil Rights Act was repealed regarding giving the federal government authority to prohibit clientele control from a private business, we would start seeing Greyhound forcing black people in the back again. That if Greyhound could, they would be a racist business. Or, we would see “white only” smaller bus lines happen all over again.

    Some people genuinely believe the weirdest crap ever.

    1. You find it impossible to believe that segregated businesses would reappear?

      I think it’s inevitable.

      1. Probably not the degree the left insists, though.

        And not nearly on any hateful slant. For instance, if the Fair Housing Act were repealed, I could see gay apartment complexes develop, so gays can find a place to live and socialize with others of the same orientation. Don’t see the massive horror in that scenario, that’s cool with me. To each their own and all that.

        1. Short term, I think there would be a rash of “hateful slant” businesses. People would start them more to make a statement than to earn a living.

          Long term, those people would learn that a great deal of know-how is required to run a successful small business, and the vast majority would disappear.

          I also think, long term, that a few select “hateful slant” businesses would survive as regional oddities; treasured by the patrons and hated by everyone else. I would do a “coming of age” movie about a bunch of high schoolers trying to lose their virginity at such a business. I would add a kick-ass shower scene and an ugly phys ed teacher, and be rich biotch!

          1. It would happen, in the same sense as free speech allows some idiots to flourish. But there wouldn’t be that many of them, and they would be easy to avoid.

      2. You mean like BET?

        1. Exactly like BET, only very different.

        2. And, FUBU?

          1. And LL Bean?

      3. I aggree. Not all segregated businesses would be of any one race.

      1. refreshing comments before posting is racist.

    2. I’ve seen a few people insist that if that one small part of the Civil Rights Act was repealed regarding giving the federal government authority to prohibit clientele control from a private business, we would start seeing Greyhound forcing black people in the back again. That if Greyhound could, they would be a racist business. Or, we would see “white only” smaller bus lines happen all over again.

      Of course, if that happened, other people would make black-only buses and buses which forced white people in the back- unless the government erects barriers of entry into that line of business that inhibits competition.

      I think one argument in favor of laws against private racial discrimination is that the government sometimes has policies that effectively prevent competitors from existing. In those situations, anti-discrimination laws may be justified, as the government created an environment where people are unable to compete against a business that might choose to discriminate on the basis of race.

  15. We must possess truly dangerous ideas if the dominant political forces are working in concert to slander us so.

    I’ll take Bartlett’s cretinous tripe as a compliment. If it weren’t so readily lapped up by the statists as the gospel, I’d encourage more of it.

  16. Jim Crow is another example of government policy being forced upon the majority by a minority. Maybe 10% of the white southern population were hard core racists. The other 90% got along fine with or were indifferent to the black population. People forget that Jim Crow placed restrictions on whites just as much as on blacks. It was ILLEGAL to serve blacks or for a white to use any facilities designated for blacks.

    1. People forget that Jim Crow placed restrictions on whites just as much as on blacks.

      Really? That has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while.

      1. Yes Mo in a theoretical sense. White people couldn’t go to blacks only places just like blacks couldn’t go to white places. No in practice that harmed blacks much more than whites because the white places were nicer. But the law was written in a very neutral way. Also, white people who ran businesses were prevented from doing business with blacks unless they had separate facilities. So, it did hurt whites in that sense as well. To give an illustrative example, Southern college football teams fell behind their northern and western counterparts in the late 1960s because those schools were integrated and the southern ones were not.

        Being liberal apparently means never getting a fine distinction and only understanding argument on its most base and literal level.

        1. It’s a semantic argument about what “just as much” means. Sort of like Anatole France’s “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

        2. They were also harmed much more than whites because the black entrepreneurial class was cut off from a larger and more affluent pool of customers.

        3. I’m a liberal because I think Jim Crow hurt whites as much as blacks. Apparently being a Republican shill means that you believe Jim Crow laws oppressed white people.

          1. Oops, “I’m a liberal because I think Jim Crow hurt whites as much as blacks.” should be “I’m a liberal because I don’t think Jim Crow hurt whites as much as blacks?”

            I would like to add. If the white majority didn’t like Jim Crow, why didn’t they try to overturn it?

            1. maybe because they were afraid the KKK would burn down their homes?

            2. If the majority didn’t like the health care bill, why did it pass?

          2. He never said it hurt them just as much, he said it placed restrictions just as much — just like, when gay marriage is banned, straight men are just as prohibited from marrying men as gay men. Not that your point didn’t need to be made, but you don’t need to misrepresent IceTrey’s stated position to show the problem with his reasoning.

      2. Every transaction involves a buyer and a seller.

        Now this doesnt apply to Jim Crow restrictions on government/public action, but for those that restricted private action, it did.

    2. To be consistent: In the post-Reconstruction South, the most important quality for getting elected was Confederate veteran status. Many of those Confederate veterans happened to be racists. In case of the non-racist (or more accurately less racist) white people: they got the governmente they deserved.

      1. Lets not let Southerners off the hook. It is not like there was widespread civil disobedience of these laws by whites. Most Southerners either supported these laws or didn’t care.

    3. Jim Crow is another example of government policy being forced upon the majority by a minority.

      No, it was forced on a minority by another minority plus the balance of people who didn’t really care either way.

      Jim Crow is an example of how government tends to oppress the minority view.

  17. On the other hand, desegregation occurred city-wide in Nashville about a month before the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC ended its segregated lunch counter policy; and THAT happened 4 years before the CRA was passed by the FedGov.

    I take it as a kind of bigotry of its own for one to say “Southerners were all too racist to ever support desegregation without government coercion.”

    Desegregation was clearly occurring as a result of non-coercive moral suasion practiced by the African Americans in Southern cities. Dr. Paul was right to criticise the provisions of the CRA that gave government interventionary powers over private firms.

    1. That’s the thing about the Civil Rights Act that’s always made me mad. Supporters of it act like it was some kind of boon to the black race from their betters in Washington, because clearly those helpless folks never could have done anything by themselves. In fact the exact opposite was true. It was only after the Civil Rights Movement had gained traction and was getting results that people began talking about legislation. It minimizes the accomplishments of those brave men and women who took on state sponsored terrorism and won to act like the actual heroes were in D.C.

  18. Is Libertarian the new Neo-Con? That is, a mindless leftist curse.

    1. Neo-Con was just a way for lefties to say Jewish Republicans without sounding anti-Semitic.

      1. Dick Cheney is Jewish?

      2. The left really used the word as a broad paint brush and the vast majority of them did not know what the hell they were talking about when they did use it nor understood why there might be connotations of an anti-Semitic animus associated with its use.

        I started reading Commentary in the late 80s around the same time as I picked up National Review after the Dukakis disaster made me question my political allegiances (Democrat). I found much of even the foreign policy thinking in the Cold War oriented writing persuasive, officialdoms miscalculation of the Soviet economy I recall being one incident the early Neo-Cons being quite correct on. Also, there were generally good counters to propaganda concerning conflict in Central America. Some of it felt like propaganda too, one Elliot Abrams claim comes to mind, I’d rather hash out on another occasion, but I swear, when I see claims made by some on this board (not just leftist) their arguments and sentences derive from a series of agit-prop written in the 1980’s for Rolling Stone Magazine that have been repeated so often until they have become fact.

        I also found in Irving Kristol’s Public Interest persuasive arguments on the domestic economy and urban and rural sociology that focused on blight causing public policies.

        It is the later generation of Neo-Cons, the David Frums, David Brooks, and Max Boots who are a shit stain on the human condition.

  19. But the fact that racism was endorsed and enforced by the government for so many years did create a kind of social inertia,

    So, the answer to bad government is more government? Isn’t that what this argument boils down to?

    Although, I must point out that the over-reaction to Jim Crow, which replaced government mandates on the racial practices of business with, yes, government mandates on the racial practices of business, illustrates very nicely the Iron Law:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

    1. So, the answer to bad government is more government?

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  20. Friday Funny idea: Evil libertarian twirls mustache, ties a bound-and-gagged Statue of Liberty to a privately owned railroad track. The shoulder of her dress falls down exposing Liberty’s ample bosom. Freight train labeled “Free Market” rumbles onward while a bald eagle perched nearby sheds a single tear.

  21. The LP has an on-line poll: Which slogan do you like most for the Libertarian Party? I’m sure the results won’t be used to make any decisions, on-line polls being what they are, but what the heck?

    I voted for “More Freedom, Less Government.” Though maybe the order should be turned around. Not sure.

    1. Ditto. In fact, I think most of the others suck.

    2. “The Libertarian Party: Getting you out of jury duty since 1971.”

      1. “The Libertarian Party: The Affiliation Most Likely to Get You Rounded Up into Special Camps Since You Know Who You Know When.”

        1. I won’t go quietly.

          1. Nah, they’ll just kill us with a special genetically engineered virus that targets libertarians.

            1. I meant that I’m sure that I will be sobbing quite loudly when they drag me out of my house.

              1. Just tell everyone that the big ‘L’ on your shirt stands for ‘Laverne.’

                1. But, but… it does! [runs crying from room]

                  1. And don’t call me Shirley.

                    1. [Slaps Episiarch]

          2. You know what? Maybe that’s the slogan! The Libertarian Party: We Won’t Go Quietly.

            1. only now you’re threatening insurrection by the dems standards.

    3. Liberals are for pot and promiscuity, conservatives are for guns and tobacco, libertarians are for all four plus pornography.

      1. Don’t forget the hookers!

    4. Actually, my favorite is “Legalize Freedom”, which I have seen on several bumpers.

      1. It’s pithy, but it’s bad because it suggests that freedom is something the government has the power to grant. We’ve got enough of that thinking.

    5. None of the power, all of the blame.

  22. This is a serious objection that opponents of bans on private discrimination have to address. Although there is plenty of room for argument over exactly how long racist business practices would have persisted, and how common they would have been, in the absence of forced integration, Bartlett is right that change would have been slower in many respects. That is not necessarily a decisive objection to Paul’s position (which I basically share). But the fact that racism was endorsed and enforced by the government for so many years did create a kind of social inertia, and even a libertarian might argue that a ban on private discrimination against blacks was an appropriate response to this artifact of state action.

    Bullshit. I argued the other day in a thread, and stand behind it, that it WOULD have been faster without the laws than it was. No backlash. No Governor Lester Maddox (or any of his ilk). Voluntary change leads to real change.

    Those convinced against their will are of the same mind still

    1. Since it is a counter factual argument, we will never know. And the post didn’t say it was right, only that it was serious. And I think it is a serious argument especially when it is compared to the other crap Bartlett writes.

    2. Considering that the CRA instantly abolished private discrimination everywhere, you can’t say that desegregation would have gone faster without it.

      1. True enough, but Im not as concerned with the acts as the thought process behind it.

        As I also said in the weekend thread, people may say “N-word” but they are still thinking “nigger”.

        1. If they could just make saying that word illegal, all of racism could be solved.

        2. Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!

      2. Hmm… but what would the country look like today, having been slowly integrated rather than integrated by force?

    3. As a counterfactual, Boston was desegregated in the early 1800s and was a very racist and segregated city well into the late 20th century.

      1. You mean well into the early 21st century.

        1. That Pro Lib is wicked smaht.

          1. I’ve been there.

        2. Eh. It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be.

      2. As a counterfactual, Boston was desegregated in the early 1800s and was a very racist and segregated city well into the late 20th century.

        Boston has nothing on Chicago when it comes to racism.

  23. The libertarian bashing is getting quite of hand. Never mind the cack-handed all libertarians believe the same way rubbish.

    Although the libertarians as closet racist/neo-confederates meme has been since the mid-90s online. A site I wrote for haunted by a troll who made sure to trash anyone the slight bit libertarian minded as such.

    Bartlett’s piece is pathetic.

    1. .

      Although the libertarians as closet racist/neo-confederates meme has been since the mid-90s online. A site I wrote for haunted by a troll who made sure to trash anyone the slight bit libertarian minded as such.

      How many people claimed the ACLU were closet Nazis when they defended the march on Skokie?

  24. Bartlett is right that change would have been slower in many respects

    You were saying?

    I quoted a big chunk for context, but this is the specific bit I was addressing.

    1. That was a reply to John misplaced.

    2. the change would have been slower in many respects. Okay what does that mean? Nothing really.

  25. a former Ron Paul staffer

    Bartlett
    Dondero

    What is up with his hiring practices?

    1. Bartlett went completely insane with hatred for George W. Bush. So insane that somehow hatred that started out being mad at Bush for Medicare Part D ended up being mad at Republicans for not supporting Obamacare.

      1. Seriously? Is he one of those “the Republicans should have worked with the Democrats to make Obamacare better and voted for a compromise” people?

    2. One reason I couldn’t work up the same fervor that a lot of other libertarians had for the man. He obviously makes questionable personnel choices, and sticks by them even when it should be obvious that the person isn’t working out.

      1. Bartlett used to be a pretty rigorous libertarian. Then GWB (and defenses of him by GOP establishment linked think tanks) drove him round the bend.

  26. Rand Paul’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens

  27. Ah, Herr Bartlett, I hear your German is good and also your French. Your arms, up!

  28. this artifact of state action

    This I’m very tired of. Okay, there were racist laws. They were the result of racist constituents. Government did not force people to be racist. Government is not to blame for everything bad in the world. And at any rate, as you concede, it took government to undo the damage.

    1. And at any rate, as you concede, it took government to undo the damage.

      On the institutional level, yes. On the private level, no.

      1. Integration of society, I would argue, had a lot to do with changing private attitudes on race over time.

        1. Integration of society, I would argue, had a lot to do with changing private attitudes on race over time.

          Yes, but government retarded that process.

          In the free market, Charley Pride may have stunned country audiences at first, but he was able to succeed. If government had exerted more control on the music industry, the racist majority would have been able to prevent him from ever getting the chance to start through law.

          Small government protects a diversity of views in exactly the same way as free speech. We support it for exactly the same reason as one supports free speech, even when some people misuse it in my private opinion.

    2. That is right. It ultimately existed because of racism. But if the government is not to blame for it existing, then the government is also not to blame for preventing it from happening. And thus neither are the people who argued for a small government at the time.

      1. Government is a great multiplier for human evils and vices.

    3. Okay, there were racist laws. They were the result of racist constituents. Government did not force people to be racist.

      But nor could government solve the problem. In the presence of a racist majority, government will enforce racism. Therefore, in the presence of a racist majority, small government is the friend of the minority, just as it is always the friend of the minority view and diversity.

      Granted, in a modern world where most people are not racist, small government can allow some racist views and businesses to survive instead of being stomped out. But that’s part of the penalty of tolerance.

      And that’s why libertarianism and small government are an essential part of the original concept of liberal.

      1. Local majorities were racist. Local governments couldn’t get it together so the big evil federal government had to step in to stop what was a profound and widespread injustice that local governments were inept at solving.

        It is not part of the original concept of liberalism to distort facts for the sole purpose of blaming the federal government for everything bad in the world.

        1. The national majority was racist, Tony. That’s why Progressive Woodrow Wilson’s election brought about Civil Service segregation, and the armed services were segregated. There was a national majority for segregation or at least not caring.

          The federal government only gained the strength to act against segregation when the national opinion changed– but that only occurred when cracks had already started to appear in local segregation. Local governments, like in Nashville, were starting to “get it together.”

          The federal government was useful to consolidate the gains already starting to be made.

          1. And since when is Tony against the majority voting away rights from a minority? Oh, that’s right, when it’s those evil productive people no punishment is harsh enough.

        2. Tony, stop pretending that history started in 1964. Before there was a national majority opposing segregation, the Federal Government used its powers to make things even worse than if there had been less government. That’s why Progressive Woodrow Wilson’s election was a terrible thing for blacks.

          The Federal Government’s powers are great for eliminating minority views; in the early part of the 20th century that meant that the government could make it impossible to not be racist.

        3. Local majorities were racist. Local governments couldn’t get it together so the big evil federal government had to step in to stop what was a profound and widespread injustice that local governments were inept at solving. perpetrated.

          The 14th gives the Feds the ability (not to mention the obligation) to nix state and local government discrimination. No problem there. It doesn’t give them the ability to push a set of moral taboos on individuals, though goodness knows neither left nor right is innocent of that in general.

        4. Republicans hate FDR because he made it a hell of a lot harder to stay rich.

          Democrats hate Lincoln because he made it a hell of a lot harder to keep blacks poor.

        5. Local majorities were racist. Local governments couldn’t get it together so the big evil federal government had to step in to stop what was a profound and widespread injustice that local governments were inept at solving.

          The same federal government that enforced segregation in D.C. and kept black people out of the U.S. Marine Corps?

    4. This I’m very tired of. Okay, there were racist laws. They were the result of racist constituents.

      All the more reason to make sure government does not have that much power in the first place.

  29. “This is a serious objection that opponents of bans on private discrimination have to address”

    And the only response necessary is that is no such thing as an affirmative “right” to require anyone else to do business with you or associalte with you if they don’t wish to do for any reason whatsoever.

    The paramters of property rights and freedom of contract are inviolate. They are not conditional on anyone’s opinion of the probability of some particular outcome they desire being achieved absent interference with those rights or not.

    1. And the only response necessary is that is no such thing as an affirmative “right” to require anyone else to do business with you or associalte with you if they don’t wish to do for any reason whatsoever.

      This argument could work if there were no significant barriers of entry for people to compete against a particular business.

      But throughout human history, significant barriers of entry to business was enforced by governments, whether kings or democracies. In such a case, would not anti-discrimination legislation and regulations be justified, since the government’s policies are preventing pr inhibiting competition?

  30. I trust that all these people who have come out with such loud and supposedly principled stands for the government’s prohibiting private voluntary discrimination as well as its own discrimination will show the same courage when the immigration debate heats up.

    Not only should it be illegal for the state to discriminate against foreigners by, say, not letting them reside or work where they can find mutually agreeable terms — a stance I agree with — they would certainly argue that it should be illegal for a private person or corporation to discriminate against a foreigner by preferring a US citizen or citizen-track resident.

    I think that goes too far. Do they? Or do they somehow think that discrimination by both public and private entities must be prohibited based on some characteristics of birth, but must be mandated based on other characteristics of birth?

    1. “it should be illegal for a private person or corporation to discriminate against a foreigner by preferring a US citizen or citizen-track resident.”

      Right now, it doesn’t appear that businesses discriminate against undocumented immigrants. Some would say that is the root of the problem.

      1. The root of what problem? Surely not the problem of the state mandating discrimination against people born in other countries by limiting the issuance of documentation.

        1. Yes, we currently have institutionalized discrimination against foreigners. Noone can deny this.

          In the defense industry there is even institutionalized discrimination against non-citizens. A US resident’s visa will not get you a security clearance, and and ever expanding list of things requires one.

    2. Actually in order to hire an alien you pretty much have to prove to the department of labor that no Americans are available who can do the job. This can take YEARS.

      That is pretty much why it is impossible for these people to immigrate legally.

  31. Read the comments of the original piece if you feel that your blood pressure is too low.

    Aside from Johnathan Adler handing him his ass, and other commenters stewing in their ignorance, it’s Bartlett going, “but…libertarian!” Of course, all the while conflating libertarianism with federalism.

    I really hope there is a circle of Hell for these shitstains.

    1. Fuck, that made Feministing look like a bastion of enlightened debate.

    2. I lost all respect when Bartlett insisted (on his “but Republicans should’ve worked with Obamacare to make it better post”) that ZERO Democrats voted for Medicare Part D. He wrote a book about that clusterfsck, he should know.

      Idiot wouldn’t even admit it when I posted a link to the Senate roll call vote on it.

  32. Thus we have a perfect test of the libertarian philosophy and an indisputable conclusion: it didn’t work.

    Working backward from your conclusions really streamlines the “analysis”.

  33. The libertarian philosophy of Rand Paul and the Supreme Court of the 1880s and 1890s gave us almost 100 years of segregation

    What a huge lie.

    Progressive Democrats gave us Jim Crow and they protected it for 100 years. And it was Progressive Democrats who put segregation friendly judges in the courts who to this day refuse to interpret the 14th amendment as it is plainly written.

    Oh yeah and it was progressive Democrats who opposed freeing the slaves.

    1. “Oh yeah and it was progressive Democrats who opposed freeing the slaves.”

      You know that “progressive” and “Democrat” aren’t synonymous, right?

      1. FDR and Windrow Wilson won election because of the south. Calvin Coolidge did not.

        Which two are progressives which one is not?

        Note: I want no discussion of that fuck wad La Follette.

    2. For the love of Christ, stop watching Beck and read a history book. The racist Southern Democrats from the 19th and 20th century became the modern Republican party because of their party passing civil rights legislation.

      1. The racist Southern Democrats from the 19th and 20th century became the modern Republican party because of their party passing civil rights legislation.

        It is certainly true that as the majority opinion shifted away from segregation, then small government, since it protects minority views, changed from being the only way to carve out a small desegregated space and some places of equal opportunity for blacks, to being the only way that the now much diminished racists would be able to still openly practice their evil.

        But you take the good with the bad, like with free speech.

        Before the 1960s, the vast majority of African-Americans with advanced degrees worked in private industry. Because as bad as society was, it didn’t have the uniformity of government, and so there were some places that would give them a chance.

        Government breeds uniformity and imposes the will of the majority (in a democracy.) This can be be used for short term good or evil.

      2. By party

        The original House version:[9]

        * Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
        * Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)

        Cloture in the Senate:[10]

        * Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%-34%)
        * Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

        The Senate version:[9]

        * Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
        * Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)

        The Senate version, voted on by the House:[9]

        * Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
        * Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)

        Looks to me like the Civil Rights act passed with higher Republican majorities then the Democrats.

      3. Name 5 Southern Democrats that switched parties in the 1960s or 70s.

      4. It’s why Senator Byrd became a Republican, no wait….

        1. Doopty doo Senator Byrd gurglegurglegurgle….

          Why do libertarians think they can rewrite history if it doesn’t buttress their idiotic cult beliefs? That’s something Republicans do.

          Oh yes you’re so right 5 million year old Robert Byrd is a Democrat, a former racist, therefore nobody pay attention to the fact that the entire GOP became the party of racism.

          1. Please provide your evidence that

            the entire GOP became the party of racism

            I only brought up Byrd as proof that your absolute statement that the racist dems all became GOP.

            If you insist on being a partisan hack, at least try using facts from time to time. I don’t mind having discussions with liberals or conservatives until they start falling back on partisan hackery. Then you just become tiresome and idiotic.

            1. *I only brought up Byrd as proof that your absolute statement that the racist dems all became GOP was wrong.

              1. The racist southern Dixicrats in large part became Republicans in response to civil rights legislation. Hence the modern-day southern-centric GOP. Robert Byrd was in the KKK when he was 24 in 1942. He’s ancient. He has renounced his former racism and at any rate my grandmother, who’s a generation younger than him, still struggles with not calling people “colored.” He is mostly irrelevant to the overall pattern. He is just brought up every time someone wants to ignore the history of racism in the modern GOP for the sake of convenience and being disingenuous.

                1. Again, please point out the open racism of the GOP. Or is it just that all southerners are racist, which is why you point out this “southern-centric GOP”? You’re a waste of time, Tony.

                2. I ask again: Please name 5 Southern Democrats that became Republicans during the 1960s or 70s.

                3. Much like those who want to ignore the racism in the modern Democratic party, Tony.

  34. “You find it impossible to believe that segregated businesses would reappear?

    I think it’s inevitable.”

    Are you kidding me? I doubt there’d be even a few, considering the way the race card is used today. People are SCARED of being labeled a racist by society, why would business owners risk that?

    1. There would be a tiny number of them, just like with free speech there are idiot sites out there. They wouldn’t be influential, though.

      1. Maurice’s BBQ in South Carolina is the only example I can think of today. They manage effectively to discriminate without having such a policy by putting on display anti-Lincoln and pro-Confederate pamphlets.

        1. Ah, yes, a good example. I am familiar with them in Columbia. My brother, who is working there now, refuses to eat there as a matter of principle.

          1. That’s a really weird-ass set of principles. Or do you just mean he is working in Columbia?

            1. Sorry, terrible grammar. He’s working in Columbia, SC.

  35. Okay, there were racist laws. They were the result of racist constituents. Government did not force people to be racist.

    Gibberish, as usual; laws are written by legislators. Government is PEOPLE, you goose-stepping little weasel.

  36. Libertarianism is about the relationship of the individual to the government–not the relationship between governments or governmental subdivisions.

    Libertarianism gets in trouble when the inquiry is anything but whether something will tend to maximize the liberty of individuals.

    In most cases the atomization of government power will increase liberty. But not always?anyone who has ever dealt with a local planning board, or bully deputy sheriff, understands that the tyranny of the constable can be much more oppressive than that of the king.

    That is why no one should celebrate Jefferson Davis as some great libertarian–while he sponsored the right of South Carolina to be free of Federal oppression, he had little problem with denying twenty percent of the population their most basic fundamental rights.

    The Supreme Court was not libertarian in the Plessy, Slaughterhouse Cases, etc. Their inquiry in interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment was not how to maximize liberty?they were concerned about constitutionalism–restoring the constitution–how to put a handle on the troubling power that the federal government was asserting after winning the War Between the States.

    Their concern was well-placed, but at times they sacrificed individual liberties for so-called “state’s rights”. The Slaughterhouse Cases gutted the substantive due process protections of the “privileges and immunities” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    It is hard to see how it is very libertarian to oppose something that is guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the citizenry, regardless of who they are or where they live.

    But there are libertarians that do. They pretend the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t exist. Jack Hunter, a Paulite, and self-described “Southern Avenger” even argues that Illinois has the right to ban guns, because the Second Amendment is not applicable to the states. http://bit.ly/8Y0QjA

    Hunter’s position is not libertarian in any way?although he sincerely believes he is quite a libertarian fellow.

    This type of libertarian, sometimes called “paleolibertarians” (e.g. Lew Rockwell, John Birch Society), will always favor state sovereignty over individual rights when there is a conflict. This is because they subscribe to the false political rule that increasing the power of local governments will always ,and in every instance, result in greater liberty for individuals.

  37. This is disappointing. It is good that Bartlett had enough independence and sense to criticize the excesses of the Bush administration, but like a lot of people who did the same, he is now over-correcting. In order to show his independence and avoid having any embarrassing perceived association with other people, he is (and they are) assuming the worst of people who could and maybe should be his allies.

    I am stunned that Bartlett actually placed “lynching” on that list. Under what version of libertarianism is lynching supposed to be legal or tolerated? (None, of course; I didn’t want to leave a question like that hanging. “None.”)

    Bartlett did have the courage to break with his associates, once, so hopefully, he will also have the courage to admit that his criticism of libertarianism and libertarians was unfounded.

  38. LOL, these guys just can’t make up their minds. One moment libertarianism is a kooky fringe ideology that has never affected anything and never will, because sensible people won’t have anything to do with it. The next moment, without even pausing for a breath, they shriek that libertarianism is an all-powerful juggernaut that is ruining the Nerf World that the glorious State has so generously given us. So which is it?

    1. I’ve never claimed you were inept, just wrong about everything in the universe. Your goofy little religion has had far more influence on American policy than is warranted by democratic mandate, mostly via clever demagoguery masking corporate control of government. The demagoguery usually involves scapegoating the powerless to distract people from their fleecers.

      1. Yes, but Tony, you’ve never posted a single piece of evidence for any of your assertions. Whereas I have plenty of evidence that, e.g., there was a sea change in white attitudes towards blacks nationally between the 1940s and 1960s that predated the Civil Rights Acts and made them possible.

        Big government only became the friend of blacks once white opinion had shifted dramatically. It’s certainly true that once majority opinion shifted, it was able to crush the resistance of the holdout racists. But in the decades before that happened, big government instead crushed those who wanted NOT to discriminate.

        1. Fine, I’ve never argued that government is always on the side of the good. Just that it was necessary to do what’s right as well. Good government is necessary, not any old government.

          1. Well, libertarians do support certain government institutions. To protect the rights of individuals, mainly. Courts to enforce contracts, and ensure equal justice.

            I’ve been thinking lately the importance of “equal justice under law” is understated in libertarian thinking. The market isn’t going to correct for a legal system that has been deliberately skewed against some individuals. Everyone has to be able to go to the law with their complains about someone not living up to a contract or tresspassing on his property, and should expect to receive equal treatment. Otherwise, the results WILL be biased.

            I think the disconnect is in believing that you can accomplish a greater good by committing a series of lesser evils. that if you just bias the system in favor of this or that disavantaged group, and restrict certain actions by certain disfavored groups, that that won’t ultimately be counterproductive by undercutting the basic idea of equal justice.

            If the pursuit of “social justice” means that regular old-fashioned justice isn’t going to be blind, than you’re doing more damage than you’re fixing.

  39. Freedom did not lead to a decline in racism; it only got worse.

    Even if freedom led to racism, would it not be the price to pay, just as people “learning” that the Holocaust never happened is a price to pay for freedom of speech?

  40. Here’s my new idea for ending racial segregation. Instead of forcing private businesses to serve everyone, you start a consumer movement ,kind of like the “fair trade” thing, to preferentially favor minority owned businesses. That widens the consumer base for minorities, who might otherwise only have customers of the same race, which makes it easier to start a small business and self-employ, instead of relying on working for someone else.

    This is a product of my recent realizeation that consumer-side discrimination (whites favoring white-owned businesses) probably does a lot mroe to keep blacks poor than business-side discrimination. Working for other people isn’t the fastest path to riches anyway, but it’s hard to get a small business of the ground if your market is limited to people of the same race, and you are a minority.

    Hence, IMO, the fastest way to change that would be to get whites to patronize black businesses specifically in order to encourage entrepreneurship.

  41. With all these straw-man attacks on libertarianism, I have been compelled to write a defense for The Inductive:

    http://www.theinductive.com/bl…..anism.html

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