Civil Rights

City Building and Black Power

That time a civil rights activist teamed up with Richard Nixon to build a black-run town in rural North Carolina

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Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia, by Thomas Healy, Metropolitan Books, 448 pages, $29.99

Floyd McKissick was a high-profile activist of the 1960s civil rights movement, combating Jim Crow through rallies, sit-ins, the Freedom Rides that integrated interstate buses and stations throughout the South, and the Freedom Summer campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. Elected national director of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1966, the African-American attorney turned the organization toward Black Power, with a particular emphasis on achieving economic autonomy for his people.

He resigned his position in 1968, when the organization rejected his plan to create new cities across rural America, all of them to be built and run by black people. So McKissick devoted the next dozen years to creating one such community. Soul City took shape on 5,000 acres of the North Carolina Piedmont, the site of a former slave plantation.

Thomas Healy's Soul City is a narrative history of the conception, development, and eventual failure of McKissick's efforts, from his announcement of the project in 1969 until the federal government's foreclosure sale on the property in 1981. Healy, a reporter turned professor at Seton Hall Law School, has written an engaging and sympathetic account of McKissick and his dream. But he doesn't always draw the right lessons from this tale for the pursuit of racial equality today.

Soul City's failure as a real estate venture was foreordained from the start. Healy concedes that "McKissick and his staff were novices, civil rights activists who had never built anything tangible in their lives"; they lacked the requisite knowledge, experience, and resources. They attempted to create a fully planned and freestanding new town in an area that had no chance of supporting such a venture. Soul City was an hour away from any major metropolitan area. It had no infrastructure: Roads, water, sewage, and electrical systems would have to be built from scratch. It was located in an impoverished rural county with substandard schools, no major industries, a largely uneducated and unskilled population, and no access to restaurants, theaters, shopping centers, parks, museums, or other urban and suburban amenities. It's surprising the attempt persisted as long as it did.

Healy's account dwells on the obstacles McKissick faced, including stagflation, bureaucratic red tape, and opposition from the racist Sen. Jesse Helms (R–N.C.) and a hostile Raleigh newspaper. The book also convincingly defends McKissick against contemporary charges that he misappropriated resources or that Soul City was an exercise in racial separatism. (McKissick consistently maintained that the community was open to people of all colors; a quarter of its employees were white.)

But Soul City never would have broken ground if not for substantial support from a variety of federal and state agencies. Both government funding and corporate and media interest in the project stemmed not from its economic viability but from political and social considerations.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Soul City story was McKissick's alliance with President Richard Nixon. Healy calls it "a bizarre political union" between a militant black leader and "the 'law and order' president whose 'southern strategy' had exploited white racism to win white votes." Healy presents this union largely as one of political expediency: McKissick changed his registration from Democratic to Republican in 1972 to ensure that the administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development would make good on its guarantee of a $14 million loan for Soul City, while Nixon was so afraid of losing reelection that he threw money at nearly any African American willing to put in a good word for him.

Even after he became Nixon's "chief Black spokesman," McKissick conceded that the Democrats spoke more directly to the problems of minorities. At the same time, they had failed to use their power to cure the ills of poverty, joblessness, crime, and lack of affordable housing. The Democratic Party, in McKissick's analysis, believed that it had met minorities' needs with its empty rhetoric and thus took them for granted, while black voters had become so accustomed to that rhetoric that they ceased to demand substantive action. McKissick told black audiences that the only way to break out of this dynamic "was to use their political leverage to demand results" from both parties.

Nixon, for his part, had been praised by Jet as the GOP's "civil rights workhorse" during his vice presidency under Dwight Eisenhower and had received 32 percent of the black vote in 1960, a figure unmatched by any Republican presidential candidate since. And Nixon was more interested in the potential appeal of Republican ideas to black voters, and the compatibility of Black Power with Republicanism, than Healy's account suggests.

John McClaughry (a Reason contributing editor) served as Nixon's special assistant for community affairs during the 1968 campaign. He was also an ally of Nathan Wright Jr., one of the main exponents of a moderate form of Black Power, which McClaughry found to be consistent with Republican ideals of economic and political self-sufficiency. He defined his understanding of Black Power, in a letter to an African-American associate, as "the power and the means to build the kind of community your people want and deserve to have, and the sole right to benefit from the profits that result." This would translate into a desire for not only better housing but homeownership; not only decent food in supermarkets but ownership of those supermarkets; not only a respectful hearing from Congress but the clout to achieve results.

McKissick echoed such rhetoric, as when he told a group of Standard Oil executives that free enterprise was the best hope for solving racial minorities' problems. He assured them that black people were not seeking to destroy the system but "to become a part of it, and once we become a part of it, to fight to make the system include all people." McKissick's ideas of black self-reliance fit with Republican opposition to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society welfarism but also with proposals to break up bigness and bureaucracy and to devolve power as close to the people as practically possible. And McKissick always maintained that Soul City, despite its government subsidies, was a free market project—a black counterpart to private "new towns" like Reston, Virginia, and Columbia, Maryland.

McClaughry introduced Nixon to McKissick in the spring of 1968, a meeting full of awkwardness and mutual misunderstandings. Nixon tried to bond with McKissick over their shared education as law students in North Carolina in the late 1940s, ignoring the considerable gap between his experiences at segregated Duke University and McKissick's as the first black student at the University of North Carolina Law School, where his classmates had poured water on his clothes and hid snakes in his bed.

Nonetheless, as president Nixon did take some actions meant to advance black interests, including the desegregation of Southern schools, the creation of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise, and the Philadelphia Plan mandating affirmative action in government contracts. These actions, and the electoral efforts of McKissick and other black leaders, didn't raise Nixon's support from black voters very much—he went from 12 percent in 1968 to 13 percent in 1972. Still, Nixon was grateful for McKissick's efforts and offered him a position in the new administration, which McKissick declined in order to concentrate on city building.

Healy notes that Nixon's resignation in 1974 was "devastating" for Soul City: "Not only had McKissick grown fond of Nixon personally, but his influence in Washington depended heavily on the president's support." Nixon's presidency also marked the last time that the Republican Party thought in depth about how to win over African-American voters, aside from Jack Kemp's idiosyncratic efforts.

Healy concludes with the wistful speculations of some of Soul City's most famous alumni, including Charlotte mayor and two-time senatorial candidate Harvey Gantt, that if it had flourished it might have changed the history of American race relations. Healy doesn't directly endorse that view, but he does feel that the Soul City story offers significant lessons for a society where "the financial gap between Black and white householders has hardly budged" and African Americans are still demanding "the same thing McKissick was seeking five decades earlier: respect, dignity, and control over their own destiny."

But better lessons might be drawn from Prince George's County, Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C., which succeeded in all the ways that Soul City failed. Developed in recent decades largely by African-American entrepreneurs, with the government's assistance but not its exclusive support, it is now one of the most affluent majority-minority counties and home to five of the 10 richest black communities in the country. If the Republican Party ever again decides to engage seriously with black America—and vice versa—it's more likely to learn from the lessons of those plush enclaves than from the sad history of Soul City.

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  1. The article starts with the false premise that blacks are different than other Americans. Everything else flows from that.

    It ends with excuses for why the project could have worked better. What it omits is that government was the poison that stood in the way.

    How do you write an article based on a false premise and leave out the most important conclusion?

    1. “The article starts with the false premise that blacks are different than other Americans. Everything else flows from that.”

      Well, yes and no. Black people are just like Americans in that they are just as diverse in their culture, politics, and lifestyle as are any other “group.” I would hate to be given the task of planning a community for a bunch of Americans, no matter the color of their skin.

      1. Like the guy said on Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome: “Plan? There ain’t no plan!”

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      2. Trying to plan a community for a diverse group of people would be like being Tom Hanks’ character in “When Harry Met Sally” turned up to 11.

        That’s why I generally try to design and plan developments based on what’s common or looking to be common in the market.

        *I’m only 40, but man does that reference make me feel old.

    2. Not true I learned from crt that black people aren’t capable of logic, showing up on time, caring about their job, and are a completely homogenous hive minded group.

      1. “a completely homogenous hive minded group”
        They apparently completely, 100% think whatever the politician claiming to speak for them thinks. Amazing how in tune the Democratic party is with the concerns of Aleesha Tailor, age 36, Cincinnati, Ohio, to hear it from them.

    3. Not different in any physiological way, but certainly different in their history and experience in the United States of America. It is the latter that McKissick was trying to improve.

  2. As long as some people think “being black” is more important than being successful, or being American, or being an uncategorized person, they will make their lives, and the lives of those around them, suck.

    1. This “Soul City” sounds in the same vein as Calypso Louie’s claim that the Nation of Islam is the exemplar of “Black Self-Reliance”…even though everyone wears the same pin-striped gangster suits, the same bow-ties, the same turbans, the same hijabs, the docrtines crib from a Middle Eastern death-cult whose name means “Submission,” and Calypso Louie gets money from the U.S.D.A. to not grow crops. Riiiiiight!

  3. Maybe they could build a seasteading platform next to the libertarian one. The rest of us can have some peace and quiet for a change and the world’s air forces can use them for target practice. Sounds like a win/win to me!

    1. Friend of Misek’s?

  4. But better lessons might be drawn from Prince George’s County, Maryland, outside of Washington, D.C., which succeeded in all the ways that Soul City failed. Developed in recent decades largely by African-American entrepreneurs, with the government’s assistance but not its exclusive support, it is now one of the most affluent majority-minority counties and home to five of the 10 richest black communities in the country. If the Republican Party ever again decides to engage seriously with black America—and vice versa—it’s more likely to learn from the lessons of those plush enclaves than from the sad history of Soul City.

    Prince George’s County is a suburb of Washington, DC and it’s 5 largest employers are government institutions. I suspect that it’s not “African-American entrepreneurs” that account for its wealth and prosperity, it’s government employment. So, yes, it does provide a lesson in how blacks can get ahead, just not the sort of lesson anyone with any sense should want to emulate.

    1. Pg County is a shit hole that nobody want to live in.

      1. Or administer. Right, Mayor Calvo?

    2. To paraphrase what I said about independent thinking: If you’re going to do self-reliance right, you have to do it yourself.

      Neither independent thinking nor self-reliance means you cannot learn from others in the past, of course. Independent thinking and self-reliance mean taking the initiative to think, learn, and act in a way that applies to bettering your own condition as you find it, possibly doing better than past efforts.

  5. The majority of the collapse of economic growth in the black community is tied to the collapse of stable households and 2 parent homes.

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/07/03/the-civil-rights-movement-and-the-collapse-of-the-black-family/

    Through the 1960s the black community was achieving more than even white families due to a motivation to achieve. After the Civil rights movement the Democrat party began influencing the black community with government welfare including benefits that actually encouraged single parent households, since benefits were lost when the father was at home with the mother. Moynihan actually documented this well at the time.

    The number one correlation for poverty is not race, but single parent or no parent households. Communities with the most wealth are filled with 2 parent households. Yet government continues to discourage family units.

    1. “the Democrat party began influencing the black community with government welfare”

      The blacks were a successful test case, watch them do the same thing to the rest of society with UBI.

      1. But the only way to achieve equity is to fuck up everybody.

        1. Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut showed this best with the “handicapper general” in 1961.

          Man, he foresaw what equality would mean when administered by the government.

  6. “That time a civil rights activist teamed up with Richard Nixon to build a black-run town in rural North Carolina”

    Literally “Separate But Equal” incarnate.

    “If the Republican Party ever again decides to engage seriously with black America—and vice versa—it’s more likely to learn from the lessons of those plush enclaves than from the sad history of Soul City”

    Or America could make a conscious effort to finally stop relating to each other by skin colour, and remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
    But that would mean abandoning garbage ideas like diversity, racial quotas and affirmative action that race hustling pols and activists use to rent seek.

    1. Separate but equal has been the lefts mantra for 150 years. They have now convinced minorities to self segregate through CRT.

      1. Separate but some more equal than others.

      2. Racist 1 – “How can we reintroduce segregation and institutional racism into a society now inculcated against it?”
        Racist 2 – “Let call it Critical Race Theory and claim it’s anti-racism”

        Later…

        chemjeff – “Critical Race Theory is anti-racism so it can’t be racist”

  7. Wrll that was a short lived white Mike like attempt st narrative building.

    Yesterday a truck drove into a gay pride chorus where one member was killed. The mayor quickly went to the AP with the following statement: “he believes the crash was ‘deliberate’ and an attack against the LGBTQ community,” per the AP report.

    Turns out the truck was driven by a gay choir member and it was an accident.


    “Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also a part of the Chorus family. To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community. We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.”

    Witnesses said the driver could be heard telling police it was an accident.
    https://www.local10.com/news/local/2021/06/19/2-people-hit-by-truck-at-pride-parade-in-wilton-manors/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=snd&utm_content=wplg10

    But the initial narrative was already spread wide.

    1. Poor White Mike. Reality never lets him have a narrative for more than a week.

    2. Never waste a good crisis, or a chance to invent a slanted narrative.

    3. I wonder if he’ll admit he was wrong. Hahahahahahahahahaha

  8. On the rise of domestic terrorism:

    But let’s not beat around the bush. The heightened domestic terrorism threat has its roots in the rise of Donald Trump, the election of President Biden and the reaction of the Republican Party to the idea that it might lose elections in the future.

    The election of a Democratic president always produces a right-wing backlash with a violent fringe. But this time is particularly dangerous, and we have long known that if Trump lost, the result could be a real increase in far-right violence.

    This was predictable because Trump attacked the American system of democracy itself. Running through his rhetoric was the implication that democracy was not something to which anyone owed loyalty; the only question was whether your side won. If it didn’t, the system was irredeemably corrupted.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/15/lets-be-honest-about-where-domestic-terror-threat-really-comes/

    1. “the only question was whether your side won. If it didn’t, the system was irredeemably corrupted.”

      Brilliantly stated. The Republican refusal to accept clear electoral outcomes is a danger to the future of this country — and a striking contrast with the far more reasonable and mature Democratic Party.

      That’s why in order to preserve our sacred institutions, we need to expand the Supreme Court, eliminate the Electoral College, and abolish the Senate.

      1. We must never forget that ambushing democracy is only wrong when their side does it. Hillary and Abrams tried to warn us, Gore warned us in 2000, every lawsuit democrats have filed against unfavorable rules to fraud were warning shots.

        SPB won’t stop until democrats have fortified every election.

        1. I had no issue with the 60 (failed) legal attempts by the Trump people to prove fraud existed.

          1. He didnt even file 60 lawsuits dumbass. How much of your politics is based on ignorance? For his suits, he won over a dozen. But you seem to revel in ignorance. Many courts claimed last minute rule changes were illegal. Many are still pending. Most of the ones you site were dismissed for standing, not on merits.

            But you can’t be bothered with knowledge as it gets in the way of you searching for child porn.

    2. Democracy isn’t something we owe loyalty to.

      1. Are you objecting to their word choice, loyalty, or the idea they were expressing that we don’t just toss democracy because our side lost an election?

        1. The word choice: “loyalty.”

          That’s kinda creepy.

          1. Yeah, don’t think it was the best word choice.

        2. Can you express what the benefits of democracy are other than the fact that it means everyone gets a vote?

          1. It is was it is. It’s imperfect, but when you’ve got a group of people who have disagreements among them but need to agree on a common set of rules or decisions, it’s often better than any other alternative system.

    3. Hmm… Whatever happened to those “Not my President” terrorizers?

      Lefties sure do love to project, deceive, manipulate and form [WE] mobs on their path to Democratic National Socialism (def; Nazism).

      [WE] mobs rule! /s…
      But the USA is a Constitutional Union of Republican States so ALL the “Democracy” [WE] mobs need to !!!-MOVE-!!! to their correct nation instead of trying to conquer and consume this one.

  9. “The Democratic Party, in McKissick’s analysis, believed that it had met minorities’ needs with its empty rhetoric and thus took them for granted, while black voters had become so accustomed to that rhetoric that they ceased to demand substantive action. McKissick told black audiences that the only way to break out of this dynamic “was to use their political leverage to demand results” from both parties.

    There’s the problem right there.

    From experience in commercial real estate development, I’m here to tell you that while support from the government (or lack of opposition, at least) may be necessary for the success of a development project, that is by no means a sufficient condition–nor is access to financing.

    If the market isn’t demanding what you’re trying to build, you are doomed to failure, and it doesn’t matter whether the Democratic party’s rhetoric is empty, whether black voters demand substantive action, or whether black audiences use their political leverage to demand results. The result will be failure unless the market is already demanding what you want to build. And if the market wants it built, you don’t need the government to support and finance it. You need the government to get out of the way.

    Developing real estate that isn’t already demanded by local market conditions is like designing an airplane that doesn’t take the laws of physics into consideration. Birds don’t know a damn thing about physics and they fly just fine, but that’s because flight evolved in birds under conditions where they were constantly subjected to the laws of physics as well as market constraints. Under those conditions, especially the market demand that pushed them to fly, you couldn’t have stopped them from evolving the ability to fly.

    “I believe I can fly” means you’re a delusional idiot. Flying doesn’t depend on belief, financing, the demands of an audience, or the support of the Democratic party, and anyone who goes around telling people that it does is an evil human being, And if they have good intentions, that just makes them more evil.

    Do you know why baseball and football were integrated? It’s because paying customers cared more about their hometown team winning than they did about the race of the players and teams read those market conditions and served the interests of their customers. It’s the same way with everything. Government isn’t the solution, and everybody from banks to restaurants and from home builders to real estate agents care more about maximizing their profits than they do about being racists.

    If the government had tried to stop white kids from listening to what people called black music from the 1920s to the 1980s, they’d have failed for the same reasons. Integration is driven by market demand. If the market doesn’t want it to happen, it will fail miserably–no matter what the politicians or the voters want–and if the market wants it to happen, the politicians probably won’t be able to stop it from happening. Political will as a means to change is a cruel joke on the most marginalized minorities.

    Progressives who genuinely believe otherwise are too ignorant, stupid, and/or evil to be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Don’t disagree with anything you said, but it’s funny how you have to turn your lecture into an anti-progressive message at the end even though the main government character in today’s story was Richard Nixon.

      But progressives are just total evil, and Republicans are our libertarian saviors, right Ken?

      1. What’s funny is how you claim to not be a leftist but cry anytime someone says something negative about democrats, even when factual.

        1. Yeah, bothsideism is hyperpartisan when the Democrats are to blame, and the quote I responded to was about the Democratic party. If their stupid and evil ideology is more or less the same today, it’s just as stupid and evil today as it was then–and for all the same reasons.

          The fact is that the Democrats control the federal government today, and their progressive ideology is the problem now just as it was then. The stupidity of bothsideism doesn’t change the fact that progressivism is authoritarian and socialist. And it isn’t just that progressives are America’s most horrible people because of that socialism and authoritarianism. It’s also that bothsideism doesn’t change the facts.

          Bothsideism doesn’t change the fact that the Democrats control the government, and bothsideism doesn’t change the fact that replacing Democrats with Republicans in the House and/or the Senate in 2022 is the most practical and realistic way to limit their power–the ability of progressives to implement more authoritarian socialism and blunt the power of consumers and markets to effect positive change.

          Honest and rational people just can’t get around those facts–not even if the facts make them feel stupid and sad for supporting progressives and the Democratic party. Feeling stupid and sad is how they’re supposed to feel when they’re doing something evil and wrong. The appropriate way to deal with that isn’t stupid bothsideism. It’s to stop defending the evil and wrong progressives.

          1. But when Republicans take over all branches of government (2002-2006 and 2017-18) federal spending skyrockets, deficits triple and quadruple, and the economy goes into the shitter.

            But you keep on cheerleading for TEAM RED!! GO TEAM RED GO!

            1. “Herp-derp when Drumpf refused their spending bill during the election, he was secretly for it”

              Never going to stop lying about Pelosi and Schumer’s spending spree, huh.

          2. “bothsideism is hyperpartisan”

            Just because you say something 180 degrees contrary to logic doesn’t make it so. Pointing out that the Republicans and Democrats have engaged in the behavior you tried to blame on progressives solely is about as non-partisan as an observation can get.

            1. “just because you say something 180 degrees contrary to logic doesn’t make it so”

              What does that even mean, you hyperpartisan Democratic party shill.

      2. Ken is one of those Fox News type idiots who claims AOC is ‘secret President; who runs things even though Biden disagrees with her on her pet issues.

        1. I’m pretty sure no “Fox News type idiot” has ever claimed that a professional-clown like AOC “is secret President”. I’m also pretty sure that they think that dementia-riddled Biden doesn’t have the faculties to agree or “disagree” with anyone.

          You’re not clever enough to make shit up Shrike. Stick to the talking points pdf that they gave you.

        2. “Hurr durr if you think Democrats are wrong it’s because you watch Fox News or listen to AM radio.”

          God you are so stale and boring.

      3. Bizarre how Ken said nothing positive about the GOP at the end. I find it unlikely, but someday, some in your in-group may realize that pointing out issues with progressive policies is not the same thing as praising conservative policies. Given the utterly biased nature of your group, I doubt this will happen soon, or on a large scale.

        1. “Bizarre how Ken said nothing positive about the GOP at the end.”

          If you go by this comment and have not seen any of his other comments, which have often argued that libertarians must support the GOP because they are our best hope for libertarianism.

          1. Probably because they are. And if you weren’t a far-left fifty-center running a handful of sockpuppets here, you’d probably agree.

        2. What do you believe is my group? I am a fairly standard issue, non-partisan libertarian.

          1. No, you’re a dishonest shit stain lefty.

          2. You’re about as libertarian as shrike is.

          3. “I am a fairly standard issue, non-partisan libertarian”

            “You really think wHiTE miKE would do that, just go on the Internet and tell lies?”

            You’re certainly a bien pensant; but unless libertarianism suddenly includes Keynesian corporatists and non-partisan now means “left-wing zealot”, you’re neither on those counts.

      4. Note that ‘progressive’ doesn’t always mean Democrat. Republican Teddy Roosevelt was one of the first progressives. Nixon himself was actually a very progressive President (creating the EPA and generally pursuing government solutions to societal problems).

        1. Bill Clinton was really Nixon’s spiritual heir.

        2. Yes, this was the counter-argument I expected Ken to make. But he didn’t because he tends to equate Democrat and progressive as synonyms for each other.

      5. I don’t really think conservative when I think about Nixon, but maybe that’s just me.

    2. Ken, Here’s where you lost me:

      Birds don’t know a damn thing about physics and they fly just fine, but that’s because flight evolved in birds under conditions where they were constantly subjected to the laws of physics as well as market constraints. Under those conditions, especially the market demand that pushed them to fly, you couldn’t have stopped them from evolving the ability to fly.

      What is this “bird market” of which you speak? Were there bird stock exchanges where they bought and sold stock shares in companies that were engaged in research & development and sales of bird’s natural flying mechanism? Was there a bird Kramer giving everyone on the bird MSNBC his picks for bird stocks?

      1. The fundamentals of market forces work the same way in evolution. There is no Darwin without Adam Smith. Birds don’t need a central creator to evolve flight any more than markets need a central planner. Markets make people who participate in them behave as if they had knowledge they couldn’t possibly possess through things like price signals, and when individual Canadian geese each follow their own individual path of least resistance within [market] constraints, they fly in v-formation–as if they understood the physics of aerodynamics. They don’t understand anything about physics.

        There were markets before there was fiat currency or barter systems. Adam Smith’s insights in specialization and exchange work the same way when one of Darwin’s species of birds specializes to thrive in a different niche and evolves to become different from the species its ancestors were because of it. It’s supply and demand, really. If there’s plenty of food and safety to be had by evolving opposable thumbs so we can grasp branches and climb trees (and a smaller supply of both safety and food are to be found down on the ground), then the chances that opposable thumbs will evolve over time may not be merely likely. Over time, that’s probably a given because of the market conditions.

        The reason birds can fly is because they evolved to both avoid market constraints and to take advantage of market forces–supply and demand, really–and they did so within the bounds of physics. The reason birds can fly isn’t because they believe they can fly or because the Democratic party supports them. If New Orleans flourished as a port city or the housing development down the street flourished, it was for the same reasons. New Orleans is at the mouth of an important river. Market forces are reality, and government is fantasy.

        The government probably can’t kill a market when the market forces are in place to support it–at least not forever. If oil prices rise high enough, ANWR will probably open for drilling again. The USSR set their whole system up to resist market forces, and that’s why it’s on the ash heap of history. We spent trillions of dollars and harmed millions of people’s lives trying to crush the forces driving the marijuana market. Government polices that defy market forces are like airplane designs that defy physics.

        You can do a lot of harm at tremendous expense for a long period of time, but you can’t escape the negative consequences of ignoring physics or market forces. And if the government policies are strong enough to really defy market forces, for a while, the negative consequences are likely to be immense. Raising the minimum wage so that the unemployment rate is 2% higher than it would be otherwise is one thing, but Venezuela learned that you can’t both nationalize food distribution and avoid food shortages. Millions of people had to flee the country or starve! In real terms, we were probably paying less for groceries in the U.S. than Venezuelans were paying on the black market when they were starving.

        Even dumber than being willing to suffer the negative consequences of defying market forces or physics for a while, however, is the far more profoundly stupid belief that you can make something work over the objections of physics or market forces. Your project cannot be a success–if market forces oppose it–just because the Democratic party supports it, just because audiences demand action, or just because voters insist on it. Development projects can succeed without any of those things, and development projects can fail despite all that political support. The determining factor of success or failure is whether market forces want what you want.

        You can delay a project or stop it from getting started, using the government, no doubt, but making something thrive because the political will is there to want it in the Democratic party, among activists, in the media, etc., the world simply doesn’t work that way–not when market forces are against it. So, why not design your airplane with consideration for the laws of physics? Why not create your project in harmony with market forces? The answer to the latter question is often about the profound stupidity of progressive ideology. If they can’t impose their will on the markets using the coercive power of government, then what’s the point of being a progressive?

        1. While it is indeed true that both markets and the development of species equally lack Intelligent Design by an Omnific Supernatural Being, that’s as far as the comparison goes. Markets are the product of the willing transactions of rational, volitional and above all individual beings and markets can pop up immediately.

          Birds do not present evidence of rationality or volition and their traits as a species, not as individual organisms come via natural selection in the face of changing environmental conditions and this process can take thousands or millions of years.

          You may want to check your premises for category mistakes.

          1. Evolution is driven by supply and demand constraints, and reacting to supply and demand constraints does not require rationality. Moreover, one of the reasons markets are effective is because they make market participants behave AS IF they were rational. Rationality isn’t a prerequisite for the superiority of markets. Rather, rationality is a consequence of acting within the context of a market.

            Again, geese don’t need to understand physics to fly in v-formation. Individual geese merely need to pursue higher supplies of food, shelter, breeding opportunities, and warmth through the path of least resistance, and doing so makes them behave as if they were far more knowledgeable than they can possibly be. When individual geese are free to pursue their individual desires through the path of least resistance, they behave as if they understand calculus and physics.

            To evolve feathers or wings or sight or flight or flying in formation, it was not necessary for birds to be especially knowledgeable or rational. It was just necessary for each of them to pursue goals by their own path of least resistance, in reaction to supply and demand constraints, and to do so with an economy of effort, energy, and resources, etc. If the travel required more food and energy than they could come by, they wouldn’t thrive through migration. They behave as if they understand aerodynamics because in pursuing the path of least resistance, flying in v-formation gets them to greater supplies of what they need at the lowest cost of food, energy, danger, and effort.

            This is where Adam Smith’s, Darwin’s, and Hayek’s observations come together. Smith observed that we don’t need a central planner to achieve the best outcomes, that the benevolent outcomes we seek arise from the market itself–as if an invisible hand were guiding our actions. Darwin showed the same thing happening as a result of market constraints (supply and demand) in the natural world–and why it wasn’t necessary for some rational God to direct these changes like a central planner. Hayek explained how the market itself contains wisdom that few (if any) market participants actually posses.

            “In a case like that of a scarcity of one raw material, without an order being issued, without more than perhaps a handful of people knowing the cause, tens of thousands of people whose identity could not be ascertained by months of investigation, are made to use the material or its products more sparingly; that is, they move in the right direction.”

            F. A. Hayek

            “The Use of Knowledge in Society”

            It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about an idiot that decides to use a different material or delay a project because the price of lumber is too high at Home Depot or a bird that decides now is a good time to migrate as the availability of food starts to dwindle along with the number of eligible females. The rationality of market participants is not required for markets to work their magic; rather, the market makes market participants behave as if they were knowledgeable–far more so than any rational person could by directing their individual behaviors.

            This is why idiots behaving within the context of markets all but always outperform central planners, why evolutionary adaptations are so ingenious that they appear to have been designed by an omnipotent God–rather than actually being the product of primitive species interacting with each other and their market constrained environment–and why Objectivists are absolutely wrong to imagine that rationality is somehow a precondition for an amazingly more prosperous society.

            This is also why elitism has no place in market driven libertarian capitalism. If there is anything dumber than a progressive who imagines that experts can make choices for each of us–better than we can for ourselves within the context of markets–it’s someone who believes that Joe Biden has the supernatural omniscient powers necessary to outperform market participants acting from 325 million different unique perspectives.

            That’s what I mean when I say that progressives are dumber than creationists. What’s dumber, the idea that the universe is so complicated that an omniscient God must have created it, or the idea that Joe Biden or Dr. Fauci is an omniscient God? One of them is clearly worse than the other, and demonstrating how God might have created a universe that didn’t need him to take an active role doesn’t necessarily mean that God doesn’t exist. If you’re not a religious person, you should be able to make peace with the idea that rationality isn’t a prerequisite market magic. After all, markets were working their magic on our primitive ancestors’ genomes long before we evolved a neocortex.

            1. I’ve read my share of free-market economics works from Frederic Bastiat, Milton and Rose Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, R.W. Grant et al. in The Incredible Bread Machine, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams. I’ve read some essays by Von Mises and passages from Human Action and want to get into this much more one day when time permits. I’ve also watched many nature documentaries and Jacob Bronowski’s classic on human development throughout our time on Earth called The Ascent of Man.

              Not one of these works attribute markets to any other species in the Animal Kingdom besides Homo Sapiens and not one of these works would say that markets can survive and thrive from humans being idiots.

              It takes a process of rational thought for humans to identify hunger and thirst and tbe need for warmth and to know the means of satisfying them.

              It takes a process of rational thought for humans to learn the nature of materials found in nature and to apply them towards fulfulment of one’s survival needs.

              It takes a process of rational thought for humans to know that survival needs last for longer than just one day and that one needs to accumulate a surplus of survival needs to assure their fulfilment.

              It takes multiple rational beings to practice trade of surplus survival items and multiple rational beings specializing in specific areas of knowledge and expertise for division of labor to take place and to liberate human’s time and energy.

              It takes rational thought for humans to understand that some materials and processes are better than others at fulfilling survival needs, at practicing trade, at innovating new devices and practices, and at advancing human florishing.

              And it takes rational thought for humans to figure out that the best way rational beings can do all this while living together at the same time is through a society that allow maximum individual rights and responsibility.

              While no one human has to know everything or can know everything, everyone has to know something by a process of rational thought for survival, trade, innovation, prosperity, and freedom to be possible. Being a Jackson Browne “happy idiot struggling for the legal tender” just doesn’t cut it for rational beings. As Jefferson rightly observed: Ignorant and free in a state of civilization never was and can never be.

  10. QAnon followers may become more violent, FBI warns

    Former President Donald Trump, who is at the center of the conspiracy theory, has previously called QAnon followers “people who love our country.”

    The far-right conspiracy theory alleges that former President Donald Trump is engaged in a battle against a shadowy cabal of child sex traffickers, which is connected to members of the Democratic party and liberal figures in Hollywood. The “Q” in the theory’s name alludes to an anonymous online figure who outlined the supposed conspiracy on message boards.

    What did the report say?
    The report, which was also jointly compiled with the Department of Homeland Security and requested by New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, says some QAnon supporters “will likely begin they can no longer ‘trust the plan’ referenced in QAnon posts and that they have an obligation to change from ‘digital soldiers’ towards engaging in real world violence.”

    Many QAnon followers refuse to believe President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election against Trump. The slogan “trust the plan” refers to the day when Trump wll be reinstated as president and crack down on his enemies.

    https://www.dw.com/en/qanon-followers-may-become-more-violent-fbi-warns/a-57893670

    These fools believe that Trump will somehow be “reinstated” by August. Another Jan 6 may occur.

    1. Off topic you TDS piece of leftie shit.

      1. Fuck you. You should know that this board contains several of these QAnon nutjobs as posters. The Trump cult is real and for all I know you are one of them too.

        Forget Trump. You will always have someone like Rick Santorum to support in the GOP.

        1. Name one qanon person.

          Only blue anon even discusses them.

        2. Sure there are little buddy. Sure there are.

        3. QAnon is a bogeyman the Democratic party uses to scare Wine Moms. The only people who think it exists are the WaPo’s subscriber base.

          1. I only wish that were true. I’ve seen the QAnoners in my store with their WWGOWGA shirts and talk of “bread crumbs.”

            So far, none of the QAnoners have been seen loitering near the frozen or deli pizzas, but all of us at my store are prepared to practice Avoid, Deny, and Defend as taught by Texas State University if any of the QAnoners get a wild hair like that one fellow at the pizza parler in Washington.

            During the riots last June and July, management told us in no uncertain terms to use a chair, a walkie-talkie, a broomhandle, a soup can in a sack, anything on hand as a weapon at the first sign of trouble. Plenty of customers also pack heat both openly and concealed.

            Wing-nuts of all flavors may find themselves spun off the mortal coil if they act on the delusion that their local grocer is a “cheese pizza” mill.

            1. Today I looked up and learned what WWGOWGA.

              I don’t feel smarter for it. 🙂

              1. I felt a tinge of drool on my lip too when I asked a QAnoner what it meant.

                Fortunately, it’s a busy store so I had a convenient reason to excuse myself and walk away.

  11. Nixon’s presidency also marked the last time that the Republican Party thought in depth about how to win over African-American voters, aside from Jack Kemp’s idiosyncratic efforts.

    Well, Reagan did all right. And so did Trump.

    Maybe there’s no deep thinking needed? Maybe black people just want the same stuff everyone else does and telling them you’ll get out of their way and let them get on with living their lives is the winning strategy?

    1. Let’s not forget Jack Kemp.

      “Kemp was a voracious reader, and his political beliefs were founded in early readings of Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative, Ayn Rand’s novels such as The Fountainhead, and Friedrich von Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty.[82] He also brought from his football career a belief in racial equality which came from playing football with black teammates as Kemp said, “I wasn’t there with Rosa Parks or Dr. King or John Lewis. But I am here now, and I am going to yell from the rooftops about what we need to do . . . .

      Although Kemp tried to appeal to conservatives, his libertarian philosophies of tolerance and individual rights and his commitment to supporting minorities, women, blue-collar workers and organized labor clashed with conservative voters’ social and religious values.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kemp

      1. P.S.

        “Kemp channeled the self-delusion and narcissism required to become a pro football quarterback into a successful career cheerleading for the private sector and the urban poor. His influence on what happened to American cities in the 1980s and ‘90s was significant. As the federal government transitioned from safety net for the vulnerable to unabashed advocate for private capital, it was often Kemp leading the way, pushing urban revitalization programs whose successors have prevailed in the 21st century.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-06/when-jack-kemp-took-on-urban-poverty-and-lost

        Anyone who gets called names and criticized for fighting to replace socialism with capitalism in an attempt to help the urban poor can’t be all bad.

        1. In my younger days as a member of the GOP, I was a county delegate to the state nominating convention in 1988 and I supported Jack Kemp as the obvious heir to Reagan. When the state went instead for Bush, that was it for me and the GOP because I knew they weren’t serious about the “Reagan Revolution” but instead were running away from it as fast as they could. The split in the GOP has always been between the patrician noblesse oblige silk-stockinged Rockefeller Republicans and the two-fisted All-American pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps cowboy Goldwater Republicans and unfortunately the sort that believes the best thing the government can do is get the hell out of the way and stop trying to “help” people has always been a minority. There really isn’t much difference between the (D)’s and the (R)’s when it comes to their belief that the purpose of government is to do good things for people and a larger, more powerful government can do more good for more people.

          1. The world would have been a much better place if the Kemps, Gramms, etc. had won. Within the Republican party, anyway, at least options like Jack Kemp, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Phil Gramm, etc. are possible. I have no illusions that Bush era Republicans are the solution to our problems. It remains a fact, however, that nothing like Kemp, Gramm, Rand Paul, et. al. are even remotely possible within the Democratic party. Libertarian capitalism doesn’t dominate the Republican party, but the progressives that control the Democratic party are passionate authoritarian socialists. Their hostility to individual rights and capitalism is fundamental to their progressive ideology.

            And so, electing Republicans, as presently constituted, may not fix all the damage the Democrats have done to our constitutional rights and capitalism with their arson, but the Democrats want to burn individual rights and capitalism down to the ground. Even if we’re hoping the Libertarian party will somehow make a big difference over the long run, the progressives will still need to be stopped in 2022 before they do more damage. In the meantime, I can see how libertarian leaning Republicans can contribute to libertarian outcomes over the long run–if the Republicans take the House and/or the Senate away from the Democrats in 2022–but I don’t see any way to get to those libertarian outcomes without the Democrats losing control of the House and/or the Senate.

            In short, voting for Republicans isn’t sufficient to achieve libertarian outcomes, but for libertarian outcomes to be achieved, it is necessary for the Democrats to lose the total control of the federal government that they currently enjoy. The Democrats losing may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.

  12. Speaking of federal housing policy conservatives complained daily about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Then when they took over all branches of government for two years they did nothing about the two GSEs.

    Nothing.

    (they should have been privatized)

    but no…….

    More conservative lies and bullshit.

    1. Wait, are you blaming conservatives for not stopping the crazy shit that the Democratic Party and Barney Frank created?
      Lol.
      Your boss is going to beat your ass when xhe reads that.

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  14. Healy concedes that “McKissick and his staff were novices, civil rights activists who had never built anything tangible in their lives”; they lacked the requisite knowledge, experience, and resources.

    “More Saving! More Doing! That’s the power of The Home Depot!”

  15. “They attempted to create a fully planned and freestanding new town in an area that had no chance of supporting such a venture. Soul City was an hour away from any major metropolitan area. It had no infrastructure: Roads, water, sewage, and electrical systems would have to be built from scratch. It was located in an impoverished rural county with substandard schools, no major industries, a largely uneducated and unskilled population, and no access to restaurants, theaters, shopping centers, parks, museums, or other urban and suburban amenities. It’s surprising the attempt persisted as long as it did.”

    Now do Germans, English, French, and Spanish settling the Americas.

  16. Soul City probably could have learned a lot from studying about The Free State of Jones in Mississippi. That experiment lasted for years after The Civil War, a good sight longer than your typical Hippie commune. The Free State of Jones most likely lasted because the people were skilled farmers and craftsmen and had their resources already on hand when they broke off from The Confederacy. Also, it was comprised of both escaped slaves and deserters from the Confederate Army who had every reason to fight like Hell for the freedom they had won for themselves.

    The movie The Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey as the founder Newton Knight, was an action-packed, inspiring motion picture on the subject. Two trigger fingers up!

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