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Roderick Long on Race, Gender, Equality and Libertarianism

"We don't have the right to subordinate other people to our ends or treat them as objects for our uses," says Roderick Long, professor of philosophy at Auburn University and President of the Molinari Institute. "And that is a fundamental kind of equality that I think is at the heart of libertarianism."

Reason TV talked with Long at Libertopia 2012 in San Diego. Topics included proper ways to deal with discrimination without state interference, why sometimes political correctness is good, and why libertarians should support some forms of equality.

Approximately 7 minutes. Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alex Manning and Paul Feine. Edited by Weissmueller.

Scroll below for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

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  • GILMORE||

    I kant remember.

  • affenkopf||

    Kant is the most evil man in mankind's history.

  • affenkopf||

    It's an Ayn Rand quote.

  • GILMORE||

    Arbeit Macht Frei

  • affenkopf||

    'Jedem das Seine' is a better libertarian slogan.

  • American||

    Sounds like something Marx would have said. "You have no right to employ and exploit those workers for your ends or treat them as mere objects for the accumilation of wealth for your own use." This is probrably not an accident, just another pathetic attempt to convince leftists to support libertarianism.

  • Rick Santorum||

    This is probrably not an accident, just another pathetic attempt to convince leftists to support libertarianism.

    Yes. Watching libertarians grovel to progressives is shameful.

    LOLBERTARIAN: "Please, please vote for me, Ms. Obama Voter, I promise that I will offer you freedom and equality!"

    FEMINIST: "You mean you're going to support equality by signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?"

    LOLBERT: "No..."

    FEMINIST: "And you're going to support reproductive freedom by ensuring health insurance companies pay for my contraceptives?"

    LOLBERT: "No..."

    FEMINIST: "And you're going to support the equality and dignity of women abroad by funding feminist NGOs? And you're going to support speech laws to prevent women from being degraded by misogyny? And you're going to support universal health care to ensure that all women have access to mammograms? And you're going to support laws that protect women in the workplace from institutional sexism?"

    LOLBERT: "No, but..."

    FEMINIST: "Then why the hell would I vote for you?"

    LOLBERT: "But, but, but, freedom! Equality! I support your rights as an individual! Please, please, vote for my candidate!"

  • yonemoto||

    "We don't have the right to subordinate other people to our ends or treat them as objects for our uses,"

    Nonsense, you have the right to treat someone as an object for your use. But that makes you an asshole. What you don't have the right to do is to MAKE someone an object for your use.

  • GILMORE||

    "I *paid good money* for her to put that dog collar on!"

  • RightNut||

    I listened to his explanation about why equal pay laws are ok twice, just to be sure I understood his point. It boils down to this: some businesses are subsidized by the the government, some work is done by people in groups, hiding the value of a particular member, and some HR officials will incorrectly value certain employees. Sorry, but the correct answer to those problems is to cut government subsidies, and let businesses determine what they want to pay employees without government interference.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    damn. I kind of consider Roderick a respectable "left anarchist". Sorry to see him spouting this crap.

  • Fluhdoten1||

    govt gifts are the basis for govt micromanagement. its almost a natural law. if you voluntarily fund something you have a right to direct its course.

    welfare serfs dont fully understand this concept, but its coming.

    I LOL when i hear the 47%ers complain about drug testing to claim bennies.

    but yes, they will comply, even after some curse words lobbed at obama.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Yep, basically "If you get into bed with government, expect to get fucked!"

  • Gladstone||

    Basically the same as Hinkle's argument for carbon taxes. I'm pretty sure Bastiat warned about this kind of logic over 150 years ago. I mean isn't this the sort of logic that has led Team Blue to its current form?

  • d||

    "We don't have the right to subordinate other people to our ends or treat them as objects for our uses,"

    Hmmm. Somehow, I don't think that this was intended as a call for feminists to stop treating divorced dads as walking wallets (to be vilified as "deadbeat dads" when they attempt to withhold payment as their parental rights are ignored).

    Also, somehow, I don't think he has an eye on racial and sex-based preferences in college admissions (particularly in "the sciences").

    Somehow, I think he is only focused on the myth that "women earn less" (not true, when you control for children, age, place of employment, etc. -- in fact, they earn 8% more, even more when you factor in benefits), and also the myth that the "patriarchy" benefits men (as if most men wouldn't have traded in their illusion of control known as "the vote" to avoid the draft and other shit like that).

    No, somehow I don't think Mr. Fatty No-nuts is referring to that sort of objectification. Sorry, I meant *Dr.* Fatty No-nuts.

  • American||

    This is just another idiotic attempt to convince leftists to support libertarianism, so that we can feel like the cool kids. I like being a part of the ideology of white, heterosexual, religous men, the people who built this country.

  • d||

    C'mon. You're gonna have to do better than that, troll.

  • American||

    When I crticze Reasonites, I'm a troll, when d does it...

  • d||

    I make a mildly edgy criticism of a mangina, you make borderline nazist remarks about being a proud member of the white race, or some shit. If you don't see the difference, I can't help you.

  • califernian||

    The most horrible and frightening thing you can argue to a liberal is the notion that you own yourself.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    I think I could argue that with a liberal without him becoming horribly frightened.

  • Suellington||

    They are right with you when you are arguing that a woman owns her own bod to have an abortion. They can get a little uncomfortable when you extend that to prostitution. They get more so when you discuss putting a price on your kidney.

  • Zeezrom||

    We don't have the right to subordinate other people to our ends or treat them as objects for our uses.

    Does he provide any warrant for this, or are we just supposed to accept it as axiomatic?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    specially since it seems to contradict other axioms I thought we (libertarians) could presume to agree on.

  • califernian||

    I'm assuming that " through the use of force" is in between the lines?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    you'd think that. and maybe it is. But I'm not actually sure anymore.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    Hmm. I'm tempted to go in two opposite directions from what Long says. On the one hand, I might ask him if ageism deserves as much attention as racism or sexism. On the other hand, I might ask, if libertarianism naturally serves as an equalizer, why should we distract ourselves with identity politics?

  • Robert||

    This guy reminds me, physically and otherwise, of Roy Childs y Richard Kostelanetz.

  • Tak Kak||

    From what I hear, both the feminist and the libertarian are correct. In that both feminism and libertarianism should be ignored. Whenever nonsense like "equality" creeps in, it's usually a good sign to exit.

    I did enjoy much of Rod's work though (minus his Virtue Ethics... grabage) so hopefully I'm reading too much into this.

  • Cut out the crap||

    Indeed. "Equal" is without a doubt the most vile word ever to enter political discourse. Whenever you hear it, you're safe ignoring anything else the speaker might have to say, especially on the subject of liberty.

  • Libertopian||

    More cultural Marxism from Reason. What the fuck.

  • joey89924||

    Nonsense, you have the right to treat someone as an object for your use.
    MMBT3904

  • American||

    I'm going to have to call bullshit on most of this. Firstly, libertarianism is not an egalitarian doctrine. Mr. Long talks about "equality of authority," the implication being that everyone has equal authority in a libertarian society. This is only true if you stretch the world "authority" to only mean coercive authority of the state. However that is not how the word is used in the real world. A minister is said to have "authoriy," there is the term "scientific authority," and the word is generally understood by ordinary people to mean "being in charge of something." A millionare who runs a buisness has a lot more authority than a homeless man. I was also angered by the idea that feminsism is not inheirently anti-libertarian. To the vast majority of feminists a capitalistic society is a society where they have to be reliant on men to help them take care of their children. They want a society where the government always supports them, they can divorce their husband and go on welfare, they can have sex with whoever makes them feel good without having to ask the man to pay for their birth control, and if they ever get pregnant they don't have to drop 1,000$ for an abortion. Essentially, it's about free sex with no consequences.

  • American||

    "We don't have the right to subordinate other people to our ends or treat them as objects for our uses. And that is a fundamental kind of equality that I think is at the heart of libertarianism."

    I don't think that is at the "heart of libertarianism. I would add the word coerce, somewhere. I can treat my wife however I want, if that means subordinating her to my uses, I can do that. If I want to "objectify" women I can. This is why feminists will never support libertarianism.

  • CosmoBro||

    If troll: haha? If sincere: fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

  • toolkien||

    To me this little snippet has to be taken in context of the rise of corpora-fascism in this country. While I abhor forced association, it is likely true that the vast, consolidated industries that have been forged since 1913 DON'T suffer harm for making mistakes in hiring practices. So what is the solution? Break down the government subsidized support through regulation and largesse. The opposite course, though, is to turn feminism and corpora-fascism into cohorts and the proverbial femi-nazi is born. And the same goes for political correctness. When it is simply a cautionary tale in a free society it is one thing, but political correctness in a high octane bureaucratic government and corpora-fascist "private" sector, political correctness takes on a wholly more sinister form. What it comes down to is that a rapprochement between free marketers and the "put upon" segments yearning to breathe free is the latter's ability to make deals with the corpora-fascistic leviathan to reach their goals. As long as they are in bed with anti-freedom elements to make their gains, there can be no cordiality.

  • toolkien||

    Cont.

    In the end, that is what is so frustrating to me is that I strongly encourage the "content of character" approach to interpersonal relations, but it is gummed up by the fact that those who are radicalized toward their point of view want to use Statist means for redress. And I can't make any specific assurance as to when "equality" will be reached through individualistic means, and so non-Force solutions are dismissed categorically. The only statement that can be made is that Force only creates a greater net negative than existed before. And until those who resort to statist solutions - for ANYTHING - realize that, little headway can be made on any front that resorts to statism.

  • Cut out the crap||

    Maybe the reason those vast, consolidated industries don't suffer from those hiring "mistakes" is that they aren't mistakes at all: they're a shrewd playing of the odds based on previous experience.

  • Tak Kak||

    And even those "vast, consolidated industries" do suffer and compete - the results certainly are more-insulated from the market - but it's still effected. So the firm operators have to have some idea on who to hire even if it is seen through a distorted filter.

  • d||

    ^^^ this

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  • nikea||

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