Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Conservative Hypocrisy -- What Else Is New?

I can't stand hypocrites. I can't stand conservatives. But I repeat myself.

Last night Sean Hannity, one of the the heavyweight thinkers at Fox News, went after Barak Obama for being a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ. The Church advocates a "Black Value System," which among other things calls for a commitment to the black community. Hannity suggested that such a commitment is "separatist" and that if a white church used the same kind of language, it would be rightly condemned. Hence, he said, there is a double standard. (Tucker Carlson of MSNBC earlier did the same riff.)

A typical conservative cheap debating point. Where's the separatism? Conservatives love it when Bill Cosby (properly) berates fellow blacks for not disciplining their own community. But when Obama voices a similar position, it's seen as separatist at Fox News. Is this because Obama is a threat to Republican presidential aspirations?

More fundamentally, Hannity's suggestion that the white and black contexts in America are equivalent is absurd on its face. Given the two different histories -- one of domination, the other of subjugation -- there is no double standard involved. Ayn Rand would call this "context-dropping."

I can't t see that radical libertarians and conservatives have anything significant in common.


J. Neil Schulman said...

Cross-posted from the Left-Libertarian Yahoo Group Forum:

I also hate hypocrites. I especially hate the hypocrisy of typical socialist-liberal collectivism being posted onto a libertarian forum with a nauseating claim that a conservative who objects to it is a hypocrite, that a libertarian has more in common with those who use legacy collectivism as a sword against libertarian individualism than with the conservative who's objecting on individualist grounds, and then to top it off ends up invoking the name of Ayn Rand on behalf of this anti-individualist claptrap.

Sean Hannity is not the best shot in the conservative movement, so his use of "separatism" as his target didn't hit the bullseye.

But Hannity is precisely on target when he points out that "black value system" is precisely as racist as "white value system" -- and anyone who favors what Ludwig von Mises identified as polylogism is betraying not only the individualism of Ayn Rand but the individualism of Martin Luther King, Jr., who demanded that we treat others not according to the color of his skin but by the content of his character.

I grew up believing liberals when they told me that I was supposed to aspire to being color-blind in my treatment of "Negroes." Then for the rest of my life I have had to put up with liberals (who for some reason now told me that it was okay for the United Negro College Fund to use the term "Negro" and swell for the National Association of Colored People to use the term "colored" but if I used either of those terms I was a racist) telling me that if blacks weren't given special treatment because of their history of oppression, I was a fink.

Fuck this noise.

I am still an individualist, just like Martin Fucking Luther King told me to be. When I meet someone I don't give a rat's ass whether their great grandfather was a slave or a slavemaster, a banker or a bank robber, royalty or sharecropper.

Anyone who calls himself a libertarian but uses the collectivist language of "domination and subjugation" or "separate histories" has bought into collectivism -- and they are in no possible meaning of the word a libertarian, which is a philosophy of individualism.

The practical implementation of collectivism is this: When someone demands to be treated as part of a collective rather than as an individual, or refuses to see me as an individual but only as part of a collective, I have no choice but to respond in kind and treat them according to their choice.

And that leads directly to the problems of war and collateral damage that I have been excoriated for on this list for recognizing. Once individualism is gone, we are in the collectivist enemy's world, playing by their collectivist rules.

Sheldon Richman said...

Also cross-posted.

Instead of opening one of your canned speeches, try reading what I actually wrote. " [T]ypical socialist-liberal collectivism"? Yeah, that sounds like me. What a laugh! The point is that when Bill Cosby or black conservatives tell blacks to fix their communities and families, the Sean Hannitys of the world whoop and holler with glee. But don't let those words be heard from someone who actually threatens the fortunes of the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Put a sock in it, Neil Fucking Schulman.

Sheldon Richman said...

Please, let's keep things civil. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sheldon.

Sheldon Richman said...

I see that Hannity on two more programs did segments on Obama's church. What a dolt.