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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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Deal with a Non-Violent Bigot

My article "How to Deal with a Non-Violent Bigot" has been published at Learn Liberty (IHS). In it I discuss the "alt-right's" repugnant response to the excesses of "political correctness" and my view of the proper libertarian perspective on bigotry.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Warmongers are gay. Pardon my bigotry.

Julien Couvreur said...

Sorry, I'm having trouble to see a consistent argument here.
People who use force and insults based on some idea of political correctness should be treated with respect. But people who don't use force, but only insults and imagery in response should be shunned?
By your argument, shouldn't alt-righters also inherently deserve respect too?

Sheldon Richman said...

I don't see the criticism. I countenance no use of aggression, and I condemned impediments to free speech. I also criticized the alt-right's obnoxious tactics. No inconsistency there.

Julien Couvreur said...

Thanks for your reply. I agree with that summary, but I'm having trouble with the argument you use in your post to criticize those obnoxious tactics.

(1) Maybe I'm unclear what you mean by "respectful" or everyone deserving equal "respect" in your post. Do those that don't treat you with respect deserve such courtesy in return?

(2) I don't see how the alt-right responding with insults to uses of force and insults by the "political correctness" folks is inconsistent with libertarian principles.
Libertarianism is not pacifism (I will not use force in any situation), but rather non-aggression (I will only use force in response to force/aggression). To me, it seems perfectly compatible with libertarianism to respond to insults/force with insults.
Whether one should choose such behavior is a separate question, that seems outside of libertarianism per-se, and in the realm of personal preferences and strategy (like pacifism).
Although it doesn't match my personality, I see some rationale to responding to bullies who try to silence others (by calling people racists, rapists, or facists, throwing eggs or pee, yelling over them, trying to get them fired by making false claims, using violent threats like #killallmen and bomb threats) with defiance:
"I do not care about your bullying and supposedly delicate nature/needs, I will say what is on my mind without sugarcoating, I will not try to be nice to you".

Anonymous said...

I agree with Julien.

Sheldon,

Can you define bigot for me?

I also think it is pie-in-the-sky silliness to play nice with people who have no qualms about using violence.

"Efforts to make racism, anti-immigrationism, sexism, and general intolerance cool are hardly something for us to cheer on."

Why is anti-immigrationism a necessarily bad thing? Is being pro-immigration some kind of moral imperative? Who is trying to make racism and sexism cool? Are you subsuming tolerance under libertarianism? Toleration and non-aggression aren't synonyms.

3D Face Analysis said...

Obama is bigoted against supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Otherwise he won't have backed the Egyptian military even though the military has massacred peaceful protesters in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama is bigoted against Muslims, otherwise he would be more careful about air strikes. Obama is bigoted against Sunnis, otherwise he would stop financing and arming the Maliki regime even though it perpetuates murders innocent Sunnis. There are many levels of bigotry.

Obama's bigotry isn't as strong as the alt-right's. But Obama still has bigotry.

The fact that Obama tolerates the crimes perpetrated by Sisi and Maliki (and does not do anything to stop it) proves that he, to a degree, sympathizes with Sisi's anti-Islamist bigotry and Malikis' anti-Sunni bigotry.

3D Face Analysis said...

It's not possible for a bigot to adhere to the NAP. The bigot will justify closed borders by claiming that the NAP supports closed borders (see see John Hasnas's myth of rule of law).

But suppose, for the sake of argument, that the bigot adheres to the NAP 100%. But when he sees a hate crime against a black person, he might "condemn" the crime as a violation of the NAP. But the bigot might sympathize with the perpetrators of the hate crime, and he do nothing to prevent the crime in the future. He merely "condemns" it, but because he passively sympathizes with the perpetrators, he does not take action to prevent it. This will happen when people adhere to a "narrow" view of the NAP. (See the similar example of Obama's passive sympathy to the Sisi and Maliki regimes. Obama merely "condemns" the human rights violations, but does not do anything about it.)

In war, each side violates the NAP. People who adhere to this narrow view of the NAP might see both sides as equally responsible, so he will "condemn" the war, but he will remain passive not do anything about it.

So it's important to advocate a broader view of the NAP grounded by theory. Otherwise one will remain passive.