This essay demonstrates why mixing libertarianism with feminism waters down the latter to be nearly useless to anyone who isn’t a privileged white woman.
Alex Pareene points out that Ron Paul’s particular brand of libertarianism has a history of endorsing racist views and associating with white supremacists for the sake of appealing to far right voters, thus expanding the influence of libertarianism:
There are, broadly, two different versions of American libertarianism: There’s Reason Magazine and Cato Institute libertarianism — “cool” libertarianism — and there’s Mises Institute/Lew Rockwell libertarianism — old crank libertarianism. Ron Paul is a Mises Institute libertarian…
The origins of the philosophical split are explained nicely by Brian Doherty in this piece on the late Murray Rothbard. To drastically oversimplify, guys like Hayek made pragmatic economic arguments (and left room for a “limited” state to provide some measure of assistance to the needy) and Rothbard made Randian philosophical arguments (and was radically anti-state). And Rothbard went full-on neo-Confederate in order to win over the “rednecks.”
This 2008 Reason article further explains the link between this strategy (one that Nixon and the GOP successfully used to win the American South) and the appalling homophobia and racism espoused in the Ron Paul newsletters:
The newsletters’ obsession with blacks and gays was of a piece with a conscious political strategy adopted at that same time by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard. After breaking with the Libertarian Party following the 1988 presidential election, Rockwell and Rothbard formed a schismatic “paleolibertarian” movement, which rejected what they saw as the social libertinism and leftist tendencies of mainstream libertarians. In 1990, they launched the Rothbard-Rockwell Report, where they crafted a plan they hoped would midwife a broad new “paleo” coalition.
Rockwell explained the thrust of the idea in a 1990 Liberty essay entitled “The Case for Paleo-Libertarianism.” To Rockwell, the LP was a “party of the stoned,” a halfway house for libertines that had to be “de-loused.” To grow, the movement had to embrace older conservative values. “State-enforced segregation,” Rockwell wrote, “was wrong, but so is State-enforced integration. State-enforced segregation was not wrong because separateness is wrong, however. Wishing to associate with members of one’s own race, nationality, religion, class, sex, or even political party is a natural and normal human impulse.”
As Pareene points out, Ron Paul’s involvement with the infamous newsletters (and his endorsement of the hateful views they expressed) does not contradict his libertarian beliefs. because Ron Paul’s libertarian is essentially focused on restoring and retaining white male privilege:
Ron Paul’s libertarianism has plenty of room for nativism and racism because so much of it does sound like a Pat Buchanan-style call for America to return to a golden age of white privilege. Paul isn’t a futurist…He’s a deeply religious anti-abortion small-town country doctor who basically wants the government to operate as it did in 1837.
Endorsing the legalization of marijuana and being against war does not erase Ron Paul’s self-serving complicity in spreading bigotry. He may not believe he’s racist or homophobic, but he’s perpetuated racism and homophobia for political gain. How can any right-thinking person, including libertarians, want such a man to be president?
It’s honestly hard to believe that he is a real person sometimes
VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Apparently Trade Roundup with Richard Lawson at Gawker is now The Call Sheet with Richard Lawson at The Atlantic Wire.
This has been VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
The Florida Family Association criticizes the show because it “hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values.” The organization’s mission statement is to “Educate people on what they can do to defend, protect and promote traditional, biblical values.” This is an organization that is clearly promoting hate and persecution of another group because of their religious affiliation. It is appalling that so many companies—not just Lowe—have pulled out their support for the show.
You can find a full list of companies who pulled their ads from All-American Muslim here. Appalling.(via robot-heart-politics)
— State representative Rick Womick (R-TN) on why he’s against Muslims in the military. Appropriately, Womick decided Veterans Day would be the perfect time for him to air his hatefulness.
— What Tami Said, If you’re a bigot when you’re angry, you’re a bigot all the time
Nowadays, being racist in public is less acceptable, so people come up with all kinds of excuses for prejudice. Like, “Just kidding!” Or, “I’m not racist, I’m just honest. (Variation: I’m just exercising my First Amendment Rights.)” “I have black friends.” “Posting on Facebook can’t be racist.” And so on. Even amid claims that America is now post-racial, one of the tried-and-true ways to be racist has endured: the argument that fighting against bigotry is more trouble than it’s worth.
"And the most terrifying part of all is that he’s obviously intelligent enough to know he’s a hateful, bigoted person, which means he must actually be okay with that fact.”
Being highly educated or very intelligent does not guarantee that one is actually enlightened.
Obviously the bigotry makes me uncomfortable but the silence makes me more uncomfortable. I realize it’s almost always easier to pretend you don’t see that stuff on your facebook wall (or wherever) and dog knows I love to shit-talk in the company of like-minded people. And most of these folks are beyond hope. Still, it bothers me to see it go unchallenged.
I started replying but then it got too long so I’m reblogging. Along the same lines, I’m not sure why people are so hesitant or afraid to defriend those people. I’ve defriended people over saying terrible stuff, and no one has ever asked me about it. I’ve seen a lot of comments like, “Oh they’re family” or “They’re a friend from home” as if that excuses their tolerance for that shit. Arguing with people on their status doesn’t do shit, and maybe when there are consequences to their bigotry (loss of friends and/or respect!) maybe they’d start to learn that this shit isn’t okay. I mean, I know that it’s useless to argue with some people but seriously: a quiet defriending might be more effective and easier on your personal stress levels.
Yes to all of the above. Being passive in the face of injustice only enables it. I mean, the bigoted white southerners who actively harassed civil rights activists and black children integrating schools were a minority, relatively speaking. Everyone who quietly tolerated Jim Crow was just as culpable because the assent of the silent majority is what allows such injustice to flourish. Had everyone who did not actively support Jim Crow risen up against it, it wouldn’t have lasted a day.
So yes—don’t post screen caps of your relatives’ or friends’ or coworkers’ ignorance and bile and expect a cookie for being more enlightened than they are. You’re just as culpable because you’re letting them think it’s fine to think and say such things.
We have to admit that right wingers aren’t all bad. Take their hypocrisy, for instance. It’s extremely helpful. Without it we might have to really dig into their online missives to find out when they’re pushing racist policies. But with their hypocrisy, we can just click, click, click and find that—bingo—they really do want to make it so Muslims can’t pray anywhere on American soil.
Many times I’ve heard fat cisgendered women, mainly fat white cisgendered women, suggest that fatphobia is the “last acceptable form of bigotry.” For women without multiple oppressions, I suppose that statement could be correct. But for those who are living at the intersections of many marginalized identities, nothing could be further from the truth.