Race And Libertarianism: Left And Right


by Michael Parish

http://quagmire-abeautifulmind.blogspot.com/2011/03/race-and-libertarianism-left-and-right.html

As of late there been a surge of discussion regarding the role of race in Libertarianism, centered around the theoretical debate between Keith Preston and the ALL. Due to the confusion, both conceptual and practical, it is mired in, I have prepared this piece. This is intended as both a critique of the Left-libertarian conception of race, and as a clarification for the movement generally.

Left-Libertarians refer to “racism” on a regular basis, although they when they do they are referring to it in the abstract, as a mental concept, and not to concrete instances thereof. This is a key conceptual flaw, causing it to be defined in a sense so broad as to lose all meaning. Specifically, they define it as and/or equate it with authoritarianism but this is an ontological fallacy. According to Libertarian theory, authoritarianism is defined as state intervention that directly restricts the individual from the exercise of his or her negative rights. Racism, on the other hand, that rejects individuals in the social sphere because of percieved attributes associated with their race. The former is a form of agency occuring in the physical world; the latter is an idea occuring only within an individual’s mind. Therefore, the ontological distinction between the two could not be clearer.

Because of this distinction, racism is not necessarily a form of authoritarianism but a set of opinions that, if adhered to by individuals in power, could be manifest in a form of authoritarianism; however, this is not predetermined, as it can exist inert within the human mind independent of the state. However, the same can be said of its antithesis, left anti-racism, which the Left-Libertarians adhere to. This can be seen manifested in a number of policies, including but not limited to anti-discrimination law, affirmative action, and “hate speech” and “hate (i.e. thought) crime” legislation, all of which are wholly incompatible with Libertarianism. The reveals to us that the tendency towards statism is a natural human one, instantiated not within any specific ideology but within human nature itself; any ideology can lead to statism should its adherents if so inclined assume institutional power.

The Left-Libertarian will extend his claim by classifying the voluntary organization of individuals into racially exclusive communities as a form of authoritarianism; this is argued on the ground that their implied exclusion of those outside their race is a violation of their right to free movement. However, according to Libertarian theory, if property is privately as the basis for free association, then this includes the right to not associate. Conversely, there is no right in this tradition to not experience discrimination or to enter someone else’s property without their permission. If this applies to private property on an individual basis, then it does also on a collective basis, as the voluntary aggregation of property can be reduced to its individual constiuent parts. Therefore, the voluntary creation of a racially exclusive community is not authoritarian nor do its exclusionary policies constitute a violation of another’s freedom.

In their mistaking this, the Left-Libertarian conflates Libertarianism with liberal humanism, and misuses “authoritarianism” as a blanket term for any form of social organization they disagree with, regardless of its being voluntarily. In doing so, their conceptions of these things cease denoting concrete objects of discussion and devolve into mere abstract concepts, which in turn devolves the clarity of their movement. One function of this is the apparent backslide into the positive rights theory of the statist-left, as indicated by the theoretical fallacy discussed in the previous paragraph. It should be noted that the desire for National Anarchists to secede from the dominant society and create exclusivist communities in the absence of the state should be welcomed by Left-Libertarians; however, their hysterical denunciations of such a proposition appear very much in contradiction to their current adamant exclusion of them from the anti-state movement.

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44 responses to “Race And Libertarianism: Left And Right

  1. Peter W Watson

    Sounds to me as though left libertarians are just a bunch of Marxists pretending to be libertarian.

  2. C H Ingoldby

    Go to LewRockwell, those ‘Left Libertarians’ are a tiresome bunch who spend more time attacking people on the right for ideological deviations that they end up supporting people like King Jung Il and Saddam Hussein.

    They demand that the USA has completely open borders with Mexico because this is ‘Libertarian’, they demand that the West take no actions whatsoever to protect itself from the spread of Fundamentalist Islam and Sharia because that is ‘unLibertarian’.

    They represent the unilateral disarmament section of Western civilisation. They are also boring, priggish wonks with no understanding of reality.

    Culture matters. Libertarians should be open about supporting the Western Civilisation that has uniquely given birth to the principles of individual liberty. They should also be open to the fact that Race is a real, biological truth and there are real and legitimate matters of racial identity and loyalty. Pretending that race doesn’t matter is a matter of wilfull blindness to reality.

  3. I’m inclined to agree that the left libertarians don’t seem to be libertarians at all, in the same way that anarcho-communists don’t appear to be anarchists, either. At least if anarchy is defined as the absence of -archy.

    As a general point, it also seems to me that there is a conflation between race and culture. Many views deemed racist seem to me to be, er, “culturist”. That is, in my experience, often people who say, for instance, they don’t like blacks, are objecting to black culture, rather than having a race theory. Whether their objections are valid (e.g. that blacks tend to be criminal) is another matter. On a more relevant matter, I find that most people objecting to muslims don’t give a damn what “race” they are, it’s the culture they object to, and a perceived threat from that culture as a collective. That may be valid, or may be a moral panic. I’m damned if I can tell which it is, to be honest.

    An interesting article, but I felt it should have been longer, like it was cut off just as it was getting interesting. This is certainly a subject libertarians need to discuss.

  4. Craig J. Bolton

    As someone with left libertarian tendencies, I find most of this discussion to be muddled. Let’s start over.

    First of all, “race” is not an anthropological or biological term – it is an ideological term. The core of “racism” is that there is a superior in-group and an inferior out-group. The conceptual framework is a pre-Ricardian perverted social darwinist one, where the capable and strong must “take care of” the inept and week, and the inept and week owe deference and obedience to their masters.

    Viewed this way, the notion that racism is separable from “authoritarianism” is simply too abstract. The uppity inferior members of the out-group simply must be “kept in their place,” for their good and “the good of society.” Racism is, in short, little more than a rewrite of the old aristocracy/mindless peasant masses distinction of the premarket age.

    What should be particularly repulsive about this doctrine for libertarians is that it easily blends with collectivist nationalism, as is illustrated in at least one of the posts above. The Right People who have established the Right Society According To The Natural Order of Things, must, of course, be able to “protect themselves” from the barbarian hoards who want to come mow their lawns and clean their houses. They are a THREAT, since often upset the inferior classes by engaging in that horrible practice of competition and they stress the SIMPLY WONDERFUL systems of collectivize education, medicine, food distribution, etc. that are needed to keep the lower sorts in their place.

  5. Excuse my ignorance @ C H Ingoldby but I thought freedom of movement or peoples regardless of race or culture was a libertarian premise? When you say, “Libertarians should be open about supporting the Western Civilisation that has uniquely given birth to the principles of individual liberty”, is that saying that only Western ideology is the way to be, all others should not be allowed to co-exist alongside such ideology? Westerners can be free and encourage liberty and free market associations – as long as it is only with Westerners or those that support Western terms of civilisation?

    In the comment about the USA and Mexicans, why do you think Mexicans are not prone to Western civilization premises? They may well not learn American and live in ghettos, as neither initially did the Italian, Jewish, Chinese and Asian communities in places like New York. However, they, like the Mexicans, lived and still live mostly by the laws of the land and do not seem to be wanting to turn the USA into a different and un-Westernised place to live. The citizenship of America is still prized by Americans, be they national born or Mexican immigrants. The notion of nation, pride and patriotism is a very strong one.

    I think Ian B hit the nail on the head when he said that what is objected to is not so much a race of people but their culture. A Muslim can be a British born third generation white middle-class man. His way of relating to and who to be loyal to will be influenced, if not impeded, by his belief. He is so called British, his clothing is Western, his manners and law abiding is Western. His loyalty will be to his religious belief. As a Muslim that is a prerequisite, as it is also for some Christians, Jews and other religious related people. All of which could be third generation British, thus influenced and adopting Western civilizational premises.

    Quite rightly Ian B. states that , ” the perceived threat from that culture [is] as a collective. That may be valid, or may be a moral panic. I’m damned if I can tell which it is, to be honest”. Indeed, I think it is a bit of both. We seem to have a psychic need for identity, but I feel that such a need is better fulfilled, as M. Shahid Alam, in his critique of Samuel Huntingon’s, Peddling Civilizational Wars, suggests, “by identifying with smaller groups such as one’s family, village, tribe, trade union, club, or team-rather than with larger, secondary, more distant groups, such as nations and civilizations. If we do identity with a nation or civilization, this is socially constructed, not rooted in our psyche. Though I differ with Alam’s next statement that, ” if our self-definition does feed on hatred [fear or panic leads to hatred], we might derive considerably greater satisfaction in directing this hatred towards rivals at hand-in business, politics, sports, or at the workplace-rather than to abstract and distant entities such as ‘other’ civilizations”, because it ignores the immigrational aspect of what happens when cultural, not racial, peoples enter a host country, and their cultural notions of liberty and freedom are different from the Westernized notion, which call upon the premise of C H Ingoldby’s Western Civilisation. Here I agree with much of what Samuel Huntingon says as in, “the most pervasive, important, and dangerous conflicts will not be between social classes, rich and poor, or other economically defined groups, but between peoples belonging to different cultural entities”. Though the critique was written February 28 2002 and much has happened since then to counter some of Alman’s critique it is word a read up. http://www.counterpunch.org/alampeddle.html

  6. C H Ingoldby

    efgd, You are being very naive in respect of the USA and Mexico.

    The USA has a distinct and different culture and civilisation from Mexico. Unlimited migration from Mexico will simply result in Mexican norms being established in the USA. All things considered, i would consider this a serious loss, more to the point, Americans have the absolute right to preserve and protect their culture and way of life.

    As for my evidence that Mexicans are not simply going to become good assimilated Americans, the evidence is quite objective, they are not doing so. Mexicans are recreating Mexican communities all across the USA. The barrios are spreading into California.

    What you are advocating is cultural and civilisational unilateral disarmament. A craven pacifism in the face of cultural aggression based on spurious and specious grounds.

    As for Craig J. Bolton, you are quite wrong. Race is a real biological fact. It is not an ‘ideological’ term, it is a straightforward recognition of reality.

    Face reality, pleasant and the unpleasant or forever be an irrelevant word chopper.

  7. Civil liberty allows us to reject anyone at all on any basis & it allows others to similarly reject us ion any basis. We all comprehend the liberal rules on this whenever boy meets girl, as that has been greatly considered over the years in song & verse as well as in liberal philosophy.

    Totalitarian Political Correctness [PC] seek to impose the crass ideal of equality on one & all & in this attempted reign of terror that the PC advocates attempt to impose as they seek this aim they attempt to ban any discrimination whatsoever. As all thought involves some discrimination the PC aim is futile. But it is also immoral.

    The PCers have coined a great deal of jargon to their end of totalitarian uniformity that they ironically call diversity. Racism & sexism is but two jargon words they have coined. Michael Parish errs when he says that this jargon is so wide that it lacks meaning. It refers widely & it is meant to persecute widely too. It is fit for purpose but its aim is clearly illiberal.

    It is not the case that the tendency towards statism is natural. Most people are apathetic towards the state. Politics bore most people, as does religion. Common sense has set up mores against those two topics. So it is quite false to think that the state has anything to do with human nature. But to think is part of humane nature & all thought requires at least some discrimination.

  8. Craig J. Bolton

    Compare:

    “he USA has a distinct and different culture and civilisation from Mexico. Unlimited migration from Mexico will simply result in Mexican norms being established in the USA. All things considered, i would consider this a serious loss, more to the point, Americans have the absolute right to preserve and protect their culture and way of life.

    As for my evidence that Mexicans are not simply going to become good assimilated Americans, the evidence is quite objective, they are not doing so. Mexicans are recreating Mexican communities all across the USA. The barrios are spreading into California.

    What you are advocating is cultural and civilisational unilateral disarmament. A craven pacifism in the face of cultural aggression based on spurious and specious grounds.”

    with

    >>What should be particularly repulsive about this doctrine for libertarians is that it easily blends with collectivist nationalism, as is illustrated in at least one of the posts above. The Right People who have established the Right Society According To The Natural Order of Things, must, of course, be able to “protect themselves” from the barbarian hoards who want to come mow their lawns and clean their houses. They are a THREAT, since often upset the inferior classes by engaging in that horrible practice of competition and they stress the SIMPLY WONDERFUL systems of collectivize education, medicine, food distribution, etc. that are needed to keep the lower sorts in their place.<<

    Race is a biological reality, ah? Well, the last time I looked, biology , specifically genetics, was a discipline populated by biologists. Perhaps you can point us to essays in biological journals since the age of phrenology that recognize the reality of race?

  9. It all depends precisely how you define “race”, and it’s no use arguing about it until you’ve got an agreed definition. There seems to be little point arguing against the obvious fact that, at least visually, humanity can be divided into three significant visual groupings of caucasian, negroid and that hot chick off Battlestar Galactica. Of course these are only broad definitions, in the same way that we can talk of distinct colours in the electromagnetic spectrum (red, orange, yellow…) even though there are many other colours, such as beige, and ochre.

    If you want to assign more characteristics than that simple physical division, such as psychological ones, you get into more trouble. But it is quite clear that population groups across the Earth have evolved differently to some degree and that within those groups the characteristics are stable from generation to generation.

    The word “race” is now politically incorrect in science, so it has been replaced by the word “haplogroup”; and there is currently a great deal of perfectly respectable research by geneticists into which haplogroups arose where, and where they move to, and who they mixed with.

    I don’t personally believe that “race” characteristics extend much beyond physical adaptions to local conditions (skin colour, body shape, etc) and am intensely sceptical of any characterisations regarding intelligence, temperament, and so on, on a racial (oops, haplogroup) basis. But as Sean is aware here from our agruments, I am also similarly sceptical of such eugenic arguments applied to social class, and hold as evidence the success of Ed Balls, a man so stupid he has to label his arse and elbow to tell them apart.

    But that there are different, stable, genetic configurations in mankind is surely beyond doubt. If there were not, the concept of “race” could not have arisen in the first place. If there were a room full of black people and white people, and you were asked to guess which ones had recent African ancestors, would you really have trouble figuring it out? Of course not.

  10. Julius Blumfeld

    There is nothing difficult about any of this. David McDonagh is correct.
    Liberty entails both freedom of association and freedom of non-association (aka discrimination). PC laws strike at the freedom of n0n-assocation. Immigration laws strike at the freedom of association. Both are illiberal. The left-libertarians fail to see the illiberality of PC laws and the right-libertarians fail to see the illiberality of immigration laws. Both are in error. As for the nature of “race”, it is irrelevant to either debate.

  11. C H Ingoldby

    Julius Blumfeld, the ‘right-libertarians’ are correct in seeing that people form different cultures and groups and as such have legitimate cultural and group interests they are entitled to defend. National allegiances are a fact, cultural allegiances are a fact. In a perfect libertarian world they would not be facts, but they are facts and have to be acknowledged as such for any political/philosophical system to have any honest relevance.

    As for race (no need for inverted commas), it is another of those inconvienent facts that are rlevant, however much people may wish they were not. Race strikes to the heart of many peoples identity and allegiance. Much as that may be deplored, it remains a fact.

    The ‘left libertarians’ are like Marxists, they wish to ignore or else to remake human nature to fit their theories. That is arrogant and self defeating.

  12. Craig J. Bolton

    There is so much wrong with some of the premises in this discussion that it is difficult to know where to start. But let me make a stab at it.

    First of all, while it may be “obvious” to some people that there are races, it wasn’t obvious to most civilized people since we have records of civilizations. Terms such as “foreigner” or “barbarian” WERE historically common, and meant what I have identified above – the “out group” that is “not us.” Sometimes the term “race,” or its linguistic equivalent, were used in that sense, not in the common contemporary sense of some unique genetic group. Perhaps such historical individuals noted that all people can cross breed and thus that they cannot be of different species.

    That “race” means no more than “another culture” is evident from what people who believe in “race” end up saying about its importance. What they have to say never has to do with a certain sort of fold in the eyelid or the type of waxy or flaky substance that fills the outer ear passage. It has to do with cultural distinctions. The traditional racist claim is that genetics determines or plays a dominate part in culture. That is still the basic claim, it is just expressed more indirectly because of the disreputable pedigree of such an idea.

    Moving on to cultural distinctions, one has to have a coherent meaning of what “culture” means before one can defend one’s culture. One obvious thing about those cultures that most of us would credit with any positive traits is that they are far from static. Customs change, polite behavior changes, acceptable behavior changes, language and dress change, etc. For instance, it was only a decade or so ago that torture as a national policy would have been something that most Americans would have found to be abhorrent. I just was reading a news article on how the OED has declared expressions such as LOL and IMHO to be proper English. And so forth…. Does anyone really believe that an American or Englishman of today would have much at all in common with an Englishman of the 16th Century C.E. or that “we would all be better off” if the 16th Century Englishman had been successful in “preserving his culure?”

    Probably the most insightful observation on these topics was made by Ludwig von Mises, who opined that:

    ” Traditionalism as an Ideology
    Traditionalism is an ideology which considers loyalty to valuations, customs, and methods of procedure handed down or allegedly handed down from ancestors both right and expedient. It is not an essential mark of traditionalism that these forefathers were the ancestors in the biological meaning of the term or can be fairly considered such; they were sometimes only the previous inhabitants of the country concerned or supporters of the same religious creed or only precursors in the exercise of some special task. Who is to be considered an ancestor and what is the content of the body of tradition handed down are determined by the concrete teachings of each variety of traditionalism. The ideology brings into prominence some of the ancestors and relegates others to oblivion; it sometimes calls ancestors people who had nothing to do with the alleged posterity. It often constructs a “traditional” doctrine which is of recent origin and is at variance with the ideologies really held by the ancestors.
    Traditionalism tries to justify its tenets by citing the success they secured in the past. Whether this assertion conforms with the facts, is another question. Research could sometimes unmask errors in the historical statements of a traditional belief. However, this did not always explode the traditional doctrine. For the core of traditionalism is not real historical facts, but an opinion about them, however mistaken, and a will to believe things to which the authority of ancient origin is attributed.”

  13. Craig, nobody is suggesting that the different types of people are different species, so that is a bit of a straw man. From an evolutionary perspective, there has been significant divergence between populations and, given enough time, speciation might have occurred. But it didn’t.

    The human brain is a machine that understands the world by developing categories. Different brains categorise the world in different ways. To some people, a persons’ religion may be very important and they may have a very fine set of categories in their mind for it; Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, Mennonite, etc. Other people may not consider those categories important, or may disagree that they are really much different, but that doesn’t mean you can say that those categories do not objectively exist. Indeed it can be argued that the way we categorise the world defines how we think and what we are.

    Anyway. Nobody is saying that the three “classic” races are the only way to define ethnicity, or what have you. You’re trying to pretend that everyone is looking at the world like some nineteenth century plantation owner. That is simply false.

  14. C H Ingoldby

    Craig J. Bolton, if you want to argue that race is not a real fact then you are trying to ignore reality. The idea that race is just a ‘cultural construct’ is a ridiculous self serving fiction.

    People identify by race, they identify by culture and they identify by nationality. that is the universal fact of it, however much you may wish it were not the case.

    To try and deny that just leaves you looking like a ridiculous fantasist trying to shoehorn reality into your fixed ideology.

    Personally, i start with reality and then try and construct my theories and understandings based on reality. It is sad that you choose to approach the matter contrawise.

  15. C H Ingoldby

    And on matters of culture, Thank God i am part of the British Pragmatic tradition of belief in individual liberty and not part of the American tradition of dogmatic theorising so well propounded by such people as Craig J Bolton.

  16. Authoritarianism can be State or Private. Relegation of Blacks to the back seats of buses or their exclusion from restaurants is a behaviour, not just a matter of who owns the buses or restaurants.

    “The toad beneath the harrow knows
    Exactly where each tooth-point goes.
    A butterfly, upon the road
    Preaches contentment to the toad.”

    Tony

  17. Craig J. Bolton

    The human brain is a machine that understands the world by developing categories. Different brains categorise the world in different ways. To some people, a persons’ religion may be very important and they may have a very fine set of categories in their mind for it; Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist, Mennonite, etc. Other people may not consider those categories important, or may disagree that they are really much different, but that doesn’t mean you can say that those categories do not objectively exist. Indeed it can be argued that the way we categorise the world defines how we think and what we are.
    =======================

    Of course that is all correct. The point is, however, that the SIGNIFICANCE that “race” has for the sorts of discussions we are having is not biological, it is ideological. Libertarians, or whatever other sort of ideology you may want to mention, contend that certain sorts of distinctions that CAN BE MADE between people and societies are PROPERLY RELEVANT and other sorts of distinctions are not properly relevant. It is simply a false inference to say that:
    (1) There are certain distinctions between individuals that may be called “racial.”
    (2) Some people think that these distinctions are culturally or politically relevant.
    (3) Therefore, race is an important way to analyze the world.

    You would, presumably, not buy into the similar inferential scheme that:
    (1) There are different ways in which societies make collective decisions.
    (2) One of those ways is by “the strongest rules until he is killed by someone yet stronger”
    (3) Therefore, musculature and coordination are important ideological considerations.
    Yet, that is also a biological classification which, somehow, becomes ideological relevant if you buy into the leap in logic.

    Race is important only if one concedes that it is a proper way of classifying people, not if some people use it to classify other people. Ideological attitudes are only relevant to the means used to further “proper attitudes” and defeat “improper attitudes.” They are not relevant in determining which attitudes are “proper” and which are “improper.”

    Unless one is prepared to argue and offer evidence for the proposition that “race” determines “culture” or “political forms” [or whatever other term one wants to use to say "ideology"] then racially based reasoning is not ideological proper.

  18. Craig J. Bolton

    People identify by race, they identify by culture and they identify by nationality. that is the universal fact of it, however much you may wish it were not the case.

    To try and deny that just leaves you looking like a ridiculous fantasist trying to shoehorn reality into your fixed ideology.

    Personally, i start with reality and then try and construct my theories and understandings based on reality.

    ======================================

    You and Bacon. Unfortunately, however, there was then Popper.

    ==========================================

    It is sad that you choose to approach the matter contrawise.

    ============================================

    I don’t think that it is sad that I’m familiar with Philosophy newer than 300 years old.

  19. C H Ingoldby

    That’s a completely irrelevant interjection. No one is discussing, let alone justifying making blacks sit at the back of buses or anything similiar.

  20. C H Ingoldby

    Craig J. Bolton, you continue to try and ignore reality.

    Race is real. It is a biological fact. You make not like that fact, it may not fit your ideology, but it remains a fact.

    Just because in your mind race should not matter does not alter the fact that race does matter.

    As for your ‘philosophy’, if you really think that not basing your theories of the world on reality is somehow ‘modern’ then you really are a ridiculous pretentious caricature of an ideologue blinded to reality.

  21. Oh god, not a Popperian.

    Anyway, Mr Rational Hypothesis Tester With Thy Shoulder Chip… you seem to be arguing against some kind of straw man. You started off declaring basically that race doesn’t exist, so I just pointed out that it does. Whether it’s relevant is another matter. In the same way that it probably isn’t relevant that my cat is a tabby, but that doesn’t mean tabbies don’t exist. So you’re sort of wasting your time on this merry-go-round.

  22. Craig J. Bolton

    C. H. & Ian,

    Why do you keep evading the question of this thread. Let me try again, for the fourth or fifth time now: Presuming that “race exists” [despite the opinions of geneticists to the contrary], what is the ideological significance of that “fact”? Please be specific in your answer. Don’t tell me that “well, certain people believe on that basis.” What do YOU believe, and what is the evidence for your belief?

  23. Craig J. Bolton

    Reading back through this thread, I couldn’t help but notice the following:

    “If there were a room full of black people and white people, and you were asked to guess which ones had recent African ancestors, would you really have trouble figuring it out? Of course not.”

    To which can only be responded with the following essay on and picture of “those with recent African ancestors” : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikaner

  24. Craig… to quote myself-

    I don’t personally believe that “race” characteristics extend much beyond physical adaptions to local conditions (skin colour, body shape, etc) and am intensely sceptical of any characterisations regarding intelligence, temperament, and so on, on a racial (oops, haplogroup) basis.

    The problem is, you’re trying to shoehorn the discussion into the hegemonic race discourse, the one devoloped in the USA in the 1960s, in which one is forced to either hold that race does not exist, or one is a Ku Klux Klan supporter. Which is not much use when discussing modern matters like immigration into non-apartheid European states. It’s like a marxist who tries to relate every discussion to the expropriation of surplus value from the proleteriat, with people who don’t recognise that discourse as valid.

    I think I said above, I’m not interested in race. I think culture is relevant though. I was just making a side point that race does exist, but that isn’t the actual issue that matters, and can we move on from there to the more interesting question of competition between culture groups. Race doesn’t matter, but the obsession with race by so-called anti-racists (who ideologically descend from the original race theorists) mean we cannot get any further with discussion about, e.g. whether nations should have open borders or not. I don’t think that libertarianism requires open access to property to any Tom Dick or Harry who wants to wander in, personally. Regardless of their albedo.

    Also-

    [despite the opinions of geneticists to the contrary],

    as I said, the term is now “haplogroup”.

  25. Craig, Afrikaners are immigrants to africa, not indigenous. What the hell point are you trying to make with that?

  26. C H Ingoldby

    Ian B, Craig is being deliberately obtuse.

    The penultimate resort of the intellectually bankrupt.

    On a side note, I find it fascinating how many people respond to unpleasant facts by denying that they exist. From ‘Freeman of the Land’ who deny that Parliamentary Law exists to Religious literalists who deny that evolution exists to the Leftists who deny that race exists. Rather than face up to reality and deal with it in a calm and decent fashion, they retreat into ever more elaborate fantasies in which anyone who contradicts them is morally wrong.

    Sad really.

  27. Group identities, like all imperfect tools, can have a certain amount of usefulness but are just plain destructive when it comes to establishing any accurate view of reality.
    It seems this slipping over into group identification is what conflates this situation.
    Certain things are true as principles. CH says:

    “Culture matters. Libertarians should be open about supporting the Western Civilisation that has uniquely given birth to the principles of individual liberty.”

    Yes. That is true. These are principles that are worth observing. And what gave rise to them.

    But as soon as the thinking enters the realm of group identity, as a defining identity, it becomes inaccurate and unhelpful, and the result is to annihilate the truth that liberty is worth preserving:

    “They should also be open to the fact that Race is a real, biological truth and there are real and legitimate matters of racial identity and loyalty. Pretending that race doesn’t matter is a matter of wilfull blindness to reality.”

    Collectivist identities are the direct opposite of, and destroy, individual identity. They are at the root of the control systems that are set up by those who would control.

    Personally, when any group identity is used in a defining and descriptive role, all my alarm bells start going off!

  28. Craig J. Bolton

    Craig… to quote myself-

    I don’t personally believe that “race” characteristics extend much beyond physical adaptions to local conditions (skin colour, body shape, etc) and am intensely sceptical of any characterisations regarding intelligence, temperament, and so on, on a racial (oops, haplogroup) basis.
    …………..

    I think I said above, I’m not interested in race. I think culture is relevant though. I was just making a side point that race does exist, but that isn’t the actual issue that matters, and can we move on from there to the more interesting question of competition between culture groups.

    =============================================

    I guess I misunderstood this discussion. I understood it was about the role “race” should play in libertarianism. You are saying, if I understand you, that “race” is irrelevant to any ideological concern. That would seem to end the question for you. But, somehow, it does not. Could you explain why you continue in a discussion about race and libertarianism when the issue is, for you, a settled one?

    As for the remainder of your comments, I think I have already addressed those above in the quotation from Mises. Why aren’t you responding to that quotation?
    ==============================================

  29. Craig J. Bolton

    an B, Craig is being deliberately obtuse.

    The penultimate resort of the intellectually bankrupt.

    On a side note, I find it fascinating how many people respond to unpleasant facts by denying that they exist.

    ====================================

    C.H. is being a deliberate ass. Either that or he simply has nothing to say beyond his expressions of faith in the “nature of” this and the “nature of” that…..

  30. Craig J. Bolton

    Craig, Afrikaners are immigrants to africa, not indigenous. What the hell point are you trying to make with that?

    ====================================
    You know, it is amazing to me how difficult it is these discussions for people to follow what would seem to be the clear implications of what they themselves say. In this instance, for example, you suggested the test of putting together a room full of people with black and white skins and then guessing the place of origin of their ancestors.

    Now you tell us we have to “look back” some arbitrary and unspecified distance in the past to make your test come out as you would like it to come out. I might well conclude from your reformed criteria that the descendants of the Normans AREN’T REALLY English since they originally came from “somewhere else” and are probably a “different haplogroup group?” [Incidentally, I looked up haplogroup, and it has to do with having a common ancestor, not with the classical definition of race.]

    Your contention was that we can “easily tell” who is African and who is not by looking a gross morphological characteristics. If the Africaners aren’t African, what part of the world are they from? By your transformed standard, it would appear that we all should probably count as Africans, since our ancestors apparently all “came from” the Great Rift Valley in North East Africa.

    The point is, however, that this discussion is suffering from the same ambiguities as every such discussion. One minute we’re talking about race. The next minute, and in the same post as if it were the same topic, we’re talking about place of origin of some ancestors of unspecified duration in the past. The next minute we try to meld these muddled distinctions into “culture” or ideology. Rather than my doing the heavy lifting in trying to get you guys to sort these quite different, and often vacuous, distinctions out into coherent patterns, perhaps you should start by clearly stating your positions.

  31. Craig J. Bolton

    The participants in this discussion might find this essay worth reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_genetics

  32. Craig. As CH just said, you are being deliberately obtuse, in your desperation to deny a simple reality about the human species. That being, that different suites of phenotypical characteristics arose among different human populations. It is a simple fact. Dark skinned people, presumably teh first type to evolve, arose in Africa. Some of them, apparently akin to the modern San Bushmen- who had already become phenotypically distinct from others in Africa, migrated out. Some went to Asia, and evolved features like epicanthial folds and lighter skin and straight black hair, and some ended up in Europe and became very pale, with sharp noses.

    Look, it’s just a fact of nature Craig, and your desperate mangling of my simple thought experiment is proof that you’re not arguing honestly. I specifically said “recent” because if you go far enough back then, yes, we are all Africans. And if you go even further back then we are all flatworms.

    Look, unless you are going to state that there is no recongisable difference between black people and white people, in which case it would be rather mystifing why there are terms like “black” and “white” at all, and apartheid would be even harder to explain, since preusmably it would be impossible for anyone to racially discriminate because there would be nothing to discriminate on the basis of, I suggest you give up this silly obfuscatory argument of yours.

    Look, I used to do lighting on black comedy nights, at a black comedy club. All the performers, and the overwhelming majority of the audience, had something in common with each other which they did not have in common with myself. Can you guess what it was?

  33. Craig, in response to your last post before my one above, may I suggest that in the name of peace and harmony you lay off the absurd internetty tactic of patronisingly posting links to wikipedia as a means of insult. Especially considering you didn’t even know what the word haplogroup means without having to look it up yourself.

  34. C H Ingoldby

    Anyone who resorts to linking to Wikipedia in support of their argument has lost the plot.

    Back to the facts. Race exists. It is a real biological fact. For a very great many people their race is an important part of their identity. That is not to argue in favour of any kind of racism or oppression or ‘collectivist’ anything, it is simply to recognise a human reality.

    We may deplore those facts, we may wish they were not so. But if we deny those facts exist then we are fools.

  35. Excuse my ignorance, again @ C H Ingoldby & David McDonagh, but I thought freedom of movement of peoples regardless of race or culture was a libertarian premise? “The “immigration policies” of modern states is yet another licensing scheme of the 20th century: the state has enforced licensing of movement. It is virtually impossible to move across the artificial boundaries of the state’s territory in the search for opportunity, love, or work; one needs a state-issued license to move one’s body, be it across a river, over a mountain or through a forest. The Berlin Wall may be gone, but the basic principle of it lives and thrives.”

    @ C H Ingoldby , “The USA has a distinct and different culture and civilisation from Mexico. Unlimited migration from Mexico will simply result in Mexican norms being established in the USA. All things considered, i would consider this a serious loss, more to the point, Americans have the absolute right to preserve and protect their culture and way of life.” http://www.lp.org/issues/immigration – does not see Mexicans as a problem.

    Hi David McDonagh – looking forward to continuing our debate , if you are able: http://efgd3833.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/political-correctness-and-beyond-end-of-march-2011-pos/, – you state, “Civil liberty allows us to reject anyone at all on any basis & it allows others to similarly reject us ion any basis. We all comprehend the liberal rules on this whenever boy meets girl, as that has been greatly considered over the years in song & verse as well as in liberal philosophy.” So does this mean we actively prevent immigration? Or does it mean we do not associate with those we dislike – but still accept immigration as the freedom of movement by peoples? Or does it mean we prevent immigration -and those immigrants here we don’t like we disassociate ourselves from?
    http://mises.org/daily/1980
    http://mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_4.pdf

    To get back on topic, there is such thing as race and there is within human races set cultures, that can be divisive or inclusive. That leads to the loaded questions:
    Do we accept freedom of peoples to move to where they wish?
    If we do do we expect them as they are and how they wish to be, or do we try to make it clear that unless they assimilate and live by ‘our’ cultural practices they will be forced to leave? As William Gruff suggests in a comment on another blog (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/black-and-asian-cultural-separatism-in-the-uk/#comments), “What’s needed is not ‘enforced assimilation’ but a robust attitude to foreigners who wish to live amongst us, such as is almost universal in Scotland, where immigrants have no trouble assimilating themselves. Quite simply, they should be told, when it is felt appropriate, that their behaviour is not acceptable and if they do not like our ways they are free to leave. “

  36. The participants in this discussion might find this essay worth reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias

    Tony

  37. Graham Davies

    ….and why do geneticists shy away from the use of the term ‘race’ or even discussion of the extent of the genetic disparity between different population groups?

    Simple. Not even the man who discerned the molecular structure of DNA is allowed to give an ‘off message’ opinion on the subject without being bullied:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/fury-at-dna-pioneers-theory-africans-are-less-intelligent-than-westerners-394898.html

    What chance does an ordinary geneticist have?

  38. @”What you are advocating is cultural and civilisational unilateral disarmament. A craven pacifism in the face of cultural aggression based on spurious and specious grounds.” No, I am not advocating anything actually. I am stating some issues or points of views, by other people, that differed to yours.
    The questions I asked in my efgd | 27 March, 2011 at 7:33 pm comment were| :
    (a) freedom of movement for all people, to move to where they wish?
    (b) if we go with (a) do we except them as they are and how they wish to be? (c) still going with (a) but not with (a) + (b), but do we try to make it clear that unless they assimilate and live by ‘our’ cultural practices they will be forced to leave? = (a) + (c)
    (d) allow limited freedom of movement through a variety of criteria prerequisites?
    (e) do not allow freedom of movement of people to come into the UK (or USA) but allow freedom of movement of people to go out of the country UK (or USA?).
    (e) do not allow freedom of movement for any people?

    As I am a British Citizen I will concentrate on Britain. The USA is my concern but I do not live there but there tends to be a common ground of sorts. So to answer the point you made, I do not advocate a,”cultural and civilisational unilateral disarmament. As that would mean the host country is giving up ‘something’, in this case I presume you mean the Western civilisational way of being. Or are you saying that the ‘immigrants’ are being asked to surrender their cultural and civilisation practices, and that is wrong? I think you are arguing on the pro-host definition. I am.

    I would love to see a utopian dream world of all in it together, a kind of free market love-in that free marketers dream about but know in reality that is not possible: Milton Friedman on Immigration http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-milton-friedman-really-said.html , for instance has a different approach, it seems no regulation, therefore no one would be illegal and would have to be part of society paying taxes (I know) and could not therefore be part of an illegal immigrant problem, which they do by taking jobs under-the-counter and being used as well as using the ‘back hand’ system to create problems – there would be a natural assimilation of peoples: I do not see this in total, how serious a problem this really is is another question. I disagree with unrestricted freedom on the grounds that unrestricted immigration to the UK, which is a democratic country, is likely to decrease human freedom, as we stand now, because as you rightly said, if a cultural belief overrides the host country’s culture, by mass immigration of a particular cultural basis, such as religion, then it is possible to be an alien in your own country – that is the fear of a lot of people when they relate to immigration. The loss of how they are, we will always lose how we were by the fact we change anyway, there is no civilised culture that has remained static, but the fear of alienation in the future is compounded by the fear of how we are today.

    @Tony Hillick – read the link you suggested. We all suffer from some form of cognitive bias, each and every one of us. Would you care to elaborate?

  39. Sorry I meant to add to the @ at the start of my efgd | 29 March, 2011 at 5:06 pm | comment, @C H Ingoldby, no disrespect meant.

  40. efgd:

    I was hoping that some of you might find their way to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    You can then have fun working out which cognitive biases correspond to some of the positions we see here. This is a field which cries out for Alfred Tarski’s Correspondence Theory of Truth utilizing a metalanguage, whereby (say) the statement “Le ciel est bleu” is true if — and only if — the sky is in fact blue (with French being the metalanguage in this example).

    I hope this goes some way towards answering your question.

    Tony Hollick

  41. Howard R Gray

    One reads this thread with a slight sense of horror, no opinion on the question of race, or immigration is final.

    Race is more about culture and what is in the mind than the color of the skin. Open borders people have no problem importing others into the economy of the US so long as the advantage is there they will do it and justify it in many ways. Take your pick, the Mexicans need jobs, we are not prepared to do those jobs so shut the …. .up and let them in. Culture, economic and social issues are at the root of so many conflicts. Race is used to bludgeon libertarians, conservatives and Tea Party members as somehow pariahs beyond acceptance in the PC discourse about running the nation. Racism is a means of extinguishing debate; it is not about race it is about tar-brushing, pun intended, your opponent with an inchoate charge to oust them from political acceptability. Is there really a libertarian left or is there any such thing as an anarchist in left wing circles, these creatures are never far from stateism, they fellow travel with the worst of statists, i.e. progressives and communists. Why on earth do we take them seriously?

    On the surface racism has become a sophisticated method of eliminating others opinions and controlling their lives, beneath the surface it is old primate behavior of establishing territory to eject those they hate who are not part of the chosen group. What monkey see is what monkey do!

    The immigration debate turns on the simple issue of property, if you have property then you should be able to use it as you wish, if not your rights are reduced. Permitting large numbers of one group to enter the US without much let or hindrance meanwhile, providing prodigious obstacles to other groups suggests that immigration isn’t conducted honestly nor is the debate on the issue either.

    The usual description of the immigration debate is as follows:-

    1. The democrats want numbers of the poor from Mexico to flood the voting pool to keep themselves in power.

    2. The Republicans want the numbers of the poor from Mexico to provide cheap labour to run commerce at the low end of the economy.

    There is in reality a vicious symbiosis between the state and the criminal classes on the southern border of the US. You won’t find much of this reported but it is there all the same.

    1. Drug importation and human labour and sex slave trafficking is rife and worth millions if not billions, so much so that in itself is a reason the border is never closed. Area 51 is a closed border within the nation, so closed they will kill you if you transgress it, the government notices make this very clear. So why not close the border with Mexico? It could be done but no one does it.

    2. Guns flow south, the corollary of the drug trade, making even more millions for the miscreants that inhabit both sides of the border.

    3. Taking points in paragraphs 1 and 2 it isn’t difficult to surmise that there is a vast amount of cash available to prevent the border from ever being closed. Political contributions will flow from corrupt sources into the system to prevent border closure.

    Lifting the prohibition of drug taking and decriminalization of prostitution might prevent the lucrative trade that keeps the border open, though given the riches prohibition enables, one might wonder why any criminal or government would want decriminalization of these supposed crimes. Prohibition is a potent source of revenue, why would anyone want to liberalize it?

    Governments and criminals aid immigration on their terms, there is far more to be made out of border trade in the criminal world than in free transfer of labour to the farms to pick apples and strawberries.

    You can have a somewhat sterile debate on the issue of race, culture and immigration, it really is most interesting. Meanwhile, the reality is there is an open borders policy, but it has selective porosity in favour of those with the money garnered on the backs of the unfortunate and the drug addicted culture of the United States. In theory decriminalization and or liberalization should put an end to it, but is that possible when so much money is at stake to keep the borders open selectively and all is the beneficiary of prohibition in the final analysis?

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  43. Race is political? Race is a social construct? Race is a state of mind?

    Right. That’s why racially black people have racially white kids on a regular basis. That’s why racially Oriental people have even odds of having children of any other race. That’s why even babies who can’t speak yet are capable of recognizing racial differences. That’s why Africans have constructed societies that look just like Northern European ones. That’s why favelas and barrios are a common phenomenon in Anglo-Saxon communities.

    You fucking morons.

    It is not possible to have a rational discussion with people this divorced from reality.

  44. @Rollory – this is the first time I’ve seen you on this post.
    Would you care to elerberate, “It is not possible to have a rational discussion with people this divorced from reality.”?
    The reason I ask is I am trying to get an understanding about this and be in the real world.
    Please feel free to pick on my posts.