Antiracists Denounce the Radical Right

Antiracists believe that government should be as big and powerful as possible – how else will it “root out hate” and equalize everyone? Nancy MacLean’s 2017 book Democracy in Chains attempted to take down the1986 Nobel laureate economist James M. Buchanan because she saw his public choice theory as a threat to her conviction that an ever bigger state is the only path to progress.

Statists who place no value on liberty do not accept that anybody else truly values liberty. They see liberty as cover for what MacLean called a “radical right stealth plan”. But opposition to the Total State is not a stealth plan – on the contrary, the argument against state power is founded on the basic principles of constitutionalism defended by all who value individual liberty. In his review of MacLean’s book, Tom DiLorenzo exposes the falsehoods in MacLean’s attacks on the radical right. DiLorenzo writes: Social Justice Fallacies Sowell, Thomas Best Price: $11.99 Buy New $13.00 (as of 12:22 UTC - Details)

In Nancy MacLean’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with America’s government establishment employing vast resources educating people how to use the levers and processes of government to expand its size, scope, powers, and budgets. This is accomplished today with the help of the vast university system which has become one giant taxpayer-financed think tank for statism … All of this is apparently a proper if not essential part of American democracy”

Statist defenders of democracy do not accept as valid any arguments in favor of limited government. They reject liberty as a valid argument against state power and regard the American Revolution as nothing more than cover for a defense of slavery. Of Buchanan, MacLean says that his claim to be a classical liberal was simply a mask to shield his “chilling will to power.” Similarly, she sees his support for private schools as simply a mask shielding his desire for racial segregation. As David Gordon asks:

Was Buchanan a covert racist, supporting private schools in order to provide a cover for racial segregation? MacLean fails to discuss Buchanan’s article, “Equal Treatment and Reverse Discrimination,” which greatly aids us in answering this question. Here Buchanan presents a model  in which “even in the absence of ‘discrimination,’ as usually defined, acceptance of the ‘equal treatment’ criterion or precept for justice. . .is sufficient to provide a possible basis for what is often referred to (erroneously) as ‘reverse discrimination’. . ‘ Buchanan then applies this model to two famous cases, Bakke and Weber, to provide a possible justification for preference for minority candidates in education and employment. This does not sound like a policy a racist would find congenial.

MacLean’s book set the stage for antiracists to take aim not only at Buchanan but anyone who defends him. In their view, the state is essential in fighting racism, therefore anyone who opposes the state is failing to join the antiracist efforts and must of course be a racist. Thus the antiracists attempted to take down the South African economist W.H. Hutt, whose work Buchanan supported. Hutt’s alleged crime was to oppose apartheid on the wrong grounds. In his book The Economics of the Color Bar, instead of opposing apartheid on “antiracist” grounds he opposed it for restricting economic liberty. As stated in the preface to that book:

Professor W. H. Hutt has written this book as an economist. His central discussion is of economic causes and consequences and he touches only marginally on other aspects, political, sociological, philosophical … Although Professor Hutt writes dispassionately as an academic, there is ample evidence in his record of public protest of his moral revulsion against the injustices to the non-white peoples of South Africa.

This dispassionate approach, focusing on the economic implications of apartheid, was also adopted by the great economist Walter E. Williams in his book South Africa’s War Against Capitalism, in which he aimed to show through an analysis of labor market regulations and restrictions that “apartheid is the antithesis of capitalism”.

In the worldview of the insane antiracists, this type of economic analysis is racist. In their view the only injustice in the world is “racism” and therefore the only ground on which anything may validly be opposed is “antiracism”. Any economic principles which do not concern either racism or antiracism are therefore deemed to be invalid and amount to evidence of being – you guessed it – racist.

Statists are in the habit of dismissing anyone who disagrees with their statist worldview as “racist”. Liberty is racist. Free speech is hate speech. They apply these epithets not only to fellow academics who defend individual liberty and free market ideals, but also any historical figure who fails to promote their particular style of “antiracism”. It is on this basis that they denounce Western civilization itself and attempt to dismantle it on grounds that racism must fall. Discrimination and Dis... Sowell, Thomas Best Price: $11.99 Buy New $18.35 (as of 04:05 UTC - Details)

For these reasons the “antiracists” are dismayed with the Radical Right who defend limited government and even, in the case of anarcho-capitalists like Murray Rothbard, oppose the state altogether. As Lew Rockwell argues in Against the State:

Experience has taught us that “limited government” is an unstable equilibrium. Governments have no interest in staying limited, when they can expand their power and wealth by instead increasing their scope.

The state-managed civil rights behemoth is a good example of that expansion. Unfazed by several decades of disastrous attempts to eradicate discrimination, it has set out to equalize everyone through DEI schemes, and even to “root out hate” from people’s hearts by annexing hate speech provisions to the Civil Rights Act. Far from being distracted by false charges of “racism” defenders of liberty should refuse to be slaves to democracy, recalling the words of Lysander Spooner cited by Rockwell in Against the State:

The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that – however bloody – can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.