Centralism Versus Decentralism? Neither, For The Libertarian

From: J
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 4:06 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Jim Crow & States’ rights

Do you believe that the repeal of state-forced segregation (not the illegalisation of private discrimination, of course) in the American South should’ve been handled at the state level, instead of in Washington? In other words, should certain been allowed to retain such laws of forced segregation if they wished, as their right as sovereign states?

Dear J:

I am neither a federalist nor an anti federalist. I don’t favor the states of the feds, nor the reverse. I’m a libertarian. So, I pick and choose on the basis of the specific issue. For example, when President Reagan threatened the NYC mayor that unless he got rid of rent control, the federal govt would withhold funds from NYC, I favored the federal govt vis a vis the city government. On the other hand, when the federal governemnt is in the wrong vis a vis the states, I favor the latter. For example, the feds should not own land in the 50 states. But, out of context, if I didn’t know the specific issue, I incline toward decentralization; states prefereed to the feds.
On the segregation issue, I don’t think govt has a right to impose this. So, regarding southern state segregation, I favored the federal govt that wanted to stop this. On the other hand, suppose the fed govt wanted to impose state segregation on a state. Then, and only then would I support the “sovereign” states, not because they are sovereign (for the anarcho capitalist libertarian, only the individual is sovereign) but because, then, they would be more closely promoting justice.
Best regards,



2:23 pm on January 4, 2019