Culture Schmulture

From: T
Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2017 11:38 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Culture

Hello Walter: Previously you had said, “Culture Schmulture” in our High School Conference. In the early part of this video, Paul makes a strong argument for culture being important. Could you reply to the role of culture in allowing the left to encroach and grow? Thank you T

Dear T: In my view, culture is very important in determining at what level of civilization people live at, if any. I fully agree with Paul Gottfried on this important matter. I also join my friend Paul as a cultural conservative. I think that western culture is very important to defend.
My only claim when I derisively dismiss culture as “Culture Schmulture” is that culture is irrelevant to justice. In India, suttee was part of the culture; a big integral part. But, it violates the NAP, and is therefore unjust, no matter how well embedded in the culture suttee was. And it is the same with slavery. In many societies, over many historical epochs, slavery was part and parcel of the culture. Still, since it violates the NAP, it is unjust. Just because culture is an important explanatory variable (part of positive economics) does not render it relevant to justice (a matter of normative economics). Just because a certain culture is popular in a certain society does not render it just. For that determination, I as a libertarian ignore culture, popularity, common practice, and look, instead, like a good Rothbardian, at the NAP and private property rights based on homesteading.

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4:21 pm on December 24, 2017