Thank You, Ms. Parks
A friend who follows such matters more closely informed me that there were some, um, rather ugly postings at Racial Collectivism Central (RCC), Lewrockwell.com (LRC), about the late Rosa Parks. He described very ugly remarks about a lady whom the rest of the county has honored.
Someone on Lew Rockwell’s staff with editorial powers exercised some strategic sense and they were all yanked down, so I didn’t have a chance to read them…until today. My friend informed me today that the posts had not in fact been removed from the archives, so here they are for you to view.
Here’s what Tom DiLorenzo had to say about the lady:
73 Responses to “No Ugly Racism Here!”
That sounds like a stand down to me. But since you direct a few other questions to Tom and everyone else disgusted by racism, I’ll take them up. So, why is it importnat for people to know that MLK may have cheated on his wife? Well, maybe if you wanted to tear down his accomplishments. And why would one want to do that? You would point out that King supported some things that you don’t support. Well, that’s rather sleazy, but whatever. (It could be applied to any hero or popular figure. Say, didn’t the old “states righter” and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond have an illegitimate daughter? And the upshot would be? To me it has no impact on whether he was right or wrong to support segregation; it’s only interesting as a peek into his psychology, not as a guide to whether he was right or wrong.)
But why smear Rosa Parks? Why treat her like that? Why “go after” her memory? Only if you want to tear down the ONE thing for which she is known. And that means that you oppose that ONE thing. So, George F. and any others of the little band of proudly “politically incorrect” supporters of Lew who are so eager to “go after” the memory of Rosa Parks, a question. What can we conclude about your attitude toward Jim Crow laws? You’ll stutter and try to shift the ground and say that you wouldn’t support them (now, anyway), but it’s clear at least that eliminating that system of injustice and degradation wouldn’t have been on your agenda. And maybe even those nostalgic references to the Old South are a reference, not to magnolia trees and mint julips, b ut to the very (very) special legally enforced social relationships among people before “outsiders” came down to stir up trouble among “our coloured people.” George F, you’re digging your hole deeper.
It does seem like George F. is retreating a bit, but then attacking on another front. He accuses me of accusing him of making a claim about himself: “To me you attribute the position that ‘people don’t matter.'” That’s interesting. If one looks back up at his posting and my response above, it’s about an allegedly hypothetical case of a “white supremacist,” about whom George F. asks whether “white supremacists or other non-liberals [can] also be libertarians, as long as they favor a limited state or no state?” I responded that to be a “white supremacist” is to believe that some people should be “supreme,” which is not compatible with any form of classical liberalism or libertarianism. I then contrasted that with individualism and asked “If people don’t matter, why would you consider them as having rights?” The discussion was about the white supremacists that George F. brought into the discussion. The claim that “people don’t matter” could only be applied to George F. if, in fact, he is a white supremacist. I did not make that claim, but George F. has taken it to apply to himself. So, either it’s a revelation, or his grasp of logic is, indeed, very weak, as we already saw when he deduced from the statement that “David Duke is not an ally” to the conclusion that “Charles Rangel is an ally.” Logic is not George F.’s strong point. Obfuscation is, unless readers pay attention.
First you compare me to a squid; now you call me an obfuscator. What next?
I must have misunderstood you. When you wrote “If people don’t matter, why would you consider them as having rights?”, I took “you” to be me, George, not an anonymous third person. But thanks for taking from my apparent misreading that I’m either stupid or a white supremacist. (And when will I stop beating my wife?)
(BTW, I did not “deduce from the statement that ‘David Duke is not an ally’ … the conclusion that ‘Charles Rangel is an ally.'” Go back and read the exchange again. Charles made the rather trite point that just because the KKK opposes racial quotas, we shouldn’t make common cause with them. Well, duh. The context was Ms. Hellmer’s question about state sanctions against private discrimination (which hadn’t been answered at that point). Charles, in effect, asked me if I thought it was OK to make common cause with the KKK. I asked him, in response, if it was OK to make common cause with Rangel et al. Sorry, I don’t see the logical fallacy. But I’ll happily concede the point if it will allow us to move on.)
Let me continue the “retreat” by asking Tom another question, this one purely empirical.
Tom has written nice things about Roderick Long and Ralph Raico. As far as I know he has no beef with such MI-friendly scholars and writers as Jim Bovard, Roger Garrison, Bob Higgs, Randy Holcombe, Wendy McElroy, Bill Peterson, Joe Salerno, Pascal Salin, Richard Vedder, and others. Tom has written more than once that such “good people” hurt their own cause, let alone their personal reputations, by associating with Rockwell and company. Why, Tom, do you suppose these people don’t see what you see?
I can think of three possibilities. One is that these libertarian writers and scholars are fools who don’t realize that they’re associating with an anti-libertarian collectivist. A second is that these people are themselves closet collectivists. But isn’t there a third possibility, namely that these folks have the same information as Tom but reach different conclusions? While they may not agree with everything Lew Rockwell has ever said or written, they think the Mises Institute, on balance, is a force for good?
Tom, I’m curious. Which explanation do you think is most likely? Surely you must find this all very puzzling. To you the vile, creepy, disgusting racism and collectivism or the Mises crowd is glaringly obvious. Yet clearly many good and honest people don’t see what you see.
Hasn’t Tom made his point pretty clear? He thinks that it’s a mistake to consort with racists. Lew Rockwell provides a hangout for racists. Tom doesn’t think that other people should sanction holocaust deniers, racists, and neoConfederates. He doesn’t think that ” the same information as Tom.” That’s why he occasionally exposes Rockwell, et al for what they are. What’s not to understand?
Sorry, I dropped a phrase: He doesn’t think that they have “the same information as Tom.”
The big problem that few people address is that racism is RATIONAL, especially from the standpoint of evolutionary biology. If an identifiable group has a large enough percentage of disagreeable or dangerous individuals, it’s reasonable to shun contact with the entire group, regardless of how unfair this is to reasonable and decent members of the group.
Imagine that 10% of people who wear red hats are saints of Gandhi-like proportions, and 10% are suicide bombers who are good at disguising their motives. A man with a red hat approaches you on the street. What do you do? You GUN HIM DOWN IN COLD BLOOD. If you don’t make a habit of this, your descendents will be few.
Any solution to the racism situation has to take the above problem (which, mercifully, is usually much less extreme) into account.
George F. asks what a racist is, thereby attempting to engage in Clintonesque redefitions. I’m sure George has a dictionary available, but for his benefit, I offer the following Christopher Hitchens quote:
“In some ways I feel sorry for racists and for religious fanatics, because they so much miss the point of being human, and deserve a sort of pity. But then I harden my heart, and decide to hate them all the more, because of the misery they inflict and because of the contemptible excuses they advance for doing so. It especially annoys me when racists are accused of “discrimination.” The ability to discriminate is a precious faculty; by judging all members of one “race” to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination.” — Letters to a Young Contrarian, #XV
Further down, George attempts to sneak in a bit of stereotyping by labeling it as common sense through the old Dark Alley story. Why is it relevant to compare old Caucasian ladies with young black males? Why is it not a comparison between young white males and young black males?
I could also say that I might have a slight preference to meeting a paraplegic to meeting a bodybuilder in the Dark Alley, if in the Dark Alley I must go, which would have added exactly the same to the discussion, namely nothing.
The invocation of the black males in the Dark Alley paints an unfair picture: the fact remains that the vast majority of young black males are perfectly harmless. If George F. cannot distinguish between harmless black males and dangerous ones, he has precisely shown himself incapable of discrimination.
>>Why is it not a comparison between young white males and young black males?
Ok, let’s do that comparison instead. Statistically, young black males commit far more violent crimes than young white males. The per-capita ratio is not small, at least 20x.
What’s really horrible here is that the REASONS FOR THIS DON’T MATTER. By this I mean that the skin color by itself could have no causal relation at all to violent criminal behavior. It still makes sense to adjust one’s behavior based simply on the correlation.
>>The invocation of the black males in the Dark Alley paints an unfair picture: the fact remains that the vast majority of young black males are perfectly harmless.
This is true but unfortunately irrelevant, as my “red hat” example above example shows. We do not live in a perfect-information universe. We cannot know at first sight whether or not the man in the alley is harmless or not. We CAN know whether or not the man in the alley is black at first sight, and adjust our behavior to minimize our risk.
>>If George F. cannot distinguish between harmless black males and dangerous ones, he has precisely shown himself incapable of discrimination.
And lacking that capability, his statistically based prejudices will provide him with a survival advantage.
The current ugliness in France provides a timely illustration. Over the last few decades, poor Muslims from former French colonies have immigrated to France. Were they poor because they were Muslim? No. They were poor because they had lived in poorly-administered colonies where the majority religion just happened to be Islam. Once in France, crushing socialism prevented efficient formation of new businesses and new jobs for the immigrants, while the welfare state encouraged the unemployed immigrants to stay (and attracted even more immigrants.)
Extremely inefficient Law enforcement has allowed the situation to deteriorate further. Unemployed Muslim youth formed violent gangs to fill the power vacuum. (These gangs are unfortunately not much more conducive to the efficient formation of new businesses than the French state.) Now these gangs are rioting and terrorizing non-Muslim French.
Now comes the really ugly part: If the disorder continues, sooner or later some French politician is going to suggest that the common Frenchman would be safer and better off if all Muslims in France were deported, or worse, killed. And the truly horrifying thing is that the politician will be RIGHT. Muslims, statistically, do represent a serious threat to non-Muslim French. Hence the possibility for pogroms is quite real.
Note that none of this requires the religious philosophy of Islam to play any CAUSATIVE role. In this case it’s quite clearly the socialism that is at the root of the problem. The oppressive State has set up a situation where different groups are at each others’ throats, creating conflict where there would otherwise be none.
Yes, Henri, I’ve heard of dictionaries. My point was that the term “racist” has become so elastic as to be practically meaningless. We all agree that David Duke is a racist. Spike Lee says anyone who doesn’t like his films is racist. Tom Palmer says anyone who thinks the Northern States should not have invaded the Souther states is a racist. Not too useful.
The Hitchens quote is silly. The hypothetical pedestrian in my example did not “judg[e] all members of one ‘race’ to be the same.” He simply made an educated guess based on the information he had. Of course the majority of young black males are perfectly harmless. I was only pointing (to use Bayesian language) out that the conditional probability of “dangerous” given “black” is substantially higher than the conditional probability of “dangerous” given “white.” In other words, the likelihood that a randomly selected young black male is dangerous is higher than the probability that a randomly selected white male is dangerous. I don’t think any serious criminologist would question this. Of course, most of the time we have more information about someone that simply his race. I certainly never implied that I “cannot distinguish between harmless black males and dangerous ones.” I was giving a hypothetical in which the decision-maker uses race as an indicator or likely behavior. I.e., race per se has some informative content. I don’t see how this can be “racist” given any reasonable definition of the term. But try making this argument in the NY Times and see what nasty names you get called.
(BTW, I’m not sure if this is consistent with T.J. Madison’s points. I’m not a biological determinist. Please don’t lump the two of us together.)
Regarding the other question, Henri, you believe that the scholars and writers I mentioned, most of whom have known and worked with Rockwell for years, who have spoken at countless Mises Institute conferences and published in dozens of Mises Institute books and journals, and many of whom not only read, put post to, LewRockwell.com, are simply unaware that Rockwell has created a haven for “holocaust deniers, racists, and neoConfederates”? Gosh, these people must be blind, or fools, or both.
By that logic, once French politicians start suggesting “that the common Frenchman would be safer and better off if all Muslims in France were deported, or worse, killed,” then it will become rational for Muslims to start killing “common Frenchmen” in preemptive self-defense, and the result will be a situation of two mostly innocent groups who will quite “rationally” be exterminating each other. The absurdity of that conclusion should cast doubt on the premises.
In fact it is NOT rational to kill someone on the grounds that they belong to a group whose tiny percentage of dangerous members happens to be statistically higher than the tiny percentage of dangerous members of one’s own group. Even leaving aside the moral issue (and I don’t think one should leave it aside), a “rational” strategy that results in massive increases of violence is not very impressive.
I read all the comments here and I found George F. and Roderick Long to be taking the most reasonable positions.
Mr. Palmer, I have yet to see a smoking gun showing that Rockwell is a racist. It’s apparent that he throws individuals off his site when they make statements that clearly show a racist bent. That he didn’t do so till it was pointed out in any particular case doesn’t prove anything other than that he is a busy man and doesn’t read every article on the Internet. The only clear case of racist statements I know of so far is Mr. Wallace. These statements were made at Strike The Root and not in some editorially reviewed article at Rockwell’s site.
Guilt by association is not a very strong argument to begin with but it certainly falls apart if someone disassociates themselves with racists when they become aware of the fact. Why aren’t you calling all the other people who associate with Rockwell’s site racists too? It doesn’t make sense to me. If you believe in the fallacy of guilt by association then why don’t you go with it “all the way”. I am sure it would be possible to find a trail of association back from obvious black racists like Louis “White Devil” Farrakhan and Jesse “Hymie Town” Jackson back to Rosa Parks. Why aren’t you calling her a racist?
So you think Lew Rockwell is a racist. If you were going to make such claims one would think you would use your strongest arguments first. Maybe buried somewhere on your website here you have a smoking gun, but heck do you expect us to go to all the work of finding it? The fact that you provide all these non-substantial claims only provides for more chaff through which to shift in order to find the wheat.
As far as I know Rockwell might be or he might not be a racist, the same goes for you. You state, “If Ellenita Muetze Hellmer doesn’t want to sit near black people, she should have that freedom.” That certainly smacks of supporting racism. Do you think people have such freedoms? I don’t. How would you like it if I wrote something similar about you to make a point? Would you like it if I said, “If Tom Palmer doesn’t want to sit near black people, I don’t believe he has that freedom”. That does express my view however it assumes you are a racist without providing any evidence. What you and several other people here are doing is exactly the same and it is wrong.
As an aside, reason I do not think you should have that freedom is because there are situations in which such a “freedom” would be tantamount to either forcing the black to sit somewhere else or forcing you to. Although I call myself a Libertarian I do not agree with the standard libertarian position on this issue. I do so because I have a different intellectual foundation for my ethics than many libertarians. I think there is a certain amount of fraud implicit in the act of restricting others based on race when you would object to such behavior if it were applied to you. I also differ from libertarians on other issues such as whether you have Good-Samaritan duties for similar reasons. I am not going to expound on such views in detail here because don’t feel a comment section is the appropriate place for me to do so. I like to get credit for my ideas and I placing original ideas at a location where they can be deleted at the whim of another doesn’t seem like a good strategy to accomplish that.
I like what Rosa Parks did, and I do not see how the fact that this was orchestrated in any way denigrates her act. In fact I think it does just the opposite. She went into this with eyes wide open to the fact that she could get punished by the courts or, possibly even beaten by the cops, who knows. This was not some random black woman letting one more straw break the camels back. It wasn’t and emotional outburst. This is precise evidence that it was not a matter of some stubborn black woman being to tired or lazy to get up out of her chair to obey some offensive law.
I do however find the idea of making saints out of people offensive. The reason is the people who are absolutely right on one issue are often wrong on others. When they are elevated to sainthood then it becomes impossible to disentangle the correct positions on issues unrelated to those that gained them sainthood. Look at what is going on here. There are a bunch of commenters who instead of actually defending their positions are just calling other people racists. Why? It’s because they dare point out a fact about Rosa Parks. A fact that is important to know. This is especially true if you want to effectively combat racist legislation. If the fact of the matter is that most successful attacks on such legislation were done via conscious activism then wouldn’t that be a good thing to know.
I don’t know much about Parks but if she has spent most of her life working for affirmative action then she is a hypocrite. Racial discrimination against whites is just as wrong as the kind she fought against. If you try to defend such racist legislation on the basis of her sainthood then you are backing the wrong horse.
Problem is that I don’t think that is actual goal of such taboos on presenting the facts. One of the anonymous commenters (brave person they are) writes, “George F. would make a horrible poker player, as he shows his ugly, bigoted “tells” for the world to see.” I think that the opposite is true. I think it is a “tell” when someone goes out of his or her way to label someone a racist with no conclusive evidence for that fact. George F. wrote absolutely nothing to indicate he was a racist that I read.
Heck, Tom Palmer provides more evidence with his belief that people have some inherent right to a “freedom not to sit next to black people”. He claims that Charles Murray is not a racist, who has in fact provided more evidence for that fact than anyone George F. is defending. I actually bought Murray’s book “The Bell Curve” only to return it to the bookstore because I was so offended by his reasoning. I had only read to a certain point before it was apparent to me that he had an axe to grind. I don’t recall the details but I actually felt dirty reading the book, as he made obvious errors that I could only rationalize as being motivated by racism. Maybe later he managed to make a point but I never got there. I would never however claim he was a racist until I had clear evidence. It seems to me that Murray has crossed a line that should have triggered Palmers hypersensitive racial barometer. It certainly triggered mine.
So here is Palmer defending Charlies Murray, and advocating rights not to sit next to black people, and hell in his picture he even looks like a racist. 😉 So why aren’t you commenters who have slandered George F. up in arms about that.
I found nothing odd about George F.’s using both the Amish and White Supremacists as examples of exclusionary societies. The fact that the Amish don’t allow anyone but another Amish to buy their land does indeed smack of discrimination. The anonymous poster said, “He uses the Amish as a counter-example. But to be “Amish” is not based on skin color or physical traits — it is chosen belief, a religious notion, a philosophical path.” I disagree with this for many reasons. There are many differences between being Amish and holding some particular belief that makes it very similar to race. Let me list them: 1) It is in fact correlated with genetics due to the way it is transmitted. 2) Transmission is usually via parent to sibling. 3) People lacking indoctrination at a young age are very unlikely to convert to it. 4) No effort is made to convert the non-Amish 5) The Amish shun members who express non-Amish ideas 6) Being Amish is not merely belief in a single but a whole system of outlandish beliefs. 7) Conversion is made difficult in both directions by the Amish. Recursively, one such obstacle is not being allowed to buy Amish lands.
So becoming Amish, or converting away is not the same as merely changing an opinion. There are insurmountable hurdles in the way of my integration into Amish society that are just as real as race. I can as soon believe the stuff they were suckled on as change my skin color. Part of the reason is precisely because I was not raised Amish. Children are very suggestible.
Furthermore, they are discriminating not on the basis of beliefs that I hold that are not in fact indicative of my behavior. I could certainly understand them not wanting to sell land to a criminal. In fact this can be a merely protective act on their part. If someone had openly stated that it was my belief that fireworks manufacture was perfectly safe to do in highly populated areas and they refused to sell to them on that grounds I think they have a good position. If some private school was selling adjacent land to raise money I think it is perfectly reasonable and within their rights not to sell the land to NAMBLA members and to add a restrictive covenant to such effect on any other buyer.
However, not accepting in the entire Amish system of beliefs is not tantamount to such trespassing endangerment. Building a munitions factory next to a playground does in fact trespass via the endangerment of the children. Having a Mormon or Methodist living next door doesn’t. That is unless the Mormons and Methodists were teaching their children to kill the Amish, however that isn’t the case (, I cannot say the same for Islam however).
I also disagree with the idea that one shouldn’t discriminate on physical traits. I think it more than likely that we will find that certain people behave violently because of their physical makeup and not merely due to their beliefs. If a person were found due to some brain abnormality to be a psychopath I see no reason at all that this should give him a “pass” on discrimination. Especially if that person has been proven to have control issues as evidenced by his violent crimes. It seem perfectly understandable that no one would want him sitting next to them or even on the bus, or even being free to roam society for that matter.
One reason that one cannot justifiably discriminate on the basis of race is that it is a proven over-generalization. Just because your skin is black doesn’t mean you are a rapist and just because your skin is white doesn’t mean you are a moral leper (as the civil rights movement often assumes). As I said, I haven’t given the entire picture here. This is not a sufficient condition, only a necessary one. In order to prevent discrimination it is necessary to show the person discriminating is being arbitrary, that is not however sufficient reasons to stop it. Amish discrimination against outsiders has failed this test and also fails several others.
There is no evidence, repeat no evidence, that Rosa Park’s decision not to give up her seat was “staged.” Those who advocate this theory often emphasize that Parks was an official of the local NAACP and attended Highlander seminars. It all goes to show the danger of a little bit of knowledge. They need to read up read up on the rest of the story before they make knee jerk conclusions.
A critical flaw in the “staged” theory is that the pro-integregationist NAACP (rather than embracing the boycott) was initially critical. The NAACP was especially upset because King and the other boycotters proposed a true separate but equal system, such as existed in Mobile, under which blacks would fill in from the rear of the bus and whites from the front and nobody would have to give up their seats.
It was only later, after the city rejected this proposal, that the boycotters demanded integregation of the buses. In the meantime, they had set up a Montgomery Improvement Association because the NAACP *refused* to allow the boycott to be sponsored by the local NAACP chapter. So much for the conspiracy theory.
That should be “integrationist.” Typing too fast.
“Imagine that 10% of people who wear red hats are saints of Gandhi-like proportions, and 10% are suicide bombers who are good at disguising their motives. A man with a red hat approaches you on the street. What do you do. You GUN HIM DOWN IN COLD BLOOD.”
Before I got to that point I’d ask the good people to refrain from wearing red hats. If the bombers had some obsession with red hats they would then be easy to spot.
Besides I think your position and analogies are bad on Islam. Islam isn’t analogous to clothing. Furthermore it specifically teaches in the Koran to kill infidels and how inferior we are. It’s quite specific and repetitive to the point of being boring on this. I don’t think the labels clothing do more than instruct the manufacture not to remove the label under penalty of law. Or was that pillows? 😉
Your placing all the blame for the Muslim riots on French colonialism and socialism doesn’t really jibe with the facts. They are rioting right now in other countries that got their Muslim populations in ways other than colonialism. Many of the poorest Muslim countries have never experienced colonialism. Muslims are in conflict with almost every culture they come into contact with, including other Muslim cultures. Muslims were the colonizing Europe long before our colonial period. I understand they were quite successful in Spain. Europe was a source of slaves long before sub-Saharan Africa. In fact the Algerians and Moroccans, the ones who make up a large portion of the French Muslims were precisely the nationalities most active in the white slave trade up into the 1830s.
Seems like there is a double standard here. Non-Europeans can blame Europeans for their present bad behavior on colonialism, slavery, and European social institutions. However the reverse is not allowed. The very best present day Islamic society treats any non-Muslim as a second-class citizen, and during their supposed ancient golden eras it was even worse. I don’t think that, forcing special dress on people, restricting occupations, forcing a special tax that is collected in a humiliating ceremony including public beatings, arbitrary removal of police protection, self defense restrictions, laws against building or even repairing private property, prohibition from certain occupations, prohibition against oversight of Muslim workers, prohibition of acting as court witnesses, slavery, arbitrary execution, and other violations of rights constitutes any sort of enlightened behavior. They call it enlightened behavior because one can find post-(muslim) colonial Christian countries like Spain which kicked out not only Muslims but Jews. Of course ignoring the fact that many other Christian countries tolerated Jews for the same self-interested reason, they were a source of revenue for the ruler.
Not only that but they are rioting in Islamic countries when non-Muslims try to exercise basic rights. Muslims in Egypt just rioted and inflicted heavy damage on the Christian Copts merely for putting on a play that pointed out the discriminatory behavior of the Muslims.
I do think socialism has a role to play but I don’t think it is the main factor. Islamic cultural beliefs do play as a large factor in Muslim poverty. Prior Muslim behavior plays a large part in the position Muslims find themselves in today.
Look at what triggered these riots, some criminals electrocuting themselves. Only a sub-culture that somehow valued the criminal would get upset about this. Seems they value them precisely because they are Muslim, I doubt they would have rioted if it were some native French “youths”. Us evil Europeans celebrate such incidents involving white protagonists with websites like http://www.darwinawards.com. What was the last Muslim riot over? O yeah, a beauty pageant. These guys have to grow a sense of humor.
“By that logic, once French politicians start suggesting ‘that the common Frenchman would be safer and better off if all Muslims in France were deported, or worse, killed,’ then it will become rational for Muslims to start killing ‘common Frenchmen’ in preemptive self-defense, and the result will be a situation of two mostly innocent groups who will quite “rationally” be exterminating each other. The absurdity of that conclusion should cast doubt on the premises.”
In reverse this is precisely what the Koran teaches. Unfortunately, Islam being a religion is not required to stand on the issue of rationality.
This is one of the problems I have with anarchy and traditional Libertarianism. Advocates seem totally powerless against certain frankly evil strategies, and word games.
Muslims call Islam a religion but it is unlike what we are used to. For instance, Mosques are not only places of prayer but military headquarters. Not something the modern Western mind can wrap itself around. Islam is more than a religion, it is also a political, and ecomonic doctrine. In this way it is more like communism than modern Christianity. Which is why the Muslims don’t respect the boundaries we think they should. Like not using Mosques as ammo dumps, sniper positions, and hardened emplacements.
How does a limited government libertarian reconcile religious freedom with a religion that doesn’t recognize his right to breath?
If it is just a fact of nature that the Muslim strategy will always win out over an anarchist one by mere force then why should anyone ever wish to be an anarchist?
It seems to me that a strategy of “deceive them”, “surprise them with overwhelming force”, “first kill as many men as you please regardless of belief”, “make tax slaves of the remaining Christians and Jews but slaugher to a man any one else”, “use the excess woman as baby factories”, “indoctrinate the resulting children in Islam regardless of the beliefs of the mother”, “rinse and repeat”, is not something that is compatible with a libertarian or anarchist society.
Frankly the mere advocation of such a philosophy is a direct threat against the non-muslim. Sort of like brandishing a weapon while making threats.
It’s not a idle threat either since they have been making good on it for thousands of years.
Even if a Muslim doesn’t buy the whole package it is still a credible threat. There is a real danger that when you teach a child that the Koran is written by Allah that he might take those parts of Koran you reject seriously. I don’t see how this can be taught safely when it is so explicit in it’s message. It is unlike other religious texts in that it calls for killing groups that exist in the present and doing so as a duty to Allah. Unlike the Abrahamic God he doesn’t like to do his own dirty work.
I am not a Christian, nor a Jew, and I have found nothing in the bible that calls specifically for my death. God does all sorts of slaugher in the land, he commands the killing of an ancient group here or there, Jesus may tell a parable about some king calling for slaughter, however I don’t see anything that specifically calls for present day slaughter. The worst I can find is something like “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live” or some such but it might as well be talking about unicorns.
I cannot say the same for the Koran. It is quite specific on which present day groups to slaughter and enslave, which includes just about every non-Muslim group not to mention any apostates. The passages that mitgate such behavior are vague and conditional. For instance, there is a Sura that states that says not to begin hostilities but it is on a section explaining the rules of the holy month. What about when it isn’t the holy month? You might have a section that says “Stick to your treaties”, but it is followed by another that says “that is until you find them inconvenient”. Even the supposed tolerant passages like “To you your religion and to me mine” just don’t ring true when considered in context. Should a southern slaveholder stating “To you your skin color and to me mine” give comfort to the black slave?
So right now I am struggling with this seeming problem with the idea of religious freedom. I used to be a firm believer but only because I was not aware of all the possibile “religions”. Now I am not so sure.
BTW. That was me posting in reply to T.J. Madison, in the comment before my last one. Forgot to fill in my name
In Mr. Palmer’s mind, Rockwell has disgraced the memory of Rosa Parks.
But Mr. Rockwell wrote in his post: “None of this means Mrs. Parks wasn’t brave to refuse to be humiliated by the government, and to face jail instead.”
If this is confusing to anyone else, you are not alone.
George F, to take your last question first, I don’t know much if anything about the “other scholars” you mentioned, so I cannot speak to that. I can say, though, that in general, I have not been too impressed with the quality of content on the LRC site. I can also add that when Dr. Palmer says he saw the above citations on the LRC site, I have abslutely no reason to doubt him.
I don’t think the Hitchens quote is silly. You asked what a racist is, and I provided one perspective that includes a definition (“judging all members of a race the same”).
“I.e., race per se has some informative content.” This is where a fundamental disagreement comes out. Why is the probability of a black person being dangerous higher than for a corresponding white person? What data point do you use to come to this conclusion? I’m aware that the US prison population is largely black, but from everything I’ve read, this is more likely due to unbalanced executive and judicial practices of state and federal governments.
Even if it turned out that crime is more common among blacks than whites, this could be due to a variety of reasons.
For instance, DC has the highest percentage black population in the Union, and one of the highest crime rates. The crime rate there brings up the national average for blacks. Yet, this does not tell us anything about the “conditional probabilities” of anyone you meet in, say, Seattle or Denver. It doesn’t even tell us anything about meeting a black person in DC: yes, the person is more likely to be a criminal, but that is a property of being in DC, not a property of race.
Even if a slight discrepancy could somehow be proven, this doesn’t really give us a good reason to suspect minorities. From a pure rational perspective, other factors, such as location and time of day, are likely to be far more determinant. From a moral perspective, personally I don’t see how it justifies “[using] race as an indicator or likely behavior.”
Brian Macker wrote: “I do however find the idea of making saints out of people offensive”
The Rosa Parks defenders here are not claiming sainthood for anyone. Quite the contrary, she is a normal person who did something extraordinary. This makes her a hero, not a saint.
In fact, it’s the detractors that are looking for saints. Because Rosa Parks and her organization was not the perfect libertarians, they think this somehow diminishes what happened.
Measured in numbers of oppressed people, segregation is one of the worst, perhaps the worst, transgression in the history of American government. Rosa Parks helped bring about its end.
This deserves untempered applause from all true freedom-lovers.
>>In fact it is NOT rational to kill someone on the grounds that they belong to a group whose tiny percentage of dangerous members happens to be statistically higher than the tiny percentage of dangerous members of one’s own group.
When the relative percentages are large but the absolute percentages are still small it’s rational to substitute “avoid”, “shun”, or “flee” for “kill”.
>>By that logic, once French politicians start suggesting “that the common Frenchman would be safer and better off if all Muslims in France were deported, or worse, killed,” then it will become rational for Muslims to start killing “common Frenchmen” in preemptive self-defense, and the result will be a situation of two mostly innocent groups who will quite “rationally” be exterminating each other. The absurdity of that conclusion should cast doubt on the premises.
It’s the Prisoner’s Dilemma. When the decent members of one group cannot effectively (and quickly) identify the decent members of the other group, mutual slaughter is rational (and inevitable) once the risk associated with the presence of a random member of the other group becomes high enough.
It’s not absurd, and it does happen. This is why situations like those in France and Israel are so dangerous.
>>Even leaving aside the moral issue (and I don’t think one should leave it aside), a “rational” strategy that results in massive increases of violence is not very impressive.
That’s why avoiding situations with the potential to deteriorate in this way is so important.
>>If it is just a fact of nature that the Muslim strategy will always win out over an anarchist one by mere force then why should anyone ever wish to be an anarchist?
I suspect that the Islamist strategy isn’t as dangerous or virulent as it might seem at first glance. It’s quite vulnerable to subversion. It also tends to turn on itself, as fanatics within Islam expend considerable energy attacking each other. The really violent elements tend to be rendered impotent by their own irrationality. Note that the ratio of arrogant anti-US bluster to actual murder of US citizens by Islamists is quite high.
There’s an awful lot above, some of it off topic (including a remarkably self-indulgent ramble by Mr. Macker that would have been better placed on his own website, with a link to it on this comment section; I’ll merely mention that he really ought to learn to read carefully before picking up big books, such as The Bell Curve). I’ll limit myself to a few items and then suggest that this particular discussion line be shut down, so if anyone REALLY has something urgent to say, please post it soon.
First, George F. is sneaky, but not persuasive. He suggests that I have insulted him by comparing “him” to a squid (“First you compare me to a squid; now you call me an obfuscator. What next?”). In fact, I compared his tactics to the ink-squirting tactics of a squid; I did not suggest that he shared any other characteristics of the squid. His complaint is itself an example of the technique of trying to confuse and lead readers away from the main issue, which is the unvarnished, ugly, and nasty racism that the posts on Lewrockwell.com exhibited and what it says about the authors and the host of the site itself. (Accordingly, I stand by my claim that his “strong point” is obfuscation.)
Second, George F. attempts to mislead by writing “Tom Palmer says anyone who thinks the Northern States should not have invaded the Souther states is a racist.” That would be a pretty stupid position to hold, since although some of the people who think that are racists, neither is their thinking that evidence of racism, nor is it true that all people who think that are racists. That’s another attempt by George F. to mislead through sheer sophistry. I don’t believe it and I have neither written it nor suggested it. More squid ink.
George F. raises the issue of the long list of people who are associated with the Mises Institute. I am fairly sure that most do not know that they are on the list of “Faculty.” When I asked one economist I know during a conversation why he was affiliated, he was quite shocked that his name was on the list. Later, he wrote this to me:
“I did not know that I am listed as adjunct faculty at the Mises Institute. I was summarily fired in 1987 when I said, at the Mises University at Stanford that year, that I didn’t think Austrian Economics had a future unless it makes common cause with neoclassical types like Buchanan and Alchian. I was told I would never teach at the Mises Institute again.
I will have my name removed.”
It took several attempts on his part to have his name taken off. Other economists have approached me with similar stories; it seems that anyone who has ever spoken at or participated in any Mises event has been listed as a “faculty” member and when they find out, they have great difficulty having their names removed. So I wouldn’t read too much into the significance of that list of names. True, some decent people whom I respect do speak at their events. I don’t think that they should, since I think it harms their reputations and lends credence to the shoddy thinking alongside which their work appears, but, hey, it’s a free country.
(My thanks especially to David Beito for his informed historical comment and to Henri Hein for more clearly articulating some of the ideas I was trying to articulate.)
In fact, this is such a remarkably long thread and it’s sometimes even a bit hard to follow, so I’m going to cut off the remarks here. HOWEVER, if someone has something really urgent to say, send me an email. (If you want it to be anonymous, you could create a quick anonymous yahoo account and send it that way; just sign it with the name you’ve used for the comments above.) And, just to be as fair as possible, since George F. is a ranking officer in the Lew Rockwell circle, I invite him to have the last word if he wishes. (In order to keep up the appearances of anonymity, I invite him to send a last word by whatever anonymizer he chooses.)
George F. just sent me the following note, which I reproduce without change. (Since I offered him the last word, I guess I can’t respond, so I’ll leave what I would have said to the reader’s imagination.)
Tom has graciously offered me the last word, so I’ll
throw in two quick rejoinders. (1) My complaint about
being likened to a squid was a (perhaps lame) attempt
at humor. Can we not have some levity on this thread?
(2) Tom is exhibiting some squid-like behavior himself in his response to my main question. “I am fairly sure that most do not know that they are on the list of [Mises Institute] ‘Faculty.'” Quite wrong. I didn’t
select at random from the several dozens of people
listed as MI faculty. I chose among the “Senior
Faculty,” and/or people with a long and very public
association with the Institute. You think Roderick,
who lives in Auburn and edits the Journal of
Libertarian Studies, doesn’t know he’s associated with
the MI? Joe Salerno, who edits the Quarterly Journal
of Austrian Economics? Ralph Raico, recipient of the
MI’s Schlarbaum Award? Reminding us that many people with only a tenuous connection to the MI are also listed as “Faculty” looks like squid ink to me. So,
Tom, which is it? Are the people I just named fools,
racists, or perhaps decent people who would find your attitude toward the MI a bit, well, oversensitive? I
await your comments in a future thread.