by Michael Gilson De Lemos
There is a real Establishment effort going on to portray Libertarians as racists: anti-Black, anti-Jewish, anti-women. When I recently accepted Microsoft Anti-trust Prosecutor's Joel Klein's challenge to debate Libertarians " anytime, anywhere" on Anti-trust, a challenge on which he reneged, I found myself receiving apoplectic hate-mail that in accepting the challenge, I was Anti-Jewish.
There is a very good reason why these attacks are made. The Left has grasped for some times what many Libertarians do not yet realize: our growing strength is among minorities, or in the case of Females, people who realize they have been victimized by cunning government propaganda for decades. People who have been pushed around by their alleged protectors are ready ears for Libertarianism. Minorities are understanding that, like the lost bird in the Russian story, those who claim unctuously to be your friends are often your enemies; and those who at first seem neutral turn out to be your true, if not only, real friends.
THE RIGHT TO YOUR HAIR
Recently, some Libertarians, not realizing what is going on, have joined the fray, as in the recent article that portrayed Libertarians as computer geeky White males. "Where are the women in the Party?" it wailed, perhaps like a geeky computer teenager at the wrong party. Such articles must be read with caution. In the US such articles generally do not account for Hispanics or Latins, who form a large Libertarian contingent. The Female participation in the movement actually seems superior to that of other Parties, but is not always reflected in membership statistics as there are no family memberships (Florida libertarians are looking into one that will not create administrative headaches) and thus the single memberships that may serve a family are often in the male name. Things like Convention counts in various States show from one third to nearly 60% participation. The irony is that these alarmist articles among Libertarians dovetail with recent books that clearly know nothing about Libertarianism and portray them as competition-obsessed computer hacks. The truth is simple. Minorities and Native peoples find Libertarianism attractive. They understand that Libertarianism is about free choice and property rights, something notably lacking from their lives in the many areas touched by government coercion.
For this reason one sees many interesting numbers. The present LNC of the US LP is over 10% Latin, behind the ethnic Jews. One Jew joked with me that Libertarianism is the one area where Orthodox and secular Jews can find common ground, and many modern movement founders are proud Children of the Jordan. Blacks generally score higher in Libertarianism on Nolan tests than the general population (22% to 16% ). While there has been good outreach to minorities for leadership positions, much nonetheless remains to be done in terms of membership participation. The most effective method is community walkthroughs in campaigns. Blacks are particularly interested in Forfeiture, home schooling and police abuse issues, and this is reflected also among lower-income persons of all races. The EIC program, the largest poverty relief program in the world ( see LIO site ) is a very useful entree. This Libertarian designed program used management efficiencies to refund taxes to the poor, with the result that a typical family with 2 children receives $ 4000 a year. Many Libertarians are not fully aware of this and similar programs such as the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is the appropriate answer to the " what about the poor?" More widely known are efforts such as the Institute for justice, where Libertarians have targeted alleged race-neutral laws that in fact crush minorities, such as bizarre regulations that prevent black women from braiding there hair to popular styles in their own homes, mandating they must know how to dye the lank locks of their towhead White government superiors first, and demonstrate that by taking lengthy and irrelevant courses that drain their capital into the coffers of trade associations that then know where to donate the money..
WHITE VOODOO: ESTABLISHMENT CRYPTO-RACISM
For some years the Namibian Libertarian Movement was very strong, and the peace plan there was essentially designed by them. I worked with them at the UN negotiations in the 1970's; I will never forget Democratic Secretary of State's Cyrus Vance surprised comment, revealing much of the elitists left-racism that hides behind the quota programs designed to, as one Libertarian Black Activist put it,"Keep Blacks on the Government Farm." Vance gasped, "Nigger Libertarians!" One of the Namibians, Chief Gowanab, informed of the comment, coolly retorted, "Marxism, the White Man's Voodoo." The Costa Rican Libertarian movement enjoys broad support from Blacks and it's most known founder, Dr. Stewart, is Black. Blacks in US and abroad have been quite active and there is no doubt that they will perform increasingly vital roles. True, Asian numbers are somewhat low, but Asians in US have been very cautious about new political involvements.
In my view issues peripheral to Racialism and immigration and similar issues should not be mixed up, and Libertarians must approach them cautiously, so as not to import the statistical and rhetorical assumptions of the Establishment. For example, Europeans model discussions on their present immigration woes on the US, but the US-Mexico situation a good example for Europe necessarily. Both countries are in breach of a treaty understanding that was unilaterally breached by the Democrats in 1930's where it was understood that transit and residence rights were unaffected. The Swiss model of adoptions and marriage and local control of education was the original system in the US, and the Constitution was passed on the understanding that immigration was a State prerogative. Switzerland in fact was a model for much of what the early US did.
One must really be careful with economic statistics, often fatally framed in questionable rhetorical premises. Foe example, racism does not seem to cause economic conflict, but the reverse. People look enviously on their neighbors, then decide it is their race they do not like. Thus Mexicans who hold two jobs become lazy; a Frenchman who has just arrived off the boat learns he is responsible for the ills of the Civil War. There seems actually little evidence of widespread racism in the US until the Irish immigrations and growing control of the Cities in the early 1900's, where Blacks were pushed out of many areas and marginalized in government. Reading the original papers of the day is quite interesting; and it is not widely realized Blacks were actually more prosperous than maintained until 1910 when they were increasingly targeted by the political left, with many Blacks being property owners targeted by zoning, Jim Crow and other laws. The Black Sociologist Trower-Sobira wrote a popular real estate investment book for Blacks in which he pointed out these now ignore facts and warned that they had crushed the natural entrepreneurial spirit among Blacks. Even present economic statistics must be viewed carefully, since vast amounts of the informal economy, government transfers,or capital as opposed to income, are ignored. Black-White economic disparities, adjusted for age and education which seems to be the main variable) are minor compared to white-white disparities: The Spanish and Jews are way ahead on most measures from other White groups, much to the annoyance of WASP's on many measures. Also, many minority or Female economic disparities disappear on close inspection; it is an open secret among consultants that the Glass Ceiling is the reverse of the truth. Women, accounting for visible and hidden fringe--never accounted for in officially quoted studies-- are paid about 1/3 more than males of comparable education and experience, etc. In the Bell Curve, Murray's own statistics, when carefully examined, show that in some circumstances older Blacks enjoy a wage advantage, apparently due to their perceived reliability, as he once pointed out.
BIG LIE, BIG LIARS
There is no doubt that the Establishment is attempting to smear Libertarians as racists. In Canada on a recent visit nearly every article I was told about or shown mentioned Libertarians and white militias in the same paragraphs. An Indian Libertarian, recently interviewed for an article, was told they must first answer a long list of question on Libertarianism, including "How did you come to learn about it?" and "Why are you associated with a fringe movement?" After asking point-blank if the Newspaper was asking the questions based on her race, the paper withdrew the questions in confusion. After the US convention, a flurry of letters appeared portraying the Libertarians as a White Man's Party, claiming to see a sea of male faces. These letters ignored that many of the speakers were clearly what used to be called ethnic: Black, Amerindian, Jewish, Muslim and other Libertarian leaders, and certainly many female speakers, including the lead one, littered the podium. It was generally admitted that Dr. Russell Means, the noted Lakota patriot, delivered the most stirring and heartfelt Libertarian speech. And these people wanted to be there: there are no quotas, formal or informal, as in the other parties, for delegates; no imperative for window dressing. Meanwhile, in the best Orwell or Kafka-like fashion, in Florida, Libertarians have just launched a challenge to a recent Supreme Court ruling that designates them a faction or minority with no legal right to exist--without government approval.
True, there are self-described racists in the Libertarian movement. And the power of the movement is such that they are soon modifying their views and learn to work together with people of a different race by a natural live-and-let-live process. Libertarians are the only world political movement to address the true concerns of Native peoples--whether Dnama or Cowichan, German or Basque, Serbian or Piedmontese-- and their heritage, which is rarely the sappy-Disneyworld-kumbaya-communism portrayed, but one of respect for rights long suppressed by those who are sure government knows best. It is for this reason Canadian tribal bands, who recently attended the ISIL conference in London, Canada, have begun to study Libertarianism as a "Free Trade Model' to restore their Heritage and rethink their relations with the surrounding society. As I write this, teenage and elderly members both are reading Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson or Rothbard's For a New Liberty and, as one said to me "This is how we actually once tried to live and knew the height of historical prosperity. We like this Libertarian tribe." Think about that. At-risk teenagers studying economics. These efforts are common and spring spontaneously from the Libertarian philosophy of individual empowerment and respect for the rights of the individual, including the young individual. In Serbia, Libertarians reach out to all groups, recently translating Libertarian works into Gypsy, an effort led by teenagers. At the US convention, the youngest delegate was an Ethnic Italian of 14 who praised Libertarian ability to address individual concerns-and precisely not lump people into groups.
LIBERTARIAN CONSPIRACIES EVERYWHERE?
Libertarians have grown accustomed to bizarre libels by the Establishment. Recently they have been blamed by the Boston papers for Y2K, by California Newspapers and pro-Government Accountants for the decline of accounting standards, and for the disastrous pseudo-deregulation of California utilities. In one of those I-never thought-I'd-see-the-day, someone wrote the Washington Post warning that Russia was an example of the evil consequences of a Libertarian society, doubtless to blame for Chechnya too. Recently, I was interviewed by a hostile reporter who had clearly been told Libertarians were Anti-Black. Why were Libertarians against quotas in schools, she wondered. I pointed out that in the US, Public Schools cost about $7,000 per year per student. Why not give the kid $1,000 yearly to study on his own, invest the remainder in a trust for ten 12 years, and end up with a young self-learner starting life with about a quarter-million in capital, thus solving nearly every social problem, at least from the money angle, in 12 years? That, I said, was one just Libertarian solution before even addressing the full issue of coercion, mandated schooling and so forth. In the end she wrote a glowing article. She loved the ideas. She had never, with all her education, conceived of such analysis; that those focused on race and poverty issues are boxing themselves in with a primitive conceptual framework and the wrong, wrong, questions. Hence the wrong, wrong pseudo-solutions and stories about Libertarians. One may be accustomed, but must take care not to be desensitized. Some months ago in Florida, Libertarians were accused of anti-Semitic racist remarks when someone brought up the question in a chat room about Jewish slave-traders in the South. The Florida LP was actually threatened with a lawsuit, Asked to investigate, I apprised the accuser that the person who made the remarks was Black. I also discovered the champion against racism was a government attorney, had expressed anti-Black views under cover of religious orthodoxy, and had actually said that where their job was concerned, the Constitution and Bill of Rights could and should be trashed. At these revelations, the critic disappeared. My point is the meta-messages are sent out, the culture-zombies know what to do on their own.
THE PLAGUE YEARS
Libertarians are like Dark-Age plague doctors bearing natural anti-bionics. The more they accomplish, the more they are accused by the quacks who confusingly wave about the slogans of health for all-- as they bleed their patients to death. Many new Libertarians and the general public are understandably-- with the way the press is controlled in Western countries by government-produced journalists, decades of warped official statistics, anti-trust, burying significant information on page Z-42, politically financed lawsuits, and now encouragement of simple and uncomplicated lies--not aware of the wide vibrancy and appeal of Libertarianism, whether as a political movement, or, even more importantly, a cultural one. Indeed, it has become a bit of a joke among Libertarians to give interviews in the public media and then be contacted by reporters, public intellectuals, cameramen and janitors who wish to quietly learn more or sign up, the cameramen on occasion admitting that they had had orders not to photograph the Libertarians smiling and preferably scowling at something--or else, good luck finding another job among the regulated or licensed TV monopolies.
Libertarians, and all lovers of freedom, are well advised to aggressively repel all attacks on that appeal, and pre-emptively use it. Libertarians stand for the individual. They reject the false rhetoric of class, race, gender as credible as a smiling Goebbels praising Jews.
*The Libertarian International Organization (LIO) www.libertarian.uni.cc LIO is an assistance network for rights activists worldwide. Site has growing number of useful Links and Projects.
* MG will be facilitating a " Global Workshop on the Libertarian Agenda " sponsored by the International Society for Individual Liberty and LIO. Please Press "Speakers" at www.libertyconferences.com
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