Thursday, August 18, 2011

The MLK monument in DC
Steve Sailer’s noted the ironies that it’s white and made by Chinese slave labour. (So just about everything, including our national myths, is now made in Communist China.) Implied: I think he feels the way many real conservatives and some other, not so nice, folks did at the time about his movement.

Me? Neither King nor Wallace. Or both. Let me explain.

First, defending the black man’s individual liberty is a noble cause. That’s how the movement was marketed to America (President Johnson’s campaign commercials) and fundamentally decent people supported it. But there’s a huge difference between that and ordering racial quotas for example (I don’t care what race you are; did you pass the test and can you do the work?). Sailer dares to skate outside polite society and give likely reasons for unequal outcomes but that’s none of my or the state’s business. Individual rights. Equal opportunity (the real kind, not the bullsh*t quota kind). Not group rights.

Second, while decent people hate Wallace’s race-baiting, he was right about the Constitution, which is why principled conservatives back then opposed King’s movement. The government can’t force you to associate with somebody you don’t want to. You see a reaction reflecting this in high school for example. The kids understandably resent being forced together so they naturally resist it by forming cliques.

So here’s the kicker: how do you defend minorities’ liberty and freedom of association (the majority’s individual liberty for example – not mob rule)? The answer seems to be the good old libertarian, John Stuart Mill do-no-harm principle, or the white man’s individual liberty ends where the black man’s harm begins, and by that I don’t mean hurt feelings (free speech: individual liberty; you don’t have to like anyone; it’s none of the government’s business) but real injury, property damage or denying jobs across the board.

So anti-discrimination laws or not? Mises said no. Such race-baiting for example is self-limiting. I understand in the Harvey Milk biopic (behaviour ≠ race but anyway) he gets it right: ‘everybody’s dollars are green’; turning money down is bad business, self-defeating (leftish ‘Family Guy’ had a story on that, but of course in PC terms: keep a minority out of your restaurant and go out of business). The magic of the market sorts it out: the best-qualified get the jobs regardless of race. All the state’s for is to police the do-no-harm rule. Burn somebody’s house down – we don’t care why you wanted to; we’re not the thought police – and off to jail you go. Fair. (School: hang with, or don’t hang with, whoever you want but beat on the other group and you’re in trouble.)

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