I continue to have trouble believing that the libertarian philosophy is concerned only with the proper and improper uses of force. According to this view, the philosophy sets out a prohibition on the initiation of force and otherwise has nothing to say about anything else. (Fraud is conceived as an indirect form of force because, say, a deceptive seller obtains money from a buyer on terms other than those to which the buyer agreed.)
How can libertarianism be concerned with nothing but force? This view has been dubbed “thin libertarianism” by Charles W. Johnson, and it strikes me as very thin indeed. (Jeffrey Tucker calls it “libertarian brutalism”; his article explains this perhaps startling term.)
As I see it, the libertarian view is necessarily associated with certain underlying values, and this association seems entirely natural. I can kick a rock, but not a person. What is it about persons that makes it improper for me to kick them (unless it’s in self-defense)? Frankly, I don’t see how to answer that question without reference to some fundamental ideas. Different libertarians will have different answers, but each will appeal to some underlying value.
Race is an interesting topic, especially given today’s political culture. There is a distinct tendency on the political Left to shout “racism!” whenever anyone, for any reason, opposes President Obama’s policies. But what’s interesting that the most pervasive, actual racism in the United States today is espoused by these same people on the political Left.
By thinking that race is defining. By thinking and believing that individual people, for no other reason than the incredibly shallow, stupidly irrelevant fact of skin/hair color, should think a certain way, believe certain things, and vote for certain political parties. The Left – and plenty on the Right, too, let’s be honest about it – ascribe to the idiotic notion of “group” or collective rights and interests.
But a group can not have interests. A group can not have rights. Only individuals can have interests or rights.
It’s baffling why so many people don’t understand that.