At LRC, they’ve been whining about David Boaz going after Bumper Hornberger. I wrote Cato off in ’08 after too much Ron Paul-bashing, so I found the whole thing as interesting as debate on whether the sky is blue. But then Venlet weighed in, and I actually read David’s piece.
Here’s David’s problem: he has forgotten that liberty is an individual value. He argues under the assumption that there’s some average amount of liberty in a society, and that because Negro slaves enjoyed no freedom while Caucasian males had a lot of freedom, “we” are just as free as they were. In other words, it’s a rip-roaring collectivist fallacy. As a Caucasian male, I really don’t give a shit about the state of 19th c. Negro slaves; they’re dead, my ancestors had nothing to do with it, and the society I live in hasn’t done that for a century and a half. Now, I very much would care about slavery now, for moral reasons, and because I’d rather not live with a ticking time bomb. And I understand why Negros would have a different take on the earlier 19th century. But the servitude of some is relevant to the freedom of others only to the extent that the freedom of some is dependent upon the servitude of others, and that the free are responsible for that servitude. Why isn’t everyone now as free as in the late 19th-c, after slavery? Why, for that matter. is everyone not as free as they should be…which is an absolute that has nothing to do with history?
Boaz here comes close to using the favorite liberal slur against Hornberger et al: “you’re a dirty RAAAAACIST!” They pulled it against Ron Paul. They’re a little more gentle with Hornberger, more like “HIs RAAAACISM has caused him to forget…” and there’s that side-swipe against LRC:
I note that I’m not concerned here with self-proclaimed libertarians who join neo-Confederate organizations or claim that southerners established a new country and fought a devastating war for some reason other than the slavery on which their social and economic system rested
In short, Charles Dickens was a RAAACIST because he argued at the time for the tariff causation of secession, and it is a point that cannot ever be made…nor can a new country be established for any but the highest reasons. That’s not a very libertarian position. If Boaz quacks like a liberal collectivist, shouldn’t we entertain the notion that he is a collectivist?
UPDATE: Beck wades through the comments, so that you don’t have to…like the sparrow who pulls the grain out of the horseshit.