“You’re a racist.” “No, you’re a bigger racist.” “No way; you hang with the Hoppe, Rockwell and Ron Paul crowd of libertarians; they’re ‘known’ racists, so you’re racist.” The tiff is between defenders of the anti-establishment libertarians, aforementioned, and an establishment libertarian, or a “regimist,” as Mr. Rockwell likes to say.
The “regimist” in question is Cathy Reisenwitz, a sally-come-lately libertarian, whom Justin Raimondo, a life-long, creedal libertarian, has “smoked out” for libeling Paul, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell and Hans-Hermann Hoppe as racists.
Mercifully, Reisenwitz, the S.E. Cupp of libertarianism (light and fluffy), is not on a mission to rearrange the income curve. But like any member of the egalitarian project, she vaporizes about the obligation to vanquish so-called endemic, structural and institutionalized inequalities in America. Thus her fee-fi-fo-fem’s expedition to sniff out “homophobes,” “sexists,” “xenophobes” and “racists.”
So what on earth is going on here? Why have serious libertarians succumbed to a tit-for-tat spat? Are libertarians as dazed and confused as Republicans? The latter have certainly dignified the rival gang’s Stalinist show-trial tactics, with more holier-than-thou racial one-upmanship: “Democrats are the real racists; Republicans are the party of Lincoln, the liberator of blacks. We’re against abortion and welfare because we love blacks. … Blah, blah, blah.”
Reisenwitz adduced no documentary evidence to support her claims. However, what will Mr. Raimondo do if, in a fit of pique, Reisenwitz retracts the apology she’s issued and ferrets out unkosher quotes attributed to the men maligned? Res ips a loquitur. Intelligent men (and a few women) invariably give voice to reality. Consider, for instance, tracts from Murray Rothbard’s splendid December 1994 essay about “The Bell Curve.” These are bound to send Cathy into one of her fee-fi-fo-fem frenzies. Therein Rothbard writes:
Until literally mid-October 1994, it was shameful and taboo for anyone to talk publicly or write about, home truths which everyone, and I mean everyone, knew in their hearts and in private: that is, almost self-evident truths about race, intelligence, and heritability. What used to be widespread shared public knowledge about race and ethnicity among writers, publicists, and scholars, was suddenly driven out of the public square by Communist anthropologist Franz Boas and his associates in the 1930s, and it has been taboo ever since. Essentially, I mean the almost self-evident fact that individuals, ethnic groups, and races differ among themselves in intelligence and in many other traits, and that intelligence, as well as less controversial traits of temperament, are in large part hereditary. …
Egad! (Or OMG in Millennial speak.)
Clearly, libertarians should not partake in a dance adopted by the political establishment to cow contrarians into submission. By going on the defensive—allowing themselves to be drawn into these exchanges—libertarians are, inadvertently, conceding that speech should be policed for propriety, and that those who violate standards set by the PC set are somehow defective on those grounds alone, and deserve to be purged from “polite” company.
Incidentally, I had hoped that “Libertarian Feminists Make A Move On Von Mises,” which deconstructs the poor quality of Cathy Whatshername’s arguments, would have convinced libertarians to marginalize a mental midget. Alas, libertarians have generally opted to conflate public prominence with intellectual importance, ponderously responding to the woman on the grounds that she’s … famous.
That someone has a penchant for publicity, takes a good “selfie” and gets herself on “Stossel” is not proof of intellectual gravitas. No matter how energetically Reisenwitz is promoted as the new face of libertarianism, and no matter how skillfully she suctions face to camera—she’ll likely never muster an opinion or an analysis that is not hackneyed.
To adapt a saying by some wag, Cathy Reisenwitz might be said to belong to the history of publicity rather than to history.
JUNGE FREIHEIT, a German weekly committed to combating the thought polizei on The Continent, interviewed this writer. One of the questions posed was, “Have you been blamed for racism because of your book, ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’? What would you answer?” The reply, taken almost verbatim from “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” (pp. 41-42), ought to help in fending off bloodhounds scenting their prey:
My answer to those who’d fault me for daring to make broad statements about aggregate group characteristics, vis-à-viscrime, for instance, would be as follows: Generalizations, provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.
Before rushing headlong into the dark entrails of Reisenwitz’s world, consider something the inimitable Hans Hoppe once told me, after we had both been marked with the “racist” Mark of Cain: “If you are not called a racist, then it seems to me you are in intellectual trouble and it is high-time to reconsider your own thinking.”
- Image courtesy Alamy.