True Libertarianism Is Colorblind

By Steven Clyde


If your first thought is “well libertarians surely care about green!”, I’ll concede and state that this is the point of this article.

Humans, each with their own individual goals and interests, seek a better life for themselves and other people they care about. We are born into an impossible situation though, having signed a supposed “social contract” at birth which guilts us into thinking we owe something to future generations because of the sacrifices made in the past.

Lysander: “Where in the world is the Social Contract?”

And thus lies the root of the problem: the confusion between positive and negative rights. Negative rights, justifiably, state that you as an individual have the right not to have force initiated against you and not  to have your property confiscated from you, while positive rights, which state that things are owed to you or other people, is a fallacy of the highest degree and should be abhorred by anyone familiar with logic.

The logic for positive rights proceeds as follows:

Person A of the past, did something to help or to hurt person B in the past, and therefore person C in the present who either gained or lost because of person A and B’s interactions in the past, owes something to or gets to take away something from person D in the present or the future.

It should be obvious why this doesn’t make sense, because if it’s true that I’m a user today of say the internet and its true I’m a benefactor of this past invention, then it would seem to imply that I “owe” something to the internet. But I pay for my internet services because I value its use, so in what sense am I a free rider?

And furthermore, any argument could be thought up to imply I owe something to somebody or I get to take away something from somebody, because of someone’s actions in the past. Its so nonsensical that’s its difficult to sum up into words, because it can imply almost anything.

Libertarianism however gives the individual a voice though because they are not responsible for things of the past, only their actions in the present. It allows for people to be judged by their character, and not by a collective (namely the state). The core aspect of communism is egalitarian in nature, seeking total equality in horrors that’s have been lived through by millions in which attempts to banish individualism not only goes against human nature (people having dreams and goals) but specifically uses violence to achieve its means, an impossible means to achieve at that.

There have been several articles circulating stating that white nationalism (which I won’t be facetious and leave out that some were written by an Asian guy) isn’t incompatible with libertarianism, which on the surface of it appears to be true in that libertarianism does not tell you that you can’t exclude people from your own private property, whether it be a business or your private home. The reasons for exclusion can be grim or nonsensical even, but the logic still follows that private property allows for inclusion and exclusion.

But then comes the question of, is racially motivated nationalism, hence a nation that wishes to have a private society based on some arbitrary traits unrelated to how a person conducts themselves (such as how tall you are, what color your eyes are, what your skin color is, etc.), able to be accomplished in a manner that is not contradicting to the main principle which is to not harm anyone else? How do you go about removing all the people who don’t look like you, and where do you draw the line? This argument only has plausibility in theory, in which we have a small private society that started from homesteading land and allowed people in one by one.

Society, in its present state, would have to use violence to create a nation of a single race, and even worse, it would have to utilize state functions itself.

On a simpler and more hysterical level, we can imagine the complications that would occur with mixed people, that is people that have different shades of skin tone in their own race; would a half black person be allowed in a white only society if they at least appeared white? It would be an odd and humorous question on the contract being signed entering into the private society that requires you to be 100% white, and many would lie their way in if they thought they could have a better life there.

From the perspective of private businesses, the question that needs to be asked from time to time is, what is more greedy: being racist and catering to the most amount of people you can, or being racist and limiting the amount of profits you earn to constrict your business?

If being greedy in business means that all you care about is profit, surely the former scenario is more greedy, as they are overlooking their racial bias to achieve more profit. The private business owner who chooses to exclude certain groups from their stores are limiting their profits, and hence being less greedy.

Finally, there is a reason why the Mises Institute and their senior fellows don’t use all their energy putting out information in opposition to white nationalism: because when something is so clearly the opposite of what you believe in, why even acknowledge the absurdities? As if people who spend their time thinking about how government harms the individual, also wishes to group the individual into collectivist classes. It just doesn’t make any sense to promote this line of thinking.

Putting people into classes is what collectivists do, while libertarians recognize the importance of a person’s actions versus their appearance.

Racism is collectivism at its core, and though it’s such an obvious facet of the libertarian mind that it hardly needs to be restated, collectivism is antithetical to individualism. It’s not that a private society couldn’t be formed in which only one race exists, but it seems to be problematic that it’s impossible to do that without violence.


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2 Replies to “True Libertarianism Is Colorblind”

  1. Good post.

    The “race is collectivism” summary (it’s wrong to base some decision about individuals on of some trait or grouping) needs some refinement in my opinion:
    An insurance, employer and every person who makes decisions with incomplete information (ie. everyone) rationally should use prior information they have.
    Then there is a separate question of whether those priors are correct and useful predictors, or whether they are mistaken.

    So I think your two core arguments in the post (mistaken/useless beliefs, unjust use of coercion) were more solid than the one-liner in the conclusion.

  2. Seems like there was an error posting my comment. Trying a second time (apologies if duplicate).

    Good post.

    The “race is collectivism” summary (it’s wrong to base some decision about individuals on of some trait or grouping) needs some refinement in my opinion:
    An insurance, employer and every person who makes decisions with incomplete information (ie. everyone) rationally should use prior information they have.
    Then there is a separate question of whether those priors are correct and useful predictors, or whether they are mistaken.

    So I think your two core arguments in the post (mistaken/useless beliefs, unjust use of coercion) were more solid than the one-liner in the conclusion.

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