Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career and a passion for all things libertarian to become The Libertarian Opinionizer.
Libertarians See People, Not Races
Commentary From Your Libertarian Opinionizer
“How would a U.S. libertarian deal with the problem of white supremacy as a system?” This question was posed as a challenge from an antagonistic denizen of the social media online world who then rejected all answers without offering any answers himself.
The simple answer is to keep advocating the non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud in any form against any people. Period. However, without understanding the nature and history of white supremacy and without truly understanding the Modern American Libertarian Movement the answer cannot possibly be understood.
Not All White People Hate
There are two dominate definitions of white supremacy. One is that it’s nothing more than the latest anti-white rhetoric of the white-hating political left. Once it goes out of style it will be replaced by some other trendy denunciation. And then by another. And then by another.
But let’s consider the other definition. White supremacy refers to the social, cultural, economic and political dominance of the white race over non-white races. “As a system,” according to the aforementioned antagonist,
“it is both possible – and common – for large numbers of people – very few harboring any discernible conscious ill intent towards nonwhite people – to still reproduce systemic (aggregated, institutionalized) results which artificially promote ‘white’ people above others and cause massive harm to nonwhite people.”
If this is really how systemic white supremacy should be defined maybe nonwhites should just reject everything that white people have ever contributed to the world such as the printing press, eyeglasses, electricity, Internet, refrigeration, antibiotics and modern medicine to name just a tiny few of the things that have caused “massive harm to nonwhite people.” And of course they shouldn’t forget to include the massively harmful digital technology that they’re using right now to bash white people.
Or at the very least just get real and acknowledge that virtually all races and all peoples of the earth have contributed both positives and negatives to the world that have caused both massive harm and massive good to everyone.
Clearly, then, this issue isn’t about whiteness or supremacy but about political ideology.
That being clear, libertarians of all races, genders and descriptions want to give the world their ideology which is both the concept and the reality of the massive good that would come from adopting and embracing their non-aggressive principle and honoring it right alongside other enlightened human values that include “live and let live” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and even “make love, not war.” It will bring massive good to white and nonwhite people alike.
Slavery and Racism
Unfortunately, Social Justice Warriors and others of their ilk aren’t likely to give up their anti-white rhetoric as long as they can score social, cultural or ideological points with it so it might be worthwhile to introduce them to a little realpolitik history.
The consciously understood brand of white supremacy came into its own in Europe and the Americas as race-based slavery, in which black African coastal tribes were paid to conquer and deliver other tribal peoples to the white slave traders who shipped them off under hideous conditions to Europe and their American colonial empires.
Of course slavery itself was not always a race-based institution. Slavery was an established way of life throughout all of the known world long before the American continents were even discovered. Vikings raided other peoples, and even each other, wherever they found them and routinely sold captives into the slave trade. In Africa the Tutsi warrior tribe conquered a much larger agricultural Hutu tribe and ruled them for centuries. At the height of the Islamic world Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean raided European coastal settlements and captured white men, women and children for their slave markets. The Aztecs conquered and enslaved neighboring tribes long before the Spaniards showed up and conquered and enslaved them.
Curiously, history makes no mention of systemic Viking supremacy, Tutsi supremacy, Muslim supremacy or Aztec supremacy although according to today’s rhetoric each certainly must have existed.
Slavery is and always has been the result of authoritarian dominance by a small group of powerful psychopathic rulers over a population of submissive people. Long before the formation of nation-states one group or clan or tribe raided another and brought home whatever spoils they could, including females for mates and young men for slaves.
Libertarians Think Free
Statism Creates Racism
Only after the rise of the modern nation-states based on cultural, religious, ethnic and racial identity did slavery evolve into racism.
The slavery in Europe and America was based solely on race. It was recognized, accepted and written right into the US Constitution in which black African slaves, euphemistically called “other persons,” are counted as three-fifths of a whole person.
Even after the abolition of slavery the Southern white Democratic Party-controlled state and local governments of the former Confederacy wrote and enforced their own Black Codes or “Jim Crow” laws that replaced chattel slavery with social, cultural and economic slavery while the federal government in Washington DC looked the other way.
So, yes, today there are forms of white supremacy that continue not as a matter of law but as a system of traditions, attitudes, and social and cultural behaviors.
What this means is that everyone who is concerned about white supremacy must absolutely come to understand that racism is the direct product of government. As late as 2000 it was still illegal in Alabama for white and black people to intermarry. That is statist-based racism, not individual racism.
White supremacy is the result; statism is the cause. There is no white supremacy in China or North Korea or African nations or the Islamic world. Poor people everywhere are subjugated by laws imposed on them by their rulers. Where is the white supremacy, the white privilege, the white power, the white entitlement for the millions of America’s retched dirt poor white people living in abject poverty right alongside the equally retched dirt poor nonwhite citizens?
Government does not solve poverty because there is no benefit to the political ruling class to do so. Under the guise of a politically correct 53-year-long “War on Poverty” the result is to perpetuate poverty – keeping the unwanted lower classes in their place – while massively bloated bureaucracies that run the Poor War profit from guaranteed jobs, salaries, benefits, retirements and other forms of political patronage and corruption.
Racism and white supremacy, like so many other ills in our world, is the direct product of statism. And statism itself is the direct product of the groupthink collectivist mentality inescapably inherent in every form of authoritarian ideology. It’s why libertarians advocate minimizing or abolishing the state as we know it by taking power from the state and returning it to the individual.
Libertarians calling themselves Minarchists advocate turning over everything the state does to the private sector except cops, courts and the military. Voluntaryist libertarians go all the way, insisting that a free society is entirely capable of replacing every aspect of government with competing or not-for-profit institutions and doing it better and cheaper.
In either case libertarians have always begun by clearly stating that you own yourself. You own your body, your brain, your mind, your thoughts and feelings and dreams and values and goals. You are not “owned by” society or culture or government or the state or any other kind of group. As a free and sovereign individual you interact with others as each of you mutually chose to interact. Period.
Racism Begets More Racism
Politicians Need Racism
A race war, class war, ethnic war, ideological war will solve nothing. It’s not just an idle platitude that violence begets violence. Every war sows the seeds for the next war, ad infinitum. They simply replace one hieratical gang of thugs with another, changing nothing for the vast majority of people who want and need the change. German Nazis, Soviet Communists, Mongrel Hordes, European colonial empires have only benefitted the psychopathic masters who ruled them. Even today’s trendiest love affair with European-style socialist democratic republics produces nothing more than shifting self-serving power plays from the hands of one corrupt political faction to another.
It becomes very clear as more and more people engage in interracial marriages – nearly 14 percent of people under age 35 in 2015 – white supremacy is not as much a personal issue as it is a public issue pushed for political gain. There always seems to be far more racism in politics and the media than in people’s individual lives.
Because of that it’s personal freedom, not statist-imposed public policies that will end white supremacy. Libertarians have always espoused personal self-rule, and that’s what is happening now with white supremacy, a “problem” that in spite of its constant appearance in the media is slowly dissolving as more and more mixed-race and mixed-ethnic children join our population. How much longer can people be expected to hate their own children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren because they’re not 100% white?
It’s expected that by 2045 the white population will become the racial minority in the US. Will it then be white people’s turn to rant against “racist minority supremacy as a system?” But considering that many of today’s young white liberals have also taken up the chant against white supremacy it makes the whole issue less about racism and more about Social Justice Warriors attacking the political right for purely political purposes.
The fact that some people “disapprove” of interracial marriage is not overly relevant to libertarians. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech no matter how racist or hateful that speech may be. The most powerful way to defeat negative speech of any kind is to continually encourage positive speech. Libertarians have always done that by openly advocating and educating against racism and other forms of hatred, including statism itself.
Libertarians Are Individuals
Ultimately it’s what people do, not what they say, that matters. It always goes back to individuals. Libertarians deal with the concrete forms of racism (The Klan, skinheads, Neo-Nazis) by advocating against them and, in extreme cases, by retaining the right to use defensive force as needed. Libertarians deal with the conceptual systemic forms of white supremacy through advocacy of their non-aggression principle, whether they’re addressing one person at a party, twenty in a classroom, a hundred in a lecture hall, a thousand in a seminar or millions reading articles or watching videos on their computers or handhelds scattered around the world.
Dealing with individuals is the only possible way of reaching and effecting change within systems. All systems are, after all, composed of individuals. Systems, collectives, groups, aggregates are just concepts and concepts don’t think, feel, speak or dream; only individuals do.
All types of group supremacy, in the form of specific groups or as an unconscious conceptual system, are made possible by authoritarian political, social and cultural structures. The solution is to stop making all forms of authoritarianism possible, and that includes the most authoritarian for of all; statism.
Yes, racism exists. But real and false accusations of systemic white supremacy aren’t really about racism; they’re about power. Anything that becomes politicized ceases to be about that thing and becomes all about the politics. Racial issues are no different. It explains why racism is far more prevalent in politics and news media than it is in most people’s daily lives. And as long as some people, some political parties, some media outlets continue to profit from racism then racism will continue.
Any individual accused of racism – or accused of anything for that matter – should always have one simple response to the accuser: “Prove it.” Individuals are not clichés, not stereotypes, not systems, and should never allow themselves to be scapegoated by anyone’s generic groupthink guilt-play.
That original “antagonistic denizen” of the online social media world who posed the original challenge, “How would a U.S. libertarian deal with the problem of white supremacy as a system?” never offered his own answer to that question.
Maybe he was just waiting for a libertarian to explain it to him. If he still doesn’t get it perhaps he should seek out and talk to nonwhite voluntaryist libertarians for an explanation.
White Supremacy: More About Political Correctness Than Whiteness
Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on August 25, 2017:
To John Roland: The way that "white supremacy" was explained to me was not that it was a conscious “movement” but that it was a thing that just spontaneously happens by millions of white people going about their everyday lives completely unaware that they were just oozing with white supremacy out of every single pore in their bodies, thereby unconsciously benefiting from it while unconsciously doing harm to non-whites.
The left just never gets that their own groupthink mentality, calling all white people "white supremacists," is at the root of all bigotry in the first place – racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, white supremacy, etc. Only when they stop thinking of people as groups and start treating them as individuals will they ever be able to “deal with” these issues.
Jon Roland on August 24, 2017:
The first thing that needs to be established is whether "white supremacy" as a movement even exists. Right now it is being defined by social justice warriors, who call everything racism.
For example, those who dare to suggest that there may be genetic differences between individuals that explain differences in their performance in various activities are regularly dismissed as racists, and the denouncers explain everything as "societal discrimination", but is that as important as reverse societal discrimination that tries to help the disadvantaged? Perhaps not, but the SJWs refuse to listen to that. Until we can get people to admit that there might be genetic differences, no real progress will be made.
But is such discussion "racism" or "white supremacy"? When I think of white supremacy I think of the Jim Crow South, but I don't hear anyone advocating a return to that.
Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on February 01, 2017:
Thanks for the comment. I hope you keep reading my Hubs. I looked at HubPages years ago and decided not to join because it looked like all conservative mainstream middle class writing. I didn't think my "radical" and controversial opinions would be welcome here. But I decided to try again and so far I haven't had any problems. Guess I misjudged the site earlier.
CJ Kelly from the PNW on January 31, 2017:
Garry, very interesting hub. I constantly say to my Dem friends (and the new "Statist" GOPers (Trumpers)), that economic freedom brings social justice." They find it laughable.
But you can free so many people by letting them use their natural ability and drive to succeed. Hopefully many more will come to realize that too. Sharing.