Jonathan Blanks — To reach blacks, libertarians must begin to understand the African-American experience
Libertarians tend to think of freedom as either a means to an end of maximum utility — e.g., free markets produce the most wealth — or, in a more philosophical sense, in opposition to arbitrary authority — e.g., “Who are you to tell me what to do?”
Both views fuel good arguments for less government and more personal autonomy. Yet neither separately, nor both taken together, address the impediments to freedom that have plagued the United States since its founding.
Many of the oppressions America has foisted upon its citizens, particularly its black citizens, indeed came from government actors and agents. But a large number of offenses, from petty indignities to incidents of unspeakable violence, have been perpetrated by private individuals, or by government with full approval of its white citizens.
I would venture that many, if not most libertarians — like the general American public — haven’t come to terms with the widespread, systemic subversion of markets and democracy American racism wreaked on its most marginalized citizens. Consequently, libertarians have concentrated rather myopically on government reform as the sole function of libertarian social critique without taking full reckoning of what markets have failed to correct throughout American history.
Read the full article HERE.