Bill Maher the Cynic

According to Bill Maher, Republicans and conservatives are “not bad people, but they have trouble empathizing with people who are not like them.” Now normally most of the ideas of the “Republicans and conservatives,” to the extent that there are such things at all, sicken me. But this, coming from Maher, is a compliment. Because Maher is the most cynical person I have ever seen in all my life. He has the empathy of an anvil. Or is it all an act? Maybe he stumbled on a comedic goldmine; unlike every other performer or political commentator, he thought he would be openly cynical and get good laughs for that. Or maybe he has to be cynical, maybe it’s in his contract with HBO.

But Maher cannot be accused of looking down on the “ignorant” Republicans, the “hillbillies,” etc. He can reply that he (from his point of view) is not tolerating the intolerant, and that’s a defensible position. We need more “politically incorrect” humor. At the same time, surely, everyone is dog tired by now of the race and group politics. I mean, blacks vs. Latinos vs. gays vs. whatever other “oppressed” group is in the spotlight vs. the evil white men, who cares about this nonsense anymore? If Maher had started on it in the 80s, then that would have made sense. Right now he is 25 years too late to the game.

Abortion for Blacks?

Fox-Genovese points out: “Planned Parenthood still reminds potential contributors about how much the pregnancies of poor unmarried women cost taxpayers, suggesting that the wide availability of birth control and abortion will reduce the bill.” Well, let’s spell it out, shall we, lest there be any confusion. This is obviously about blacks. Liberals view the spread of blacks as a natural disaster, like plague of locusts. Is that reasonable? I don’t know, but that abortion has been justified as a measure to prune the black population is certainly true. The steps from permitting black women to abort their children to forcing them to abort to, finally, sterilizing them seem to follow naturally.

The most ridiculous thing is that this despotic and inhuman ideology could have been avoided, if we had economic laissez-faire. For under freedom, everyone is responsible for their own children. There are ruthless market incentives against irresponsible sex.

So, first, liberals chose to give (other people’s) money to women for having illegitimate children out of “compassion.” The psychology of races is such that blacks were encouraged to have many more such children than whites. Black fathers were often much stricter with their daughters than white fathers with theirs, and for a good reason. In the end, they couldn’t save the situation. Mix in the drug war, the black guys’ naturally greater violent tendencies (hey, as Kramer said in Seinfeld, “Mother nature is a mad scientist”), especially when fatherless, and we have our locusts.

The liberals were horrified by this. Of course, coercive “compassion” had to stay. Still, liberals became “concerned about overpopulation by ‘poor’ and ‘minority’ children.” Since we live in a scientific age (especially in which the government is imagined to be able to successfully manage the economy), their second step was to attempt to find methods to stem the tide of black bastards, so that “they” would not supplant “us.” And we wonder why some blacks think the CIA is selling crack in their communities!

Guns and Roses

The gun debate has an emotional component. There are impressions and images which people unconsciously hold. One of my own images of a gun owner is a successful man, such as a businessman or a professor, who keeps a revolver in a desk drawer in his study. Another is a pretty girl who keeps a small gun in her purse. Yet another is a father and a son going to the range to shoot a few rounds and have fun. How far removed are these peaceful and normal visions of civilized men who own weapons because they understand evil from gang warfare, spree killers, and mass murders by government!

It is beyond doubt that the gun control frenzy arose only because of the swelling of the underclass due to the inevitable results of the Drug Prohibition and the unraveling of market-based discipline among the blacks. Something must be done in order to keep guns away from “these people.” Instead of urging that the law-abiding folks who live in dangerous neighborhoods arm themselves, the foolish idealists and the evil politicians decided to take guns away from them. The “diversity” movement has worsened matters as people tend to distrust foreign strangers and wonder if they would be better off, if the “diverse” did not have guns. When human solidarity evaporates, all kinds of grotesque things start taking place.

Imposing severe gun control in an area where the honest poor mingle with the underclass in order “at least to keep them from killing each other” is a terrible idea. For they do not kill “each other”; rather, and as always, the many brutal criminals kill the law-abiding citizens. To deprive the latter of the means of protection is no good.

David Stove on Our PC Culture

Says Stove:

Our freedom of the press, except for really precious things like pornography, has greatly diminished in the last hundred years, and especially in the last twenty.

In 1892 you could say in public print that women are intellectually inferior to men, that blacks are morally inferior to white, that poor people are lazier than middle class ones, that Shi’ite Moslems are ignorant murderous fanatics, and so on. You cannot say so now.

On the one hand, this is Stove having some un-PC fun. And what he is saying has much truth to it.

On the other hand, the common man can easily misinterpret this and take the phrase “Shi’ite Moslems are ignorant murderous fanatics” to entail “the US state ought to bomb Shi’ite Moslems.”

So, I just don’t trust the liberals to acknowledge these commonplace truths about women, races, etc.; but I also don’t trust the conservatives not to take these truths to call for violent extermination of women, blacks, Muslims, etc.

This is a pretty sad state of affairs, don’t you find?

Are Race Differences Science Fiction?

On the planet Crutopia, Smith claims that yellow-horned Crutopians are intellectually and morally inferior to green-horned Crutopians. In your opinion, we:

  1. Should run a scientific study to determine whether this is true or not.
  2. Should not run such a study, because Smith’s notion is so obviously fantastic, preposterous, and unbelievable as to be self-evidently false.
  3. Should not run such a study, because, even if Smith is proven to be correct, these findings might damage the yellow-horned Crutopians’ self-esteem, whereas we should treat them as if they were equal to the green-horned Crutopians in every respect. This speculative endeavor is pointless, because nothing practical ought to depend on it.

Freedom of Association for Whites

I think the reason white people are not allowed to form white-only clubs or associations is that it is assumed that when they do so, they think of themselves as better than people of every other race. They are haughty and exclusive. Bad taste, that.

When black people form their numerous black-only groups, this idea never occurs to people. Black people thinking themselves superior? Ridiculous. Who could possibly think something that silly? They just seek comfort in each other’s company in the face of their obvious inferiority! They are poor miserable ugly sons of bitches, and they come together to cry over being losers. We feel sorry for them, so eh, it’s no big deal if they exclude non-blacks. What white person would want to join them, anyway?

And the same goes for every other non-European group.

Again, that’s the unspoken assumption of both whites and non-whites; I myself need not have it; I am just clarifying the situation.

Is Universal Love Subversive?

The idea is that universal love for all people detracts from one’s particular loves for those near and dear to him.

Therefore, this matter must be rightly understood. Universal love is connected with natural law. Natural law, again, proscribes doing evil. Every man, no matter what sort of person he is, has natural rights, such as to walk the earth, not to be assaulted or robbed or defrauded; you know, the usual libertarian-Rothbardian rights.

Particular love, on the other hand, regards the doing of good. The world is constructed in such a way that with few exceptions, we can only do good to ourselves and those closest to us. (One such exception is teaching economics, because by doing that, one seeks the common good directly; here the particular and universal coincide.) So, to aid our clan, we plot and plan as best we can. But in doing so, we do not step over the dead bodies of our fellow men.

Universal love then has two aspects. First, you do not violate anyone’s natural rights in your pursuit of your own personal good. Second, in your heart, you remain a well-wisher, maintain good will toward all, and never indulge in misanthropy or cynicism.

Thus, universal love does not entail non-discrimination. I can privilege my own children; I can choose my family, friends, neighbors, and associates.

Suppose some blacks have moved into your community. “There goes the neighborhood,” you say. Is this unloving? Not at all; we all know that blacks bring with themselves crime and lower property values. They ruin vast stretches of real estate. And acknowledging truth can never hinder charity. It is true, however, that lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit, “A man is a wolf, and not a man, to another man, for as long as he doesn’t know what he is like.” If we were to get to know blacks, and give them every (privately extended) help, perhaps our love for them might grow.

“Duck Dynasty” Phil Robertson’s “Racism”

Here’s what he said:

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy.

I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

Here’s why they were happy: in those day in the South, everyone had a place, and everyone knew what their place was. It was a status society, rigid, unfree for all people, black or white, featuring little social mobility up or down.

Blacks were “happy,” because they knew that they could not by their own will and power change their social position. They could relax, because their destiny was not in their own hands.

The marked inferiority of blacks was made evident only in the “civil rights” era, where we all agreed to let blacks have a shot at making their own way in society. It turned out that when given freedom, blacks eagerly voluntarily renounced it to the welfare state, and what freedom they decided to keep, they used mostly for violence and doing evil.

No wonder blacks ended up “unhappy.” Who wouldn’t after first-hand intimate acquaintance with one’s own abject failure?

Emancipating Slaves, Killing Everyone

Timothy believes that “it is absolutely worth 600,000 deaths to have freed the slaves, and… it would be worth it at ten million times that price.”

Suppose the freeing of the slaves proceeded as follows. A single random slave is immediately freed. He is then drafted into the Union army, where he is killed in the process of freeing 2 more slaves.

These 2 slaves are similarly recruited, free 4 slaves, yet die in the attempt.

These 4 slaves then sacrifice their lives for the sake of freeing 8 more slaves.

You get the idea. Each freed slave is no longer a slave, and so his life in comparison with the burden of the still enslaved blacks comes to be of no value, according to Timothy.

Now 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + … = 2n – 1. Four million slaves were eventually freed. Hence for simplicity’s sake we stop at n = 21, wherein the total of 2,097,151 slaves are killed in order to free the final 2,097,152 slaves.

Surely, 2 million people are many fewer than 600,000 * 10 million. Would Timothy, our great Mikado, virtuous man, still argue that such a trade-off would be “worth it”?

Let me suggest that Timothy has taken libertarian abstraction to absurdity. He does not care about people, whether alive, dead, free, enslaved, but about the practice or institution of slavery. “Slavery” — an abstract term — is judged so evil that eliminating it is “worth” the suffering and murder of 6 trillion real living and breathing human beings, including — since that number is greater than the number of all the humans who ever lived — not only all the slaves themselves but our very author, Timothy Sandefur, as well.

In fact, an earth devoid of humans would lack slavery, too. Is that — annihilating all — how far Timothy would go to rid the cosmos of slavery?

Universal Anti-Discriminationism

A peculiar strand of thought has appeared among the conservatives. Anti-discrimination laws, they say, are unfair. It is certainly good to outlaw discrimination against blacks and homosexuals — in saying that, we, the conservatives, are simply faithfully preserving the old victories of the left, now status quo — but what of discrimination against Christians? Isn’t that also morally dubious? In fact, the conservatives continue, in regard to identity politics, every group deserves equal protection against discrimination.

Case in point: Selwyn Duke writes with apparent outrage: “Imagine you apply for a college program, only to be denied entry because you believe in God. And the kicker is how school administrators knew about your faith.”

Even a minute amount of reflection shows this attitude to be untenable. The left which originated non-discrimination laws, affirmative action, diversity training, and all the rest has always distinguished between “official” protected victim groups like the blacks and official oppressor groups like your standard straight white male Christians.

The Old Left held that there were basically two classes engaged in their class war: the proletarians and the bourgeoisie or capitalists. Whatever the faults of this ideology, at least it was clear and unambiguous. The lines were well-drawn.

The New Left decided to complicate things considerably. It fractured society into a vast variety of groups battling one another seemingly chaotically. Though not quite: the two main groups — oppressors and oppressed — had remained, yet each oppressed group was now oppressed in its own unique way. Blacks had different grievances than Latinos than homosexuals than the poor than union members, etc.

Regardless, when a black person was discriminated against, this poor oppressed victim suffered a monstrous injustice; but when a Christian was discriminated against, this evil irrational oppressor-bastard only got what he had coming to him all along, i.e., what he so richly, according to his wicked personality and unjust privilege, deserved.

Thus, the left never intended for all discriminators to be equally bad. When an employer hired women, thereby refraining from hiring men, he was praised. If he hired men, symmetrically refraining from hiring women, he was condemned. This is not a double standard of any sort, because the poor virtuous women are oppressed by rich corrupt men, and for that reason men deserved to suffer and were required to atone, while the women — quite unequally and so entirely by design — would be given every advantage.

The conservatives apparently saw the ideological silliness at work here and attempted an unusual counterattack. Let’s bring this matter to a reductio ad absurdum, they decided. Let no one whatsoever, black or white, they said, be discriminated against. No decision by anyone in any situation could take race or sex or whatever into account.

Again, the left had a theory of classes and class warfare. It may have been wrong, but it was an idea. The conservatives imploded this theory from within, replacing it, as is their penchant, with no idea whatsoever by embracing the insanity and going all the way to complete nonsense.

A landlord on this conservative interpretation still cannot discriminate against blacks. But also he cannot discriminate against whites, either. It is clear that this policy completely defeats the purpose of the left’s distinction between what it imagined were the genuine oppressed and oppressors and its efforts to boost the former and to bring down the latter.

Absent some idea of social justice, of victims and villains, what is now universal non-discriminationism (UND) makes exactly zero sense from any point of view. If a landlord rents an apartment to a black person (a “plus”), then he by that very fact rejects an equal to him in all respects — in terms of degree of victimhood and suchlike — white person (a “minus”). And vice versa. An apartment is a scarce resource; there are only so many apartments in the landlord’s housing development; so, from the social point of view the overall “justice” is zero; the pluses and minuses cancel each other out.

But if we add the landlord to society, we immediately see that his ability and pleasure to choose his tenants, given UND, is curtailed. He no longer is able to run his business as efficiently as he can. The landlord is harmed, and so are his customers whom he is unable to serve to the best of his ability. The result: net harm to society overall, all things considered.

Again, given that we have done away with the idea of institutional injustice against the “accredited” victim groups, discriminating against Smith because he is black is neither more nor less unjust than discriminating against Jones because he is a credit risk. The discriminator — whoever he might be — simply makes choices according to his own desires. Surely, destroying all discrimination entails the destruction of humanity as a race of choosers; hence, since all discrimination cannot be equally vicious, it must all be equally Ok.

Perhaps conservatives were hoping that everyone would see this reductio, have a good laugh, and forget about this nonsense. But so far, their hopes have not been vindicated.