Telling Lines

That’s lines, not “lies.”

A Christian Science Monitor piece on Bernie Sanders’ race “problem” inadvertently hints at why left libertarianism’s hoped-for inroads with the black community – and with the ascendent progressives more broadly – will face obstacles:

“This [Black Lives Matter movement] is fueled in large measure by young people and it is a particular development in the civil rights movement that deserves our support,” Clinton said. “By that I mean, there are some who say, ‘Well racism is a result of economic inequality.’ I don’t believe that.”

Mainstream leftism is so far from orthodox Marxism at this point, it’s not even funny. (Do kids still say that, “it’s not even funny”?) Race issues have completely replaced class concerns, at least as a gut-level motivating factor in politics. It’s a shame too, because the former is an inherently uglier and more intractable issue.

Anyway, this doesn’t bode well for libertarians because like the class-oriented left, they want to reduce everything to economics, or more specifically the government getting in the way of it. But ala Clinton and the youthful progressives, if the root of black impoverishment can’t be found in the government stifling entrepreneurship or something, what does that leave for libertarians to kvetch about?

Like the (old) left, libertarians are fundamentally oriented around class war, albeit of the dated, John Locke-ean sort. Sure, that’s kind of a strawman, but it’s all relative in politics; and relative to race-conscious progressives, libertarians have a “transactional anthropology” that believes green trumps black, brown, or white. (I heard James Poulos use that term on HuffPo live once. Can’t find a link.)

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