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November 21, 2007

Comments

Dr East

I find it interesting that you try to attack Ron Paul's claims that the government shouldn't even think about race in its administration by pointing back to earlier times and earlier laws... that showed the government highlighting race in its administration.

The government can not eliminate hatred in the human heart. It doesn't have that power. But it can certainly maintain resentment and promote hatred in the human heart.

The proper response to the racism of the earlier era was to some degree achieved simply by eliminating slavery and extending the franchise. At that point, given time, the good that has been accomplished to this point would have come about once the basis for much of the racism (the economic need to see blacks as inferior in order to maintain the lucrative institution of slavery) was removed, and interracial tensions eased.

It could also be argued that further negative liberty (the only kind government can truly supply) could have been obtained simply by demanding that state laws and state courts be colorblind.

However, to argue that the measures taken by the federal government, both in the welfare state and the overbearing affirmative action laws, do not in fact promote collectivist, racist mentalities is to fail to embrace the simple facts.

Damozel

I suppose I see different facts from you! But I'm glad you got that off your chest.

Mark

When I think of American history, I'm reminded of the saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Insightful perspective - thanks for your effort - but I disagree.

Damozel

And thank you for yours!

andy

Well... I think this is called 'selective information'. You assume that when Federal government did one good thing (eliminated racism on state level, although I believe they went too far), that everything it did was good (or, at least, on balance true).
Unfortunately, the federal government isn't always good. Just assume that it would decide otherwise - to pursue racism.

Assume there is 50% probability of either decision (good/bad). Would you prefer 50% probability that racism would be applied completely in the USA (your solution) or would you prefer RP's solution - each state decides itself? I would prefer the second because there is 99% probability of having many racist-legislation-free states, while only 50% in your solution.

There are many bad things the Federal government did. Following RP's view of constitution, the competition between states could eliminate racism without these bad side-effects. Economists know that guaranteed goods is often worse then non-guaranteed that appears on freemarket. The same applies here - guaranteed federal decisions can be worse then non-guaranteed state-level decisions heavily influenced by competition.

Damozel

The problem with the federal government isn't that it's too strong; it's that the people haven't monitored it sufficiently to ensure that all the checks and balances are working. The problems with the system spring from public apathy. That's where the problem lies as far as I am concerned.

I do not think these issues should be left to the states. I am from South Carolina. The southern states would still be an agrarian slave-owning oligarchies if they'd had their way about states' rights....And the only reason that black people and white people are now in the same schools is because the federal government forced them.

I don't find your argument at all persuasive. Eliminating discrimination by governmental fiat increases the chances that people of color will participate in law-making. It becomes much LESS likely that a state can succeed in pushing a racist agenda.

DDP

As a libertarian (small "l", you should really distinguish between the party and the ideology), I still haven't seen a cogent argument against the use of federal power to curb racial discrimination. The well intentioned libertarians and small government conservatives during the time tried to make the case that it should be done by constitutional means so as to not subvert the constitution, but that isn't exactly an ethical standpoint to take while a large segment of population is being tormented by their own local governments.

I agree with a stronger local government for accountability, but never to grant local government powers at the expense of individual rights.

The problem with the strict constitutionalism of some libertarians is the blind fidelity to the Constitution. What we need to realize is that the Constitution is essentially a flawed document. Discrimination was effectively written into it by the founders, and it was too difficult to write it out. So we found workarounds to it in the name of justice, all at the expense of the rule of law. This method has not been without its negative side effects.

As a result of good intentions, we have completely compromised it over time. The problem is when incompetent government uses these workarounds for reasons that some would really not agree with.

One of the reasons that I associate myself with libertarianism is that I acknowledge the flaws and limitations of democracy. Democracy makes mistakes (look at the last 7 years). This is, I think, the fundamental problem with big government lliberals...they depend on sound management of their programs for them to be successful. It ain't gonna happen. I only wish that libertarians would use the same thinking when looking to the Constitution.

I fully admit that the federal government has a role in protecting the rights of individuals against the states. I fully admit that it should levy minimal taxes in order to pay for certain fundamental necessities best provided for by the central government. I just believe that it should be minimalized lest we produce the same kind of feeding orgy from the biggest trough in the world, as we have today.

DDP

As a libertarian (small "l", you should really distinguish between the party and the ideology), I still haven't seen a cogent argument against the use of federal power to curb racial discrimination. The well intentioned libertarians and small government conservatives during the time tried to make the case that it should be done by constitutional means so as to not subvert the constitution, but that isn't exactly an ethical standpoint to take while a large segment of population is being tormented by their own local governments.

I agree with a stronger local government for accountability, but never to grant local government powers at the expense of individual rights.

The problem with the strict constitutionalism of some libertarians is the blind fidelity to the Constitution. What we need to realize is that the Constitution is essentially a flawed document. Discrimination was effectively written into it by the founders, and it was too difficult to write it out. So we found workarounds to it in the name of justice, all at the expense of the rule of law. This method has not been without its negative side effects.

As a result of good intentions, we have completely compromised it over time. The problem is when incompetent government uses these workarounds for reasons that some would really not agree with.

One of the reasons that I associate myself with libertarianism is that I acknowledge the flaws and limitations of democracy. Democracy makes mistakes (look at the last 7 years). This is, I think, the fundamental problem with big government lliberals...they depend on sound management of their programs for them to be successful. It ain't gonna happen. I only wish that libertarians would use the same thinking when looking to the Constitution.

I fully admit that the federal government has a role in protecting the rights of individuals against the states. I fully admit that it should levy minimal taxes in order to pay for certain fundamental necessities best provided for by the central government. I just believe that it should be minimalized lest we produce the same kind of feeding orgy from the biggest trough in the world, as we have today.

Rich Paul

The problem with the federal government isn't that it's too strong; it's that the people haven't monitored it sufficiently to ensure that all the checks and balances are working. The problems with the system spring from public apathy. That's where the problem lies as far as I am concerned.


Good point. But it runs into problems when you consider one of the most important "checks" ... the bill of rights. Specifically, you might want to consider:


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Now I don't say that we should never change the constitution. But the founding fathers made it difficult to change for a reason. If you want to amend the Constitution, it will be difficult, but legal. If you want the government to ignore the constitution, however, that is just wrong.


I do not think these issues should be left to the states. I am from South Carolina. The southern states would still be an agrarian slave-owning oligarchies if they'd had their way about states' rights....And the only reason that black people and white people are now in the same schools is because the federal government forced them.

Funny ... I just moved to South Carolina, for a new job.

You say the Southern states would still have slavery, if it were not for the Federal government. That seems odd. Every country on earth practiced slavery at some point in their history. Every country on earth has mostly eliminated it. The only vestige left is the Income Tax.


Why do you think that the Southern part of the US would have been unique, out of all the jurisdictions on earth, in not eliminating slavery without outside force?


I don't find your argument at all persuasive. Eliminating discrimination by governmental fiat increases the chances that people of color will participate in law-making. It becomes much LESS likely that a state can succeed in pushing a racist agenda.

There is nothing wrong with eliminating government discrimination by fiat. Everything government does is done by fiat, and changing it is the same. The problem is when you start outlawing thoughts and feelings on the part of actual human beings. We do not need to introduce thought crimes into the American legal system.

Rich Paul

Sorry that comment looks like hell. I guess the blockquote tag is ignored. The quotes should be the first, third, fifth and ninth paragraphs.

Mike

How muddle headed are you? All Dr Paul is saying is if every INDIVIDUAL is given the same exact rights, freedoms and liberties then we are all equal, be we black white, male, female, gay or straight! By dividing us into to groups that is exactly what happens, we becaome devided and only a united body of individuals can have the power and strength to fight the evil empire, Corprament!

damozel, administrator

Hee. I've said it before: "You are too stupid to vote for Ron Paul" makes a KICKASS campaign slogan, though "muddle-headed" is persuasive too.

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