As a black libertarian, I almost feel obligated to speak on matters that concern the American black community. This isn’t because I am fond of many of the political movements championed by black Americans. It is because by virtue of the pigment of my skin, I become associated with concepts, ideas and movements that I have little to no agreement with. The recent controversy involves the slaying of an African American male by an African American cop on August 13. This has led to riots in Milwaukee which prompted the National Guard to be called and a 10pm curfew to be instilled. What is all of this about?
The Philosophy of Black Americanism
It strikes me as odd that black Americans are leftist or socialist, when they should be die hard libertarians. After all, if there was any argument for the fear of the imposition of the state, it is the black experience. Who instituted slavery? The government. Who created and enforced Jim Crow segregation laws? The government. Who continues to incarcerate myriads of minorities for victimless crimes? The government. It can realistically be said that every problem black Americans have in America, has its roots in government action. This boils down to the ultimate question: why would black Americans turn to the same government for help?
The black community is riddled with social ills that are due to a host of factors. What appears strange is the silence on the left regarding the existence of these issues. Why is it that a cop slaying a black person is more of a problem than a black person slaying another black person? Now, I am fully aware that in America murder is intraracial, but that doesn’t change the fact that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of the violent crime in America. This is also coupled with the lack of resources they possess and the increased incidence of single parents within that community.
The striking thing about all of this is that it should be obvious that the only dependable feature for any human experience is the notion that they should be responsible for themselves. In other words, we are ultimately the owners of ourselves and the autonomous moral agents of our lives. Sadly, the philosophy that is instilled in black Americans, and to an extent all Americans, is that you are not an autonomous moral agent but a victim of circumstances. Furthermore, they assert a fatalistic and nihilistic notion that there is absolutely nothing a black American can do about this. They cannot think, read, learn, model, plan or strategize their way out of the gripes of the “system”. Is it any wonder that black people riot when they believe a manifestation of the “systematic oppression” manifests itself? Fundamentally, black Americans are being bred to be fatalist by the very people who claim to want to help them.
This is perhaps what is at the heart in the difference between the Marxist and libertarian philosophical worldview: a difference concerning the condition of mankind.
The Marxist believes that human beings are helpless and are subjugated by the ruling classes who own the means of production. The libertarian believes, as proven by history, human beings are free moral agents who can decide how they live. Not to mention, how does a Marxist explain a 19 year old Mark Zuckerberg beating a billion dollar enterprises like Google and Yahoo?
Ideas are powerful enough to change the course of history. And sadly, this lesson is not what is being promoted to black Americans. The key feature of ideas’ disruptive potential is treated as heretical doctrine by the left. It seems like the American school system, media, and political system is hell-bent on having black people believe they are doomed unless the government comes to save them like some sort of white knight.
Of course, I believe the truth is that the large bureaucracy that exists to impoverish black Americans would collapse if black Americans become libertarians. Job security at its finest!
Gary St. Fleur
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