Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Akil Alleyne — No, Libertarianism Isn't a "White Supremacy" Theory

Born in Toronto, Canada and raised in Montreal, Akil Alleyne is a 2008 graduate of Princeton University and a 2013 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where his major areas of study were constitutional and international law. He most recently worked for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the civil liberties of free speech, freedom of religion and association, and due process.

One of the most frustrating things about being a libertarian is the likelihood that much of your time will be spent correcting mischaracterizations of the philosophy and the movement it spawned. Perhaps the most common calumny hurled at libertarianism in recent years is the claim that it is an ideology of white supremacy. “Libertarianism is for white men” is just one example of the headlines screamed by left-leaning websites such as Salon and AlterNet in the past decade alone. As Cato Institute vice president Gene Healy once wryly remarked, “Never before have so many been so intimidated by so few, with so little political power.”

Now comes The Baffler’s Andrew Hartman to join in the chorus of hysteria with his recent article “The Master Class on the Make: How the White Backlash Found Its Academic Bona Fides.” His central thesis? “Libertarianism is a political philosophy shot through with white supremacy. Public choice theory, a technical language nominally about human behavior and incentives, helps ensure that blacks remain shackled.”

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