The Anarchist Proof From Non-Bigotry

Widespread adoption and consistent application of a social norm of non-bigotry towards the non-native born must logically result in one of two policy options: Anarchy (in the best way) or a single world government. Hayekian knowledge problems make the second option impossible. Therefore, a consistent commitment to functional non-bigotry must lead one to anarchism. Q.E.D.

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Never mind the Hayekian knowledge problem

Give me your definition of "non-bigotry". If it involves an equal status for all participants in a society, it is probably directly incompatible with having some people rule over others.

The AH dictionary defines

The AH dictionary defines it:

"One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

As an example, Micha is a political bigot. 

However, Micha would probably define bigotry more broadly, to include anyone who has beliefs about eg race that Micha disagrees with, for example race realists who believe that average black intelligence is well below average quite intelligence due to genetic differences.

The history of "bigotry" is interesting. In a nutshell, people are apt to call anyone they disagree with about anything "bigots". A "bigot" has meant people who cling stubbornly to their beliefs, which of course describes anybody who disagrees with you and who you are unable to convince. Ironically, to call someone else a "bigot" in this sense is itself almost certainly itself a refusal to yield ground, and therefore, in the view of the other, bigotry.

The history is interesting and ironic:

Legend has it that Rollo, the first duke of Normandy, refused to kiss the foot of the French king Charles III, uttering the phrase bi got, his borrowing of the assumed Old English equivalent of our expression by God. Although this story is almost surely apocryphal, it is true that bigot was used by the French as a term of abuse for the Normans, but not in a religious sense.

So the French, being bigoted about the Normans, expressed their own bigotry toward the Normans by calling them bigots. But more interestingly, we see that there is an apocryphal story in which a bigot is essentially someone who refuses to bow down to a more powerful state. I think the story is relevant even if apocryphal, because, if apocryphal, it nevertheless expresses what people understood the word to mean. That is very close to our own current use, since we call anyone who refuses to parrot the state religion of progressivism a "bigot". The sight of a libertarian anti-bigot is therefore comical, like an anarchist who complains about people not paying their taxes. 

The AH continues, describing the use of "bigot" by anti-nun bigots and then apparently by cognitive elite to express their bigoted contempt for the unwashed, not unlike our modern city/university bigotry toward "rednecks", "red staters", and "white trash":

Later, however, the word, or very possibly a homonym, was used abusively in French for the Beguines, members of a Roman Catholic lay sisterhood. From the 15th century on Old French bigot meant "an excessively devoted or hypocritical person." Bigot is first recorded in English in 1598 with the sense "a superstitious hypocrite."

Chambers dictionary defines "bigot" as:

A person blindly and obstinately devoted to a particular set of ideas, creed, or political party, and dismissive towards others.

This surely applies to virtually everybody, considered from the point of view of those who disagree with them. To avoid the tiresome straw man of relativism I hasten to point out thar, in reality, I am not blind or obstinate, and Micha is needless to say both on certain matters. But it does little good for me to tell him that he is blind and obstinate. It is just not useful as a component of any argument. It is a general conclusion rather than something on which an argument can hinge. I need to show, not merely tell, him that he is blind and obstinate, and this is, of course, hard, since he is blind and obstinate. Making anti-blindness and anti-stubbornness the basis on which to argue and then decide weighty moral questions strikes me as being worse than useless. It is, after all, to try to resolve a topic under debate by appealing to something even more debatable, ie, who is being stubborn and blind.

But more seriously it is to replace rational argument with ad hominem, by replacing an argument about reasons with an argument about who is being reasonable. We see Micha doing this in his previous blog entry, which attacks a person in its title, rather than giving or attacking reasons. 

Making anti-blindness and

Making anti-blindness and anti-stubbornness the basis on which to argue and then decide weighty moral questions strikes me as being worse than useless.

As I said years ago, rational evangelism won't work - you can't rationally persuade people to be more rational. Caplan's theory of rational irrationality explains why you can't and why irrationality is natural and should be expected to be persistent and widespread in areas like religion, philosophy, and collective politics.

Again, a careful distinction

Again, a careful distinction between subjectivity and objectivity would help me here. I'm not sure I've got that distinction yet, though, so bear with me if I get it wrong.

If we were to define non-bigotry as an objective moral system--that is, if we were to remove the idea of personal opinions from it--we could twist the dictionary definition to this:

NB-O: "A social system where preferential status is not given to any individual based on group, religion, race or politics".

I don't think anarchy could follow directly from this definition, unless "group" is used in its broadest sense. Preferential status could be granted to, say, the most intelligent to rule over the rest of us. Anarchy would follow from "a social system where preferential status is not given to any individual", since no one person could (within the constraints of such a system) maintain any monopoly, including a monopoly of the initiation of force for a region.

The AH definition describes a subjective condition of bigotry, which I highlight by changing a few words:

"One who holds opinions that are strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who hold differing opinions."

When Micah uses the phrase, "... consistent application of a social norm ...", he is considering non-bigotry as an objective ethical system, and offering a logical consequence compatible with this system. His subjective choices to adhere to or deviate from non-bigotry as an individual is inconsequential to the logic of his argument.

Irrational discrimination is

Irrational discrimination is a more objective definition of bigotry.

NB-O would be the absence of irrational discrimination.

Anarchy would follow from "a social system where preferential status is not given to any individual", since no one person could (within the constraints of such a system) maintain any monopoly, including a monopoly of the initiation of force for a region.

You seem to be assuming that there is no rational (non-bigoted) discrimination, which is obviously false. There is nothing bigoted about preferring some individuals to others for rational reasons.

I think even Micha might agree that it is not bigoted to discriminate against chimpanzees in the workplace.

It seems that "bigotry" is a

It seems that "bigotry" is a word that is used but never defined, or never defined very well, but is owned by a particular person or group. In particular, "bigotry" is owned by the cult of progressivism, which settles disputes as to what it means through the principle of "no enemies to the left", which is to say, if two people disagree, and one of them is more to the left, then the leftist tends to win because the one less to the left concedes, there being "no enemies to the left". The word "bigotry" means something, but the meaning isn't what any dictionary says because the cult of progressivism uses the word in self-serving ways. Try to argue based on the dictionary definition that a leftist is a "bigot" and the leftist will simply think you're nuts, because "bigot" is not really defined in a way that can make him a "bigot", since the leftist, not the dictionary, controls the word "bigot" (the obvious exception being, if you can find someone even more leftist who you can used to bludgeon him with).

Leftist pet causes are ranked, so that if a conflict arises between them, what any non-leftist would naturally see as symmetrical speech and behavior is viewed by the leftist as bigoted on one side and justified on the other. This is obvious in the case of whites versus blacks. Black and Hispanic leaders are respected and celebrated who, if they were white, would be seen as unbelievably bigoted. Black and Hispanic statements are made all the time which, where they made by a white, would be considered outrageously racist - and no one notices or cares, or if they do, then they consider it richly justified. For example Mexican leftists go on about "la raza" with no repercussions, but if whites went on about "the race" then they would be identified as white supremacists, which they probably would be. Discourse among Mexicans and blacks is considered normal and acceptable which is in actuality no different from white supremacist discourse.

Interestingly, though, there is also a ranking among left wing pet causes. In particular, it appears that in a conflict between blacks and homosexuals nowadays, homosexuals are favored. Presumably the favored position of homosexuals is due to the fact that homosexuals are currently an active pretext for the expansion of state power, blacks having more or less been used up and fully in the pocket of politicians for an expanding state, and progressivism is the house religion of the expanding state. At the moment, Muslims seem to be the most favored pet cause. Left-libertarians have gone as far as to abandon the fight for free speech in favor of Muslim desire not to have Mohammed depicted pictorially. They did this at The Liberty Papers, where Michael Powell writes:

Like the Danish cartoon controversy, the South Park controversy really irked people from across the political spectrum. Dan Savage, the uber-liberal gay rights activist from my hometown of Seattle, promoted “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” As much as I loved the concept when it first popped up, I have to admit that I’m rather ashamed of it now.

The pretext is a couple of incidents of violence against Muslims. Meanwhile, I don't see any environmentalists abandoning environmentalism because of what James Lee did. If you really believe in environmentalism, you're not going to abandon environmentalism because of what some nutcase environmentalist did. Nor will a libertarian abandon liberty because of what some nutcase does. But a left-libertarian will use this as a pretext to do what marginal members of the cult of progressivism do, which is to put into practice no-enemies-to-the-left.

It seems that "bigotry" is a

It seems that "bigotry" is a word that is used but never defined, or never defined very well, but is owned by a particular person or group.

Again, I offer "irrational discrimination" as a succinct and useful definition of bigotry. I think this is what reasonable people fundamentally intend by the word.

Try to argue based on the dictionary definition that a leftist is a "bigot" and the leftist will simply think you're nuts, because "bigot" is not really defined in a way that can make him a "bigot", since the leftist, not the dictionary, controls the word "bigot" (the obvious exception being, if you can find someone even more leftist who you can used to bludgeon him with).

Another exception being people like you for whom nobody controls the meaning of words. For me the meaning of words is largely defined by usefulness.

There are limits to what the left can accomplish in attempting to define bigotry. Obama and the left could not persuade enough Americans that Jeremiah Wright was not a racist despite the fact that he has perfectly good standing on the left, so they gave up defending Wright.

Of course when anyone observes that Obama is a racist the reflexive reaction is still that he cannot be because he his black and on the left. But so was Wright.

Again, I offer "irrational

Again, I offer "irrational discrimination" as a succinct and useful definition of bigotry. I think this is what reasonable people fundamentally intend by the word.

It is what I remember thinking it meant back when I was an innocent teenager. However, in the intervening years, it has become apparent that this is not what those who most freely wield the word (as a weapon, of course) really mean by it. Going by the pattern of use, "bigot" roughly means, "anyone who opposes any aspect of progressive ideology, especially when the progressive ideology involves blatant irrational discrimination and the person is pointing this out". Recalling the apocryphal story, a "bigot" is someone who refuses to bow down to the king - that is to say, to the progressive, who sees himself as the rightful master of society, the rightful social engineer.

"Bigot" is, I now think, the weapon of leftists, of progressives, of the state, and not of anyone else. Non-leftists do use the word but I think it's a case of picking up a weapon of the enemy - possibly without realizing it's the weapon of the enemy. Leftists after all have such a great deal of influence over culture that their ideas now seem as natural as the ideas snow or happiness. We are already speaking newspeak. We are, then, to treat "bigotry" as if it were a fundmental and very important category, like "murder" or "betrayal", but unlike these concepts, the leftists retain active, living control over what the word means.

Imagine that you are an agent of the state. You are a parasite, you take from the productive, you live off them and you interfere with their lives. You destroy their plans, force them to adopt your plans. You are a monster. What idea do you adopt to justify your existence? Simple: they are bigots, and you are not a bigot. They are moral cretins, and you are their moral superior. They deserve to be robbed and pushed around. You find, or create, differences between yourself and them, and you magnify those differences in importance. Your ways are right and forward-looking (forward because you are going to impose your ways on them in the future), and their ways are wrong and backwards (backwards because you are in the process of forcing their ways out of existence). Thus you are a progressive, and they are retrogressive, reactionary, conservative. Yes, they are conservative because you are the aggressor and they are being aggressed against, and so you are imposing your ways on them, which ways are therefore new (to them), and they are trying to hold on to the ways that you have been crushing under your heel, the ways which are therefore on the way out, therefore dying and old. If they had the political upper hand then you would be the conservative, trying to preserve your ways, but since you are the aggressor, the monster, you are the progressive.

When any two people from different cultures encounter one another, each one is apt to see the other one as astonishingly irrational, his ways absurd. One's own ways are, of course, rational. Every act of thought involves some discrimination or other - a discrimination is a telling apart - and therefore the other is irrationally discriminating - the other is a bigot. Since you are an agent of the state, since you are the monster and they are the victim, then your view wins, and so they are the bigot and you are the non-bigot.

There is, of course, an objective reality about who is actually rational and who is actually irrational. But the word "bigot" is never intended for use by a rational person. The word "bigot" is used rhetorically, to attack and destroy people, to destroy their reputation. Nobody thinks very hard about it. It is dangerous to think too hard about it, because if you do, then you will be called a "bigot" and lose all influence.

One might argue, "the state can say whatever it likes, the public will see reality for what it is". But this is not so. When someone is arrested, the nearly universal presumption is that there is something fishy about that person. It apparently has gotten to the point that mere arrest - not conviction, but mere arrest - makes it much harder for a person to get a decent job in this country. So I have read. Background checks apparently check arrest records. The point is that the state has a great deal of power to ruin a person's reputation, and life, simply on its own say-so.

"Bigot" is, I now think, the

"Bigot" is, I now think, the weapon of leftists, of progressives, of the state, and not of anyone else. Non-leftists do use the word but I think it's a case of picking up a weapon of the enemy - possibly without realizing it's the weapon of the enemy.

I know exactly what they do with it, and I don't need or use it as a weapon. I see no reason why reasonable individuals can't talk past them in a sensible language. This is a means of identifying reasonable individuals.

One might argue, "the state can say whatever it likes, the public will see reality for what it is"..

I'd say rather "the state can say whatever it likes, I will see reality for what it is". I don't speak to persuade "the people". I expect most people to always be wrong about such matters one way or another. They have little incentive to get such things right. Will any individual be rewarded with a better political result if he see's what I see? No. A better world? No. If he gets satisfaction from his views why should he give up that satisfaction?

There are limits to what the

There are limits to what the left can accomplish in attempting to define bigotry. Obama and the left could not persuade enough Americans that Jeremiah Wright was not a racist despite the fact that he has perfectly good standing on the left, so they gave up defending Wright.

I'm not sure. I think that Wright's most famous statement was "God damn America", which is not bigoted so much as unpatriotic. This is an odd sentiment for the pastor of the future President to have. I think "patriotic" is not a category that the leftists control. I think that perhaps seeing Wright as most importantly a "racist" is seeing his flaws through a left wing lens. It is as if a factory owner raped a worker and instead of calling it "rape" we called it "capitalist exploitation of labor", viewing the wrong through a left wing lens.

Similarly, the murder of Matthew Shepard was first and foremost a murder. But leftists saw it through their lens as "homophobia". Everyone saw a crime; leftists saw a "hate crime". "Hate" is itself monstrous in the view of the left, regardless of whether it is accompanied by a crime. Of course the left hates lots of people, intensely, and does not see itself as guilty of "hate" because of this, so "hate" isn't actually hate, isn't actually the ordinary English word "hate", but is a jargon of the left, which applies only to that to which the left wishes it to apply. Meanwhile, however, non-leftists saw a murder, which didn't require any left wing indoctrination to see. Similarly, regardless of whether Wright "hates" America (in that special left wing sense), it was evident to everyone that Wright hated America (in the ordinary sense), because he as much as said so.

I'm not sure. I think that

I'm not sure. I think that Wright's most famous statement was "God damn America", which is not bigoted so much as unpatriotic. This is an odd sentiment for the pastor of the future President to have."

"White man's greed runs a world in need" is an odd statement for the pastor of a candidate who needs a lot of white votes. It's an odd statement to be quoted approvingly by Obama, in his autobiography, as part of the sermon which brought him to tears and moved him to join Wright's church.

Lack of patriotism was a factor too, but Wright's racism has been laid out there and hardly any on the left are willing to defend him against that charge.

I think "patriotic" is not a category that the leftists control. I think that perhaps seeing Wright as most importantly a "racist" is seeing his flaws through a left wing lens.

Racism is absolutely central to Wright's entire message and technique, it's his vocation.

Similarly, the murder of Matthew Shepard was first and foremost a murder. But leftists saw it through their lens as "homophobia". Everyone saw a crime; leftists saw a "hate crime".

I recall the execrable "Laramie Project" film. The minor-star-studded cast was incensed that no laws had been changed in the wake of the murder, oblivious to the fact that both murderers got back-to-back life sentences.

You wrote: It is bigoted to

You wrote:

It is bigoted to prefer family to foreigners. It's a bigotry that's been bred into us for millions of years for obvious reasons.

I don't think that preferring family is detestable. But the function in modern discourse of "bigotry" is to mark the target as detestable. If you define "bigotry" in a way that fails to mark the target as detestable then you deprive "bigotry" of its function. Maybe you personally have a different function for "bigotry" but I do not. Consequently, if I am not letting myself get sucked into left-wing rhetorical games (which admittedly I sometimes do), then I personally gave no use for the word "bigotry". If "bigotry" means irrational discrimination, then I will make my point with less confusion if I use the more neutral word "irrational".

I don't think that preferring

I don't think that preferring family is detestable.

Of course not. And I understand that regardless of how I preface that statement most people will think I just said that it is detestable. I'd be a little surprised that you would think that was what I was saying though.

My point is that bigotry, like any other vice, is really not detestable.

When alternate coherent definitions for a word exist that's fine, I need not waste time arguing for one over the other. "Christian" may mean someone who recognizes a certain theology or it may mean someone who professes to be a christian. But in this case the left have no coherent intellectually defensible definition of bigotry, while I do. I see this as an easily exploitable weakness in the presence of anyone who is thinking straight. You apparently surrender the word because most people won't think straight. I'm left wondering what you hope to accomplish with those who can't get over an intellectual hurdle of this magnitude.

I'd be a little surprised

I'd be a little surprised that you would think that was what I was saying though.

What I just wrote presupposes and relies on that not being what you were saying.

My point is that bigotry, like any other vice, is really not detestable.

My point is that assigning detestability is the function of the word as it is normally used. If I don't want to use it with that function, then I will not use it at all. I will use some other terminology instead. Nor do I think that preferring family is even a vice.

You apparently surrender the word because most people won't think straight. I'm left wondering what you hope to accomplish with those who can't get over an intellectual hurdle of this magnitude.

I'm not trying to accomplish anything. When I want to state what I think, I use the word "elephant" to mean elephant, not snake. I use the word "foot" to mean foot, not generosity. Why not say "foot" when I mean generosity? Because that's not how my listener is likely to understand "foot". And so I don't offer alternative meanings of words. You yourself just indicated that you consider bigotry to be a vice, and I don't think favoring family is even that, so even using your meaning, I am reluctant to call that "bigotry", since I would then be communicating to you that I considered it a vice.

I used the word vice to

I used the word vice too liberally. It is often difficult to what activities constitute vice in other people. It is overly broad to say that drinking or recreational drug use or gambling are vices because any number people engage in these behaviors without harming themselves. Other people routinely harm themselves in such behaviors and demonstrate vice.

Preferring family members to outsiders is no vice if it doesn't harm or endanger you. But irrational discrimination tends to invite self harm and I've seen many examples of people who do harm themselves by irrational attachment to family members.

Ever notice that some people accept abuse from family members they would not accept from outsiders? Ever see a boss hold family members in a business to lower standards than other workers - to the boss's detriment? In such cases irrational preference for family becomes vice.

Strictly speaking racism is not in and of itself a vice since many people have irrational racial preferences that don't harm them in any way. It becomes a vice when you lose customers or hire inferior employees or miss out on having rewarding relationships with good people due to irrational preferences.

At what point do you stop

At what point do you stop surrendering words? The word "prejudice" has a clear intent but the same race hustlers will tell you that there is really impossible to be prejudiced against whites and that judgments made on the basis of facts are still prejudice when they are not politically correct. Similar problems arise with the words "discrimination", "hate", "tolerance", "equality"....

What happens when "liberty" and "justice" are fully digested and lose all meaning?

Why would they stop taking words as long as it works?

I'm not sure that "bigot" is

I'm not sure that "bigot" is a word I care about or want. Looking at its history, it appears to have been a French insult aimed at Normans. I don't want to sneer at foreigners. More recently leftists use it. But I don't know that in doing so they took over a word I want. If leftists were to take over the word "oreo" as a disapproving term meaning black person who acts white, do I really want to "take back" the word "oreo" as a neutral term meaning black person who acts white?

My point is, I'm not sure that "bigot" is a word of interest to me. It has been raised from its apparent original status as a nationalistic sneer, to its current status as a very important category, the central moral axiom of leftism, because leftists are the way they are. So the word is important to them. But why should it be important to me? I am not interested in what leftists are interested in. I suspect that the very act of treating "bigotry" as an important word could be an unnecessary concession to the leftists.

Okay, how about "racism'?

Okay, how about "racism'?

It's a difficult question to

It's a difficult question to answer because I am the product of twenty years of left wing indoctrination. I don't really know what I would have found important had I not been brought up a leftist. But with difficulty, I can try to answer your question about the by now very deeply embedded concept of racism by considering two much less deeply embedded concepts such as weightism and lookism, which I didn't encounter until relatively late.

So, what about weightism and lookism? Supposedly "shallow" people who discriminate based on such mere outward things are in fact discriminating based on biological fitness, which is in a sense the "deepest" aspect of humanity. On a "deep" level what we are is self-replicators.

So the question is, are the concepts "weightism" and "lookism" useful? Or are they more trouble than they're worth? Supposing (as I do) it is natural, appropriate, and healthy to ostracize the obese and the ugly (if you can get away with it), and perverse and self-destructive to attempt to overcome one's one revulsion for the obese, then discriminating on the basis of weight is similar to refraining from cutting yourself with razorblades - another self-destructive behavior. So would the concept, "non-self-cutting-ism" be a useful concept? Or would the concept "not-pulling-your-hair-out-ism" be a useful concept?

Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) is, I think, a useful concept, because it labels a disorder that we want to pay attention to and, if possible, treat. But the-absence-of-trichotillomania-considered-as-an-ism is a less useful concept, and as far as I know, does not exist.

And what's with the "-ism"? An "ism" is a "distinctive doctrine, theory, or practice". I think "radical egalitarianism" is a distinctive doctrine, theory, and practice. And isn't it, in fact, the very same doctrine, theory, and practice, which "lookism", "weightism", "sexism", "racism", and all the rest of that line of "isms" are departures from?

Imagine the following. Suppose you have this doctrine, radical egalitarianism, which "asserts that not only are all people equal, but that they’re identical in all important aspects" (grabbed that here). And you want to push it. But instead of preaching radical egalitarianism directly, you are very sneaky. You go after people for failure to be radical egalitarians. As if it were terribly immoral. And you call each of these departures "isms", to portray them as "distinctive practices" and therefore as peculiar, as abnormal, as perverse even, and thus by implication portray radical egalitarianism as normal.

From that point on, even if people try to "clean up" the concepts of "racism", "sexism", "lookism", and so on, so that they "take them back" from you (the radical egalitarian), they are still doing what you want them to do, which is to help propagate and perpetuate these concepts, and thus to propagate and perpetuate the myth that it is the failure to be a radical egalitarian that is special, abnormal, and wrong.

I think that radical egalitarianism is a key doctrine of progressivism. It's an uncomfortable one because it flies in the face of reality, but they do what they can to make it true. If, as Mencius Moldbug believes, progressivism is descended from Protestant Christianity, then radical egalitarianism may have its origin in the otherworldiness of Christianity, the hatred that Christians are supposed to have for the material world, and the doctrine of the separateness of the soul and the body. The anti-materialism of Christianity makes it easy to sustain a doctrine of absolute equality in all important respects - which are non-material respects. Progressivism has dropped the overt anti-materialism but remains an otherworldly doctrine.

1. What is racism? 2. Do you

1. What is racism?

2. Do you find it detestable?

3. Will you abandon the word on the view that the left largely controls the meaning?

My answers:

1. Irrational preference/discrimination based on race.

2. No. In and of itself racism is at worst a vice which harms only the racist. I don't respect irrationality and self harm, but they do not rise to a level which evokes intense revulsion from me. I see it more as a garden variety error.

3. No. I will not shrink from using sensible words sensibly.

There are irrational

There are irrational preferences based on pretty much everything under the sun. There are irrational preferences based on time of day. People prefer certain foods for breakfast, certain others for lunch, not always for any terribly good reason. Shall we coin a new word that singles out irrational preference based on time of day - and for everything else? If we do, then we fill our vocabulary with a hundred thousand new words. If we don't, then we are in effect singling out race for special treatment. Why?

And why discrimination? Why not define a concept that encompasses any irrational belief based on race? For example, the belief that the races are equal is a belief based on race. The belief, for example, that average intelligence of a black person and a white person are the same, is a belief based on race. This is, of course, a progressive belief. Progressives stubbornly believe in the equality of the races despite evidence to the contrary. This belief combines with the observation of unequal outcomes to produce the inference that discrimination is occurring. But the progressive belief in equality of the races is - I submit - incorrect, in fact it is irrational to hold on to this belief in the face of the evidence. And it is based on race, because the belief concerns race. For example, if I believed that lawyers were as smart as doctors, then my belief would be based on career.

So why not call the irrational belief in the equality of the races "racism"? Why not call irrational indifference between two races "racism"? I will suggest why: perhaps because the concept was built to pick out, and attack, only non-egalitarianism. Progressive universities will accept blacks with lower grades than whites, and when asked to defend their actions, they will say things like, he didn't have the same opportunities - the implication being that had he had the opportunities, he would have been as good, which is the same as saying that he is inherently as good, and only outwardly, because of accidents of environment, does he appear not as good. And so they convince themselves that the black applicant is equal to the white applicant, and they do this because of his race. So this is race-based, and it is egalitarian, and it's irrational. But we don't call it racism because progressives have defined racism so that it targets only non-progressive irrationality. And you're going along with it.

Use of the term also forces you to assess the rationality of something. I don't know other people that well. I don't know what goes on in their minds. If a cab driver refuses to pick up black people (this is based on a news item from a few years ago), is that rational? Is it irrational? I don't know. Even if I were sitting in the cab next to him I might not be able to know whether he was being rational or irrational. Even if he explained his reasons to me, I wouldn't necessarily know whether he was rationalizing.

Progressive universities will

Progressive universities will accept blacks with lower grades than whites, and when asked to defend their actions, they will say things like, he didn't have the same opportunities - the implication being that had he had the opportunities, he would have been as good, which is the same as saying that he is inherently as good, and only outwardly, because of accidents of environment, does he appear not as good. And so they convince themselves that the black applicant is equal to the white applicant, and they do this because of his race. So this is race-based, and it is egalitarian, and it's irrational. But we don't call it racism...

I do, and I'm not the only one. This is a perfectly sensible use of the word racism.

Can you answer the three questions I answered?

Use of the term also forces you to assess the rationality of something. I don't know other people that well. I don't know what goes on in their minds. If a cab driver refuses to pick up black people (this is based on a news item from a few years ago), is that rational? Is it irrational? I don't know. Even if I were sitting in the cab next to him I might not be able to know whether he was being rational or irrational. Even if he explained his reasons to me, I wouldn't necessarily know whether he was rationalizing.

Vices are notoriously difficult to identify in other people. In many cases you won't be able to make a confident judgment.

Can you answer the three

Can you answer the three questions I answered?

I'm unable to answer the first one honestly. I could simply pick a meaning, but that feels incorrect, as if I were Humpty Dumpty:

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

On the other hand, when I try to draw a meaning for the term from the world around me, I get a cacophony of different meanings. So I find myself unable to report the meaning I find either. I am reluctant to invent because it seems arbitrary and I don't approve of what Humpty Dumpty does here and I don't want to emulate him, and on the other hand I'm unable to report the meaning because there is a confusion of meanings. With difficulty, I have finally been able to make some sense of the meaning of the term in the world around me, and the meaning is bent this way and that by the most enthusiastic users of the term, who are the progressives. I don't see humans obsessing about racism generally; I see progressives obsessing about it, and I also see, in those countries dominated by progressivism, such as the US, some of the more clever non-progressives picking up and attempting to use it in reverse.

Let's look at the term "douchebag" for a second, used as a term for describing a person. That is obviously a word that is intended to express disapproval. Would you take that word and give it a neutral meaning, stripped of its function as a condemnation of its target? What would its truth criteria be? "Douchebag" is recent and not in most dictionaries but it is similar to the word "asshole" which is in the dictionary. If I read the dictionary definition of "asshole" I see that the dictionary does not give us help: the literal meaning given by the dictionary includes the element of disapproval.

As it happens, Encarta defines douchebag as follows:

a highly offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's appearance or character

Which is similar to "asshole" (which focuses on character).

Summing up all I know based on all I've heard, I find that the word "racist" is similar to the word "douchebag".

I have, by the way, seen Micha criticize rational statistical discrimination. In fact I've argued with him about it. So going by his past comments, I don't think your definition describes Micha's meaning.

What is "discrimination"?

Suppose A tells you that to discriminate is to be a douchebag, and thus statistical discrimination is statistical douchebaggery? Is he right?

I submit that the word is very widely used that way, so much so that if you ask people simply what they think of "discrimination" most will express revulsion. Will you now surrender the word "discrimination"?

You claim I'm making up definitions but in fact the definitions I offered for "bigot" and "racist" are far closer to their dictionary definitions than "douchebag". I claim the language is being abused, and for a purpose. You appear to surrendering language word by word as it is abused - which I say is the purpose of the abuse.

What is "discrimination"?

Discrimination is

Discrimination is differentiation. It does not have anything in particular to do with race. To be discriminating is to be able to tell apart two things which are subtly different. Discrimination is a word with a great deal of use and value apart from the progressive mission to re-engineer society.

I cannot say the same thing of "racism". I am not even sure how old the word is. Going by its current use, I would not be surprised if a progressive invented the word "racism" a hundred years ago. If you have a non-progressive definition of the word "racism", then I am not sure that you are "taking back" the word. For all I know you are kidnapping an originally progressive word. In fact, looking it up, the word originates in 1865-1870 according to Dictionary.com - placing it within the boundaries of the rise of progressivism, I think. In contrast, "discrimination" originates in 1640-50, well outside the boundaries of progressivism. So the dictionary dates are consistent with my impression that "racism" is an original jargon term of progressivism, rather than an ordinary English term which has been taken over.

As a matter of fact, another dictionary (WordBook app, on my iPhone) says that "racism" begins in English in 1935/1936. That's well within the boundaries of progressivism. It doesn't give a date for "discrimination" but it dates "discriminate" to 1628.

Micha and douchebags

Summing up all I know based on all I've heard, I find that the word "racist" is similar to the word "douchebag".

It's pretty clear that by "racist" Micha means a particular flavor of "douchebag" and by "douchebag" Micha means someone who doesn't share particular ends and preferences which Micha strongly prefers. And that's pretty much all he means by it.

Which is odd because Micha also holds that there is no reason why Jonah Goldberg should prefer Micha's ends and preferences to his own.

On Redeye, host Greg Gutfeld usually ends his editorials with: "And if you don't agree with me, you're a racist homophobe!", or something close to that. Gutfeld of course is joking.

Micha is quite apparently not joking when he effective says, "And if you don't share these ends and preferences, and there's rally no reason why you should, you're a douchebag."

Micha prefers that people be "well socialized" and he seeks to socialize people like Goldberg in part by calling them douchebags. This is, after all, how intellectual battles are won (according to Micha).

It's important to avoid

It's important to avoid defining terms when you are acting as a footsoldier of a movement larger than yourself. An enlisted man in the military is well advised to shut up about matters of principle if they directly relate to ongoing military campaigns. He should not take it upon himself to define the conditions of peace or war, victory or defeat, and should not take it upon himself to decide who is friend or foe. He takes orders and it is for others to say what's what. If he defines terms in a clear way, then he is making decisions that are supposed to be made by the higher ranks, all the way up to the commander in chief. Using an "I know it when I see it" definition allows the soldier leeway to "see" whatever he is needed to see.

A movement like progressivism has no leader but is identifiably a movement, with observable direction, like a flock of birds. Observable yes but not so predictable that a member of the movement can fully internalize where it will go next. Best, then, to avoid clarity and definition as much as possible. Since the movement is irrational and emotional, best to pursue irrational arguments that appeal to the emotions. The partisan humor of a Jon Stewart is a good tool, because it strokes the vanity of the audience, who are so flattered and delighted to be implicitly told that they are superior to the daily target of ridicule that they are unlikely to notice any deficiencies of reason. The humor that consists of ridiculing other kinds of people is not the only kind of humor, but it is what draws the young audiences, who are desperate to feel superior, desperate to win the status game.

Lookism, weightism

So the question is, are the concepts "weightism" and "lookism" useful? Or are they more trouble than they're worth? Supposing (as I do) it is natural, appropriate, and healthy to ostracize the obese and the ugly (if you can get away with it), and perverse and self-destructive to attempt to overcome one's one revulsion for the obese, then discriminating on the basis of weight is similar to refraining from cutting yourself with razorblades - another self-destructive behavior.

As I've said before I think it's perfectly natural to be repelled by disfigured human forms for obvious reasons.

It would be irrational however to assume that a fat, ugly person can have no virtues that might be of value to you. That irrationality can lead to costly errors - vice.

I don't follow you on the idea of ostracizing the fat and ugly. I understand preferences against such people but to "ostracize" seems too strong a reaction by my understanding of the word. Can you elaborate?

I understand preferences

I understand preferences against such people but to "ostracize" seems too strong a reaction by my understanding of the word. Can you elaborate?

I'm not sure what you mean. To "ostracize" is nothing more or less than to exclude someone socially, which a person will do if he does not prefer the other person's company. So I don't see how there is a difference between acting on a preference against social contact with a person, and ostracizing the person. Since everyone feels the same way, the effect on the individual compounds, the person finds himself quite isolated. Of course nothing is hard and fast. A sufficiently delightful fatty will find ready friends, etc. And of course the more enterprising fatties, uglies, and cripples will find each other. Since they are all desperate for friends, they are willing to be friends with each other.

It would be irrational however to assume that a fat, ugly person can have no virtues that might be of value to you. That irrationality can lead to costly errors - vice.

For the most part fatties don't have redeeming qualities that aren't shared by normally-weighted people, so if you have your choice (which you may not), you are probably well-advised to pick friends whose weight does not disgust you, since in other respects those friends are no worse than an obese friend would have been. But of course, there are fatties with redeeming qualities. It's a cliche that the less attractive have better personalities, and I think that at least in some cases a person has compensated for his physical unattractiveness by developing a more attractive personality, but I don't think that's a pronounced trend.

For the most part fatties

For the most part fatties don't have redeeming qualities that aren't shared by normally-weighted people, so if you have your choice (which you may not),...

You often may not if you have high standards in other areas because virtue is a scarce resource. There are virtues I value far more than physical attractiveness. If people are pretty much interchangeable then the order in which you apply your preferences may not matter much. But I value individuals who are quite exceptional in certain respects and they are in such short supply that I cannot afford to shun people based on criteria that matter far less to me.

Naturally.

Naturally.

Allow me to paraphrase

Allow me to paraphrase Constant:

On a "deep" level what we are is self-replicators.

So the question is, is the concept "rape" useful? Or is it more trouble than it's worth? Supposing (as I do) it is natural, appropriate, and healthy to rape in order to self-replicate (if you can get away with it), and perverse and self-destructive to attempt to overcome one's revulsion for rape, then discriminating on the basis of rape is similar to refraining from cutting yourself with razorblades - another self-destructive behavior. So would the concept "non-rapist" be a useful concept?

It's healthy to kill rapists,

It's healthy to kill rapists, from a self-replication point of view. In fact I subscribe to a biologically-based theory of natural law. To say that murder, rape, and robbery are against natural law is roughly to say that the biologically most well-adapted strategy for the typical human for dealing with these acts is to kill the culprits.

In contrast to rape, it is not well-adapted to kill, or even to fail to be friends with, people who fail to be friends with the obese. The obvious exception to this, paralleling progressivism is if anti-weightism gains political power, so that weightists become effectively unemployable in any position higher than the mail room. If the anti-weightists have power, the it becomes well-adapted to gather around yourself a lot of fat friends, so that you are not crushed under the foot of the state while Micha cheers from the sidelines.

But for now at least, anti-weightism is only a marginal program of progressivism, which progressives don't push with a great deal of energy.

It's healthy to kill rapists,

It's healthy to kill rapists, from a self-replication point of view. In fact I subscribe to a biologically-based theory of natural law. To say that murder, rape, and robbery are against natural law is roughly to say that the biologically most well-adapted strategy for the typical human for dealing with these acts is to kill the culprits.

Super. What does your biologically-based theory of natural law have to say to the potential rapist, murderer, or robber, from the rapist's, murderer's or robber's point of view? If they can get away with it, are they acting in accordance with natural law, or against it? The biologically most well-adapted strategy for the typical human is to rape, murder, and rob - if they can get away with it.

But for now at least, anti-weightism is only a marginal program of progressivism, which progressives don't push with a great deal of energy.

You act as if progressives are of one mind on this issue (and many others). They are not. If anything, the nanny-state pro-health progressives greatly outnumber the fat-acceptance progressives.

What does your

What does your biologically-based theory of natural law have to say to the potential rapist, murderer, or robber, from the rapist's, murderer's or robber's point of view? If they can get away with it, are they acting in accordance with natural law, or against it? The biologically most well-adapted strategy for the typical human is to rape, murder, and rob - if they can get away with it.

I've gone into this at length before. I don't recall you raising any interested questions about it then. Right now I think you're just being unintelligently contrary rather than being genuinely interested in game theoretic approaches to natural law, so I am not especially inclined to answer you here. If you're genuinely interested you can read what I wrote in this blog in the past.

I've gone into this at length

I've gone into this at length before. I don't recall you raising any interested questions about it then. Right now I think you're just being unintelligently contrary rather than being genuinely interested in game theoretic approaches to natural law, so I am not especially inclined to answer you here. If you're genuinely interested you can read what I wrote in this blog in the past.

Please don't assume you know my motives, my memory, or that I read every comment you write. I am genuinely interested in your answer to my questions, since I've asked the same questions of other moral theories and not yet found a sufficiently persuasive explanation. I'm inclined to think there isn't a good answer from natural law, and that the purpose of enlightened socialization is to overcome the limitations of nature, given the necessary existence of hawks in a world full of doves. If you've written about this in the past and don't wish to repeat yourself, a simple link will suffice, or some delicious copypasta.

Very well, then I'll attempt

Very well, then I'll attempt an answer. First of all, it's not a theory that whatever it is biologically well-adapted to do is therefore in accordance with natural law. It's biologically well-adapted to scratch an itch, but that's neither moral nor immoral - it's indifferent from the point of view of natural law. So the mere fact that a person can sometimes get away with a theft or murder or rape does not thereby make it morally right.

Morality is something like market price. You might be able on occasion to get something for less than market price, maybe because the seller doesn't know what the market price is, or you might find yourself paying more, maybe because you haven't bothered to check the market price and the seller realizes this. But that doesn't make the price you paid the new market price.

Societies develop customs over time. Customs are something like prices. Someone might on occasion depart from custom, but the custom remains what it is. Even if you get away with violating a custom, that doesn't make your action customary. Some of these customs regulate law.

The theory of natural law that I refer to is that customs aren't arbitrary, that there is a natural set of customs with respect to the application of violence which reasserts itself under certain conditions, the most important condition probably being statelessness, because the state can reshape law relatively freely, so that all bets are off once a state takes over.

I think that people are in effect playing a many-person game, over and over, all our lives, and all the lives of our ancestors from the when we first became a social species. Each player plays the game with a certain strategy, and over time it becomes apparent which strategies work and which don't work. What strategy works depends of course on all the other strategies being played, so there is a gradual adjustment of strategies, and adjustment in response to the previous adjustment, etc., over many iterations of the game. The most effective strategies are universally adopted. These universally adopted strategies form customs - the above-mentioned customs. So that a custom can be understood as a Nash equilibrium, or more specifically, an evolutionarily stable strategy.

That's a brief answer, which explains why a thief who gets away with it is not thereby obeying natural law. He is no more obeying natural law than any custom violator who gets away with it is obeying custom.

I can't find anything I

I can't find anything I disagree with in your answer. But it seems like all you are saying is that natural law is merely well evolved custom based on the nature of humans and the world in which we live (and I agree). This still doesn't provide any reason for the potential murderer/robber/rapist who thinks he can get away with it from committing a moral crime. I don't think any such reason can be provided.

I was answering this: If they

I was answering this:

If they can get away with it, are they acting in accordance with natural law, or against it?

My answer is against, and I explain why. I wasn't trying to persuade a criminal to act differently.

Is it wrong for some muslims

Is it wrong for some muslims to stone people for adultery or may that just be the right price in a different market?

I think Islam is and has

I think Islam is and has always been a religion that aspires to, and often enough achieves, political power, and in the presence of a state as I said all bets are off. Sometimes the power could be informal. It strikes me as obviously biologically unfit for a man to perform an honor killing on his own daughter, and from this I infer that islam is screwing with the natural order. I don't make a close study of Islam, but honor killings are so severely contrary to biology that I assume that they are the result of massive, statelike pressure brought to bear. In Iran, where stonings take place, this appears to be due to a theocracy. In Afghanistan under the Taliban, another theocracy, we saw similarly harsh laws and punishments. I do not mistake these for natural law.

Islam is apparently a danger to anarchy, Somalia being an example. So anarchists may have to deal with Islam if they want to prevent theocrats from destroying anarchy. It appears that Muslims are good citizens of their host countries as long as their numbers are too low to pose a significant threat. Once their numbers are sufficient, if they are good Muslims then they will do what the Koran unmistakably tells them to do to avoid the fires of hell, and that is to bring the new territory under the political rule of Islam.

It may be that there is no natural law. If as you imply there are merely different "markets", then there is no natural law in the sense I have been using. However, I think there is natural law.

To investigate whether they

To investigate whether they stone in anarchy, I googled Somalia stoning. The link I opened had this news item:

In a scene straight out of the Dark Ages, this Somali man accused of adultery was stoned to death by Islamic thugs while horrified villagers were forced to watch.

Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim, 48, was buried in a hole up to his chest and then pelted with rocks by fighters from the rebel group Hizbul Islam on Saturday in Afgoye, about 20 miles from the capital, Mogadishu.

I think that the "villagers" are ordinary peaceful people living in anarchy, and the "rebel group" are a would-be state exercising statelike power over the powerless villagers. I suppose someone might interpret this as evidence that in a stable anarchy the law will include stoning for adultery, but to me it looks like an aspiring theocratic state imposing state justice on a helpless population, rather than a manifestation of stateless justice.

I think that radical

I think that radical egalitarianism is a key doctrine of progressivism.

It is also a key doctrine of libertarianism, properly understood.

Yeah, Locke writes: [B]eing

Yeah, Locke writes:

[B]eing all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions….

But Micha promiscuously advocates trading one group's rights for that of another - trading harms. Micha holds that you ought to harm others when it leads to greater good.

Promiscuously? Nah. I may be

Promiscuously? Nah. I may be promiscuous in many other areas, but not when it comes to trading harms. Trading harms is only useful as a second-best solution. Obviously the best solution is to reduce or avoid harms entirely. If you treat all second-best solutions as arbitrarily and equally undesirable, on what libertarian grounds can you criticize me for preferring one second-best solution to another?

There are no libertarian

There are no libertarian grounds to criticize preferences.

You just linked to what you indicated was key to a proper understanding of libertarianism and it essentially reduced to the NAP. Are you a libertarian or even an egalitarian by the standard you linked?

There are no libertarian

There are no libertarian grounds to criticize preferences.

I don't think that's always the case.

Are you a libertarian or even an egalitarian by the standard you linked?

I'm not sure what Long would consider me; I don't think the NAP is the best or most useful expression of libertarianism (or egalitarianism). I just found the argument useful, even if I may not agree with all of its implications in their entirety.

I don't think that's always

I don't think that's always the case.

What are libertarian grounds for opposing racism?

Rad writes:

In other words, should libertarianism be seen as a “thin” commitment, which can be happily joined to absolutely any set of values and projects, “so long as it is peaceful,” or is it better to treat it as one strand among others in a “thick” bundle of intertwined social commitments?

Treating libertarianism as a thread in a bundle is not libertarian, it's bundling.

I'm not sure what Long would consider me; I don't think the NAP is the best or most useful expression ...

I asked if you were a libertarian or egalitarian by the standard of the article you linked. Let me help: You're not.

The focus on irrationality is

The focus on irrationality is useful. In philosophy, the core problem with the vice of bigotry is usually described in terms of arbitrariness, which is similar to irrationality.

Is statistical discrimination

Is statistical discrimination arbitrary?