A Duke University history professor said that many libertarian leaders “seem to be on the autism spectrum,” which explains their political beliefs because autistic people supposedly “don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others.”
Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains, a biography of libertarian-leaning economic thinker James Buchanan, made a speech in New York that was reported on by Robby Soave of Reason magazine.
MacLean’s statement on Buchanan, the subject of her book, was stunning for its offensive hostility toward libertarians and also for her brusque dismissal of those who suffer from autism-related disorders, which are soaring among millenials and which affect millions of lives.
“It’s striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum. People who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have kind of difficult human relationships sometimes,” MacLean said.
MacLean’s argument seems to be that big-government progressives feel empathy with other human beings, while supposedly sociopathic Asperger’s cases are more inclined to support freedom from the State.
“In Buchanan’s family, his grandfather had actually been a populist governor of Tennessee… he ended up a very bitter man but he was very well known, and Buchanan’s own parents wanted him to go into politics and have a political career. Buchanan says in his memoir, ‘there were early misgivings about my personality.’ Like they knew he would never make it in politics,” MacLean said.
“But who knows, this is speculation right? Part of me, since you’ve asked me in the way you have, part of me feels like there was this some kind of wound in him that he couldn’t be this political figure, and then he made it his mission to kind of debunk the whole of politics to show that no one who was in it was good. But I don’t know,” MacLean added.
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