A prominent left wing economist at the Roosevelt Institute equated the libertarian political movement to white supremacism in a Twitter discussion that quickly devolved into name calling.
Marshall Steinbaum, a Research Director and Fellow at the far-left Roosevelt Institute, made the remarks in part of a wider discussion about the potential usefulness of libertarian economists as “anti-Trump allies”, when Steinbaum declared he had no interest in “winning over” libertarians.
The situation escalated after a fellow left wing intellectual, E. Glen Weyl, respectfully bemoaned Steinbaum’s unwillingness to make inroads with and “win over” libertarians, saying his attitude “is responsible for so much of the self-defeating nature of today’s left.”
— (((E. Glen Weyl))) (@glenweyl) December 30, 2018
In reply, Steinbaum wrote that “If it is self-defeating to refuse to ally with white supremacy, then fine,” and cited contemporary opposition among to the New Deal among those who may have held libertarian beliefs, neglecting to mention that the policies comprised in the New Deal were legislated in the 1930s, and the Libertarian Party was not founded until 1971.
At this point, an incredulous Weyl asked Steinbaum to clarify whether or not he was “equating libertarianism with white supremacy.” Steinbaum replied in the affirmative, and cited various statements made by Libertarians.
Weyl then asked Steinbaum whether this type of blanket condemnation of libertarian would mean that prominent libertarians and self-proclaimed libertarians Tyler Crowen, Thomas Sowell, and Jeff Flake are part of the same political movement as Richard Spencer, who claims to have founded the Alt Right and helped organize the rally that led to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
In his reply to Weyl and his final tweet on the subject, Steinbaum elaborated that libertarianism is merely a “flavor” of white supremacy, and that it is part of the umbrella group that creates the white supremacist “political movement”.
At this point, Weyl attempted to continue the debate, leading other left wing Twitter users to point out inconsistencies with Steinbaum’s thinking and chastised him hold himself to “a standard worthy of Roosevelt”.
What a silly, obviously absurd argument. Hold yourself to a standard worthy of Roosevelt and progressives.
— Zach Tratar (@zachtratar) December 31, 2018
If you’re implying that self-determination is a white attribute and not a human attribute, it is likely people like you would also agree that the opposite is true about non-whites…..Maybe you shouldn’t play this game.
— JtheHornet (@JPHorn7) December 31, 2018
Ironically, the entire discussion was provoked by Weyl requesting that left wing economists refrain from speaking in jargon, make efforts not to alienate mainstream Americans, and find ways to relate complex economic theories to voters. Instead, Steinbaum condemned an entire political movement and school of economics as racist.
City of Denver Unanimously Votes to Rename Columbus Park “La Raza Park”
There might come a time when nothing in the US is named after Christopher Columbus.
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to rename Columbus Park last week Monday, and now it will be named “La Raza Park.”
“La raza” is Spanish for “the race,” which has connotations with Latino identity politics. A Denver Post article tells us that the phrase “viva la raza” (long live the race) was the “rallying cry of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.” The Chicano Movement encouraged Mexican ethnic and cultural solidarity with a particular emphasis on their indigenous heritage. The movement, however, rejected assimilation and thus the term “Mexican-American,” essentially branding themselves as the Hispanic version of the Black Power movement.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval claims that the unanimous vote was an act of officially naming a park that has “always” been unofficially called by its new name. “La raza is a word of unity and about celebrating community,” she said without a hint of irony.
The reason for officially renaming the park is about what you’d expect, namely because Christopher Columbus is irredeemably associated with colonialism and genocide and is thus not fit to be honored in any way, shape, or form.
Arturo Gonzalez, a retired professor, said that “Mexican Chicanos and Indigenous peoples have suffered genocide over the last 500 years. We live with that trauma. We continue to live with that trauma.”
Renaming parks, buildings, and schools that were previously named after so-called “problematic” or “white supremacist” historical figures is nothing new, of course, but the practice has accelerated over the past several months due to the hysteria following the George Floyd riots.
Big League Politics has covered many instances of this phenomenon. One of the most recent instances included a San Francisco school district renaming Abraham Lincoln High School because black lives apparently “didn’t matter” to him:
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