Monday, August 29, 2016

Stefan Molyneux Tells a Caller That Californians Deserve to Die If They Vote Differently From How He Wants

Stuart K. Hayashi

The embedding of this video was added on August 30, 2016.  See the bottom of this post for details on that.

First, let's get something straight.  It's embarrassing that this even needs to be explained to people who think of themselves as free-marketers: it's not wasteful to save the life of someone who disagrees with you politically.

I do not approve morally of legislation over what peaceful people may or may not do. A law against smoking marijuana recreationally means that if I smoke a joint in the privacy of my own home, the government can send armed men after me.  The more I resist them, the more the violence used against me will escalate.  I do not approve of this.

It should be understood, though, that people supporting such a law does not mean that they have personal animosity against me -- that they wish death on me.  Much of this has to be do with normalization.  Laws are enforced at gunpoint.  People understand that on an implicit level.  But confronting that seldom enters their conscious minds.  And I think that, in many cases, people don't think about it because they don't want to think about it.

Many people like to feel self-righteous if they support legislation supposedly designed to protect me from my own unhealthy choices, or legislation that overrides a contract between my employer and me on what I might be paid (busybodies will say I am paid too low).  And that is why I write what I write about the law -- I want people to consider that when they support laws stipulating what peaceful people may or may not do, support for the law is not humane in practice, but is itself a violent threat and act of bullying.

It does not follow from that that such people are my enemies.  I don't support gun control.  But there are many people who support gun control who would intervene to save me if they saw me being mugged. You might say that my being taxed is the same as my being mugged, but there is actually a crucial difference. Tax collectors are constrained in what they can do, whereas muggers are not. Tax collection is predictable and normalized, whereas a mugger can do anything to you.  If people saw me being mugged, it would not be the same, psychologically, as them seeing the IRS audit me.  The wrongness of what the IRS does is very abstract, whereas witnessing me being mugged on the street would hit you on a visceral level; it would be a very concrete observation of force. For that reason, many people who would approve of my taxes being raised would indeed risk their lives to intervene and help me against the mugger.

Contrary to fanatics such as Stefan Molyneux and Chris Cantwell, your fellow citizen supporting bad laws is not the same as that citizen personally seeking your destruction. That fellow citizen does implicitly support a type of injustice that can adversely affect you, but that has to do with a psychological block that is not easily removed, not even in the most intelligent, high-IQ people (in fact, people with high IQs often employ their high IQ to rationalize the expansion of government power). No, if people want to vote to tax me or make it more difficult for me to purchase a gun, it does not mean that such people deserve to die.  Again, it is embarrassing that I even have to explain that to people who call themselves free-marketers.

Now that that is out of the way, here is an exchange between Stefan Molyneux and a caller. Note that when the caller talks about using his gun to protect other people from a mass shooter, he is talking about the people of California.  Those are the people whom Molyneux is calling socialists; he is not talking about the North Korean military.

Caller: "So, um, to get back to the original point, should I be taking the risks that I am to protect myself? I mean I do understand that me dying from a terrorist attack is just as likely the Chinese coming in and invading the coast, which probably is not going to happen. I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. But I just cannot shake that feeling that if this situation arises where I am somewhere where I should not be hearing gunshots, and I hear them, I cannot be the one who runs away. I can't." 
Molyneux: "Why?" 
Caller: "Because that's what pussies do; damn it! Real American men who are armed and ready and trained are not pussies, OK? We've done a lot to make sure." 
Molyneux (laughs derisively): "OK, OK. I get it. I get it, G. I. Joe. But let me give you a push back here. See if this makes any sense, all right? [pause] Who are you gonna be saving?" 
Caller: "My fellow Americans. That's who I'm going to be saving." 
Molyneux: "You told me you're in liberal soup land [this is the San Francisco Bay area]." 
Caller: "That doesn't mean they deserve to die." 
Molyneux (smiling): "You're not killing them." 
Caller: "I know." 
Molyneux: "You're not killing them. Are you going to go and risk your life to save a bunch of socialists [he means Californians] who are going to hug their killers if they get half a chance?" 
Caller: "Yes." 
Molyneux: "Why? Don't you have any pride in your [white] genes, in your life, in your future, in your children-to-be?" 
Caller (sighs): "They're Americans and that's what you have to do as a real American. You have to stand up if--" 
Molyneux (interrupts): "You don't have to do it. Don't give me this appeal as if it's a philosophical argument. Make your case." 
Caller: "Look, it's as simple as the fact that without people who are willing to stand up to evil in communities around the world, we won't be a nation anymore." 
Molyneux: "I get that, but can you stand up to evil when you're six foot under the ground? The conflict is not you throwing yourself in front of some fat government worker who's going to bleed you dry of pension money all she can get. That's not the courage you need to fight evil. [ . . . ] What you need to do is talk with people and confront people and speak truth to power. That's how you fight evil. It's not you taking a bullet for somebody who'd have you thrown in jail for following your own conscience. [Again, this is San Bernardino they're talking about]. For some statist!" 
Caller (groans
Molyneux: "I've gotta re-orient you."

Molyneux later comes back to that: "The chilling reality is that you could risk your life -- get shot, get killed, get wounded, be put in a wheelchair for life, get your balls shot off, be unable to bear children -- to save a bunch of people who will then vote to take away your guns. That's my issue. --or vote to increase your taxes."

Molyneux tells the caller that this is the reason why he should not protect his fellow Americans: ""America is not chock full of people like you [white] anymore. [ . . . ] In America in the 1950s and 1960s when it was still 95 percent white, kids could take guns to school for target practice during recess."

Molyneux ends on an even more disturbing note. He says that you are either in his tribe or in an enemy tribe.  And if you are not of his tribe, you will receive no mercy from him; you must be destroyed. Enemy tribe, in this context, does not refer to Kim Jong-Un or his army; "enemy" refers to non-white Californians who disagree with Molyneux's politics. Those are the people whom Molyneux says deserve no quarter, no compassion, no charity; people who must be destroyed.

This is a very dark path to go down.  July 22, 2011, was the day on which Anders Breivik murdered other Norwegians.  First he bombed a government building.  Later he used his gun to shoot children who were part of a socialist party organization.  After having learned of the bombing, but before he heard of the shooting, Norwegian writer Onar Åm (with whom I was Facebook Friends) put this in the news feed of many people:

A double-digit number of people, such as Anders Amdal Taftø, clicked "like" on that.

Only two people -- a Norwegian libertarian and myself -- gave Onar Åm push-back for this.  And the Norwegian libertarian ended up apologizing to Onar Åm, rather than the other way around.  After they heard about Breivik shooting the adolescents dead, the libertarian asked Onar Åm if he approved of that as well.  Onar Åm replied that he did not, because he could not condone the killing of children. But then he added staunchly that middle-aged government employees are not innocent, and that they victimized him, and therefore if they experience violent injury or violent death, they got what was coming to them.

This is not a good path.  Even your fellow citizens who support unjust laws, remain citizens whose rights must be protected.  Do what you can to help show them how consensual cooperation is better than government force, but do not dehumanize them as Stefan Molyneux and Onar Åm have.

I have a simple question for Molyneux and anyone who might express any sympathy for what he says: if you see a stranger in danger and in need of immediate help, are you going to quiz that person on what his or her political opinions are before deciding whether to take any action?

UPDATES from August 30, 2016:  The proper response comes from Lisa VanDamme:
When British Muslim activist Asghar Bukhari was asked, the day after twelve people were mowed down in their offices in Paris, whether he condemned the killing, his response was, “I would argue that these cartoonists should never have been killed. Of course they shouldn’t…” Here, there should have been a full stop. But instead, Bukhari went on to say “…but they’re still racists.” [ . . . ] When the topic is the murder of innocent people, it is absolutely irrelevant — coldly, perversely irrelevant  — to express your views about their lives, their work, their values. The murder of innocent people is evil. Full stop.


Here is a video upload of the disturbing conversation, including the part in the second half where Molyneux explains extreme mercilessness toward "the enemy" (that is, anyone who hasn't bought into his doctrine).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Scientists Who Study the Distribution of Warrior Genes in Different Ethnic Groups Contradict Stefan Molyneux Directly

Stuart K. Hayashi

Recall from my prior post that Stefan Molyneux proclaims (1) that race-related genetics causes blacks and Hispanics to be congenitally more violent than whites and Asians, (2) race-related genetics causes Asians to be the least violent ethnic group, and (3) that the "warrior gene" (MAOA-L) occurs more frequently in blacks than any other group, causing blacks to be the most violent.

Say to the black families, 'Look, when you abuse your children [he considers all corporal punishment, such as spanking, to be domestic abuse], you are setting events in motion -- if they have this genetic susceptibility [to violence, due to the 'warrior gene'] , when you look at these ratios, it's huge -- you are setting events in motion that are going to result in increased criminality, in your population.' You already have higher testosterone according to many measures. If you have this genetic susceptibility to being triggered by [parental] violence into becoming a violent person... You know, maltreat an Asian child-- I don't know -- what do you get? I don't know -- a great pianist? I don't know. Maltreat a Caucasian kid -- I don't know -- you get some Goth. But maltreat a black kid, and the prevalence of this 'warrior gene' sequence -- particularly this 2-repeat -- and you're going to get a very different kind of person. 

Well, occurrence of the warrior gene does vary from one ethnic group to another, but not in the way that Stefan Molyneux said: "Lea and Chambers reported that MAOA-L was less common among Caucasians (34 percent) and Hispanics (29 percent) but even more common among Africans (59 percent) and Chinese (77 percent)."  (The PDF of the paper is here.)

Seconds later in that same video, Molyneux said that 73 percent of Asian-Americans report spanking their children and 89 percent of black-American families report doing the same.  Again, Stefan Molyneux says that if have the warrior gene and were spanked as a child, that will cause you to grow up to become a violent criminal.  If that were the case, then, by the very figures that Molyneux cited, that would mean that it is Asian-Americans who are most prone toward criminal violence.  That contradicts Molyneux's obsessive insistence that race-related genetics cause blacks and Hispanics to have the greatest tendency toward violent crime.  Also of note is that the ethnic category in which the warrior gene is least frequent is that of Hispanics.

Apologists might reply that Molyneux is attributing the tendency toward violent crime on the 2-repeat allele on the VNTR region of this gene, whereas the 3-repeat allele is the one most common in East Asians and least common in Hispanics.  However, the consensus among scientists who have studied this is that there is not a big distinction between those alleles when it comes to effects on human behavior.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Amy Peikoff and I Discuss De-Molyneuxing

Stuart K. Hayashi

Today I called in to Amy Peikoff's BlogTalkRadio podcast Don't Let It Go Unheard.  You can see the show notes here and listen to the podcast here.  During the call we discussed Stefan Molyneux using his Freedomain Radio (FDR) program to disseminate eugenicist and white-supremacist propaganda, and of the events that may have led to that sorry state of affairs.

Amy Peikoff had some choice words for those who would write off whole races of people. That is antithetical to what Ayn Rand and Objectivism stand for; that's for sure!

I suppose that won't do anything to assuage the anger that Mr. Molyneux has expressed toward women in general.

UPDATE from September 1, 2016:  Here is the episode embedded into this blog post (earlier I didn't know I could embed it).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Video Compilation of Clips Showing That Stefan Molyneux's 'Freedomain Radio' Podcast Regularly Promotes White Supremacism

Stuart K. Hayashi

As a follow up to my blog post of quotations from Stefan Molyneux showing that his Freedomain Radio (FDR) podcast has, since 2015, mainly promoted white supremacism, here is a video compilation of clips from Freedomain Radio demonstrating that white supremacism is indeed the podcast's agenda.

The video relies on YouTube "Annotations" to provide the context for each clip. Therefore, the video will make more sense if you have "Annotations" switched on. If you don't know what that is, then, as the video plays, place your cursor over the video image. On the bottom of the image, there should appear controls for Volume control and such. Near the right on the bottom, there is a Gear symbol. If you place the cursor over the Gear symbol, a menu of options will appear. One of those options is whether to have "Annotations" switched on or off.

It is to be expected that Molyneux and/or his minions may flag the video falsely to have it removed from YouTube. Therefore, if you could download a copy of this for yourself, it would be very helpful.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Quotations from Stefan Molyneux Showing His Promotion of Eugenics, Pseudoscientific Racism, and Bigotry Against Blacks

Stuart K. Hayashi

Note added on November 7, 2016:  This blog post of mine receives more traffic than most. Even a white supremacist/eugenicist message board links to it (definitely not because the eugenicists agree with it, of course!).  For that reason, I should inform people coming to this page that I have written a more formal essay on this topic titled "A Libertarian Icon's Descent Into Racist Pseudoscience," published by Robert W. Tracinski for The Tracinski Letter.

Note: This video was embedded in this blog post on August 23, 2016, not August 19 when this blog post was first posted.  See the bottom of this post for more information on this video.

Introduction (Background Info on Stefan Molyneux and Why Anyone Should Care)
From 2007 to 2010, Stefan Molyneux became somewhat famous for doing podcasts titled Freedomain Radio (FDR), wherein he advocated the sort of anarchy most commonly associated with Murray N. Rothbard, Roy A. Childs, Jr., and Samuel Edward Konkin III. From around 2013 to 2014, he got embroiled in a controversy concerning a woman known as J. Ravin/“TruShibes,” which was related to Molyneux notoriously urging adolescents and twentysomethings to cut off all contact with their parents and pledge their lives and fortunes to his cause. With good reason, critics likened Molyneux’s behavior to that of the Church of Scientology. In retaliation, Molyneux used a government-backed legal mechanism to try to silence “TruShibes,” thus disillusioning many of his hardcore fans. Libertarian anarchists abandoned Molyneux in droves; former associates of his from the anarchy movement and New Hampshire’s Free State Project publicly shamed him for his hypocrisy. It seemed that his days of being a professional dispenser of ideology on the Web were doomed.

From 2015, though, Molyneux underwent a sort of “re-branding.” First, Molyneux’s podcast switched to arguing in favor of various talking points from the “Men’s Rights Movement,” which combats feminism in various respects. The MRM is often considered part of the “Alternative Right,” or Alt Right. By the end of 2015, Molyneux took on another trend, the one most strongly associated with the alt-right: white nationalism. Once in a while, Molyneux will release a podcast on some other topic, such as anthropogenic global warming or even dating. For the most part, though, the recurring theme of Molyneux’s podcast has been the airing of talking points that are most favored by the alt-right.

To address doubts over my evaluation of Molyneux as a purveyor of (pseudo)scientific racism, eugenics, and white nationalism, I will provide quotations from him. The boldface indicates emphases I have added. Some of the quotations consist mostly of rambling, and I have placed the most brazenly racist sections in boldface. The reason I include the rest of the rambling is that it provides some context for why Molyneux aired the racist evaluations in the first place.

Also bear in mind that, except for the quotation about “maltreatment” of Asian, white, and black children, I do not think any quotation I provide, in isolation, can be considered a smoking gun. There is a special reason for this: Molyneux has adopted a tactic that has commonly been employed by eugenicists following the second World War.

The eugenicists in the orbit of the Pioneer Fund do not say directly, “The biology-based components of your race, such as your DNA, are the main factor that determine whether you are economically productive or violently criminal. And this is congenital; it cannot be changed over time.” If eugenicists stated that outright, then critics, such as myself, could immediately point to one or two sentences to prove that a particular person is promoting racism. Therefore, the friends of the Pioneer Fund argue for the racist eugenicist agenda in a roundabout manner. They put forth two related premises. They count on the fact that if you, the reader, accept both premises, you will deductively draw the specific conclusion that they want you to draw. Here they are: 

Premise One: Your genes, as associated with your race, are the main determinant of IQ. That is, your race causes you to have a particular IQ number. The race with the highest average IQ is Ashkenazic Jews. The race with the second-highest average IQ is East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans). That category excludes South Asians, such as Pakistanis and Indians, whom the the eugenicists are a little less sure about. In the middle are most whites; this category excludes Ashkenazic Jews and Hispanics. Lower than most whites are Mediterranean people, such as Arabs and north Africans. Lower still are Hispanics. Portuguese-speaking people are not technically Hispanic but they fall into this IQ area, too. Lower than them are black Americans. And lowest of all are African blacks, especially from West Africa.  

Premise Two: Your IQ number is the main factor determining whether you are economically productive or criminally violent. The higher a population’s average IQ is, the more economically productive it is, per capita. Conversely, the lower a population’s average IQ is, the more prone it is to criminal violence. Furthermore, add the eugenicists, this is not a mere correlation. It is not the case that maybe people living in an area of high crime and frequent violence is what causes the average IQ score to be lower. No, the IQ is primary, and IQ is what causes a population to be economically productive or criminally violent.

Premise 1 is that your race is what determines your IQ number, and Premise 2 is that your IQ number determines whether you are economically productive or criminally violent. If we accept both premises, what is the conclusion we would deduce? From this syllogism we would deduce, Your race is what determines whether you are economically productive or criminally violent.

If the Pioneer Fund’s eugenicists wrote in their books simply, “Your race determines whether you are economically productive or criminally violent,” someone would point that out and the eugenicists would lose their academic careers. Therefore, they have taken to being sneaky. What they do is this. They will write very long, turgid treatises that are divided into two sections. One section of the book simply advances that a population’s average IQ number determines how economically productive or criminally violent it is. Then the other section of the book proposes that race-related genetics, more than anything else -- including the environment one grows up in -- is what determines a population’s average IQ. If you simply read one chapter, or even half of the book, you might come away without getting the point. But if you read the entire book and accept all of its premises, you end up deducing the conclusion that the eugenicists want you to deduce.

Stefan Molyneux has adopted this tactic. If you watch or hear simply one of Molyneux’s podcasts, it is very easy not to notice that Molyneux is pushing a race-related biological determinism. But if you are one of his young devotees who listens to every one of his podcasts -- and this is what Molyneux has expected of his most loyal fans since 2007 -- and if you accept Molyneux’s claims at face value, you will develop the conclusion about racial-related biological determinism that you are expected to develop.

That is why I only have one quotation that, in isolation, I think is a “smoking gun.” The other quotations, if heard or read separate from one another, may not seem to be proof that Molyneux is advocating (pseudo)scientific racism. But if you hear or read all these quotations together in context, I think that it is undeniable that Molyneux is pushing racialist determinism.

Why Pseudoscientific Racism Is Wrong (This Section Is Briefer Than I Would Like)
I cannot go into full detail, as that is beyond the scope of this blog post. But I will mention here that the Pioneer Fund’s eugenicists, and Molyneux with them, are being disingenuous. They claim that a consensus in the social sciences accepts all of their arguments as true and simply avoids admitting so publicly, for fear of being denounced as racist and politically incorrect. Here, the eugenicists resort to half-truths. It is true that a scientific consensus accepts that a population’s average IQ correlates with that population’s economic productivity or violently criminality. That is, IQ is a strong statistical predictor of someone’s economic productivity or criminality. And it is also true that an academic consensus has observed disparities in average IQ between separate ethnic groups. It is true that Ashkenazic Jews, on average, receive the highest scores on IQ tests, whereas West African blacks, on average, receive the lowest scores when taking these same tests.

However, the Pioneer Fund’s eugenicists expect you to accept their far-flung conclusions (1) that race-related genetics is the main cause of the IQ score, and (2) that IQ causes economic productivity or violent criminality.

For example, Klaus Eyferth did a study on the children of U.S. servicemen who served in Allied-occupied Germany following the Second World War. Some of the children were “all-white,” whereas some were the children of black Allied servicemen. When these children were grown up, there was no statistically significant difference in the IQ results of the “all-white” Germans and the part-black Germans. Moreover, James Flynn (who has actually expressed some sympathies for the eugenicists) has found that when three generations of blacks have taken the same IQ tests, and the youngest generation grew up in greater wealth than the previous generations, the youngest generation also had higher IQ test results.

Also note that American Indians, having descended from Siberians, are not that different, genetically, from East Asians. Yet American Indians are poorer than whites. If the eugenicists’ assumptions were accurate, this should not be the case. The likeliest explanation for this poverty is the way in which the federal government has impeded upon American Indian entrepreneurship.

The eugenicists normally cite twin studies to “prove” that genetics, more than environment, determines IQ. They cite studies showing that when IQ tests are given both to identical twins and to fraternal twins, the IQ scores match up more closely in a pair of identical twins than in a pair of fraternal twins. What the eugenicists overlook is that those studies were done almost entirely on families that were middle-class or wealthy. When Eric Turkheimer administered both to identical twins in poverty and identical twins in the middle class, the study found that there were wide discrepancies in the IQ test results between identical twins in poverty. That is, if a pair of identical twins are raised in poverty, there could be a huge mismatch in their IQ scores.

What the evidence suggests is that it is actually being raised in a wealthy environment that drives up IQ. When blacks and Hispanics are raised in wealthier environments, they get higher IQ test results than they would if raised in poverty. And IQ and economic productivity do correlate, but it does not follow that the IQ caused the economic productivity. Rather, it is most likely that living under relatively greater freedom is what causes a population to produce more wealth for its children, and those children being raised in greater wealth causes these children grow up to have higher IQs and to be more economically productive.

That is, it is not a population having a low average IQ that causes it to be poor or for it to suffer from a high crime rate.  Rather, when a population is poor and suffers from a lot of crime, something about those conditions inhibits the population's performance on IQ tests.

Eugenicists and (Pseudo)Scientific Racists Now Call Themselves “Race Realists” and “People Who Recognize Human Biodiversity”
Before I get to Stefan Molyneux’s quotations, I add a few more notes. First of all, the Pioneer Fund’s eugenicists don’t call themselves “eugenicists” or “scientific racists.” No one who has advocated (pseudo)scientific racism ever called himself a “scientific racist.” Scientific racism is a term coined by historians who studied the history of this pseudoscience and wrote very disapprovingly about it following the Second World War. People did call themselves eugenicists very proudly. When the New Deal official and philanthropist Mary Harriman Rumsey -- W. Averell Harriman’s sister -- advocated eugenics, other eugenicist nicknamed her "Eugenia," much to her delight. But after historians studied the Holocaust, the entire field of eugenics became so thoroughly discredited and stigmatized that no one wanted to be called a eugenicist anymore, lest one be thought of as a Nazi.

That is why, since the 1990s, eugenicists have developed new labels. Some of them call themselves race realists. Others have adopted the term that Molyneux prefers -- they say they recognize what they call Human Biodiversity.

They say we should recognize that because different clans of people had to adapt to different environments -- say, northern Europeans received less sunlight and produced less Vitamin D than their southern counterparts -- it follows that when human beings adapted to those different geographic environments, they developed different customs to cope. I do not doubt that part, but the Human Bioiversity people add that these different customs and behaviors are not simply chosen and taught across generations. Rather, the different behaviors are instilled at the genetic level. For example, if East Asians are stereotyped as having a culture of “thrift” -- if they put more emphasis than other ethnic groups on saving their money -- it is not as if this is a custom that is chosen or taught. It is not as if East Asians choose to maintain this practice, or that many East Asians could choose not to be thrifty. It is that the tendency to be thrifty exists at the genetic level and that, to the degree that East Asians are frugal, they are acting in accordance with their genetic programming.

Mind you, add the eugenicists of the Human Biodiversity movement, that is not to say that all East Asians are thrifty. Some East Asians will be wastrels who spend all their money. However, those East Asians, too, are acting in accordance with their own genetic programming, and they are in the minority. It is simply that, on average, an East Asian will be statistically likelier to be thrifty than a black man, and, in both cases, it is due to how the genes for “thriftiness” are distributed throughout the populations.

This is one excuse that Molyneux and other eugenicists offer for in attempt to exonerate themselves from the charge that they are racist. When they say that genetics causes blacks to be more violent than whites and East Asians, they aver, they do not mean that all blacks are violent. Of course you can find a black man who is very peaceful and an East Asian who is very violent. But those are statistical exceptions, add Molyneux and the eugenicists. Then they maintain that, on the whole, when you look at entire populations, the general trend is for blacks to be more violent than East Asians, and the main cause of this is genetic programming.

If you doubt me about the “Human Biodiversity” movement, I shall refer you to what the Human Biodiversity movement says about itself.

If you google "Human Biodiversity," most of the results will be websites written by people very unsympathetic to that movement; the majority of the websites will be unflattering depictions of Human Biodiversity made by people who want to make it look bad. Human Biodiversity proponents like to claim they are being misrepresented. Therefore, I will link to some members of the Human Biodiversity movement speaking for themselves (I think that when Human-Biodiversity eugenicists speak for themselves, it is ultimately more damning than anything critics could say of them):

No, Molyneux Does Not Make a Distinction Between “Race” and “Culture,”
Or: When Molyneux Has a Conservative Non-Eugenicist On As a Guest, He Uses “Culture” As a Dog Whistle
For a long time I noticed -- with great distress -- that some of my favorite psychologists and conservative commentators were appearing as guests on Stefan Molyneux’s podcast. Since these people themselves did not advocate Molyneux’s racist eugenicism, why did they insist on going on an openly racist podcast?

The first reason is that these people have not bothered to listen to the Freedomain Radio episodes on which they did not appear. They are not addicted fans who listen religiously to every podcast. That is how they fail to recognize what has been the recurring theme of Freedomain Radio since 2015. Secondly, I notice that when Molyneux has non-eugenicist experts on his podcast, any time he mentions his overall eugenicist theme, he slyly disguises it by saying he is concerned about “culture.”

I began to notice this when I watched Molyneux's interview with Duke Pesta. Molyneux mentioned to Duke Pesta at the 0:36:44 spot that he believed that the reason why Asian-Americans are successful in academics and commerce whereas black- and Hispanic-Americans are poor is a difference of “culture.” Pesta agreed with that and they moved on. Pesta assumed that Molyneux was using the word culture in the way that conservatives normally use the word.

When conservatives say that a difference in “culture” explains why Asians are richer than blacks and Hispanics, what they mean by culture is a set of customs or practices that people voluntarily choose to observe and teach. If a conservative says that it is part of “Asian culture” to be thrifty, but that this is not part of “black culture,” that conservative means that Asians are choosing to be thrifty and choosing to teach this virtue to their children, whereas blacks are not choosing this. Part of this idea is that this can be changed. There could come a day when Asians might choose not to be so thrifty anymore. More importantly, there is hope that blacks can choose to be thrifty and teach this to their children. However oversimplified the conservatives’ interpretation of culture may be, at least it recognizes a distinction between culture and race, as culture is changeable -- even if the change is not easy and takes decades to accomplish --whereas race is unchangeable (Rachel Dolezal notwithstanding).

By contrast, Molyneux and other eugenicists make no fundamental distinction between “race” and “culture.” For them, “culture” is ultimately decided by race-related genetics. If thriftiness is part of “Asian culture,” it is because its race-related genetic makeup programmed the Asian population so that, on average, Asians will be thriftier than Hispanics and blacks, even if you do come across the occasional Asian who is reckless with his money.

When Molyneux interviews fellow eugenicists in the Pioneer Fund's orbit, such as Jason Richwine and Linda Gottfredson, he is much more explicit about the belief that race-related genetics determines culture. But when he interviews conservatives who are not eugenicists, it happens that when the different economic and criminal-justice circumstances of Asian-Americans and black-Americans are brought up, Molyneux says the difference is due to “culture.” And the conservatives accept that. Molyneux counts on their assumption that he is using the term culture the same way they do -- that he recognizes that culture is the result of choices and therefore can change. The conservative guests don’t know what is going on because they haven’t listened to all of Molyneux’s eugenics-related podcasts. And when Molyneux says culture to his conservative guests, it is a dog whistle to his longtime listeners.

I have to stress this because, every time I have pointed out to people that Molyneux has been spreading stereotypes about blacks and Asians, these people have replied to me, “Are you sure that Molyneux isn’t just talking about the results being different for blacks and Asians because of blacks and Asians having different cultures?” The implication buried in that question is the assumption that Molyneux is allowing for the possibility that Asians and blacks have some capacity to choose to behave differently -- that if poverty among blacks is related to poor choices among blacks, blacks can still make different choices in the future. No, Molyneux is not even allowing for that possibility. When Molyneux says that blacks and north Africans and Arabs come from a culture of violence, he does not mean that these people can choose to reduce this culture of violence. He is saying that for this generation and the next several generations, that tendency to violence is inborn and congenital.

Now that that is clarified, I can show you Molyneux’s quotations.

Stefan Molyneux on Race Determining IQ and IQ Determining Bad Behavior
What I can do is connect the dots -- I can show the deductive chain of reasoning where, if you follow Stefan Molyneux's logic, the conclusion the audience is intended to draw is ultimately that race-related genetics determines whether you turn out economically productive or a violent criminal.

At the 0:01:34 mark of his YouTube video "The Death of Europe | European Migrant Crisis," Molyneux asserts,

 Looking at human beings as one species is not biologically valid [Stefan Molyneux is not being facetious here]. We are a variety of subspecies -- politically, ethnically sometimes, definitely in terms of gender, in terms of IQ, in terms of culture. These produce differences that are physical but hard to remediate [remedy?] as you get older. So we are a cluster of genetics getting ready to reproduce their own particular genetics.

At the 0:22:47 mark of the same video, he says,

And all of this [saving Europe from destruction] requires that the IQ can be raised. The [average] IQ of a lot of these countries [that north African immigrants are from] is 85. That is a full standard deviation below the [average] IQ of Europe. . . . Now, if there's any genetic component to that, and I believe that there is -- nobody knows for sure; it's just a belief, but it's a belief with quite a bit of data and we're just about to put out an interview with Dr. Jason Richwine about this -- but if there's any genetic components, or if the culture is so insular that it's equivalent to genetics in the transmission of low intelligence, then you cannot run a high-IQ society with low-IQ people. . . .

Now, if there are genetic components to the low IQ of the people coming in [to the West, from non-Western countries], I will tell you exactly what's going to happen, and it's really obvious. And if it is genetic or equivalent to genetic -- their low IQ -- I can tell you exactly what's going to happen: they're gonna fail. These immigrants are going to fail, and they're not gonna just fail a little bit; they're gonna fail hard. You are importing a radicalized, low-IQ population into a high-IQ society, and capitalism pays for intelligence. That's what it does; you get paid for your intelligence. And so you are importing a huge bunch of people into Europe, who are going to fail. They're not staying on welfare because they're lazy; they're not. That's like saying somebody with an IQ of 80 hasn't applied to graduate school because they're [sic] lazy. No! They're doing what is economically the best option for them. . . . But you are importing a gene set that is incompatible with success in a free-market economy. Now, because no one can talk about IQ and no one can talk about any potential genetic relationship between ethnic communities and IQ, what that means is that the only way that anyone will ever explain the failures of these Africans in European society -- you know as well as I do -- how is anyone going to explain that? . . . [Mockingly, here:] White racism.
Near the end of his video, "The Impending Collapse of Western Civilization," Molyneux touts racial separatism as a solution to what he judges to be the self-destruction of the welfare state. From the 0:32:45 mark:

When you have a largely homogeneous society -- right, let's say, um, Haiti, right? Haiti has a lot of blacks and so on, right? -- if there's a big change to be made in society, say, Haiti runs out of money, or, as you said, right, New Zealand ran out of money until the giant Hobbit resurgent economy hit them with the Peter Jackson money bombs -- if you have a largely ethnically homogeneous society, when the shit hits the wall and people gotta change, there isn't really that much in-fighting. There's a sense of, 'OK, we've all got to pull together. We all kind of have the same color eyes and there's no point turning on each other, because we all kind of got into this together, and so we've all got to pull together to get out of it together.'; When you have an ethnically homogeneous society, when the shit hits the wall, you don't dissolve into massive race-baiting wars, which is, you know, a problem that happens because skills and abilities have not been distributed evenly by Mother Nature among various ethnicities, and what that means is that when the shit hits the wall, it hits some ethnicities a lot harder than others, you get endless screams of 'racism!';. This is one fundamental reason why America is having a hard time solving these problems. If you cut spending, which [racial] community is it going to hit the hardest? Hint: it's not Korean. If you cut spending in America, it's the black community it will hit the hardest.
The 0:35:05 mark:

This is another reason why multi-ethnic societies is a problem. It wouldn't be as much of a problem if all ethnicities acted the same, roughly. . . . The Germans came over, the Irish came over, and they kind of ended up acting pretty much the same after a certain amount of time -- a generation or two. But the problem is that among the blacks and the Hispanics, they don't end up acting the same as the white population or the Asian population, and the white population doesn't even act as well as the Asian population in terms of murder rates and income and unemployment and so on and single motherhood and family stability and so on. So we all need to turn Japanese; that's my first point. [Stefan Molyneux is joking there.] My second point is that when the shit hits the wall and the government runs out of money, it doesn't end up affecting ethnicites in the same way.
The 0:37:17 mark:

 Because you've got the Racist-in-Chief [President Obama] currently manning the helm, and the media, of course, compliant, and willing to scream 'racist' at anyone who points out basic fact-based differences between ethnicities, you've got a problem. You can't deal with the situation until Obama's out, or until people understand ethnicities in America and all around the world tend to act differently collectively -- individuals are always different -- but collectively ethnicities around the world tend to act differently. They tend to have different incomes, they have different rates of marital stability, they have different rates of criminality, they tend to have different rates of accumulations of assets, they have different levels of education. Go on and on and on. Until people accept that and say, ‘OK, if we cut spending, government spending, it's going to affect the black community the worst, it's going to affect the Hispanic community the second worst, it's going to affect the white community the third worst, and I think Asians will heave up a giant sigh of relief at not being taxed with a giant suction hole through the butt.’ Until these facts are either dealt with, or until people give up race-baiting -- I'm not sure which one I consider more likely -- trying to deal with these problems is a real challenge. And because you have a Race-Baiter-in-Chief in charge of the White House, the Republicans, I think, have been very loathe to cut spending, because it will hit the black community and you've got this giant klaxon who will amplify it through the mainstream media to the point where society will probably hit a revolution.

Stefan Molyneux Letting Linda Gottfredson, a Leader of the Eugenics Movement, Say What He Wants Said
After several months, Stefan Molyneux decided that he would get more well-known Human Biodiversity advocates, such as Linda Gottfredson, to do the speaking for him. This is the pattern with his video "Race, Evolution and Intelligence: Linda Gottfredson."

At the 0:25:45 mark, Molyneux says,

And this is something that, again, is well-known within the professional literature and professional periodicals [of people measuring IQ] and so on, which is simply not making it out [into the popular culture] for a variety of reasons we can discuss. . . . that there is a hierarchy that is apparently recognized -- and I think you gathered together fifty or so experts who repeated all of this stuff ad infinitum . . . -- which is that you could equate what is roughly a five-part split or divergence of IQs among particular groups, which, as Charles Murray pointed out: Ashkenazi Jews sort of at the top -- 110 and 115 -- and if you just focus on verbal, 120-plus. . . .  And then I've heard a variety for Asians -- um, 103, 106, and so on, but very strong in visual-spatial -- the sort of the myth or the stereotype of the Asian engineer, versus the Jewish engineer; Ashkenazi Jews actually score a little bit below the norm in visual-spatial but, of course, in language skills they are through the roof, which is why you see a lot of writers and directors and so on. . . . Then you have whites -- Caucasians -- normed around 100. And then, if I remember the number rightly, the low 90s for Hispanics and then 85 -- which is a full standard deviation below whites -- for blacks, and these differences have persisted for as long as these tests have been going on. And the more g-loaded the tests are -- the more they are trying to measure general intelligence, which is directly associated with physical structures in the brain -- the more they tend to reaffirm this five-point spread.
In the same Linda Gottfredson video, Stefan Molyneux then disingenuously says he does not want to accept Linda Gottfredson's conclusion. For me to believe that he is truly disturbed by that conclusion, I would have had to have avoided watching the previous videos: the videos where he had already wholeheartedly endorsed Linda Gottfredson's conclusion. At the 0:43:12 mark:

I have this emotional resistance to the genetics [determinism]. I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot [of people]. I feel like a stick insect climbing a waterfall. I'm sure I can do it but then this data [from Linda Gottfredson allegedly supporting race-related genetic determinism, which Stefan Molyneux expects the viewers to interpret as overwhelming] keeps knocking me away and putting me back down in the pool, because we all like to think it's a solvable problem -- the disparate average intelligences between ethnicities, because we've got this multicultural society . . . . But if, overall, there's kind of a doomed underclass or two, and a bunch of overlords in a free society. But I feel the evidence [in favor of genetic determinism] cannot be resisted. [That sentence is the real message that Stefan Molyneux  wants to convey to the audience.] . . . None of these things are final but together they accumulate -- to me, at least -- to portray a worldview that is emotionally difficult -- which is not something you can guide your conclusions by -- but I am having a tough time getting up that waterfall on the environmental side [meaning environment influencing someone's productivity or violent criminality].

Here is where it comes together: In the video "Does Angela Merkel Want to Destroy Germany?," Stefan Molyneux uses the term "low-IQ culture" because he expects his listeners to know his conclusion that race-related genetics determines IQ and IQ determines culture. Hence, for Molyneux, there is no distinction between race and culture. In the Molyneux philosophy, "customs" and "culture" are not subject to choice; they come from congenital biological traits. 25:25 mark:

Low-IQ cultures -- you can argue that they're R-selected [this is Stefan Molyneux citing Anonymous Conservative's misinterpretation of r/ K selection theory] -- we've talked about in [the] 'gene wars[' video]: they just have kids and have kids and have kids and have kids. And that's the nature of the beast. That's one of the reasons why the countries remain poor, other than IQ [which Stefan Molyneux insists is congenital, determined by racial genetics]. They just breed like crazy. No resources -- not enough to go around. . . . We started doing IQ years ago. It's hard for people to grasp. Human Biodiversity [this is the modern euphemism for eugenics] is a challenging topic. . . . Both the Left and the Right reject the Human Biodiversity that comes from 50- to 60- to 70,000 years in wildly disparate environments which is exactly the kind of evolution that you would expect. So there's this weird unity between the Left and the Right to reject Human Biodiversity -- [congenital, inborn, biology-based] differences in strengths and weaknesses and abilities and limitations between races or ethnicities. It's one of those weird ways in which both the Left and Right agree for vastly different reasons.

No, Praising Asians Doesn’t Preclude Someone From Being a White Supremacist
Molyneux even did a sycophantic interview with Jared Taylor, the founder of the white-separatist propaganda magazine American Renaissance. At the 27:40 mark, Taylor says,

The way we find north Asians living in terms of illegitimacy rates, per-capita income, crime rates, in all of those respects they have built societies that are, frankly, objectively superior to those of whites, which does not necessarily mean that we wish to turn Japanese or be replaced by Japanese or Koreans. But along those lines they can be described as different and superior to us.

Molyneux does not challenge that; he approves.

Note that Jared Taylor agrees with Molyneux that “culture” is ultimately determined by “race.” Therefore, when Jared Taylor says that Japanese are culturally superior to whites on those measures, what he really means is that Japanese are racially and genetically superior to whites on those measures -- and, by implication, racially superior to Taylor’s enemies: Hispanics and blacks.

That, by the way, is a common trick for white supremacists such as Jared Taylor and Stefan Molyneux. They start by praising Asians, only using that as a preface to their denunciations of Hispanics, blacks, Mediterraneans, and north Africans as congenitally inferior. They expect people to assume that if they give lip service to admirable Asians, that somehow precludes them from being recognized as racist. I do not know who they are trying to fool, other than themselves. Jared Taylor and Stefan Molyneux remain white supremacists, as their agenda has become the emphasis of whites holding supremacy over Hispanics and blacks. (If they are not white supremacist, they are “black/brown-inferiorist,” mostly denigrating Hispanics and Africans.)

Stefan Molyneux Says Genetic Programming Means Spanking Will Make Black Boys Grow Up to Be Violent But Spanking Won’t Do That to Asians
Stefan Molyneux ends his first interview with Jason Richwine saying that when he proclaims that there are congenital behavioral differences between races, he is not saying that one race is better than any other. That is, he concludes by telling the audience that he considers the races separate but equal.
That proved disingenuous, as Stefan Molyneux then did an interview with Kevin Beaver to say that genetics is what makes you a criminal or not. In that video, "Genetics and Crime," at the 15:44 mark, Molyneux tells Kevin Beaver about his having previously mentioned a causal link between race-related genetics and violent crime. He mentions an older video called "The Truth About Crime," wherein he cites Kevin Beaver.

At the 40:00 mark of “The Truth About Crime,” Molyneux at first says that he does not know if crime is caused by genetics. But then at the 40:46 mark, he says that IQ is linked to race and it is about race-related genetics after all. At 41:53 he ends up saying, "Genetics components [are] often considered to be between 50 to 60 to 80 percent of one's final IQ."

At the end, Stefan Molyneux says there are several reasons for believing that there is an inborn biological basis for blacks having a greater tendency toward crime in the USA than other races. His first reason for saying this is that he thinks IQ inversely correlates with violent criminality, and blacks have average IQ scores that are lower than those of other races. He also thinks that the main cause of this is genetic (around the 40:46 mark he says genetics accounts for somewhere "between 50 to 60 to 80 percent of one's IQ." Second, he says, blacks have more testosterone than other races, and testosterone makes men more physically aggressive. Then he adds, finally, that blacks have a greater tendency to carry the "warrior gene." He says that having the warrior gene, by itself, is not enough to make you violent, but that if you have this gene and experience corporal punishment as a child, that will trigger you and the "warrior" inside you will be expressed in the form of violent criminality.

Therefore, at the 53:25 mark he offers:
Say to the black families, 'Look, when you abuse your children [he considers all corporal punishment, such as spanking, to be domestic abuse], you are setting events in motion -- if they have this genetic susceptibility [to violence, due to the 'warrior gene'] , when you look at these ratios, it's huge -- you are setting events in motion that are going to result in increased criminality, in your population.' You already have higher testosterone according to many measures. If you have this genetic susceptibility to being triggered by [parental] violence into becoming a violent person... You know, maltreat an Asian child-- I don't know -- what do you get? I don't know -- a great pianist? I don't know. Maltreat a Caucasian kid -- I don't know -- you get some Goth. But maltreat a black kid, and the prevalence of this 'warrior gene' sequence -- particularly this 2-repeat -- and you're going to get a very different kind of person. 

Those cracks about Asian musicians and white Goth kids are intended as morbid and sardonic humor. Yet Molyneux is indeed being serious in proclaiming that, on account of genetic programming, being spanked as a child will trigger a black man into being violent whereas it will not trigger the same in a man of East Asian descent.

Then, at the very end of “The Truth About Crime,” Stefan Molyneux denies he is racist. He says he is the one who truly cares about blacks because people acknowledging these beliefs is what will save blacks. He cries that the real racists are unnamed Powers That Be who suppress this "information."

Why I Am Making a Big Deal Out of This
To this day, I continue to see intelligent and wise people on Facebook recommend Stefan Molyneux videos. I think what is going on is that they are not loyal listeners; they saw only one video and were unaware of what is the main theme of Molyneux’s podcast. In some cases, a favorite political/cultural commentator was a guest on that podcast.

That brings me to a more serious issue: some wise and intelligent cultural commentators -- some left-wing psychologists, others conservative or free-market writers -- appear as guests on Molneux’s program. Again, my interpretation is that they are unaware of what has been the recurring theme of Molyneux’s program since 2015. And if the topic of a disparity between blacks and Asians is brought up, Molyneux refers to this as being caused by blacks and Asians having different “culture,” and these commentators are misled on what Molyneux means by that.

Sadly, Molyneux has placed himself in the same territory as David Duke and David Irving. It does not matter that when you go on Molyneux’s program, you talk about something unrelated to his racism and eugenics, such as, say, GMOs or anthropogenic climate change. When you, a respectable person, go on Molyneux’s program, it makes it seem as if Molyneux’s podcast in general is respectable, and it helps legitimize, in the eyes of the public, Molyneux’s rationalizations for racism and bigotry.


UPDATE from August 23, 2016:  Inspired by this blog post, here is a video compilation of clips showing that since 2015, Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Radio (FDR) podcast has regularly promoted white supremacism, eugenics, and even racial segregation.

The video relies on YouTube "Annotations" to provide the context for each clip.  Therefore, the video will make more sense if you have "Annotations" switched on.  If you don't know what that is, then, as the video plays, place your cursor over the video image.  On the bottom of the image, there should appear controls for Volume control and such.  Near the right on the bottom, there is a Gear symbol.  If you place the cursor over the Gear symbol, a menu of options will appear.  One of those options is whether to have "Annotations" switched on or off.

It is to be expected that Molyneux and/or his minions may flag the video falsely to have it removed from YouTube.  Therefore, if you could download a copy of this for yourself, it would be very helpful.

UPDATE from November 7, 2016:  This blog post of mine receives more traffic than most. Even a white supremacist/eugenicist message board links to it (definitely not because the eugenicists agree with it, of course!).  For that reason, I should inform people coming to this page that I have written a more formal essay on this topic titled "A Libertarian Icon's Descent Into Racist Pseudoscience," published by Robert W. Tracinski for The Tracinski Letter.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Insofar As a Government Bans Peaceful Observance of Religion, It Doesn't Respect Any Right to Be an Atheist

Stuart K. Hayashi

 To the degree that a government bans the peaceful observance of a religion, it does not respect anyone's right to be an atheist.

To say that, upon reflection and meditation, you have decided upon atheism, requires that you possessed and possess the freedom to mull over this and examine every option. 

If you live in a society where you can be any religion or have no religion, then you have the ability to weigh your options. You can study Hinduism and judge whether or not you believe in it. But let's suppose that the government outlawed any belief in Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, etc. -- you could not even talk about it and weigh them. If that was the case, how would you truly know you are an atheist? If the State forbade you from believing in Buddhism or studying it, you would not know for certain that you disagree with Buddhism. By contrast, if you are free to observe any religion you want peaceably, and free to study all the religions, and then you judge that you disbelieve all religions, then you know your atheism is genuine. Most people who proclaim, as adults, to be atheist, reached such a point because they lived their lives for years under a specific religion and, reflecting upon their experiences, ascertained that continuing to believe in religion was not really doing it for them. You are fully free to be come to grips with your atheism no more than to the extent that you are fully free to believe in a deity.

Therefore, for you to have had the freedom to reject Hinduism, for instance, you would have needed the legal option to believe in Hinduism. It would have meant that you could hold any beliefs in your head -- including religious beliefs -- without fear of violent reprisal. 
If you do not have the option to be anything other than an atheist, then you are deprived of the capacity to "try on" a religion to judge if it fits you.  You are denied the opportunity to go through sorts of experiences that would help you decide upon and proclaim your atheism by your own free will.

Hence, only in a nation where you are free to accept or reject any religion openly and peaceably, are you free to be an atheist. A nation that forbids you the freedom to nonviolent religious worship, forbids you the capacity for the deliberation that would result in your knowing yourself to be a full-fledged atheist.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Protectionists Steal Jobs

Stuart K. Hayashi

It is protectionists who wail about jobs being “stolen” from them who are the ones who express an entitled victim mentality and are trying to steal jobs.

Suppose I want you to hire me. Instead, you hire a Mexican because you judge that that Mexican will give you more “bang for your buck.” I wail that that Mexican “stole my job” when, in fact, the Mexican earned it from you peaceably.

I therefore run to the State and say the State ought to penalize you—by hiking your taxes—if you continue to purchase that Mexican’s services. The State agrees. To avoid that penalty, you fire the Mexican and hire me for that position.

I have, in effect, used the threat of physical force to obtain a job from you that that Mexican otherwise would have kept. I have used protectionist rhetoric and the threat of government-imposed force to steal from that Mexican a job that that Mexican had rightfully earned.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

If You Care More About Blocking Immigrants' Access to Welfare Than Reducing Welfare in General, You're Neo-Malthusian, Not Capitalist

Stuart K. Hayashi

 Insofar as people favor restricting immigration on the basis that they hold zero confidence that their political economy can support that many people, they are necessarily a neo-Malthusian. Yes, that even applies -- especially applies -- if those detractors against open immigration claim to value the free market and to reject the welfare state.

No Increase in a Population’s Size Is Big Enough to Destroy a Market Economy 
 The reason I say that is this: a truly sustainable model of political economy is one that can support an indefinitely large number of people. A market economy has shown itself capable of sustaining a growing population.

If the population grows at a rate that exceeds the rate at which food can be produced, the price of food increases and this incentivizes entrepreneurs to find methods of producing more food. When more food is available on the market, the real (inflation-adjusted) price goes down again.

If there is not enough land to produce more food, land rents increase. That incentivizes entrepreneurs like Karl Bosch, Cyrus McCormick, and John Deere to develop cheaper methods of producing more food on less land. Once those cheaper methods allows more food to be grown on less land, land rents decrease again.

If it comes to housing -- if there are too many people on not enough land, that incentivizes entrepreneurs to improve the carrying capacity of land -- hence, when land prices went up, such entrepreneurs as William LeBaron Jenney, Henry Clay Frick, Elisha Graves Otis, and Willis Haviland Carrier made skyscrapers possible. Skyscrapers allowed for more people to be housed on the same amount of land; land prices (in real, inflation-adjusted terms) decreased. There is no population size too large for a market economy to handle in the long term.

But in the Zero-Sum Game of the Welfare State, Shouldn’t We Side With Native-Borns Over Immigrants? 
 The typical rejoinder to this is, "But we're not a market economy anymore. We are a mixed-economy welfare state. Now immigrants can come and infest our tax-funded schools, use our tax-funded hospitals, and drive on our tax-funded roads. They will deplete everything, rendering the welfare state unsustainable."

What that rejoinder ignores is that the welfare state would continue to be completely unsustainable if there were zero immigration. Were immigration reduced to zero, the welfare state would persist in disincentivizing productivity. Were immigration reduced to zero, the population could have net increases in size if people kept living longer and the death rate dropped. Thus, instead of blaming immigration or other additions to the population's size for making the welfare state unsustainable, you should blame the welfare state itself for making the welfare state unsustainable. 

 If there were no immigration, the welfare state would still collapse upon itself, albeit at a slower rate.

 Were it the case that immigrants were a net drain on the welfare state's coffers -- and that claim is actually dubious -- that would merely mean we would have to face reality sooner rather than later.

It is not the case that the welfare state would be sustainable if not for immigrants being a net drain on it. What many people understand, deep down, is that the welfare state is unsustainable by its nature, and is in for a reckoning.  They blame immigrants to the degree that they believe that the immigrants will make us face this reality sooner rather than later. Too many of us want to believe that if it were not for immigrants, we could go on obliviously pretending that we and our children and grandchildren would not have to worry about the welfare state's self-destruction.

In this respect, the welfare state is an addict. The addict will tell you that you are kind if you give him his next "fix" and help him pretend that his situation is fine and that he is not due for any sort of rude awakening. Conversely, if you refrain from enabling him and let him go through withdrawal -- let him his rock-bottom sooner -- the addict and his army of sycophants will cal you mean-spirited and cruel. But we know that, in the long run, the kindest route is to allow the addict to face the consequences of his poor choices much sooner rather than later, not helping to delay the inevitable. 

 Insofar as a man says that immigration should be restricted on the basis that immigrants deplete the welfare state's coffers at a rate faster than it otherwise would be depleted, that man is disingenuous when he calls himself a critic or detractor of the welfare state. To try to preserve the welfare state's coffers, by blocking immigrants' access to them, is not to let the  addict face what needs to be faced;  it is to be an enabler ensuring that the addict will still be able to get his next few fixes in the near future.

To Block Immigration to Stop Them From Accessing Welfare Is Not to Oppose Welfare But to Conceal Dorian Gray’s Portrait
Recall the story of Dorian Gray. The man remains young and beautiful as he grows old and increasingly performs evil. As this goes on, all of the depravity and corruption appears on a portrait of him -- the ugliness of the portrait represents the ugliness accumulating in Dorian Gray's soul. In time, Dorian Gray hates to look at the portrait, because he does not want to confront the what his choices have made of him. He does not want to contemplate the unpleasant reality.

Were it the case that immigrants were causing the welfare state's coffers to drain at a rate faster than they would otherwise be drained, those immigrants would not be changing the nature of the welfare state; they would simply be showing us its logical conclusion at a date earlier than was expected. That is, they would be helping us face reality sooner rather than later. They would be helping Dorian Gray take a look at his own portrait.

If you block immigrants' access to welfare while preserving that same welfare for the native-born, you are doing nothing to combat the welfare state. You are doing nothing to liberalize the economy and doing nothing to help people keep their private earnings. You are not standing up for anyone’s private property rights on principle. You are not opposing, on principle, the government’s compulsory extractions of wealth from people. You are simply an enabler to Dorian Gray, helping him to avoid looking at his portrait for another day.

Worse, you are violating my private property rights. If I invite a foreigner to come onto my private estate peaceably, and this person agrees to stay on my private estate peaceably, we are not harming anyone else’s person or private property . . . even if that foreigner makes the trip without having gotten permission from the U.S. federal government in the form of a visa. Yet enforcing restrictions on immigration would entail that armed federal agents invade my private parcel and manhandle this peaceful foreigner.

That is what, in practice, advocates of immigration restriction are calling for, and I am incensed that this governmental overreach is advocated under the guise of some sort of free-markters’ defense of private property against the welfare state. Anti-immigrationists who pretend to love the free market are a Dorian Gray, too, and holding up the portrait to them means reminding them that they are the ones begging the government to initiate the use of physical force on peaceful people.

The real test of how sustainable a model of political economy -- be it a constitutional liberal republican Night Watchman State or a welfare entitlement state -- is in the long term is whether it is able to support a growing population, regardless of how it grows or the rate of growth.  If a society must forcibly restrict the size of its population -- be it through immigration restriction or a one-child-per-family policy -- to remain "sustainable," then its model of political economy is not sustainable at all; period.

If someone objects more to immigrants accessing welfare than he objects to the welfare being accessible to anyone, then his main gripe is not with the welfare per se.  By contrast, we principled free-marketers understand that a system that pays welfare exclusively to the native-born is no more sustainable in the long run than a system that pays welfare to the native-born and foreign-born alike.Those who would block immigrants' access to welfare simply to ensure that the native-born will continue receive first dibs on that welfare spending in the coming decades, are not helping us to fight the ill effects of the welfare state but instead are working to preserve those ill effects for future generations.

To the degree that a welfare state pits immigrants against the native-born in a zero-sum competition over who gets more tax-funded loot, those of us who are native-born should stop scapegoating the immigrants, and turn our disapproval to the politicians who imposed and continue to impose this corrupt situation on us in the first place.  Thus, in lieu of scapegoating the foreign-born for destroying a system that would destroy itself if the foreign-born were altogether absent, let us work to dismantle the self-destructive system and replace it with voluntary charity and productive for-profit enterprise.   

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How Eight Immigrants Helped Create the United States By Breaking the Law

Stuart K. Hayashi

My former hero Rush Limbaugh resents it when any defense of undocumented immigrants calls attention to the fact that everyone in the United States is either an immigrant or descendant of immigrants. (Even American Indians descended from people who originally came from Siberia.) Rush replies, “For Obama to tell people that you and I are no different from the current crop of illegals, well, the difference is that back then people obeyed the law.”

Oh, really? I can name eight immigrants from olden times who broke the law:

* Matthew Thornton

* Francis Lewis

* John Witherspoon

* Robert Morris

* James L. Smith

* George Taylor

* James Wilson

* Button Gwinnett

These eight immigrants did not follow the law. They committed a serious crime -- treason -- because they signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Note that these eight had something else in common with the present array of undocumented immigrants -- these eight all also came to the North American continent without applying for any visas. There were no federal restrictions on immigration until 1875 with the Page Act, which was intended to stop Asian women from arriving on these shores. The follow-up to that was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which was protectionist and explicitly racist.


The infographic I created for this: