Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Hegelianism of the 2008 Election (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell shows that Mises was right about the great American obsession:

If the political prediction markets are right, we are going to end up with a presidential contest between two people who agree on the pressing need to expand the entire welfare-warfare state. They can argue about priorities, but they agree on the overall goal. With the campaign lacking serious issues, something tells me that the great American obsession over race is going to play a major role, which is gravely unfortunate since the discussion is unlikely to be enlightening.

Of course it's all politics, that is, equal parts dissembling and illusion, and designed to confer on some groups more power over other groups.

But it does raise important questions: what is racism and how can we tell if it exists? I'm not talking about someone who dislikes African-Americans or whites or Latinos. We might call that racism on the level of individual ethics, but there are no inevitable and widespread social consequences of a bad attitude. Defining racism, a notion highly charged with political implications, also raises the specter of the Thought Police: did you or did you not think politically incorrect thoughts?

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