Category Archives: libertarianism

UPDATED (8/22/): NEW COLUMN: Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!

Conservatism, Free Speech, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Paleoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Race, Racism, Reason

NEW COLUMN IS “Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!” It featured on Townhall.com, WND.COM, the Unz Review, and Newsroom For American and European-Based Citizens.

It is currently a feature on American Greatness:

“Was The Cop’s Knee On George Floyd’s Neck ‘Racism’? No!” It is the second in a series deconstructing the racism construct. For the first, there is also a quick YouTube primer.

Excerpt:

Racism consists of a mindset or a worldview that boils down to impolite and impolitic thoughts and words written, spoken, preached, or tweeted.

If that’s all racism is, you ask, then what was the knee on George Floyd’s neck? Was that not racism?

No, it was not.

Judging from the known facts, the knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was a knee on a man’s neck. That’s all that can be inferred from the chilling video recording in which Floyd expired slowly as he pleaded for air.

Floyd begged to breathe. But the knee on his neck—“subdual restraint and neck compression,” in medical terms—was sustained for fully eight minutes and 46 seconds, causing “cardiopulmonary arrest.”

There are laws against what transpired between former Officer Derek Chauvin and Mr. Floyd.

And the law’s ambit is not to decide whether the offending officer is a correct-thinking individual, but whether Mr. Chauvin had committed a crime.

About Officer Chauvin’s mindset, the most the law is supposed to divine is mens rea—criminal intention: Was the officer whose knee pressed on Floyd’s neck acting with a guilty mind or not?

For fact-finding is the essence of the law. The law is not an abstract ideal of imagined social justice, that exists to salve sensitive souls.

If “racism” looks like a felony crime, then it ought to be prosecuted as nothing but a crime and debated as such. In the case of Mr. Chauvin, a mindset of depraved indifference seems to jibe with the video.

This is not to refute the reality of racially motivated crimes. These most certainly occur. It is only to refute the legal and ethical validity of a racist mindset in the prosecution of a crime.

Surely, a life taken because of racial or antisemitic animus is not worth more than life lost to spousal battery or to a home invasion.

The law, then, must mete justice, in accordance with the rules of evidence, proportionality and due process. Other than intent, references to the attendant thoughts that accompanied the commission of a crime should be irrelevant—be they racist, sexist, ageist or anti-Semitic.

Ultimately, those thoughts are known only to the perp.

To make matters worse, legions of libertarians and conservatives have joined the progressive establishment in the habit of sniffing out and purging racists, as though they were criminals.

Sniffing out thought or speech criminals is a no-no for any and all self-respecting classical conservative and libertarian. We should never persecute or prosecute thought “criminals” for utterances not to our liking (unless these threaten or portend violence). …

READ THE REST. LATEST COLUMN IS currently a feature on American Greatness:

UPDATE (8/22/20):

Loup-Bouc:

Fine article, Ms. Mercer. Unlike all other Unz Review authors who have addressed the Floyd case, you apprehend accurately/correctly much of the pertinent law. ..I observe that you have written a fine article. Brava.

This essay is the clearest and most effective explanation as to why racism and other bad ideas are not criminal. Of the numerous Mercer essays I have read, this is the best. Thank you.

 

 

Strip Social Media’s Social Engineers Of Their State Grants-Of-Privilege

Argument, Business, Conservatism, Free Speech, Law, libertarianism, Republicans, Technology, The State

As ever, the political caste, in general, and “the party of industry and commerce,” in particular, has shown itself to be arrayed against Middle America.

How so?

An army of Covington Kids ought to have advanced on social media’s loathsome moral crusaders and censors. It can’t, because stripping the tech trolls of their state-grants of privilege has slipped down the order of business.

Depriving social media’s social engineers of their state grants-of-privilege seems more than reasonable.

Nobody conservative is arguing that “government should regulate content moderation of social media,” CATO Institute.

What is being advocated is that social-media censors be deprived of their state-grants of privilege and protections against liability. For social media are collective frauds. While acting as editors and social engineers, they are legally safeguarded as mere platform providers.

Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, tech companies currently enjoy broad immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from what users post because they are treated as “platforms” rather than “publishers”.

Trump’s executive order is designed to pressure regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to come up with new rules that would curtail that immunity. It is likely to face legal challenges. (The Guardian)

Look, laws exist. Too many of them. It would be great were there fewer of these laws. However, whether intended or not,  the upshot of corporate libertarianism is that laws only ever hamper the little guy and gal, never the multinational shyster and fraudster.

Naturally, conservatives must agree that unfettered speech is just that.  They can’t start carving out pet exceptions.

Private Property Is Boss: It Decides Who Comes And Goes

Constitution, COVID-19, Healthcare, libertarianism, Private Property

“You are in violation of my f—— constitutional rights and my civil rights,” a man screamed when he was stopped from shopping at a Miami Beach Publix for not wearing a mask.

People really have no clue. Whatever laws we have that govern how private property must behave—these are not grounded in natural law. These originate in case law, or civil rights law—anything but natural law.

All these cases of Antifa-like anger and deadly violence over polite requests from private property to mask are a disgrace:

Last week, a woman, her adult son and husband were charged in the fatal shooting of a security guard who refused to let her daughter enter a Flint, Michigan, Family Dollar because she wasn’t wearing a face mask.

AND:

Two McDonald’s employees were shot inside an Oklahoma City restaurant after the suspect became upset when she was told the dining room was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, police said.

Oklahoma City Police Department said the 32-year-old female customer, whose name has not been released, got into a physical altercation with employees Wednesday evening, left the store and returned with a handgun.

MORE:

Tensions Over Masks, Social Distancing Lead To Violent Altercations, Shooting Death, Pipe Bomb Threats.

Trust Republicans To Sabotage A Safe Return To Work

Business, COVID-19, Free Markets, Labor, Law, libertarianism, Private Property, Regulation, Republicans

“In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance.” (“The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.”)

If businesses want customers to resume consumption and workers to stay safe and productive on the job—they must, within reason, provide a safe working and shopping environment.

The market incentivizes business to protect customers and employees and thus to also reduce the spread of COVID. If business acts recklessly, customers will stay away. And if companies place workers in a precarious position, then the worker who gets sick on the job generally has recourse through litigation.

The free-market and the law—more so than government regulation—provide corrective mechanisms to ensure workers and customers are safe. Government regulations are generally agreements between industrial special interests and the state. Duly, they mostly benefit those interests alone.

By removing the incentives aforementioned,  so necessary in a society based on ordered liberty, the government sabotages a safe return to work, as it fails to allow corrective mechanisms to work.

Trust the Republicans, then, to strive to remove the incentives for business to fit the workplace for success in the age of coronavirus.

To hell with the desperate young worker, who toils in a crowded, unclean, meatpacking facility, currently a “serious vector for the pandemic.”

Or, the flight attendant who was told by the airline she’d be fired if she wore a mask. If they get sick on the job because their employers refused to set up and suit up for COVID—the worker will have no recourse, courtesy of the Republicans’ liability protection guarantees.

With half of all U.S. states forging ahead with strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus crisis, business groups have been pushing for protection against COVID-19-related lawsuits …The Trump administration is also pushing for liability safeguards … [Reuters]

GOP lawmakers have warned that without additional protections they believe business owners will be too fearful of litigation to reopen.

McConnell, during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, called the extra protections his “red line.”

“Let me make it perfectly clear, the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection. … What I’m saying is we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it,” he added.

Stripped of baffle-gab, this means that Republicans wish to shield business from the consequences of reckless disregards for the safety of shoppers and workers. For the courts will examine cases on their merit, and throw them out if they are frivolous.

Fail to allow corrective mechanisms like litigation to work—and you’ll increase illness, death and poverty and spread more devastation.

* Thanks, Scott Olson | Getty Images, for fair use.

@ Unz Review.