Arguing With Libertarians

A picture of George the Pug

George the Pug

I’m spending the next few days dogsitting George the Pug (pictured above). Claire Potter has written a nice and insightful review of Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains over at Public Seminar. I spent the evening playing fetch with the tireless George and responding to criticisms of Potter’s piece by Professors David E. Bernstein and Phil Magness. I wrote some rather lengthy comments, patted myself on the back for a job well done, and George and I turned in for the night.  This morning I woke up and found the the Disqus commenting system had marked those two lengthy comments as “spam” and didn’t post them. Maybe I should have left out the part about how you can make thousands of dollars from your home?

At any rate, I’m going to post them here just to get them out in public. I recommend you go read Potter’s review and the comments if you feel like you’ve been dropped in halfway  through the movie.

Calhoun and Buchanan

God help us all, they brought up Calhoun again.  Phil wrote, “MacLean presented Davidson & Calhoun as intellectual influences upon Buchanan, both as direct assertions and innuendo (“seemed” etc)” and “Oh, and yes. MacLean is absolutely does claim that public choice’s lineage traces back directly to Calhoun.”

At one point I say I’m not going to engage in this argument about Calhoun since I already addressed it. Ha, ha!  Just kidding. The continuous strawmanning of MacLean’s position by the libertarians is just so annoying I can’t help but rise to the bait.  I’ve been trying to drive a stake through the heart of this Calhoun thing. One more time as it rises from the grave….

Magness’s and Bernstein’s argument about Calhoun rests on her use of the word “lodestar” in the introduction. What could she have meant by that word? It could mean that Buchanan was completely guided by Calhoun directly and always checked to make sure his own writings were in line with The Master’s Works. That is one thing it could mean, but not the only thing. Another thing it could mean is an argument like Corey Robin’s in The Reactionary Mind. He argues something like Calhoun wrote X. X was taken up by subsequent thinker A who influenced B who influenced C who influenced someone like Buchanan. If that were the case, then Calhoun would be the lodestar and Buchanan wouldn’t even realize it himself, having only read those who were themselves influenced by Calhoun.

Or, it could mean something else entirely. “Lodestar” could mean something like what Jürgen Kocka meant by a comparative approach:

The comparative approach presupposes that the units of comparison can be separated from each other. It is neither the continuity between two phenomena nor the mutual influences between them that constitute them as cases for comparison. Rather they are seen as independent cases that are brought together analytically by asking for similarities and differences between them. In other words, the comparison breaks continuities, cuts entanglements, and interrupts the flow of narration. But the reconstruction of continuities, the emphasis on interdependence as well as narrative forms of presentation, are classical elements of history as a discipline.” (Kocka, Jürgen. 2003. “Comparison and Beyond.” History and Theory 42 (1): 39–44. at 41)

What could MacLean have meant by bringing Calhoun together with Buchanan? Could she have meant a comparison as Kocka describes it? That is, after all, what Aranson and Tarrabok & Cowen do in the articles she’s citing, so its possible! Let’s try to answer that question by looking at where she discusses Calhoun in the rest of the text and see what kind of thing she might mean.

She argues that the thought of Buchanan and others in the 20th century “mirrors” (p. 1) that Calhoun. Koch-funded libertarians (not necessarily Buchanan) had an “appreciation” (p. 2) for Calhoun (pointing to Rothbard here). She pointed out a parallel between Buchanan & Tullock’s “minority-veto power” of the constitution and Calhoun’s similar idea, and argues that Madison would have rejected B&T’s ideas as he did Calhoun’s (p. 81). She claims that the libertarian’s “cause…cause traces back to John C. Calhoun” (p. 224). And, in her conclusion she writes, “Now, as then, the leaders seek Calhoun-style liberty for the few–the liberty to concentrate vast wealth, so as to deny elementary fairness to the many.” (p. 234).

That is the entirety of her connections between Calhoun & 20th century libertarian thought. She seems to be doing exactly what Kocka calls the “comparative approach” which is hardly outside the boundaries of historical methodologies, since as Kocka says such comparisons are “classical elements of history as a discipline.” That must be what she meant by “lodestar.”

jPhil, show me where MacLean makes the claim you attribute to her, which is apparently something like: “Buchanan admired Calhoun and based his public choice theory on Calhoun’s theories.” If you think she wrote something like that, tell me where in the text it is. You seem to falsely attribute to MacLean what Kocka calls, an “entangled-history point of view” when I think the comparative approach is the one supported by the text.

In the end you might be able to say that “lodestar” was a poorly chosen word for MacLean. What you absolutely cannot say is that her argument is out-of-bounds for historical scholarship and that she “made up” the comparison between Calhoun and 20th century libertarian thought. And finally, even if they are right about this, it means little: if it wasn’t Calhoun’s thought that made Buchanan a segregationist, it was something else.

Phil tells me:  “you’ve failed the most basic standards of citing your sources – literally the type of thing that gets you a failing grade on a term paper for a freshman year American History 101 survey course.”  I know I’m a smart-ass, and I know I can be flip. I try to keep it within the bounds of good humor and I don’t always succeed. So, I apologize if I’m out of line with this. But I’ve written/edited six books, five of which are on racial ideology in the US. My two most recent articles are historiographical about when evidence can and cannot support a historical claim, particularly about race. I like to think that I have some skill at this kind of thing. So, could we please back off on the “you don’t understand historical methodology” kind of remarks?  They do not advance our argument.

But, I doubt they will back off from those kind of remarks, and I doubt they will stop making false claims about MacLean and Calhoun. They are succeeding in getting us to talk (at length in my case!) about this rather trivial matter so we won’t talk about the important stuff like the fact that Buchanan was a segregationist.

Buchanan was a Segregationist

Phil writes:

She claims to know Buchanan’s innermost thoughts about black schools in 1950s Virginia. Where’s her evidence? And no, an innuendo-laden misreading of an obscure and highly abstract academic article on the economics of school vouchers doesn’t even come close to substantiating the spin she’s giving here.

Phil gives no evidence of having read the “highly abstract academic article on the economics of school vouchers” and shows no evidence of having read the newspaper articles based on them from 1959, so I don’t know the basis he has for claiming the report prepared for the legislature was a “highly abstract academic article.”   I invite Phil to track down those articles before making pronouncements about how “highly abstract” they are. Here’s the citations from MacLean’s footnote:

  • Warren Nutter and James M. Buchanan, “Different School Systems Are Reviewed,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 12, 1959, D3.
  • G. Warren Nutter and James M. Buchanan, “Many Fallacies Surround School Problem,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 13, 1959, 7.

I’ve read the newspaper articles and my analysis is here.  They contain exactly nothing about racial justice or concern for African American rights under the Constitution.

Phil’s repeated pleas of  “Where’s her evidence?” is frustrating given that he studiously ignores the evidence MacLean presents.  That, combined with the strawmanning about “Buchanan’s innermost thoughts” is getting very tiresome. Buchanan’s “innermost thoughts” are completely and utterly irrelevant to MacLean’s case. The documents are public. The evidence is public. Phil pretending it isn’t there does not change that.

My argument is that Buchanan actions were consistent with segregationist wishes. Phil find this, for some reason, an outrageous claim. Apparently, we are supposed to believe that Buchanan, being so brilliant or so outside his time or so transcendently above the politics of his university and state did not do so. Phil’s ONLY piece of contrary evidence is W.W. Hutt’s visit to Virginia in 1965 .

In the meantime, here’s what MacLean has to support her argument that Buchanan’s actions were consistent with segregation, and we await Phil’s avalanche of evidence to the contrary. (no page numbers to the quotations, I’m hanging with George the Pug and my hard copy of MacLean is back home so these quotations are from the e-book).
MacLean reporting Buchanan’s views of Little Rock:

Back in Virginia that September, James Buchanan, fresh from the recent Switzerland meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, privately called Eisenhower’s “dispatching of troops” to Little Rock a terrible mistake. “The whole mess” of school segregation versus desegregation, he argued, should have been “worked out gradually and in accordance with local sentiment.” He never acknowledged that this is exactly what the school board of Little Rock and those in three districts in Virginia that wanted to admit some black students to white schools had tried to do, only to be overruled by the power elites of their states.

MacLean on Buchanan’s utter disinterest in the welfare of Prince Edward County or Virginia’s black citizens more generally:

Throughout those five years, as James Buchanan developed the Virginia school of political economy, he remained mute about the well-publicized tragedy. He saw no reason to distinguish the liberty white county leaders claimed as self-justification for denying education to a community that had dared to challenge them in federal court from what he was seeking to advance with his new school of thought. Quite the contrary, he aggressively defended his adopted state. As the Prince Edward schools remained padlocked and Virginia used tax revenues to build up an infrastructure of segregated white private schools (in a formally color-blind voucher system that survived court challenge until 1968), while keeping black voters from the polls, another southern-born economist, Broadus Mitchell, reached out to Buchanan. Mitchell, who had resigned from Johns Hopkins University two decades before over its refusal to admit a black student, challenged the Thomas Jefferson Center to leave the realm of fine philosophical abstraction and hold a program on “democracy in education”—and, in the name of “social decency,” stand up for the integration of UVA. Buchanan answered curtly that “Virginia, as a state, has, in my opinion, largely resolved her own problems” in education. He then sent the new university president his own rebuke to the “annoying” letter, calling Mitchell “a long-time joiner of all ‘soft-headed,’ ‘liberal’ causes,” and lied that his critic had made “no notable contributions” as a scholar

I’ve floated the idea that Buchanan would have brought Hutt to Virginia to help with his anti-union efforts and put up with his anti-segregation speechs which didn’t amount to much in any case. Phil has given me a citation to a piece by Hutt that he says supports his position. I will have to wait for ILL to get me that article, and I thank him for the citation. In the meantime,  Here’s MacLean’s footnote linking Hutt to anti-union efforts:

Philip D. Bradley, ed., The Public Stake in Union Power (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1959), quote on 168; Friedrich A. Hayek to James Buchanan, November 15, 1957, and March 8, 1958, box 72, Hayek Papers; H. W. Luhnow to Hayek, December 7, 1956, box 58, ibid. The Austrian summarized Hutt’s case as showing that when federal legislation and union power managed to “win for some groups of workers higher compensation than they would have collected on an unhampered market, they victimize other groups.” The right way to reduce unemployment and lift wages was “the progressive accumulation of capital”; Ludwig von Mises, preface to The Theory of Collective Bargaining, by W. H. Hutt (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1954), 9–10; Lawrence Fertig to James M. Buchanan, August [1961], BHA. On Relm Foundation and Lilly Endowment subsidies, see H. W. Hutt to Henry Regnery, January 3, 1962, box 33, Regnery Papers; Regnery to Hutt, December 26, 1962, Regnery Papers; and Warren Nutter to James Buchanan, May 6, 1965, BHA.

In what might be his most serious misreading, Phil claims, ” MacLean does in fact claim that Buchanan and Nutter’s paper influenced policy. Where is her evidence?”  Just on the surface, this is a weak defense of Buchanan and Nutter’s call to privatize the schools in 1959: “Sure, they tried to influence policy, but no one listened!  So they are off the hook!”  But the problem is deeper, because MacLean claims the very opposite of what Phil  attributes to her. She claims that Nutter & Buchanan’s arguments failed with the legislature:

But when put to a political test, the team failed yet again. The resolution in question—to end the constitutional guarantee of free public schools throughout the state—went down in the House of Delegates by a vote of 53–45. The legislators’ reluctance to go that far is not surprising. Not many bought the argument that, as a state legislator from Appomattox, of all places, expressed it, “it’s not the education of our children that’s so important. It’s states’ rights.” That seemed too radical even for state legislators who had prided themselves on their defiance of the Supreme Court. Most understood that a fire sale of tax-funded public schools to private school operators would be political suicide. They wanted to stop integration, not be ejected from office.
The vote marked the definitive end of the state’s official policy of massive resistance to Brown. “The Byrd machine,” observed one reporter, “misread the feeling of the majority of Virginians.” The Organization never recovered its former power.”

Note, that Buchanan’s failure to influence the legislature in no way exonerates his attempt to do so. Note that the last sentence casts serious doubts on Phil’s idea that Hutt’s visit six years later amounted to much. But, most importantly: it is precisely because the Virginia legislature didn’t listen to Buchanan that he decided that democratically-elected representatives could not be trusted and thus set the path for the rest of his career (and the rest of MacLean’s book):

For his part, Jim Buchanan learned lessons from this experience that informed his thinking for the rest of his life. Faced with majority opinion as expressed in votes, politicians could not be counted on to stand by their stated commitments. Even those who previously had pledged fealty to state sovereignty, individual liberty, and free enterprise would buckle, owing to their self-interest in reelection.

In other words, if MacLean had actually made the argument that Phil attributes to her, she would have undermined the central premise of her own book!  And I’m the one supposedly failing History 101.

Make Your Case, Libertarians

All the libertarian attacks on MacLean’s book amount to trying to pick apart her book. None of them actually build a case for Buchanan’s activities.  I invite my libertarian sparring partners to present some evidence that contradicts her account.  For example:

  • Go back to the famous 20 volumes of Buchanan’s writings and instead of telling us what is NOT there, tell us what IS there that shows Buchanan’s concern for racial justice. And then tell us why whatever you have found there disproves anything MacLean has written about his activities in the 1950s.
  • Find a historical account of Prince Edward County’s privatization of schools between 1959-1964 that shows the success of the libertarian program of privatization. If you can’t find such a history, MacLean cites some standard histories, please go through them and show the howling success of privatization:
    • Bonastia, Christopher. 2012. Southern stalemate: five years without public education in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    • Titus, Jill Ogline. 2014. Brown’s battleground: students, segregationists, and the struggle for justice in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

When making your case, libertarians, please spare us the Freidmanesque “It would have worked if they hadn’t given up!” None of that counterfactual stuff. We want a good, positive, libertarian-approved history of massive resistance that places the libertarians on the side of racial justice. Good luck.

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48 thoughts on “Arguing With Libertarians

  1. Privatization of public schools may or may not have worked if given a long-term opportunity over many school districts. OTOH, court-ordered desegregation didn’t work very well either, and indeed destroyed many urban school districts without causing any substantial integration over many decades.

    Beyond that, we can argue about Buchanan’s unexpressed thoughts about segregation and whatnot from now to doomsday. We know Buchanan stated that he opposed mandatory segregation and mandatory integration, and that he was opposed to federal troops being sent to Little Rock. We also know that he thought that school privatization was a good idea, but disclaimed that he was advocating it for support or opposition to desegregation. That’s really all we know. If we interpret all these things ungenerously to Buchanan, he was utterly unconcerned about racial justice, only about free-market ideology. Let’s assume that arguendo. MacLean implies, and many (friendly) reviewers have taken her to mean, that Buchanan’s work on public choice was actually motivated by hostility to Brown. She hasn’t shown he was hostile to Brown, as such (the basic prohibition on mandatory segregation) much less that his work was motivated by it.

    If we can agree that there is no evidence that Buchanan’s work was motivated by hostility Brown, but instead was simply part of the wave of Chicago-school-inspired attacks on the state of welfare economics, which included the contemporary work of Ronald Coase, perhaps the biggest talking point of those who are pushing the book has been demolished.

    If, OTOH, we simply want to conclude that Buchanan was indifferent to racial justice, and therefore he goes down in history as a villain, he would take an awful lot of progressive heroes down with him, if that standard would be applied consistently. We can start with FDR.

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    • We can also add one more thing re. Buchanan and civil rights. In 1965 he wrote a letter opposing LBJ’s minimum wage hike on the grounds that its adverse effects on employment would harm blacks in the south the most. He specifically stated a concern that this would undermine the gains from the Civil Rights Act of the previous year.

      Of course MacLean would never cite such evidence, because doing so goes against her own ideological belief in the minimum wage.

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      • Makes perfect sense to me. He was willing to throw black folks under the bus in 1959 in order to further his dream of privatizing schools. Privatizing schools failed so he was quiet about that. Massive resistance collapses, so he can bring Hutt in to help fight unions, who cares if he is also fighting segregation? That’s a dead issue in 1965 anyway, let him have his fun. So, let’s leverage the national mood and use black folks to fight the minimum wage, which we hate anyway!

        Your bizarre idea that Buchanan must be perfectly consistent in his behavior and that any inconsistency somehow counts against MacLean is ridiculous. Buchanan did not care about racial justice at all: hence when it served his ends to ally himself with segregationists, he did so. When it served his ends to speak out for black folks, he did so. This kind of phenomenon is well-understood in studies of racial ideologies. It is completely expected. Derrick Bell named it “interest convergence” a long, long time ago. That you don’t seem to understand this seems to indicate that you don’t understand a simple idea :
        http://www.kyoolee.net/Brown_vs._Board_of_Education_and_the_Interest-Convergence_Dilemma_-_Derrick_Bell.pdf

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      • “Massive resistance collapses, so he can bring Hutt in to help fight unions, who cares if he is also fighting segregation? That’s a dead issue in 1965 anyway, let him have his fun.”

        Wait, did Mr. Jackson actually just claim that segregation was a dead issue by 1965?!?!

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    • Do you really think this is some kind of game? Do you really think that you will “win” it by scoring some kind of points against FDR or other “progressives”? Do you really think there are “sides” in this dispute? That is really, really sad.

      I have cited MacLean’s point that she does not hold that Buchanan was motivated by racism many, many times. One more time in the futile hope that you will actually read it this time:
      “It is true that many observers at the time, and scholars since, have reduced the conflict to one of racial attitudes alone, disposing too easily of the political-economic fears and philosophical commitments that stiffened many whites’ will to fight. So a ‘both/and construction would be reasonable.”

      And we can talk about the failure of integration another time. Just another distraction you’d prefer to talk about rather than what Buchanan actually did.

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      • First, forgive me if this is a naive question, but was segregation really a “dead issue” by 1965? I mean, from half a century later, we know that segregation did not return, but from the vantage point of 1965, did people think that it could be reversed after a few years like Reconstruction? And 1965 was still before Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966), Green v. County School Board of New Kent County (1968), Loving v. Virginia (1967), the Civil Rights Act of 1968, etc.

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      • You asked for any evidence, ANY evidence, that Buchanan was concerned about racial justice. Phil provided it. You reject it because you decided, without any evidence, that Buchanan wasn’t sincere. It’s very odd conversation. You accept claims without any evidence when made by MacLean, and then reject actual evidence when it’s provided by Phil. Conclusion: you aren’t interested in evidence, you are interested in confirming your preexisting prejudices.

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      • That’s actually not what happened there. He did ask for any evidence, and you provided evidence that was from a completely different context from the discussion at hand.

        John did not “reject it because [John] decided, without any evidence, that Buchanan wasn’t sincere” but rather pointed out that the evidence was from a different issue altogether, and then John provided evidence that the context was in fact important…that you in turn reject because “you are interested in confirming your preexisting prejudices.”

        John’s evidence and arguments are in black and white above, didn’t you read them?

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      • It is a bit of distraction, but it also points to a very troubling current tendency on the left, to dismiss any historical figure’s ideas if they could be tied to racism at all–but only if the figure is seen as being on “the right.” Lefitst racists get a pass, presumably because they are seen as having their heart in the right place overall.

        Consider the recent MacLean-inspired meme that school choice is “racist” because some segregationist preferred it to integration. By that logic, public schools would be even more racist because the greatest and perhaps most influential champions of public schooling, indeed mandatory public schooling, in American history was the second KKK.

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      • Dude, seriously? Doubling down on a red haring with another red haring and really blatant hyperbolic statements really destroys your credibility in a debate where you are claiming an authoritative critique of another persons argument.

        It also identifies that instead of being concerned about the historical facts of the matter, you instead are filtering this through a zero sum partisan lens and validating John’s points that critiques against this book are founded in contempt prior to investigation rather than a genuine concern for an accurate assessment of the facts of the case. It becomes obvious that you are shadow boxing against “the left” while John and MacLean are actually engaging the facts of the case.

        That’s why I said it destroys your argument. One careless troll comment and suddenly you move away from someone who should be taken seriously into the realm of poorly written libertarian blogs and facebook comments on news articles in the eyes of your audience.

        consider William Paley’s words.
        “Contempt prior to examination is an intellectual vice, from which the greatest faculties of mind are not free.”

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      • Again, not relevant to the discussion at hand.
        If you have a bone to pick with that blog be my guest and go over there to discuss their use of MacLean’s book, but if you shadow box their argument in another thread don’t be surprised if you get called out for it. Perhaps you have stretched yourself a little too thin to engage this discussion.

        As your friend Phil says whenever John gets him on the ropes “Let’s focus for a min.”
        You are the only one who is discussing partisanship and it is not part of the argument at hand.

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      • Now David, I’ve been closely paying attention to your arguments and the arguments of your friends regarding shoddy research methods and lack of evidence.

        With those criticisms in mind, as well as your pointed characterization of the professional integrity of people who violate those norms, could you please show me exactly where MacLean is in the blog you just claimed is using her book…

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      • I did not say segregation was a non-issue in 1965. I said Massive Resistance had collapsed. This is an undisputed historical fact. Virginia’s legislation was called “massive resistance” legislation. It had failed. Utterly. The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act both passed. In 1963, George Wallace declared “Segregation Forever!” in his inaugural speech for Governor. In his 1968 presidential run he didn’t talk about segregation at all. He used coded language to his white audience about race. But he sure as hell didn’t declare his unwavering allegiance to Jim Crow.

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      • Well I think you were the one who is continuously claiming in these posts that you have to prove a direct connection, and “implied connections” are examples of shoddy scholarship and making up evidence.
        So it is very obvious to all that you are employing a double standard. If it is a claim you like, then we can make a contextual inference, and if it is a claim you don’t like them anything less than a direct connection is negligent.

        As for who I am, it doesn’t matter. I’m not here on a professional agenda, or to promote/attack anything other than the ideas at hand. And you will notice that unlike you, I have been using the persuasive force of the better argument rather than my professional credentials to support my claims. You would do well to follow suit.

        However I do charge $300 an hour to discuss people’s feelings, so we can work on your insecurities around “internet anonymity” if you agree to pay my fee.

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      • Now to be clear, you are now claiming that if we see the same argument, or portions of an argument, emerge within similar context then it is appropriate to assume that there is an intellectual connection.

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  2. We’ve been over this turf many times, John. I’ll give it one more go, but we’ve now seen ample evidence that you are confusing your own arguments with MacLean’s. That includes both crediting her for nuances that she did not offer and an incredibly generous degree of textual leeway that does not find support in a plain reading of her book’s other segments.

    Consider the “lodestar” comment, in which you go out of your way to assign alternative – and invariably more benign – meanings through your own esoteric renderings that are in no way in evidence from MacLean’s own text. You claim that the generous leeway you provide for her words yields a different interpretation than the plain reading that David and I have offered, namely that MacLean makes an unsubstantiated and unsustainable claim that places Calhoun in the direct lineage of Buchanan and public choice. You even go so far as to claim that we are “strawmaning” MacLean’s position by treating it as a claim of literal lineage as opposed to the entirely original and more nuanced parsing you generously provide for her. Yet we need only look to page 224 of MacLean to see that, yes, she did indeed use Calhoun to make a literal claim of lineage after all:

    “Fittingly for a cause whose lineage traces back to John C. Calhoun, the Koch-funded cadre works to exaggerate the most troubling features of what one legal scholar fairly called ‘slavery’s constitution.'”

    I’m not sure I can help you any further on this point as it speaks to a pattern of recurring carelessness in your own reading of the book. In fact, I seem to recall that you attempted to similarly contest the “lodestar” passage as well in one of our earliest exchanges. You responded to it by asserting “In no way does MacLean argue that Calhoun was a “lodestar”….until it was pointed out that she did just that, upon which you pivoted to your current line of argument. And where has it taken us? Right back to where we started, only now you’re denying that she intended to place Calhoun in Buchanan’s/public choice’s intellectual lineage. Except on p. 224 she did exactly that.

    It’s funny you bring up the Richmond Times-Dispatch citations as that’s well plowed turf. Buchanan and Nutter did indeed give a copy of their paper to Virginius Dabney, who ran a two-part excerpt in the Times-Dispatch (the more liberal of Richmond’s two major newspapers). It’s a curious citation for MacLean to use though because she lists it as evidence of a speculated collaboration with James Kilpatrick. Except that Kilpatrick edited the Times-Dispatch’s more conservative and pro-segregation competitor, the News-Leader. I’ve seen no evidence that the excerpts Dabney published received notice or influenced much of anything. There do not appear to have been any letters or other responses in the paper, and MacLean offers no evidence of anyone in the Byrd operation pointing to an article about vouchers in the Times-Dispatch as a model for segregation. Congratulations though – you’ve further demonstrated MacLean’s own incompetence with her source material by botching which newspaper Kilpatrick edited in her drive to associate him with Buchanan.

    So where does that leave us? Oh yes, Hutt and specifically MacLean’s footnote. In a continuing display of credulity for her every word, you take it as a given that Hutt’s anti-unionism simply must have been the motivating factor of his invitation to UVA.

    On what basis does MacLean make this argument? He wrote something anti-union in 1954 that Friedrich Hayek praised. That’s not evidence, John. That’s little more than an arbitrary citation that MacLean appears to have stumbled upon and clung to because it chafes with the sacrosanct position her own ideology affords to labor unions.

    Meanwhile she ignores the entirety of his work on Apartheid, even though it was far better known than the labor union piece from 1954 and even though it was the line of research Hutt was lecturing and publishing on *while at UVA* under Buchanan’s sponsorship. Hutt published at least two articles while at UVA that specifically contained public choice attacks on discriminatory laws such as Apartheid and segregation – the citation I gave you (which is his direct expansion on the Calculus of Consent) and a second piece reflecting on the similarities between Apartheid and segregation that he wrote for Modern Age.

    Missing those articles is an inexcusable oversight on MacLean’s part as she is (a) clearly aware that Hutt was invited to UVA and (b) goes out of her way to speculate that it had something to do with his position on her beloved labor unions. Let’s just say that it’s no small convenience that ignoring Hutt’s more prominent and timely work on Apartheid happens to align with her ongoing effort to depict Buchanan’s center as being in the pocket of segregationist politicians.

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    • Phil: I quote MacLean’s directly where she uses words like “mirror” and how OTHER LIBERTARIANS NOT BUCHANAN developed an “appreciation” for Calhoun. You counter, amazingly enough with a quotation from MacLean that refers to “Koch-funded cadre” which is NOT NECESSARILY BUCHANAN. You ignore when she attributes views to other libertarians rather than Calhoun. You ignore her careful qualifiers about how she is comparing things that are not necessarily related. You ignore that such comparisons are a staple of historical methods. You ignore that she cites public choice theorists who make the same comparisons. And then you have the temerity to accuse ME of being careless? Are you serious?? Maybe the problem is that you don’t know what the strawman fallacy is. Read up on it:

      http://www.dougwalton.ca/papers%20in%20pdf/96straw.pdf

      You ignore that MacLean only suggests, does’t claim, that those articles were coordinated with Kilpatrick. But, given the timing of them it is impossible to think that he did not want them to inform the legislature. Her speculation regarding Kilpatrick are a really, really minor point in the fact of the timing of the entire thing.

      Things you are ignoring:

      1. Hutt’s activities occur after the collapse of massive resistance which MacLean documents, I quote above and you pretend isn’t there.
      2. You claimed that Hutt was brought to UVA specifically to speak out against segregation. You have never documented that claim. Please do so or quit making it. I’m waiting on the paper, but you have it right? Gimme the quotation from it that shows that is why he was brought to UVA.

      3. Do you now agree that MacLean never claimed that Nutter & Buchanan’s paper influenced the legislature? If not, show me where she claims it did. If so, do you admit that you claiming otherwise shows that you misunderstood how those events informs the entirety of MacLean’s book?

      4. You ignore that, regardless of whether they coordinated with Kilpatrick or not, he and the segregationists were absolutely delighted with privatization, thought that Prince Edward County was terrific, and that Buchanan was completely silent on the issue. Nothing. And you apparently think it is inappropriate for us to note that silence.

      5. Where is the libertarian defense of Prince Edward County? C’mon! It just what Buchanan wanted! It must have been awesome, right?

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      • John – Let’s focus on this for the moment:

        “Fittingly for a cause whose lineage traces back to John C. Calhoun, the Koch-funded cadre works to exaggerate the most troubling features of what one legal scholar fairly called ‘slavery’s constitution.’” (Maclean, p. 224)

        Whether she uses “mirror” at some other place in the book or not, that’s a direct claim of lineage to Calhoun. She has several other similar statements sprinkled throughout the book. I know you don’t want her to say “lineage” just like you didn’t want her to make the lodestar claim. But the fact of the matter is she did both. Are you at least honest enough to acknowledge that much?

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      • And here we are again with lineages on p. xxxii. This time it’s directly connected to the lodestar quote, showing that your spin on that is utter nonsense as well:

        “The first step toward understanding what this cause actually wants is to identify the deep lineage of its core ideas. And although it’s spokespersons would like you to believe they are disciples of James Madison, the leading architect of the U.S. Constitution, it is not true. Their intellectual lodestar is John C. Calhoun.”

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      • Not to mention, re Phil’s comments, that it would be very odd to start a book with an entire chapter devoted to Calhoun if Calhoun had essentially nothing to do with Buchanan except that a few economists recognized some similarities between the two men’s constitutional ideas decades later. At best, the argument is that she wanted to tie Calhoun to Buchanan in the reader’s mind, but used some language that a sophist could rely on to claim that she wasn’t really trying to claim that Buchanan was strongly influenced by Calhoun.

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      • As I’ve pointed out since the beginning this discussion, Mr. Jackson’s entire defense re. Calhoun and Davidson may be reduced to the following:

        MacLean never smeared Buchanan with asserted links to segregationists and slaveowners. She merely used weasel words to strongly imply as much.

        I’m skeptical of the value of this defense to MacLean’s reputation.

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      • Guys, can you parse the difference between the plural “their” to a singular “his?” So as to distinguish between when MacLean is discussing a broad libertarian movement vs. Buchanan specifically?

        I’ll note you continue to ignore the issues I listed above. let me list them again, and then I’m going to address #2 in some detail:

        Things you are ignoring:

        1. Hutt’s activities occur after the collapse of massive resistance which MacLean documents, I quote above and you pretend isn’t there.
        2. You claimed that Hutt was brought to UVA specifically to speak out against segregation. You have never documented that claim. Please do so or quit making it. I’m waiting on the paper, but you have it right? Gimme the quotation from it that shows that is why he was brought to UVA.

        3. Do you now agree that MacLean never claimed that Nutter & Buchanan’s paper influenced the legislature? If not, show me where she claims it did. If so, do you admit that you claiming otherwise shows that you misunderstood how those events informs the entirety of MacLean’s book?

        4. You ignore that, regardless of whether they coordinated with Kilpatrick or not, he and the segregationists were absolutely delighted with privatization, thought that Prince Edward County was terrific, and that Buchanan was completely silent on the issue. Nothing. And you apparently think it is inappropriate for us to note that silence.

        To add to #2, I will add a genuine misuse of evidence. This is a howler, folks, stay with me.

        Over on the Public Seminar post Phil wrote this:

        “The suggestion that Hutt was primarily known for his anti-union writings is deceptive. His academic reputation was at its peak ca. 1964 due to one specific work: his anti-Apartheid book, published that year. It gained him international acclaim and media coverage because he spoke out so aggressively against the South African government. That, and not a decade-old labor union book, was the reason Buchanan recruited him to come to UVA.”

        I asked him to document that his anti-apartheid “was the the reason Buchanan recruited him to come to UVA” Phil supplied this citation:
        Hutt, W.H. “Unanimity Versus Non-Discrimination As a Criteria for Constitutional Validity.” South African Journal of Economics. Vol. 34 (1966).

        So, I got the article expecting something like an acknowledgement or something like “Thanks to Jim Buchanan for bringing me to UVA to discuss apartheid.” Except it isn’t there. There is nothing there that supports Phil’s claim in the slightest. He does describe apartheid and suggests a political solution. He doesn’t describe the American south or segregation at all. So, perhaps Phil can explain to me how exactly this article supports his claim that his anti-apartheid work was “the reason that Buchanan recruited him to come to UVA.” And perhaps, this time, he will hold himself to the same rigorous standards he holds MacLean to.

        Oh, I’m dogsitting George the Pug in Fairfax right now. I wandered over to GMU and went through some boxes of Buchanan’s papers. They are unprocessed so they are a bit of a mess. I did find one letter from Buchanan to Hutt in 1962. They didn’t discuss apartheid or unions. They discussed banking. Seems like there were a lot of reasons Hutt might be brought to UVA.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In MacLean’s typical uses, his = Buchanan & their = the “Virginia school” of public choice theory that derived from Buchanan. As most of the book is about Buchanan’s role in the “Virginia school” of public choice and as MacLean devoted an entire chapter to Calhoun, it is unreasonable to infer that she is referring to anything more broad than that. It’s also interesting to note that your strained attempts to exonerate MacLean from specifically linking Calhoun to Buchanan & Virginia school public choice is at odds with her own public statements and interviews about the book. For example, she recently told an interviewer:

        “Buchanan arrived in Virginia just as Calhoun’s ideas were being excavated to stop the implementation of Brown, so the kinship was more than a coincidence. His vision of the right economic constitution owes much to Calhoun, whose ideas horrified James Madison, among others.”

        In other words, your exercise in word parsing puts you not only at odds with the text of the book but also at odds with how MacLean herself describes her book’s contents.

        If you wish to discuss the other particulars, I’ll simply note the following:

        1. The segregationist Byrd machine’s stranglehold on Virginia politics did not even begin to crack until the primary defeat of A. Willis Robertson in 1966. That was after Hutt’s arrival. We’ve been over this already.

        1-A. As another poster noted above, the Virginia school desegregation fight persisted well into the 1970s. The major case that finally killed off massive resistance in Virginia, Green v. New Kent County, was not decided until 1968. Prince Edward’s private segregation academy even attempted to skirt that through a variety of legal strategies until 1978 when it lost its tax exempt status for refusing to admit black students.

        1-B. As per the above, your suggestion that desegregation was a “dead issue” in 1965 Virginia is not only historically unsupported, but a viciously callous claim to make. You’re literally trying to the rewrite history of a horrendously discriminatory policy so you can make it fit the timeline of MacLean’s poorly researched and shoddily assembled book.

        2. I already gave you the citation – his 1966 article in the South African Journal of Economics. It was the primary piece of scholarly writing that Hutt produced while he was at UVA & was the research project Hutt presented to the TJC when he took the job in 1965. The paper’s argument is literally taking Buchanan’s model from Calculus of Consent and applying it to non-discrimination rules. If you can’t be bothered to look it up, I’m afraid I can’t help you any further. (BTW, you’re looking in the wrong place for the associated documentation of Hutt’s move if you’re searching unsorted papers from Buchanan. The article’s materials are in Hutt’s papers, which are spread at about 3 different collections)

        3. MacLean claims on p. 70 that the article’s timing “strongly suggests coordination with Jack Kilpatrick in an eleventh-hour push to persuade the legislators to go further.” On the same page she also describes the paper as “help to have any chance of prevailing in the General Assembly.” Both are intended to suggest the paper’s purpose was to influence the legislative debate. Note again that none of MacLean’s sources show coordination, and she similarly botches the Kilpatrick claim by citing his competitor Virginius Dabney’s newspaper. We’ve been over this as well many times.

        4. Buchanan lived in a different county on the other side of the state, and showed a career-long disinterest in the weeds of local politics. To read anything more into his silence is purely speculative on your part.

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  3. “Massive resistance collapses, so he can bring Hutt in to help fight unions, who cares if he is also fighting segregation? That’s a dead issue in 1965 anyway, let him have his fun. “…”I did not say segregation was a non-issue in 1965. I said Massive Resistance had collapsed. “

    OK, massive resistance had collapsed but Virginia was still resisting school desegregation in using other tactics, and defending the other parts of Jim Crow.

    Buchanan would have known that Hutt had, for instance, denounced the “indignities and humiliations” of South Africa’s Mixed Marriages Act when he invited him to UVA. Anti-miscegenation bans were not a “dead issue” in 1965 – Virginia was still vigorously defending its ban.

    Buchanan would have known that Hutt had called the Afrikaner government’s removal of non-whites from the voting rolls “democracy dishonoured”. But Viriginia was still defending its poll tax.

    On what grounds are you so confident that Hutt’s visit didn’t “amount to much”?

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    • Except massive resistance did not actually collapse in 1965. The Byrd machine had uncontested control of the state until Robertson was upset in the 1966 senate primary. Official resistance to school desegregation in Virginia continued until 1968 (see the landmark case of Green v. New Kent County https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/391/430 ) and persisted informally in several counties well into the 1970s.

      In fact, Hutt gave several lectures against segregation while at UVA, at a visit to UNC-Chapel Hill while he was at UVA, and at a conference attended by Nutter and Friedman in Chicago in early 1966. He even specifically pointed out the similarities between Apartheid and segregation.

      So I’m afraid that Mr. Johnson is simply rewriting history to shoehorn it into MacLean’s poorly researched and politically motivated timeline.

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      • The following issues are completely and utterly undisputed by anyone:

        1 During massive resistance hardcore segregationist consistently urged that VA shut down its public schools and go to private schools to preserve racial segregation.

        2. In 1959, just before an important vote on privatization of schools, Nutter and Buchanan circulated a report telling legislatures of the great virtues of private schooling. They would be cheaper, there would be a great diversity of offerings of different types of education, the schools would meet the state’s obligations to provide the education needed for democracy.

        3. Nutter and Buchanan then publish portions of that same report in the Richmond paper. These publications emerge even closer to the vote on privatization vote long urged by the segregationists. They repeat all their claims about private schools and *explicitly* claim they are publishing this report for the *precise* purpose of intervening in the “school crisis” debate.

        4. The state legislature rejects the privatization option. Nutter and Buchanan fail in their efforts to get the state to abandon public education.

        5. Prince Edward County *does* privatize their schools to the delight of segregationists and libertarians like Friedman and Chodorov. *None* of Nutter and Buchanan’s promised benefits emerge. African American students go without schooling completely. Buchanan makes no attempt to comment on the failure of his predictions or how his suggestions led to an incredible decrease of freedom for African Americans. He never speaks of it at all, though it happens about a hour drive from his home.

        Phil has tried to argue with the following two points:

        6. The failure of privatization leads to the collapse of Virginia’s “massive resistance” legislation. There are other forms of resistance to desegregation that prove horribly effective to maintain segregation. Virginia “moderates,” like David Mays, had long suggested those methods *in opposition to* “massive resistance. Phil’s conflation of the two forms of resistance shows his ignorance of this important distinction. See here:
        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/02/22/not-my-president-something-trump-and-i-agree-on/

        7. If Virginia’s massive resistance legislation didn’t collapse in 1959, it was all but dead after the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). It became politically expedient to stop talking about maintaining legalized segregation. Hardcore segregationists, like James J. Kilpatrick and George Wallace suddenly abandon calls to maintain Jim Crow laws at any price. As before, more subtle forms of racism continue to prove terribly effective. Phil claims there was no significant difference between 1959 and 1965. I don’t think his position can be maintained.

        Them’s the facts, folks. 1-5 are undisputed by anyone on this thread. Phil and David Bernstein would have you believe that the timing of #2 is, I dunno, just a coincidence? I actually have no idea why they think N & B would do those actions at that time. I look forward to hearing their explanation.

        They would have you believe that Nutter and Buchanan’s *announced* intention to intervene in the “school crisis” (#3) did not happen. They are literally denying that the words that Nutter and Buchanan wrote in those articles, and which I quote in this post, were ever written. Who you gonna believe? Magness and Bernstein, or your lyin’ eyes? I guess they are disputing #3, after all, but other than denying what they actually wrote, I don’t know the grounds they have for disputing it.

        My worthy opponents also have no explanation for Buchanan’s silence on Prince Edward County. “Well, he didn’t publicly intervene in political controversies” they tell me on Twitter. Well, he intervened in 1959 and then…..silence for the following five decades or so. Curiously, this is *exactly* MacLean’s argument. That the failure to convince the VA legislature on school privatization meant he moved “underground” in his attempts to influence public policy.

        In short, 1-5 are established. Phil has picked at 6-7, I’ll let the reader decide if he’s convincing or not. In my view the *only* explanation for 1-5 is that they wanted to leverage the segregationist cause for their privatization effort and, as the title of MacLean’s chapter has it, by quoting Buchanan himself: “Let the chips fall where they may.”

        Quit telling us to avert our eyes from 1-5. Either admit that the only possible explanation for them is MacLeans or offer a better one. Right now, you have not done so.

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      • Remember the main claim of MacLean’s book: since he proposed setting up the Jefferson Center in 1956, Buchanan continuously pursued his “master plan” with “evil genius” of ensuring capital supremacy and finding patrons to fund his academic school. He first used the Virginia elite and white Southern anger at the civil rights movement, then helped Charles Koch extend this strategy to the entire Republican party, which still leverages white resentment in more veiled ways.

        Whatever you think of Buchanan riding his hobby horse of school privatisation into the fray in 1959, Hutt’s visit is hard to reconcile with this theory.

        Sure, “Massive Resistance” may have collapsed by 1965, but Hutt had waded into other controversial issues that were still aflame. Why did Buchanan let him and his center be associated with a man who was prominently criticising Jim Crow, which was still very much alive in the South, and could well have remained so? (cue alternate history where Wallace deadlocks the electoral college in ’68)

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      • Because white supremacy and embrace of Jim Crow no longer served B.’s needs. Remember, the argument is not that B. was interested in promoting segregation. It was that he wanted to privatize schools, etc. He tried to use segregation to that end. When it failed he was fine with not pushing segregation because it no longer served his plan to cut back the government.

        Fits into this narrative perfectly. Hutt, like B. wanted to eliminate the power of unions and the minimum wage. As the political climate changed, it was fine w/ B. if some of the reasons given to do so were to advance the gains of African Americans.

        Neither MacLean or I have ever argued that B. was a hardcore racist who’s goal was segregation. Once you accept that fact, everything else falls into place.

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      • I didn’t say anything about whether MacLean thinks Buchanan was personally racist. You keep on saying that because the particular tactic of “massive resistance” had failed and figures like Wallace were somewhat modifying their rhetoric that Hutt’s visit does not complicate MacLean’s narrative about Buchanan, his relationship to the Virginia elite, his “master plan”, etc, etc.

        See MacLean: “But his life’s work was forever shaped by the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision… a ruling he saw not through the lens of equal protection of the law for all citizens but rather as another wave in a rising tide of unwarranted and illegitimate federal interference in the affairs of the states that began with the New Deal.”

        That’s why Buchanan imported Hutt, who was arguing against black voter disenfranchisement and miscegenation bans just before the Supreme Court issued *Loving* and *Harper vs Board of Elections*.

        And isn’t Buchanan supposed to have been the one to grasp the crucial importance of keeping African-Americans off the voter rolls because they would vote for big government?

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      • Read this piece of mine about David Mays:

        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/02/22/not-my-president-something-trump-and-i-agree-on/

        Did Mays want integrated schools? No. Did he think massive resistance would work? No. In the end, were more subtle methods like Mays’s more effective than loud massive resistance methods? Yes.

        Think of Buchanan more like Mays than like Kilpatrick. That he didn’t actively fight battles he thought he couldn’t win, like for example the poll tax which he probably thought was unconstitutional, doesn’t mean he was all for enfranchisement.

        For example. WF Buckley went through what was probably a true conversion away from racism toward egalitarianism. In, significantly 1965. That does not suddenly mean he was all for everyone voting. See this:
        http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/13/william-f-buckley-civil-rights-215129

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      • There’s an unusual but unsurprising fluidity with how Mr. Jackson is defining “massive resistance.” Let’s consider two alternative uses from the historical literature and see how they fit:

        1. Broadly defined, “massive resistance” = the era of Virginia’s formal resistance to school desegregation through government channels via a succession of policies and responses to a similar succession of court challenges. The dates for the broad definition run from Harry Flood Byrd Sr.’s “massive resistance” speech on June 26, 1956 to Green v. New Kent County, the SCOTUS decision that struck down the last major attempt to circumvent desegregation by official state policy in Virginia. That was handed down on May 27, 1968.

        2. Narrowly defined, “massive resistance” refers to the first package of laws adopted by the Virginia General Assembly to thwart integration. These were adopted in September 1956 and aggressively implemented by Gov. James L. Almond after he took office in 1958. They were also hit with a wave of lawsuits challenging their constitutionality. These were struck down on January 19, 1959 in double rulings by a federal district court panel and by the state supreme court, thus ending the specific first package of “massive resistance” laws.

        The problem here is that *neither* of these timelines fits Jackson’s idiosyncratic and MacLean-specific interpretation of Buchanan’s position. The Buchanan-Nutter school choice paper came out *after* the courts struck down the first round of the Byrd machine’s “massive resistance” laws, and Hutt arrived at UVA well before the desegregation battle had been won in Virginia.

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      • Nor does it make a lick of sense to think that B., who was never a “segregation forever” guy to realize that the writing on the wall for overt appeals to segregation in order to advance his own agenda which could easily be separated from the segregation issue in any case.

        What are you trying to get from Hutt’s visit again? What’s your point? That it shows that B. was not a committed segregationist? We all agree on that, so that can’t be it. That B. was somehow AGAINST racial segregation? Maybe it shows that in a mild way he was. And how does this influence the argument of MacLean in any way? In other words, how does it change any of the following:

        1 During massive resistance hardcore segregationist consistently urged that VA shut down its public schools and go to private schools to preserve racial segregation.

        2. In 1959, just before an important vote on privatization of schools, Nutter and Buchanan circulated a report telling legislators of the great virtues of private schooling. They would be cheaper, there would be a great diversity of offerings of different types of education, the schools would meet the state’s obligations to provide the education needed for democracy.

        3. Nutter and Buchanan then publish portions of that same report in the Richmond paper. These publications emerge even closer to the vote on privatization vote long urged by the segregationists. They repeat all their claims about private schools and *explicitly* claim they are publishing this report for the *precise* purpose of intervening in the “school crisis” debate.

        4. The state legislature rejects the privatization option. Nutter and Buchanan fail in their efforts to get the state to abandon public education. Hey Phil, remember when you wrote: ”MacLean does in fact claim that Buchanan and Nutter’s paper influenced policy. Where is her evidence?” And then I pointed out that is the opposite of what she said and if you were right that would undermine the entire thesis of her book? And then you completely stopped talking about this? As Chris Farley used to say, “that was awesome”

        5. Prince Edward County *does* privatize their schools to the delight of segregationists and libertarians like Friedman and Chodorov. *None* of Nutter and Buchanan’s promised benefits emerge. African American students go without schooling completely. Buchanan makes no attempt to comment on the failure of his predictions or how his suggestions led to an incredible decrease of freedom for African Americans. He never speaks of it at all, though it happens about a hour drive from his home.

        But, yeah, B. sponsored an anti-segregation speaker who went around telling folks that busting unions and eliminating the minimum wage would help black folks. So, that means that none of 1-5 means anything, I guess.

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      • Here’s the relevant political moment of N&B’s intervention according to MacLean:

        “In early April of 1959, a little less than two months after Buchanan and Nutter circulated their report, the commission set up to chart the way forward voted 22–16 against recommending a proposed change to the state constitution to enable the privatization of public education, a course so new that the verb “to privatize” had not yet been called into being. Some freedom-of-choice vouchers, yes; changing the constitution to further privatization, no. Infuriated, the massive resistance forces organized to build public pressure for such constitutional change. But where they had dominated the public discussion before the school closures, after the moderates’ mobilization, the divide was now closer to a draw. They needed help to have any chance of prevailing in the General Assembly.
        Buchanan and Nutter entered the debate again at this moment.”

        So, yeah, you are right. the Massive Resistance folks are on the ropes after January. They are taking hits hard. This is a last-ditch effort. They need all the help they can get! Suddenly, Nutter and Buchanan send out a report urging privatization and then publish two long newspaper articles!

        Why then? According to MacLean and me, they were hoping to leverage the segregation issue to advance their own agenda. Being political naifs, perhaps they could have done so sooner, but they didn’t.

        So, what is your explanation for the timing of these events? Why would N&B contact legislators and the public at that moment in time? You’ve heard our explanation, I’d love to hear yours.

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      • Your credulity for MacLean never fails to amaze, John.

        Since you’ve asked for an alternative account to her conspiracy theory, here’s one that’s more plausible:

        “Buchanan and Nutter both came out of Chicago where they were associates of Milton Friedman, and shared Friedman’s longstanding interest in the economics of competitive education mechanisms. They arrived at UVA in the middle of the post-Brown fight but steered clear of its daily politics (as Buchanan tended to do with all things political). After the courts struck down the General Assembly’s anti-desegregation laws on 1/19/59, a fissure erupted in the Byrd machine over desegregation. Byrd wanted to continue the hard line of no-compromise, but others in the legislature were starting to buckle and entertain notions of incrementally desegregating Virginia’s schools. Buchanan and Nutter wrote a short academic article around this time reflecting their longstanding interest in Friedman’s educational theories. Recognizing the fissure in the Byrd operation and the fact that the legislature was about to potentially change the public education system in major ways, they genuinely hoped that the outcome would entail an improvement over the segregationist status quo and offered a copy of their paper to the legislature with the hope that it would at least inject some economic literacy into the discussion, wherever it may fall. In doing so they intentionally avoided wading into the politics of segregation save for a brief preface indicating their own opposition to the coercive segregationist status quo. When deciding where to send their paper they opted to go with Virginius Dabney of the Richmond Times-Dispatch on account of his reputation as an anti-segregationist and knowing that the paper was viewed as the more moderate outlet, as opposed to Kilpatrick. Sadly, the paper was entirely ignored in public discussion and the legislature. It did not meaningfully influence the outcome and an unsettling number of legislators opted to continue the Byrd strategy by other means (e.g. Prince Edward County), thereby expressly contradicting Buchanan and Nutter’s stated opposition to forced segregation. As the battle went on, Buchanan continued to steer clear of the politics and instead focused on his academic work. On a few occasions when the issue of segregation forced itself into the discussion, he came down unambiguously on the civil rights side – e.g. praising the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when LBJ’s minimum wage policy threatened to undermine its gains. He also used his position at UVA to encourage other scholars who were deploying public choice tools in a very direct attack upon segregationism, culminating in his decision to hire W.H. Hutt in 1965. With the segregation battle still raging in Virginia (and it would continue to do so for the remainder of the decade, plus well into the next in some counties), Hutt arrived at UVA fresh from his widely acclaimed book-length assault on South African Apartheid. While at UVA Hutt proceeded to deploy the framework of Buchanan and Tullock’s “Calculus of Consent” against discriminatory laws, including publishing two scholarly articles on that exact subject and giving multiple lectures on Apartheid and segregation in Virginia and at other schools across the southeast.”

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    • Also try actually reading the newspaper articles & look where they were published. They are actually just straight-up excerpts of the school choice paper, which the Times-Dispatch split over two consecutive days. That it went to the Times-Dispatch is also notable, as that directly contradicts MacLean’s goofy conspiracy theory that they were working with Kilpatrick (who edited the competitor and aggressively pro-segregation News-Leader).

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      • Buchanan “probably thought [the poll tax] was unconstitutional”??? Once again, as Magness says, you’re defending a book that MacLean didn’t write.

        Some reminders:

        “It was not difficult for either Darden or Buchanan to imagine how a court might now rule if presented with evidence of the state of Virginia’s archaic labor relations, its measures to suppress voting or its efforts to buttress the power of reactionary rural whites by underrepresenting the moderate voters of the cities and suburbs of Northern Virginia.”

        “Buchanan’s team had no discernible success in decreasing the federal government’s pressure on the South all the way through the 1960s and ’70s.”

        The TJC was nothing more than “a quest that began as a quiet attempt to prevent the state of Virginia from having to meet national democratic standards of fair treatment and equal protection under the law.“

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      • My comment about the poll tax was simply me speculating about Buchanan. I have no idea one way or the other.

        Did you read the piece I posted about Mays? He absolutely wanted segregation but thought that the loud, obvious, massive resistance legislation would never survive court challenges. Better, he thought was to obey the letter of the law and work in quiet ways to quietly keep segregation more or less intact.

        MacLean argues, as I read her, that Buchanan’s career basically mirrors that strategy: avoid the direct call for this or that action (he learned in ’59 that that failed). Better to enact other kinds of measures that on their faces were neutral but in operation effectively achieved the goal anyway.

        Another analogy: Republicans don’t want poor black people to vote. But, coming out and SAYING such a thing brings all kinds of heat down on them. So, they say things like: “There is massive voter fraud!” Our sitting President STILL maintains that “Millions of illegals voted!!” and lots of folks believe him. This sort of thing allows them to enact all kinds of laws that have the exact same effect of keeping poor people of color from the polls without actually having a law that says “Poor people can’t vote!”

        MacLean;s argument is that the Koch bros. have been funding these sorts of activities for decades, aided by Buchanan and others. So, Buchanan’s refusal to take a stand on something like the poll tax in no way disproves her argument. In fact, it is exactly what we would expect.

        Of course, I’ve been saying all along the easiest way to prove MacLean wrong is to provide evidence of what Buchanan actually DID that shows her account is in error. That he really wanted equality for all before the law. That his recommendations that the Koch bros. enacted did NOT do the things she says they did. You’ll note that none of the criticisms of MacLean have done that. Instead they try to pick apart this citation or that citation, they strawman her positions to try to decrease her credibility. Etc. It is a sad display of trying to avoid directly confronting the case she has made. Bring the counter evidence! To his credit, this is what Phil has tried to do with all the Hutt material. I don’t think it does what he think it does, but at least he’s giving it a go.

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      • I’m having a shitty, shitty day. So, I’ll just respond to Phil with the same charity he reads MacLean

        A list of Magness’s lies:

        1. ” Buchanan and Nutter wrote a short academic article around this time reflecting their longstanding interest in Friedman’s educational theories.”

        That is a lie. They wrote a report that was never published academically. Instead they circulated it privately to Virginia policymakers. This is not the act of disinterested academics who are above the political fray. These are people who want to use the school crisis to push their pet projects into policy. Doing it in the neutral language of economics.

        Here is MacLeans citation to the paper, You’ll note it isn’t in an academic journal:

        “James M. Buchanan and G. Warren Nutter, “The Economics of Universal Education,” Report of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy, February 10, 1959, C. Harrison Mann Papers, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University (also in BHA); James M. Buchanan and G. Warren Nutter to Leon Dure, April 1, 1959, box 1, Leon Dure Papers, Manuscripts Division, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.”

        Worldcat shows this paper only exists in archives:

        http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/647877477

        Google scholar only shows it as part of the Virginia governmental reports:

        https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=Buchanan+and+Nutter+economics+of+universal+education&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C33&as_sdtp=

        So, this was no “academic paper” that was published and then they shared it with the legislature. Nor was it a draft that they eventually published. This was a report they prepared for the express purpose of entering into the policy debate which was about segregation.

        2. “they genuinely hoped that the outcome would entail an improvement over the segregationist status quo and offered a copy of their paper to the legislature with the hope that it would at least inject some economic literacy into the discussion, wherever it may fall.”

        “They genuinely hoped?” Who’s claiming to read minds now? You have no idea what they “genuinely hoped.” What we have is their printed words. The newspaper articles make no claim at all that segregation would be affected one way or the other. they discuss different curricula at different school. No mention is made about the effects on segregation. None. NO evidence.

        The second phrase, “They offered a copy” is a lie. It is not a “copy” of an academic paper: it is a paper they wrote only for the legislature to affect policy-making.

        3. “own opposition to the coercive segregationist status quo.”

        Lie by omission. They wrote: “We therefore disapprove of both involuntary (or coercive) segregation and involuntary integration.”

        You conveniently left off that last phrase Which was music to segregationist ears. Which I explain in some depth in a previous post. Why don’t you read what I wrote so you are better equipped to discuss this next time:

        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/08/06/school-vouchers-segregation/

        4. “That it went to the Times-Dispatch is also notable, as that directly contradicts MacLean’s goofy conspiracy theory that they were working with Kilpatrick ”

        Here’s what she wrote: “The timing of their efforts strongly suggests coordination with Jack Kilpatrick…” So, the timing, right on the heels of his similar editorial. And the similarity in content. But perhaps you are right. Perhaps it does not SUGGEST that. Hence, her qualified claim.

        Quite unlike your foolish and reckless claim that the venue “directly contradicts” MacLean. For it to do so it would be impossible to imagine the following: Perhaps the took it to Kilpatrick, who had a close association with the University and he told them, “Pretty weak tea for me, but I bet Dabney would take it.” Its all is speculation, which MacLean admits but you do not. Her “suggestion” may be in error. Your “directly contradicts” is absolutely an error.

        Dabney was against massive resistance but was prohibited by the papers owners to editorialize against it. David Mays, for example, was also against massive resistance but very much in favor segregation. So it is a lie to say Dabney was against segregation. And, even if he personally was, it is a lie to claim he took that stance in his paper. And, it doesn’t fucking matter anyway. The damn thing was published for public consumption in order to affect policy. THAT is the important issue.

        David Mays:

        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/02/22/not-my-president-something-trump-and-i-agree-on/

        5. “Sadly, the paper was entirely ignored in public discussion and the legislature.”

        I take exception to the “sadly” part, i think “Thank God” would be more appropriate. But, nice of you to admit that it was ignored. The admission, of course, means you were lying before when you wrote, “MacLean does in fact claim that Buchanan and Nutter’s paper influenced policy. Where is her evidence?” And this speaks volumes about your ability to understand a key moment in the text. You are just now shouting “NO NO NO!” at anything she does, even when you end up completely contradicting yourself.

        6. “the Byrd strategy by other means (e.g. Prince Edward County)…”

        The Byrd strategy WAS N & B’s strategy. Private school choice. If the black parents didn’t choose a segregated school they didn’t get one. Entirely in line with private choice. Apparently B&N never dreamed that what happened would happen. More the fools they. And more the fool you for letting them pretend their hands were clean of that tragedy.

        7. “thereby expressly contradicting Buchanan and Nutter’s stated opposition to forced segregation.”

        “while simultaneously enacting their stated opposition to involuntary integration. In the meantime, there was no freedom whatsoever to choose an integrated school. Thus, Nutter and Buchanan’s ethical stance proved to be impossible to implement in a real policy situation as anyone with half a brain would have seen at the time unless they were blinded by indifference to racial justice and completely subservient to free-market ideology.”

        There you go, I completed the thought for you.

        8. ” As the battle went on, Buchanan continued to steer clear of the politics and instead focused on his academic work.”

        The word “continued” makes this sentence a lie. He wrote a paper for an audience of policymakers and the public, therefore his retreat cannot be a continuation. Better way to say this: “Since B&N’s recommendations failed to be implemented on and, when implemented in PEC proved that none of their promised benefits obtained, Buchanan decided to work behind the scenes for the rest of his career.”

        9. “On a few occasions when the issue of segregation forced itself into the discussion, he came down unambiguously on the civil rights side…”

        More lies by ommission. His record is decidedly mixed: MacLean:

        “even Buchanan’s University of Chicago mentor, Frank Knight, expressed some concern about “racists” before a visit to Charlottesville. Buchanan responded that Chicago had far more “race hatred” than any place he had lived in the South.”

        I guess because he didn’t live in PEC?

        10. “culminating in his decision to hire W.H. Hutt in 1965.”

        More lies by ommision, since, if Hutt hadn’t been w/ B. about union-busting and minimum wage, he never would have been invited, despite his anti-apartheid activities. We actually have a counter-example from MacLean that proves this point:

        In 1960,in the middle of the PEC debacle: “Broadus Mitchell, reached out to Buchanan. Mitchell, who had resigned from Johns Hopkins University two decades before over its refusal to admit a black student, challenged the Thomas Jefferson Center to leave the realm of fine philosophical abstraction and hold a program on “democracy in education”—and, in the name of “social decency,” stand up for the integration of UVA. Buchanan answered curtly that “Virginia, as a state, has, in my opinion, largely resolved her own “democracy in education”—and, in the name of “social decency,” stand up for the integration of UVA. Buchanan answered curtly that “Virginia, as a state, has, in my opinion, largely resolved her own problems” in education. He then sent the new university president his rebuke to the “annoying” letter, calling Mitchell “a long-time joiner of all ‘soft-headed,’ ‘liberal’ causes,” and lied that his critic had made “no notable contributions” as a scholar”

        Yep, Virginia in 1960 had the whole thing pretty much solved. Including, one suspects, PEC. Those problems are “pretty much resolved” for Buchanan in 1960. Hey, since you brought up Friedman and see some parallels to their thought, what did Uncle Milty think about PEC? Hey, in 1962, he thought it was AWESOME!!!!:

        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/08/09/white-ignorance-milton-friedman/

        Thanks so much for pointing out that they got this stuff from Friedman! He thought VA had solved its problems and so did Buchanan!! I guess I was wrong all this time. It wasn’t “silence” it was approval! Behind closed doors, in private letters where no one could see (until now!).

        11. “Also try actually reading the newspaper articles & look where they were published. They are actually just straight-up excerpts of the school choice paper,”

        They ARE????? Oh wait, we know that from MacLean: “Three days later, the two economists went public with their long report advocating school privatization,”

        And I read the fucking articles and posted a long post about them and how they were perfect for serving segregationist causes:

        https://altrightorigins.com/2017/08/06/school-vouchers-segregation/

        How about YOU go read them? I had to sweat over a hot microfilm reader for 10, maybe 15 minutes to get them.

        Thanks for writing up your response Phil, Until I saw it all in one place I didn’t realize how disingenuous it actually was. It turns out I’ve been giving you WAY too much credit. You really do have nothing but a fervent hope and dream that what happened never happened. Kind of like libertarians and Prince Edward County.

        Fuck. Did I mention I’m having a shitty day?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Was James Buchanan a Racist? Libertarians and Historical Research | Fardels Bear

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