Slavery is a free-market, capitalist phenomenon. Slavery has almost always been abolished by acts of government that regulate the market, making it illegal. 19th century slaveowners defended their property rights in slaves in "economic freedom"-like terms that are unmistakably libertarian, differing only slightly in terms of who had natural rights. Some modern libertarians continue to make cases for slavery, such as Robert Nozick, Walter Block, Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. The private prisons that libertarians endorse (and traditional "hard labor") are really an opportunity to revive slavery. The only way to eliminate prison slavery is for government to regulate against it.
- Black History Is American History [More...]
- David Boaz writes: 'But I was asked not long ago, what’s the most important libertarian accomplishment in history? I said, “the abolition of slavery.”' This barefaced, jaw-dropping revisionism ignores the fact that all slavery was ended by government fiat, in this case during an enormous war.
- Capitalism And Freedom (Robert Nielsen review) [More...]
- "Before I read the book, I knew I would not agree with it. Even still, I was shocked at how poor an argument Friedman makes and his complete aversion to using evidence to support his claims. His defence of discrimination is disgraceful and unbelievable."
- Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin [More...]
- "[...] 1804-1805, the highpoint of what Spanish merchants called “free trade in blacks” — the privatization and deregulation of mercantile slavery, which, decades before the expansion of chattel bondage in the US south, kicked off the Atlantic World’s capitalist market revolution [....]"
- Coercion vs. Freedom: BHL vs. BRG [More...]
- John Holbo explains Bertram, Robins and Gourvitch’s post criticizing the Bleeding Heart Libertarians views on liberty and voluntary slavery. He then explains how Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok make the same errors. Follow the link to the original post.
- Confederacy (9 links)
- Many libertarians buy into the old Confederacy, States Rights, "slavery was beneficial" and other "lost cause" mythology. There is a substantial cockeyed revisionist literature on this subject, making Abraham Lincoln an enemy of freedom, claiming slavery was a beneficial institution and arguing for State's Rights.
- Denunciation Proclamation [More...]
- Andrew Napolitano's historical revisionism on slavery, the Civil War and Lincoln is brilliantly ridiculed and debunked by John Stewart and Larry Wilmore.
- John Locke Against Freedom [More...]
- John Locke’s classical liberalism isn’t a doctrine of freedom. It’s a defense of expropriation and enslavement.
- John Locke’s Road to Serfdom [More...]
- John Locke advocated for a world based on expropriation, enslavement, and serfdom.
- Leave John Locke in the Dustbin of History [More...]
- Some scholars and writers are trying to rehabilitate John Locke. They shouldn't — he was an apologist for slavery, not a champion of freedom.
- Libertarianism creates slavery [More...]
- Points out that free-market ideology and neoliberalism have created large markets for slave labor.
- Libertarians for slavery [More...]
- Mike Travers (mtraven) points out that Murray Rothbard is happy to support the collective rights of slavers over the individual rights of slaves.
- Locke’s Folly [More...]
- "Jeffersonian Democrats made a serious attempt to implement Locke’s theories. Colonization and expropriation followed."
- Neoliberal slavery and the imperial connection [More...]
- "We are experiencing now a radicalization of human degradation in unexpected proportions to the point that slavery has come back to support economic growth and wealth accumulation, even though slavery is forbidden almost everywhere, reality is that in today’s world the economy is fed by slave work."
- Not an argument: The free market would have ended slavery [More...]
- Stefan Molyneux's "The Truth About Slavery" is dismembered and ridiculed. "Even if you’re the Second Coming of Ayn Rand, you can’t deny that the profit motive was core to the entire enterprise of slavery."
- Slavery By Another Name (excerpt) [More...]
- An excerpt from the PBS documentary "Slavery By Another Name", an example of what for-profit private prison management has been in the past.
- Slavery Contracts and Inalienable Rights: A Formulation [More...]
- Roderick Long convinces himself that slavery is not libertarian by cleverly forgetting the basic libertarian myopia: all rights, including property are a coercive initiation of force.
- Tax Aversion and the Legacy of Slavery [More...]
- "Instead of reflecting a heritage that valued liberty over all other concerns, they [antitax and antigovernment attitudes] are part of the poisonous legacy we have inherited from the slaveholders who forged much of our political tradition." A precis of Robin Einhorn's American Taxation, American Slavery.
- Taxation Is Slavery
- A common libertarian theme, that interprets taxation of X% as slavery of X% of your time. The easy response is that you can emigrate: something slaves, serfs, peons and other chattel are not permitted. There is also a ridiculous "Lost Cause"/Sovereign Citizens theme that the 14th Amendment made all of us slaves to the federal government.
- The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (book) (1 link)
- The libertarian and the genie.
- A libertarian finds a magic lamp, and when he mixes his labor with it a genie appears. The genie tells him he can have three wishes...
- The Libertarian Case for Slavery [More...]
- David Ellerman (publishing as J Philmore) makes a case that modern libertarians such as Nozick should support voluntary selling of oneself into lifelong slavery the same way one should be able to sell services for any shorter period of time.
- The White Ignorance of Milton Friedman [More...]
- Milton Friedman's flawed, ahistorical excuses for libertarian revisionist history about slavery, discrimination, racism and other sins of capitalism. Still repeated endlessly by libertarians today.
- Voluntary slavery (Wikipedia) [More...]
- "In ancient times, this was a common way for impoverished people to provide subsistence for themselves or their family and provision was made for this in law."
- What the Economist Doesn't Get About Slavery--And My Book [More...]
- "Had the Economist actually engaged the book’s arguments, the reviewer would have had to confront the scary fact that the unrestrained domination of market forces can sometimes amplify existing forms of oppression into something more horrific."
- When The Economist blamed Irish peasants for starving to death [More...]
- "Even so, its extraordinary blindness to how real life economic power relations work is reminiscent of the magazine’s beginnings in the 19th century, when it fulminated at the very idea that the British government should do anything about the Irish famine that was happening on its doorstep. After all, it was the peasants’ own fault that they were starving."
Right. If your slave gets sick, then it's in your financial self-interest to hire a doctor to protect your investment. But if your wage employee gets sick, you can leave him to die and hire someone else. Apparently libertarians oppose slavery because it was too humane.
LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), in comments of "Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it."
The more sophisticated libertarian philosophers -- Robert Nozick for example -- tend to build their libertarianism on extremely vague statements that command a high degree of acceptance in our society: for example, “individuals own their own bodies.” Now it is worth noting that, while this is a pretty uncontroversial claim in any Western democracy [...] Large numbers of people through history have believed, and still believe, that women, children, black people, kulaks, slaves and so on did not own their own bodies.
James Boyle, "Foucault in cyberspace -- Chapter 2: Libertarianism, Property and Harm" pg. 21.
Contra Locke, property is not made by mixing labor: it is made by mixing coercion.
Mike Huben, "Interview With Mike Huben, Creator Of Critiques Of Libertarianism"
How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the negroes?
Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny
The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" III.2.10
Further, there can be no such thing as “involuntary intercourse” for the female slave whose owner is a pimp. In her slave contract, she has already agreed to alienate her body for such sexual services. Yes, it is indeed, and only, rape if her owner does not consent to this sexual intercourse. And, if the woman in question objects, which she has no right to do, ask her if she really wishes she had not made the contract in the first place, and instead allowed her child to die.
Walter Block, "Why Libertarianism is Not a Liberal View, and a Good Thing Too; Reply to Samuel Freeman" pg. 551