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Vice Chairperson of the Libertarian National Committee Invites Racists to Join the Libertarian Party

Image of Arvin Vohra's Facebook post.

Arvin Vohra, the Vice Chairperson of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and U.S. Senate candidate posted several racist remarks onto his Facebook page during a 24-hour period.

Vohra’s statements include:

“Taxation is theft. Racism is just an irrelevant opinion. #TaxationIsWorseThanRacism”

“Racism is bad. Statism is worse.”

“Should we [libertarians] welcome White Supremacists?”

“I’ll take a white supremacist who wants to tear down the welfare state over a government school teacher who wants to keep it.”

“Does Libertarianism allow racism? Sure. Does Libertarianism allow government schools? Nope.”

In response to the second to last post, Vohra clarified his position by stating:

“That [both white supremacists and government school teachers should be shamed] was my original position. But realizing that many supposed ˈLibertariansˈ want to keep the largest part of the welfare state, which is government schools, I’ll honestly take any replacement.”

This is not Vohra’s first encounter with controversy. Just a couple months ago, Vohra jokingly posted online: “Bad Idea: School Shootings. Good Idea: School Board Shootings.”

In February, Larry Sharpe, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for the New York gubernatorial race, resigned from the Libertarian National Committee after the LNC failed to remove Vohra over his tirade against the age of consent.

Analysis

Libertarianism, in the past and in the present, has a racism problem. One of the premier libertarian intellectuals, Murray Rothbard, wrote in support of Klan leader David Duke’s failed candidacy for Louisiana governor in 1992. Former congressman Ron Paul’s newsletters included many heinous remarks such as calling Martin Luther King Jr. a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours.” There is little evidence for much libertarian activity during the civil rights era, and many libertarians are not very supportive of federal anti-discrimination laws as demonstrated in a Libertarian Party presidential debate in 2016.

Christopher Cantwell, a neo-Nazi and an attendee at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, explained how libertarianism justifies his attitude towards discrimination:

“In libertarian philosophy, nobody ought to be compelled to associate with anyone else. People should be free to exercise complete control over their own person and property. If blacks are committing crimes, or Jews are spreading communism, discriminating against them is the right of any property owner.”

Libertarianism is not compatible with social equality. Indeed, it may stoke racial tension and justify white supremacy more than the casual libertarian would suggest.

Written by Jon Blum

Jon Blum

Jon is an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst studying economics. You can find more from him on Medium. Follow him Twitter @blumfest.

Jon is a Guest Contributor to Progressive Army.

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Sean
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I’m a hard line libertarian and am involved enough in the party that you might be able to call me an insider. Respectfully, I’d like to point out that there have been several motions made at the national level to remove Arvin Vohra from his seat. As they required a 2/3 majority instead of a simple majority, both failed, but the second failed more narrowly than the first, coming up just one vote short instead of four, as Vohra has gone more and more insane. Pretty much everyone who still voted against removing him after the school board comment is… Read more »
Heather Johnson
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This is inaccurate, hyperbole to spin a viewpoint rather than fact. Everything allows racism, because we cannot control how people think. We cannot even adequately control how people choose to behave, though law attempts to. Libertarianism simply suggests that no one has the right to initiate force upon anyone else. Of course people may defend themselves from initiations of force, fraud, coercion, but no one can initiate it. It’s super simple and often difficult for people to understand.

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Vice Chairperson of the Libertarian National Committee Invites Racists to Join the Libertarian Party