which Ms. Wortham calls “spiritual separatism,”nare revealed, as in the casenwhere blacks assert the superiority ofnblack culture while at the same time contendingnthat they deserve compensatoryntreatment because they have been victimizednby white society. Ms. Worthamnalso points out that many blacks andnmembers of ethnic groups inflatentheir own sense of self-esteem and hidentheir individual inadequacies by identifyingnthemselves solely as members ofntheir race, religion or culture.nBut here lies the rub, for Ms. Wortham,ngood libertarian that she is, assumesnthat an individual’s self-worthncomes only from his own efforts, notnfrom his identification with a social collective.nThus she condemns as weaknessnany attempt by blacks to take pride innthemselves simply as blacks. No doubtnsuch an effort may be subject to all thenpathological weaknesses Miss Worthamndiscovers there—the contradictions, selfdeceptions,nhidden weaknesses, blusternand intimidation—but surely it is, basically,na healthy thing. Her stricturesnagainst black pride and other black responsesnto living in a white society saynas much about her libertarian bias asnthey do about the realities of the blacknsituation.nLibertarianism brings to an analysisnThe Gist of DeviationnThe Village Voice of November 25-nDecember 1, 1981, offers a strikingnexample of how a dead writer is, by nature,nunable to say, “Wait a minute . . . that’snnot what / had in mind …” New YorknCity Council president Carol Bellamy readna passage from Intruder in the Dust:nSome things you must always benunable to bear. Injustice and outragenand dishonor and shame. No matternhow young you are or how oid younhave got. Not for kudos and not fornn^m^^m^m^nChronicles of Culturenof race and other social problems a rationalisticnegoism which portrays thenindividual not only as being capable ofndirecting his own destiny, but as beingnresponsible for the very circumstancesnwhich influence and sometimes directnindividual behavior. Thus, it is no excusento say that someone cannot helpnhimself, for libertarians say in effectnthat a person’s attitude defines socialnreality. They refuse to recognize thatnour human natures are as much socialnas individual. For we really cannot directnour own destinies to the extent thatnone of Ayn Rand’s fictional heroes can,nnor are we permitted (by moral laws withnfar more legitimacy than those of thenstate) to make up our own set of valuesnas the libertarians assert. What we arenreally free to do is to recognize an objectivenmorality and purpose which existnbeyond our desires and wills and not tonerect such a reality on our own. The applicationnof the libertarian point ofnview to the race problem finally has anweird conclusion, for Ms. Worthamncomes very close to blaming the evilnof racism on its victims (significantlynshe denies the concept of original sin).nSpeaking of a victim of discrimination,nshe says, “[h]is sense of inferiority existednbefore discrimination occurred,nand it is his sense of inferiority that al-nLlBERAL Cl’LTlJRK |nmoney in the bank, neither. Justnrefuse to bear them.nThis was supposed to mean that WilliamnFaulkner urged all of us to accordnhomosexuals the right to tutor little boysnin the New York public schools and servenas cops in order to protect S&M bars. •nnnlows discrimination or antipathy tonhave such a debilitating effect on himn… his actual feelings of inferiority arenalways self-imposed.”nShe argues, in effect, that the victimsnof racism become its victims only becausenthey allow themselves to be affectednby the attitude of others—as ifnit were possible not to be! And, again,nshe refuses to admit the legitimacy ofnblack pride on the principle that whatnan individual has not made by his ownnefforts, he is not logically entitled to asna source of self-esteem. Yet, why not?nWhy is pride of family, or nation, or culturenor, yes, even race, illegitimate exceptnon the basis of that theory ofnrational egoism that denies to man bothnhis social reality and his intuitions ofnvalue that cannot always be fully articulated.”nThe great failure of libertarianismnin treating the race problem isntwofold: it denies that racism is an evilnthat actually affects unwilling victims,nand it refuses to acknowledge the legitimacynof racial (and ethnic) identity. Thengreat strength of the libertarian positionnlies in its exposure of the injustice inherentnin the affirmative-action policiesnof the Federal government.nBut even in its analysis of affirmativenaction there is a difficulty in the libertarianismnespoused by Ms. Wortham, fornthis philosophy claims that the solenfunction of the state is to protect thensovereign rights of individuals. But innorder to do this the state must promulgatenlaws which encourage us to respectneach other’s rights. This is thendilemma of the libertarian, for the protectionnof rights implies what he seesnas an unacceptable intrusion of statenpower over the individual, inasmuch asnthe state must try to influence people tonact and think in a certain way. That isnwhy the Founding Fathers encouragednfree expression of religion and whynAmerica has a stake in the establishmentnof racial amity, harmony and justice.nDespite the insights it offers, Ubertarianismnhas only a limited contributionnto make toward the achievementnof this goal. •n