Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean has a book to promote, so she’s out on the speaking circuit trying to rev people into buying it. Recently, she told an audience that conservatives and free-market libertarians often “seem to be on the autistic spectrum.” PJ Media has more:
MacLean is the author of Democracy in Chains, a left-leaning missive against Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, a supporter of free markets and small government. In her book, MacLean contends that Buchanan only became libertarian in a “last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power.”
When asked by an audience member what was the source of Buchanan’s libertarian philosophy, MacLean whispered that she “didn’t put it in the book,” but added “I’ll say it here.”
“It’s striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum. People who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have kind of difficult human relationships sometimes,” offered MacLean.
So, is anyone going to trust the wisdom of a professor who believes that she’s telling a secret to a public audience that’s not going to get out? But Toni Airaksinen makes some valid points:
There are three issues here: 1) there is no evidence Buchanan was on the autism spectrum, 2) there is no evidence correlating autism and any political philosophy, and 3) MacLean wrongfully claims that people on the spectrum lack solidarity and empathy.
“If we take the most positive interpretation of her views, she’s arguing that libertarianism is highly problematic because mentally ill people came up with it; if we take a more negative interpretation of her views, she’s arguing that libertarianism is malevolent because autistic people think in malevolent ways,” said Champlain. “One can only imagine what conclusions one might reach with the latter understanding,”
This is simply mainstreaming leftist hate against conservatives and libertarians, this time with a dose of autism slander thrown in for good measure.
People on the left hate anyone with whom they disagree. (“Hate” being the operative word here.) The arguments disappear, the discussions are not allowed, and in their place the void is filled with statements that simply demonize their intellectual opponents.
This is a dangerous way to behave, and it is at the root of the New Fascist Democratic Party.
Hat Tip: PJ Media
Image Credit: poppet with a camera