Democracy in Chains and Buchanan on school integration - Georg Vanberg writes for The Volokh Conspiracy

Friday, September 1, 2017

The central rhetorical strategy of Professor MacLean’s book is the insinuation that Buchanan (and others working in the public choice tradition) were motivated by racial animus, and a desire to maintain the dominant position of a privileged, white, male elite. According to MacLean, this led them to develop a particular approach to thinking about politics, and to advocate for institutional and constitutional rules that, according to Professor MacLean, institutionalize (among other ills) racist practices. Buchanan’s letters to Seldon directly contradict this unsubstantiated characterization of Buchanan’s motivations and views. More importantly, the attitudes that Buchanan expresses in his letters are entirely consistent with what I take to be the foundation of Buchanan’s academic work, and his contractarian political philosophy: a fundamental commitment to the equal treatment of all individuals, and opposition to institutionalized privilege for anyone

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