Racism, Freedom of Speech and Mikko Ellila

Prodos has posted on his blog the English translation of Mikko Ellila’s essay. See http://prodos.thinkertothinker.com/?p=325.

Mikko’s essay has some racist notions. While I totally disagree with those notions, I still uphold his right to freedom of speech. Speech isn’t force. If individual rights are to be respected, everyone must be permitted to express any ideas, no matter how false or unpleasant. Ina freemarketplace of ideas, the best and truest ideas win out in the culture eventually. Once some types of speech are prohibited, any other type of speech can be next. I uphold the right to freedom of speech for Mikko, as well as Don Imus and Howard Stern, as well as Nazis and Klansmen and even Al Gore and John Kerry, despite the degree to which they all offend me. Every dictatorship controls speech because the dictator knows it is in trouble once the people learn the truth.

For a vision of a world without freedom of speech, see Ray Bradbury’s novel “Fahrenheit 451”. (Incidentally, Ray Bradbury has expressed anger at Michael Moore for stealing and distorting his title without permission,for Moore’s so-calleddocumentary film with a similar title).

Having defended Mikko’s right to write anything he wants, I will now comment on why I disagree with his essay. Mikko’s essay suggests that members of a race share the same traits. Even if some members of the same race share certain traits,it isvirtually never true that all members do,unless it is a meaningless and irrelevant physical trait that defines the race such as skin color.

In life, one deals with one person at a time, not all members of a race. (Even when addressing a group, you are addressing each individual in the group.)Each person creates his own personality, and achieves what he is able to or wishes to, based on the choices he makes and actions he takes within the context of his level of freedom, knowledge and ability, and the limitations imposed on him by his circumstances. Each person is an individual and his race is irrelevant. What he shares or doesn’t share with other members of his race has no bearing on howyou interact with him.

If you recognize reality, you treateach person as an original, unique,irreplaceable self-created individual. There is no collective mind, only individual minds. (There is a Collective Soul, but that’s just a rock group, who has admitted to taking its name from a line in Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead.”)

Individualism is the only way to fight and end racism. Taking each person as unique and respecting each person’s rights equallyleaves no room for considering other members of his group. Capitalism is the only system that rewards individual effort and allows anyone to achieve what he can on his own initiative,regardless of any facts about any other members of his race or group. Individualism and Capitalism are the means to end racism.

For a more eloquent discussion of these issues, please see Ayn Rand’s essay “Racism” in her book “The Virtue of Selfishness” excerpted at http://freedomkeys.com/ar-racism.htm..

See alsoGeorge Reisman’s Essay “Capitalism: The Cure for Racism” excerpted at http://www.capitalism.net/excerpts/1-931089-07-8.pdf and available at http://www.capitalism.net/gr_pamph.htm.

See also Peter Schwartz’s essay “The Racism of Diversity” at http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3399

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