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What Should We Do?

As described in my article, Chris Rufo’s new book proposes that the radical left under the cognomen diversity-equity-inclusion, has taken control of vast swathes of the American scene, including universities, public schools, main-stream media, and major corporations.  The positions of the radical left are inconsistent with the political positions of most third parties.

This situation is not good, either for our country or for the political chances of any of third party.  There are several steps that can be envisioned. I here pose alternatives, some of which may not survive critical examination, that appear worthy of thought. I am not proposing that any of them is necessarily the right answer, but some of these steps may serve to stimulate thinking about the topic.

Publicly-held corporations have an obvious pressure point, the boycott (as witness Bud Light).  There are also two more subtle pressure points.  First, questions can be raised in stockholder meetings.  Second,  if there is adequate backing, one may be able to run candidates for the board of directors.  Your chances of winning are poor, but some boards will decide they do not want the publicity.

Many large-city newspapers and television outlets are, in their coverage, in the grip of DEI activists. Note, e.g., the extended Los Angeles Times Editorial “Why skeptical Californians should rethink cash reparations for slavery.”  Letters to the Editor, disagreeing, are unlikely to have a significant effect.  As an alternative, readers should consider writing advertisers, saying, roughly speaking “Your advertising money is supporting this, so I won’t by buying from you.”

On the same line, some credit card companies deplatformed political sites they disagreed with.  Whether you agreed with those sites or not,to pressure the credit card companies  for most purchases you can shift to paying cash, paying off your debts, and telling the credit card company they are going to be seeing less of your business until they change their ways.

Marxist critical race theory has metastasized from an esoteric academic cult to a major political force.  Its basis remains the university, especially the non-STEM academic departments.  However, most university students are in public universities, where in many states the state legislature plays a controlling role, if it chooses to exercise it. There are then several steps, most less obvious to those outside academia.

First, most universities have ‘general education requirements’, which for students in STEM fields mean that the students must spend a year studying humanities  or social sciences rather than coures relevant to their future work.  The legislature in many states may by fiat repeal the general education requirement and require that it be replaced by in-discipline courses.  Over a period of years, for lack of students (and therefore new hires), the departments in which DEI advocates tended to lurk will be pruned down a great deal.

Second, in many states universities have bloated their administrative staff, the administrative staff through DEI offices and the like serve to harass the faculty into subservience.  Those staff segments can be eliminated.


  1. Bob Bob September 21, 2023

    The ignorance of the far-right “Marxist critical race theory” conspiracy theory aside, didn’t Libertarians used to advocate for using free market tools to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion – as well as other virtuous goals?

    The current Libertarian Party (Mises Caucus) seems to advocate for using government force against diversity, equity, and inclusion – through support of abortion bans, immigration restrictions, and other laws designed to hurt people who don’t look and think like them. They want to force people and companies (like websites and media outlets) through government fiat to platform their speech. Ultimately, they want the Jewish baker to bake a Nazi cake, through government force.

    I suppose it makes sense then that now a more moderate “libertarian” position is to use free market tools against diversity, equity, and inclusion. Boycotting credit card processors for refusing service to far-right hate groups (under the guise of “political speech”) is akin to boycotting Jewish bakers for not making a Nazi cake. But to then go after newspaper advertisers because they published an editorial advocating for government compensation (for the descendants of people enslaved as chattel under government mandate) is like going after those same bakers for baking a pro-reparations cake.

    One position is obviously worse than the other, but neither is good.

    • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | September 22, 2023

      Rufo’s volume is a thoroughly documented account of the advance and success of a particular set of ideas. It stacks up nicely next to, e.g., accounts of the advance of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, in which there are a few people of particular note, and other less well-known people whose presence mattered (red, e.g., Beller’s Quantum Dialogues for examples), except that Rufo describes a set of ideas out to destroy the American Experiment. I realize that the Mises people have odd ideas, but opposing DEI teaching via “support of abortion bans” would be unusually confused even for them. The people who are engaged in media bans are, of course, the Biden administration’s FBI apparatus and their private-sector supporters.

      • Bob Bob September 22, 2023

        Rufo’s intentional misuse of the term “critical race theory” is nothing short of racist deception and propaganda. “We will eventually turn [critical race theory] toxic, as we put all of the ‘various cultural insanities’ under that brand category. The goal is to have the public read something ‘crazy’ in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory’.” Calling it “Marxist” is also deceptive, and is reminiscent of various “cultural marxism” conspiracy theories. Marx barely mentioned race, and definitely had no part in either critical race theory, or the weird amalgamation of anti-racist ideas commonly referred to as critical race theory. One thing we do know about Marx though is that he opposed Irish immigration for the usual “they took our jobs!” nonsense. In fact, even if you talk to most avowed Marxists about racism, they will probably tell you things like “no war but class war” and that racism is just a distraction from class struggle created by the capitalist class, etc.

        Banning abortion denies equity to women, especially women who cannot afford to seek healthcare in other places. I assumed that would be clear when I wrote it. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify.

        As far as current banning of speech, are you just referencing the enforcement of existing laws, such as bans on child pornography, unlicensed distribution of copyrighted material, bomb-making instructions, etc? Or are you perhaps referencing the so-called “Twitter Files” where the Trump FBI asked Twitter to look into users violating Twitter’s own policies?

        • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | September 24, 2023


          Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my post What Should Be Done? Your remarks seem coherent enough to justify a coherent response.

          Starting with Karl Marx: You observe that Marx said rather little about race in his comments. Marx grew up in central Europe in the earlier parts of the nineteenth century. My maternal grandparents did the same, two thirds of a century later. So far as I could make out from them, though it was not a major topic of conversation, before they came to America they had not encountered people from Africa south of the Sahara. Marx was probably in a similar boat. As a result, other than his contact with French and British anti-slavery movements, as he passed through France and the United Kingdom, there was no reason for race to enter his political thinking.

          Of course, in period, at least in the United States, the Irish and the Italians were commonly referred to as two of the ‘coloured races of Europe’. As a result, when Marx opposed Irish immigration he was in fact taking what in period would be viewed as a racial position, namely people from one of the colored races of Europe, so-called, were taking jobs away from ‘real’ Americans. Before the War of the Slaveholders Rebellion, there was serious competition between the anti-slavery party and the anti-immigration party as to which would become the second party in American politics, after the Democracy. The Republican free-soil, free-labor, free-men party won out, but it was by no means a certain thing.

          As an oversimplified summary, Marx proposed that history proceeded in a series of stages including a feudal stage, a capitalist stage, and the final communist stage, rule by the proletariat. At each stage, except the last, there was a group of people who were in charge of everything in getting the benefits thereof, and there was a group of people who were in charge of very little and losing the benefits of their own labor. In feudal Europe, this was the peasantry and the nobility. In capitalism, there were the capitalists and the working class. That description was based on Marax’s experiences in Western Europe, most notably the United Kingdom.

          Rufo proposes that the details of the stages corresponds to actual social organization in the space around Marx. The example Rufo does not give was the debate, primarily between Stalin and Mao, as to whether or not a communist revolution was possible in China. Stalin was of the opinion that China could not have a communist revolution, because it did not have a significant working or capitalist class. Instead, it had a feudal peasantry, and had to go through its capitalist revolution before there was a proletariat that was able to revolt. The insight of the late Mao Tse-Tsung was that Marx’s ideas had to be rephrased in terms of the Chinese body politic, before they were applicable. In China, the peasantry was the sea through which the communist guerrillas swam as the invisible fish, so the communist revolution in China was the revolution of the working peasantry against the feudal ruling class.

          Returning to Rufo’s book, according to Rufo the brilliant insight of Angela Davis was that, in the United States, the Marxian conflict between the ruling class and the ruled class was a conflict between the races, not a conflict between persons doing different sorts of work, the white race being the ruling class and the black race being the ruled class. Other racial groups hardly entered this discussion. The net result was that the racial identitarian ideas seen in Rufo’s volume were the rational outcome of applying Marxist thinking to the actual social situation in America. Marxists who sit there saying that the important struggle is a class struggle missed the point that the same ideas could be applied with equal validity to the racial struggle.

          With respect to the abortion issue, I actually interact with people who are opposed to abortion. The opposition to abortion has extremely little to do with denying women equity, and a great deal to do with the firmly held belief of the anti-abortionists that abortion is murder and therefore that opposing abortion is the same as supporting laws against first-degree murder.

          With respect to speech bans, I was referring to the issues being litigated in federal court in CASE NO. 3:22-CV-01213, Missouri and a bunch of other states and several persons against Joseph R Biden, Jr.. That case has reached no further than a preliminary injunction being issued, the injunction being appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals, but we still can expect an appeal of the preliminary injunction perhaps to en banc hearing of the Court of Appeals and sooner or later an appeal to the Supreme Court. The actual case will meanwhile be heard. Associated with the case, other than a 150+ page ruling supporting the preliminary injunction, there is a vast body of supporting material which is accessible on PACER for a very modest fee. The preliminary injunction may be read at

          I would anticipate that one side or the other will by and by ask X to hand over the entire body of related documents, unredacted, and eventually these will be worked through enough that people will form an opinion on what was said to X/Twitter. Mind you, I expect that many if not most readers will have formed a conclusion first and then be searching for documents that can be interpreted as supporting their opinions.

          Finally, with respect to your opening words, descriptions of which might be a bit more pointed than ’words ’, some years ago I said that describing everything in sight as racist, whether it appeared to be actually related to race or not, was eventually going to have an unintended effect. The unintended effect was that, when something was labeled as racist, people who disagreed with the speaker would conclude that this something must be something good, because they judged an idea by its enemies.

          In the case at hand, Rufo’s book is surely much less racist than some of the people he quotes in the book as advocating for DEI training. The notion that precision in calculation is an example of white racism, which I have encountered elsewhere, is a noteworthy example. With respect to Rufo’s general description of affirmative action and DEI types infiltrating and distorting the Academy, I am a retired college professor, and I saw DEI in action at first hand. Rufo may well have selected a few choice cases in which the information was readily available, for example Buffalo, but his description is familiar.

  2. Nicholas Sarwark Nicholas Sarwark September 21, 2023

    The solution is to use these people power techniques to advance libertarian policies like getting corporations to divest from states that continue to tax food, or employ prison labor.

    Use the market to change the laws.

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