Three accusations about racism are being hurled at libertarianism. As libertarianism ascends in political prominence, the accusations will get louder.
Libertarianism cannot eliminate racism from society. This is true. But the demand for a racist-free society is a totally unreasonable demand and cannot be used as a gauge of failure. Racism is an idea, and no political system can remove a thought from society or from man’s mind. The most common (and non-libertarian) approach is to punish or confine people who come to the ‘wrong’ conclusions. That is, to impose thought control. Censorship usually backfires, however, because ideas are like springs; the more force presses down on them, the stronger they become.
By contrast, freedom of speech exposes the ugliness of racism whenever a racist speaks. Freedom of speech offers the only effective ‘cure’ for a bad idea: namely, a good one. Those who would ban thoughts through government or other force reveal an utter lack of better or good ideas. In fact, they display an intolerance for ideas that is as deep as and more harmful than the intolerance of those they attack for being ‘wrong.’ -