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Wanjiru Njoya



Articles by Wanjiru Njoya

Is Private Property Simply a Racial or Social Construct?

5 days ago

In a 1964 article in the Yale Law Journal titled The New Property Charles Reich argued that “government largesse” is an increasingly important source of wealth and should thus be understood and regulated as a new form of property. Reich argued that “Property is a legal institution, the essence of which is the creation and protection of certain private rights in wealth of any kind” and that “Property is not a natural right but a deliberate construction by society.”Critical race theories build on this premise of property as a social construct, by asserting that racial identity is essential to the definition and regulation of property rights. They assert that any defense of property rights that does not explicitly mention race is unjust or at any rate incomplete.

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The Hazards of “Colorblind Equality”

7 days ago

The words of Lewis Carroll are often cited in reference to the culture wars and the redefinition of words whose meaning used to be regarded as plain.“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”This is the fate that befell the phrase “equal opportunities,” which has been used to justify all manner of “diversity, equity and inclusivity” (DEI) schemes. It will also be so with “colorblind equality,” a phrase now being championed by egalitarians as a counterpoint to DEI. Egalitarians are committed to promoting equality in

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The Siren Song of Equality

10 days ago

The “racial equality” debates are characterized by evolving concepts and terminology in a constant search for better ways to express the ideals and values of the protagonists. The mantras of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) are now under increasing attack as several states move to ban DEI programs. In search of an alternative conceptual foundation for their equality schemes, many liberals (both progressive and conservative) who wish to promote equality have proposed that a better alternative would be to unite around a concept of “colorblind equality,” which would reflect Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.Does this pursuit of racial equality pass muster from a natural-rights libertarian perspective? To answer that question, this article draws upon lessons from

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An Optimistic Strategy for Liberty

16 days ago

A strategy for liberty must be both optimistic and realistic.Perennial optimists are sometimes tempted to ignore or minimize hazards, their answer to every challenge being somewhat lackadaisical: “Don’t worry, it will be fine.” They make the mistake of supposing all that is needed to surmount any challenge is a good bout of optimism. They can be heard, for example, assuring us that simply pronouncing the slogan “go woke, go broke” will scatter the enemies of liberty. They believe the Civil Rights Act would work very well if we would only clarify the difference between “equal opportunities” and “equal outcomes.” As Lew Rockwell has observed:It’s conservatives, not liberals, who are naive about the real meaning of anti-discrimination law. They say they love the

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The False Consensus on Egalitarianism

19 days ago

The boundaries of contemporary public debate are artificially constrained by egalitarian values. Both progressive liberals and classical liberals are opposed to the more-outlandish versions of wokery, but many consider egalitarianism to be a good idea in principle as long as it is not taken “too far” by communist ideologues. The ongoing purge of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) schemes at universities in Republican states has closed offices and fired staff to wide acclaim, but it has at the same time retained a commitment to promoting some form of equality that they generally describe as “colorblind equality.”For example, in Florida, “Three senior UF [University of Florida] officials said in the memo that despite the elimination of the diversity, equity and

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Foreign Aid and the Politicization of Economic Life

23 days ago

The conservative government in the United Kingdom champions the view that giving more foreign aid to developing countries will fuel economic growth that, as a bonus, will help to resolve the ongoing migration crisis. The international development minister has explained the government’s reasoning, namely that “giving development aid to countries was morally ‘the right to do,’ but a core argument should also be that it prevented refugees and migrants heading to Britain.”The government’s hope is that sending foreign aid to the Third World will discourage economic migration to the West. Under pressure to stem the flow of refugees and asylum seekers attracted by the UK’s generous welfare state, the Home Secretary has duly come up with a plan to “stop the flight of

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The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

24 days ago

New York City’s government has imposed draconian rent controls. The natural outcome, as economists note, has been massive shortages, as apartment owners no longer have an incentive to rent empty apartments.Original Article: The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

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The Presumption of Innocence Is under Attack

March 19, 2024

One of the most pernicious aspects of civil rights law is that it has abolished the presumption of innocence. Motive and intention are irrelevant in establishing liability for discrimination.Under the concept of disparate impact established in the notorious case of Griggs v. Duke Power (1971), any employment policy or practice that operates to exclude black people “is prohibited, notwithstanding the employer’s lack of discriminatory intent.” As held in Griggs: “Congress directed the thrust of the Act to the consequences of employment practices, not simply the motivation. More than that, Congress has placed on the employer the burden of showing that any given requirement must have a manifest relationship to the employment in question.”Any practices having disparate

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A Principled View of Nations and Nationalism

March 14, 2024

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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Critical Race Theory and the Courts: Judicial Injustice

March 13, 2024

In her dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court affirmative action case, Justice Ketanji Jackson began by announcing that “gulf-sized race-based gaps exist with respect to the health, wealth, and well-being of American citizens.”Justice Jackson argues that these race-based gaps are caused by legacies of oppression; in her view, the only question to be debated is how to eliminate those gaps. She considers it to be self-evident that race-based gaps are explained by historical events, stating that the gaps “were created in the distant past, but have indisputably been passed down to the present day through the generations.” She describes this “intergenerational transmission of inequality” as “well documented” and argues:Given our history, the origin of persistent

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Free Markets and the Antidiscrimination Principle

March 9, 2024

If we understand human rights as rights derived from the concept of self-ownership, it becomes clear that there is no such right as the right not to be discriminated against. I have a right to speak but no right to force others to listen to me or to “amplify” my voice. I am at liberty to go about my lawful business, but I have no right to force others to watch me or recognize me, much less to demand that anyone should take action to make me “feel seen.” I have the right to embrace my personal or cultural identity but not to force others to celebrate that identity.Classical liberalism promotes contractual freedom, freedom of association, and free speech, freedoms that by the same token denote the right of others not to enter into contracts, not to associate with

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A Principled View of Nations and Nationalism

March 2, 2024

In Nations by Consent Murray Rothbard draws an important distinction between the nation and the state. While he regards the state as predatory, exploitative, parasitic and criminal, he does not view nations formed by consent as coterminous with the state. In his view the concept of the nation and the aspiration to form nations by consent reflect “subjective feelings of nationality based on objective realities” of time and place into which people are born. Rothbard explains that “The "nation" cannot be precisely defined; it is a complex and varying constellation of different forms of communities, languages, ethnic groups, or religions.”While the concept of nationalism can be and is often used by states to persuade people to support statist goals, for example when

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The Tyranny of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

February 24, 2024

In Freedom and the Law, Bruno Leoni argues that the main threat to liberty comes not from overweening officials but from the law that empowers them. As Murray Rothbard puts it, “The real and underlying menace to individual freedom is not the administrator but the legislative statute that makes the administrative ruling possible.” In that light, we can see that woke tyranny does not come from the self-important diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officers who claim to enforce “our shared values” but from the legislation that vests power in them. The real threat comes from the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Without the Civil Rights Act, DEI officers would have no cover for their preposterous schemes and polices. What right would they have to command people to kneel to

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Legacies of Injustice and Racial Inequality

February 18, 2024

Progressives argue that free markets stand in the way of economic and racial equality. In fact, free markets are the only vehicle that can help make people more equal.
Original Article: Legacies of Injustice and Racial Inequality

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Human Rights and the Public Good

February 17, 2024

Natural rights are often regarded with deep suspicion by lawyers and economists, who are wary of the wild and extravagant demands framed in the language of human rights. A good example is the United Nation’s list of fundamental human rights, which Antony Flew derides as absurd in “Could There Be Universal Natural Rights?”:
“A right to social security” (Article 22) . . . “the right to . . . periodic holidays with pay” (Article 24) . . . “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family . . . and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (Article 25) . . . “the right to education. Education shall be

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