Paul Rosenberg reflects on the picture I pointed out in a recent post, and expands on a point I was trying to make- that social and economic policy is often tied up intimately with racial privilege and bigotry, and that they are historically connected. Here’s the picture, as a ‘refresher’:
But on to more, uh, incisive commentary:
But even without exhaustive searching, I’m pretty darned sure that this point hasn’t been made a whole lot: Slaveholders themselves are the origin of America’s anti-tax/anti-government tradition. This history has been well documented by Robin Einhorn in her book, American Taxation, American Slavery, which is a penetrating look at what policies were actually implemented by which politicians…
[From Einhorn herself] People who lived in freer societies (little or no slavery) with more democratic governments (annually elected local officials) were more comfortable with taxation than people who lived in less free societies (lots of slavery) with less democratic governments (appointed local officials). Liberty and democracy actually produced better and higher taxes in early American history!
This stikes at the heart of privilege, and illustrates the major problems in teabagger and libertarian ‘freedom’ rhetoric. What does freedom even mean when it does not provide protection from oppression by private and institutionalized interests?