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It Occurs to Me that…

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… the many “Progressives” who extol the alleged ethical virtues of ‘buying local’ have much more in common than they realize not only with the many conservatives who extol the alleged ethical virtues of restricting immigration, but also with (the fortunately fast-falling number of) racists who extol the alleged ethical virtues of minimizing contact with people of ‘other’ ethnicities.

If you believe that proximity, in and of itself, is an ethically relevant consideration – if you insist that your economic choices ought, for ethical reasons, to be guided at least partly by the circumstantial identities of those with whom you dealĀ (‘fellow townsperson,’ ‘local butcher,’ ‘nearby farmer,’ etc.) – then you attach positive moral weight to dealing with certain kinds of people, rather than with others, not because of these people’s character or merit or of the quality or terms of what they offer but, rather, merely because of their circumstantial identities.

This attitude is neither liberal nor progressive.

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