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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 195 of my late colleague Walter Williams’s paper “W.H. Hutt and The Economics of the Colour Bar,” which appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of the Journal of Labor Research (original emphasis):

Hutt argued, much to the disdain of his critics and Marxists everywhere, that it was not South African businesses that provided the undergirding for apartheid. Apartheid was costly and inconvenient to South African businessmen. It was forced on them through the superior power of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party acting on the economic interests of white workers, labor unions, and farmers. South Africa’s labor unions often found moral support among members of Great Britain’s labor unions and imported some of their strategies. The fact that labor unions and workers generally were the strongest supporters of apartheid is no more complex than the recognition that competition is always between buyer and buyer, and seller and seller. If a buyer seeks to obtain monopoly power and wealth, he will endeavor to exclude buyers – not sellers. Likewise if a seller seeks monopoly power and wealth, it pays him to endeavor to exclude other sellers – not buyers. Unions represent workers who are sellers of labor services. As such, they can achieve monopoly power and wealth by excluding competing sellers. In the case of South Africa, they are black, Indian, and Coloured workers.

DBx: As Walter’s review of Hutt’s 1964 book makes clear, W.H. Hutt (pictured here) was a true liberal who abhorred racism, cherished freedom, and understood how the state is often used to create and to perpetuate unjust privileges at the expense of the masses. (The current effort by the likes of Nancy MacLean and other so-called ‘scholars’ to cast Hutt as a racist is – to put it mildly – tendentious nonsense. And anyone who falls for this nonsense thereby reveals his or her unseriousness as a thinker.)