The Apple Situation Buckley: I hasten to admit that I do not reject violence, nor does the President of the United States, nor his predecessor, nor the leaders of the opposition party, as occasionally, sometimes necessarily, the only instrumentality by which freedom can be attained. It seems to me curious that anyone should find an anomaly in the notion that one is under certain circumstances prepared to use violence when it is a generally known datum that we are spending 55 billion dollars a year in order to prepare ourselves for the use of violence under certain circumstances, violence to be sure used primarily for preventive reasons, which is why National Review, back when Mr. Dugger was not reading it, was advocating that violence be threatened against the communization of Cuba, why we recalled in 1959 that the Demo party had pledged itself to a policy of containment, and had said dating back ten years before that we were pledged to the use of force if necessary to contain Soviet imperalism, why in fact, of course, why in fact President Monroe pledged if necessary the use of violence for the collective benefit of this hemisphere, why indeed a left-winger or a socialist, a man who tried very hard to govern his country without the use of violence, President Romulo Betancourt, came out a week ago and begged us in God’s name to use violence in order to do something about a Cuban situation which itself irradiates a continued state of violence in Latin America. So, let me say, Mr. Dugger, that I’m not in the least embarrassed, on the contrary I am proud to proclaim that under certain circumstances violence is not only an efficacious but a noble instrument, and anybody who takes an oath to defend the constitution of the United States and to protect if from its enemies domestic and foreign is not presumably limiting his allegiance to the protection of it by the use of all the oratorical instruments we have at our disposal. If Mr. Dugger’s departure to foreign policy, on which I hope we will have an opportunity to touch later, is attenuated, let me say that I don’t discuss it as a result of any embarassment as a result of his analysis that went before. He said that three years ago he was against the public accommodations act, now he isn’t. The presumption of course is that his thinking has progressed. Why, he says, because during those three years he has been fortunate enough to have a dramatic intuition. That dramatic intuition being that personal rights should prevail over property rights. My ignorance extends to the point of saying that I do not know how to distinguish between the two. I do not understand property except as a personal right. If I own an apple and 10 The Texas Observer seek to exercise my right to consume it, whose right am I talking about? The apple’s right to be consumed by me? On the contrary, property is a personal right. It has been recognized as such by all of the morphologists of freedom since the great intuitions into the nature of freedom in the 16th and 17th century, and for us to derive this false disjunction, this cliche that personal rights should prevail over property rights, is for us to continue what has been in effect a war of attrition against the concept of property as a right. For Mr. Dugger, the right to express himself, to express his free speech, tends in his own personal heirarchy to exceed in devotion in allegiance his right to dispose of his one suit as he sees fit, and this is certainly his privilege, but the overwhelming majority of the pedple who enjoy freedom tend to express their enjoyment of that freedom by the disposition of their property: That $50 a week, that $75 a week, that million dollars a week, whatever it is. Use it for education, use it for charity, use it to bring up your children, use it for whatever purpose, and the notion that we can continue philosophically to assault the idea of private property because it becomes like the Negro, some sort of a sub-statused right, in my judgement tends to paralyse discussion and encourages the kind of thoughtless demogogy that is unfortunately backing the position from which Mr. Dugger only three years ago was emancipated. Kissel: We will allow Mr. Dugger a response, then we will open it to a few brief questions before going to the next issue so those of you who have questions you must hie yourselves down to the microphone here so that we can hear you. We’ll let Mr. Dugger respond. Dugger: I’m sure everyone wants to get on to the questions quickly, so I’ll just respond very briefly. Yes, owning the apple is a human right and so is buying it, and I believe I began by saying that I believe property rights are a human right, which is difficult to conceive of separate from being a personal right, and so is the right to buy the apple. Now, I don’t assume that I have progressed in the last three years. I’m certainly glad that Mr. Buckley does. I do, to reassert my view, which is stark and simple compared to the subtle convolutions which have been woven around it. I do wish to reassert my view, that this is a subjective question, not one for dramatic, but one for troubled intuition, and I certainly respect anyone with a contrary feeling in the matter, or conclusion, but mine is that progress is served by exerting what legislative force can be within the traditions of the Constitution exerted on the question of letting the Negro buy the apple. Now on the question of force just for a moment, I think we shall be getting into that in the questions on foreign policy which are on the agenda, but I do want to make one thing clear, it is true that most of the people in the Democratic Party who have become its elected leaders are committed to the use of force in a number of situations. The difficulty, in the background here where there is perhaps some demogogue working behind me, is that we are thrust forward as spokesmen in some way, but I have no sense of being anyone’s spokesman, including the Democratic Party’s, and have only my own opinion. My own opinion is that the party went too far in pledging the use of nuclear force in various situations, that it went too far under the late President Kennedy, and I think that although my position may not be consistent with that of the Democratic Party, I may have some remote and faint but persistent claim to internal consistency. Kissel: May we have a couple of quick questions: first one for Mr. Buckley, please. Do we have one? Brave soul, if not we’ll continue on? Would you come down here please to ask them. Those who have questions, run down and we’ll see if we can catch you, I mean literally run. My, that’s a slow run. Next question will be for Mr. Dugger. This one is for Mr. Buckley. QUESTION: Could you clarify for us please, sir, something of your belief regarding the attaining of the vote for the Negro in the deep South? I know you spoke to the question, but I did not get your view. Buckley: Yes sir. In my judgement, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States clearly imposes on the federal government the right to protect every person who is qualified to vote for the numerous legislators of the state to participate in federal elections. Now having said this, lest I sound too ingratiating, let me confess certain contextual misgivings. I do not believe in the universal franchise. I deplore the universal franchise. I happen to think it is a travesty of democracy and a superstition of mischievous proportions. Having said that, therefore, I do not believe nor would I subscribe to any movement anywhere in the world that believes in one man, one vote, because as I say, I consider it a travesty on the very good idea of democracy. So that if the citizens of Mississippi sincerely believe that the Negro population tends by and large, were it emancipated, to be. unfit to rule, if it feels that it is as unfit to rule as manifestly it was during the 30 or 40 years during the Reconstruction, then I would say that Mississippi has a perfect right under the Constitution and under the laws of morality to say we will limit the franchise, we will apply an intelligence test, or what-‘ have-you, but let this test be applied impartially, this I think it would be the business of the federal government to insist on. I’ve heard it said, if they had a serious intelligence test in Mississippi it would end up disqualifying 90% of the Negro voters and 78\(X of the white voters. I don’t know what the statistics are, and they are irrelevant to this discussion, but having said that, I do believe that it is the
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