Liberal Duke Professor: Libertarians ‘On Autism Spectrum’, Lack Empathy

Liberal Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean declared during a recent lecture that libertarians “seem to be on the autism spectrum” and “don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others.”

MacLean recently released a book titled Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

On February 7, MacLean gave a lecture regarding the thesis of her book at the New York City Unitarian Church of All Souls, Campus Reform reports.


When asked by someone in the crowd about the American libertarian movement, and the motivations of Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, she speculated that libertarian views may be the result of being autistic.

“As an author, I have struggled with this, and I could explain it in different ways. I didn’t put this in the book, but I will say it here,” she answered. “It’s striking to me how many of the architects of this cause seem to be on the autism spectrum—you know, people who don’t feel solidarity or empathy with others, and who have difficult human relationships sometimes.”

The professor added that her opinion is merely speculation, but the discussion of “autistic libertarians” continued.

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