Why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was Anti-Freedom
Before I go any further, I should note one thing so that my position is not misunderstood. I am not opposed to the entirety of the Civil Rights Act but only the interference with private property. Pre-1964, there were laws enforcing segregation. The advocates for the Civil Rights Act were right in getting rid of these laws, but they were wrong in mandating what another person should do with their property.
This is where most simply have a mental block and are incapable of even thinking for a second the way libertarians think about property. “What!? You’re saying you think people should have a right to stop blacks from coming into their restaurant? That’s despicable!” I guess it is somewhat heartening that people are so anti-racist, but my optimism is lost when I find out people are so anti-racist they’re willing to use violence to force their views on someone else. If you are one of those individuals, try to be open-minded about this particular topic.
When it comes to the freedom of speech, it’s not popular speech that needs protection. It’s controversial speech. Popular speech has no one opposed to it, no one who even cares to violate it. It’s the unpopular speech where there is a majority of individuals, so opposed to the content of the speech that they might even be willing to use violence to stop it from occurring. This same concept could be applied to all freedoms. It’s not popular things that people do with their liberty that need to be protected; it’s unpopular things.
All rights are property rights. You own your own body so you can’t be a slave to someone else. You own your own mind, so you are free to do with it as you wish, as long as you are not threatening or directly harming someone else. You own your own voice, so you are free to do with it as you wish, as long as you are not threatening or directly harming someone else. You own your own property, so you are free to do with it as you wish, as long as you are not threatening or directly harming someone else.
If I own an apple, should I be forced to sell it to someone I don’t want to sell it to? Do I really own the apple if I can’t choose who I’m going to sell it to? Maybe I don’t want to sell it to a communist. Maybe I don’t want to sell it to a low bidder. Maybe I don’t want to sell it to a black person. But if it’s my property, don’t I have the right to choose?
Not saying I advocate racism when it comes to people selling services/products from their own property, but I do advocate their right of association. After all, it is the same right of association that allows a person to choose who they will be friends with, who they spend time with, and who they will let into their bedroom. And obviously we wouldn’t infringe on these rights, would we? We only infringe for some reason when it comes to property: and that reason is the history of segregation and slavery in America.
Others will argue that it’s insane to compare property for public accommodation with property that is purely for private interests; that it’s a gigantic stretch to compare a person’s restaurant with a person’s bedroom; that we can draw a clear line between these two things; and that the slippery slope argument doesn’t really apply.
[You can start at 1:43, but special attention from 2:52 – 3:07]
I’m pretty sure the government is already in our bedroom with the Patriot Act. Looks like we didn’t stop soon enough?? The sad truth is that the slippery slope already exists.
If we want to encourage freedom, we should do it without being hostile to freedom. We should do it without imposing violence to force our beliefs on others. We shouldn’t force a property owner to let certain individuals into his restaurant when he doesn’t want to. We should instead peacefully persuade in order to rid the world of racism and segregation. Racism is an issue of morality. How can you destroy an issue of morality while immorally using violence?
There is already a peaceful economic incentive in the free market to get rid of segregation. Racist business owners limit their customers on their own; non-racist business owners in the same field have a large advantage because they are open to all customers. Not to mention racists would lose other customers opposed to such bigotry. If I saw a restaurant with the sign “No Blacks Allowed” on the door, they would certainly lose me as well.
If you’re still not convinced, think about this instead. Should a black person that owns a restaurant be allowed to stop a KKK member from entering and being served? Should a KKK member be allowed to force a black restaurant owner to let him into his restaurant and serve him or should the black owner be able to refuse him service because the restaurant is his private property and he can use his private property as he wishes? No one would dispute this specific act because it is popular. Only what’s unpopular is disputed. But don’t be surprised when the government starts taking away even a few of the popular things. They already have and they will keep doing so without hesitation.
Posted on January 6, 2012, in Economics, Ethics, Politics and tagged Civil Rights Act of 1964, freedom, libertarianism, liberty, property rights, racism, segregation. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.