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Category: Civil rights

Why the “Civil Rights” Act Should Not Apply to Private Property

In my unusually long recent post on the “enslavements of socialism and social justice,” I included some comments on the LGBT “civil rights” issues, such as the bakers who refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and the transgender bathroom intrusions. And even though that post was a follow-up on an earlier post, I now have this follow-up on the “enslavements of socialism and social justice” post.

Regarding the Christian bakers refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple, I wrote that because the business is privately owned the owners have a right to serve or to not serve prospective customers. That’s a part of property rights. And I wrote that the couple being refused service taking the bakers to court and suing them can be considered an enslavement of the bakers, because the prospective customer is using force or coercion to make the businessperson provide something involuntarily. Some people react to my writing that in a negative way, but the actual truth about some things does bother some people.

People have a right that’s a part of property rights to associate with or do business with anyone they want to, as long as it’s voluntary. No coercion is allowed in a civilized society, because using force or coercion against someone is … uncivilized. Laurence Vance explains it all very well in this article and this article. All people, private citizens or businesspeople, have a right to discriminate for or against anyone else, for any reason they have, based on ignorance, prejudice, race, gender, political views, any reason whatsoever. It’s not just to do with freedom of association and property rights, but freedom of thought and conscience as well.

No one has a “civil right” to be served by someone else. No one has a “civil right” to access private property. There are no such “rights.”

Which brings me to the “Civil Rights” Act of 1964, which repealed and prohibited government laws segregating people by race (“Jim Crow” laws), and outlawed government-imposed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. That anti-discrimination law applied to all government-run operations such as the schools, parks, city buses and subways, and so on.

In my view, as long as we have a “publicly-owned” government ruling over all of us, then of course that government (or those governments, in the case of city and state governments), its bureaucrats and enforcers may not discriminate against any citizen based on those kinds of subjective, arbitrary factors. A “publicly-owned” government belongs to the public, which consists of everyone in the public. It does not belong to the bureaucrats in charge or their goon enforcers. So of course this Act should have outlawed such discrimination.

But the Act also outlawed discrimination on privately-owned premises such as restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, movie theaters, concert halls, etc. that were referred to as “public accommodations,” but are nevertheless privately owned and exist mostly on private property. The “Civil Rights” Act of 1964 and subsequent Amendments should NOT have applied to ANY privately owned business, function, place of worship, and other facility that is not owned by the government.

The social activists have eviscerated private property and private property rights, which are the last vestige of a free society and civilization. The social activists began their crusade against private property with the whole progressive movement. In the 19th Century with their intrusions into education by getting local governments to usurp the function of educating children away from parents and neighborhoods, imposed mandates, compulsory attendance laws. They continued with getting local or state governments involved in marriage, in which prior to those times the idea of a government-mandated marriage license would have been seen as absurd.

The social activists then imposed the income tax. Your earnings are no longer “yours,” but from then onward your earnings first belong to the gubmint who will then allow you to have whatever the bureaucrats determine you are allowed to have. Slave.

FDR imposed further intrusions, usurpations, wealth tax-thefts with all the New Deal, “Social Security,” and then LBJ with Medicare and Medicaid, and the aforementioned “Civil Rights” Act.

I think a lot of it also has to do with the institutionalized envy which is what socialism is all about. Some people are making use of their talents and abilities and making a living independently, or are successful with a large company, and the envious don’t like that. There seems to have been this impulse to use the armed force of government to take away from people who are successful. And if that’s not enough, use the armed force of government to intrude into their businesses and property.

Anyway, now that sexual orientation and gender identity have been added to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin among the list of aspects we may not discriminate against, we now have gay and lesbian couples intentionally suing private businesspeople not for those plaintiffs to get their just service that they demand from the businesses (even though most of the plaintiffs were nevertheless able to find someone else to bake their cakes or photograph their weddings), but to exact revenge on their victims who didn’t want to associate with them or do business with them. And who do not accept their particular lifestyles. Narcissists, as I was writing in that earlier post.

Could the people concerned about being discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, have foreseen that sexual orientation or gender identity would be added to the list? I think not, because why didn’t they include them at that time? And why stop at sexual orientation and gender identity? I’m sure that, given how the social activism movement on the left has become militant in their attempts to push their non-conforming, odd or deviant lifestyles down the throats of others, they will get legislators to add “lifestyle” or some similar word to “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” and so on.

Recent laws also affect private therapists or counselors who are forbidden by law to even discuss “conversion therapy” with gender confused clients who actually want to try to become accepting of their actual gender. So freedom of speech is now being affected by these “civil rights” laws. So is the idea of common decency.

Private properties and businesses who are forbidden to discriminate were initially hotels, restaurants, i.e. actual “public accommodations,” that now include small businesses such as bakeries, florists or photographers, and practitioners such as psychotherapists and other doctors are now affected. Even churches are included. “Houses of worship” are in the list of “public accommodations.” Did people in 1964 see ahead as to where that would all lead to?

But where is all this leading to? If small businesses, a professional’s private practice or “houses of worship” are considered “public accommodations,” then how far away from actual public accommodations such as hotels will the social activists use their new legal powers to impose onto others? Will it eventually include people’s homes?

Remember, there is a difference between “civil rights” and “civil liberties.” “Civil rights” laws should repeal any and all government laws or policies in which the government is discriminating against people. But not private citizens, whether their discrimination is in their personal lives or their economic lives.

But now with “civil rights,” the social activists have proclaimed a “civil right” to access someone else’s private property and a “civil right” to demand to be served by someone else, involuntarily. So with this bunch of stuff, actual civil liberties have been eviscerated as well as private property rights and common decency.

The Enslavements of Socialism and “Social Justice”

As a follow-up to my recent post on the ignorant socialists on both sides of the same statist coin, liberal and conservative, I wanted to bring up the libertarian view of the non-aggression principle and self-ownership. You own yourself and your life and morally if we want a peaceful, civilized society, then be peaceful, don’t initiate aggression against others. And a part of all that is private property rights. Don’t steal, don’t defraud, as well as don’t commit acts of aggression against others.

But socialism is when the government takes ownership of the means of production, industry and property, and actually consists of the violation of the individual and is when one’s life and labor do not exist for one’s own benefit (or for the benefit of those of one’s voluntary choosing) but for the benefit of others as determined by bureaucrats, by the rulers, against the will of the people. In contrast, actual free-markets (or free-market “capitalism”) consist of not just privately-owned property and industry but voluntary exchange, in which you own your own life and labor. As I wrote in a post that I recently linked to,

“Owning people” doesn’t fit into capitalism. “Owning people” is what the State does under socialism. If by “capitalism” you mean “free market capitalism,” then the “capitalists” do not “own” — nor can claim any kind of ownership of — their workers, their employees. In actual free-market capitalism, no one is forced to have any association with or to do any labor for any employer one doesn’t want to work for. In free-market capitalism, your contracts with other associates or your employers are voluntary, and you are free to go work elsewhere if you don’t like that employer. In a free system, you own yourself.

Claiming actual ownership of others is the enslavement of them. And that’s what socialism does, by the State’s (regardless of its using the rhetorical guise “the public”) seizing ownership of industries, wealth and “the means of production,” which includes the people. The people are the most important amongst the means of production.

And by the State’s “seizing ownership of industries,” I am referring also to control. If the State takes control over your supposedly privately owned business or property (with regulations, mandates, restrictions, etc.) then that is the indirect way of the State’s seizing ownership. If you don’t fully control your own property, and another entity has forcibly seized control over it, then you don’t really own it.

Besides the purpose of forced redistribution of wealth in the name of equalizing inequality, socialism is also used to forcibly advance a social agenda. So some people won’t like my examples here, but that’s because a lot of people have been indoctrinated with social “justice” propaganda, but here goes:

One example is the civil rights stuff that now has expanded to include LGBT “rights” against “discrimination” as well as by race or sex. In recent years we have heard about same-sex couples suing photographers, florists and bakers who didn’t want to do work for the couples’ weddings.

Now, why does the baker or florist have a right to not do business with someone he doesn’t want to do business with? Because his business is his own private property. He owns the business, not the government, and not the “public.” The “civil rights” laws say that the business is a “public accommodation,” but the public does not own the business. And therefore members of the public do not have a right to order the owner of the business to serve those he doesn’t want to do extra labor to serve. It has to do with private property rights and freedom of association.

And it has nothing to do with the religion of the Christian baker, for example, and his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality or gay marriage. It has to do with the self-centered couples using the armed powers of government courts to force the businesspeople to show an acceptance of the customers’ lifestyles. These have been cases of extreme narcissists who believe that they have a right to force others to do extra labor to serve them, period, in my view.

Unfortunately, many conservatives, who have been opposed to the LGBT agenda and have been supporting the private businesses who don’t want to serve same-sex couples, don’t understand the principles of private property rights and freedom of association, and freedom of thought and conscience behind all these cases. It seems to me that the conservatives have also been covetous when it comes to using the powers of government to advance their social agendas.

The conservatives believe that the businesspeople’s religious beliefs are what need to be protected here, and that is not the case. What if an atheist baker refused to serve a Christian couple? I don’t believe the conservatives would support the baker. They would probably support the Christian couple. So the conservatives also believe that in some cases people have a right to use government courts to force businesspeople to serve others they don’t want to serve. No, it has to do with private property rights and freedom of association. If you’re an atheist baker and don’t want to serve a Christian couple, then of course you have a right to refuse to serve them. It’s your business, not theirs.

Another example is the transgender bathroom/shower controversy. Some states now allow someone who is male but thinks he’s a female to go into the ladies room, and vice versa. In some states, if you complain about it (that is, if you are a lady who doesn’t want males in the ladies room while you’re in there, or if you’re a parent who doesn’t want an obvious male going into the ladies room while your little girl is in there, and so on), you could be fined a lot of money and even arrested and thrown in jail.

And that is just how narcissistic some people are. You see, someone who has this confusion with his gender, he’s a male and thinks he’s a female but rather than causing him to feel uncomfortable going into the men’s room he now has the power to make a bunch of women and girls feel uncomfortable while he goes into their ladies room. So by law they must accept his gender confusion that he has. They must accommodate him.

And all that stuff, as well as all those “civil rights” laws, applies to privately owned property as well as public property or government buildings. So yes, these policies are another aspect of socialism, in which the government is essentially stealing ownership of private property away from the owners-on-paper.

Incidentally, in Massachusetts there is a ballot question this November to repeal such a law that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu also signed a similar bill into law. Sununu is up for reelection as is Charlie Half-Baker.

The same kinds of enslavements occur in other areas of life, such as medical care. Do you have a right to force a medical doctor or private hospital to care for you? No, of course you don’t. No one has a “right” to health care. If you have a right to have something provided to you, then you have a right to demand that producers must do extra labor to serve you.

As I wrote in a 2012 article, “If someone chooses to be a medical doctor, devotes hours and hours every day and years of intensive study and labor toward training to become a medical doctor, then who is it that owns such efforts, labor, energy and the actual career itself? That doctor? One’s neighbors? The government?” I hope the question answers itself.

And why is medical care so expensive, anyway? When did it really start to become expensive? Well, after Medicare and Medicaid were imposed on the people by bureaucrats who wanted to solve a problem that didn’t exist, that’s when!

So here is a list of articles on why socialized medicine doesn’t work, and never will work, and is immoral as well. And they will help to explain why Bernie Sanders’s plans or Evita Ocasio-Cortez’s plans for “single payer”also will not work. Just study the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and, worst of all, the U.K.

And if the government doesn’t outright own all the means of production and industry as in socialist societies, a word for the public’s or government’s seizing control over privately owned property or businesses is “fascism.”

However, as I mentioned above, if you don’t have control over something you supposedly “own,” then you don’t really own it. So the above cases are really varieties of socialism, in which the government has a de facto ownership of all property. Check out Lew Rockwell’s book, Fascism versus Capitalism, as well as Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis by Ludwig von Mises.

The conservatives and nationalists, by the way, also do not understand, or they have an outright contempt for, private property and free markets like the people on the left. With the immigration issue, the anti-immigration crowd says that businesspeople, professionals and laborers must get a government bureaucrat’s permission to move about to get work or establish voluntary contracts to make a living.

So, with such controls in the name of “protecting the nation,” the government has a de facto ownership over people’s lives, property, and contracts. And, like the so-called “progressives” and social activists, these nationalistic anti-property, anti-freedom policies are also out of envy and covetousness.

And that applies to the trade issue as well. Donald Trump and his sheeple are anti-free trade, and they want the U.S. government to determine who may buy what and for how much and from whom. So this government-controlled trade stuff is also fascist, and thus a part of socialism. You don’t really own your money or your contract that you would have with a seller, the seller doesn’t really own his goods or services that he’s selling. The government has the ultimate, de facto ownership.

Otherwise, in a free society without those governmental intrusions, you would buy something from Sweden, China or Iran and at whatever price the seller is selling it for, and no third party interferes with that contract. That’s the free market, baby. Crony protectionists like Donald Trump don’t like that kind of freedom.

And by the way, if American producers don’t like consumers buying stuff from other countries, then produce better stuff and lower your prices! And if the prices have to be higher to afford the costs of production because the government imposes taxes and regulations, then tell the government to remove those taxes and regulations!

The consumers are essentially enslaved by the bureaucrats in charge and their cronies whose profits are protected by the armed force of government.

The Libertarian Party Needs to Rediscover Private Property Rights

Already the Libertarian Party, and Gary Johnson in particular, are showing that they are clueless politically. I know, politics is not the moral or practical way to spread the word of liberty. In fact it is the opposite. But if you are going to use the political process and the political system, then you need to at least play the game in some way, if you’re serious toward the goal of getting elected, or at least getting more than 200,000 votes nationally.

For instance, Gary Johnson, if he is to be the LP nominee for President, should want to attract all those disillusioned Republican conservatives out there who will not vote for Donald Trump because they know Trump is a left-liberal progressive who wants nationalized health care-single payer, and so on. And Johnson should want to attract social conservatives. Now, Johnson is not a social conservative. He not only supports LGBT “Civil Rights,” and thinks the Christian baker should be forced to have to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, but he really believes that a Jewish baker should be forced to bake a Nazi wedding cake. So picking a fellow like-minded social liberal like Bill Weld for VP will not get those conservatives to his side.

And it isn’t just that Weld wants to punish discrimination against people based on color, race, ethnicity or sex. No, Weld thinks it should also be based on people’s lifestyles, as well. According to Ontheissues.org, Weld stated in 1996, “I think it’s very important that we not have discrimination in housing, employment against people who may be of any, any particular, particular lifestyle.”

Additionally, as far as political “strategy” is concerned, Gary Johnson already is a governor, he doesn’t need a second governor on the same ticket. So if he is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President, he would do better by picking a social conservative and perhaps someone with the kind of legislative experience that Ron Paul has.

Wait a minute! There’s an idea. How about Ron Paul for VP, if Gary Johnson (or anyone else) is the LP nominee? With the Libertarian Party, however, the delegates to the convention have a separate nominating process for Vice President. I don’t think that Ron Paul would actively run for that. But they should consider him as a possibility.

But one thing that the Libertarian Party needs to work on — and they need a LOT of work in this area — is communicating the actual principles of libertarianism. After all, the LP has boasted all these years as “The Party of Principle.” But in recent years they have shown utter abandonment of libertarian principles.

Among the important principles of libertarianism are private property, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. These are concepts the ACLU still does not get, which is why they back LGBT “Civil Rights” laws. While part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is good in that it forbids the government from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, etc., it is bad because it forbids private people from discriminating, it empowers particular groups of people to enter the private property of others without the others’ consent, and it imposes violations of individuals’ freedom of thought and conscience. If you are going to say that someone’s reasons for banishing certain others from one’s property should be forbidden, then you are talking about thought crimes. No, private property owners have the absolute right of freedom of association to determine for themselves with whom to associate or not associate, and the right of freedom of thought and conscience to have any damn reason they want to exercise that control.

And by the way, by “private property,” that includes one’s person, one’s mind, one’s labor, as well as one’s home, land or business.

And private property owners have the private property right to control who goes onto or into their property, whether it is residential or commercial. Commercial property is no less private property than residential regardless of its being commercial. Why do liberals or progressives, the NAACP, ACLU, LGBT activists not insist that Civil Rights laws also cover the private residential property of others? Why should people be allowed to discriminate and prevent certain groups of people from entering their homes as well as their businesses? As Jacob Hornberger wrote a few years ago,

How would things have turned out if businesses had been left free to discriminate? Well, does anyone today get into an uproar over the fact that people are free to discriminate in their homes? And yes, people get into an uproar over a Nazi march in Skokie, just as they get upset over the periodic burning of the flag, but how many people lose sleep over the fact that people have such rights?

Freedom necessarily entails the right to make choices that other people find offensive, abhorrent, unpopular, and irresponsible. If people are free only to make the correct choices, then they are not truly free.

Liberals understand this principle, but only up to a point. That’s why they support the right of homeowners and Nazi sympathizers to discriminate. But they steadfastly refuse to extend their principles to private businesses.

Why?

I suspect that the answer lies in the long-time, deep antipathy that liberals have to the free market — to free enterprise — to capitalism — to profit. This of course raises the ugly head of socialism, the economic philosophy that has long attracted the liberal community.

Now, it isn’t just free enterprise which is why the people on the Left want to intrude and impose into private businesses, it’s also a cultural matter as we are seeing with the transgender restroom and locker room issues now. But the people on the Left are using the cultural and social intrusions as a way to aid them in further bringing about their beloved socialism.

Thomas DiLorenzo recently quoted Ludwig von Mises in this post, What the (Anti-) Cultural Marxists Are Up To:

Same thing that all varieties of Marxists are (and have been) up to, as explained by Ludwig von Mises:

“Socialist policy employs two methods to accomplish its purposes: the first aims directly at converting society to Socialism; the second aims only indirectly at this conversion by destroying the social order which is based on private ownership . . . . the second is the weapon of revolutionary Socialism” and “sabotage.”

“Thus the beginning and end of the socialist policy, which has dominated the world for decades, is destruction . . . .  Our whole life is so given over to destructionism that one can name hardly a field which it has not penetrated.  ‘Social’ art preaches it, schools teach it, the churches disseminate it.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism (first published in 1922), pp. 424-425

Now, I know many in the Libertarian Party wants to be socially “liberal,” but they have to find a way to reintroduce the actual principles of private property and freedom of thought and freedom of association into the Party. The society is in desperate need to restore freedom. These principles, by the way, are not at all understood by the conservatives, as their rationale for opposing the transgender laws is “religious liberty.” That is not at all the case, because their religious liberty is not at issue. The rights being threatened involve private property, mainly.

People who want to advance the case for liberty will have difficulty considering a statist Gary Johnson or a statist Bill Weld, or most of the other statist LP candidates, just as we wouldn’t think of considering ultra-statists Bernie, Hillary or Donald.

The Libertarian Party, “The Party of Principle,” needs to stop compromising those important principles of liberty.