Saturday, May 22, 2010


"A big flaw of the famous 1964 Civil Rights law is that it engages in regimenting who may or must associate with whom in private commerce. Among free men and women no such regimentation by government is permissible even if, to quote one prominent Republican "it is the law of the land." So is the war on drugs, so used to be laws mandating segregation. Saying something is the law of the land settles nothing at all about whether it should be the law of the land.

We are here not talking about whether those engaged in private commerce ought to do so without racial prejudice. Of course they should. It is immoral to hold it against someone that he or she is of a certain race, for the simple reason that no one has a choice about his or her race. Being black or white or yellow or whatever race or color isn't either a liability or asset for a human being, any more than being short or tall or a male or a female could be. For some limited purposes it may matter whether one is tall or short – basketball or riding in horse races. But for nearly all other purposes for which people may interact, their race and color are of no significance at all.

Those, however, who think otherwise have a right to do so. Not a legal right, as things now stand in America, but a basic natural-moral right. Which is't the same as their being right or correct in how they think or act. But freedom entails the right of people to engage in malpractice, both personal and professional. Otherwise one simply isn't free."
The Daily Bell

This statement accurately reflects the Libertarian viewpoint. In doing so it sets up a logical disconnect that absolutely drives me crazy but that I have a hard time coming up with a solution for, at least in a free society.

The Libertarian argues for unrestricted freedom from government interference in our lives, a sentiment with which I agree, to a point. You see, the problem is how one defines freedom. The author of the above article says that racism is immoral, yet he claims that we have a right to engage in it.

How can this be? Immorality denotes evil, a concept with which the author apparently agrees since he labels racist thought as a form of malpractice. Evil, by its very nature is chaotic because it opposes good. Chaos is destructive to the individual and through the individual to society as a whole. Are we free to damage society? Of course not. If we were there would be no laws restricting our behavior. Yet we must have laws or else anarchy would ensue and society would collapse.

Many Libertarians seem to conflate free will and freedom. The two are not the same. Men have the ability to choose evil through an act of their will but this does not give them the freedom to do so. Racism is a case in point. The author above states that we have a "right" to engage in it. How can we have a right to anything that interferes with the rights of another? If the racist refuses to allow a black man the right to speak based solely on the color of his skin has he not denied that man his basic right to express himself? Our system of law is based on the simple idea that you forfeit your rights when you impinge the rights of another. Since racism does invariably lead to the denial of rights racism is inherently evil and we do not have the right to engage in it and further, those that do can be prosecuted by the state.

Which brings us to the topic that the article above is addressing, the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Was it needed? Yes. Has it been abused? Yes. Was Rand Paul right to criticize it? Yes.

No right thinking person can make the argument that racism didn't exist in this country prior to the Act or that it doesn't exist today. However, and I believe this is due in large part to the Act, racism has been relegated to the sidelines. Sure, I still hear the occasional stupid remark from someone about blacks and my guess is the same kind of things are said about whites from time to time in the black community. But the fact of the matter is that racial parity has been more widely achieved in this country today than at any time in our history. Many things can hold a person back but for the most part the color of their skin isn't one of them.

The Civil Rights Act ended the days of Jim Crow. It restored to black Americans basic rights that had been removed from them by force. It recognized, in the law, their basic humanity and set the stage for the emergence in America of a vibrant black culture and society. In all of this the Act was a good.

However, in so far as it forced unnatural associations on society and used the law to trample the rights of Americans it has been evil. Progressives have perverted the powers given to government in the Act to engage in social engineering in an attempt to destroy social cohesion and family/neighborhood unity. Busing is a prime example. It uprooted children from their neighborhoods and support systems and dropped them into what, at the time, was enemy territory. For what? To fulfill some crazed Progressive dream of a color blind society. Also to undermine the basic function of the neighborhood and the family, supplanting both with social workers and counselors.

The biggest problem with the Act is that it dealt with group rights instead of individual rights; a Progressive/Marxist concept meant to control. The abuse of the individual's right to free association was trampled under the foot of the group and it's supposed "rights". Groups don't have rights. Rights come from God and are conferred upon the individual. Ironically, the Act was instituted to put an end to group "rights", namely the "right" of white Americans to ignore or destroy the individual rights of black Americans.

So what about Rand Paul's assertion that the Act went too far in restricting the rights of business owners to serve whomever they please? He's right, sort of. As a property owner I don't want the government or anyone else telling me what I can do with my property. On the other hand, do I have an absolute right to do with my property as I please? Yes, but only as long as I don't interfere with the rights of another. I have a responsibility that corresponds to my right.

As a business owner I can choose my customers. I don't take every job that comes along for a whole variety of reasons. Can someone force me to work for them? No. That would be slavery. If I can choose my customers as a carpentry contractor why can't a retail company choose theirs? What's so special about them that allows a group to remove their right of association?

Maybe it's a size and impact thing. In some communities Walmart (I'm not picking on them, they're just the big dog) is the only retailer available for many items. If they are allowed to exclude an entire group of people for whatever reason then an argument could be made that they are denying basic rights to individuals. If I decide to pass up a job believe me, there are plenty of other contractors a person could go to. So maybe this is a rights/responsibility thing. Responsibility begins to weigh heavier than rights depending on the impact an individual business has on the community.

This stands to reason. Just as I have a right to property along with that right comes the responsibility to use my wealth to help the poor. That responsibility becomes greater with the increase in wealth.

"...And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more." Luke 12:48

So while a business owner has the right to refuse to sell to anyone, for any reason, that right diminishes and the responsibility increases as the business grows in power and impact. As long as there are plenty of other places to go for the service the person to whom service is refused has other options to fulfill their rights and the individual business owner has less responsibility to see those rights fulfilled. And this will work as long as society as a whole doesn't collude to deny basic rights to individuals based on a group characteristic, such as skin color. It is that collusion that the Civil Rights Act was meant to address, not individual choice. As long as the Act is enforced to support individual rights there isn't a problem. It's the insistence on group rights that cause the tensions in society, regardless of which group it is.

Can freedom be protected and rights assured without the sledgehammer of government being brought to bear? Yes, through proper moral instruction.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -- John Adams October 11, 1798

We have returned to the individual once again. Our country cannot function with the state of moral illiteracy that exists today. Because the individual American does not understand (because he has not been taught, because religion has been relegated to the fringe) the basic principles of Judeo/Christian moral action and responsibility necessary to a free society he will invariably act in a manner that is wholly narcissistic and antithetical to the needs of a that society.

If each American understood the nature of his humanity and rights and the responsibilities that come from both, legislation like the Civil Rights Act would not be needed and the door wouldn't be opened to the abuses of power such as those engaged in by the race hustlers and Marxist in an attempt to consolidate power for their own ends.

We are a nation of individuals, each responsible for the other. Unfortunately, our rights have been falsely elevated at the expense of their corresponding responsibilities by political forces that will use this lie to advance their own agendas. We are being separated along fault lines created by our enemies, creating scandal and confusion where none should exist. The attacks against Rand Paul for his statement on the Civil Rights Act are an example of the tactics used to discredit those that would question the Progressive/Marxist agenda in America.

The answer to the problems facing our country can be found not in government and control by the masters of group think but in individual responsibility grounded in Judeo/Christian religious precept, just as the Founders intended. The government is a raging beast intent on destroying our freedom. That being said, the Libertarian view of so little government that we teeter on the edge of anarchy is no more acceptable. The founders got it right in the Constitution. Just enough law to protect our God given rights. The rest is up to us. We can either act as responsible members of a free society or we can descend into a self centered hell of Marxist slavery.

It really is our decision.

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