Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I think I explained that. Now the small number of feds could swoop in on the law breakers and keep the rest of the bigots in line by making examples of them. This the same mechanism that kept integration from happening. Call it intimidation if you want, but it is less intimidating than a pair of soldiers toting machine guns on every street corner.

I must not be asking it right. Maybe like this... If a bunch of government employees are illegally discriminating against blacks, how does making the legal discrimination by private businesses illegal make it easier to enforce the original problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I must not be asking it right. Maybe like this... If a bunch of government employees are illegally discriminating against blacks, how does making the legal discrimination by private businesses illegal make it easier to enforce the original problem?

The gov't employees were not the problem, or at least not the intractable portion of the problem. The private retaliations were the problem. By making racial discrimination illegal for everyone instead of optional the private retaliations that enforced conformity with the Jim Crow regime were rendered pointless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I could see there being a transition period between govt-enforced racism and a completely free society, in which the govt enforces non-discrimination as a way to get people to unlearn the racism that the govt previously made them learn, and promoted through inaction.

But if such actions are not clearly proposed only as a transition period, and always with the goal of total freedom, it would be immoral to proceed in such a manner, and I would be against it.

It is the same as in any other segment of society in which the government has been manipulating the economy. To switch overnight from a heavily-regulated society to a free society would not serve to compensate those who have been damaged by the heavy regulation (everyone), and would lead to ruination for most. The economy would grind to a halt. There has to be a transition period to unwind the dependence on government regulation, inspection, oversight, subsidy, etc.

Bringing it down to the level of a single individual - imagine a child raised in confinement, forcibly educated to hate blacks and have no sense of individual rights - essentially prepared to be a murderer. To just set him free would be a bad choice, particularly if the government is not able to protect society from his actions. It would in no way compensate him for the mental damage that has been done. There needs to be a transition period in which he is further confined to undo that damage - say, in a mental hospital. Once he is rehabilitated, he should freely join society.

But again, it has to be an explicit "transition period" on the way toward freedom. If they just decided to lock him up indefinitely, I would be against that.

Edited by brian0918

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be at least another generation before anti-discrimination regulations are lifted. Some older people are just going to have to die off, and their racism and bigotry with them unfortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The gov't employees were not the problem, or at least not the intractable portion of the problem. The private retaliations were the problem. By making racial discrimination illegal for everyone instead of optional the private retaliations that enforced conformity with the Jim Crow regime were rendered pointless.

By "Jim Crowe regime" are you referring specifically to the laws and government actions discriminating against blacks or to racism and discrimination in general?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be at least another generation before anti-discrimination regulations are lifted. Some older people are just going to have to die off, and their racism and bigotry with them unfortunately.

They are never going to be lifted. Too much power for special interest groups here in the US. Further, I see almost no social toleration for discrimination(except against whites of course) anywhere. Look at the heat Paul is getting for even being willing to talk about a subject that is only tangentially related to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By "Jim Crowe regime" are you referring specifically to the laws and government actions discriminating against blacks or to racism and discrimination in general?

By "Jim Crow regime" and "Jim Crow cartel" I refer in the more general sense to the whole of the racial caste system aimed at depriving blacks of their rights by force including the extralegal use of force in the form of lynchings, race riots, arson and terroristic threats of violence such as the cross burnings. Assigning a guard to every black and every free thinking white is not a practical way to fight such a system.

What was Jim Crow?

Edited by Grames

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The media have started to pick up on Rand Paul's connection with Alex Jones, the 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Apparently he has gone on Jones' radio show several times. Paul should be a little more selective in choosing where and with whom he does interviews.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/05/ra...theorist-friend

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_roo..._paul_interview

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The media have started to pick up on Rand Paul's connection with Alex Jones, the 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Apparently he has gone on Jones' radio show several times. Paul should be a little more selective in choosing where and with whom he does interviews.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/05/ra...theorist-friend

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_roo..._paul_interview

Yes, but that's just ad hominem in those pieces. Which shows can one go on that aren't run by people with bad ideas? The point is not that he went on the show and should be sorry for that, the point is he agrees with Jones on a great many wrong things, that's why he was not "careful" and we should critique him for that. It should always be about ideas, right or wrong, not about which programs the opinion keepers have approved for consumption.

Edited by 2046

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Assigning a guard to every black and every free thinking white is not a practical way to fight such a system.

This wouldn't be necessary at all to enforce the law. It seems that you have an inflated sense of the magnitude of the crimes. The lynchings for example come out to under 40/year in the whole of the US over the 100 years following the civil war. I don't mean to imply that this wasn't despicable, but rather to show that it was far from being outside of the capacity of enforcement.

I still see no connection justifying the infringement of property rights. That would only make enforcement even more impossible, if it in fact were, since even more people would find themselves in the position of committing "crimes," like not hiring an appropriate percentage of blacks completely regardless of all other qualifications.

Your argument, as I understand it, is that there were so many race based crimes that they couldn't be enforced and that the elimination of free association, and the private property rights on which they are based, was the only why to stop this rampant crime. I just don't see any connection between the two. It's like saying the only way to end shoplifting is to cut off everyone's hands before they get the chance to, rather than post a guard to every person entering a store. What you advocate is no less damaging or impossible that what you want to solve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The media have started to pick up on Rand Paul's connection with Alex Jones, the 9/11 conspiracy theorist. Apparently he has gone on Jones' radio show several times. Paul should be a little more selective in choosing where and with whom he does interviews.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/05/ra...theorist-friend

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_roo..._paul_interview

heh. That's why I've been saying what I have. These people are not any different than they were 10+ years ago. What is different is the level of support libertarians are getting now. Even though the tea party movement is a populist one and a compartmentalized set of the population, it's still a little mainstream. The media will continue to pick apart Paul, and he can either choose to stay honest to his ideas--like protecting the right of property owners to do what they will, even discriminate--or he can try and run away and bastardize what he thinks, just to get elected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but that's just ad hominem in those pieces.
Yep, I’d have expected nothing less from Mother Jones and Salon.

Which shows can one go on that aren't run by people with bad ideas?
It’s true that there’s a scarcity of Objectivist talk show hosts, but certainly there are plenty of shows run by people with a better view of the world than Alex Jones. Paul should stay away if for no other reason than to avoid lending credibility to his brand of conspiracy freak nonsense. If he’s going to go on that show, then make a major point of disagreeing with the conspiracy crap.

The point is not that he went on the show and should be sorry for that, the point is he agrees with Jones on a great many wrong things, that's why he was not "careful" and we should critique him for that. It should always be about ideas, right or wrong, not about which programs the opinion keepers have approved for consumption.
Absolutely, that is a good point.

heh. That's why I've been saying what I have. These people are not any different than they were 10+ years ago. What is different is the level of support libertarians are getting now. Even though the tea party movement is a populist one and a compartmentalized set of the population, it's still a little mainstream. The media will continue to pick apart Paul, and he can either choose to stay honest to his ideas--like protecting the right of property owners to do what they will, even discriminate--or he can try and run away and bastardize what he thinks, just to get elected.
Where I think Paul screwed up is going on a show like Maddow’s when he wasn’t really prepared to deal with an issue that someone on his team should have known was going to come up, particularly since he had already fumbled it on NPR. In those interviews he reminds me of the bumpkin from Topeka who walks in on a Vegas poker game and asks whether there’s room for another player. When he leaves the game wearing his underwear, he’s the only one who’s surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is about what I was thinking when I was reading through this thread. I fail to understand how simply making Jim Crow laws illegal wouldn't have been sufficient. They went from one extreme to the other, which really makes no sense. They went from it being illegal for blacks and whites to be served at the same lunch counter, to it being illegal for them NOT to be served at the same lunch counter. Why not just return the freedom to choose to the business owner, as it should be?

This wouldn't be necessary at all to enforce the law. It seems that you have an inflated sense of the magnitude of the crimes. The lynchings for example come out to under 40/year in the whole of the US over the 100 years following the civil war. I don't mean to imply that this wasn't despicable, but rather to show that it was far from being outside of the capacity of enforcement.

I still see no connection justifying the infringement of property rights. That would only make enforcement even more impossible, if it in fact were, since even more people would find themselves in the position of committing "crimes," like not hiring an appropriate percentage of blacks completely regardless of all other qualifications.

Your argument, as I understand it, is that there were so many race based crimes that they couldn't be enforced and that the elimination of free association, and the private property rights on which they are based, was the only why to stop this rampant crime. I just don't see any connection between the two. It's like saying the only way to end shoplifting is to cut off everyone's hands before they get the chance to, rather than post a guard to every person entering a store. What you advocate is no less damaging or impossible that what you want to solve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This wouldn't be necessary at all to enforce the law. It seems that you have an inflated sense of the magnitude of the crimes. The lynchings for example come out to under 40/year in the whole of the US over the 100 years following the civil war. I don't mean to imply that this wasn't despicable, but rather to show that it was far from being outside of the capacity of enforcement.
Lynchings were not equally distributed geographically and temporally came in waves, and the places with the most violence (and not just lynchings) had the least interested law enforcement.

The difference between multiple physical assaults or threats and multiple civil lawsuits are two entirely different enforcement problems. The latter problem is preferable.

Your argument, as I understand it, is that there were so many race based crimes that they couldn't be enforced and that the elimination of free association, and the private property rights on which they are based, was the only why to stop this rampant crime. I just don't see any connection between the two. It's like saying the only way to end shoplifting is to cut off everyone's hands before they get the chance to, rather than post a guard to every person entering a store. What you advocate is no less damaging or impossible that what you want to solve.

Civil rights law is clearly not impossible as that is the actual history and current law. Free association was already being denied by extralegal force, so civil rights laws can hardly be blamed for eliminating what was already absent.

Can you see a connection between the imposition of martial law and the deterrence of rioting and looting? I see the far more gentle constraints of civil rights law as analogous to the rationale behind martial law for restoring civil order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Civil rights law is clearly not impossible as that is the actual history and current law. Free association was already being denied by extralegal force, so civil rights laws can hardly be blamed for eliminating what was already absent.

Wouldn't you agree that there is a significant difference between the de facto and de jure elimination of the right to choose your associations freely? Especially in the sense that the second lends moral credibility to the destruction of rights?

Can you see a connection between the imposition of martial law and the deterrence of rioting and looting? I see the far more gentle constraints of civil rights law as analogous to the rationale behind martial law for restoring civil order.

I do see a connection between martial law and deterrence of rioting. The problem that I think that I have with the "gentle constraints," (and thanks by the way for this discussion, as I hadn't thought much about the subject before) is that they are permanent destruction of rights while martial law is a temporary suspension of rights. Also, that I do not see how these constraints on behavior had any hand at all in stopping the actual violence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite ridiculous quotation in the midst of this mess was issued by Chris Kofinis who said on MSNBC (essentially), "This isn't philosophy class, it's the real world."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wouldn't you agree that there is a significant difference between the de facto and de jure elimination of the right to choose your associations freely? Especially in the sense that the second lends moral credibility to the destruction of rights?
Tolerating de facto violations of rights is more harmful to the moral credibility of rights and the government that is to protect them than is a law which does not command a rational man do to anything contrary to his judgment.

A man who does not respect other's rights should not expect his own rights to be respected. Denying that a person is even human based on his race entails not respecting rights, so merits no respect in return.

Generally, assuming that people are evil and irrational is not justified. In the video between Rachel Maddow and Rand Paul, she at one point asked him what would keep segregation from appearing again in the absence of the Civil Rights Act. What Paul should have answered was rationality and morality. Maddow's question malevolently asumes everyone today is a secret racist longing for the return of Jim Crow. But there was specific evidence in 1964 that many people were evil and irrational. This a law suited to that political climate.

I do see a connection between martial law and deterrence of rioting. The problem that I think that I have with the "gentle constraints," (and thanks by the way for this discussion, as I hadn't thought much about the subject before) is that they are permanent destruction of rights while martial law is a temporary suspension of rights. Also, that I do not see how these constraints on behavior had any hand at all in stopping the actual violence.

By removing the possibility that intimidation could cause a business to return to segregation, the public accommodation provision removed the motive for the violence. Threats and attacks could still go on and did but they had no power to persuade. The more intelligent bigots realized that and stopped risking themselves for no gain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tolerating de facto violations of rights is more harmful to the moral credibility of rights and the government that is to protect them than is a law which does not command a rational man do to anything contrary to his judgment.

OK, I disagree with that. I see a right to behave only in the ways that the current regime approves of as no right at all. Whether they are morally correct or not has no relevance. If someone told me that "I had a right to behave as I wished just so long as they approved of my actions," I would die choking on my own incredulity. Beyond that, though, I don't think that de facto violations of rights should be tolerated but rather, should be enforced strongly with proper law enforcement rather than social engineering.

A man who does not respect other's rights should not expect his own rights to be respected. Denying that a person is even human based on his race entails not respecting rights, so merits no respect in return.
Then clearly this would also apply to everyone who does not respect the private property of others. B) My having an incorrect(or unconventional) opinion is a very poor justification for the elimination of rights. So is my refusal to allow someone on my property for any reason whatsoever.

By removing the possibility that intimidation could cause a business to return to segregation, the public accommodation provision removed the motive for the violence. Threats and attacks could still go on and did but they had no power to persuade. The more intelligent bigots realized that and stopped risking themselves for no gain.

I kinda see what you are getting at, but I think it is based on an overestimation of the ubiquity of the crimes as well as an overestimation of its(the 10 part of the civil rights act) effects on reducing discrimination as compared to the change to simply not requiring discrimination by the federal or state governments and their own policies of nondiscrimination.

Obviously there is no way to rewind and run history again so there is no way to prove the contention, but I do believe that the race situation would have been as good and probably better without attacking our already weakened property rights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I disagree with that. I see a right to behave only in the ways that the current regime approves of as no right at all. Whether they are morally correct or not has no relevance. If someone told me that "I had a right to behave as I wished just so long as they approved of my actions," I would die choking on my own incredulity. Beyond that, though, I don't think that de facto violations of rights should be tolerated but rather, should be enforced strongly with proper law enforcement rather than social engineering.

I have to agree with you. I believe that Acquinas put it as, "errant reason binds," meaning that even if a man is incorrect in his reasoning, even if he is wrong (mistaken or irrational), he should follow his own reasoning. What else is he to do? Blindly follow others? (No, this doesn't mean that an individual has the right to violate the rights of other if he "thinks" that he does have that right.)

Rights typically fall because people are willing to reject them when it comes to people whom they loathe. Problem is, such is a rejection of the principle of rights. (There used to be a common saying, "when one man's rights are violated, all men's rights are violated." There was a time when there was a better understanding by the general populace, of the principle of rights.)

A racist owner of a restaurant, for instance, has the right, which should be recognized legally, even though his racism is wrong, to be a racist or bigoted in any manner, and discriminate as he pleases. His racist exclusion of some from his restaurant is not a violation of the rights of those he excludes - they have no right to dine at his restaurant excepting with his consent.

George Reisman has a pamphlet on the issue of racism, "Capitalism, the Cure for Racism." I can't find it online (though he sells it via his site), but he does offer an excerpt (PDF).

I also found an old (1973) interview of his: "A Cure for Racism"

A quick search of Dr. Reisman's book, "Capitalism," (which can be downloaded for no charge from his site as a PDF document) shows that he discusses racism there in several places as well.

The cure for racism is freedom, capitalism.

Edited by Trebor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do see a connection between martial law and deterrence of rioting. The problem that I think that I have with the "gentle constraints," (and thanks by the way for this discussion, as I hadn't thought much about the subject before) is that they are permanent destruction of rights while martial law is a temporary suspension of rights. Also, that I do not see how these constraints on behavior had any hand at all in stopping the actual violence.

I haven't been involved on this thread much, but I did want to jump in here.

President Grant moved in thousands of soldiers to crush the KKK because it was a terrorist organization funding, backing, supporting, and committing killings and illegal threats against the freed blacks and white sympathizers. I believe that lasted for a year, and then the KKK vanished from the face of the Earth not to be seen again in any meaningful capacity for several decades. THAT is a proper response to mob killings and the like. If local law enforcement won't do its job, if the state won't do its job, then federal forces are necessary. Indeed, I think that the Insurrection Act should be applicable, for if law enforcement refuses to deal with the situation, or is simply overwhelmed, then surely that counts as "insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy." That is all that it is necessary to be able to maintain order and enforce the laws of this country. To do as Grames suggests is to violate the rights of those who have initiated no force against any other human being. I don't care what your aims are, that is unjustifiable. It violates the only principle separating government from a gang of mobsters: "thou shalt not initiate force."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I disagree with that. I see a right to behave only in the ways that the current regime approves of as no right at all. Whether they are morally correct or not has no relevance. If someone told me that "I had a right to behave as I wished just so long as they approved of my actions," I would die choking on my own incredulity. Beyond that, though, I don't think that de facto violations of rights should be tolerated but rather, should be enforced strongly with proper law enforcement rather than social engineering.

Vigorous enforcement was not going to happen, so that position accepts the status quo of the time.

Then clearly this would also apply to everyone who does not respect the private property of others. B) My having an incorrect(or unconventional) opinion is a very poor justification for the elimination of rights. So is my refusal to allow someone on my property for any reason whatsoever.

Slavery was a private as well as a public institution, abolishing slavery requires the law restrict certain private acts. If the reason given for refusal to allow someone on your property is race, that perpetuates Jim Crow as the vestige of the slave system and can be negated by law.

“The Thirteenth Amendment’s abolition of slavery and involuntary servitude speaks directly to private, as well as governmental, misconduct; indeed, it authorizes governmental regulation in order to abolish all of the vestiges, ‘badges and incidents’ of the slavery system.”

But the court says that Congress did not, in the act of 1866, assume, under the authority given by the Thirteenth Amendment, to adjust what may be called the social rights of men and races in the community. I agree that government has nothing to do with social, as distinguished from technically legal, rights of individuals. No government ever has brought, or ever can bring, its people into social intercourse against their wishes. Whether one person will permit or maintain social relations with another is a matter with which government has no concern. I agree that, if one citizen chooses not to hold social intercourse with another, he is not and cannot be made amenable to the law for his conduct in that regard, for even upon grounds of race, no legal right of a citizen is violated by the refusal of others to maintain merely social relations with him. What I affirm is that no State, nor the officers of any State, nor any corporation or individual wielding power under State authority for the public benefit or the public convenience, can, consistently either with the freedom established by the fundamental law or with that equality of civil rights which now belongs to every citizen, discriminate against freemen or citizens in those rights because of their race, or because they once labored under the disabilities of slavery imposed upon them as a race. The rights which Congress, by the act of 1875, endeavored to secure and protect are legal, not social, rights.
(Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3, 35-36 (1883) (Justice Harlan, J., dissenting)

I don't agree with all of Justice Harlan's reasoning in how he got there. I say that evicting the black kids out of your diner requires calling the cops, who are undeniably agents of the state and cannot be put to an illegitimate use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vigorous enforcement was not going to happen, so that position accepts the status quo of the time.

I don't accept that premise. If the problem were significant enough then enforcement would become more rigorous as necessary. The example that nanite provided above would seem to indicate how this problem might be handled morally. Even if that were true though, then the gradual reduction in animosity over time strikes me as far better of an outcome then the destruction of property rights otherwise all we have accomplished in freeing black slaves from their shackles is to put those shackles on the rest of us. Equally, of course.

Slavery was a private as well as a public institution, abolishing slavery requires the law restrict certain private acts. If the reason given for refusal to allow someone on your property is race, that perpetuates Jim Crow as the vestige of the slave system and can be negated by law.

I think that this is an incorrect equivocation. To the extent that slavery was an institution at all, public or private, it was immoral. The right of an owner to make decisions about the use of his own property is moral. The fact that some behavior reminds some people of slavery is an extremely emotional approach. A white boss with a black employee could be a "vestige of slavery" as well or putting a black who committed an actual crime in shackles might be an unfair reminder of slavery. Very simply, I think that eliminating property rights to protect feelings is a horrible mistake and it turns out that it's a gift that keeps on giving.

I don't agree with all of Justice Harlan's reasoning in how he got there. I say that evicting the black kids out of your diner requires calling the cops, who are undeniably agents of the state and cannot be put to an illegitimate use.

People who are trespassing on another's property can legitimately be removed from said property. They are committing a crime by not abiding by the wishes of the rightful owner. His reason's are not relevant.

Just for clarity, are you arguing from the positive rights perspective that the "right to human dignity" or whatever, trumps property rights? Cause if so, the likelihood of this being productive for either of us is very small. The conversation would need to be an entirely different thread because I've seen no compelling arguments for why anyone has a right to feel a certain way, or be perceived a certain way, or any of that UN UDHR stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only thing I could find about his stance on abortion was that he was against federal funding for it. This comes as no surprise seeing how he's against federal funding for almost everything.
Turns out he is pretty extremely anti-abortion, wanting "person hood" to start from conception. From his site:
I am 100% pro life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.

I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life.

(HT: AriArmstrong.com)

Edited by softwareNerd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×