Doug Mataconis makes this point in his examination of Ron Paul’s statement that he wouldn’t have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it violates “property rights” of the owners of establishments that chose to discriminate:
It’s also worth noting that Plessy v. Ferguson involved a Louisiana law that was designed to prevent the Pullman Company from offering equal seating options to blacks. That, in fact, was the entire purpose of Jim Crow laws. Even if, for example, the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina had wanted to serve the four black college students who sat down at their lunch counter on February 1, 1960, the laws in place at the time told them that they couldn’t. Racial segregation in the South wasn’t a product of the free market, it was the product of a state imposing racial prejudices under the threat of criminal prosecution. For that reason alone, it was a violation of the 14th Amendment and the Federal Government was entirely justified in trying to bring it down.
Both of the Pauls fall back on the view that it’s oh-so-awful that the federal government might tell some private business owner that they can’t run a business however the hell they please, but they conveniently ignore the fact that state governments were imposing the same tyranny upon the same business owners for decades. I’m willing to imagine that the Pauls truly believe, as Goldwater did, that the Civil Rights Act is partially unconstitutional, and that the political convenience that many of their supporters aren’t big fans of that measure isn’t the reason they would have opposed it. So, the right question for the Pauls isn’t “would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act”, but “what would you have done about Jim Crow laws?” And if they can’t be as full-throated and precise about how the federal government had a legitimate role in ending that kind of tyranny, then not only do they deserve to be called racists, but Libertarians who support them have a lot of explaining to do.
Ron Paul tried to answer this on Hardball while Tweety was shouting over him. His basic point seemed to be that he would have also been opposed to the Jim Crow laws, which were just another form of government interference, in this case preventing a business from serving someone rather than forcing them to serve someone.
I’m no Ron Paul fan, but he has in fact answered the question you posed.
The question of whether a government has the right to enforce racism or other isms is not old-fashioned or passe. It is still a good question.
The question of whether a government’s actions have the unintended effect of promulgating discrimination, etc. is also still as pertinent as ever.
The question of whether the Pauls are worth getting all excited about is, on the other hand, old, stale, and boring. Of course they aren’t.
@snarkypsice: I think you’re right that Ron (and probably Rand) would say that Jim Crow laws were bad, but Ron at least is capable of rattling off a fairly well-thought-out Libertarian defense of letting business owners discriminate. I’ve yet to hear either of them provide the same detail on how Libertarians would have ended Jim Crow. There just doesn’t seem to be the same attention paid to that manifest injustice, versus the possibility that someone, somewhere might be forced by the federal government to serve dinner to a black man.
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
In my experience, every libertarian I know is a racist fuckwit. They make mewling noises that they aren’t, but they are.
The Ron Paul/Rand Paul model of society would lead to a number of dominionist, racist baronies, with a pretty sounding, but unenforceable bill of rights. Ultimately, those urban enclaves of social liberalism would be shut down as the baronies linked up into a monolithic theonomy dominated by exurban/suburban Christianist wingnuts.
All in the name of “liberty”, of course.
@snarkypsice: Yes, but in true Galtian-glibertarian fashion, Ron Paul also maintained that in a true free market in the contemporary age, no business could long remain viable which practiced racial discrimination. Presumably he had customers foremost in mind, query whether he presumed this would be true for both customers and employees.
In the Paul’s alternative universe, racial discrimination was entirely due to the de jure segregation contained in Jim Crow laws, rather than to the racial attitudes and social practices those laws were put in place to reinforce.
I thought that the current Republican-Libertarian viewpoint was that while it’s tyranny for the federal government to impose laws like this it’s perfectly fine for the states to do it, since anyone who doesn’t like it can simply move to a different state.
Davis X. Machina
@Jinchi: Under that scenario, Alabama gets crowded. The New Jersey-kind-of-crowed. Rhode-Island crowded…
While Paul has said he would also oppose Jim Crow laws, that is not really an answer as to what he would have done to end them. And excuse me if I question his sincerity seeing as he has printed and disseminated some of the most vile racist spewings under his own name in his eponymous newsletter. The evidence is overwhelming that Ron Paul is a racist and to question that fact or defend or support him makes me wonder about the hidden bigotries of those who do. Most especially hardcore libertarians.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael):
Yeah, and most of them purportedly have some “very good black friends” whom they make nonspecific reference to whenever they’re spouting on about how federal (and usually also state laws) against racial discrimination violate libertarian principles of freedom of association. In their mind, their personal claim that they themselves harbor no racism absolves them of any responsibility for the obvious practical consequence of their fierce advocacy of a superficially noble-sounding “principle”, to facilitate overt racial discrimination by racists with the legal backing of the state to enforce that discrimination (because the uppity blacks or latinos are trespassing on private, albeit commercial, property, and property is among the most sacred things of all in libertarian worldview).
I keep hearing that I have to respect Ron Paul for being “intellectually honest.” That is to say, he’s taken his batshit libertopian principles to their logical conclusion and spoken up for them even when it would be smarter to shut up.
Paul’s just another ideologue who claims to have the answer even before the question is asked.
Paul: Personally I am against the laws but because of states rights there is little to be done.
I think you’ve (or actually Mataconis has) already answered your question: Woolworth’s was prevented from exercising its free-market judgment by that state laws. Had those laws not been in place – which, theoretically, at least, is the position of Libertarians – then the coloreds woulda been served and everyone is happy.
I’m assuming that, in Greensboro, blacks had a large enough “market share” that the free market would have realized it was losing significant revenue, and therefore the market would have corrected itself.
Of course, that doesn’t address some other ideas/questions:
1) What happens in those areas where blacks (or other minorities) don’t have a large enough population to cause businesses to feel economic pain?
2) Where do the Libertarians stand on Brown v. Board of Ed, since that decision was the one that ended the precedent set by Plessy?
3) Where do the Libertarians stand on the Fourteenth Amendment, since that is the ostensible justification – or at least the background conditions – for Brown and CRA of 1964?
I expect much of the above have already been discussed here, so I guess I’m pulling a Jonah. And I can imagine the response to #2 is “But Brown was not about free markets, so there!”
All that being said, I still think the Paulists are more than a little bit loopy, and I can’t see a downside to them going back and being part of the free market – only. (Well, free market plus not-boci-alist-at-all-Medicare reimbursements, that is.)
Does that mean Trump has become a Libertarian? Since I hear, in addition to his colored friend(s), he gets along with Teh Blacks.
Exactly. Too bad, so sad, black people. The states have spoken. Now get back over there in the colored persons only water fountain line.
Ugh. I find Paul so repugnant that I will literally cut off a conversation and a relationship if I find someone in my life is a Paulite.
This sounds just like the same crap (and, bizarrely, on the same subject) that helped sink Barry Goldwater’s campaign in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was brand-new. Old Barry may or may not have been a racist himself, but his campaigning against the CRA put him smack on the side of the segregationists; and all his legalistic “principles” (no more than Ron Paul’s) couldn’t cover up the fact that he was, in effect, campaigning FOR violently-upheld prejudice as a governing social system.
Yet another LOGIC FAIL of “libertarianism” – simultaneously being against some social problem or issue, and adamantly insisting (out of “principle”) that nothing can be done about it outside of
imaginarytheoretical “market forces”.
And these clowns are actually elected to national office?
@SFAW: What Mataconis points out is that the situation was that the Supreme Court had ruled that it was OK for states and municipalities to have Jim Crow laws. So, given that reality, the only way to overturn those laws was Congressional action. That’s why free market handwaving and “I’m against Jim Crow” isn’t a sufficient response by the Pauls. They’re both in Congress, so they need to tell us what the right Libertarian alternative to the Civil Rights Act would have been.
@geg6: The only positive trait he has compared to other candidates is that he’s honest about his hatred of civil rights. His aides don’t have to spend nearly as much time defending his remarks as the other repub candidates do.
Bullshit. He, like his son, has not answered the question. All they have ever said is that they would be against Jim Crow laws, but when pressed on what they would have done about them, crickets. And even then, not because of any concern for justice and equal treatment, but because they think Jim Crow was government imposition on private property. Bullshit.
As someone who grew up under Jim Crow, and who actually paid attention to American history, I can state definitively that Jim Crow was absolutely not government imposing restrictions on private decisions. Jim Crow was government (Federal, state, local, as well as private practice) codification of American social and political practices.
The one thing Libertarians have is an incredible capacity for rationalizing their bad behavior. This would be impressive if not for the fact that any four year old does the same.
Mataconis is aware that Paul’s central economic plank is the return to the gold standard, isn’t he? And it’s bullshit to say that a candidate’s position on issues that would be difficult to change is irrelevant in judging a candidate. Would Mataconis think it was irrelevant if a candidate wanted to nationalize the banking industry because it would be very difficult to pass that through Congress?
A candidate’s philosophy is completely relevant in judging his or her fitness for office.
Ron Paul’s statement about Jim Crow laws was that “he would not have voted against repeal of (these) laws,” which is an extremely obtuse way of phrasing it. Why not say he would have supported repeal? In a purely objective sense, he would never have voted to repeal these laws because he was never a member of a legislative body that could have repealed the laws. I also suspect that in the early 1960’s in Texas there never was a bill for Paul to “not vote against,” even if he had been a member of the Texas legislature.
@henqiguai: Without Jim Crow laws, at least 90% of the segregation and discrimination would still have happened. It is not like those laws magically appeared without human involvement. People wanted them and voted for politicians that would make them happen. Mataconis is dumber that tree bark.
Libertarianism makes you stupid.
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
I feel that this is key. His son Rand is just a self-serving twit, but Ron at *least* talks a more or less consistent Libertarian game. He’s certainly willing to make very unpopular stands for it that will prevent him from getting anywhere near nomination.
The problem is that pure Libertarianism is absolute, unvarnished bullshit. Pure market forces have never enforced social or any other kind of justice in the past. Everything good our society has – education, safe food, a transportation infrastructure, every scrap of equality – came from government intervention.
Look, if Ron Paul held a view that everything was the work of fairies it would be just as consistent and just as realistic.
Davis X. Machina
What happens, happens.
As Rawls pointed out in his critique of utilitarianism, the arithmetic gets ugly at the margins. If the good of the greater number is increased sufficiently by doing really extreme harm to a really small number of the few, the few go to the wall, perhaps literally. At that point you not only may do it, you sort of have to do it, or concede an objective standard outside the utilitarian calculus that tells you where the edges are. And when you do that, the air goes out of the utilitarian balloon….
I get tired of hearing what Ron Paul would have done during the civil rights era. He was 20 years old in 1955. Did he actually do or say anything then, during the next fifteen years? He wasn’t involved in politics at the time, but surely someone with such strong convictions might have some record of having spoken out against Jim Crow laws.
Libertarianism is an example of what happens when you take one good idea, in this case liberty, and prioritize it over everything else, in every situation.
Everyone but the Pauls seems to know better than that.
What an odd position in today’s world.
I have often asked myself this same question. I can understand how they desire to protect private business’s freedom to be douchebags.
But that still doesn’t let them off the hook for the whole reason the civil rights legislation came into the national conversation in the first place. What would you hardcore libertarians have done about the State Gov’t sanctioned, institutional racism that was rampant in MANY part of America at the time.
At the same time, I’d like to call BULLSHIT on the premise that property rights trump civil rights. That’s just false.
When individuals civil liberties are artificially suppressed (through the racist actions of others), their freedom to acquire property rights is also artificially suppressed.
Property rights are meaningless when whole sectors of society are prevented from obtaining them.
I wonder how foolishly consistent the Pauls would be if the states’ rights they claim are sacrosanct generally resulted in discrimination against wealthy white men, rather than people of color, gays and lesbians, women and religious minorities. I’m thinking not so very. Libertarians always shrug and say there’s a price to be paid for free-market freedom, but it’s never, ever a price that they themselves will have to bear.
Yes, but Atlas Shrugged warn’t published until two years later. Then it took Ron 13 or so years to figure out that the book’s “thesis” spoke directly to his heart-of-hearts. Plus, during that period, he had “other priorities”.
So don’t be too hard on the poor guy.
This isn’t news. Ron Paul wrote an impassioned attack on the Civil Rights Act back in *2004*!
“The Trouble With the ’64 Civil Rights Act by Ron Paul”
Ron Paul is not a libertarian. He’s an Anti-Federalist. Remember when he blasted the Supreme Court for striking down Texas’ Homosexual Control Act? Apparently he was ok with states legislating what you can do in the bedroom but not with the federal government striking down state laws legislating what you can do in the bedroom. Oh, I suppose he would have been against the Texas law, but if getting rid of it meant the feds had to get involved, then what a horror!
I even have a link.
Actually, I could argue that it’s not liberty per se, but liberty to exercise your property rights.
ETA: Of course, I’d need to get that lobotomy first, but I could still do it.
My willingness to give Paul and his fellow travelers the benefit of the doubt on these sorts of issues went out the window after seeing the Ron Paul Political Report that James Kirchick (his sole contribution to the betterment of mankind) compiled from the early-mid 90’s.
Chait at TNR reposts some of the “highlights” from those newsletters, if you need a refresher –
A “Private Business” is a misnomer. Public streets paid for by all taxpayers are used to get to the private business. The public water supply, sewer system, electric grid, gas infrastructure are all used by the “private business”.
Public police forces and fire departments protect the “private business”. If there is a natural disaster FEMA dollars and federal flood insurance will be used by the “private business”.
Why should minority tax dollars support a business that is allowed to exclude them. Private business means a small part of the public good that is purchased. It is overlaid and supported by an overwhelming amount of public tax money.
It’s actually a lot worse than that. The question is “What happens in those areas where socially enforced discrimination against minorities prevents them from having sufficient economic power to be a meaningful market force?” Because remember, the discrimination isn’t just in selling things to minorities, it’s in providing all kinds of opportunities to minorities, including, crucially, education and employment opportunities. Nobody ever seems to remember that.
A stable market economy can coexist perfectly well with vicious socially enforced discrimination — you will simply have some loss of talent and overall production capacity relative to a less discriminatory society because you’re keeping an arbitrarily-selected population in misery, rather than allowing them to participate in whatever meritocracy (however flawed) you have. This will probably be a good thing for the propertied classes that libertarians seek to protect — a significant and permanent underclass is handy to provide cheap servants and to provide a foil and distraction for the not-quite-as-poor people.
The consistent Libertarian opposes any restrictions on people coming to this country to work whatsoever. After all, the government has no business telling people where they can and can’t go, and it has no business telling businesses who they can and can’t hire. Of course this idea is anathema to the right wing. Curiously, Ron Paul has compromised on this Libertarian principle. Yet he remains consistent when it comes to allowing businesses to discriminate against whoever they please.
Well, it’s not as if they count/matter.
They would have done nothing.
Repealing Jim Crow laws would be slavery for the white race, just as being a doctor, practicing under a universal health care system, is slavery, according to Rand Paul.
Property uber alles!
The what? Never heard of, nor witnessed, such a thing.
Interestingly, Teh Google returns zero hits when you plug in that phrase. (Well, not really, but 77 hits ain’t much.)
“Libertarians” like Ron Paul are just moochers.
His so-called “private business” is a creation of the state since only the government can register or incorporate a business. He then wants his government created “private” entity to conduct commerce using government created notes and paper.
But when the government comes back and says that in return for creating your business and backing your transactions with a government guarantee, you need to play by the rules we create, Ron Paul wants to mooch and refuse to hold up his end of the arrangement.
Like all libertarians he wants something for nothing and uses phrases like “private business” for a government created entity to get us to pretend that his fantasyland is actually true.
@TheF79: I’ve had multiple conversations with overwrought Paulbots who earnestly insisted that Ron Paul must have had no clue what was going into all those newsletters with his name on them. Presenting them with the Chait story simply made them angry about this attempted “liberal smear” and threw them into increasingly convoluted excuse-making as they tried and failed to reconcile the facts with their beloved image of “Dr. Paul.” Remember, these are the people who are always crying about how they’re the only ones in the U.S. who exercise self-accountability. Pathetic.
Thanks for nothing. Now I have “Springtime for Rand Paul and Kentucky” running through my head.
Libertarians would argue a number of things in the alternative here:
1) In Libertyville, this is all done by private contractors and you pay fees for it. If you don’t have enough money to pay for these things, you don’t get to use them. Property!
2) Taxes are too high! Theft! Initiation of force! (This is just a general purpose response — whether it’s applicable or not doesn’t matter.)
3) After all, property owners will pay more taxes than moochers, so should have more rights. (Never mind that the first thing that will happen in a propertarian society like, say, Alabama or Mississippi is that the taxes will be massively regressive.)
4) And, ultimeately to the extent that taxes pay for all of these things, the government should still prioritize the liberty of property as an ideological matter. Socially-enforced discrimination, no matter how pervasive, is simply a fact of life — the price of liberty, etc. etc. IOW, we don’t give a shit.
Obviously, since principled libertarians oppose any sort of government intervention into one’s private individual or commercial choices, a good starting point is to emphasize the wrongness of interfering with systematized discrimination against and abuse of an entire sector of the population because of their presumed descent group (i.e., originating in Africa, at the time, not just skin shade).
It would probably be really questionable for the federal government to have thoroughly investigated, captured, arrested, and systematically destroyed any individuals’ and organizations’ actions via violence to prevent African Americans from exercising the same legal and commercial rights as whites.
Because, you never know, there could be a slippery slope — if the federal government got too nosy and coercive about local groups and especially business- and elite-backed groups of thugs harassing, threatening, beating, and killing local blacks, who knows if next they’d be breaking down your door and taking your guns?
It’s also crucial to do nothing about the decades of placing trillions of dollars of government-backed housing wealth in the hands of white people exclusively, since we need to stop all this government intervention where ever it is at the moment.
It was also wrong for the federal government to so forcible intervene to prevent Confederate states from separating from the Union.
All they had wanted to remain was the federal imposition upon all non-slave-holding states to capture and return any escaped enslaved people to their enslaver upper classes in the slave-holding South.
States’ rights, after all.
And local governments are always better than national governments, whether or not empirical evidence (i.e., reality) shows them to be authoritarian and/or totalitarian nightmares, because they’re more local, and hypothetically in another universe more easy to change.
Well, the Republicans ARE the “Party of Personal Responsibility”.
(Well, actually, they’re the “Party of Personal Responsibility When Saying So Works to Their Political Advantage, But Otherwise, or Actually Behaving in A Personally-Responsible Manner, Not So Much”, but you get the idea.)
@Observer: Since I tend to disagree with most of your comments, I thought should pop in there and say: This; you nailed it.
Also too, hearing Libertarians pontificate about the free market always reminds me of this.
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus):
Another thing libertarians tend to shy away from, in my experience, is the role of government in establishing mechanisms for limited individual liability. In a libertarian world, why should an artificial entity such as a corporation have rights? Libertarian individuals should take personal responsibility for everything they do.
“A candidates position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is about as relevant to current American politics as their position on Bimetalism would be.”
Bullshit, it is highly relevant because it shows that libertarians ignore the real world consequences of their ideology.
For example,they oppose license plates for cars. Gee, how do you identify that hit-and-run driver? Morans
Since some, like the Pauls, are goldbugs, bimetallism is not as farfetched as one might think.
Libertarians seem to believe that the government should only enforce property and contract rights, although I’ve never quite understood why the government should be involved in these areas and not others (like basic civil rights).
They were more common a few decades ago. Back then, Libertarians were roughly divided between conservative Libertarians and purists. You could tell the latter, because they believed taxation was still theft even when it was used to fund the military, and they believed the government had no right to exclude individuals from entering the country based on citizenship. Consistent Libertarians seem rarer today. Perhaps those remaining wisely decided that any attempt to bring Libertarianism into politics inevitably sullies the former.
@Baud: I know the answer to that one… It’s because, Shut up! That’s why.
You have no inherent “right” to run any particular business, any more than you have an inherent “right” to any particular job.
An employee must conform to the employer’s standards and behaviors, and even then (within certain limits anyway), he ultimately keeps his job at the pleasure (and for the profit) of the employer.
Similarly, a business must also conform to certain standards and behaviors– some legal, some social. And, even then, that business ultimately only exists because it has received some sort of charter from the local government. That government, in turn, derives its power from the governed. So the Owner actually receives his right to do business from the People.
I’ll type that again, because I like it: The Owner receives his right to do business from the People. If the government ceased to exist tomorrow, all businesses and corporations would disappear, also.
Like most right-wing memes, it’s just stealth feudalism: So many of the libertarian arguments hinge implicitly on the notion that the rights of “The Owner” are supreme, trumping all others. But there is nothing, nothing, nothing in the Constitution stating that this is so. If anything, the USC is pretty damned communitarian (“We the People”, “The General Welfare”, etc).
Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus)
From the article:
Look past the racism in these statements. I know, that will be hard. Behind it is ‘Fairies! Fairies! Fairies!’ How can you argue with a philosophy pursued by saying that all bad results come from government intervention and good things will automatically happen without it? Point to a bad result of their philosophy and they’ll blame it on the government. They don’t need to draw a line from A to B, they just have to say it’s there.
Umm, yeah…….. I’m certain that there wasn’t a grassroots groundswell of support from the Wallacites and ThurmondZombies to get those oppressive local, county and state laws out of their private businesses. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of any massive Diner Owner-Woolsworth’s Managers-Restauranture sponsored marches chanting “Cry Havoc let slip the Freedom Fries of Civil Rights!”.
This is probably too far down in the comments to matter, but…
The belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is unconstitutional isn’t just based on some “principled” interpretation of the Commerce Clause; it’s also based on a completely hacktackular interpretation of Section 5 of the 14th Amendment from The Civil Rights Cases a set of reconstruction-era cases that basically say that the 14th Amendment doesn’t say what it says so that the wouldn’t have to hurt any more southerner fee-fees.
So, unless you think Section 5 really doesn’t give Congress the right to remedy wrongs against minorities, especially blacks, you can’t believe the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional regardless of your Randian theory of the commerce clause.
The Ancient Randonneur
You’ll get that coherent and full-throated explanation from either Senator or Congressman Paul just after you get that reach around from “the invisible hand”, but you knew that.
Last week I saw a car in McLean with a couple of bumper-stickers: “Who is John Galt” and “Atlas Shrugged: and so did I!”. the kicker, the car had handicapped license plates. Apparently government interference is bad, except when it sets aside parking spaces and candidates ramps and accessible bathrooms…
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
Medicare paid mobility scooters with flags and teatard bumper stickers…
I find it absolutely unfathomable that SO many people in this country are worried about Ron Paul or Rand Paul. These two men are FAR more honest and forthright people than 99% of the politicians currently holding offices in the U.S. And why do so many of you believe that every Libertarian is a racist? That’s ridiculous on multiple levels! I don’t believe that Ron Paul is a “messiah” or anything like that, but I certainly think that his core values are vitally important to our political system and we need to move towards his way of thinking rather quickly before our financial system crumbles into nothing.
Davis X. Machina
@Baud: A conception of the legal ‘person’ as a mere congeries of owned property and the rights to own and alienate same, and not as a ‘person’ in the sense that that term has been understood since Noah shut the door on the Ark?
That idea of what a ‘person’ is would be literally inexplicable to anyone born before, say, 1825.
“Everything good our society has – education, safe food, a transportation infrastructure, every scrap of equality – came from government intervention.”
This could be the most ignorant comment I’ve ever read. Wow.
Libertarians need to read some actual histories of the civil rights movement and how desegregation came about.
For starters, this book has a chapter that shows pretty clearly that federal intervention was absolutely necessary. The free market brought chaos — boycotts by civil rights activists, counter-boycotts by segregationists and the KKK, and just chaos that scared away customers and was bad for business.
For the most part, small businesses like restaurants and hotels didn’t want to stick their necks out one way or the other when it came to segregation or desegregation; they just wanted a clear rule that they and their competitors would stick to, so they could get back to business.
Some businessmen did follow the line of Rand Paul and Ron Paul, that being forced to serve blacks was a violation of their property rights, but most of them were straight up racists. Folks like Lester Maddox, who chased blacks away from his restaurant with an axe handle — and rode the infamy all the way to the governor’s mansion.
I think this is just the essence of libertarianism-ignoring real world problems in favor of theoretical abstracts. It’s incredibly frustrating to argue with people who just refuse to accept that reality is not simple and the answer to issues is rarely as simple as “government is the problem”.
Ron Payl upped the crank factor on Doc today, saying Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional, and compared them to slavery.
That seems to be the default position among Libertoonian cranks, that anything they don’t like is compared to slavery. As opposed to your regular conservative cranks, who compare everything they don’t like to Nazis.
Davis X. Machina
@Brian R.: Interesting that the common-law crime of defrauding an innkeeper, and the common-law duty of an innkeeper to receive and lodge at his in all travelers and to entertain them at reasonable prices without any special or previous contract, seem to have grown up together.
Take the King’s shilling — his protection against fraud — fight the king’s war.
I’m wondering how much of this libertarian fascination with lodging and law goes only back as far as Heart of Atlanta….
This whole Paul/libertarian argument goes into the same shit-bin as the “the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about state’s rights” trope.
Here’s the long and short on Ron Paul:
His entire ideology is based off of the belief that the UN and Federal Reserve are controlled by evil Jewish Bankers.
Try and find something to contradict me.
Villago Delenda Est
“Libertarianism” is just a marketing term, much like “National Soshulism” was in Germany in the 20’s and 30’s. A label to appeal to people when the actual working political philosophy of the movement is in diametrical opposition to the label.
@Omnes Omnibus: Appreciate it.
@Southern Beale: Wow. Just wow.
@Davis X. Machina:
That’s a good point — and actually I think the civil rights activists in Atlanta tried to use an old Georgia innkeeper’s law, but the state segregationists quickly repealed it.
The Heart of Atlanta story in that book is interesting. The owner said the Civil Rights Act violated the 13th Amendment. In other words, it was slavery.
Really good — while the title suggests casual mockery, the essay is a nicely detailed critique. Thanks!
I don’t take Paul seriously because he’s a libertarian and I don’t believe libertarian’s live in the REAL WORLD. I happen to believe libertarian is just a fantasy way of hiding behind racism, because Paul is a racist.
IF you say, publicly, that you do not support and would not have voted for what made my family full citizens within the laws of the land, then I’m not going to take you seriously. There are some things, as a Black person, that are NON-NEGOTIABLE. That you would vote for the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act are just ‘ gimmes’, and anyone who says that they wouldn’t have voted for them needs to be treated as the enemy of the Black community that they are.
Jim Crow was not THEORETICAL for my family who lived in the South, in Tennessee and Mississippi. Yes, my mother grew up in the POLICE STATE OF JIM CROW MISSISSIPPI.
Here’s FACTUAL for the Pauls…
My father…a man who put on the uniform for this country and risked his life in not one, but two military conflicts,
IFFF he had stayed in the state of his birth..
would have been FORTY-TWO YEARS OLD before he would have been able to exercise his RIGHT TO VOTE.
FORTY-TWO YEARS OLD.
That is the kind of FACT that libertarians living in delusion DON’T WANT TO FACE.
So, you understand why trying to do ‘ intellectual conversations’ on Paul and other libertarian positions, just are blowing smoke.
Should’ve read your comment first before writing #74. I guess government action has always been slavery in their eyes.
Davis X. Machina
@Brian R.: They don’t want to return to a feudal era — they want to return to a pre-feudal era.
Too bad that there was essentially no notion of ‘private property’ in either one.
How far back are they prepared to regress?
The Right sees “Jim Crow” laws as “ancient history”, but 1960’s radicals and the Cultural War of that era are simultaneously seen as extremely valid and relevant today.
How does that work?
@rikyrah: You are right that certain Civil Rights issues are simply non-negotiable. In addition to the Civil Rights Acts, I would add that anyone who has a problem with Brown v. Board of Education also forfeits being taken seriously. I have problems with people who can’t accept the result of Roe v. Wade as well; the opinion itself can be debated as to legal reasoning, but the result not so much.
@Southern Beale: Wow. When you’re–by extension–accusing Chris freaking Wallace of espousing an “extreme liberal viewpoint,” then you’ve really gone off the deep end.
It’s like when a reporter asked Adam Clayton Powell Jr. if he thought “all Negroes should support the civil rights movement in the South.”
“Oh, no,” he said, “I think any American who believes in freedom and democracy should support the civil rights movement in the South.”
Of course, their only sincere concern is for Liberty, which is also true of all their followers, none whom (it goes without saying) are racists themselves (wink wink).
The bestest libertarian argument is one that’s popular among von mises fans about how the dreadful Lincolnian tyranny of tariffs threatened the free economy of the pre-civil war South. Because nothing is more free than a slave state.
Well, not quite so. Those businesses who could hire private police forces or de facto armies even would continue to function as businesses. In fact, they become the de facto government, perhaps an extremely vile, ruthless one, but nonetheless a de facto government. Parts of Mexico that are dominated by drug cartel gangs are nearing that status, despite the nominal, but nearly totally ineffective continuing presence of Mexico’s civil government, police, and military.
There’s the matter of fed rights vs. state rights that you’re ignoring here. The fed and states don’t hold the same rights under the Constitution. While the federal government arguably doesn’t have the authority to pass the civil rights act, the states presumably do.
In any event, I don’t think you’re going to get much argument that the civil rights act wasn’t a good law to pass.
I think the Pauls agree with the intention of the law, just not every aspect of it.
But again, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are racist. Not everyone that disagrees with you is a racist. Change the name of the site to Racist Juice instead of Balloon Juice – that will more accurately reflect the majority of positions on the issues discussed here.
Davis X. Machina
I’m guessing they have the right to pass ‘all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States’, including the 14th Amendment.
And Congress can certainly repeal those laws.
Tell you what: Your genius is wasted here, on us. You need to run for Congress on a platform of undoing the disaster that is the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
It seems to me that it’s sufficiently an abomination to have its repeal provide the rationale for not just the isolated candidate for office, but an entire political party.
Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937
Operating a business in the public sphere (i.e. You have a great big OPEN sign next to the public side walk in the down town business area) is not the same as owning a bicycle. You can refuse to share your bicycle with whoever you please. That OPEN sign means something else.
employers regularly discriminate against employees on the basis of race, gender, and a host of other categories protected by the 1964 civil rights act. do the pauls think that employers should be able to make employment decisions (hire, fire, promote, demote, discipline, etc.) on the basis of those categories?
@Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus):
My problem is, what is he doing in govt at all? I mean it seems that asking Paul for any kind of help for a situation would just be met with no. He’s got the best job in the world, thanks to libertarian principles, he doesn’t have to do anything it would seem.
No disagreement here, I believe this would happen, also (this is basically how the modern State evolved in the first place). But IMO a government that rules without the consent of the governed has no endemic “right” to exist.
So if someone came along and blew up that would-be “private State’s” fuel/ammunition depot because their water supply was poisoned (for example), that would be (IMO) a legal act of war of the People against an unsanctioned State, not an act of anti-State terrorism.
Another irony of so-called Libertarians, BTW: So many of them are pencil-necked geeks who wouldn’t last a day without the legal and physical protections of the State they hate so much.
The libertarian view of the world was always an overly simplistic house of cards.
Of course they cannot just stop there. They would argue there is no need for gov’t health inspectors. So if the restaurant owner wanted to serve deep fried rat and advertise it as chicken he should have every right to do it as a private business owner and just let the customers decide his fate.
Libertarian arguments are just too easy to dispute.
You could ask that of just about any libertarian, or pretty much anyone on their side of the aisle. What are you doing here? This is the problem, not the solution, remember?
Hence my oft-repeated assertion that voting people into government who’re so invested in the belief that government is the enemy, is like building a Yankees team out of Red Sox fans. Of course the government’s a clusterfuck: we’ve spent the last thirty years electing people who openly proclaim that they hate the thing they’re going to be running, and think it should die in a fire.
All governments are going to have problems of some kind, but people like that are a guarantee for maximum inefficiency.
Or having PETA run the local butcher shop. Or putting Scientologists in charge of the psychiatric clinic.
etc. etc. etc.
JR in WV
When I was a little boy we drove to Florida one winter for vacation. Pre-Interstate completion, we drove a few miles on new 4-lane, then a detour through the country to the next completed piece of Interstate.
I saw the little board shanties, up on 4 rocks (or 6 sometimes) you could see under them, and through the cracks in the walls. These folks were sharecroppers, all black. There were signs I didn’t understand about “colored only/white only” on water fountains and bathrooms. Filling stations seemed to have 2 nice bathrooms for white gents and ladies, and another for “colored only.”
I asked Mom what the signs meant (I was probably under 10, and it was the 1950s) and she said “Shh, we’ll talk about it later” as she didn’t want us to get into trouble as Yankees.
I’ve always been proud that my Dad believed in Civil Rights and the work of the NAACP, back when that meant more of a commitment than it does today.
Racists are some of the most evil and troublesome people on the planet. They rejoice in hurting those less powerful than they, grownups crushing little girls and boys under their thumbs.
Never forget that racists like the Paulists blew up little girls in their church, right here in America, in my lifetime!
They will do it again, given any chance that it might bring back their obscene power over anyone they can get up over, whether that be Black people, Jewish people, or Democrats!
It’s because they hate poor people, and they hate people different from themselves. They want to throw out the baby with the bath water. They are also confident that whatever happens to govt that it doesn’t apply to them.
What they don’t understand is that if they are middle class they will get screwed without active govt intervention. They don’t automatically get a ticket just because they supported the policies that make the rich richer to join them. Silly people. The fact that they can’t see past what happens after the policies they are benefiting from whether directly or indirectly seems to show a gap in their judgement.
Sometimes you wish a period in the wilderness might be humbling but that would require a certain amount of self reflection. Instead being out in the wilderness only turns into wild animals.
Slavery was a states’ rights issue in that states enslaving people demanded that the federal government force any non-enslaving states to capture and returned escaped slaves.
You can’t really effectively maintain slavery in certain states if your slaves can just get away.
So “states rights” regarding slavery is the most absurd patent propaganda nonsense imaginable.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Holy fuck, did he completely reverse course in midstream there or what?
“Social Security is illegal!”
“But the SCOTUS ruled it legal”
“Well, they said slavery was legal, also, too!”
“Well, slavery was legal, also, too, until the 13th Amendment made it illegal.”
There are few things more infuriating than the common libertarian defense that it is impossible for them to hold racist beliefs, because they are rugged individualists and racism is a “collectivist” trait.
I’d just like the government to not interfere with my right to discriminate against Libertarians.
Not that there’s a ton of difference, but it seems like a lot of the comments here – probably including mine – are equating Libertarianism with Objectivism.
On the other hand, adherents of both schools of “thought” are, in general, ninnies.
Although I love trashing the Randians as much as the next person, perhaps we should be more judicious in our trashing.
Or not. Whatever. Screw it, they’re all useless anyway.
Or not. Whatever. Screw it, they’re all useless anyway.
That’s the spirit!
Although I’m not sure that useless goes quite far enough. The ideals they hold and try to impose on the rest of us sort of makes them, well assholes.
Amended for even more accuracy
@SFAW: Hey, I don’t like the use of the term “Anarchist” simply to describe the black-wearing ‘utes in the streets often looking for direct confrontations and often vandalism, but that’s who people see that use that name.
Not to mention that the non-property-focused libertarians to me are the real libertarians, because they don’t want people to be coerced by private economic power either.
Let me write this down…
Don’t vote for Ron Paul because he doesn’t want government telling me what to do in any given situation.
Got it. NEXT!
In my case, it’s because he has conflated the two.
Well yeah, Libertarianism is where all the Segregationists went after 1964.
Oh sure, Ayn Rand, social Darwinism, and objectivism are all from much earlier in history, but the explosion of support for this ideology in the form of what we consider modern Libertarianism directly corresponds with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Once this passed, suddenly there was all this newfound respect for an ideology built on the primacy of States Rights against an intrusive and violent federal government. Suddenly all these people were against the “force” and “violence” of the federal government and how it would come in with troops even to “force” things to do with private property.
Hell, how can’t you still hear the dog whistle to the damn civil war much less the one to the end of segregation.
There’s a reason that Libertarianism has always found itself at home with conservatives, why fiscal conservatism and Libertarianism seemed to coincide with what would benefit a strong racist. And why despite all the flowery language, there’s nary a black person to be found in Libertarian circles.
It’s because these people are racists. They have been from the beginning and we need to stop pretending otherwise.
They support massive federal intrusion on the medical procedures of women but feel that ending Jim Crow was an unconstitutional attack on personal freedom, not because they are principled idiots, slave to their ideology, but because they have realized that you can sell the most toxic shit imaginable if you just talk in dog whistles and argue that every word doesn’t mean its common definition.
Why do you think all the wingnuts have taken to speaking entirely in codewords and groupspeak? They are trying to duplicate the success they had in disguising racism as Libertarianism.
Every second we spend pretending that this ideology is nothing less than the decades long death scream of the segregationists, the people who fled to the suburbs and fought every step of the way to keep the old separations clear continue to get away with it. Every second we pretend not to notice that the Tea Party wanna be Klansmen are making standard Libertarian arguments for why they aren’t racist, is another second wasted on those who argue in bad faith.
Yes, the Libertarian lack of support for the Civil Rights Act should be front and center of each of their “I’m just a principled weasel” actions, because it’s why there are Libertarians. The segregationists, oh I’m sorry, principled Libertarians, are just so darn worried about high taxes and violations of individual freedom, that they just happen to not notice when taxes go down and just happen to be against every protection of individual freedom of movement and action (whether it be abortion access or anti-discrimination laws).
Yeah, pull the other one, it has bells on.
That is much better. And more truthful.
I’m just one person so YMMV but with very few exceptions the government does not tell me what to do. They do sometimes tell me what will happen if I get caught doing certain things. When I was in the military I did get told what to do. A lot. But then I was an “employee”.
What the hell am I told to do? Nothing. Now maybe you take cautionary tales differently than me but I feel like I have a lot of leeway in dealing with every situation that I am faced with. Some ways can have good outcomes and some not so much but the government never tells me what to do, only what the possible outcomes are. YMMV
I will just mention that I’m aware of several blogs that would fall under the “consistent libertarianism” that is mentioned somewhat in previous comments.
All of them, without fail, have criticized Dr. Paul (and son) for all those things you guys are blasting him for.
His refusal to oppose state laws that suppress liberty (Jim Crow, anti-gay-marriage laws, etc) is the main indicator that he is definitely NOT a libertarian in the accepted sense of the term.
I’m pretty sure most libertarians would support alternatives to the limited liability corporation, ESPECIALLY in its current form.
I’ll have to check Doug Mataconis out more.
@Seth Finkelstein: Yes, but Seth, the “news” is that Ron Paul actually believes that the rest of America is now caught up with his ideas. Which means he thinks that other Americans think the Federal Government has no role in protecting the vulnerable against the tyranny of the hegemons.
And when do the doctors Paul start turning down those nasty government Medicare/Medicaid payments?
Thanks, but I know it’s what you were planning to write originally – you just ran out of pixels, and I had some extra ones, so I thought I’d help out.
Ron/Raynd Paul hate the very institution they are elected to represent. Where is the logic in that?
As a business owner, would I hire an interviewee who says he dispises my company and, if hired, will work from within to destroy the company?
Makes as much sense as electing a Paul.
And there seems to be a river of glibertarianism leaking into mainstream gop politics.