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Defending a Libertarian Position on Antidiscrimination Laws

Antidiscrimination laws are here to stay, but they must not trump constitutional rights.

My essay, The Boundaries of Antidiscrimination Laws, has been published in an excellent new book, The Cambridge Handbook of Classical Liberal Thought, edited by the University of Chicago Law School's Todd Henderson. Here is the abstract for my essay:

Because of the long, sorry history of American racism, perhaps nothing is more harmful to the libertarian "brand" than skepticism of antidiscrimination laws that apply to private parties. Yet race is only one of many protected categories under modern anti-discrimination laws. The proliferation of antidiscrimination laws protecting groups ranging from people over age forty to members of motorcycle gangs explains why even libertarians who are especially sensitive to America's history of racism are loath to concede the principle that the government may ban private sector discrimination. There is no natural limit to the scope of antidiscrimination laws, because the concept of antidiscrimination is almost infinitely malleable. To concede the general power of government to redress private discrimination through legislation would be to concede virtually unlimited power to the government.

Besides the political ramifications of opposing popular civil rights legislation, many critics of adopting a laissez-faire posture toward discrimination in the private sector seem to believe that antidiscrimination laws somehow magically transform members of despised minority groups into full equal citizens in the eyes of the majority. Antidiscrimination laws can plausibly accelerate trends toward greater tolerance of minorities. These laws can also force a local majority, such as southern whites in the 1960s, to heed the values of a national majority, such as non-southern whites, who by 1964 had turned strongly against racial segregation. Antidiscrimination laws are unlikely, however, to provide much protection to a minority group when the majority of the voting population is hostile to that group.

Given their strong anti-statist presumptions, libertarians will generally remain presumptively opposed to the panoply of modern private sector antidiscrimination laws. That said, the basic federal laws banning discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, as originally conceived in 1964—before the courts and civil rights bureaucracies devised problematic doctrines like "disparate impact" liability—were relatively benign. If everyone from farmers to military contractors to ACORN is able to successfully lobby the government to protect their interests, it's not especially troubling that members of minority groups, who have more legitimate grievances than most legislative supplicants, also use legislation to protect their interests. Indeed, it would be troubling if there was a sudden popular move to repeal antidiscrimination legislation, if it were unaccompanied by broader libertarian political trends, because it would suggest that opposition to such laws came arose from hostility to minority groups, not from opposition to Big Government.

Libertarians can and should insist, however, that a line be drawn at the point where such laws infringe on the constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, expressive association, and other civil liberties. The laudable goal of the ever-broadening antidiscrimination edifice is to achieve a fairer, more just society. Laudable goals, however, don't justify giving the government excessive authority, or disguising the implications of doing so.

Relatedly, many anti-Israel activists, alarmed by state legislation seeking to penalize boycotts of Israel in various ways, have lately been trumpeting the "right to boycott" that such legislation would allegedly invade. There is, in fact, no right to boycott an entity on ideological grounds in American constituitional law as it stands today. The case of Rumsfeld v. FAIR makes this abundantly clear. Law schools claimed a First Amendment right to exclude military recruiters from campus, i.e., to impose a boycott on the military. The Court said there is no such right. As Eugene explained yesterday, the Court's opinion did not depend on the fact that the law schools in question were recipients of federal funds. So if the government decrees that banning discrimination against an entity, including boycotts of that entity, are illegal, the Constitution isn't going to help you. That conflicts with libertarian ideals, but once our system has accepted the notion that "discrimination," even on ideological grounds, is not constitutionally protected, then it doesn't matter if the law shields racial minorities, motorcycle gang members (an actual protected class in Minnesota), the military, or those associated with Israel from discrimination, which includes boycotts.

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  • NToJ||

    Typo in the title. It's a little one.

    I am generally opposed to anti discrimination laws (for private actors). I don't think they are effective since they're only enacted in places that don't need anti discrimination laws.

  • Westmiller||

    What? The word "trump" has to be capitalized?

    I don't like the double negatives in the article. It isn't that libertarians are opposed to anti-discrimination, but that we are in favor of an absolute freedom of association.

    Government should never coerce anyone into dealing with anyone they dislike, for any foolish reason. At the same time, government (i.e.: the law) should never differentiate among those subject to the law. This is the common constitutional mandate of "equal treatment under the law".

    From the article: "There is, in fact, no right to boycott an entity on ideological grounds in American constituitional law as it stands today."

    The right to associate with whomever you please in private social intercourse has long been presumed to be a valid and proper component of a right to liberty. Like a right to travel freely, they are (or should be) subsumed under the Ninth Amendment.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Westmiller, is it your view that whatever is protected by the Ninth Amendment is thereby incorporated into the U.S. Constitution? I don't think that's what the amendment says, but it seems to be what a lot of libertarians expect.

    Actually, it hardly seems possible. If we imagine the advocates for some right—call it Right1000—insisting on on incorporation, why can't there be another group, insisting on it's negation—Not Right1000? On what basis do you incorporate into the U.S. Constitution one and not the other? Or both?

    In short, why doesn't the language of the amendment mean exactly what it seems to say—that unenumerated rights get left alone, just as they were, to be vindicated by whatever means previously applied. If you've got a natural right, then the Constitution doesn't say it's invalid, and you can continue to vindicate it by appeals to nature. If you've got a divine right, it's not invalid either, and you can vindicate it by appeals to God. And if you've got a right declared by a state constitution, you can vindicate that in your state court. You can even have Right1000, and Not Right1000, both valid, but in different states.

    And best of all, the U.S. Constitution doesn't disparage any of them.

  • Westmiller||

    The Ninth is certainly part of the U.S. Constitution. It simply says:
    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights [the first eight amendments], shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    I'm simply saying that the right to free association and travel are (and have always been presumed to be) integral components of the right to individual liberty. The preamble of the Constition asserts that a primary purpose is to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity".

    I'll certainly concur with your assertion that claimed rights must be justified, but I wouldn't automatically grant any claims of divine assertion or arbitrary preferences.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Hear" to stay? Surely you meant "here".

  • Michael Masinter||

    I think the OP overstates its reading of FAIR to conclude that there is no constitutional right to engage in a boycott as a form of political speech. The opening paragraph of CJ Roberts' opinion limits its scope by identifying a source of legislative power that Congress generally cannot rely on in enacting antidiscrimination law:

    "The Constitution grants Congress the power to "provide for the common Defence," "[t]o raise and support Armies," and "[t]o provide and maintain a Navy." Art. I, §8, cls. 1, 12–13. Congress' power in this area "is broad and sweeping," O'Brien, 391 U. S., at 377, and there is no dispute in this case that it includes the authority to require campus access for military recruiters. That is, of course, unless Congress exceeds constitutional limitations on its power in enacting such legislation. See Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U. S. 57, 67 (1981) . But the fact that legislation that raises armies is subject to First Amendment constraints does not mean that we ignore the purpose of this legislation when determining its constitutionality; as we recognized in Rostker, "judicial deference is at its apogee" when Congress legislates under its authority to raise and support armies."

    Nothing in Fair purports to overrule or limit NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, so I think that boycotts as a means of political expression have not been consigned to the dumpster yet.

  • David Bernstein||

    There is also the fact that secondary boycotts have been illegal since Taft-Hartley. But yes, boycotts, per se, might be constitutionally protected under Claiborne Hardware. But near as I can tell, not if the prohibition on boycott is put in terms of "discrimination." E.g., "no state university university employee may discriminate against any student because of that student's association with the Israeli government, institutions affiliated with the Israeli government, businesses or organizations based in Israel, etc etc."

  • David Bernstein||

    Thinking about it further, I think the distinction is that anyone may *advocate* a boycott, but the government may prohibit the economic act of boycotting.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    This seems strange. As I sit here, I'm simultaneously boycotting almost the entire economy. How do you prohibit the economic act of boycotting without affirmatively compelling economic transactions?

    Was the ACA mandate less unprecedented than I thought?

  • M.L.||

    Not really. Antidiscrimination laws don't affirmatively compel you to hire racial minorities, for instance. You just better be sure nobody is evidencing any hint of an intent to discriminate based on race.

    On the other hand, public accommodations affirmatively compels economic transactions, but only when you're in the business of engaging in such transactions with the public at large.

  • epochehusserl||

    anti-discrimination laws dont compel anyone to hire employees? thats a joke.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    In theory antidiscrimination laws don't affirmatively compel you to hire racial minorities. In practice, they most certainly do, as having the right numbers in the first place is the only way to protect yourself from expensive legal proceedings which are punitive even if you prevail.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Disparate impact mandates equality of outcome without mandating "equality of outcome." A brilliant workaround that lacks the basic courtesy of a "reach around."

  • M.L.||

    True. Disparate impact liability is a joke, and may result in "compelled" hiring in some circumstances to ward off lawsuits.

  • James Pollock||

    "In theory antidiscrimination laws don't affirmatively compel you to hire racial minorities"

    Nobody is compelled to hire anyone at all.

  • bernard11||

    I share Brett's puzzlement.

    Clearly, there is an individual right to boycott. What then makes a group boycott illegal?

  • Michael Masinter||

    Antitrust law has long made group boycotts among competitors per se illegal. See Klor's Inc. v. Broadway-Hale Stores, Inc., 359 U.S. 207 (1959).

  • bernard11||

    What I'm looking for is the definition of "group boycott" under which it is illegal.

    In Klor's there were elements of anti-trust, monopolistic practices, etc.

    But those are not present in, for example, anti-Israel boycotts, which are an expression of a
    political point of view.

    So what I don't understand is this: Suppose that John, who operates a clothing store, is known to be an enthusiastic supporter of gun control legislation. Brett Bellmore, aware of this, chooses not to shop at John's, and further encourages his friends to stay away from the store as well.

    What has to happen to turn this from a decision by an individual, or a number of individuals, into an illegal group boycott?

  • Lee Moore||

    bernard : What I'm looking for is the definition of "group boycott" under which it is illegal.
    .....What has to happen to turn this from a decision by an individual, or a number of individuals, into an illegal group boycott?

    That, Shirley, is a detailed question anwered by any particular law that seeks to make a "group boycott" illegal. The FAIR question was whether such a law would be unconstitutional.

    So, by way of example, you might have a law making it illegal to enter into an agreement with another person not to trade with a third person. Or a law making it illegal to conspire with others to damage a business by refusing to deal with it. Brett's perfectly ordinary behavior of not trading with almost everybody all the time can be distinguished from his deliberate and/or conspiratorial behavior in trying to get others to copy his behavior.

    These days, is not the technical term "collusion" ?

    For the avoidance of doubt, I do not recommend such laws. I merely seek to describe what one might look like.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Brett's perfectly ordinary behavior of not trading with almost everybody all the time can be distinguished from his deliberate and/or conspiratorial behavior in trying to get others to copy his behavior."

    Which deliberate and/or conspiratorial behavior consists of speech. I can boycott X. You can boycott X. But I can't try to persuade you to boycott X?

    I realize the law isn't symbolic logic, but a lot of the time it doesn't even try to make sense.

  • Lee Moore||

    Which deliberate and/or conspiratorial behavior consists of speech. I can boycott X. You can boycott X. But I can't try to persuade you to boycott X?

    Well relatively few conspiratorial behaviors will include no speech at all. But though both of us might have a perfect right to set our own prices, considered individually, if we conspired - using speech - to put our prices up, in circumstances in which our concerted action was likely to make an oligoloplistic price hike stick, then we have combined speech with action. And though the action, taken individually, is legal, I feel confident that the law would not give in simply because we had conspired using speech.

    So anti-trust law is clear precedent, and explanation, as to how { conspiratorial speech + perfectly legal individual action} can be illegal.

  • James Pollock||

    "you might have a law making it illegal to enter into an agreement with another person not to trade with a third person. Or a law making it illegal to conspire with others to damage a business by refusing to deal with it."

    Now, when I stand up in the market square and say "people ought not to do business with X because X has these qualities..."

    Can I be charged with a crime? If so, why does my first amendment defense fail?

  • Michael Masinter||

    Taft-Hartley only prohibit a limited set of boycotts. Taft-Hartley prohibits unions from picketing retailers who carry a product produced by a struck employer, but it does not prohibit third party consumers from refusing to buy the product or from organizing a boycott of retailers who carry it. Safeco didn't explore the first amendment question in depth, but it did uphold the prohibition against free speech objections.
    Tree Fruits later held that Taft-Hartley did not prohibit secondary picketing by unions if the pickets only encouraged consumers not to purchase the struck product. Claiborne Hardware addressed the free speech issue posed by Safeco with this language: "While States have broad power to regulate economic activity, we do not find a comparable right to prohibit peaceful political activity such as that found in the boycott in this case."

    Drawing the line between boycotts as protected political conduct and boycotts as unlawful economic activity, whether under Taft Hartley or Sherman Act concerted refusal to deal cases (Klor's) sometimes may seem difficult, but given the narrow scope of Taft-Hartley and antitrust law, courts have not often had to do so.

  • jdgalt1||

    Does that mean, for example, that the decision by financial providers PayPal and Stripe not to serve Gab.com because they disagree with that site's political content is a violation of Taft-Hartley?

  • OtisAH||

    Gab wasn't cut off because Pay Pal and Stripe "disagree with that site's political content." Gab was cut off because that site's political content disagrees with the terms of service for Pay Pal and Stripe.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Ah, no, they interpreted it to violate the terms of service, because they disagreed with the political content. The TOS being vague enough to enable this, of course.

  • Michael Masinter||

    No, PayPal did not violate Taft-Hartley by refusing to serve Gab.com for many reasons, not the least of which is that PayPal is not a union regulated by Taft-Hartley. It's also the case that antitrust law does not prohibit a unilateral refusal to deal, assuming we're not dealing with a monopolist, and whatever else PayPal is, it is not a monopolist because it does not have monopoly power in the financial services or payments market.

  • apedad||

    I thought speech and action are synonymous under 1A.

  • epochehusserl||

    why bother even thinking about it further David? The cat is out of the bag and its too late to put it back. Anyone serious about talking sensibly about anti-discrimination laws would be called Hitler and probably have Antifa at their door step, even if they are Jewish. The government is not free to change public policy objectives when they are firmly entrenched. What you seem to be saying is that anti-discrimination laws should only be used for "good" purposes but not for "bad" ones - and now you are surprised that you don't agree with the other people's interpretations of good and bad.

  • Lee Moore||

    I think this is too pessimistic. What is required is an anti-discrimination law that drives the progressive chattering classes to apoplectic fits. Such as a law making political discrimination by, oh, search engines, social media platforms, banks and financial intermediaries, universities and so on, illegal. Backed up, naturally, by a solid disparate impact clause.

  • James Pollock||

    This sounds vaguely similar to the batch of legislators who decided that the value of pi was too complicated, and that henceforth in the state it would instead be equal to 3.0.

  • Lee Moore||

    Interesting. Similar in what way ?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Discrimination still happens in America. Most states have no protections for gay people against public accommodations discrimination. That means that in most states, business owners can put "no gays allowed" signs in their windows. And in fact, there is a hardware store owner in Tennessee who sometimes puts up such a sign.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    In a nation of 330+ million people, the operator of a small shop in Tennessee occasionally puts up a "no gays allowed" sign.

    Sounds like a job for the federal government!

  • James Pollock||

    "Sounds like a job for the federal government!"

    Nah, just a graffiti artist to add a "all the people inside are already gay, and we want some diversity" subtitle for the sign.

  • M.L.||

    It's actually quite a simple matter for the federal government to fix all the world's problems. Didn't you hear what B. Hussein said yesterday?

    Former President Obama suggested that President Trump is not solving the world's problems because he has "racism" and "mommy issues."

    Obama, who famously wrote an entire autobiography called Dreams from My Father as a means to work through his lifelong daddy issues, is certain we can solve all the world's problems — "climate change, education, agriculture and so on" — quite easily because they are "not nearly as complicated as they are made out to be."

    The "reason we don't do it," Obama explained, "is because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues."
  • Leo Marvin||

    Why deprive us of the link to Breitbart?

    If you feared it would lower our opinion of the quoted passage, you needn't have worried.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Man, love the empty spleen-venting of 'B. Hussein.'

  • M.L.||

    Just forgot - I link to Breitbart frequently.

    Your opinion of these quotes from Obama should be quite low, regardless of where they are reported.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Dunno where mommy issues comes from, but I do think hate anger and racism are preventing us from making better policies. Do you think that's a crazy thing for a liberal to think or something?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    I'm all in favor of bigots announcing their presence. The few homophobic customers they gain will be outweighed by the annoyed customers they lose.

    Similarly, I am all in favor of stores putting up the fish sign; I patronize stores for their expertise, not for the favoritism or bigotry.

  • ||

    I think you overestimate the support the gay "community" really has.

  • apedad||

    I think you underestimate the support the gay community really has. . . from the rest of society.

    It's slowly becoming a non-issue and you're on the losing side.

  • ||

    Exactly. It's a non-issue. Most people don't care what gays do, or whether they get married or not. But that's not to say that they fall into the "Anyone who disagrees with gay marriage is an evil bigot who deserves to be boycotted and ruined" camp either.

  • James Pollock||

    Can you do math?

    Suppose 50% buy into "anyone who disagrees with gay marriage is an evil bigot who deserves to be boycotted and ruined", and 50% buy into "I'm an actual right wing bigotriot." camp. If 50% of the market decides to boycott, that will probably be felt. (Sometimes not... sometimes an anti-boycott makes up for the losses caused by the boycott).

    Generally better for people who are merchants to avoid taking sides, and welcoming everybody with money to come inside and spend it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Based on the results of the Chik fil A boycott, I'm pretty sure it isn't a 50-50 proposition.

  • James Pollock||

    "Based on the results of the Chik fil A boycott"

    Hard to say. There were exactly 0 Chik-fil-A restaurants in the entire state I lived in at the time. Were we all boycotting? Or none of us?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    None of you.

  • NToJ||

    Most merchants are better off with anti discrimination laws because it removes from them the possibility of having to placate a small but vehement minority of customers. It operates the same way as banning smoking versus requiring a separate section. Most restaurant owners don't want smokers at all. But they'd rather be told they can't have smokers than have to make the decision, because smokers will punish them if they make the decision.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Except that sometimes it's the small but vehement minority deploying the anti-discrimination laws.

  • James Pollock||

    "Except that sometimes it's the small but vehement minority deploying the anti-discrimination laws."

    (citation needed)

    How are these guys getting their way over the objections of the majority?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Most people don't care what gays do

    Says the guy who seems myopically, eerily, creepily focused on (some of) what gays do.

  • ||

    Sorry, but you don't get to say how "normal" and "healthy" a particular act is, and then say it's creepy to mention that it happens when called out on it.

  • James Pollock||

    What's creepy is your interest in it.

    Just stop waffling. You know you want to, we know you want to...

  • Leo Marvin||

    I apologize for Arthur and anyone else who makes you feel this isn't a safe space to express your obsessive fascination with gay sex.

    Here, read this and take strength in your silent solidarity with so many out there just like you. And know that we're here to support you when you finally feel ready to take the next step.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    And remember, Larry Craig is now a highly paid lobbyist. There's always hope.

  • Junkie||

    I've been curious as to where the line is regarding signs if they aren't enforced.

    Would a business be breaking any laws if they had signs advocating genocide against a group, if they still provide service to said group?

  • James Pollock||

    You'll want to Google "true threat doctrine". Your answer lies amongst those search results.

  • Junkie||

    I don't think a sign advocating genocide would qualify as a true threat in very many cases.

    If it isn't a true threat, does that mean it doesn't violate public accommodations laws?

  • James Pollock||

    "I don't think a sign advocating genocide would qualify as a true threat in very many cases."

    It depends. Sometimes the bar seems fairly high, other times, absurdly low.

    "If it isn't a true threat, does that mean it doesn't violate public accommodations laws?"

    Probably not. Although there's wide variation here, too.

    Context matters.

  • David Nieporent||

    Would a business be breaking any laws if they had signs advocating genocide against a group, if they still provide service to said group?

    Setting aside first amendment issues, yes, the business would be violating anti-discrimination law, which prevents hostile environments (e.g., sexual harassment) rather than just adverse actions such as refusal to hire or refusal to serve a customer.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Those who sell plumbing supplies sometimes have a harder time than most when it comes to separating the vocational from the metaphorical when it comes to matters of sexuality and civil liberty.

    But it's nothing a little court ordered sensitivity training couldn't exacerbate.

  • James Pollock||

    IT has "male" and "female" fittings and connectors, too.

    Once upon a time, a LONG time ago, we had a lady complain because her computer identified the master and slave every time it started up. She wanted us to configure the computer to stop doing that.

  • Rock Lobster||

    IT, like plumbing, is dominated by men and is therefore inherently oppressive. Thus, the misogynist terminology in general and the inequity of computing hardware that so understandably upset your female customer.

    The obvious solution is to require more women to work in these fields. Sure, it might not be what most evidently want as individuals, but women as a group would ultimately benefit, and society will continue to progress toward perfect social justice and true equality for all affected groups.

    Just a modest proposal.

  • James Pollock||

    Geez, guy, I'm sorry that women don't want to work with/near you, but compelling them to do so is not the answer.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Just trying to suss out how progressive you are. I'm glad to hear you don't think compelling them is the answer. How do you feel about compulsion in general?

    As for me, I actually, I work in a field traditionally dominated by women. Strangely enough, they seem for the most part to love having me around. Probably because I can lift their fat people for them. Funny thing, too--I don't feel oppressed at all. Maybe it's because I'm a white guy.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    Maybe they laugh at you behind your back.

  • jdgalt1||

    There has been for years a loud subset of "feminists" who complain that there aren't enough women with degrees or jobs in STEM fields. Ask one of them what *she* majored in, and she'll likely block you on social media or accuse you of harassment.

    Then there's that pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida because affirmative action allowed some unqualified women to get engineering jobs.

    Rational people know better than to try to "solve" "problems" of unequal outcomes when the thing making those outcomes unequal is individuals' life choices.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Then there's that pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Florida because affirmative action allowed some unqualified women to get engineering jobs."

    Cite required.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Snopes says no. And not in their usual nit-picking way when something is really true, but they don't want to admit it; This claim seems pretty clearly wrong.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Well done, Brett. I may think you're crazy sometimes, but you are rarely in bad faith.

  • Rock Lobster||

    While I agree that preferential hiring based on anything other than individual merit is wrong and stupid, and government mandates which supersede this either directly or indirectly in the name of redressing perceived inequality or discrimination are counterproductive at best--indeed, that was my point in poking James Pollock with a stick--in this particular instance, this article from Construction Dive suggests you may be mistaken.

    The lead engineer is identified as W. Denney Pate, and the link in the article to a Florida DOT transcript of a phone call essentially pooh-poohing the initial cracks in the bridge seems to indicate that he is a man.

    https://tinyurl.com/yd9966xg

  • James Pollock||

    " that was my point in poking James Pollock with a stick"

    What you call "poking with a stick" I call wandering off on a tangent.
    You seem to have started off with a weird idea, then decided it was mine.
    I guess I wasn't clear enough. No, thanks, you can keep it to yourself.

  • Rat on a train||

    IT took a lot of terminology from electricians. Blame them. They are also racist. They made the dangerous wire black.

  • Rock Lobster||

    For God's sake don't forget to mention the red one in 240V circuits. You'll have the Honorable Senator Fauxahontas from Massachusetts here shrieking at us for your sin of omission in no time.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    These laws can also force a local majority, such as southern whites in the 1960s, to heed the values of a national majority,

    Where "heed the values of a national majority" = "act like decent people"

    Why do some people seem to have such difficulty expressing opposition to reprehensible bigotry these days?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Since when did the national majority favoring slavery or Jim Crow = "act like decent people"?

  • James Pollock||

    Which of these... slavery or Jim Crow... are you labeling as "anti-discrimination laws"?

  • JesseAz||

    Jim crowe was forced slavery because most people don't give a shit about racial issues. That's why democrats tried forcing business to discrimination. Democrats have been obsessed worth race for 150 years from Sanger, KKK, Jim crow, to now. Can't have a democrat party without focus on race.

  • James Pollock||

    WTF was that about?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Today's right-wing, Republican bigots like to claim that 'Democrats are the real racists,' because one of the great achievements of our liberal-libertarian mainstream during my lifetime is that current conservative bigots no longer like to be known as bigots, at least not in public.

  • JesseAz||

    Kirkland talking about decency... Hilarious.

  • jdgalt1||

    Because they've embraced intersectionality, a racist belief system which asserts without evidence that some groups of people are born with "privilege" and therefore no wrong can be done to those people.

    I'm waiting to see the 12-step program that will teach SJWs to become decent human beings again.

  • James Pollock||

    "There is, in fact, no right to boycott an entity on ideological grounds in American constituitional law as it stands today."

    The fifth and tenth amendments would seem to apply.

    "The case of Rumsfeld v. FAIR makes this abundantly clear. Law schools claimed a First Amendment right to exclude military recruiters from campus, i.e., to impose a boycott on the military."

    What the law schools wanted wasn't a boycott, it was a blockade. If the various students (not the school) decided not to attend any presentations by military recruiters, they remained free to do so. What the school was attempting to do was to intercept attempts at recruiters meeting with students who were interested in what they have to offer.
    An organization can CALL FOR a boycott, but boycotts are individual choices not to engage in commercial transactions with the target of the boycott. If enough people make the same choice, the boycott succeeds. If not enough people make the same choice, the boycott fails.

    I suspect the OP author (or, charitably, the groups he quotes) meant to refer to "divestment" efforts, rather than "boycott."

  • David Nieporent||

    Boycotts are not individual. Sure, we might sometimes colloquially say, "I'm boycotting Dunkin Donuts because they keep insisting on putting pumpkin spice in everything," but when we talk non-hyperbolically about a boycott, we are talking about a collective effort, not an individual one. Nobody would say, "Walmart is facing a boycott; David is refusing to shop there."

  • apedad||

    So antidiscrimination laws are OK as long as they protect Israeli interests and supporters but not OK if they protect anti-Israeli interests and supporters.

    Got it.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It resembles the current posture of the 'forced speech involving abortion' issue -- anti-abortion clinics can't be compelled to post information designed to counter misleading claims of medical proficiency or even-handedness, but abortion clinics can be compelled to recite government-prescribed backwater nonsense.

    Conservatives relying on religion for special privilege are able to benefit from this 'sword and shield' approach -- we can discriminate against others, but no one can discriminate against us, because superstition -- in some current contexts, but over time seem destined to pay dearly for that abuse as the predictable snapback against unfairness occurs.

  • Ohio Farmer||

    Didn't Adam Smith write that there is no natural right to boycott?

  • librarian||

    Prof Bernstein, thank you for sharing your expertise on this fascinating subject.

  • M.L.||

    "Antidiscrimination laws are unlikely, however, to provide much protection to a minority group when the majority of the voting population is hostile to that group."

    And, when the vast majority of the voting population is not hostile to a group, antidiscrimination laws are likewise unlikely to provide any protection when it comes to public accommodations and services that are widely available.

    Instead, it becomes an opportunity to hunt down perpetrators of wrongthink and club them over the head for their thoughtcrimes.

  • ||

    I don't really care how popular private non-discrimination laws are. They are wrong, whether 90% of people support them or 10% of people support them.

  • apedad||

    So you can't even support enumerated rights like 15A and 19A?

  • ||

    Are you retarded? What do either of those amendments have to do with private "civil rights" laws?

  • apedad||

    My mistake...I missed the "private" part.

  • James Pollock||

    "The proliferation of antidiscrimination laws protecting groups ranging from people over age forty to members of motorcycle gangs explains why even libertarians who are especially sensitive to America's history of racism are loath to concede the principle that the government may ban private sector discrimination"

    The main problem with claiming to speak for other people is that they might pipe up and point out that you don't.

    I concede the principle that government may ban private sector discrimination. I am by no means loath to do so. I recognize that there are two rights... the right to discriminate, and the right not to be discriminated against... at play, and I (freely) choose the one that I value more. Neither right is absolute. For example, merchants remain free to discriminate against those who cannot afford the goods and services they offer, even as they are prohibited from discriminating for reasons of race, religion, or national origin.

  • John||

    the right to discriminate, and the right not to be discriminated against.

    Those two rights are not comparable. The right not to be discriminated against is a positive right the existence fo which necessarily entails restricting other people's right. The right to discriminate is not a positive right and in no way infringes upon any other's rights. You have no right to do business with me. If you I choose not to do business with you for whatever reason, you have not been deprived of a right. .

  • James Pollock||

    "Those two rights are not comparable."

    I didn't say they were comparable. I said they were in opposition to each other.

    You picked the one you like, and wish the laws favored your preferred right more than it does. I picked the one I like, and find the laws satisfactory. So... boo-hoo for you, I guess.

  • ||

    His point (which all libertarians share) is that a "positive right" is no right at all. Contrast rights conservatives care about, like the right to own guns, own private property, associate with whom you want, and free speech. Liberal "rights" like the "right" to not be discriminated against, have affordable housing, health care, food, and so forth all require other people to provide those "rights," at the point of a gun.

  • Ed Grinberg||

    I have a right for you to bake me a cake! With sprinkles! It's in the Constitution, look it up!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You similarly have a right to be forced to employ a science teacher (or any other employee) who believes, or at least claims to believe, that fairy tales are true, that evolution is a satanic hoax, and that our planet is a few thousand years old.

    In other words, it currently seems a mixed bag for snowflakes.

  • James Pollock||

    "Liberal "rights" like the "right" to not be discriminated against, have affordable housing, health care, food, and so forth all require other people to provide those "rights," at the point of a gun."

    So, now you're anti-gun? Boo-hoo for you, too, I guess.

  • John||

    So, now you're anti-gun? Boo-hoo for you, too, I guess.

    What the hell is wrong with you? Are you just here to troll or are you really this stupid?

  • James Pollock||

    "What the hell is wrong with you?"

    I don't suffer fools gladly. Why did God have to make so damn many of you?

  • John||

    You are a complete idiot James. You are the dumbest person I have ever seen. You do suffer fools, because you suffer yourself. I can't overstate how dense and irrational you are and what a complete fool you are making of yourself. You are too dumb to realize it, but trust me that anyone reading this thread can see it.

  • James Pollock||

    "You are the dumbest person I have ever seen."

    Never seen a mirror, then.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Among people commenting on these threads, I put James in the upper percentiles.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    But James is letting himself get pulled down a couple of pegs tonight.

  • John||

    You are totally claiming they are comparable. Otherwise, why do you think each has an equal claim on law? They are not comparable. Positive rights are not real. They are just a fantasy created to destroy negative rights. For every negative right there is a positive right. If both are equally valid, then there is no such thing as a "right". It is just a question of whose political will wins. And that is just politics not rights.

    I claim a right to freedom or religion. You claim a right to be free of my religious propaganda. If your positive right to be free of my religious propaganda is as valid as my negative right to practice my religion, then our rights really are not rights at all, because they are not guarenteed to exist regardless of politics. Instead they are just garden variety political interests.

  • James Pollock||

    "You are totally claiming they are comparable."

    Still not.

    "Positive rights are not real."
    "then there is no such thing as a 'right'"

    Rights are not real. You have exactly those rights that other people are prepared to extend to you.

    "I claim a right to freedom or religion"

    Who gives a shit?

    "If your positive right to be free of my religious propaganda is as valid as my negative right to practice my religion"

    Legally speaking, it's known as the right of "quiet enjoyment", and it isn't hypothetical.

    "our rights really are not rights at all, because they are not guarenteed to exist"

    Bingo!

  • John||

    Yes you are. If you are not claiming they are comparable, then you agree with me and you clearly don't.

    Rights are not real. You have exactly those rights that other people are prepared to extend to you

    Which is just you saying you don't believe in rights. If you think there is no right that stands independent of the desires of others, then you don't believe in rights as they are defined in this context. I don't think, however, you believe that. I don't think you are bright enough to know what you believe. You are just confused more than anything else.

    Legally speaking, it's known as the right of "quiet enjoyment", and it isn't hypothetical.

    There is a legal term called "quiet enjoyment" in property law. But that has nothing to do with this conversation. Beyond which, you still seem incapable of understanding argument by analogy or hypothetic. And that makes it impossible for you to even make an intelligent point in any discussion of law.

    You don't understand the terms being discussed much less the points being made. You are just wasting everyone's time.

  • James Pollock||

    "Which is just you saying you don't believe in rights."

    No. I'm stating an objective fact, which remains true whether you, or I, or anyone else believes it.

    "I don't think you are bright enough to know what you believe."

    You aren't qualified to judge. Another objective fact.

    "There is a legal term called 'quiet enjoyment' in property law"

    Yes, I know. I brought it up after you claimed it didn't exist.

    " you still seem incapable of understanding argument by analogy or hypothetic"

    Make one that isn't silly, and we'll see.

    "And that makes it impossible for you to even make an intelligent point in any discussion of law."

    Says the guy who argued that if the law was different, the law would be different.

  • John||

    No. I'm stating an objective fact, which remains true whether you, or I, or anyone else believes it.

    Believing it doens't make it true. You can't grasp the difference between opinion and fact.

    And I am quite qualified to judge that you are stupid and unworthy of being taken seriously.

  • James Pollock||

    Oh, noes!

    The troll is saying mean things about me! How will I ever recover?

  • John||

    James,

    You are a troll who has completely destroyed this thread making utter nonsense points. The sad thing is, I think you might not even understand that and don't mean to do it.

  • James Pollock||

    Oh, noes!

    The troll is doubling down.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Beyond which, you still seem incapable of understanding argument by analogy or hypothetic. And that makes it impossible for you to even make an intelligent point in any discussion of law.

    I understand that they are both conversation starters, not the stuff of powerful arguments. When you get to the end of the discussion, if you are still relying (at all) on analogy or hypotheticals, then you haven't made any point worth offering.

    I do also understand that ordinary practice of law puts great store in analogies. That's one of the things better lawyers ought to correct.

  • GabrielSyme||

    "I recognize that there are two rights... the right to discriminate, and the right not to be discriminated against."

    There are no such rights in the constitution. The constitution protects Freedom of Association implicitly (as part of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly etc.) which would suggest there is a right to discriminate, but there is nothing in the constitution to suggest anyone has a right not to be discriminated against.

  • John||

    It doens't suggest a right to discrinate it necessarily requires it. The whole point of association is to choose not to associate with some and to associate with others. Without the right to discriminate, there is no right to free association.

  • James Pollock||

    " Without the right to discriminate, there is no right to free association."

    That's a silly argument to make. In some arenas you have more freedom to discriminate, and in others, less. The right to freely associate (or not) remains yours.

  • John||

    In some arenas you have more freedom to discriminate, and in others, less. The right to freely associate (or not) remains yours.

    If I can't discriminate, I must associate with people. If I don't, then I am discriminating against them and that is not allowed. Without the ability to not associate with those whom I choose, I am not fully free to associate. If I want a club that admits only those who understand informal logic, but discrminating on the basis of knowledge of logic is prohibited by law, I can't have my club as I wish and thus am not free to associate as I choose.

  • James Pollock||

    "If I can't discriminate, I must associate with people."

    It doesn't get any less silly if you repeat it.

    " If I want a club that admits only those who understand informal logic, but discrminating on the basis of knowledge of logic is prohibited by law, I can't have my club as I wish and thus am not free to associate as I choose."

    But discriminating on the basis of knowledge of logic ISN'T prohibited by law, so you ARE free to associate as you choose.

    If owning firearms was prohibited by law, then my right to possess the weapon(s) of my choice would be impaired. If pointing out that someone made a silly argument on the Internet was against the law, I might be in trouble right now. If pigs could fly...

    Silly.

  • John||

    It doesn't get any less silly if you repeat it.

    Nor does it get any less true. You can't seem to grasp the concept. I don't know how else to explain it and you seem completely untrainable and lack the ability to see the implications of a concept.

    But discriminating on the basis of knowledge of logic ISN'T prohibited by law, so you ARE free to associate as you choose.

    No it isn't in life but it could be. That is the hypotheical. It could be anything. The point is that if I want the club to be as I want it, I can't be prohibited from discriminating against who gets in. My God, are you really this dense? You can't understand a hypothetical and argument by analogy?

    You might be the dumbest person I have ever encountered on reason. Go away. People like you terrify me. Please tell me you don't vote and will refuse to serve on a jury.

  • James Pollock||

    "Nor does it get any less true."

    Less than 0% true? No, it won't go any lower.

    "You might be the dumbest person I have ever encountered on reason"

    Buy a mirror. Guaranteed to show you the dumbest person you've ever encountered, period.

  • John||

    James, being angry doesn't make up for your being stupid. I have a lot of patience with people who do not know. I have zero patience with people who are either too stupid or bull headed to learn. And that is you. You are just wasting everyone's time. There is seriously something wrong with you. You can't grasp basic logic and argument. It just goes right over your head. If you were in some kind of accident, I sincerely apologize for not being more charitable. Otherwise, you are just a dangerous idiot on here wasting everyone's time.

  • James Pollock||

    "being angry doesn't make up for your being stupid."

    I'm literally laughing at you, and you read this as "being angry".

    You're a twit of the first order.

    I don't apologize for wasting your time... you weren't going to do anything useful with it anyway.

  • John||

    You are a moron James. You can't even have an intelligent conversation with you. Do you know how to feed yourself? Please God tell me you didn't graduate from any college with such low mental faculties.

  • James Pollock||

    " You can't even have an intelligent conversation with you"

    YOU can't have an intelligent conversation with anyone.

    Someone points out that you said something silly, and you get all hostile.
    Like it's my fault you keep saying dumb things.

  • James Pollock||

    "You can't even have an intelligent conversation with you."

    I've seen what passes for "intelligent" conversation to you.

    When someone points out that you've said something silly, you get all hostile, like it's somehow MY fault that you keep saying things that are dumb.

  • Josh R||

    The constitutional right of association is limited to intimate association and expressive association.

  • John||

    And that is a completely arbitrary distinction invented by courts looking to torture the document to obtain their desired result. There is no basis in the history of the document or the historic or plain meaning of the term "association" to justify such a distinction. It is just made up nonsense.

  • James Pollock||

    "There are no such rights in the constitution."

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

  • ||

    Do you really think the founders had "You must bake two deviant men a cake" laws in mind?

  • James Pollock||

    All I have to go by is the words they wrote down and put in the document.

    To be honest, I don't care if you and John get a cake or not.

  • David Nieporent||

    The main problem with claiming to speak for other people is that they might pipe up and point out that you don't.

    I concede the principle that government may ban private sector discrimination. I am by no means loath to do so. I recognize that there are two rights... the right to discriminate, and the right not to be discriminated against... at play, and I (freely) choose the one that I value more.

    Then you aren't a libertarian, so Prof. Bernstein was not claiming to speak for you. There are not two such rights, so if you "recognize" one then you are hallucinating. There is no right not to be discriminated against (in the private sector).¹ To portray these as two conflicting rights is no different than talking about the right to refuse to have sex with someone and the right to insist on having sex with someone.


    ¹To be clear, I am not denying the existence of laws that forbid private sector discrimination. Obviously many such laws exist. But laws cannot create rights; they can only create legal entitlements.

  • John Rohan||

    What are really odious are hate crime laws. Under the guise of anti-discrimination, all they have succeeded in doing is putting more minorities in prison for longer times.

  • James Pollock||

    All hate crime enhancements do is recognize that there are additional victims to crimes that persecute people based on their group membership(s).

  • librarian||

    Question: Say a citizen wanted to boycott a general arms manufacturer for the purpose of opposing war arms specifically. Could the citizen be prevented from boycotting because the manufacturer had operations in locations including in Israel, or some other country with an anti-boycott law? If so, it seems like an excessive burden on speech.

  • epochehusserl||

    Its too late for the government to carve out exceptions to anti-discrimination laws. The judiciary wont allow it and we would see rioting in the streets before such exceptions would exist. The legal profession made their deal with the devil and now David Bernstein is trying to backtrack.

  • GabrielSyme||

    The problem is those in favor of anti-discrimination laws don't really seem to be in favor of general anti-discrimination laws, they still want to be able to discriminate against the groups they want to (and prevent those groups from discriminating against the groups that they favor). I can respect someone who genuinely opposes any and all discrimination, and I can respect someone who believes freedom of association trumps any anti-discrimination laws (at least for the private sector), but the middle seems to be filled with disgusting hypocrites who don't actually believe that discrimination is wrong but see the laws as a useful tool for getting their way in other aspects of life.

  • John||

    There is no way the law could outlaw all forms of discrimination. Expecting you to have the money to pay for the product is a form of discrimination. Expecting you to wear a shirt when you eat at my restaurant is a form of discrimination. Once the government gets into the business of prohibiting discrimination and by extension governing people's association, it will always be an exercise in brute political power where favored groups enforce their will on disfavored ones.

    Racists fell out of favor and saw their enemies enforce their will on them through the CRA. Currently, those who object to homosexuals are out of favor and are seeing their enemies do the same.

  • ||

    Exactly. Discriminating against a person because you don't like his skin color or religion is not philosophically different from discriminating because you don't like his shirt or his (lack of) money.

    As for expecting money to be a form of discrimination that the government couldn't ban, don't be so sure.

    HTML Images is a link to a page on this website.

  • John||

    The government could ban it. It is called communism.

  • James Pollock||

    "The government could ban it. It is called communism."

    Communists still have money, John. Ask, oh, any Chinese person.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Currently, those who object to homosexuals are out of favor

    This is correct. Society no longer flatters bigots. It's called progress.

  • James Pollock||

    " I can respect someone who genuinely opposes any and all discrimination"

    I can't, because such a person is either exceptionally stupid or a lunatic.

    " the middle seems to be filled with disgusting hypocrites"

    And realists.

  • John||

    Berstein states in his paper

    The basic federal laws banning discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, as originally conceived in 1964—before the courts and civil rights bureaucracies devised problematic doctrines like "disparate impact" liability—were relatively benign

    It is astounding that Mr. Bernstein can think that forcing people to associate with others over their deepest convictions is "relatively benign". It is certainly benign to Bernstein because he has no problem with associating with other races and can't understand how anyone could. Well a lot of people disagree with him and whether it is their right is the entire question.

    It never seems to occur to Bernstein that the government might want to force people to associate in ways that even he might not find so benign. As long as we don't have problematic doctrines like disparate impact, forcing 12 year old girls to shower with boys who claim to be girls at school gym class is relatively benign. The only difference between that statement and Bernstein's statement about race is one's taste in association.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Relatively" benign; Stage 1 cancer is "relatively" benign compared to stage 4.

  • John||

    Funny how people like Berstein and Kerr refuse to write with any percision. They are forever using useless weasel words and phrases like "relatively benign" whenever they are not honest enough to examine an issue.

  • bernard11||

    Funny how people like Berstein and Kerr refuse to write with any percision.

    If you are going to accuse people of refusing to write with precision, it would behoove you to pay attention to your spelling. Otherwise readers might think you yourself have a tendency to be imprecise.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Right-wing populists affect half-literate usage -- random capitalization, poor grammar, disregard for proper spelling -- as a signal to other half-educated goobers that they disdain "elites" and their fancy degrees, professional certifications, and standard English.

    Plus . . . backwater religious education and homeschooling by substandard parents have consequences.

  • epochehusserl||

    It is far worse to have bad ideas than bad spelling.

  • James Pollock||

    Poor John got the double whammy.

  • John||

    Libertarians can and should insist, however, that a line be drawn at the point where such laws infringe on the constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, expressive association, and other civil liberties.

    These laws by their very nature infringe upon these things. And what the hell is "expressive association"? That is an absurd term. It is "freedom of association". There is no requirement that the association be "expressive" whatever that is.

    To say that these laws could somehow not infringe on these rights is to read economic rights and economic activity right out of the constitution. It is to say that sure you have a right to free speech and association just so long as you are not trying to make a dollar when doing so. And that is entirely inconsistent with any form of conservative much less Libertarian thought that I am aware of.

    If you like discrimination laws, fine. There is a reasonable case to be made for them. But, stop trying to claim you can support them consistent with Libertarian or conservative principles or consistent with broad based protections of the rights to free speech, religion and association, because you cannot.

  • David Nieporent||

    And what the hell is "expressive association"? That is an absurd term.

    I like the jump from "I don't know what X means" to "X is absurd" without even pausing to find out what X means first.

    Expressive association is a well-established term in first amendment law. It refers to association for the purpose of setting forth a particular message. Hurley is the seminal example of an expressive association case; parade organizers could ban particular groups from marching because it would directly infringe on the message of the parade if the government forced them to admit those groups. (Dale was a similar situation.) If you force the NAACP to admit Nazis, that would affect the NAACP's efforts to set forth their views on race.

    There's also intimate association; that's more what we normally think of as association.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Defending a Libertarian Position on Antidiscrimination Laws

    You cant and when you try, you show how anti-discrimination laws are anti-Libertarian.

    YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.

    Government is not the vessel to get people to conduct business or otherwise associate with people that they dont like.

    The USA had slavery, segregation, KKK, Jim Crowe laws because of Democrats who wanted government to mandate everyone to live by their racists laws.

    If the South had not been allowed to have segregation laws because they violate the Constitution, people would integrate on their own. Business brings people of different races and cultures together better than government.

    Anti-discrimination laws just treat the protected group as little kids who need protecting from meany racists. They dont need protections like that.

  • James Pollock||

    "YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO LIKE OTHER PEOPLE."

    Somebody's never experienced basic military training, it sounds like.

  • John||

    And to think you believe that to be a salient point when talking about government and the laws governing the public. You are a terrifying person.

  • James Pollock||

    "You are a terrifying person."

    If you are terrified whenever you encounter someone smarter than you are, your life must be a living hell.

  • John||

    James you are not smarter than anyone. I hope you are a Media matters troll because if you really are this thick, God help you.

  • James Pollock||

    Poor, poor troll. Bested at every turning.

  • Ed Grinberg||

    In both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia there was strict regimentation / militarization of society. Terrifying indeed...

  • James Pollock||

    Tell it to the Japanese-Americans who spent the entire war in freedom and liberty, and not in any way confined to militarized camps.

  • apedad||

    "In both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia there was strict regimentation / militarization of society. Terrifying indeed..."

    You can add the Catholic Church to your list too.

  • apedad||

    "In both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia there was strict regimentation / militarization of society. Terrifying indeed..."

    You can add the Catholic Church to your list too.

  • John||

    One things that the Volokh conspiracy has taught me over the last few years is that one of the reasons why Libertarianism has so little influence on American law is that most of the lawyer who claim to be Libertarians really don't believe in freedom or Libertarian principles. Berstein and the rest of the crew see Libertarian principles not so much as principles but as weapons to be used to achieve whatever end they desire and discarded as soon as they are no longer useful. This article is a perfect example of this.

  • James Pollock||

    "one of the reasons why Libertarianism has so little influence on American law is..."

    The main reason why libertarianism has so little influence on American law is the fact that no two libertarians agree on much of anything, including, specifically, what EXACTLY it means to be a libertarian.

  • Michael Masinter||

    The ACLU obtained preliminary injunctions against the enforcement of two state statutes that required all state contractors to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel as a condition of contracting with the state. Koontz v. Watson enjoined the enforcement of a since amended Kansas statute, and Jordhal v. Brnovich issued a similar preliminary injunction against enforcement of an Arizona statute. Both district court decisions rested on the principle that political boycotts are protected as speech under the first amendment. Jordhal contains a useful discussion of the distinction I noted upthread between unprotected economic boycotts under Taft-Hartley and antitrust laws and protected political boycotts.

  • John||

    It is amazing how foolish people are. If the government can require contractors to certify that they are not boycotting Israel, they could just as easily require that the are. If your purpose is to protect Isreal from boycott, giving the government this kind of power is very poor way to do it.

  • James Pollock||

    "If the government can require contractors to certify that they are not boycotting Israel, they could just as easily require that the are."

    Uh, yeah. Government CAN require contractors to not do business with foreign powers. They can even do that for citizens who AREN'T contractors. Try to sell some enriched uranium or smallpox samples to Iran and see for yourself.

  • John||

    My God you are a moron. You literally cannot comprehend fine distinctions.

  • James Pollock||

    Oh, noes!

    The troll got caught saying something stupid, and thinks weaksauce insults will make up for it.

  • John||

    Get back to me when you can make a sensible point. Why Volokh hasn't banned you is beyond me.

  • James Pollock||

    "Why Volokh hasn't banned you is beyond me."

    Put it on the list with all the other things you didn't/couldn't understand.

  • Krayt||

    It's ironic some are claiming actions like an (economic) boycott, whose purpose is to deliberately go beyond speech to hurt someone to get them to change their behavior, is really just speech, when they are often at the forefront of sophistry that actual, and I mean actual, speech is behavior and thus regulatable.

  • James Pollock||

    Economic boycott is property rights, not freedom of speech. I get to decide what to do with my money, including deciding to buy things I want and not to buy from people I don't want to buy from. Sometimes it's sour grapes (I didn't really want a Gulfstream V, anyway) and sometimes it's convenient if no less heartfelt (I'm not buying diamonds because I think they're a scam, but I'm REALLY not buying conflict diamonds because I generally disapprove of slavery, and child slavery is common in conflict diamond mining.)

    Speech CAN BE behavior that is regulatable. Making threats, for example, can fall under this heading. Photographing the rape of a child is "speech", and reproducing the image on the Internet is "the press" but both are also regulatable. Then there's "time, place, and manner" regulation.

  • David Bremer||

    As a Minnesotan, I found it hard to believe that the state would prohibit discrimination against motorcycle gangs. So I found the statute at issue. It's not limited to motorcycle gangs:


    604.12 Restrictions on denying Access to Places of Public Accommodation; Civil Actions.
    . . .
    Subd. 2.Prohibition. (a) A place of public accommodation may not restrict access, admission, or usage to a person solely because the person operates a motorcycle or is wearing clothing that displays the name of an organization or association.

    (b) This subdivision does not prohibit the restriction of access, admission, or usage to a person because:

    (1) the person's conduct poses a risk to the health or safety of another or to the property of another; or

    (2) the clothing worn by the person is obscene or includes the name or symbol of a criminal gang.


    So if you drive up in a car wearing your "Volokh Conspiracy Fan Club" shirt, the business can ban you specifically because of it. Similarly, if you ride up on a motorcycle, the business can't discriminate against you based on that fact either. Nothing limits the law to motorcycle gangs/organizations.

    Though a motorcycle club did try to use the law to gain access to certain businesses.

  • John||

    I think you are misreading it. It says they can't discriminate against you because you are riding a motorcyle. Not everyone who rides a motorcyle is in a gang. Second it state "or is wearing clothing that displays the name of an organization or association." It doesn't say the display has to be of an organization associated with motorcycle gangs. I think it is a separate protection and would protect you from discrimination for your Volokh bumper sticker.

  • James Pollock||

    Congratulations. You complained that he was "misreading" the statute, then repeated what he said.

  • John||

    He admits it was a typo below, dipshit. He in fact did say exactly what I said he did. He just didn't mean to.

    Congratulations, you further proved how stupid you are.

  • James Pollock||

    Oh, noes!

    The troll thinks swearing will shock and awe anyone into ignoring the fact that he got called out for saying something dumb.

  • David Bremer||

    It's a typo that can't be edited out.

    I meant they could not discriminate against you for the fan-club shirt (they could if it was a bumper sticker, which is not "wearing clothing").

    We're saying the same thing. There are two different protections; motorcycle gangs just happen to be in the middle of the resulting Venn diagram.

  • John||

    Okay.

  • Jerry B.||

    "Because of the long, sorry history of American racism..."

    Yep. No one else anywhere else in the world has ever ben racist.

    Must be that "American Exceptionalism" I keep hearing about.

  • John||

    David is all about principles, except that those principles only matter if there isn't a "long sorry history" that says otherwiise. It is very Libertarian of him.

  • James Pollock||

    "No one else anywhere else in the world has ever ben racist."

    When you were about, oh, nine or ten, and your mom caught you doing something wrong, and you tried to defend yourself by saying "so-and-so was doing it, too!"... did that work?

    Did you never learn that the wrongdoing of other people does not excuse your own wrongdoing?

  • John||

    if everyone is guilty, and clearly everyone is guilty of racism, then no one is guilty.

  • James Pollock||

    Deep.

  • vek||

    The thing I find repulsive about this whole thing is that the mainstream media and chattering classes make a POINT of distorting things AS IF only America and European nations were evil racists, who enslaved people, etc.

    Which is a big, fat, giant bunch of bullshit. As somebody who is mostly white, with a dash of Native American and Mexican tossed into the mix, I find this highly offensive. The whole establishment is trying to make it out as if most of my ancestors were ESPECIALLY horrible. Which is FALSE.

    You know who the last people to own slaves were in the continental USA? Fucking Indians in the western part of the USA, post civil war. Why? Because they loved owning slaves as much or more than white folks.

    You know who treated their black slaves 10,000 times worse than whites? Other blacks. And Arabs, who castrated virtually 100% of the captured black male slaves they took... Which BTW was FAR more than Europeans ever took. Also, the Arabs enslaved more WHITE EUROPEANS than Europeans enslaved blacks.

    All facts. All completely ignored to push a narrative than whites are the only evil people. If talking about various misdeeds in history was part of a balanced "Humans are fucked up yo!" narrative it would be one thing, but that's not what they're doing. I, and many others, are sick of it.

  • vek||

    NOW, if you want to talk about racism in the modern world... Whites are 100% the VERY LEAST racist on earth. Which is why we're making all kinds of horribly bad decisions for our nations, out of feeling guilty about something we were never even especially bad about in the first place. We're allowing our civilizations to be destroyed via mass immigration because if we didn't... We'd be racist! We pass laws that are against our own children's interests in the form of affirmative action because if we didn't... We'd be racist! And so on.

    You know who is ACTUALLY racist? Everybody else. Arabs still think of blacks as being a bunch of sub human savages. Asians totally the same, but they also look down on everybody else to boot. In China they openly discuss the intellectual superiority of East Asians to all other races. This is official government policy and taught to students in their schools. Frankly, I think IQ data shows that they certainly do have the highest IQs in the world, and that there may be a genetic component of some amount there, but it is debatable... But either way you want to slice it their official policy is that that is the case, and it is the common belief. In other words their official position is Asian Supremacy.

  • vek||

    Nobody but a small fringe would DARE say such a thing in the western world... Yet it is policy in the most populace nation on earth. So how racist ARE white folks REALLY?

    And for exactly how long can we be held accountable for things we had nothing to do with? If African Americans still don't have their shit together in 100 more years, will we still owe them government granted privileges over all other races? Because somehow immigrants from all over the world can come here from more disadvantaged situations than native born blacks, and get their shit together in a single generation. None of it has a damn thing to do with white racism, that much I know.

    As I said, people are sick of the bullshit narrative of whites being exceptionally evil. The way it is all spun needs to either people all people are shitty, OR better yet, we just stop with all this grievance/revenge politics bullshit.

  • ||

    The average white racial liberal (nearly everyone) will not wake up until life is no longer comfortable for him. Give it to 30 more years of third-world immigration, and that will be a reality.

  • vek||

    I sure as hell hope it doesn't take that long... This country will be completely unsavable. It pretty much already is... But if we got sane in the next 5-10 years, it might be tolerable at least. 30 years of current trends continuing and it will just be a total dumpster fire.

  • ||

    It's already going to be unsavable. Let's say at some point in the future the white population realizes that flooding America with 150 million low IQ Latin Americans and other third worlders was a bad idea, and has made America no longer a successful, developed nation. What do we do then? Will the white population support a mass extermination of these people? I doubt it. So what's the solution?

  • Purple Martin||

    Vek, you may want to be careful consorting with ARWP. Because of your "dash of Native American and Mexican" he considers you Mestizo, and therefore only 85% as smart as pure white people.

    Pity, because otherwise you'd get along so well.

  • ||

    You're a moron. Every race contains intelligent people. No one disputes that. But it's also indisputable that the average IQ of American Indians is far below that of whites.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Out of morbid curioisity...

    Given that culture and formal education impact IQ scores, which is to say that IQ is not an unbiased measure of "intelligence" or potential, how much of the difference would you estimate is actually racial, and how much is cultural?

  • ||

    More than 90% is racial, in my opinion. Genetics inform culture, not the other way around. You are not going to develop a "culture" of learning and education if you don't have an IQ that can handle it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    You are not going to develop a "culture" of learning and education if you don't have an IQ that can handle it.


    Then how do you explain the Flynn effect in which we see exactly that?

  • epochehusserl||

    intermarriage and the usage of iodine.

  • ||

    The Flynn effect is nonsense. If it was true, the average person at the time of America's founding would be retarded by today's standards. It's complete BS.

  • James Pollock||

    "You are not going to develop a "culture" of learning and education if you don't have an IQ that can handle it."

    Good thing for you that you live in a culture that still thinks it should take care of you.

  • James Pollock||

    " it's also indisputable that the average IQ of American Indians is far below that of whites."

    ...Is something a low-IQ racist would say.

  • ||

    Wah wah racist wah wah

  • vek||

    Well, to cover the fact that I have some Injun blood... So do lots of white people in America. But I'm mostly white, and I have a well above average IQ. So I ain't worried about it!

    As far as things go, after having done lord only knows how many hours of reading on the subject, here are the facts:

    All research on IQ has shown that whatever IQ measures, it is a GOOD proxy for what people think of as "book smarts." It's not perfect, but it is more than sufficient to sort smart people from slow. People who deny that IQ measures intelligence are fools.

    It is known that IQ is between 60-80% heritable, 60-70% being most common range in studies. The rest is random variation in genes, and/or environment. NO STUDY EVER has been able to eliminate the majority being heritable.

    It has been proven to measure innate ability FAR BETTER than other types of tests, but it probably isn't perfect in this respect... But it doesn't need to be PERFECT to be close enough to be highly useful.

    It is also known that consistently, all over the world, there is a hierarchy of IQ scores based on ethnicity. Not just "race" mind you, but sub sets within what we refer to as races.

    IE Northern Europeans have a few point advantage on Eastern Europeans and some parts of Southern Europe. Northeast Asians over South Asians. Some places in Africa over others. No matter where in the world a black population is found, they always score the lowest. Jews and Asians always the highest. Other groups in between.

  • vek||

    People who argue that it's ALL environmental factors have to literally ignore every bit of hard evidence we have. That it is known to be individually inheritable... What is a population if not a large number of individuals? They ignore things like that starving North Korean children have far higher IQs than well fed minorities in the western world, who should have vast environmental advantages. That it is 100% consistent globally, so culture can't matter much. That mixed race people tend to fall EXACTLY in between the averages of whatever ethnicities they are. On and on.

    Here's the thing: I don't hate people. But I am objective enough to realize that when 100% of the facts support an inconvenient position, it doesn't matter... It's probably true, whether I like it or not.

    I REALLY wish men and women were actually the same too! But we're not. Most libertarians haven't drunk the kool aide on that nonsense yet... But that all races are perfectly equal in all ways is every bit as false as that men and women have identical aptitudes for all things.

    The default logical conclusion is that, GASP, evolution works exactly the way it is supposed to! Different groups of humans evolved different traits based on what was most useful to them. This made some (not all!) Africans have superior stamina, Europeans taller than Asians, Asians have different shaped eyes, etc etc etc.

  • vek||

    There are reasons for all these, and for whatever reason mental traits were selected for differently too. That's just the breaks. It's not the way I would have made the world if I were god, but IMO evolution is running the show, and amazingly didn't care about being politically correct when it was figuring out what was best for survival around the world.

    There are smart and dumb people of all races... But the AVERAGE matters too, when talking at statistical levels.

    There's a reason Asian immigrants, who WERE discriminated against in the west, showed up and surpassed the achievements of whites in their own countries in the span of a generation or 2... Yet blacks still can't do it after centuries. It's the IQ gap.

    Science ALSO shows, IMO, that the gap can close SLIGHTLY based on environmental factors. This means many 3rd world countries will improve from where they are now, like sub Saharan Africa might have a solid rise over the next few decades. But I think black Americans show about as good as it gets for Africans, which is 85-89 depending on the study used. But the gap will not fully close.

    IMO it is much like the height gains the last several generations. We DID gain height with better diets, and might still slightly... But there is still a genetic limit. We won't keep growing until everybody is 8 feet tall just from diet. Likewise IQ can be boosted when basic needs are met, but only to a point. There are studies that show this actually.

  • vek||

    Mexicans, and other immigrant groups that have been studied, tend to pick up a FEW IQ points when their kids are born in the US... This is probably the environmental edge one can gain, perhaps more if coming from extreme poverty like in Africa. But again, the gaps do not fully close.

    Flynn, IMO, is a combo of REAL environmental gains from better diet, and people becoming more used to the types of tests used to determine IQ. Our great grandparents would have been literal retards if Flynn were 100% real gains. Flynn also seems to be slowing in the developed world, meaning we've either reached peak "learning how to game the test," peak "environmental factors gains," or perhaps both.

    I reiterate: Accepting an unpleasant truth doesn't make you a bad person. I think the evidence is so strong from all of my reading that "race realism" should be the DEFAULT assumed truth based on evidence. The only reason it isn't is because it isn't PC. Funny thing is, in Asia IT IS the default assumed truth. Because they don't give a fuck about pissing off minorities.

    If it is true, which it probably is, then it has MASSIVE implications. Namely that the western world will destroy itself by letting in people from low IQ areas. Unskilled jobs are going away, so there won't even be busy work for such people in 50 years. So the white/Asian population in the US will be left to support a horde of unproductive people in that scenario.

  • vek||

    Even if it's NOT true, unlimited low skill immigration will wreck the west. As mentioned, we WILL NOT need hordes of uneducated laborers going forward. This is why I favor only skilled immigration, even if we keep it completely unbiased based on nationality. Smart people have smarter kids at least! So skimming the top people from around the world will have an immediate positive effect, and even though reversion to the mean might not leave their kids as bright as them, they'll likely still be solid. It's win win.

    Other than economic issues, foreigners all vote against freedom, and don't give 2 shits about maintaining our culture. Those reasons alone would be enough to not want to be outnumbered by foreign people in your own homeland. Not to mention racial tensions, having to deal with whiney minorities, etc. These people aren't coming here and just blending in and playing nice... They're being a pain in the ass, trying to dictate terms to US in OUR nations, and destroying all the things our civilization stood for... Why should somebody put up with that?

    The fact that there are a fuck ton more practical arguments, like economics, just make it that much more of an obvious choice IMO.

    As for the dumb NAP argument for unlimited immigration... Who cares? It's not a massive sin to not let somebody move to your country. You're not murdering them or something.

    No hate here... Just practical reasons why mass immigration is a bad idea whether IQ is genetic or not.

  • vek||

    The bottom line on this stuff is you, like most people, have no idea what you're talking about. It's like talking to some gender studies major about economics... They think they know everything, because they've read a few NYTs articles, and watch CNN.

    Just like CNN distorts the hell out of everything about economics, and black balls information they don't like, so too do most media outlets for all of the solid science that has been done on IQ. Because they CANNOT let people know the truth, it would wreck too many of their plans.

    IMO any logical person who spends a dozen or 2 hours reading up on the subject cannot possibly come out the other side not being AT LEAST above the 50% mark that IQ is mostly genetic, and differs between ethnic groups.

    If you actually want to know what you're talking about, go watch/read stuff by race realists... There are even BLACK race realists who can accept reality for what it is and write on the subject. Even if you're not convinced, because you can't get over how shitty it is to accept, you'll at least know a bit more about the subject.

    OR you can continue to be a gender studies major who thinks they know about the subject because the NYTs told them how it all works...

  • ||

    Vek, great series of posts.

  • Mr. JD||

    You miss the point. Completely.

    The point is that America does not in fact have a unique condition that justifies bending the rules. Identity politics are not justified.

  • vek||

    Barring a revolution in this country (metaphorically if not literally) we're never getting rid of all of these nonsense anti-discrimination laws.

    The fact is that whatever ways you want to slice and dice groups, sex/race/etc, there will NEVER be equality of outcomes across the board... These are mostly for logical reasons, like differing abilities between the sexes, differing interests, different cultural pros/cons and so on... But never mind that things are more or less exactly as they deserve to be in a meritocracy... The fact is there is not equality of outcome... And as long as that is true, the self perceived "losers" will bitch and moan.

    Which makes them a political block to be courted. The Democrats have made their whole thing about corralling up every group with a grievance, and convincing them to vote for them... Even though half of these groups interests are in fact counter to each others! Think low skilled immigration disproportionately screwing native born blacks. But whatever, they're holding it together for now!

    But even if the Dem coalition as it exists were to fall apart, the idea of using the government to force impossible equality of outcomes doesn't seem to be going anywhere... Not without the afore mentioned "revolution" happening.

  • apedad||

    Yeah, it really sucks to live in a democracy.

    You and many others miss the point about anti-discrimination laws and policies.

    It's NOT about outcomes--it's simply about leveling the playing field.

  • epochehusserl||

    how are quotas about levelling the playing field?

  • ||

    We don't live in a democracy. We're a republic. Isn't that what you liberals always say when you say that "You can't vote away another person's civil right!" Or does that only apply to killing babies and buggering men in the arse?

  • vek||

    Bullshit.

    For one, we're NOT supposed to be a democracy. We're a republic... Unfortunately we've forgotten this fact, and allowed many things to be voted on that are against the constitution, and have ruined the country.

    But it IS about outcomes. People have had equal opportunity for a good long while now... They have not achieved equal outcomes, so the left keeps pushing for MORE things to tilt things in their favored groups favor.

    If it was just equal opportunity they would have declared victory many decades ago when that was achieved. So don't give me the "they just want a level playing field" BS.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The founders also didn't intend to give women the vote, freedom to black people, or to ban states from having state religions.

    Do you really want to live in the country we were "supposed" to be?

  • ||

    Yes, we'd be much better off if, after the end of the Civil War, blacks were given their own nation outside of ours, and if women never got the right to vote.

  • epochehusserl||

    The black leaders specifically rejected this. They met with Lincoln and rejected this.

  • ||

    I'm sure they did. At one point, black leaders recognized that blacks, alone, were not capable of building a successful society. They didn't want their portion to become what Liberia became.

  • epochehusserl||

    Jefferson wanted to give freedom to black people, there was something called the American Colonization society. He wanted to send them back to Africa.

  • vek||

    If you know anything about voting trends, you would know that giving women the vote was probably the single biggest factor in destroying America as a nation with a limited government.

    Women feelz more than thinkz. "But what about the children!" will override almost any rational argument for most women. Almost NO leftists politician in America would have won a single election in the USA in the last several decades if not for the female vote. This tilted the entire spectrum to the left.

    Society obviously needs a womans touch... Men can be assholes. But I am 100% positive that the nation would be better off if women were not allowed to vote. There is a small percentage of them that deserve to be able to vote, but if we have to screw the rational minority over to preserve freedom for all... It's a small price to pay.

    I'm against universal suffrage for men too BTW. The founders put limits on who could vote, BECAUSE THEY WERE SMARTER THAN THE POLS THAT CAME AFTER THEM. And smarter than you apparently!

    Keep in mind, something doesn't have to be "nice," or even "moral," to ALSO be the best way to handle shit. You can argue it's immoral to not let women or blow it case men vote... But it's still the better way to run a country.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Interesting.

    So how 'bout this. We get rid of suffrage, and only allow some people to vote. But I'm the one that gets to decide who. You game?

  • vek||

    Left this tab up, so you'll never see this... But for anybody else out there reading in the future...

    Maybe? Are you a moron? The fact is that "typical" behavior of different types of people is known. There are outliers for all groups, but typical behavior is mostly what the stereotypes say. Poor people don't understand economics, and tend to vote for free shit. Women feelz instead of thinkz, and will vote for being nice to [insert sob story category of people here] no matter what the cost or negative repercussions. So on and so forth.

    There is a REASON the founders only allowed essentially middle class on up males to vote... Because THOSE types of people are the ones who tend to have sensible opinions, and the education and common sense to choose well. That's not a panacea either, look at all the over educated prog tards... But it's better than letting any moron vote.

    I'd personally be happy with a moderately hard history/civics test being required to vote. This would wash out most dumb and uneducated people, whether male, female, white, black, etc and probably provide the best results, while still being totally color/sex blind. It WOULD disqualify more women and minorities, because they tend to not know about such things... But if a chick really wants to vote, she can, she just has to learn to tell the difference between her ass and a hole in the ground. After doing so she might just end up a decent voter even!

  • Purple Martin||

    Bingo! Both ARWP and Vek with a 'it's-a-republic-not-a-democracy' talking point. It's such a common theme in some of the less courteous sites that it's become a fairly reliable marker of someone who speaks mostly in sound bites picked up from the Breitbart/Fox.

    I do observe that it's only rarely encountered on VC, but it is common enough that EV had this to say on it:

    I often hear people argue (often quite militantly)
    that the United States is a republic, not a
    democracy. But that's a false dichotomy...

    https://reason.com/volokh/2018/01/17/ the-united-states-is-both-a-republic-and
    [remove the space between '17/' and 'the-]'

    The great majority of the 'We're a Republic, not a Democracy!' instances I've encountered over the last few years do not involve EV's thoughtful analysis of the the Founders' views of William Blackstone, the Roman Republic, and the Federalist Papers. No, its most common use is as a triumphant, sneering exclamation of right-wing echo chamber types, replying to someone's passing reference to the US as a democracy.

    A hypothesis. The primary cause for this is simply the coincidental roots of the names of our two major political parties. Specifically, to a certain strain of partisanship, everything is viewed through the lens of "Republican Good! Democrat Bad!" Therefore, "Republic Good! Democracy Bad!"

    Were it not for this accident of semantics and history, this topic would remain a subject of obscure and enjoyably pedantic commentary such as EV.

  • vek||

    Ugh. I hardly ever even watch Fox News, because I'm not a TV guy... But if it makes you feel better, Tucker calls the US a democracy all the time whenever I do watch his show. And I don't ever go to Breitbart except when it comes up in google searches for a particular search. So try again douche!

    As far as democracy vs republic... ZOMG you mean to say that some people use slightly different definitions for words!? You don't say!

    No shit dude. Kinda like how liberal can mean completely opposite things, depending on who is doing the defining. Classical liberals are 180 degrees from the modern American usage of the term.

    But as Mr. V says at the end of his article, people tend to use them in a very specific way when debating in a context like this... The way most people understand them in the here and now in the USA. Democracy = America IS NOT a direct democracy, NOR is it an unlimited democracy. When they use republic, they generally mean we're representative, and have a constitution that limits what can be voted on.

    I am 110% in favor of sticking with the founders ideas of limiting the scope of government via the constitution, and in favor of not having direct voting on most things. Those are great ideas, and what people mean when they say that phrase you so hate. If you think there shouldn't be limits on what can be voted on, and that everything should be a popular vote... You're an idiot.

  • epochehusserl||

    exactly. If it was just about equal opportunity then we would do away with progressive income tax.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Imagine if anti-discrimination laws were used to require private institutions to punish third parties....

  • ||

    The leftists who refuse to accept IQ differences are setting up for a failure of Western society. We're successful largely because of the 100 average IQ of Caucasian people. A majority Hispanic society made up of 85-90 IQ mestizos won't be able to carry on the society built by Caucasians. Do leftists realize this, and not care, or are they burying their heads in the sand?

  • epochehusserl||

    they may realize this but they are so affected by white guilt that they cannot do anything about it except lie. They also feel like any speech of this sort is only going to lead to another holocaust.

  • ||

    Pretty much.

  • vek||

    So the dumb thing about that is that the holocaust is probably far and away the most hard core ethnic cleansing that ever happened... And yet most people in Europe didn't even really think the Jews were inferior, top Nazis definitely didn't... It was more a matter of not liking them, and being jealous if anything.

    Also, recent history largely goes against the idea... Americans fought a civil war largely (but not entirely) over slavery, and almost 100% of whites thought blacks were inferior at the time, but deserved to be free. Thomas Jefferson had thought the same many decades earlier. White Americans also fought for black civil rights, even though most of them still thought they were not our intellectual equals.

    And in terms of other ethnic cleansings historically... In most cases, people didn't really think they were dumber or inferior, just that they didn't like XYZ things about them. Usually religion.

    So thinking somebody is inferior really has nothing to do with how bad or good you treat them.

    I think those at the very top of the power structure know the truth, but lower level minions are true believers, as is typical for many of the big lies. I think they're just thinking easier people to rule, and division gives them power. The horrible thing is by cramming peoples together from all over the world they've actually made a major ethnic cleansing far more likely than if they had just maintained the status quo on immigration decades ago.

  • epochehusserl||

    There have been genocides that were comparable to the holocaust. The dzungar genocide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzungar_genocide killed fewer people, but the entire unique population was wiped out. Genghis Khan killed 20 percent of the people alive and they still have statues dedicated to him in Mongolia.

  • vek||

    Oh yeah. There were certainly ones that were proportionally as bad or worse, and ones where more people overall were killed. I mean hell Stalin's mass murder of Ukrainians was worse even IIRC off the top of my head.

    The thing that makes the holocaust so sketchy is the mechanized nature of it. The Germanness with which it was carried out! LOL

    The funny thing about that, is that MANY of the things people "know" about the holocaust are admitted bullshit. They never made lampshades or soap. No Jew hair socks for U boat crews. Etc. A lot of propaganda, or things made up by Jewish survivors in the immediate aftermath to gain fame, were total bullshit, and are accepted as such. It is even debatable how many were really killed in gas chambers... The number may be VASTLY smaller than the idea people have in their heads about it. Most probably just starved to death or died of disease towards the end of the war, since the Germans couldn't even feed their own people.

    Any which way, it was a bloody mess to be sure.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Ah yes, the whole "the status quo is sorta maybe acceptable, but no more, okay guys?!" approach.

    Sorry dude, but the "Status quo" is that in most states any given butcher, baker or candle-stick maker can throw me out on my ear because of what their god thinks of gays. That same butcher/baker/candle-stick-maker can then follow me into my comic book store and I am statutorily prohibited from considering what their god thinks of gays.

    That status quo is not tenable. Either we're all free to be nasty and rude and awful, or we're all obligated to smile and play nice.

    I'm okay with either. Expand 'em or strike 'em all down. But you don't get to hide behind 'em while I'm prohibited from ever enjoying the same.

  • Mr. JD||

    "Because of the long, sorry history of American racism"

    There is no country in the world less racist than America. The notion that America should have uniquely harsh "anti-discrimination" rules is absurd.

  • ReaderY||

    The author of a political treatise has much more legitimate flexibility to make distinctions differentiating positions he thinks appropriate from ones he thinks inappropriate than a federal judge adjudicating constitutional law. As a political matter, Professor Bernstein has every right to distinguish discrimination laws from exercises of governmental power that he considers less wise and less politic.

    But I don't think the distinction Professor Bernstein is trying flies as a constitutional matter. I think government has the power to enact discrimination only as part of its general power to enact social norms it considers moral and just. The same police power that gives it the right to enact discrimination laws gives it, in my opinion, numerous other laws, many of which Professor Bernstein, other Conspiracy members, and I myself might disagree with. This includes the right to take moral positions on either side of the great social issues of the day.

    It has the right to ban female genital mutilation as an evil practice and a form of discrimination against women. But it has the equal right to ban discrimination against people who practice female genital modification on grounds that opposition to it constitutes baseless hatred and those practicing it are a persecuted minority deserving of the state's protection. Either position arises from the same police power. And the constitution itself dictates neither position, leaving it for the states and the people to decide.

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