Liberty and the 1964 Civil Rights Act

A new article by Tom Woods covers an interesting question posed to people in the liberty movement:   Would liberty-minded people support the Civil Rights Act of 1964?  In this case, he particularly references an attack on Rand Paul for arguing that we must absolutely oppose instutionalized racism (i.e. discrimination by the government — Jim Crow laws, for instance) but not interfere with private interactions among people, though we find their racism repulsive (i.e. businesses which wish to only serve those of one race — but not, of course, people who commit actual crimes against those of other races).

The Left is going after Rand Paul over the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Why, Rand Paul secretly wants to repeal it, they say, which means we’d have segregated restaurants all over again.  Now any non-hysteric knows a segregated restaurant would be boycotted and picketed out of existence within ten seconds, but we’re supposed to fret about fictional outcomes from the repeal of a law that will never be repealed.  And certainly we cannot question the 1964 Act, since our betters have decided the matter is closed.

Of course, someone might have objected to that Act on the grounds that it would of course lead to affirmative action, since racially proportionate hiring is the only practical way to prove one has not been “discriminating.”  One might also object to the law on constitutional grounds, or on the grounds that (as has indeed happened) it would lead to legally protected classes whose members simply cannot be fired, since their employers know they will be hit with groundless but costly and time-consuming litigation.  (Incidentally, black employment statistics saw far more progress in the one year before the 1964 Act than in the two years after it.)

As the Left sees it, none of these reasonable concerns can be the “real reason” for opposition to the 1964 Act.  The real motivation is (what else?) a sinister and arbitrary desire to oppress blacks and other minorities for no good reason.  The Left’s opponents are always and everywhere wicked and twisted people, who spend their time wondering how they can cause gratuitous harm to black people they have never met.  Don’t believe me?  Read the comments to this Politico article.  These people have never in their lives deviated from what Official Opinion has demanded they believe.  Without federal guns, we’d be back in the Dark Ages.  The Left has its bogeymen and the neocons have theirs.  The outcome is always the same: more power to the monopolists with the guns, and the unshakeable conviction that peaceful remedies are impossible.

Note:  Young Americans for Liberty does not endorse or oppose any candidate.

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