The Right to Be Racist?

With Ron Paul well positioned to win the Iowa Caucuses, the Republican establishment is in full panic mode. They are well aware that Paul actually means what he says about cutting $1 trillion from the federal budget during his first year in office, including removing U.S. troops from the active wars in the Middle East and from their decades-long deployments in Europe and elsewhere around the world. In other words, for the beneficiaries of big government, both liberal and conservative, the party will be over. Desperate to prevent this, they are looking for something, anything, that they can attack him on.

The trouble with attacking Paul is there is not much to attack. He has no closet full of ex-wives, tawdry affairs, or dirty political deals. More importantly, he has been a consistent conservative throughout his political career. He doesn’t have to explain away a Romneycare or television ads promoting the liberal environmentalist agenda. He doesn’t have to explain why he has changed his position on issues conservatives deem crucial to their ideology and platform. He can’t be attacked for his economic plan because it is precisely what conservatives say they believe in, but never do. While his foreign policy is out of step with the current Republican establishment, it is consistent with that of conservative icons Ronald Reagan and Robert Taft, which Paul takes every opportunity to point out. It is also resonating with the American people, including active military personnel, who donate more to Paul’s campaign than to all of the other Republican candidates combined.

So, in a desperate attempt to find something to attack, Republicans are resorting to the old, liberal trick of implying that he is a racist. They can’t call him a racist outright because the allegation would be ludicrous. Paul and his positions have become too well-known, including his own denunciation of racism as “an ugly form of collectivism.” Instead, the establishment seeks to associate Paul with racism indirectly, citing campaign contributions from white supremacists that Paul didn’t return or the famous newsletters, an issue that was put to rest a decade ago.

However, the one question of substance that the establishment can raise and which Paul should expect to be heavily emphasized should he win the nomination is his stance on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Here, Paul’s strict adherence to libertarian principles would seem to mean that Paul recognizes a right to be racist, regardless of how distasteful he may find racism personally. If that’s true, then it is going to hurt Paul politically, especially in the general election when the full power of the liberal media is aligned against him. Paul should expect to be questioned on this in every interview. The strategy was effective against Barry Goldwater, who also opposed the Civil Rights Act, and will be effective against Paul if he cannot answer it more effectively.

It is a testament to the character of the American people that any association with racism immediately elicits aversion and disgust. The idea that a human being might somehow be inferior because of a superficial genetic variation like skin pigmentation, which is about as significant as attached ear lobes, is the height of ignorance, leftover from a more barbaric past. The majority of Americans have decided long ago that this is something that they want no part of and ought to be banished from civil society. But what about the minority who do not agree? Does Ron Paul or the libertarian philosophy in general recognize a right to be racist?

The short answer is no. The whole line of reasoning comes out of a misunderstanding of libertarianism and, more fundamentally, rights. Libertarianism does not recognize the existence of “positive rights.” To libertarians, all rights are negative. Thus there is no right to be racist, just as there is no right to be charitable, tolerant, or honest. There is only the right not to have force used against you unless you have previously initiated force against someone else. This is the essence of liberty and libertarianism. It is the only theory of rights that can be reconciled with reason.

Consider the right to life. Regardless of how they feel about the supposed right to healthcare, a living wage, or other controversial “rights,” everyone recognizes the right to life. But what is this right? Is it a right to live under all circumstances? No. When someone dies of natural causes, no one alleges that their right to life has been violated. Similarly, if one dies of a fatal disease or is killed by a flood or eaten by a lion, no one would allege that their right to life was infringed, however tragic their death may have been. The right to life is specifically the right not to be killed by another human being. Even this definition of the right to life has a limit. Your right to life does not protect you from being killed by another human being if he is defending himself against you while you are trying to kill him.

This reasoning applies to all rights. The right to liberty is the right not to have another human being forcefully inhibit your actions if they do not harm another person. The right to property is the right not to have another human being take your justly acquired possessions away from you against your will.

Thus, libertarianism does not defend the right of an employer to discriminate based upon race, it defends his right not have violence initiated against him if he does. Understanding this point requires a recognition of reality – that every law is backed up by the threat of violence if it is not obeyed. While the vast majority of libertarians – in fact, the vast majority of all people – find racial discrimination distateful, libertarians recognize that it does not constitute violence against other people and therefore its practitioners have a right not to have violence used against them. Thus, there can be no just law against racism or racial discrimination. That is not an endorsement of bigotry. It is merely a consistent application of the principle of liberty.

So would a libertarian society include signs on restaurants saying “No Blacks Allowed” or vast inequities in employment opportunities for racial minorities, women, or the disabled? No. Why not? Because a libertarian society would include an unregulated free market, with no privileges or artificial advantages for connected corporations, which means unlimited competition among firms selling similar products and services. As I’ve said before, the racist employer loses in such a market economy. Any employer that consistently chooses to hire less talented employees based upon their race will, by definition, have a less talented workforce than its non-racist competitor. This does not rely upon altruism, boycotts, or any other sacrifice of individual self-interest. The employer that hires the most talented people, regardless of race, sex, or other non-essential characteristics does so because it is in his economic best interests to do so. A more talented workforce increases his profits and allows him to gain market share, eventually putting the racist out of business.

Similarly, the restaurant or movie theater that turns away customers based upon race (or other non-economic factors) puts itself at a fatal disadvantage against the restaurant or movie theater that sells to all consumers willing to buy its products. This doesn’t even account for the societal aversion that would result from anyone putting up a sign saying “Whites Only” or “No Blacks Allowed.” Even discounting the fact that most Americans would boycott such an establishment merely on principle, the racist restaurateur or movie theater owner loses, for purely economic reasons. In other words, even assuming that all economic players act only in their own self-interest and no one makes any decisions based upon moral aversion to racism, the market will still defeat racism, every time.

The only other solution is totalitarianism. If government regulation is really the answer, then the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not nearly go far enough in fighting racism. Regarding employment, the legislation is arbitrarily selective in the racism that it prohibits. As I’ve said before, the employment contract is merely a buyer-seller arrangement. Employers are buyers of a product (labor) from sellers of that product (employees). Why should this buyer-seller contract be treated any differently from any other buyer-seller arrangement? Why should the government not be regulating every purchase we make, ensuring that we buy approximately 12.5% of our food, gasoline, or toilet paper from black-owned firms, or approximately 50% of those products from women-owned firms? While that might seem ludicrous, it is not substantively different in principle from the idea that the government can prohibit racism when employers purchase labor. Neither is the prospect of punishing black or female consumers for not buying enough products from white-owned or male-owned firms.

If Americans take the time to think these issues through, they will continue to abhor racism but will join Paul and libertarians in their opposition to those sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that deal with private property and personal decisions. Liberty does mean that some people will do things that we don’t like, but it affords us the ability not to associate with those people, to disapprove of their actions, to voice that opposition openly, and to persuade others to condemn it as we do. It gives us the ability to make our own decisions about who we associate with, who we do business with, including who we buy from and who we sell to, and forces us to live with the consequences of those decisions. By prohibiting racism under the threat of violence, the government actually gives racists cover. If given the freedom to hire, buy, and sell based upon race, as they wish to, the market will more quickly put them where they belong – out of business.

So how does Ron Paul handle this deeply divisive philosophical issue without compromising his principles, and do so during the average one-minute soundbyte during an interview? While I would not presume to be able to articulate the principles of liberty better than Ron Paul, who has been doing so for over 30 years, I humbly suggest the following:

“Personally, I agree with the vast majority of Americans that abhor racism and other forms of discrimination against people based upon superficial characteristics that have nothing to do with the content of their character. However, we have to find a way to fight this problem without trampling the rights to liberty and property that are the bedrock of a free society. So, I’ll make you a deal. You give me an unregulated free market where everyone is free to dispose of their person and property as they see fit, as long as they do not invade the person or property of others. If, under those circumstances, someone actually puts up a sign that says “Whites Only” or “No Blacks Allowed,” I’ll be open for business the very next day, right across the street. My sign will say “Everybody Welcome.” We’ll see who’s still in business a month after that.”

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

53 thoughts on “The Right to Be Racist?

  1. William Schooler

    Tom Thank you for being honest and I fully agree but I am positive people will react to this. In other words they will not take the time to inspect this for themselves. Ignorance breeds ignorance by popularity and the acceptance and not by informing themselves.

    Those so intent on getting their way by all the deception they have thrown at us will not stop. There own ignorance is so enormous they are in total refusal to any truths that make them look like total idiots. But recognize this; if you are unable to recognize yourself as an idiot your chances of learning anything greatly lesson. I personally know this, if I had not identified how stupid I was, how much of the ignorance was mine I would in no way learn these lessons and allow myself intelligence at all. This is an experience not a book that tells me. Admitting I screwed up allows the lessons to be learned, O my.

    If people actually inspected Ron Paul by his actions and all the results he has ever created would know full well he has promoted Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and you can label this Libertarian if you wish but I prefer genuine in nature, honest and a man of his word by doing what he says he will. Isn’t this the fear the criminals have on Ron Paul, they know he will follow through, that in fact he is not making promises to no one, he is telling this establishment I will end this party once and for all with or without you will make no difference because the people of this nation have awaken and your time is done.

    The truth has far more force behind it and they are all starting to get very scared because its not Ron Paul putting him there, it is the people of this nation that are down right upset and done with the CRAP we have been handed for centuries.

    Ron Paul stands for Life, how many is this, what race is this, what form is this or is this all life? Answer the question before you go BLASTING off on episodes of ignorance because the truths speaks far louder than words if you only take the time to find them.

    Ron Paul and the People will deliver the final blow to the stupidity that has permeated our whole world, the United Sates Government, out of control, destructive and the farthest entity on planet earth in support of all life and I am sure it SUCKS to be them right now because admittance is not a practice they own at all.

  2. Sherry

    I can’t argue with the position you have taken, in theory, but the south is a rather different culture than elsewhere. The socialism of the south is different from the socialism of the north. In the south, the businesses that break the “rules” established by the ruling secret society will not survive. There are still restaurants, stores, etc. that black people do not go near. There are small towns where the KKK still burn crosses. The reason the black people support a strong federal government is because it was the federal government that came in and forcibly provided them with the help they needed to break through the glass ceiling. Even today, the animosity of whites toward blacks is held under cover, but remains somewhat operative. I grant you it is not openly discussed at all, but the natural trend would be iffy. I can’t really see black people supporting the reversal of the equal rights amendment. Again, I do not disagree with your positions that hiring the best worker for the job is the best solution, but in the south hiring is based on hiring the best good ol boy for the job. I’ve never been to New York, but, I don’t see their setup as a lot different. Black people have used civil rights methods successfully. It would be nice if the saw such a big difference in their own lives that they didn’t feel the need to keep the “civil rights pressure” on. But, they have been held down by a lack of justice for too long and too openly, to expect them to support the breakdown of the system that has given them the freedom they have longed for. I do not like the loss of ability to protect our private property rights, but I like even less the thought that black people are succeeding today because the majority has been hamstrung by the ERA.

    I think this is a case of lack of justice, mercy and humility before God producing the need for the rule by a tyrannical government. It would be nice if people would govern themselves justly and mercifully, but they have demonstrated that they are not willing to do that. Black people would be foolish to let go of the success they have achieved. This is the case of there needs to be a demonstration of righteous self-government among the people of America before there will be the opportunity for the lessening of the tight grip of the civil government. I don’t see a practical demonstration that racism has been driven from the hearts of mankind, so mankind is basically demanding the civil government to oversee their behavior in this area.

    1. Mike Matalucci

      People are racist, so we need a strong government to force them to not be racist. What about those of us who are not racist? Why do you insist on forcing your tyrannical government on us? Besides “racism”, where else would you like to force your tyrannical government into people’s lives? If you can justify it to stop your definition of racism, I’m sure you, and your neighbors can justify to stop other things. Exactly what types of racism would you like to use the government to force people to stop? Would you use the government to stop groups from forming? What about literature? Speech? Thought? Why not just let individuals make up their own damned minds, and have a system that allows individual victims of racism the opportunity to seek retribution from individuals who perpetrate racism on them without forcing your beliefs on all of society?

      1. Sherry

        Mike, no, you have misunderstood my premise. My premise is that the Creator has authority over his creation. Therefore, the Creator has given us a heart that knows we are supposed to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him. When he created us, he gave us the authority to rule over our own time, talents and the property that he gave us overwhich to have dominion. As long as we obey the laws he has written on our hearts, we are free to use our time, our talents and our property for the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. When we fail to adhere to his laws, we surrender our authority to rule over our own lives because our Creator is just. When we fail to love our neighbor as ourselves, our Just Creator will hear the cry of the neighbor who has been misused. When we continue to abuse our neighbors, the cry for justice becomes so loud in his ears that he hears the cry of the poor neighbor who has been afflicted by our lack of treating them justly.

        I did not force a tyrannical government on us. Those who join unholy alliances to corporately abuse their neighbors and provide unholy favors one to another demanded a tyrannical master over this area by their unholy actions. I am not black and have actually never supported the equal rights amendment or anything that would infringe on our rights to self-government. God heard the cries of the abused and misused and sent relief in the form of a tyrannical government, only after all of his cries to repentance toward God and to love our neighbor went unheeded. God is a just God. We either conduct ourselves justly, mercifully and humbly before God or we lose the privilege of conducting our lives in freedom. It is as simple as that.

        The Constitution was designed only to govern people who were already governing themselves as virtuous and moral people who honored their Creator as they were going out and coming in. It won’t work for any other kind of people. It will revert to the democratic form of mob rule without individuals voluntarily submitting to the rule of God.

    2. Jason Kelly

      Sherry, if white people in the south are so uniformly racist, why exactly did they need jim crow laws to prevent their white neighbors from transacting with black people? Also, please provide examples of southern towns where the kkk openly burns crosses without any ramifications. And is it the case that there are no black neighborhoods where whites are unwelcome? If there are, do we need tyrannical government to intervene in those neighborhoods, too?

      1. Sherry

        No, I did not say we are uniformly racist. I am saying we are basically a socialized society. We conform to the paths of least resistance. There are black people in my town and I seldom cross paths with them. I frequent a restaurant that I enjoy and it is very popular. I came in contact with a few black people when I worked the census with them. I discovered that they didn’t go to the restaurant. I didn’t realize there was a line of demarcation, they did. There is no sign in the window, there is no spoken word. It just exists. I had several of them go in with me and they did like the food. Since the census was over, I have seen one lone black woman in there, one time. They have a Shriner’s plaque on the wall and that is all. In order for a restaurant to survive in our town, they have to buy a Shriner’s ad, plaque, something…

        The towns that still burn crosses, are not frequented by outsiders. But, when their people leave the area they tell us the stories. I have never been treated poorly by a black person whether I was in Washington, D.C., California, Arizona, Florida or Tennessee. When I go into black neighborhoods, I am watched with wariness but spoken to with friendliness.

        The solution is not another tyrannical government. The solution is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance to the acknowledging of the truth and to walking justly, mercifully and in humility before God. Without the ultimate solution, there will always be another tyrannical government entity to stand in the place of God and meet out justice. The government cannot meet out mercy. The government cannot meet out humility before God. The government can only meet out earthly justice. The Creator will meet out the final justice when his mercy has come to an end.

    3. Libertarious

      The CRA is racist plunder for the benefit of those that have more melena then I. Is this equal blind justice or discrimination? The CRA is nothing more then a reverse Jim crow law. Once one group becomes dependent on govt plunder they will surely support the system that once plundered them. Every person of darker pigment that I personally know doesn’t need govt pitty to succeed they have already proven themselves capable based upon their own merit and character. Racism is a collectivist statist ideal. Not a libertarian one.

  3. Bryan K Donnelly


    Of course you have the right to be a racist. One also has the right to be an atavistic crank a la Ron Paul; a man who can NEVER be elected president and who’s third party candidacy would merely insure Barak Obama’s re-election by a wide margin, a Democrat-socialist congressional majority, and the institution of PERMANENT socialism in America. Is he personally a “racist?” One doubts it. However his policy ideas would give race hatred a new life.

    Barry M. Goldwater, the real founder of modern American conservatism (and a great libertarian, of the sensible variety) voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act strictly on state’s rights and free market principles. He later recanted and said that he’d been wrong’ that such legislation was absolutely necessary to correct the glaring injustice of segregation. As a southerner (and youthful Goldwater activist) old enough to remember “Jim Crow,” down here, I know well that, absent the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1966 Voting Rights Act, the south and the nation would be the same cesspool of racial bigotry I knew then. Like slavery, it could not be allowed to continue. Oddly, some of the zanier “Paulistas” also believe the south was right in the Civil War; historically illiterate and utterly insane.

    The free market would eliminate racial segregation? Possibly in the ethereal world of the “rational economic man” where the obvious stupidity of limiting one’s clientele or work force pool is readily apparent, but NOT in the emotion based racial caste system I grew up in! The white south (and much of the sanctimonious north) would have happily continued segregation, “separate but ‘equal,’” employment and educational discrimination forever. The whole system was IRRATIONAL, utterly based on ingrained ignorant bigotry, and completely unsustainable. Have y’all noticed that the south has only become the “sun belt,” the economic equal or better of the north or west SINCE the 1960’s. Ron is DEAD WRONG. Then there are his weird foreign policy views.

    Like some of his more extreme “libertarian” followers, Ron Paul seems at heart an anarchist. He lives in a fantasy world in which we all could simply pull back to our own borders and all be happy, safe, and prosperous. This is an illusion bordering on dementia that he shares with the brain dead “Occupy Wall Street” morons.

    Absent the US Navy patrolling the world’s sea lanes, there would BE no commerce. All the world’s oceans would resemble the seas off Somalia. We inherited the job from the Royal Navy which, for Britain’s OWN interests, protected US and our trade (along with the entire world’s) for over a century. We live in an economically integrated WORLD and can NOT prosper without one. There is no free trade without military power to defend it.

    The ostrich-like notion that we can simply “defend our shores” is absurd. Our “shores” are the world, like it or not. The USA would relinquish our power and become a second rate nation at the mercy of enemies large and small were we to withdraw to our own frontiers. Fredrick the Great said, “Diplomacy without weapons is like music without instruments.” Impossible.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. Withdraw from the world, defend only ourselves? Our standard of living, along with the world’s would plummet back to pre-industrial poverty. Isolationism (euphemistically now called “non-intervention by the reactionary Paulistas) is, ignorant, absurd, and IMPOSSIBLE.

    Lest you deem this the response of a liberal or UN style “one world” advocate, I’m a long member of the Republican Liberty Caucus (,) the home for SENSIBLE libertarians in the USA. I advocate the least POSSIBLE government, but defense of our nation and our overseas interests is the PRIMARY function of legitimate constitutional government. Might I remind you that our first “foreign” war was with Islamic terrorists, the Barbary pirates. It was to protect our world trade. Reality forced Thomas Jefferson to abandon his silly notions of foreign policy.

    Ron Paul and his old style “America First” isolationist coterie of John Birch style conspiracy theorists are a SURE LOSER! Am I completely happy with all the GOP choices we have before us? Of course not! But we MUST defeat Obama, our great nation cannot survive another four years of his misrule. So we must choose a WINNER. I’m a former Herman Cain supporter, enraged at what our sewer dwelling media did to him. So now I back Newt. Yes he has some “flies on him,” but he is basically conservative and free market oriented and CAN win. I intensely dislike “Obamneycare” Romney from the People’s Republic of Taxachussetts. But, if necessary, I’ll vote for HIM to eliminate Obama.

    Politics is the “art of the possible.” The “true libertarian” millennium is not coming any time soon. It will take decades to re-educate Americans and return to constitutional principles. A trip of a thousand miles begins with the first step; and it ain’t Ron Paul.

    1. William Schooler

      WOW! Bryan,

      What a display of assumption, popularity and acceptance. This means no real investigation by you at all.
      Ignorance expands itself and what you deny it is here?

      I wonder what color Life is? What is that basis?

      The GOP has never been so wrong and many of us are yelling at you to WAKE UP! or we will do it without you.

      Your own lack of investigating of the Declaration of Independence on War becomes your own ignorance of operation. Stay blind, keep pretending, keep assuming everything and above all go with what is popular among uninformed because we want to display you LOUD and CLEAR so no other will be confused of what ignorance really looks like.

      Ron Paul is the only candidate that will smoke Obama out of office because of us who are awake and are adamant we are done with your war supersize politics. I am not in fear of all those others lives out there, that is your own fear of YOU and you keep wanting to pass it along to me, shut up!

      Life is all inclusive jack ass, learn it, operate by it or go away!

      This is America, A Republic and not a one size sock fits all mentality of some in the GOP who have lost their souls and our primary reasoning for Independence.

      It is hard to admit the truth and you are by far living proof of this, thank you.

      1. Bryan K Donnelly

        In my wild misspent youth I got a BA and MA in history. I did my research in the Weimar Republic period in Germany, speak German, Spanish, some French and Russian. Though, apart from some years as a radio talk show host (KFYI Phoenix, KTUC Tucson,) I’ve spent most of my adult life in the technology sector, history remains my avocation and passion along with economics (my undergraduate minor.) I’m widely read and have accumulated an historical library of sever thousand volumes and have likely FORGOTTEN more about our Constitution and Declaration of Independence than you know. Your ignorance, like that of most Paulistas, shows. I’m sure Ron is good at delivering babies; should have stuck to what he knew!

        1. William Schooler

          Thank you Bryan for mentioning all that education and still you pretend to know. I bet your sure of a lot of things with such an education? Calling me a Paulistas only shows you live in the dark.

          My recognition of life, the capacity we carry to observe and measure results, (you know what those are, right?) Carry the truths you obviously are unable to see through all that great education you claim. Please tell us more so all may see clearly acceptance in its highest form, be proud of the results of this country because you certainly helped create them.

          Its hard to gain embarrassment if you never notice failure isn’t it?

          Lets see, what has the GOP and all of its great associates done for this country that has made it so great this far? Hell we should be proud of the debt level correct, no matter what? Is that how you do your checking as well?

          Again what color is Life? Check your basis you may have missed something along the way and I am pretty sure there is some huge ignorance on the subject in the GOP because they do not decide on such a principal do they? Pretending something is visible too you know. Well maybe be you don’t know at all but I am sure you will tell us, please.

    2. Mike Matalucci

      “a man who can NEVER be elected president”

      Really? I guess if you say so, and if you say it enough times it MUST be true.

      “and who’s third party candidacy would merely insure Barak Obama’s re-election by a wide margin, ”

      When did Ron Paul suggest he would run as “third party candidate”? Gary Johnson has said that if RP doesn’t get the GOP nomination he would run for the Libertarian Party nomination, but I don’t believe RP has any intention of running as a 3rd party candidate.

      “a Democrat-socialist congressional majority”

      How exactly would RP’s 3rd party candidacy ensure that?

      “I know well that, absent the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1966 Voting Rights Act, the south and the nation would be the same cesspool of racial bigotry I knew then. ”

      Perhaps. But was there a better way? One that didn’t violate the rights of others, like business owners? I think that telling businesses who they can, or can not do business with is Socialism. \

      “The free market would eliminate racial segregation?”

      I doubt that. However, changing attitudes, not passing laws, will accomplish that.

      “Then there are his weird foreign policy views.”

      Deflection. Oldest trick in the book. Stay on topic. The topic is “Racism”. If you can not debate/discuss/ argue rationally, then don’t.

      1. Bryan K Donnelly

        I entirely understand your reluctance to discuss Ron Paul’s absurd foreign policy views. Too embarrassing, eh?

        1. Tom Mullen Post author

          Bryan, He didn’t say he didn’t want to discuss them. He correctly pointed out that this article is about racism and the comment section is provided for people to voice their opinions, whether they agree or disagree, about racism. If you want to argue foreign policy on this blog, I’ve written several articles that roughly are in line with Ron Paul’s foreign policy, the latest being this one: Please feel free to disagree vehemently, but let’s try to keep the discussions focused so that newcomers don’t come to a blog about racism, find that the comments are way off the point, and then no bother to add their opinions. Fair enough?

        2. Mike Matalucci

          “I entirely understand your reluctance to discuss Ron Paul’s absurd foreign policy views. Too embarrassing, eh?”

          You have been unable to tie his foreign policy views to “racism”. But here, I’ll do it for you. Ron Paul is racist and anti-Semitic because he wants to cut aid to Israel. That’s really what all these charges of racism are about, aren’t they?

          If the US cuts funding to Israel, they will be attacked and would, most certainly, lose, and Israel will cease to exist. There will no longer be Jews in Israel, therefore, there will be no second coming of Christ. So, you see, it is the foriegn policy of nutjob Christian Zionists that is embarrassing.

          1. Sherry

            Mike, your answers lack depth because they seem to be uninformed. Unless I am wrong, Ron Paul doesn’t hate Israel. He has said he doesn’t and I believe him. What he does say is that Israel is only one of many countries that drain our economy through false foreign policy strategies. So, let’s say we send Israel $1. and send eight muslim countries each $1. We have just increased the capacity of Israel’s enemies eightfold and reduced Israel capacity to defend itself sevenfold. Have we actually helped Israel?

            So, the question is not “Does Ron Paul love Israel?”, the question is “Does Ron Paul love America?” In answer to that question, he has demonstrated that he loves America with his whole life. It is not about racism is is about the limitations of authority granted by the Constitution.

            I can deal with Ron Paul’s position on the equal rights for all races because what he says is true in a god-fearing world. We have a hurdle to get over here and we need to work together to find a solution. Ron Paul is the best hope I see to attaining that solution. I don’t see a safe solution in the immediate future for the ERA to be withdrawn. I do see it as an issue that needs to be addressed in the underlying injustice that produced the original need for government intervention. Blacks are still being hired for their skin color rather than for their skill set. Government intervention won’t change that. Only a heart change will change that.

            The real problem is the secret societies that grant permission for wealth and prosperity through the giving and receiving of favors. That is the essence of what keeps racism active and is the essence of the southern economy. It may very well be the reason so many presidents come from the south. It is a powerful force that operates among men who in all other respects seem to be honorable men. They don’t understand the harm they do because they have “joined hands for good” the bad just sneaks in through human nature.

    3. Libertarious

      May I suggest reading “War is a Racket” by MG Smedley Butler USMC (ret) 2X recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. He would surely disagree with you, but what does he know?

      1. Tom Mullen Post author


        Same comment to you as to Bryan. I appreciate both of your inclinations to discuss foreign policy, but please take that discussion to one of the many blogs I’ve written on the subject, and let’s keep this one focused on racism, for the benefit of all other readers/commenters who may want to join the discussion.

  4. Kent

    I think there’s a pretty strong market for racists…so I don’t completely agree with your theory here. In some places, a “no blacks allowed” restaurant could do very well against your “welcome everyone” restaurant. Freedom isn’t always pretty.

  5. Tad Wesley

    Thank you Tom. Your description of “positive rights” is something I’ve tried to explain to friends in the past, without much success. Most of the time, I’m trying to explain why people can’t have a “right” to health care or health insurance.

    I think you make the point much better; hopefully people who don’t come in with a Libertarian mindset will be able to at least grasp the concept, even if they don’t agree with it.

  6. David Ricks

    Very well-written, shows great intellect. The only problem is that the intellect shown is over the heads of many people who will be incapable of understanding the message. Nevertheless, keep writing good stuff like this, Tom.

  7. Dixie Passion

    I wish that people could discriminate because as it is now i have no way of knowing if someone is racist and I would much rather not eat in a restaurant or do business with a racist who is being forced to open their door to me.

  8. Anna

    But what political spin could be placed on the person who puts up the sign advertising “Everyone Welcome” and ends up having to kick some one out from the establishment because he/she is disrupting other people’s right to shop because he/she smells bad, or is acting oddly or..etc.???

    And, the person happens to be a minority. Could this person sue you based on your sign “Everyone is Welcomed”, you gave them the right to come into your store? Do you have the right to post codes of behavior to customers while visiting your store? Or would that be an infringement on that person’s right to behave as they see fit even if it is disrupting other people from reaching their goal of completing a purschase. If people are not able to complete purchases, the business will soon be out of business.

    Or could people be racist and shop at stores where Blacks ARE NOT welcomed? As long as no one oversteps and/or infringes on the rights of others….such as forcing a black person who has decided to walk into this store where blacks are not welcomed,..if this does not happend…then could a racist no longer pose a threat against human rights because he or she does not act out on their belief of racism?

    Don’t we all practice this….??? We make personal decisions about every individual we meet…it doesn’t mean I need to act on my racist personal beliefs – positively or negatively…Most people don’t and that’s why we can be jammed into a subway car during peak rush hour, probably hating every minute of it…rubbing up against individuals you wouldn’t even give a second glance to…but there you are stuck between a homeless and a fat ass who is flatulating.

    I wish we could all just get off from using these juvenile political “tactics” to create false and misleading judgements about people. Ron Paul’s history speaks for who he is and it speaks very well of him. This article expresses support for Dr.Pauls integrity and honesty. We all make mistakes…we are not perfect. Please people stop trying to find God to be our President…its not going to happen…all you end up id putting into those positions a people with a God-like-complex….like Newt G. and the Obama’s and Clintons and the queen and king of England.


  9. Sherry

    Tom, in reading your article again, I see the underlying premise of “unregulated free market” as the basis for the position. That is a problem. An “unregulated free market” will never exist. A market is always regulated by those with the most money and property. The question is and always will be are those who are regulating the market just, merciful and humble before God.

    There will always be someone regulating the market. Who is regulating it? Why has it been regulated to prevent black people from succeeding? Why did it require government intervention before black people were allowed to succeed? Why did it require such hard work for them both with their own time, talents and property and with their political confiscation of the property of others for them to become economically viable? How can we restore the principles of a free market economy and assure they are not denied their right to pursue life, liberty and happiness without being lied to, cheated, robbed and incarcerated for succeeding? It is injustice that is the problem. It is injustice that is centered around racism that you are addressing, but injustice doesn’t limit itself to racism. The unjust social justice movement gets its strength from the unjust definition of liberty.

    All people deserve equal protection before the law. Black people were denied their right to equal protection before the law. They have had to fight for every ounce of equal protection they have received. What are you going to offer them that will compensate for the safety and security of knowing that a clansman cannot come and drag a family member from their bed and mutilate them and hang them from a tree with no one in a jury brave enough to convict the judge, the sheriff, the town counsel, and their relatives on the jury? It is a lot easier to deny justice to the poor than it is to defeat the injustice of the unjust. A illusory free market will not compensate for that because the free market has a long way to go before it is free for them.

    1. Tom Mullen Post author

      Sherry, you’re confusing two things. The first is “regulation.” The people with the most money and property do not regulate a market. Only the government, which has a monopoly on the use of FORCE against market participants can regulate the market. The “regulations” in our present economic system are there to protect the people with the most money and property from honest competition. That’s why the biggest oil companies never oppose new regulation, the biggest health insurance companies never oppose new health insurance regulation, etc. Why should they? They get together and write the regulations themselves, for the express purpose of keeping smaller competitors out. That liberals champion increased regulation and complain that corporations are too big at the same time is tragically ironic.

      So, an unregulated free market is one where everyone has an equal chance, where new competitors have easy entry into the market, and a few large firms are unable too dominate it as they do today. Those are the economic conditions under which racism would be defeated the fastest.

      Secondly, you are confusing those sections of the Civil Rights Act that gave blacks equal protection under the law, which I wholeheartedly agree with, and those sections (and I made this distinction in the article) that stipulated that private property owners could not refuse access to their own property based upon race, etc. THAT part of the law is unjust and leads to unintended consequences. It also gives racists cover in that they are not allowed to exclude people based upon race, so the market can’t put them out of business the way it would if they could do so..

      1. Sherry

        Okay, I can see the point about regulation helping the big bad guys on the federal level. I can also see the point about if my favorite restaurant had a sign that said, “Blacks not allowed.” It wouldn’t be my favorite restaurant anymore.

        But, it is not only the government that has a monopoly on the use of force. The secret societies also have that monopoly. The secret societies regulate like the gangs or mobs of a big city, the store owner is caught between abiding by the rules of the secret society or facing the end of his business by use of coercion.

        Since I already agree with your arguments on behalf of a free market economy. I can only say again, black people cannot trust us to provide them with just measures of the value they would add to our businesses with their skills because we have demonstrated we are not willing to value them as highly as we value those who meet our social and physical requirements. They don’t really care about the unintended consequences of the ERA because the unintended consequences of a free market economy has kept them in poverty. So, I can only say again, this one is not going to be resolved in this election and should be worked out through character development of the country so that we can dissolve the ERA in a manner that will restore freedom while not pulling the rug out from under those who have prospered through the implementation of the ERA.

        Yes, it must be stopped. Yes, your scenario of continued intervention is accurate. No, it will not be sold before this election goes down. Yes, it is okay to point out the virtue of a free market economy. But, black people will shy away from it because it reeks of poverty to them. Begin to operate a free market economy to the best of your ability when Ron Paul gets a lot of the over-regulation lifted, then when enough black people are succeeding through free market principles, they will begin to demand more free market opportunities along with the rest of us.

        1. Tom Mullen Post author

          Sherry, you continue to miss the point. Black people don’t have to “trust us to provide them with just measures of the value they would add to our businesses with their skills.” A free market rewards the business owner who does and he will do this IN HIS OWN SELF INTEREST, not out of altruism or goodwill. Also, the “the unintended consequences of a free market economy” has not kept blacks in poverty. It is government intervention that has kept them in poverty. The Jim Crow laws were not the free market at work – they were the government at work. And why, if most people didn’t want to do business with blacks, were those laws necessary? Why would the government have to force people not to do business with blacks? The only answer is that many or most people DIDN”T WANT segregation and the corrupt, racist government forced it upon them anyway.

          On a separate note, the “secret society” argument is irrelevant to this point. We are talking about what are and are not just laws. Mafias and gangs break the laws. That isn’t at issue here. What is at issue is the making of bad laws, parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 being one of them.

          1. Sherry

            Tom, the secret societies are the instruments that prevent owners from doing what is in their own best interests if the social pressure from the secret societies were not there. It simply is not true that it is possible to create a utopian free market environment. You are correct, people will do what is in their own best interests and that includes hiding from the target zone of the bullies. I completely agree that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is unjust, but it is still part of the vehicle black people have used to climb out of poverty. You can accurately argue that there is more poverty and misery in the black community now than before the CRA but it will not change the way black people perceive reality.

            They will not part with the CRA until they feel comfortable that they will have equal opportunities in a free market. I am not arguing against your positions. I am simply saying, black people are not going to come into agreement with your position until they see it operate successfully for them. We can agree that it is a bad law. The question is, are you willing to sacrifice a Ron Paul win in order to get that bad law made a part of the discussion? If you are going to continue to go there, you will find it a very tough sell in a very tough market.

            I think the most important thing we can do at this point is prepare to publicise those strengths that are most easily understood by the most people. The Jim Crow laws are not generally known or understood anymore, so that whole issue is education from the ground up to people who don’t want to listen. There is going to be a lot of media abuse and I think coming up with 2 or 3 comforting statements is going to go a lot farther than trying to educate a non-responsive public about not just the Jim Crow laws and the effect they had on the market, but how a free market operates, how a republic operates, how our Constitution operates, how our states are supposed to operate, and on, and on.

            Two, three or four sentences that comfort people about Ron Paul’s position on the CRA. That is what is needed. You are all used to going for knowledge and understanding. I sympathize. Time is too short for education right now. Stick to comfort, soothing, and proclaiming. The paid media messengers are going to be stirring up fears. How are you going to comfort the sheep so they don’t get scared and stampede over the cliff? What are you going to say to them to comfort their fears and help them trust Ron Paul enough to cast their vote for him? Reason and logic is not going to get the job done. Comfort and soothe. Comfort and soothe. Calm them down or they will stampede in response to the roaring of the lions in the media.

  10. Anon

    Force against another human being is always morally wrong no matter what the excuse or any individuals judgement of what is good for the rest of society and any initiation of force is inevitably detrimental to true human happines!!
    ..Ron Paul is the only one advocating morality by promoting freedom, all others like Sherry here, want to tell you what your moral obligations are…Sherry I think your a bit out of date, clansmen? Really I’m now assuming you fervently believe whites are the only racist people. What will we do to offer them “blacks” compensation for their safety? Why are grouping people how about you start viewing everyone as an individual and that their second amendment right will ensure their safety.

    1. William Schooler

      Thank you Anon, This is why I keep asking the question no one will answer because if they do would they be honest for once in there pathetic little lives.

      Life is what color? And if I do the acts to support life what am I supporting?

      So Sherry and a few others answer these. What, too honest for you? So what does this state in all honesty?

    2. Sherry

      No, blacks in the media are definitely are racist and the ERA regulations are racist. Yes, clansmen are still active in the south, and the attitude of attaching criminal behavior to a man because he is black is also part of private communication among whites. A cross was burned on the lawn of a home in a town about 40 miles away from where I live about 9 months ago. In general, that is a clue that the clan is still active.

      1. William Schooler

        So Sherry you share with us that stupid is all around you and you decide on the stupid perpetuating more of the stupid? Have you ever asked yourself how and why stupid keeps expanding itself? Maybe its because the choices we make are based on the stupid versus the informed. What does informed mean to you?

        Again what color is Life? Such a simple question as well a simple answer if you answer it honestly. Then base choices on intelligence of what you do know and what you yourself can control. You control you by what you decide, decide with crap get crap, decide with great education by good experiences and know you are in the right direction.

        Are you life? You in support of you? What color is life?

        Maybe its no to all 3 or I don’t know to all 3 or maybe acceptance overrides decision making?

        1. Sherry

          I’m sorry I would like to respond to you but cannot grab hold of a rational thread within your post. It appears the word stupid is trapped inside your head without a point of exit and keeps bumping around against disjointed thoughts spread throughout your post. Perhaps if you stick to simple statements you can come up with a train of cohesive declarations that would provide some insight as to what you are trying to say.

          1. William Schooler

            Yes, simple english language is tough for some to grasp, thanks for the example I was speaking of. Isn’t assumption stupid?

            I know the questions are to honest for those not that honest aren’t they?
            Rational, hmmmmmm how are you defining that? It doesn’t make sense in your statement because reaction is not rational, at least in my home.

      2. Anon

        Ok Sherry so what kind of compensation should i be given to ensure my saftey that a racist black person doesn’t come into my home and mutilate me or a member of my family?..your points are childish and are out of date. Did those clansmen kill someone while they burned their cross? because they have every right to burn a cross, that is part of their personal liberty now if they were to have killed someone while burning the cross then that would be an infringement upon anothers right to life and then this would be up for discussion, otherwise shut up about the clansmen. You have every right to state your opinions but stop trying to use your flawed logic to force your opinions. All you are doing is trying to tell everyone what their moral obligations are instead you need to only focus on you. You yourself are segregating Blacks from whites in your arguements, by calling for special priveledges for a group of people, that is ridiculous and anti constitution! it completely underminds freedom and liberties, Their are racist black people, their are racist white people, their are racist brown people, their are racist yelow people ,there are racist red people. until one of those individulas infringes upon anothers rights then their personal life and rituals are of no concern to yours or anyone elses.

        1. Sue

          There are racist black people, their are racist white people, their are racist brown people, their are racist yellow people ,there are racist red people. until one of those individuals infringes upon another’s rights then their personal life and rituals are of no concern to yours or anyone else’s.
          The government is very busy mixing up the words prejudice and preference. Your friends are your preference. One tends to friend people with like ideas and intelligence. You have an absolute right to decide who you will associate with and what you think. The above comment by Anon is spot on. As long as you don’t infringe on someone else’s rights, you may think as you wish.

          1. Tom Mullen Post author

            I agree with you Sue, but that’s not really the question. The question is “Do I have a right to walk into a privately-owned restaurant?” The Civil Rights Act says that right is being infringed when a restaurant owner doesn’t allow certain people in because of their skin color.

            My answer is “No, of course I do not have a right to walk into a restaurant. My walking into the restaurant is a PRIVILEGE granted by the property owner. It is the property owner who has all of the rights on his own property, including the right to not to grant the privilege to anyone he wishes, for any reason he wishes, whether I agree with his reasons or not. He is not infringing on another person’s rights by deciding not to sell that person his products. The selling of one’s own property is also an absolute, inalienable right. You can choose to sell or not sell for whatever reasons you choose. It is only when you invade the property (life, liberty, justly acquired possessions) of another person that you infringe his rights.”

  11. Pingback: The Right to Be Racist?

  12. Tom Blanton

    What African-American would want to work for a Grand Dragon of the local KKK who despises everyone who isn’t white? Under the law, Mr. Grand Dragon can’t post a sign saying “Help Wanted – No Blacks” under the law. So, an unsuspecting black person applies for a job and is hired because Mr. Grand Dragon fears legal repercussions if he doesn’t hire the black person.

    Will this new employee be given the best assignments or will he be cleaning toilets? What about chances for advancement and raises? What about general treatment in the workplace and allowances for special circumstances that arise?

    It would seem to me that this African-American employee might be better off if he or she knew that the boss was a racist, giving the employee the option of not applying for work in the first place and instead working for someone who is not a racist.

    Legislation can’t change what is in someone’s heart.

    1. Sherry

      I rather think the point is he knows by the way he is being treated that he is not being treated fairly, righteously or equitably. You are correct in that legislation cannot change something that is in someone’s heart. But, when people treat other people unfairly, unrighteously and inequitably and those people have no local place of recourse from who to get justice, those people look for outside resources. Those people have as much right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the other people in town but they are being denied that opportunity by the corruption of the unjust local system. They live there. They own property there. Why should they have to leave just because someone refuses to render them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? If they kill the grand poopah they go to jail, if they don’t kill the grand poopah they go to jail, if they succeed at anything the grand poopah and his buddies come and steal, kill and destroy their family, their property and their lives. This is what they had to live with before they got their laws passed. The evil has gone underground, but that doesn’t mean it won’t rear its ugly head if the outside authority no longer exists.

      This is really about perception and emotional response. Black people have benefited from the Civil Rights Act of 1960. They never experienced the benefits of a free market economy, only the oppression of wicked people doing wicked things until they got the federal government to come in and help. It has been a fight for them the whole time trying to obtain the basic respect of being human beings created in the image of God.

      I truly agree that the employment quotas, etc. are bad for the economy. I also agree it is a lot like the tail wagging the dog, but the dog was biting the next door neighbor and there are consequences for that.

      I do not see it as an equitable swap to just abolish all that they have worked so hard for because they have fought for it for righteous reasons. They could not get the help they needed until they got hold of the pocketbooks of the powerful. These things ought not to be, but they have been. I do not see this as a winning issue for the election because the financial success of black people has been established too recently and fought for too long. Without righteous behavior, we lose our ability to govern ourselves. Righteousness is the foundation of self-government. Some things cannot be undone without a prolonged demonstration of trustworthy behavior.

      Legislation cannot change what is in a person’s heart, but it can protect my neighbor from the abuse of my other neighbor. It should have been done on the individual level, it was not. It moved to the local level, it still was not handled righteously. It progressed to the state level, still no justice. It was driven to the federal level by the unrighteousness of a whole string of gates that should have been used to prevent it from getting to the federal level. None of those gates worked properly for the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of our black neighbors. It is too late to go back. It took too long for justice to be established. It may very well appear unjust to those who have to live with the inequity of the CRA. But, the people who fought for their own lives, liberty and property still are not in a position to trust us with local solutions. Perhaps if we start developing local solutions the federal solutions will become obsolete.

  13. William Schooler


    This is true any person may make a poor choice based on color religion or any of these items and exclusively shows by ACTS what it is they truly support. To then add Life is what? How come so many are so eager to leave this out of choice but ready to throw it in with no such use?

    All acts are the support of some idea stupid or not will make no difference. If you say you support life, what is that suggesting and again what color is life? See the lack of honesty to SELF is the shortfall of the answer, to think otherwise is total denial of YOU as life, being green white orange or purple makes no difference at all. Sticking in the idea of life is some perverted version of it is exactly what happens every single day in this country versus answering the damn question.

    Look in the mirror and answer yourself are you life? Yes. Does other life exists around you? Yes, what color is it? Unspecified because its life period. By excluding the truth you exclude the truth about you yourself and truly this lay in front of you in your mirror. I looked in mine and I answered the question, not by how I think it should go but by what I could see looking at me and all the other life in existence and answered the question honestly. Don’t dare treat me like I am special either, I am life the same as all others with no special capabilities and all that others have should they recognize and use them. The denial is the acceptance that stupid is ok to operate on.

    If I support doing acts against life all my results will reflect this activity will it not?

    You have a right, obligation, responsibility and ability to choose what ever you wish and the only thing that will come from it is the results of you actions, those will be the truths of your own thinking whether bright or entirely ignorant will make no difference to me.

    I know this is not the subject anyone wants to be challenged on, why not? You might have to change that poor choice to something more survivable? Tough choices are by educating ourselves by our principals and not what we go around thinking all day every day with no damn clue.

  14. Luther

    While I wholly concur with the non-aggression principle, I do believe we have positive “rights” as the Declaration insists: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable **Rights**, that **among these** are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I believe in the right to be racist; to discriminate based on anything your little heart desires. I then concur with your argument that the market will weed out (or cause relative harm to) those not responding to the market’s demands. There would most certainly be “no blacks allowed” signs in some parts of the south (and maybe the north). Might even be “no whites allowed” signs in parts of the country. And those businesses will thrive based on the preferences of similarly opinionated individuals. Any forcible interference in my right to associate with anyone who voluntarily wants to is a violation of my liberty.

    1. William Schooler

      That certainly is a definition of Liberty, but as it is written here for which you speak is the limitation of some false authority imposing it upon you, yet to neglect to state why?
      Why does life need to be allowed to do what it is capable of? Because perverted men will attempt to pervert it and how dare say do we stop such attempts? By knowing Life , Liberty and the Pursuits of happiness are the ACTS of allowing life to create and decide and by restricting life in any form is to restrict yourself or you my friend are lying to you.

      My honesty is my recognition of these three prime principals that allows life to LIVE, to Pursue without totalitarian abuses to life itself. To allow life, not restrict life in any form that does the act of support for life. We are not here today because this is adhered to, we are here today because it is not. Life in it’s genuine state is not racists, these are ideas fabricated in the minds of ignorant people who refuse to look at the very facts I present to you . That not only I but Thomas Jefferson himself made damn clear but so few were willing to recognize something so true. This is the false slavery of stupidity permeating our airwaves today. Lies and delusions rather than the facts sticking us in the eye for 200 plus years and not used then as it is not used today.

      The disputes in this forum full proof, some so set on the control of others while stating the stand for no control, hogwash, find a mirror.

      Some old habits are very poor I recognized my own but some will be insistent they have no poor habits, HA! another poor lie. Poor habits are created by the repetition of actions that do not add up to what you are looking for. You say you wish to be free but don’t do the act of freedom, again what does stupid mean? The practice of something that has not worked for literal centuries and repeat it constantly, hmmmmm what does the damn mirror say now?

      Humor me.

  15. Vae Victus

    I think the people in this thread have over stuffed the issue, it really is quite simple, and you can take the thread following this article as an example:

    There have been some pretty heated arguments over Mullen’s blogs, and the passionate discussion continues with this article. So we can acknowledge that we have differing views on the issues.

    So question: for the sake of ‘balance’ and ‘equality,’ we recognize that it is beneficial to acknowledge and read everyone’s comments, even those we do not agree with. So, does it follow by extension that one should be compelled to HAVE to read every other comment written here, that we MUST respond to every call-out by another poster or that we MUST visit every website a poster links to?

    Ludicrous of course.

    But that is the point: freedom to associate means freedom to NOT associate, if so desired. You cannot force associations amongst free persons; to do so means they are in fact, not very free at all.

    Even if their association and intercourse would benefit both material and psychological wholeness, you cannot force unwilling people into association without violating the non aggression principle.

  16. noneya

    I see what your saying but when asked how do you explain the segregation in the free market before civil rights movement? What is your answer?

    1. Tom Mullen Post author

      Noneya, the segregation before the Civil Rights Act wasn’t the free market at work – it was the GOVERNMENT interfering with the free market. That’s what the Jim Crow laws were. The government forced people to segregate whether they wanted to or not. I agree with the part that got rid of those. If they stopped there, then the business owners that supported those laws would go on segregating and those that didn’t agree (and for whom the laws were passed – to force them to segregate against their will) would have put them out of business. The federal government stepped in and stopped that immensely satisfying, natural market result from occurring.

      1. Noneya

        What about slavery? Was that free market at work? I do not disagree with what your saying I am just playing devils advocate it helps me when speaking to those who would not agree with what your saying.

        1. Vae Victus

          Slavery is most definitely NOT a part of a truly free market.

          Think about it: slaves are not free to decide whom to give their labor to and cannot bargain as to how much they receive in return for their labor. They cannot own property, and even if allowed some property, they are not free to distribute or manage it in every possible manner they see fit.

          Slavery has as its underlying basis, or “justification,” the idea of ‘Might Makes Right,’ or in other terms, that coercion provides for acceptable distribution of property and assignment of “rights” (which under such a system are actually privileges, not actual rights).

          The Free Market is built upon the idea of voluntary exchange, that only mutually agreed to terms, without the threat of force (i.e. coercion) are valid.

          Slavery’s existence in the early United States was not the Free Market at work: it was the States’ sanctioning and condoning the use of coercion at work.

          Bear in mind that slavery existed in more or less every part of the earth at the time, and had existed in the New World long prior to the United States. Not only amongst Euros, but with the Mesoamerican and Northern American indigenous groups, and amongst the African and Carib people’s from which most of the slaves were extracted.

          This is not to justify slavery in any way, but to remind that slavery was a blight on humanity’s record that had existed for at least as long as recorded history. The aim of the Classical Liberals was to redefine how humans should coexist with each other using Reason as the guide: the oft used critique that many of them were either unwilling or unable to banish slavery’s existence at the Founding as “proof” of Liberalism’s supposed inconsistency or impotency fails to recognize that EVERY OTHER political system of thought in place in the world at the time could also be hit with the same critique.

          You must understand that slavery’s acceptance or not is determined at a societal and cultural level, not as the factor of an economic outlook.

          The key thing is that if people are truly using Right Reason, and subscribe to the principles of a Free Market and Rationalism, then the inconsistencies, untenability, and immorality of Slavery all make themselves evident.

          On the other hand, if one accepts Statism, Democratic or Monarchial Absolutism, Despotism, or other viewpoints, then the case for Coercion is accepted, and when that is the case, then Slavery can be “justified.”

        2. Tom Mullen Post author

          I thought I responded to this. Vae is of course absolutely correct. The short answer is that a slave is only a slave if the government backs up the slaver owner. Otherwise, he just leaves, even if he has to kill his “owner” to do so (something he is perfectly justified in doing).

          So, slavery is also the government interfering with the free market. I have something for you to consider and this is not a shot at you. You are suffering from the “I’d like to support freedom but what if the government didn’t…..”

          You have to take a step back and see that the government causes all of the problems that it purports to solve – and then makes them worse while trying to solve them (the jury is out on whether this is intentional or not).

  17. LogicallyAccurate

    Great article! In a free society, people are allowed to be a**holes if they want to be. There shouldn’t be a limit as to how much of an a**hole you can be as long as you are not violating the NATURAL rights of others.


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