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Lew Rockwell, Lysander Spooner, Mark Skousen


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"Even though they are a relatively recent policy development, civil rights laws

are considered necessary to insure rights for blacks. But they are, in fact,

among the most draconian forms of intervention into the free market. They

attack the essence of private property, the ability to exercise control over

it. Such laws have resulted in lessened economic freedom, lowered prosperity,

heightened social tension, and more trouble for the groups the laws are

supposed to help. ... A Korean grocer may want to employ only Korean clerks, a

magazine for black professionals only black editors and writers, and a German

restaurant only German cooks and waiters. An employer may think that

Iraqi-Americans have been unfairly treated and want to favor them. A women’s

health club may want only women customer’s and a men’s bar may want only men.

There is nothing wrong with any of these behaviors, although civil rights laws

seek to end them. In addition to violating the free labor contract, civil

rights laws guarantee everyone the right of “access” to “public accommodations”

like restaurants, movie theaters, and shops. In fact, what the civil rights

laws call public is really private. These businesses are established by private

entrepreneurs with private money. The owners should no more be required to

serve everyone who comes into their place than they are required to invite

everyone to their home for dinner. A large downtown restaurant is as private as

a small house in the country. The real difference between private and public is

one of ownership, not function or location."

-- Lew Rockwell

[Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.] (1944- ) Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute

Source: “Civil rights laws needed, serve to increase freedom”, The Unreported News, p. 6, May 19, 1996


"Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are

those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are

simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness.

Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with

their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the

design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting. It is a maxim of

the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without

the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever

practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his

own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear

distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there

can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and

the corresponding coequal rights of another man to the control of his own

person and property."

-- Lysander Spooner

(1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist

Source: Vices are Not Crimes, A Vindication of Moral Liberty (1875)


"Today’s political leaders demonstrate their low opinion of the public with

every social law they pass. They believe that, if given the right to chose, the

citizenry will probably make the wrong choice. Legislators not think any more

in terms of persuading people; they feel the need to force their agenda on the

public at the point of a bayonet and the barrel of a gun, in the name of the

IRS, the SEC, the FDA, the DEA, the EPA, or a multitude of other ABCs of

government authority."

-- Mark Skousen

(1947-) American economist, investment analyst, newsletter editor, college professor and author

Source: Persuasion versus Force


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