A Discrimination Question Answered

I basically get two kinds of questions.

I get rhetorical questions when I write something negative about the U.S. military, the U.S. global empire, or U.S. soldiers. Things like: Why don’t you move to Cuba or North Korea? Why do you hate America? Why don’t you live somewhere else if you don’t like what the government does? Why do you despise our troops so much? Why do you spew forth such bile? Don’t you know that it is U.S. soldiers who give you the freedom to write the crap you do?

I get interrogative questions about so many different things that I couldn’t possible categorize them here. Most of them I try to answer. However, I don’t respond to any e-mail when the subject line or the first two words are “F*** you.” (That was a typical greeting back when Bush was the president and the Iraq War was in full swing). The Free Society Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $13.55 Buy New $17.54 (as of 04:55 EST - Details)

I recently received a very good question from C.P. in response to an article I wrote in April of 2018 titled “Dress Codes, Discrimination, and a Free Society.” There I concluded that—

In a free society, government would not involve itself in any way with dress codes or discrimination.

In a free society, government would not try court cases concerning dress codes or discrimination.

In a free society, government would not interfere in any way with the employer-employee relationship.

In a free society, government would not interfere in any way with the business-customer relationship.

In a free society, government would not violate any individual’s or business’s property rights.

In a free society, government EEOCs would not exist.

Property rights are the key to what is often perceived as the dress-code and discrimination conundrums. It is property owners — residence owners and business owners — alone who solely establish rules, regulations, and requirements for entry, admission, employment, service, commerce, and activity that takes place on their property. In a free society, government doesn’t concern itself with those things as long as people’s actions are peaceful and voluntary.

Here is the e-mail with the question: Amazon Essentials Girl... Buy New $27.26 (as of 06:39 EST - Details)

I read your article, enjoyed it, and wanted to post a comment, but there was no discussion option.

I tend to agree with you about a free society and letting businesses to have dress codes or anything they want, because in a free society, people can just choose to go elsewhere if they don’t like it.

However, I have a scenario that I can’t figure out:

What if all restaurants in a region have the same dress code? Then where can I go? What if all grocery stores have the same policies that discriminate against me? I can’t get food! What do we do then?

I responded that I liked the question so much that I would reply in the form of an article. I then received a second e-mail with a question specifically about businesses requiring customers to wear face masks. Again, this is a very good question that calls for an extended response:

Thanks! The reason I ask is because right now with all of these supposed governor “mandates” and store “policies” with making everyone wear masks, I’m having arguments with people, but also trying to wrap my head around everything myself.

I want businesses to be able to do what they want (within the law). For example, they can’t say “you have to murder someone before you can enter” and they can’t say “in our store, it’s okay if we rape you.” Because those things are unlawful already. But can they tell me I have to wear a mask, which is a medical device according to the FDA? Is that part of a dress code? Can they have a dress code? Okay, fine, they can have a dress code, but if EVERY store and restaurant has a dress code of requiring masks and I can’t wear one or don’t want to, then how can I have access to public accommodations and basic needs like food?

My “free society” philosophy wants businesses to be able to do what they want, but it also makes me want to do as I please when I’m walking around town, shopping, eating, etc. I don’t want to be muzzled with a face covering, regardless if people think it protects me or them from an alleged deadly virus. Carhartt Men’s A... Buy New $16.99 (as of 06:39 EST - Details)

Just my thoughts, thanks!

I sent my reader a link to my recent article titled “Masks in a Free Society” and received yet another variation of his question that adds another element to my extended response:

Yea, I read that. I agree. However, still not sure what to do when/if EVERY store is requiring them and I don’t want to. It doesn’t seem like that should be legal/lawful even though I do believe in a truly free society. How free is that when I can’t go shopping without having to muzzle myself?

Here is my response to these important questions.

To begin with, we know that, in a free society, all restaurants, stores, and other places of business would never have the exact same dress code or discriminatory policies—even good and reasonable ones. Only the force of government could ensure uniformity. We see this in areas of the country without mask mandates. Some businesses station mask nazis at the door to make sure that all who enter are wearing a mask. Other businesses don’t require masks at all. In between these extremes, we see various degrees of mask requirements and enforcement. But even in areas of the country under mask mandates, there is a tremendous variation in the degree of enforcement by businesses. But let’s just assume for the sake of argument that all restaurants, stores, and other places of businesses have the same objectionable, ridiculous dress code or mask requirement.

This being the case, I note the following:

First, if the dress code or mask requirement is the result of government edict, then resistance should be attempted at every opportunity and businesses sought out that are lax in doing the government’s bidding.

Second, there is no right to eat at a particular restaurant, shop at a particular store, or have a service performed by a particular business. It doesn’t matter how hungry someone is, how badly someone needs a certain item, or how desperate someone is to have some service performed. No one has the right to force anyone else—or use the force of government—to feed him, sell him food or merchandise, cut his hair, entertain him, fix his car, or transport him anywhere. Star Wars The Child An... Best Price: $54.28 Buy New $59.99 (as of 06:39 EST - Details)

Third, it doesn’t matter how objectionable or ridiculous the requirements set forth by businesses are. It doesn’t matter if restaurants require diners to wear “Biden–Harris” shirts to be served or stores require patrons to wear deep-sea diving helmets to enter.

Fourth, it doesn’t matter how many businesses have these requirements. Since there is no right to service, you either conform or do without.

Fifth, whether a face mask is a medical device according to the FDA is irrelevant.

Sixth, private businesses are not public accommodations, regardless of what the government said in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Seventh, “basic needs,” even including food, can be purchased online and delivered, so those who don’t want to dress a certain way or wear a face covering don’t have to go without.

Eighth, in a free society, the right of businesses to discriminate—for any reason and on any basis no matter how unreasonable or illogical—is absolute.

Ninth, if every single place of business had the same horrible dress code and appearance standard, then this provides an incentive for entrepreneurs to open an establishment that doesn’t.

Tenth, in a free society, discrimination means freedom, even if you are the one being discriminated against. The more freedom to discriminate, the more freedom a society has.

OshKosh B’Gosh G... Buy New $49.99 (as of 06:39 EST - Details) And eleventh, everything that a business does should be legal/lawful as long as it doesn’t violate the rights of its patrons. But he who owns the property makes the rules. The fact that someone doesn’t like the rules is immaterial.

(Lest there be any misunderstanding, for the record, I despise face masks as much as anyone you have ever met. I refuse to eat at restaurants that require diners to wear masks to walk to their table. I have been refused service at just three of them because of it. I refuse to wear a mask in a store. If the store has a mask requirement, and I really want to purchase something there, I hold up a mask to my face as I walk in past the mask nazi stationed at the door, and then immediately put it in my pocket. I have done this scores of times and never once had anyone in the store, including management, ever say anything to me. Try it.)

Thanks to deep thinkers like C.P. and my other readers of mine who make me think of how better to make the case for a free society.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts