The “Bigotry...” post below generated considerable comment by the normal standards of this venue. I appreciate that and am happy that no one accused me of endorsing the bigoted behavior that I believe should be legal behavior (in spite of the fact that at least some forms of non-aggressive bigoted behavior are not legal behavior).
I am not sure what happens under South Dakota law if one puts a sign on his storefront, “No Indians Allowed.” Maybe someone can tell me if it’s illegal. Companies doing business with the South Dakota or U.S. government may not discriminate against people for a specified variety of reasons, including for how they address God and for their color. Violators are subject to at least civil penalties, and in some cases, I assume, to criminal penalties.
I am a minarchist--in favor of the least possible government with the least possible centralization thereof. I don’t know what “least possible” means. I do know that it is somewhere between where we are and anarchy (absence of government). I am not an anarchist because I know that anarchy is impossible. If there were only two of us left on earth, and if we met, one of us would soon be boss.
Bill Fleming restated my premise by saying, “So, you want a free market state without government? Great. Try Somalia.” Somalia seems to be a free market state with its principle examples of “competitive edge” provided by superior firepower. Success there does not appear to rely on voluntary of exchanges of wealth, goods and services. So, no, that’s not what I want. “Voluntary exchanges” is a good two-word synonym for “libertarianism.”
I don’t think an eight-year boy or girl can be assumed to be competent to contract his/her own life into the sex trade or boiler room. I don’t think any adult has the right to contract it for him or her. I do think that a presumably informed adult has the right to contract himself into any arrangement he wants, assuming all others directly involved are also voluntarily so. Reasonable arguments may be made on behalf of adult-aged people whose mental capacity for comprehending the consequences of the contract is demonstrable. That, in fact, happens all the time.
Most commenters on the Bigotry post recognized that, rather than advocating bigoted behavior, I was presenting a case for less governmental intrusion into our rights to cut deals with each other. As Larken Rose mentioned, "government" sanctioned slavery and "government" sanctioned segregation laws. Government also ended slavery. Government also passed the Civil Rights Act. Government also ruled correctly in “Brown vs Board of Education.” In other words, the U.S. government ignored the constitution until it decided to start obeying it. And I’m not talking about some ambiguous term like “general welfare;” slavery and segregation (at least associated with government-funded entities) were as blatant violations of our constitution as have ever been exhibited.
Minarchists, including me, approach this from the perspective that government has intruded too much on our abilities to cut deals with each other, while not providing the protection we deserve from those who fail to observe the voluntary portion of the deal-cutting contract. We think that one of the best ways to get government to do a better job protecting us would be to divest it of every possible responsibility dealing with interfering with our rights to voluntarily cut deals.
That would include granting jerks the right to be jerks, granting the jerk’s right to deny his services or products to anyone he chooses, and granting him also his right to accept whatever peaceful punishment (such as a boycott and picket lines) the community chooses to bestow on him. Unless he’s content with a fraction of the trade he could be doing, he’s likely to stop being so visually a jerk. Anyone can, after all, attempt to capitalize on the market niche provided by a jerk competitor who excludes a whole market demographic.
Politics is the continuous argument over who gets to do what to whom. Life is, among other attributes, a process of our trading things of value amongst each other. Government would serve us better if it allowed us to do so with as little interference as possible, giving us more say in what we are willing to pay for in the way of protection of the voluntary part of our involvement in exchanges, and quit trying to view every sort of exchange as an opportunity to skim some profit and calling it taxes and saying it’s for our own good.