"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
“Civil rights laws needed, serve to increase freedom”, The Unreported News, p. 6, May 19, 1996
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Reader comments about this quote:
Rockwell's myopic topic examples are only a tip of the iceberg. Civil rights are those given of man gods while rights of the individual sovereign are inherent and inalienable as a faculty of birth. By way of example: You have a civil right to work to support life (maybe) if you genuflect to the master's compelled compliance, draconian economics of debt, victimless crimes, license, left of your labor, accept non-ownership of anything, acknowledge the statist theocracy as your god and king, etc.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Mary, Michigan      
    I have always hoped to see such people be more attuned to presenting a more balanced and varied view of civil rights possibilities, with each case being given unique status and proper scurtiny such that it would be evident to most as to the underlying nature of the intent to either try to advance or denigrate mankind, but such is not the case with this man, nor with those who are as totally "libertarian" IMO, being divorced from society, while taking protection and sustenance from it, divided already and therefore easy to conquer, and often just plain too selfish to have any real friends...let alone successful family, or country !
     -- Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY     
    And by these arguments we must protect the personal right to hold a lynching too...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    Anonymous, Reston, VA, Lynching is murder and illegal, your "logic" stinks.
     -- John, Denver     
    It's all about TOTAL government control and taking away individual choice. In the 1870's the Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights laws passed after the Civil War as unconstitutional which they are. Going along with Rockwell I must admit that the worst Chinese food I ever ate was served to me by a Mexican. Some things just were not meant to be.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Inappropriate, and downright racist!
     -- Jay Cross, Paso Robles     
    Reston and Jay Cross, remember the old saw, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open it and remove all doubt". You can say the same thing for print as your comments prove.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Exceptionally sweet fruit today from the Liberty Tree. Those who disagree scream racist, but we have heard it all before, it just means I disagree.
     -- joe mn, Rochester, MN     
    While I see and understand this quote, being a 70 year old white Southerner. I must find the civil rights laws needed, to free all people in America. I remember riding on an Atlanta bus in the1950s and seeing tired black folks standing after doing domestic work all day long. When,as a child I was taught to give my seat to an elder or a female. I was stared at, when I offered it to an older black domestic lady. Worse,she remained standing out of fear of the white folk's look. I am thankful for our countries leaders and lawmakers, that ended those dark and painful years for us all. How blessed we all are to live in the land of the free, and for all people!
     -- Leo W. Livingston, Daytona Beach,FL.     
    The Ludwig von Mises Institute's motto is "do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it".
     -- Howard, Way out west.     
    This guy would have loved Lester Maddox, Leo is right on. Obviously Civil Rights laws are not about what is right or what is wrong, they are about what is best. It is the considered opinion of the American people that personal property rights should be damned in comparison to human rights. If one offers his service at large to the "public" he cannot create subclasses of what public means in order to suit his prejudices. Overwhelmingly Americans see this as fair and correct.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Are you kidding? This is the guy that want's to put a chip in your head. His motivation is for pure profit and is totally evil. Reject this man and everything he says lest you put your very soul at risk.
     -- L Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    The American nation was already founded upon the natural born, inalienable rights of humankind. 'Civil' rights are based upon 'civil' law not the Laws of Nature. Again, all we have ever had to do was live up to the Declaration of Indpendence and the US Constitution -- we did not need to pass 'civil rights' laws which are but dictates from the state. The quote is bang on. I grew up in the days of Martin Luther King, Jr., and he was an idol of mine. But once again, statist tendencies took hold of the issue and used it to only to centralize more power to themselves and further the divide between the races. Equal treatment under the law is what was/is needed, not new laws that give preferential treatment to one class over another. I am color-blind -- I do not care what skin color you have or what religion you believe, I am only interested in your results, your contribution to society and the defense of liberty and justice for all.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Hanson, please explain how Lew Rockwell wants to put a chip in our heads. I have not heard anything to that effect. Also, a bit curious how my 'soul' is 'at risk.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
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