Friday, August 22, 2008

Spotlight on Discrimination

The other day I tried to join a female-only gymnasium. I was refused permission to use their facilities. I suspect my member got in the way of me becoming a member. I tried to blow off steam at a gay nightclub, but I was refused entry for not being a homosexual. Annoyed, I strolled to the nearby pub where I was refused admittance because I was under the age of 22. I argued with the bouncer until he let me in. When inside I tried to chat up this hot black girl. She refused my advances, claiming "she only goes out with black guys".

Over the course of my day I could easily be discriminated on the basis of my gender, sexuality, age and colour. The question is: should this be illegal?

My answer is: no. Here's why...

First off, 'discimination' is not a dirty word. 'Discrimination' in the economic sense merely means 'to choose between rival alternatives'. There is nothing bad about discrimination
per se. We do it all the time. Walter Block points this out in his pithy book Defending the Undefendable.

Secondly, discrimination of any kind is not a 'crime'. It is not a violation of person, property or a breach of contract. In fact,
discrimination is merely a refusal to trade with certain people.

Thirdly, the right not to be discriminated against does not exist. The only right that does exist is the right to own your person and your property. That is, property rights. I don't have the right to hang around people who don't like my opinions, my sexuality or my colour.

Let's say, hypothetically that I own a pub. Only people that I select can enter my pub. If someone who I do not approve enters my establishment they are violating my property rights - trespassing.

I also hate redheaded people, or as I call 'em, "carrot heads".

I constantly refuse redheaded people into my establishment. And that's fine. Nobody has a right to be in my pub unless I say so. Frequenting my pub is a
privilige not a right. This is the confusion in which many of us get caught up.

Let's further analyse the scenario. Refusing one redhead will have eaten into my profits for the evening. Redheads might tell their friends to not drink at my pub. I may be labelled the town racist. A label that's difficult to shake off. My discrimination might cost me my pub.

Furthermore, in a society where everyone is allowed to own property, there is nothing stopping redheads opening their own redhead pubs where they can drink all the
ginger beer they like.

In econospeak, they can
capture the redhead drinkers market. Unless the government creates barriers to market entry, through say, strict licencing laws or a restriction to own property.

This is how the market acts as a wonderful anti-racism mechanism.

Finally, anti-discrimination laws are enforced arbitrarily. Consider these three scenarios:

1. I choose to date within my own race, because it is superior.
2. I choose not to shop in Asian food shops because they are an inferior race.
3. I refuse to serve black people in my store because I think they are inferior.

In all scenarios I am discriminating on the basis of race, that is, I am a racist. But only in the last scenario am I branded a criminal.

This is why we should adopt a strange idea. Perhaps we should change the definition of 'racism' to 'the belief that humanity is separated by race'.

That's what I've done.

1 comment:

duffman said...

Absolutely correct. Race is now a classification for separation.