Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rand Paul and Libertarianism

I am most likely one of the last bloggers to address the issue that erupted last night over the whole Rand Paul civil rights fiasco. Rand Paul, on the Rachel Maddow show asked Paul whether he would support the Civil Rights act of 1964. Though Paul said that he was in favor of most of the bill, he had hesitation and would have not supported title 2 of the act, which forces private businesses to not discriminate when giving services based upon sex, race, religion, and national origin. Paul said that the government does not have the right to tell private institutions who they can and cannot serve.

Here is a good article from the Montreal Gazette dealing with the issue...


What Paul fails to realize, is that private business owners do not live in a bubble. Yes they are a private business, yet they serve the public. They exist within the public sphere. Under TRUE libertarian philosophy, not the pseudo-libertarian tea bagger philosophy that both Ron and Rand Paul espouse, government is allowed to intervene when there is harm directly caused though the governments inaction on an issue. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was implemented because there WAS direct harm to African American individuals by private business owners. Blacks were being denied service, sometimes even being physically assaulted by whites, thus the government had the responsibility to intervene and pass an act forcing private businesses that act within the public sphere to eliminate discrimination.

Though I count myself as a libertarian...there are limits to libertarianism, limits that many libertarians themselves do not recognize. Libertarians should not espouse no government intervention at all, but instead must allow for intervention when there is direct harm to society when the private sector is allowed to reign supreme. Hopefully Rand Paul recognizes the flawed thinking that has caused such a strong controversy and starts singing a different tune.

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