Selwyn Duke
My solution: how to restore freedom of association and end government tyranny
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By Selwyn Duke
September 1, 2011

Unfortunately, many Americans have become inured to the trampling of freedom of association. You can work your fingers to the bone starting a business, and the government becomes a partner that contributes nothing but extracts much. It not only shares your profits and regulates you to death, but, more to the point here, dictates whom you must serve and the bases on which you may hire and fire people. And woe betide he who doesn't bow before Leviathan.

A recent example of this is the Wildflower Inn, a Vermont B&B. After devout Catholic owners Jim and Mary O'Reilly refused to host a "wedding" reception for two lesbians, they were sued by the ACLU. As a result, they have had to expend resources retaining a lawyer for a case that they will no doubt lose and that will likely end with their having to pay monetary damages. Of course, the O'Reilly case is just one of many. In fact, today, Leviathan's tyranny has reach a point at which you can be put through its meat grinder if you refuse to hire a cross-dresser or a Muslim woman who insists on wearing an eighth-century drape to work.

And tyranny is the word for it. After all, no one would deny that you have a right to include in or exclude from your home whomever you please. So why should you lose that right simply because you decide to erect a few more tables and sell food or to rent rooms to travelers? It's still your private property, paid for with your money, created by the sweat of your own brow. Oh, yeah, that's right. At one time a lawyer in a black robe declared such places "public accommodations" — and, as we all know, legal decrees alter reality.

But the reality is that we need a solution, and I just may have one. And unless there is a catch in the law I'm unaware of — and, by all means, I'd like feedback in this regard — it could restore businesses' freedom of association.

As you may know, private clubs aren't subject to the aforementioned laws. This is why while rabble-rousing feminist Martha Burke could grind her teeth and protest a bit, she had no legal recourse to force Augusta National Golf Club to take on women members. Well, businesses should simply go the private-club route.

Here is how it would work: Let's say I have a restaurant. By all outward appearances it would seem to be just that, but, for Leviathan's benefit, I wouldn't designate it as such.

Instead, it would be a private diners club.

And when a prospective customer walked through the doors, he would be informed that he had to be a member to eat there.

Of course, the membership fee would be a penny and approval (or rejection) would be immediate.

And what of employees? If private clubs are still subject to EEOC regulations, then all workers would have to be members, too.

Assuming this would fly, it would work with any business. A hotel would be a private travelers club, a store a private shoppers club (is Costco such an example?), a barber shop a private styling club. It would be a shot across Leviathan's bow and a very pleasing way of sticking out our collective tongue at the statists.

When contending with the Barbary pirates, early America's battle cry was, "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute." Can we not muster up the same American spirit when dealing with our barbaric statist pirates? After all, it's much easier for us. We will save millions in tribute with a penny for defense.

© Selwyn Duke

 

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