May 29, 2017

"Strange to see Althouse on-board with AnCaps/libertarians about the right of businesses to discriminate as much as they like."

Writes James in the comments to yesterday's post about the female-only showings of "Wonder Woman," which I'd discussed in terms of PR for a movie I find mind-crushingly boring. I'd quoted a writer at Wear Your Voice/Intersectional Feminist Media who made hyperbolic fun of the "cishet men" who are acting (feeling?) outraged over the exclusion.

In blogging the controversy, I quite consciously chose to ignore the legal issue. Not everything has to be approached from a legal perspective. There are many paths into a subject, and opting for law talk can foreclose other interesting insights. Teaching law school classes, I would often begin a discussion of a case with the question whether we (or anybody) should want a particular matter controlled by a legal restriction, monitored by the government. It can be more enlightening to open up that inquiry before you get to a discussion of whether what was done in fact violated a statute and whether a constitutional right trumps the statute. It can help you think about how broadly to interpret that statute and that constitutional right.

I didn't want to talk about the law yet. Other bloggers have announced flatly that what the theaters are doing is against the law, and I acknowledge that those laws exist and should be taken seriously. The theaters are exposing themselves to legal proceedings. I can see some plausible defenses. We could talk about freedom of association cases like Boy Scouts v. Dale. This isn't like a restaurant wanting to exclude a particular type of person. The exclusion has to do with the expression of ideas. But I'm not the movie theater's lawyer, and I haven't worked out the argument. 

In any case, there's a such thing as civil disobedience. I don't know if the freedom of women to assemble in a public space and watch a super-hero movie without men in the room is the sort of thing that's worth risking the consequences that are part of civil disobedience, but it's one way to behave in this world and sometimes good things ensue. For example — to get back to the aspect of the controversy I forefronted — PR.

Anyway, thanks for the challenge, James. I had to look up "AnCaps."
Anarcho-capitalists hold that, in the absence of statute (law by centralized decrees and legislation), society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the discipline of the free market (in what its proponents describe as a "voluntary society").
You know, I'm not the type.

109 comments:

southcentralpa said...

The Professor is a harsh mistress...


[reference to a Heinlein novel "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", which depicts a libertarian/an-cap society formed by those in a prison colony on the Moon.]

MadisonMan said...

As gimmicks go, the theater's wasn't very interesting. That women need a safe space to watch a movie about a strong woman is nicely ironic -- and yet the woman talking/gloating about it claimed male fragility.

Is it good PR? Well, I know about it, so I guess so. But absolutely nothing like that would induce me to go inside on a beaut of an early Summer weekend.

rhhardin said...

Epstein gets it right, that the civil rights law is wrong.

Except in monopoly markets or in cases of state or private force (nice restaurant you have here better not serve blacks) freedom of association has to rule.

Businesses are greedy and will serve anybody there's money in serving. E.g. your gay bakers will pop up regardless what individual bakers do.

Once you get rid of freedom of association, nothing will make legal sense any longer.

Lem said...

must wear romper.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would have to say to the AnCaps that their theory is fine in small communities where social pressure can enforce a norm. I pointed this out yesterday in a discussion over at Legal Insurrection about returning shopping carts, or leaving them in the middle of the parking lot. I see thie latter much less up here in MT, than I did back in AZ. I would suspect that the consensus would start breaking down even in place with the population of MT (an PHX is maybe 4+ times as populous). Common background also helps, which we have less and less of in this country as the decades fly by. The problem is that there are inevitably those who are willing and able to take advantage of their fellow citizens, through use of common mores and standards, and when the society is big enough that peer pressure cannot counteract that, I think that laws are necessary.

St. George said...

Here are two other angles on this....

"Various locations have taken to social media in response, including the operators of the Brooklyn theater promising on Twitter to funnel proceeds from women-only screenings in early June to Planned Parenthood. And by women only, they mean staff, too." USA Today

So, if you are a man working at this theatre, you cannot work there that day?

Not to mention the presumption that all women support Planned Parenthood.

Next we will have blacks only screenings of a movie about a heroic black historic figure, etc, etc.

traditionalguy said...

The best example of Anarcho Capitalism is the Drug import and distribution industry. They are forced to self regulate with 40 Cal tools or all the profits go into Bribes paid to local police. But it is hard to bribe the drug sniffing dog, so that has to be their #1 contract hit.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem here is that freedom of association was long ago overridden in the name of equality, to force men to allow women into their safe spaces, and blacks into those of the whites. You can't enforce laws that force private male only clubs to allow women to become members, without applying them the other way around. In other words, either everyone has the right of association that triumphs equality, or no one does. You can't logically have using equality to get into safe male spaces, and freedom of ossciation to keep men out of safe female species. Otherwise, you have rank hypocrisy.

Quaestor said...

Paris black feminist festival 'prohibited' to whites sparks outrage

More or less the same stunt as Wonder Woman for women only, except with a racist squint.

Methinks Anne Hidalgo is about to learn what it really means to a socialist -- perhaps not as dramatically as did Trotsky, but it will be unpleasant.

rhhardin said...

Shopping carts - the store doesn't pay me to return shopping carts. It pays the guy who does it.

It's different in Germany, where there's a deposit on the cart and you only get the deposit back by returning the cart.

Pick the system you like and move there.

robother said...

I FOR ONE WELCOME ANN TO THE ALL CAPS SIDE OF THE INTERNET!

MadisonMan said...

I usually take in a shopping cart when I walk into the grocer's from the parking lot. Sure, they pay high school kids to collect them from their corrals -- but that does add costs.

Ralph L said...

Bruce, that's also true about free speech.

The voluntary society sounds pretty good to me. I've been wound up yet again about our Historic Commission not letting me enclose my exposed eaves 20 years ago. Back to scraping and scrubbing my (exterior) wood. So much fun getting paint dust and bleach in the face.

Quaestor said...

You can't logically have using equality to get into safe male spaces and freedom of [association] to keep men out of safe female [spaces]. Otherwise, you have rank hypocrisy.

No, you have normal female reasoning. Society is like a suspension, you can keep it uniform as long as you stir it, but you can't stir it forever.

Ralph L said...

It's different in Germany, where there's a deposit on the cart and you only get the deposit back by returning the cart.
Do you have Aldi's yet? The deposit is only a quarter, so people often just hand the cart to someone arriving. They don't provide free bags, either, so I've made a reinforced cardboard box. They've got great and cheap produce--much better than Harris-Teeter's, just a smaller selection.

Aldi's is a German chain. I thought they were being cheap, but it must be a German thing.

Quaestor said...

I usually take in a shopping cart when I walk into the grocer's from the parking lot. Sure, they pay high school kids to collect them from their corrals -- but that does add costs.

Perhaps the grocer will thank you. The rest of us should not since whatever savings your gesture produces goes in the grocer's pocket and not in ours. And what about that high school kid? What's his opinion about having his job undermined by the shopper who returns the cart to the store rather than leaving it to the person paid to that task?

tim maguire said...

Since this is mostly about hypocrisy and the posing of jerks, a discussion of law is really beside the point. Whether they are right to do it and whether they are right to do it are two different questions. And I agree that the law gets in the way of the real discussion.

tim maguire said...

Oops, change one or the other to "have a right to do it."

EDH said...

Isn't the simple answer to the Wonder Woman issue for a private party other than the theater to rent the screening space and extend private invitations to women only?

Otherwise it would seem the entire point of the exercise by the theater is to flout the law.

Rene Saunce said...

Trying to keep up with the First World Outrages.

campy said...

Otherwise it would seem the entire point of the exercise by the theater is to flout the law.

Yes, that's it: it's a way to demonstrate to the deplorable cishetwitemales that the laws apply only to them, not to the elect.

Michael McClain said...

Meh. Fly $hit in the pepper.

Bruce Hayden said...

Apparently, according to the next post by Ann, the justification for the hypocrisy is that the men excluded are rapists, based on their being cishetwhitemales.

rcocean said...

I've never met an libertarian who wasn't a fool or intellectually dishonest. 90% of them just want legal pot and hookers or just don't like paying taxes.

All of their political mumbo-jumbo exists to support that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The exclusion has to do with the expression of ideas.

This brings up several questions or ideas about ideas in general (not just feminism)

1. Are we to assume that only certain people or types of people are capable of expressing those ideas or to be allowed to express particular ideas?

2. If the 'wrong' people presume to express an idea that is verboten to them, they should be excluded, punished, banned from society....or the event?

3. Alternate idea expressions shall not be tolerated and should be eliminated, stopped, stomped out.

4. What shall we do with the transgressors of the idea expression who continue to persist? Perhaps exclusion is just not enough? Elimination? Gas Chambers? Forcible re-education camps?

All of these above are being painfully exhibited by the fanatical SJW and rabid misandrist feminists and are accepted as being rightfully just. When this type of thinking becomes socially systemic we are in for a very very bumpy ride.

Slippery slope people!

Fernandinande said...

rcocean said...
I've never met an libertarian who wasn't a fool or intellectually dishonest.


I think you're lying. And stupid.

Sebastian said...

@rh: "Once you get rid of freedom of association, nothing will make legal sense any longer." It would be nice, but unfortunately it will always make sense for some people to use the law to force other people to live as the self-anointed want.

Leftists and feminists are not inconsistent. Their principle is not "everyone should have freedom of association" etc. It is that every underprivileged person or group should be able to associate with the privileged as they wish. In other words, they proceed from the universal principle that the underprivileged are special: trans is better than cis, feminism is the theory that women are special, SJWs assume black lives matter [more], for the old left the proletariat was special, and so on. Of course, that doesn't prevent them from turning the dialectic of privilege agains the privileged, using supposedly universal [hetero/male/white/ruling-class] principles against the privileged.

Ann Althouse said...

@Dust Bunny

The idea is that sometimes people want to assemble in groups for expressive purposes, and part of their expression is a definition of who will be in that group. The ideas might even be offensive, or offensive to some people, and they might want to limit the expression group to like-minded people so they can brainstorm in the direction they like. You don't always want a mixed group. You have a right to get into an echo chamber. Many private groups are like this -- religious groups, political organizations, book clubs. When it's in a public place, there are contrary interests to take into account, but the movie house is privately owned. It's trying to have a special event where the audience's reception of the speech that is the movie is among a type of person that the movie is about, and these people get to react together and to experience laughter, applause, and gasping (or whatever) in the company of only women. That's different from other movie experiences that can be had elsewhere. Overall, in the marketplace of movie going, there are many other options. This one provides something different.

How do you feel about single-sex education? Do you think it's an option that can be offered? Do you not see how girls educated separately (and boys educated separately) might benefit? There's a pretty important, profound complexity to the psychology of being within a single-sex environment versus a mixed sex environment. To say that mixing is always required is to eliminate something that may be of great value.

Robert Cook said...

"Anarcho-capitalists hold that, in the absence of statute (law by centralized decrees and legislation), society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the discipline of the free market (in what its proponents describe as a 'voluntary society')."

Any time the phrase "the discipline of the free market" is used, you know you're either talking to a nutjob or you're being conned, (most often the latter).

JAORE said...

Once you get around to discussing the law, I'd love to hear how this applies:
"This isn't like a restaurant wanting to exclude a particular type of person."

EDH said...

Althouse: When it's in a public place, there are contrary interests to take into account, but the movie house is privately owned. It's trying to have a special event where the audience's reception of the speech that is the movie is among a type of person that the movie is about, and these people get to react together and to experience laughter, applause, and gasping (or whatever) in the company of only women.

But if the theater sells tickets to the public on a first come, first serve basis that is a problem, and why I suggested earlier a private group other than the theater renting the space for a invitation only showing would be within the "expressive association" exception.

A theater chain is not an "expressive association."

Kevin said...

Althouse said: You don't always want a mixed group. You have a right to get into an echo chamber.

Nice argument. Here's the problem. We already had that discussion in America. White males made those very arguments and were told by the media, the government, and the courts that it wasn't valid. It had no merit. Or at least the merit it might have was outweighed by the need to either create diversity or create the appearance of it.

So when you bring this up in the context of women-only WW screenings or black-only Harvard graduations or minority-only safe spaces, the people who made those very arguments decades ago say "bullshit". Stare decisis. Live with the repercussions of your winning argument for a couple of decades and get back to them.

Get back to them when non-white, non-males now support white males getting together if they want to do so.

You can't have it both ways. You can't "destroy the bastions of white male privilege" for the good of society and then start creating newly-segregated groups that exclude white men. If it's about equality, and that's how it was argued in the media, the legislatures, and the courts, then you can't decide it wasn't about equality later.

Not if you want a nation of laws which are respected by all.

Ralph L said...

The rest of us should not since whatever savings your gesture produces goes in the grocer's pocket and not in ours.
But if more people did, his costs would be lower (the [fewer] boys could restock, etc more of the time) and thus his prices.

I went to all boys' schools for grades 1&2 and 8-12. The difference is significant. Less meanness and social stratification, but that might be public vs. private "elites" or large vs small. They're both co-ed now, of course, allegedly because the sister girls' schools were cash strapped.

Ann Althouse said...

"A theater chain is not an "expressive association.""

How did you feel about Hobby Lobby's claim to have religious freedom rights?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Althouse

Thank you for reading my post. I do believe that people have a right to freedom of association and assembly. As you said, clubs etc. That the Boy Scouts can exclude girls and Girl Scouts can exclude boys. A place where boys can be boys and girls can be girls. Christian clubs shouldn't be forced to accept 'avowed' and disruptive atheists into their group. These intrusions are often meant to be disruptive to the "zen" or vibe of the group.

There's a pretty important, profound complexity to the psychology of being within a single-sex environment versus a mixed sex environment. To say that mixing is always required is to eliminate something that may be of great value.

Agreed wholeheartedly. Separate sex education may be a good thing and benefit each group in different ways. It should definitely be an option. Although I do take some objection to the possibility of having separate focuses or levels of difficulty in educational paths based on gender, if that should occur. Such as science and math based courses. Girls may be benefited by not having to "compete" with the boys. However, they may be hampered in that being taught in a cocooned environment, they aren't dealing with the reality of the profession in the real world, working alongside the men.

The problem with the movie screening, in particular, as I see it is:

1. It is being held in a public facility which normally doesn't hold these types of private events...rental for hire. Yes. The movie house is a private facility....so is a bar. Can the bar decide that only Blacks or Hispanics can frequent the bar on specific events or have a Black only Thursday? Bars have already been called out for having "ladies 'nites" How about all the time by decree? In the libertarian view, the segregation in public facilities would be accomplished by the actions of the patrons by avoidance or patronage. Self segregation. However, by law, we are forbidden this type of activity.

2. The assumption that if you aren't of a certain type of person (gender) or ethnicity (Black/Hispanic) that you cannot find common ground and should avoid each other. Ostracizing and segregating based on physical characteristics. Never the twain shall meet? I think this is discrimination that society has been working to eliminate.

3. And mainly, the attitude of the feminists, that if you disagree with them based on the law or for any other reason that they are entitled to denigrate you and worse, as seen by the SJW college dust ups, attack others for having opposing thoughts.

The hypocrisy of holding one group to a certain level of forced association and another to being allowed to discriminate is the issue. IMHO

Ralph L said...

Robert Cook is going to be stomped by a giant invisible hand weighing 16 tons.

rhhardin said...

"This isn't like a restaurant wanting to exclude a particular type of person."

Businesses in the south wanted to serve blacks but it was prohibited. IF they were forced to, then the hold of state or private violence no longer worked to prevent it. They were mostly then required to do what they wanted to do anyway.

Trains from the north had to stop and move the black passengers to black cars.

That's not because they wanted to. It was nice to stop it.

But if it's not a monopoly market or a rule enforced by the state or private violence, let freedom of association work and forget the discrimination stuff.

Epstein's argument.

Robert Cook said...

"The problem here is that freedom of association was long ago overridden in the name of equality, to force men to allow women into their safe spaces, and blacks into those of the whites. You can't enforce laws that force private male only clubs to allow women to become members, without applying them the other way around. In other words, either everyone has the right of association that triumphs equality, or no one does. You can't logically have using equality to get into safe male spaces, and freedom of association to keep men out of safe female species. Otherwise, you have rank hypocrisy."

True, this does become a problem, but the drive to open up closed social clubs and gatherings for men was because business connections were often made and deals conducted in these meetings, and women in business, being excluded from the meetings, were cut out of the business deals. Magnify this many times over for the exclusion of blacks from white spaces. The impulse was less "touchy feely" than practical reality. It was certainly nothing to do with "safe spaces."

rhhardin said...

Hobby Lobby was forced to make a nonsensical argument because freedom of association had been banned. So it tried to make a freedom of association argument under religious practice cover.

Just make the freedom of association argument. It's in the constitution.

The misguided civil rights law screwed up the workings of every legal argument.

Robert Cook said...

"Businesses in the south wanted to serve blacks but it was prohibited. IF they were forced to, then the hold of state or private violence no longer worked to prevent it. They were mostly then required to do what they wanted to do anyway."

That's a pretty broad statement. Where is there evidence showing that most white-owned businesses in the south wanted to serve blacks? (I don't doubt there were some, but I question if it was all or most.)

rhhardin said...

I have far too many Epstein audio files to find the civil rights law ones, let alone the best presented civil rights law one.

He always adds that he'll never have an official government position owing to his argument that the civil rights law was completely misguided, which I think is from the 70s but he has a few nice videos about it in the 90s and later.

Maybe somebody knows one.

rhhardin said...

That's a pretty broad statement. Where is there evidence showing that most white-owned businesses in the south wanted to serve blacks? (I don't doubt there were some, but I question if it was all or most.)

Epstein's fact. He gives the economic argument. Anybody who serves blacks as well as whites drives out of business his all-white competitor. He has a better profit margin and can undercut the competitor's prices.

All that holds up the competitor is hatred of blacks, which was powerful (democrat pols!) but localized and not widespread enough.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How did you feel about Hobby Lobby's claim to have religious freedom rights

If I remember correctly, Hobby Lobby was about the right to not be forced to pay for and to offer, through their medical insurance, something that was contrary to their corporate personage (closely held corp. and owner's) religious principles. Similarly, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Ralph L said...

Such as science and math based courses. Girls may be benefited by not having to "compete" with the boys.
Two girls came to our school for BC Calculus. I think the competition did them (and us) good, and they held their own, IIRC. They were behind me physically and of course scholastically, so I can't swear to it. Certainly, they were treated like royalty.

Capchachacha is getting picky this morning.

rhhardin said...

The guy who turns firehoses on blacks is the guy who firebombs your business if you serve blacks.

That's where civil rights law should kick in, and not otherwise.

Kevin said...

Any time the phrase "the discipline of the free market" is used, you know you're either talking to a nutjob or you're being conned, (most often the latter).

Right, the donut shop was out of my favorite donut this morning because the government-run donut forecasting service for my town didn't think I'd go there today so the government run donut supply monopoly for my town was not allowed to create a donut for me to consume.

I look forward to the government's anger when the stupid gf vegan lumps of goo called "muffins" are still there because the people who were supposed to pick them up forgot or decided not to do so. They will certainly be receiving a stern notice in the mail as part of the discipline of the unfree market.

rhhardin said...

Capchachacha is getting picky this morning.

I never fill it in and it's fine. Maybe you have to be (silently) logged into your blogger account.

Gahrie said...

You can't logically have using equality to get into safe male spaces, and freedom of ossciation to keep men out of safe female species.

Which might be one of the reasons why Althouse rejects logic in favor of emotionalism.

Otherwise, you have rank hypocrisy.

It's never stopped them before.

Suicide Squeeze said...

Lots of strum and drang, achieving nothing but manufactured animus.

It is possible that the ladies' night event might run afoul of the law given the rules that have been instituted against exclusion. The rules are probably too broad, but then that is often the case when we start to legislate to solve social problems. Men and white only groups were often designed to exclude others as a way to prevent their advancement in society, that was bad and should have been eliminated. Not all associations on that kind are the same thing but the law does not do a good job of differentiating.

People who are getting upset about this event are making mountains out of molehills. So what if a theater wants to have a special showing or two for women. Who is harmed? Making a point of this as a protest to the other forms of attacks on free association makes you look like a jerk. But on the other hand, saying you need a safe space to watch a movie in which once it has started you could not TELL if any but the person immediately next to you is male or female makes you pretty much a jerk as well. If you can't enjoy a movie because there might be a man in the theater room, you have serious problems. If you can't allow a few women, despite their serious problems, to have a fun time at a theater sans men, you have serious problems.

All in all, this is not the freedom of association molehill on which to die.

Ralph L said...

hatred of blacks, which was powerful (democrat pols!) but localized
The owners employed blacks in their homes, sometimes living with them. For them, it was as much a class divide as a racial one.

rhhardin said...

One of the secrets of maintaining a huge computer program with new features added all the time is don't break anything. Add new stuff in a way that doesn't change old stuff. In fact adding new stuff by using old stuff is perfect. Then not only does the old stuff work but the new stuff is pretty much guaranteed to work.

Adding to the law works the same way. Don't change old stuff. Use it to build the new stuff.

In discrimination cases, use the existing limitations on monopoly power, not an overturning of the constitution.

Gahrie said...

and these people get to react together and to experience laughter, applause, and gasping (or whatever) in the company of only women.

Which would be fine if men were allowed the same thing...we aren't.

How do you feel about single-sex education?

As a high school teacher, I'm in favor of it. It was your side that destroyed it.

To say that mixing is always required is to eliminate something that may be of great value.

I still haven't seen you even suggest that all male events would be OK, just all female events, or all gay events etc.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One other issue that is really quite pertinent to the "legality" of the men excluded Alamo Theater company showing of Wonder Woman is....who is selling and receiving the proceeds of the tickets.

If the theater has been 'rented' for that particular event by a separate group of any kind....feminists, neo nazis, happy hookers crochet club.....and the tickets are being sold exclusively to members of their group by the organizers of the event, that makes it a private event. Even if held in an otherwise public facility it is a private event.

HOWEVER, if it is the Alamo Theater selling the tickets and making the exclusion they are discriminating, illegally I presume. Once you sell a ticket to the general public, you can't decide to discriminate against certain elements of the public. Men excluded. Blacks excluded. Gays excluded.

I haven't heard who is the seller of the tickets. It makes a difference legally. Morally, that is a horse of another color.

Gahrie said...

All in all, this is not the freedom of association molehill on which to die.

So which one is?

Gahrie said...

I haven't heard who is the seller of the tickets

The guy being savaged on Twitter bought his online from the theater chain.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The guy being savaged on Twitter bought his online from the theater chain.

Then he has grounds to sue them into oblivion....and I hope he does. Consider if it was a neo nazi movie and the theater company, as a business not a private event, said only whites can buy tickets. No blacks or jews allowed.

How would that fly? Hmmmmm?

campy said...

Not if you want a nation of laws which are respected by all.

Well, they don't. They want a nation devoted to the principle of who, whom.

John said...

Ann, your position is fine with me. My movie theater, I get to decide who can come in to see my movies.

My bakery, I get to decide who to make cakes for.

My facility, I get to decide who can get married there.

My school, I get to decide who gets to attend.

I can do this on any basis whatever or no basis at all.

I am speaking morally, here. I know there are laws to the contrary but you said ignore the legal.

That seems to be your position, right? Yet in the past you have been pretty adamant about not being able to treat women or gays differently. You ahve supported the idea of women only colleges but objected to the idea of male only schools. To the idea of a baker refusing to bake a gay wedding cake or photograph a gay wedding.

So which is it? Are we free to choose who we do business with? Who we associate with?

Or are only favored groups, women in this case, free to do this?

Some universities have segregated all black dorms. Are you OK with segregated all white dorms?

Are whites allowed to self-segregate or will we be made to care?

Not saying that any of the above are good or bad, only that they are, or should be, the right of the owner.

John Henry

Gahrie said...

Then he has grounds to sue them into oblivion..

I hope he shows up and tries to enter so we can be entertained by a hysterical feminist mob.

Kevin said...

"They want a nation devoted to the principle of who, whom."

We fought the first Civil War because a house divided against itself could not stand. I guess people are being taught incorrectly that it was limited to the idea of slavery.

Bad Lieutenant said...


How would that fly? Hmmmmm?
5/29/17, 10:25 AM

Firebombed within the week.

n.n said...

Anarcho-socialists are people who believe that a minority (e.g. mortal gods) should determine compensation for people's labor... and who will enjoy a beachfront estate in Hawaii.

Pro-Choice socialists are Anarcho-socialists who place their faith in mortal gods informed by the twilight fringe and establish a religion of principals rather than principles, which is traditionally selective and opportunistic, and historically prone to running amuck.

rhhardin said...

Shorter Epstein:

The constitution comes from Roman and English common law.

Two principles: no fraud, no force.

In particular laws must make everybody come out ahead or at least no behind, after taking into account benefits of the law to them.

No force is violated by state or private violence requiring businesses not to serve blacks. (Monopoly power over the market.)

So intervention requiring them to do what they want to do anyway leaves them coming out ahead under that circumstance and only under that circumstance.

Requiring a baker to bake gay marriage cakes is force without a benefit to the bakery owner. He does wedding cakes and it's not a wedding for gays. So he ought no to be required to bake that. He does not come out ahead.

There's no law preventing other bakers from baking, so there's no benefit in the law. Don't require transactions where both parties don't come out ahead.

Not a hard principle.

Since it goes into the constitution, it won't screw up law based on the constitution.

Which historically didn't happen, and did screw up law based on the constition, as predicted.

rhhardin said...

That's also why Islam won't fit into America. Force is their big thing.

Dan Hossley said...

"Not everything has to be approached from a legal perspective". Sounds like an apology for the 9th Circuit, the 4th Circuit and about half of the Supreme Court.

Laurel Lowrey said...

To paraphrase the Left's position:

When the law is on your side, argue the law.
When the law isn't on your side, argue feelings.

Darleen said...

My biggest question during this kerfuffle is why didn't Planned Parenthood (which is benefiting from the screenings) actually sponsor the events and turn them into a PRIVATE event.

Theaters do private, closed-to-uninvited-public, screenings all the time. Then the theater would have both avoided breaking the law and having this blow up.

Cynically, I'm thinking they knew and wanted the publicity. It's a stunt.

Sebastian said...

@DBQ: "The hypocrisy of holding one group to a certain level of forced association and another to being allowed to discriminate is the issue." The left doesn't do hypocrisy. As I tried to suggest at 8:58, they operate from different assumptions. 1. The world consists of power hierarchies, with the "privileged" at the top. 2. The people at the bottom, the underprivileged, suffer from oppression. 3. Hierarchy is oppressive; oppression is bad. Specifically, the privileged are bad; the underprivileged are good. 3. Universal principles that, applied consistently, reinforce hierarchy and benefit the privileged, are bad. Case in point: freedom of association. 4. Universal principles that break down hierarchy and advance the underprivileged are good. Cases in point: underprivileged minorities have the right to prevent "hate speech," underprivileged LG spouses have the right to force anyone to bake them a cake, underprivileged women have the right to segregate at the movies.

Robert Cook said...

"'That's a pretty broad statement. Where is there evidence showing that most white-owned businesses in the south wanted to serve blacks? (I don't doubt there were some, but I question if it was all or most.)'

"Epstein's fact. He gives the economic argument. Anybody who serves blacks as well as whites drives out of business his all-white competitor. He has a better profit margin and can undercut the competitor's prices."


That's not a fact, and it's not evidence. It's a hypothesis. I don't buy it. Many of the small businesses in the south were run by people who held the general attitudes and biases of the day and the region. Again, I'm sure there were some business owners who would have liked (or would not have minded) the trade of the black community, but I think many were happy to exclude blacks from their premises.

rhhardin said...

The anti-black guys were vocal, is all. Also in charge.

Fen said...

MadisonMan nails it. Women needing.a safe space to celebrate girl power is ironic and not good PR. They make Wonder Woman cry.

Jupiter said...

"Again, I'm sure there were some business owners who would have liked (or would not have minded) the trade of the black community, but I think many were happy to exclude blacks from their premises."

Well, isn't it a good thing that the Federal Government forced them to stop excluding unwanted strangers from their private property? And won't it be a good thing when the Federal Government forces you to stop excluding unwanted strangers from your property?

Jupiter said...

"Leftists and feminists are not inconsistent. Their principle is not "everyone should have freedom of association" etc. It is that every underprivileged person or group should be able to associate with the privileged as they wish."

I read an article (WaPo, I believe) celebrating a black attorney who successfully sued to be allowed to purchase a house in a white neighborhood during the 50's. He sued for (and won) the right to live among white people. The right he then to denied his neighbors.

Paul McKaskle said...

"You know, I'm not the type" at the end of the post invites readers to a very long post on a Libertarian conference back in 2006. The post is very interesting particularly for a "soft" semi-libertarian like me.

What I found even more interesting were the posting identities of the numerous commenters. There is almost no overlap between those of today and those of 2006. One of the few exceptions was Meade--and we know how that ended up. (There were lots of "anonymous" commenters and perhaps today they have changed their identities and are still commenting on the Ann Althouse blog.)

tcrosse said...

If the guy who bought a ticket to the all-girl showing didn't exist, they probably would have had to invent him. A little agita helps the box-office.

Gahrie said...

There is almost no overlap between those of today and those of 2006.

Bruce and I are still around....

Richard Harrington said...

I think attacking AnAlthouse like that is about as smart as getting involved in a land war in Asia. The amusing thing is that the "attackers" may never understand the power of the response given the graceful language.

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
How did you feel about Hobby Lobby's claim to have religious freedom rights?

Hobby Lobby was a closely held company being forced by the government to do something against its religious beliefs/practices. Hobby Lobby did not seek to deny anyone employment or patronage based on their differences with those beliefs or practices, much less solely on the basis of the protected characteristics of race, sex or religion.

Likewise, the movie theater is not and should never be compelled by the government to show a movie it disagrees with showing. As far as who they let in the door once a movie showing is open to the public, however, there should be no discrimination as to who they let in based on the protected characteristics of race, sex or religion.

The exception, as I said, would be unless the theater space otherwise open to the public is rented out to a private expressive organization who extends private invitations in connection with an expressive organization.

Ralph L said...

What about non-expressive organizations (whatever that means) and why should that matter?

Rabel said...

Wonder Woman was a Demigod.
Althouse was a Law Professor.

Wonder Woman lived in a fantasyland free from masculinity.
Althouse lives in Madison.

Wonder Woman has a Lasso of Gold.
Althouse has a Laslo of Golden Showers.

Wonder Woman was hot babe.
Althouse was a hot babe.

Wonder Woman found love with Captain Kirk.
Althouse found love with - ok, I'd better skip this one.

Conclusion:
Althouse is Wonder Woman in disguise.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...When it's in a public place, there are contrary interests to take into account, but the movie house is privately owned.

Privately owned? What difference could that possibly make, Professor? It's a public accommodation, isn't it, both under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the relevant state law?
The people have spoken, haven't they? Your civil disobedience line makes more sense--if they're intentionally violating the law that's a different story, but many people seem to b want to argue that they're not violating the law when they pretty clearly are.

Bake the fucking cake, right?!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suicide Squeeze said...

@ Gahrie

You ask "which one is?" wrt hills to die on. I would say a case that impacts someone's livelihood, harms people in some physical, emotional or economic way, excludes large groups of persons from goods and services that cannot be reasonably substituted, or affects someones religious or other deeply held beliefs qualifies.

The theater event does none of these. The accommodations for the movie are available at the theater at other showings or at other theaters, so there is no exclusion from goods or services, it does not impact someone's livelihood and it does not harm anyone in any physical, emotional or economic way, and it is not impacting anyone's deeply held beliefs.

My libertarian leanings have me thinking that people can associate as they want and the government should only intrude when people with privilege use their power to do harm to another directly or indirectly. It definitely should not exercise that power to force associations that do harm to another. The theater case holds no value to either side of the equation and adds damaging noise to a very important issue.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Suicide Squeeze said...People who are getting upset about this event are making mountains out of molehills. So what if a theater wants to have a special showing or two for women. Who is harmed?

Who is harmed by the State refusing to uphold the law? The rule of law is harmed, Suicide Squeeze. More specifically, I guess, respect for the law itself is harmed.
There exist laws against businesses discriminating on the basis of gender. There exist federal laws against public accommodations discriminating on almost any grounds. There are NY state laws that specifically bar theaters from both discriminating and from advertising in a way that discriminates by gender (and all sorts of other categories). T
Those laws exist now. They're "on the books." What harm is there in not enforcing the law in cases where the State finds a given law violator to be politically sympathetic? The harm is the complete breakdown of the idea of ours as a nation of laws! If only certain people have to follow the law, and only at certain times, then the law isn't the law, it's just a thin veneer for the exercise of raw power.
Maybe you think that's hyperbolic, but we either believe in and uphold the rule of law or we don't.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Suicide Squeeze said... The accommodations for the movie are available at the theater at other showings or at other theaters, so there is no exclusion from goods or services, it does not impact someone's livelihood and it does not harm anyone in any physical, emotional or economic way, and it is not impacting anyone's deeply held beliefs.

Ah, so the guy can be served in a different theater showing the same movie--someplace that's separate from the all-woman showing but equal to that showing, is that it? Sounds familiar somehow...

My libertarian leanings have me thinking that people can associate as they want and the government should only intrude when people with privilege use their power to do harm to another directly or indirectly.

That's an interesting "should" in your sentence. I don't disagree with it, but we don't live in the world of "should." Maybe you think there "shouldn't" be laws that prohibit this type of discrimination, but they exist. Maybe you want to see those laws changed, and if so I wish you luck, but while they exist they have to be enforced. You and I can't ignore laws we don't like, and the State as a whole sure as hell can't be allowed to do so.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Suicide

The accommodations for the movie are available at the theater at other showings or at other theaters, so there is no exclusion from goods or services,

Do you agree with the following then?

You therefore can exclude black people from entering your bar/restaurant/theater because they can get a drink/eat/watch a show someplace else?

The Christian cake bakers can tell the gays to hit the bricks because there is a bakery someplace else?

The taxi cab driver can tell Muslims to go get an Uber?

The photographer can refuse to photograph fat people because anyone can get a photo taken elsewhere and he doesn't want to try to make fat people look good.

This could go on and on.

Not that I don't disagree that you should be able to refuse to serve anyone or operate your business how you like. BUT...and it is a big BUT....it is the law that you cannot discriminate.

Gahrie said...

My libertarian leanings have me thinking that people can associate as they want and the government should only intrude when people with privilege use their power to do harm to another directly or indirectly.

I almost agree with this statement. Why the need to modify "people" with "with privilege"? Why should privilege matter? Do you think those without privilege (however you define that) should have the right to harm others?

I think this theater should have the right to offer female only showings. But I also believe that bakers shouldn't have to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings, and I know that the only way to get the Left to wake up is to inflict the same pain on them that they inflict on others.

If I lived in NYC, I would definitely file a complaint against the theater, and if I was a male employee I would definitely file a civil rights case.

The Godfather said...

One of the problems with how we address the discrimination/freedom of association issue is that we tend to think in terms of the 1960’s model of laws against anti-Black discrimination in the south. Jim Crow laws in the south reinforced social attitudes against Blacks that go back to centuries of Black slavery and another century of southern White antipathy toward freed Blacks. Segregation was the product of both law and society. Notwithstanding the theories of the libertarians, the civil rights laws were necessary to break down the structure of segregation, and they succeeded. And they were authorized by the Constitution (13th Amendment).

Issues of discrimination against women, gays, transgenders, etc. are different, and they shouldn’t be addressed on the theory that each of these groups is today’s “coloreds”. The legal discrimination against women that used to exist, such as denying them the right to vote, limiting their rights to property, etc., have long since been eliminated. Is there still some social discrimination against women? I believe there is, although I think it’s fading. Do we have to deal with it be applying to “sex discrimination” the same principles we applied to racial discrimination in the 1960’s civil rights laws? I doubt it, but that’s what we seem to be doing. And that’s screwing us up.

Suicide Squeeze said...

@HoodlumDoodlum

Yes, I am talking about an ideal. I made my position clear earlier that I consider the laws too broad. I think they are harmful in their results because of the fact we cannot use common sense. Poor laws that are then used to destroy harmless social groupings is not a good reason to continue to apply them as revenge. I don't want them enforced. I think there are more egregious examples then a theater having a few showings for women only. It's not the case I would make a stink out of, but there are useful opportunities to leverage it but asking the same theater to allow an all male showing of, say, the Transformers. If they balk it's a good time to use social media to point out their inconsistencies and let the market play out. It should not be illegal, though.

This is not a "separate but equal" situation, you overplay the hand here. Separate but equal would be a theater that always and only admits one group of people. Even still it should not be illegal unless there is harm to others as a result such as attendees to that theater are somehow benefiting through association or networking that grants them better employment prospects or other benefits that others who are not allowed in cannot get.

Yes, I use should. As I state above, these are bad laws because they are too broad. I think it looks bad to point out a temporary exclusion for the purpose of a few hours of entertainment as our Alamo. It makes the argument look petty and ridiculous.

Suicide Squeeze said...

@Dust Bunny Queen

You therefore can exclude black people from entering your bar/restaurant/theater because they can get a drink/eat/watch a show someplace else?

Not an easy yes or no answer. In 1964 I would say yes because it was pervasive and meant to marginalize people. Today I would simply let the market choose. Racism is not as pervasive as the left would wish (yes, they wish it were more pervasive.) I would think a blatantly racist establishment would simply go out of business soon enough. If it were in some small town were there were few choices there might be need for some action. As a result, I might be persuaded to allow that kind of law to stand as a necessary compromise.

The Christian cake bakers can tell the gays to hit the bricks because there is a bakery someplace else?

That has never happened. The flower shop and the bakers never told gays to hit the bricks. They actually served those customers willingly and happily. They just didn't want to do a particular event. I think that should be legal since it was a deeply held belief But if they were anti-gay I would use the same logic as the first scenario. No the other hand, I am a conservative Christian, and I think they should have complied with the law. They would be rendering unto Cesar and all that, but in a free society they should not be forced to participate.

The taxi cab driver can tell Muslims to go get an Uber?

Most likely the taxi drive IS Muslem, or maybe Sikh, but that is not your point. Transportation is an immediate need and a safety issue. TO deny service risks harm. Easy solution, revoke transportation licenses of drivers who deny service for any reason other than their own safety. We don't need discrimination laws for that.

The photographer can refuse to photograph fat people because anyone can get a photo taken elsewhere and he doesn't want to try to make fat people look good.

As far as I know that is not illegal. Some Photographers only do portraits. Can you sue them if they refuse your big fat Greek wedding?

I agree with your last. I do think the laws need to be narrowly tailored, and we should not demand they be enforced against our opponents when we don't want them enforced against our friends. I think that is the wrong approach.

Suicide Squeeze said...

@Gahrie

Why the need to modify "people" with "with privilege"? Why should privilege matter? Do you think those without privilege (however you define that) should have the right to harm others?

Privilege comes in many forms. High Society people can still be at the mercy of the hoi polloi who exercise the privilege of numbers, or the force of poorly written laws and a sympathetic judiciary. Your point is well taken, though. My point is as you state, the key is harm not which socio-economic class the causes it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Suicide Squeeze said...As I state above, these are bad laws because they are too broad. I think it looks bad to point out a temporary exclusion for the purpose of a few hours of entertainment as our Alamo. It makes the argument look petty and ridiculous.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure we're obliged to follow all the laws, even the ones we personally feel are bad/too broad/stupid. It's not petty to insist that the State enforce their laws. It's not petty to insist that the State enforce the law equally. If you and the State decide the law is dumb and shouldn't be enforced please feel free to change the law. The one thing you can't do is decide to enforce the law in some cases but not in other cases--the arbitrary application of force in service of the law (enforcing the same law sometimes/in some cases but not in others) is the antithesis of the "rule of law" and cannot be allowed.
You're saying "hey, allow it this time, it's a small thing and the people violating the law are sympathetic so it's just whining to insist that the law be upheld in this particular case." It's either the law or it's not, SS. When you pick and choose which groups have to follow the law and which don't...well, that's not a place you should want us to go.

TestTube said...

I tried to make a point previously, and I guess I didn't do a good job.

My point: Whatever you feel about you SHOULD do, it is also important to know -- and stick up for -- what you CAN do.

This Achewood cartoon makes the point better than I can:

http://www.achewood.com/index.php?date=01152010

Point is, Alamo didn't ask for people to respect their woman only screening -- they said they were invoking their "girl power" to MAKE it a woman-only screening.

So Miller is checking to "make sure that power is actual". He purchased a reserve seat, and plans to watch that show in that seat. No fuss, no big announcement -- just walk in and watch the show.

This is what I hate, hate, hate about conservatives:

They allow themselves to be constrained. They don't even wait to have the handcuffs slipped on -- rather, they put the handcuffs on themselves, all the while wailing and gnashing their teeth about the gross injustice of the handcuffs!

How many times have you read some conservative pundit screeching because some self-styled obscure would-be authority -- one who we have never even heard of before -- says we must now do something we have never done, or stop doing something we have always done? How many times have we heard copious outrage over some perceived curtailment of liberty, when no such curtailment actually exists?

You don't HAVE to ask people what their preferred gender pronoun is. You don't HAVE to justify how you vote. You don't HAVE to limit yourself from doing yoga or wearing saris or selling burritos or drinking tequila on May 5. And you don't even have to make a fuss about it, or calm down other people who are making a fuss about it.

TestTube said...

And by "you" and "they", I guess I really mean "us", as I do the same dang thing. That, perhaps, is why I hate it so much when we constrain ourselves with so little cause.

Suicide Squeeze said...

@hoodlumdoodlum

In theory your position is correct and accurate. For a society to run smoothly laws must be enforced and enforced equally. In an ideal situation a bad law would be quickly repealed if it were enforced.

Unfortunately there is a reality that differs from this ideal. In this case, the politicians and the judiciary will be sympathetic to the theater. Thus they will not enforce the law in this case, and I am unsure if you or anyone else could be successful in compelling enforcement. It might be possible to make this a landmark case and drive it to the Supreme Court, but I would not choose this situation as the one to take there. Hence my comment about this one not being the hill to die on.

The best one can do is generate Sturm and Drang. This will result in firing up the like-minded base to comment in blogs and to stir up the opposition to do the same. No minds will be changed. No progress will be made toward the ultimate goal of modifying the law. The law will not be enforced. You will not get them to enforce it barring a suit where you would first have to prove standing, which is a hit or miss thing anyway. As far as I can tell, government does not have to enforce the law in all situations. It has discretion to selectively enforce, so you would have to prove discriminatory intent. Good luck with that in this environment.

Thus I stand by my strategic position. Don't die on this hill. Be magnanimous and win the hearts and minds of the mushy middle by saying "See? there ARE legitimate ways to hold selective events that are not harmful to society. I support these women having their movie event, and I hope you join me in allowing more of this fun and free association in our pluralistic society." (Or some claptrap like that.)

I am not opposed to the fight, just being selective in my hills.

rcocean said...

I clicked on the last link. Oh, yeah the conference with the Libertarians. Those were the days.

Some great blog posts.

rcocean said...

Ronald Bailey is still an idiot.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

This will result in firing up the like-minded base to comment in blogs and to stir up the opposition to do the same. No minds will be changed. No progress will be made toward the ultimate goal of modifying the law. The law will not be enforced. You will not get them to enforce it barring a suit where you would first have to prove standing, which is a hit or miss thing anyway. As far as I can tell, government does not have to enforce the law in all situations. It has discretion to selectively enforce, so you would have to prove discriminatory intent. Good luck with that in this environment.

Ah, so there is no rule of law, then. Ok, that being the case, preemptive surrender is in fact the correct response. Good call.
Since I'm not a member of a respected, protected minority group I shouldn't expect the law to be upheld on my behalf. I shouldn't expect nice, smart people like you to make a fuss when the law isn't applied against people who violate it to my detriment when those people are part of special groups--you wouldn't want to "die on the hill" of seeing the actual law upheld if the consequence of the violation doesn't seem that bad, to you, and the unequal application of the law happens to favor a group you (all) find sympathetic.
I will give you points for being honest--"prosecutorial discretion" was shown to be a bullshit excuse by the last Administration's actions (DACA, anyone?) but the smart, nice people like yourself seem to have internalized that excuse as an ethic for violating the concept of "rule of law."
It's sad, to me, that you (all) are in the majority, but I appreciate the reminder nonetheless.

Jason said...

Alt house is going to hurt herself twisting herself up in knots like that.

Seriously... after you crapped the bed with Memories Pizza and Sweetcakes by Melissa taking a far more limited posture in exercising their rights, you write this?

Thank God you're out of the classroom.

Jason said...

"These laws are bad because they are too broad."

So the liberal position is that Barry Goldwater was right all along?

Jason said...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/news/catholic-couple-fined-13000-for-refusing-to-host-same-sex-wedding-at-their

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has ruled that the Roman Catholic owners of an Albany-area farm violated the civil rights of a lesbian couple when they declined to host the couple’s same-sex “marriage” ceremony in 2012.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who own and operate Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, were ordered by DHR Judge Migdalia Pares and Commissioner Helen Diane Foster to pay $10,000 in fines to the state and an additional $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple, Jennie McCarthy and Melissa Erwin for “mental pain and suffering.”

Additionally, the Giffords must provide sensitivity training to their staff, and prominently display a poster highlighting state anti-discrimination laws.


Ann: Weird how you never managed to muster the same argument when this was in the news. Or in the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, or the Olympia florist.

Kirk Parker said...


"To say that mixing is always required is to eliminate something that may be of great value."

I'm going to make a special note on the calendar for today: Althouse in complete agreement with rhhardin!



Suicide Squeeze,

" revoke transportation licenses of drivers .... "

Wait, what????

Suicide Squeeze said...

@hoodlumdoodlum

Ah, so there is no rule of law, then. Ok, that being the case, preemptive surrender is in fact the correct response. Good call.

Choosing a fight you can win and avoiding a fight you cannot is not "preemptive surrender." When a large portion of the population eschews rule of law in favor of selective enforcement based on other criteria, then appealing to rule of law will not achieve the results you prefer. I want rule of law as well, but first I have to convince others to want it, and this is not the case I would use as my example.

Since I'm not a member of a respected, protected minority group I shouldn't expect the law to be upheld on my behalf.

You should be cognizant of the prevailing political and societal winds and plan accordingly. Life is full of disappointments, sometime there is substance to it. This is not one of those times.

I shouldn't expect nice, smart people like you to make a fuss when the law isn't applied against people who violate it to my detriment when those people are part of special groups...

If it were to your detriment, I would make a fuss. Really, get a grip. A movie is not "to your detriment." Thus I am not wasting my energy on it. I will save it for something that matters. My energy, my choice. Don't try and guilt-trip me into tilting at your windmills. It's a free country and you can tilt at yours and I can tilt at mine.

...you wouldn't want to "die on the hill" of seeing the actual law upheld if the consequence of the violation doesn't seem that bad, to you, and the unequal application of the law happens to favor a group you (all) find sympathetic.

Don't misconstrue my position. I don't find them sympathetic. I am AWARE that they are seen as sympathetic and plan accordingly. I want the law to be upheld, but I am making my own judgement regarding the use of my efforts. Don't be trying to make enemies of your friends just because the approach the same problem differently.

Seriously, if you can't convince a friend with your scorched-earth methods, you are certainly not going to convince the neutral and the opponents with it either. You can be right and still lose the argument.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"I would often begin a discussion of a case with the question whether we (or anybody) should want a particular matter controlled by a legal restriction, monitored by the government. "

A very good point, but I note that, at least in the retelling, you omit the final step (which Stephen Carter is fortunately ready to fill in for us.)

Unknown said...

Happy hour for women is now illegal but should be legal. Having a showing of wonder woman for women only is probably illegal but should be legal--it is not like ALL the showings are for women only. Having private clubs for men or for women should also be legal but is apparently not. Harvard even presumes to regulate the membership of students in off-campus single sex clubs, which is way beyond the pale--students can be 40 years old and are all presumed to be adults.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Thanks for response, wow!

I don't know if the freedom of women to assemble in a public space and watch a super-hero movie without men in the room is the sort of thing that's worth risking the consequences that are part of civil disobedience, but it's one way to behave in this world and sometimes good things ensue.

Women who peaceably assemble to watch this movie in droves were clearly not the target of criticism here. Like, really obviously not the target.

The entity engaging in civil disobedience here is clearly the business, and it's doing so by (presumably) refusing to sell tickets to men. Not sure what the point of this disobedience would be, or why it should be applauded in this case (except as a PR move to increase ticket sales, perhaps).

Ann Althouse said...

"'"I would often begin a discussion of a case with the question whether we (or anybody) should want a particular matter controlled by a legal restriction, monitored by the government." A very good point, but I note that, at least in the retelling, you omit the final step (which Stephen Carter is fortunately ready to fill in for us.)"

I say how I "begin a discussion" and you say I "omit the final step"? Do you mean the last part of the beginning? It's not an "omission." I only purport to say how I approach a subject and why.

Ann Althouse said...

As for the Stephen Carter, I assume you're bringing that up because of the way I brought it up the other day. (It's from 2016.)

I wouldn't use the word "violence" to describe govt enforcement, but I take government enforcement seriously as a repression of freedom.