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Jeremy Carrette – Right To Discriminate

With the abolition of Poland’s Council for the Prevention of Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and intolerance, the mainstream media has come out, guns blazin’, criticizing the new government’s “advocacy of discrimination”. The purported reasons for the closure of this council were the costs, as well as the effectiveness of it in deterring acts of discrimination. This topic is not only prevalent in Poland, but it’s also gaining traction in the USA with the refusal of a baker to bake a cake for a homosexual couple, whom they did not accept. Naturally, the US media jumped on the baker and criticized her of bigotry. Who is the intolerant side in this predicament?

However controversial it is, the protection of citizens’ right to discriminate must be the stance that libertarians hold. In the most recent libertarian debate, libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson expressed the contentious view that a Jewish baker should be coerced into baking a cake for a Nazi. Although extreme, this example highlights the significance of upholding the inherent right to freedom of association. If a person is unwilling to serve a customer due to race, gender, etc., it is his/her right to burden the  financial loss of not serving the customer, along with a potential future loss of clientele as a result of a conceivable boycott of his/her business. Just as ordinary citizens are permitted to select the institution they take their business to, entrepreneurs should also have the right to refuse to do business with a potential customer, no matter the justification.

Returning to Poland, the termination of the Council for the Prevention of Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and intolerance in itself is a positive step towards liberty. As Friedrich Hayek stated, “There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal” (especially through government intervention).

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