Tired of Civil Rights

Imagine if you would for a moment that you have worked hard and learned how to make violins.  Not just any violins, but fantastically wonderful violins.  You decide that you want to make the world a better place by building these violins and then selling them at an extremely low price (much lower than the market is asking for) to less than privileged high school juniors and seniors exclusively.  News of your violins spreads and you have more orders coming in than you can possibly fill.  You ask the students to send a video of them playing and a short desicription of how they will make the world a better place with the violin you will be selling them.  You pick the ones you like best and build for them.

One day a collector of violins contacts you and says he wants to buy one.  He doesn’t play, but he is willing to pay the price.  You say no, and he sues saying that you are discriminating based on age (which is true) and ability (which again is true).

Here’s the thing.  If I agree to sell a violin to a 16 year old orchestra student named Lauren should I be legally obliged to sell one to a 54 year old collector named Bill?  Why should the government say that I am only privileged with the right to sell my labor to Lauren if I am also willing to enter the exact same contract with Bill?  Maybe Bill is a jerk and I don’t like him.  Maybe I want to help a particular group of people.  Maybe I am a bigot.  Whatever the reason why should the thought police get to determine my motives for selling my labor and require me to enter contracts that I don’t want to be a part of?  Should Lauren only be allowed to babysit if she is willing to babysit any and every rotten child out there, or should she be allowed to choose families?  Because if she only babysits for church friends that is the most closed form of discrimination there is.

For all the good they might have done I don’t think anti-discrimination laws have any place in a free society.  Should the government be allowed to discriminate?  Absolutely not.  The government should have no ability to pick winners and losers.  However, I am sick tired of people’s right to my labor trumping my right to my own labor.  I am sick of third parties deciding whether I and another are allowed to enter into a contract.  I am sick of having to always accept offense but never give offense.  Personally I would be willing to say “equal justice under the law” means that justice (protection and punishment) is distributed regardless of the person, but does not require (or even authorize) the government to regulate disputes outside the realm of “justice.”  That is, you have no right to my labor or my property, make your own freaking cake.