In a freed market, with no government anti-discrimination laws, what will stop bigoted business owners from resegregating America?
A. We will.
David Bernstein makes the strongest libertarian case I can imagine for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His key point—which I fully embrace—is that the Southern states operated the equivalent of a “white supremacist cartel” in public accommodations….
But as Sheldon ultimately argues, there’s more than one way to break a cartel, and starting out with the notion that the *only* options are one kind of federal law or another kind of federal law, is simply to beg the question.
We can’t dismiss [direct action by nonviolent social movements] as impractical because it had been working several years before Title II was enacted. … Title II, in other words, was unnecessary. But worse, it was detrimental…. [W]hat is given like a gift can be more easily taken away, while what one secures for oneself by facing down power is less easily lost. … The libertarian answer to bigotry is community organizing.