Last week, I recorded a video and wrote a piece for MRCTV covering the heroic efforts of a St. Paul barber and a California restaurateur defying state government closure orders, and in the report, I tried to note the key ethical-economic problem for those and all businesses under the thumbs of politicians. That’s the fraudulent “licensing” or “permitting” power claimed by government, an immoral, gangster-like claim of power over other people’s lives.
As we can see with a new COVID Crackdown case, this is, indeed, the problem. But the problem goes deeper than the terms I already used, and many Americans are averse to addressing it for what it is. Indeed, many Americans, it seems, would rather remain comfortable in their blindness to what has been growing all around them.
So, now we turn to Castle Rock, Colorado, where, KCNC-TV reports, the C&C Breakfast and Korean Kitchen opened for Mother’s Day, contrary to the “orders” of the state.
'…after warning the restaurant on Friday not to open and reminding them they are only allowed to do take-out and delivery…. the restaurant was opened to dine in eating on May 10,' the health department stated.
The horror of private property owners opening their doors and inviting people to voluntarily enter to enjoy companionship, food, and drinks! How dare they live peacefully contrary to the diktats of the state?
The Democrat governor – aka Captain Paternalism – was not amused.
On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis said it would be closed for at least 30 days. Polis said the restaurant caused an immediate health hazard — and he was ‘extremely disappointed.’
And he had more to say.
I joined most Coloradans in in our frustration watching videos of people illegally packed into restaurants and thinking about all the moms and grandmothers and aunts and everyone who was put at increased risk of dying from this horrible virus.
Notice those terms, “illegally”, and “packed”, and “who was put”…
None of the customers were kidnapped and kept in the restaurant under duress. The people who entered the restaurant freely chose to do so, as opposed to their relationship with government, which is one of non-choice, where, if they withhold their money, they will go to jail. This restaurant is privately owned, and the customers own themselves.
And this is the important point about private property and free will that must be stressed during this COVID Crackdown and forever more… Private property allows people to make choices about themselves based on their OWN risk assessment, and no "person B" has to worry about "person A's" choice unless "B" decides to voluntarily associate with him or her. The PUBLIC (government-run) areas are where people rightfully conflict, because all taxpayers have valid claims over how it is run. That leads to less choice, and, often, immoral, one-size-fits-all mandates that screw-up the economy.
This restaurant is NOT public property no matter how the government would like to define it. It is private. Its proprietors should not be forced to close, or forced to pay the state for "permission" (i.e. a license) to engage in voluntary commerce with others who would freely choose to do so.
Is the state going to "license" us to have conversations with each other? Shall we ask "permission" to get within six feet on our own lawns?
Which brings us to the ugly truth many Americans – particularly leftists -- apparently want to avoid, the fact that this control, this “licensing” and “permitting” is not simply "paternalism".
It is, by definition, fascism.
Teaching in the fields of political-economics and ethics, I sometimes am shocked to realize that most American leftists are unwilling to advertise the fact that they freely embrace and promote fascism. Perhaps that sounds too frightening to them. Perhaps it’s not “good PR”. Yet, it is the truth.
Strictly speaking, the political-economic definition of fascism is, as noted by the Mises Institute:
Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society.
I challenge anyone involved in shutting down any business by “pulling its license” or “denying it a permit” or posting police to block customers or tell them how to live – either openly accept that you exalt fascism, or try to deny that you are a fascist.
You cannot deny it.
This is not your property. This is not government-run, tax-supported “public” space.
It is owned by real people. And you are engaging in fascist attacks on peaceful people.
Stop doing so, or call yourself what you are.