Do signs have rights?
More precisely, are we bound by respect for the property rights of store owners as supposedly expressed by signs that state it is “store policy” for patrons to wear a Facial Burqua as a condition of entry?
A number of prominent conservatives – and libertarians – have made the mistake of saying we are bound.
They miss the supposedly part.
For two reasons. They are: government and duress – essentially the same thing.
Face Burqa signs didn’t just spring up organically, the fruit of individual business owners freely deciding to require them. They sprang up almost all at once when business owners were forced to put them up as a condition of being allowed to remain open by the government, with additional coercion applied by corporations, which are creatures of the government. These corporations got together to decree the same “policy” at all their stores – thereby serving as adjuncts of the government.
It’s very much of a piece with stores in Germany in the ’30s being expected – or else – to display the swastika banner and ban Jews – the “bacillus” – from entry. Certainly some did so willingly. But the point is it was almost impossible for others to not do so – else face the destruction of their businesses. The loss of their ability to feed and care for themselves – and their families.
It is a hard choice – but not a freely made one.
The government also applied force in other, more subtle ways – as by social pressure via the calculated, deliberate fomenting of mass hysteria; i.e., by using the threat of a population driven out of its mind by fear to get those Burqas on. Business owners understood that not going along with it meant the possibility of civilian reprisals – as in Germany, in the ’30s.
And indeed, the same basic thing happened. All it took was one anonymous call to the local Gesundheitsfuhrer’s office to have government sicced on a business that didn’t “mask” up.
Of course, by bowing to the threats, these businesses became complicit in the evil.
Perhaps understandably, in Sophie’s Choice kind of way – but that doesn’t change the fact of it. Their complicity further erodes any claim to the moral high ground – and our supposed obligation to obey – because no one is obligated to respect the “rights” of force.
Especially when it furthers an evil lie.
Face Burqa’ing is not a simple matter of etiquette, as in “no shirt, no shoes – no service” – the argument offered up by many conservatives and even some libertarians in defense of Face Burqa signage.
The signage propagates evil, seeks to coerce general complicity with it – as by placing a person who needs food – or his job – to show his affirmation with something he disagrees with by the forced wearing of it. And by forcing everyone to wear it, to make everyone complicit; to create a monstrous lie that it appears everyone agrees with it.
This of course strengthens the lie – and makes it harder for that reason to deny it, to reduce the harm it causes.
Being asked to respect a sign asking that you respect store policy to wear a shirt and shoes is not an assault upon anyone’s rights.
A sign demanding that you wear Satan Shoes – or a shirt that says you regard Satan as Number One – is a violation of everyone’s rights, particularly when it is . . . everywhere. Because of government – not the bizarre policy of a single (or even several) store owners, freely taken – without any threats of force emanating from the government for not posting such signage.
Another interesting aspect worth discussing is that government force – whether in the form of direct threats or in the form of indirect but no less threatening fomenting of mass hysteria – makes it essentially impossible to even know what the store owner’s freely taken decision would have been, in the absence of all these threats.
We know that before such threats manifested, many businesses did not post such signs.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume that many business owners despise the signs as much as we do, but post them for the same reason that a prisoner will “talk” when presented with the rubber hose.
Which, incidentally, is why testimony obtained via torture is considered unreliable (as well as illegitimate). A person facing the rubber hose – or the water board – will say anything to avoid the rubber hose or the water board. It is probable he would have said a very different thing – or nothing at all – had he been free to do so.
It is also why we usually feel some pity – some understanding – for the prisoner who was forced to shoot other prisoners or be shot himself.
It is even more important that this error about “property rights” be understood now that the signage is being changed. The new lettering will say than it is the policy of this business to only do business with – to only employ – those who have received “their” shot.
Once again, the perversion of a right into its opposite. “Their” shot implies property rights – in reverse.
Their true right to not have their actual property – themselves – violated by “their” (in actuality, the government’s) shot. Enforced by the threats, applied to privately owned businesses by the government – and by corporations that are the creatures of the government.
No one is obliged to have any respect for such signage.
Because of the government force behind it.
. . .
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