Open and Closed Associations

I listened to the ZMan’s Friday podcast and the topic was an explanation for why he considers the ideal of the color-blind society of such activists as Chris Rufo to be doomed to failure. And I’ll have to say here that he was very clear about why he saw it as unsatisfactory from his point of view.
In a nutshell, he saw the color-blind basis for a multiracial society to be unacceptable because it would not allow for what he called closed associations. And he defined open and closed associations as differing in their method of exclusion. In an open association basically, anyone was admitted who adhered to the basis for which the association was established. In a closed association, those in charge can exclude anyone for basically any reason or no reason at all.
In the ZMan’s mind a society that adheres to a color-blind basis for race relations would never allow closed associations to exist. Now this conclusion is interesting. His position was that the idea of the color-blind society had been put forward back during the William F. Buckley Jr. era of the conservative movement in the 1960s and 1970s and that trying it again would end in the same failure.
I listened carefully to his arguments and came away with several thoughts on his assumptions and conclusions.
My first thought has to do with how the color-blind premise should be applied to American society. What seems fair to me is that if we have a multi-racial society then the most important case where color-blindness should be applied is by the government. In other words, the government treats us all the same. There should be no mention of race in any government policies. We all follow the same equations for our income tax calculations. We all get the same government benefits based on the same measurements of work history and age. We all get to vote just once in an election. And we all have to obey the same laws and we all get the same sentences for committing the same crimes.
And in terms of public accommodations, we can all use the same grocery stores and get the same rates from the electric company. And once again, if we live in the same town, we all have to conform to the same local laws. So, if the local laws say you can’t smoke pot, then anyone regardless of color will be arrested for doing so. And we can eat at the same restaurants. But that restaurant even though it is a public accommodation, is still a private enterprise. It can demand that patrons dress in a certain way. It can demand that diners behave in a specific manner. And regardless of race if someone can’t follow those rules he can be ejected, possibly with police assistance if the result becomes trespass.
And if there is a professional society like the AMA or the Bar Association or an engineering accreditation program these would also be considered public accommodations. As would schools and colleges. But once again everyone must follow the same rules and be judged by the same objective standards. Here the use of standardized testing goes a long way to reinforce these ideas. And this objectivity will prove that when conditions are as equal as they can be that the human population will produce a bell curve of outcomes. That’s right we’re not all exactly the same and that’s just the nature of populations.
And these above referenced cases and things of the same sort are what would be considered public accommodations.
But I don’t assume that private associations need to be open to the general public. In the 1960s and 1970s much was made about how men’s clubs and associations had to be opened up to participation by women. Under a careful analysis of this history, I believe that the Supreme Court could quite easily decide that private associations could limit their memberships based on sex if the whole basis for the association is based on being male or female.
And likewise, why couldn’t there be a club based on its members being of a particular ethnicity or physical characteristic. After all there are already clubs for tall people and there are organizations for senior citizens. There could be clubs for people with blond hair and blue eyes. Parenthetically the ZMan’s favorite example of minorities is “ginger midgets.” There could be a National Association for the Advancement of Ginger Midgets, (NAAGM). And in what way do any of these associations harm people who are not these things? They don’t and therefore they are not unethical.
Based on what the ZMan said in his podcast he would disagree with my analysis because he would say that no mechanism exists to force the federal government to accept the restoration of free association for private, non-public accommodation associations. And maybe he’s right. But regardless, I think that getting the federal government to have to give up on affirmative action and be forced to adhere to color-blind standards would be an enormous improvement over the nightmarish anti-white polices currently practiced in Washington DC.
If and when these first steps have been initiated more effort can be expended to continue working toward the full restoration of the freedoms we were promised under the Bill of Rights. Saying that because past efforts to reestablish constitutional practices have failed that no progress can be made is incorrect. The recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action in college admissions and on abortion are clear examples that even after many decades, a bad decision can be corrected. I think there is great merit in pushing for a color-blind federal government.
What do you think?

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4 months ago

Hi photog, I basically agree with your analysis (I haven’t listened to the Zman’s podcast though). Freedom of association is critically important and it’s childish for people to demand to be included in clubs where they aren’t welcome. For example all the current hubbub about Taylor Swift is, in my opinion, because football was one of the last few bastions of testosterone heavy entertainment remaining and now even it is being eroded. I completely agree that all levels of government must be color blind in their enforcement of the law. Separate but equal was always nonsense. I will say I… Read more »