Free Association Revisited

A few days ago, I talked about open and closed associations as they related to how people in the Dissident Right felt about the various efforts by people like Chris Rufo to pry back our rights from a government that has embraced anti-constitutional policies like affirmative action and DEI.

And what the dissidents say is that the government shouldn’t be allowed to even ask who you associate with at all.  In other words, the Constitution doesn’t say we have to like other people.  And they’re right.  That is the nature of the Bill of Rights.  They are positive rights of individuals, not negative rights.

But what occurred to me today is that as the Left’s destruction of societal norms has advanced, the need for freedom of association has become much more important.  Fifty or a hundred years ago even among disparate groups in our country people still believed in the majority of beliefs that governed their behaviors.  Whether you were black or white or rich or poor, people still believed in concepts like honest, dishonest; male, female; smart, stupid; legal, illegal; mine, yours.  So, you had a basis for communication and there could be the expectation that some mutually acceptable rules of public behavior could exist.  We could live under the same laws and for the most part avoid having to shoot each other in the streets.

This is no longer the case.

And as these concepts have disappeared it becomes less and less possible for each of us to associate randomly with everyone without worrying about disaster or at least great disadvantage.  For instance, if I live close to a large city and the nearest drugstore is a quarter of a mile away but inside a high crime district and the next nearest one is twenty miles away in a safe suburb I might decide for the sake of safety and peace of mind that I now drive twenty miles out of the way.

Parenthetically, I’ve recently heard community activists in these high crime areas calling drug stores and other retail businesses racist because they are now shutting down their branches in these areas.  Apparently, the new standard of wholesale theft in these neighborhoods that has been embraced by the urban prosecutors brings out the secret racist in these corporate executives for some unexplained reason.

And extending this idea consider people with children trying to find public schools that don’t have teachers and administrators who will try to groom their kids for various types of sexual deviancy.  Or even white men who are just tired of working at companies that force them to endure various struggle sessions about sex and race relations.

And even though I’m just an old-fashioned white man who is married to a woman and has children and grandchildren and was born when all of that was completely normal and in fact the majority case in America, I can imagine that if you were someone who wasn’t white, wasn’t male and wasn’t straight that you might want to have a venue where whatever your point of view was on things, that point of view would be the orthodoxy.  So, if you were a black lesbian living in St Louis, you’d really like to have a bar where all the black lesbians could get together and complain about the white lesbians and the black gay men.  I think they should be able to have such a place.  But in fact, they currently do.  Lots of them.

By the same logic, the Dissident White guys should have a place like that for themselves.  And by the same logic nobody should think there’s any reason why either of those places shouldn’t exist.  After all, would the black lesbians want to hear the opinions of the old white guys?  Probably not.  Would the old white guys want to hear the opinions of the black lesbians?  Probably not.

Now if there were a black lesbian and an old dissident white guy who were both chess players and they happened to meet at a chess tournament and enjoyed discussing the art and science of chess and got along, well, there would be plenty of opportunity for the two of them to socialize at chess tournaments and lots of other places.  But chances are they wouldn’t invite each other to their favorite bars because they wouldn’t feel welcome.  And chances are the white dissident wouldn’t want to meet in any of the black neighborhoods in St Louis because he probably wants to live a while longer.

But the point is that we can’t pretend anymore that we’re a single society that can all sit down at the same table and enjoy the same things.  We’ve normalized very strange lifestyles and beliefs.  We’ve become different groups.  We like and dislike different things.  In some cases, these likes and dislikes are diametrically opposed.  And because of this all we do by forcing these people together is create anger and pain.  And this goes for groups on the Left.  Currently, transwomen are attacking feminists for not accepting them as women.  In fact, transwomen are even attacking lesbians for not wanting to have sexual relations with them.  So here you have different segments of the so-called LGBTQ community at war with each other.  The only hope for maintaining the larger heterogeneous society is allowing free association to provide space for the disparate groups to enjoy their lives and lifestyles as freely as possible in this polarized mix.

And finally, if you are a member of the hated white straight male group then building your own associations isn’t just advantageous.  It’s the only way to avoid extinction.  The elite institutions are trying to get rid of you.  Organizing is the only way to survive.

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Milo Mindbender
Milo Mindbender
4 months ago

Free association only is applied in one direction at this time, up until it became a backup plan for failed male athletes to compete against XX chromosome women, it was ok to have a WNBA, WPGA, Women’s Bowling league, Girl Scouts, and all the other sundry other female only organizations. The only groups that are required to submit to desegregation by threat of force are those catering to males IE the Boy Scouts, the Masters Tournament, and any other group, organization, or activities catering to men, specifically white men. I have heard a rumor that groups on college campuses are… Read more »