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Civil Rights or Property Rights?

The interplay of race and economics in America has produced a new variant of political economy that we might call "multicultural capitalism," a system in which property is, for the most part, privately owned, but its ownership is conditional on the race, sex, and—in some cases—the sexual orientation of the owner. In the pursuit of the chimera of racial and sexual "equality," the old system that regarded private property as an inviolable right has been replaced by one in which certain classes are granted power by the state to override property rights and, in effect, to appropriate private property for themselves. "Oppressed minorities" in America are accorded all sorts of "rights" not enjoyed by ordinary folk. Affirmative action in education and employment, special protections via "hate crimes" legislation, the sympathetic attention of political and cultural elites: These are just the most luxuriously obvious perks of oppression, but they are merely fringe benefits for the aristocrats of the new victimological order. The foundation of their power is a virtual stranglehold over all economic activity under our civil rights laws.

The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act marked the beginning of the end of private property in America. As one of the few senators who voted against it, Barry Goldwater, remarked during the debate on the bill: "I am unalterably opposed to discrimination...

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