Non-Coercive Social Change – Adler Edition

Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy blog has a great example of the potential power of non-coercive mechanisms for social change.  In this case, pediatricians are firing patients who won’t vaccinate their children.  There is no coercion involved.  Patients are free to comply with what the doctors want or take their business elsewhere.  Doctors are free to associate with whom they want – or not.  Unfortunately, people are often forced to associate with others (or to associate with others only under the terms set by the state) against their will – and would it be surprising if the state ultimately required doctors to provide service to non-vaccinators?

5 thoughts on “Non-Coercive Social Change – Adler Edition

  1. Just to head off any questions/concerns/comments, I think there is a good libertarian argument for the forced association of the CRA. The general principle though survives the exception justified in this particular case.

  2. The CRA provided a coercive solution to a problem of coercion. The problem in the South was’t that people were non-coercively not associating. The problem in the South was that people were coercively, via state law, not permitted to associate.

    Before the CRA, if you were a black patron and wanted to go into a white only restaurant, the proprietor of the place could use the police to throw you out.

    This different from what we have today with the CRA, where if a proprietor deems his restaurant to be white only, he still must, through the coercion of the state, serve black patrons or risk criminal penalties.

    And that is an altogether different from the hypothetical situation where in the absence of segregation laws and the CRA, if one deems their restaurant to be white only, there is nothing the proprietor can do except ask the black patron to leave or refuse to serve him. He couldn’t claim trespass or forcibly remove him without risking a charge of battery.

    I merely wish to illustrate that it is only through power of state that people can be compelled to associate or not to associate. The CRA simply used the power of the state to force people to associate. I take issue with any use of state power that compels me to associate or not to associate. In either case it is still an assertion of power that I don’t desire at all. Once the state tells you who you can associate with, then you are on a slippery slope to what you can say in public, oops already there, or what you must purchase, oops already there too.

    1. I thought you were about to say that there is a good case for forced vaccination. I believe that that case is even stronger than the case for the forced association via CRA.

      1. It would be a cool charter school concept to have a school where no vaccinations are allowed. All the kooky parents who don’t vaccinate could send their kids there. This would protect the kids in schools that have been vaccinated by keeping them together and away from the unvaccinated kids.

        The first case of diptheria or pertussis or measles that closes the school would serve as a cautionary tale to everyone else that has second thoughts about vaccination.

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