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Thinking About Rights

I’m really getting tired of these fascists:

Perhaps, then, the recent signs of violent times occasion an opportunity for broadening our collective sense of what ”rights” should be in terms of our social consciousness. Our political and judicial discourse would benefit from moving beyond a purely libertarian view of rights, which emphasizes freedom from governmental coercion or constraint, to incorporate also a dignitarian view of rights, which promotes freedom for the good of each other and for society as a whole. The challenge now before us is how to preserve personal independence and autonomy while also recognizing, as Prof. Mary Ann Glendon once wrote, ”that we are constituted in important ways by and through our relations with others, and that each of us develops our potential within a social network of obligations and dependencies.”

Sorry Reverend Dailey, you sir, can go to hell.  Inidividual liberty and freedom is social well-being.  Any government empored to create social well-being, empowered to do ulimited good, is by nature empowered to do unlimited evil.  If you’d like to live in a society like that, perhaps I can suggest Venzuela, or perhaps China.  But this country is founded on principles of limiting government for the sake of personal liberty, and if you don’t like that, get the hell out.

5 Responses to “Thinking About Rights”

  1. This is the second day in a row that I’ve encountered that “dignitarian” word (with which I had previously been unfamiliar–and which I can’t seem to find in any dictionary). Is there something “dignified” about surrendering fundamental human rights? What am I missing here?

  2. Paul Simer says:

    “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” – Ayn Rand

  3. Indeed, and that’s exactly why these organizations (democracy rising, isn’t it?) calling for a constitutional convention in PA are asshats. A constitutional convention? You gotta be kidding me. Can you imagine the leftwing garbage we’d end up with as a constitution?

  4. DJMoore says:

    Weird coincidence:
    I flicked on my car radio last night, and found myself listening to a black woman being interviewed on my local Pacifica station (KPFT). She was asked her current definition of “human rights”. From KPFT’s archives, at about 37:50 in this downloadable MP3: “That’s not an easy question to answer in a nutshell, but what I will say is that initially, the notion of human rights, based as it was on the bourgois revolutions, the French Revolution of 1789, the American Revolution of 1776, the notion of human rights tends to focus on the rights of individuals. Now, this can be problematic in the sense that many forms of oppression that people suffer are meted out to them not as individuals, but as members of communities, as groups. And so I think what is important about the new definitions of human rights that are emerging is that they are taking into consideration poverty for example, the globalization of capital, leading to the denial of human rights to entire groups of people. And that is the definition I think is potentially most productive for those of us who are fighting for change.” [Any transcription errors are my own.]

    Who was this traitorous weasel, trying to make my rights disappear by redefining them?

    Turns out to have been none other than…Angela Davis.

    Is this a meme that’s been expanded from the “collective rights” crowbar being used to disarm individuals?

    Or is that itself merely a specific example of a long socialist/communist tradition of oppression by rights diffusion, by unfocusing the harsh glare of individual rights to the blur of “community rights”?

    Although Davis is primarily famous for being tried on a weapons charge, I did not find her current position on the Second Amendment with a cursory Google.

    (Is this something that’s migrated from the RKBA fight, where the “collective right” is used to crowbar away a right of the people?)

  5. JKB says:

    Oh it is worse than it seems. This excerpt from an Obama speech in WV, seems to be right along the lines of this new group right/obligation:

    “…that we could have the right to pursue our individual dreams but the obligation to help our fellow citizens pursue theirs.”

    http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com/2008/05/obligation.html

    Must be some collective decision to push this idea across the board?

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