Friday, September 04, 2009

Rights and Wrongs

I agree with this. Food for thought. The rest is at the headline-link.

The Right to Everything

Advocates of the Democrats’ socialized medicine program often speak of the “right” to health care, or more specifically the right to affordable health care or health insurance. This notion of rights bestowed by government is one of the basic tenets of modern liberalism, which is the mirror image of classical liberalism. It is a foundation that should be attacked by the defenders of liberty at every opportunity, because if one concedes this principle, the remaining logic of “soft” tyranny becomes inexorable. This is an argument that conservatives must never grow weary of having, because there will never come a day when it’s unnecessary to make it.

The Left became preoccupied with “positive rights” over the last century. The edifice of socialism is built on the idea that people who lack the necessities of life are not truly “free.” What good is the freedom of speech to someone weak from hunger? What use is the right of free association, when you’re dying of a contagious disease? If you accept the proposition that freedom from want is a pre-requisite for enjoying all other forms of freedom, the modern liberal world-view becomes much easier to understand. It should also be easy to understand why those who believe themselves deprived of those basic necessities would find this an appealing argument.

These “positive rights” are not a precursor to the rights described in the American Constitution. The whole concept is implacably hostile to the Constitution. The “right” to food, health care, a job, or the other staples of the socialist menu can only exist in the absence of individual rights. Most fundamentally, the State can only provide benefits to some by violating the property rights of others.

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