What is a right?
Understanding what constitutes a legitimate right and renders a “right” illegitimate is an important line of defense against tyranny
What is a right?
Millions of people impose their will on others via ballot boxes during each election yet I’d wager many couldn’t answer this simple question.
When understanding rights, it is important to understand what rights are based on.
The United States’ rights different from every other country in the world, and for good reason.
Positive vs. Negative Rights
Most countries grant their citizens positive rights. Positive rights are government-oriented rights stating people have a right to things. They have a right to housing, free education, etc.
Positive rights can easily be taken away when a government thinks its citizens are misbehaving.
Positive rights also posit that people are entitled to the fruits of other peoples’ labor. Otherwise, how would a government fund free healthcare for all?
The U.S. is a country built on the grounds of negative rights.
Negative rights ensure the individual’s freedom against the mob. They ensure that as long as we aren’t negating someone else’s right, we are free to do as we wish.
Negative rights are built on the foundation of the right to be left alone.
Also, due to their being in natural harmony with reality and human nature, negative rights aren’t granted by a government but are automatically within us the second we are born.
Negative rights can’t be taken away on a whim or for a trend.
“[Negative} rights are a claim by one person that imposes a "negative" duty on all others—the duty not to interfere with a person's activities in a certain area. The right to privacy, for example, imposes on us the duty not to intrude into the private activities of a person.” (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics)
Negative rights are protected by individuals who demand we uphold the U.S. Constitution, which lays out our inherent rights within the first 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights.
Furthermore, per the words of founding father Thomas Jefferson detailed in the Declaration of Independence, we have the unalienable, indivisible right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Many fail to realize how groundbreaking it was including the right to happiness in a nation’s founding document. Not only had in never been done before, but it exemplifies the objective morality America was founded on. Rights deal directly with human nature. Humans, in their proper nature, should be free to pursue happiness any way they choose as long as they don’t negate a right of someone else.
To build a nation upon a fundamental human right of happiness is paramount to the prosperity of society.
Drilling down from the broad category of negative rights we arrive at Natural Rights, the specific type of rights our justice system functions in accordance with while interpreting law.
Natural Rights go hand-in-hand with the Constitution because they are both, as I mentioned earlier, in harmony with objective reality and human nature.
The Objective Standard describes natural rights below:
“Well aware of the dangers of governments dictating what “rights” people have and have not, Enlightenment thinkers, classical liberals, and the Founding Fathers sought to ground rights in nature. Rights, they posited, are born not of man-made law but of natural law—specifically, natural moral law: natural law concerning how people should and should not act. As John Locke put it, there is “a law of nature,” and this law “teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”9 The Founders agreed. “Man,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, is “endowed by nature with rights,”10 and these rights are a matter of “moral law”;11 thus they are “inherent,” “inalienable,” and “unchangeable.”12 A free people claim “their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.””
Contrary to the current trends on social media from voters who clearly have no understanding of what a legitimate right is – you can’t force someone to do something with their body just because they might do something to someone in the future. You can’t lock up people in their houses just because they haven’t injected something into their body even though government demands it.
Just as guilty until proven innocent is unjust, so is sick until proven healthy.
Rights Are Only as Strong as the People who Possess Them
So if none of these wishes from wannabe tyrants are based on objective law, then how are they getting their way?
Furthermore, how is a tyrannical government operating outside the purview of Constitutional law getting their way in unprecedented fashion?
There’s a two-fold answer to these questions.
Government is betting on you not knowing your rights. And society is clearly more than happy to relinquish them if promised perpetual safeguard against risks that come with living.
Aside from even knowing what a right is, much of today’s society is unfamiliar with important founding U.S. documents, how our courts work, our constitutional right of nullification, and much more.
In schools, churches, and from the mouths of their own families, kids are taught individual sacrifice for the greater good is virtuous, that to live means to suffer.
Quite frankly, I’m surprised the current administration didn’t include a portion of taxpayer money in their latest infrastructure bill for baby-proofing every home in America- not for babies but for adults.
We are a society of adult-children because grown-ups are coddled, spoon-fed subjective reality, and are taught that risk-takers, individualists, and liberty-lovers are literal criminals.
With the nanny-state becoming more bloated by the day, it’s obvious much of society is incapable of being self-reliant, they clearly don’t even want to be.
You have generations of people who are too afraid to live according to objective reality (A.K.A truth), so how could they possibly even be capable of understanding what a right is?
It is fine if someone wants to live their life inside a human-sized hamster wheel for fear of taking a risk to make something of themselves and experience the bold, intoxicating natural high that is living a life of freedom.
What isn’t fine is when they spend their sad, little lives using tyrannical governmental force to dictate that others should live accordingly.
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” -Ayn Rand
The Constitution is only as strong as those who are willing to fight for its legacy.
If you are unfamiliar with any of it, take some time to read the Bill of Rights, the articles, and all 27 amendments.
Study jury nullification and understand we have a duty to fight against illegitimate regulations, rulings, and laws.
As you become more familiar with what this country was founded on, and why up until recently we were the most-free country in the world, you will understand the sheer amount of tyranny taking place on a global scale right now.
There is no waiting. We must fight fascist, totalitarian despotism now.
Remember, your mind is your most versatile, powerful weapon.
Wield it ruthlessly.