December 23, 2009

Inherent rights

I have something to say and I don't want to use my Christmas post to say it, so I am going to say it now.

Rights are inherent. You can call them, "unalienable". You can call them, "god-given". You can even call them, "natural". Every label is irrelevant. In the same manner as the rose and duck, rights exist irrespective of any human attempt to define them. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it or see it, the tree has still fallen. Rights exist irrespective of culture, conditioning, education, or ability.

1> You have the right to life.
2> You have the right to ownership.
3> You have the right to defend your life and the things you own.

No one can take these rights away from you. They can punish you for exercising them. They can legislate against them. They can kill you when you stand up to lay claim to them. None of that changes anything. You cannot give these rights away. They are a part and parcel of being human. They are yours from the moment of conception until the moment of death.

Here is the key: you and you alone are responsible for protecting and preserving those rights. Before you can protect them, you must learn the difference between a right, a freedom, and a privilege.

A right: You have the right to life.
A freedom: You deserve the freedom to live your life according to your own values.
A privilege: If you live in a modern, industrialized society based on democratic principles, then you have the privilege of participating in the processes that assist you in defending your rights.

These are not the same. No one can change your right to life. They can limit it, they can kill you, or they can ignore you, but they cannot change the simple fact that if you are alive, you have the right to live. If they do limit your life, or take your life, then they have violated the most fundamental of all inherent rights. This and this alone is why abortion is such a controversy. The unborn child has the right to live, but under current laws the mother has the right to kill her unborn child. Why? Because the mother also has the right to her life and the freedom to live her life as she chooses, therefore, the law has decided that the mother's right to determine her own destiny is, for the moment, greater than the child's right to life.

No. I do not agree with the law. However, it is the law. As long as it remains the law, I will not attempt to force a woman to give birth to a child she does not want. In any conflict of rights the law and prevailing culture must determine priorities. Also, the society in question must have the right to negotiate those priorities in a way that preserves the rights of the majority. Sadly, unborn children will never be a majority and will never have the opportunity to participate in the negotiation. This is a simple reality that we all must accept if we are going to have a reasonable negotiation about whether we will keep the current culture or exchange it for something new.

You have the right to own. That includes land, possessions, resources, and the products of your labor. You have every right to own the things you work for, and no right to anything not earned by your own labor and creativity. If you have the ability to buy land, then you have the right to own private property and to use that property how you see fit up until your use of that land infringes on your neighbor's enjoyment of their private property. Environmental laws, fair-use laws, zoning laws, deed restrictions, and so on, are designed to preserve the rights of your neighbors. When those laws conflict with your intended use, you have the right to negotiate changes. Not to secure changes, but to negotiate changes. It is always possible you will lose the negotiation.

Because you have the right to life and the right to ownership, you also have the right to defend both. After all, neither right is worth anything without the third. The greatest problem, the crisis our world is now facing, is the existence of a culture of elitism which has decided you possess none of these rights. To their way of thinking, you have no rights at all because in their minds, you are not human!

Do you understand this? Behind cap and trade, behind healthcare reform, behind gun and knife control laws, behind laws preserving the rights of criminals over and above the rights of their victims, lies the assumption that you are not human, therefore, you do not have the same rights as the elite. These people honestly believe that because you do not have their education, their wealth, their family history, or their position in society, you are not human.

There is only one person who can change their perception and that person is you.

If you accept the enslavement they are offering you through welfare, nationalized healthcare, nationalized pension plans, union membership, lifetime employment, and so on, then you are reinforcing their perception that you are not human and not in possession of the same inherent rights that they themselves possess.

Fortunately, you can change their perception. However, to do so you will have to make some sacrifices. For starters, you will have to stop watching television and start improving your skills. Find a local community college and take some classes. Find a local technical school and acquire a skill. Take correspondence courses. Stop entertaining yourself and start educating yourself. Dedicate your life to self-improvement and through that self-improvement, demonstrate once and for all that you are unwilling to accept the elitist classification of yourself as something less than human.

As long as you are willing to passively accept their perception, their perception will remain. As long as their perception remains, they will work tirelessly to restrict or remove your inherent rights to life, ownership, and self-defense.

The problem with liberty is that if you have the freedom to succeed, you must also have the freedom to fail. The problem with giving up the freedom to fail is that in order to do so you must also sacrifice the freedom to succeed. Like time and space, liberty and success are co-existent and independent. You must have liberty in order to define success just as you must have time in order to define space. Every loss of liberty limits success, just as loss of time limits perceivable space.

In order to succeed you must fight to preserve your liberty. In order to defend your liberty, you must understand exactly what it is you are defending. Life, ownership, self-defense. These are the core issues. If we sacrifice them, we become slaves.