Sunday, June 10, 2012

Voltairine de Cleyre: Rights & Privileges

"Note the difference between a right and a privilege. A right, in the abstract, is a fact; it is not a thing to be given, established, or conferred; it is. Of the exercise of a right power may deprive me; of the right itself, never. Privilege, in the abstract, does not exist; there is no such thing. Rights recognized, privilege is destroyed.
But, in the practical, the moment you admit a supreme authority, you have denied rights. Practically the supremacy has all the rights, and no matter what the human race possesses, it does so merely at the caprice of that authority."

~ Voltairine de Cleyre

1 comment:

  1. As Voltairine de Cleyre would point out, a 'right' cannot be granted, but it merely "is"; that is to say, a 'right' may be recognized and respected but never granted by some other person/authority, otherwise it is not a 'right' but a 'permission'.

    If, "One has the right to freedom of association and freedom to make private contracts..." then it would seem to follow from this premise, that all persons have a right to not be interfered with, so long as they violate no other individual's right not to be interfered with. For, how can have an individual have a right to 'free association' and 'free to make private contracts' and then be forced by violence to submit to some 'public' contract, to which they are not a party?

    How can a politician, "represent" someone, who does not wish to be a party to the "representation" or political schema? How could a 'public contract' be legitimately enforced with the use of force, or the threat of force, upon an entire geographical area, without the explicit permission of individuals that supposedly have "freedom of association" and "freedom to make private contracts"?

    I would submit, that the introduction of an idea called "government" which is not unanimously consensual, creates by its introduction, a perpetual violation of rights; a government that is not entirely voluntary, requires violence to establish itself and that violence can only be a violation of any rights that persons may have. "...the moment you admit a supreme authority, you have denied rights." The moment that a concept of non-unanimous consent of rule over others (government) is admitted to the framework of ethics, human persons are ruled by the violence of others and not by any logically consistent meaning of "consent of the governed".

    Therefore, I reason, that a 'permission', is not a 'freedom'.

    "An expropriating property-protector is a contradiction in terms." ~ #Hoppe

    "Government attempts to 'prevent' a few future invasions by committing permanent invasions against everyone." ~ #Rothbard
    #rights #freedom #government #politics #violence #force
    #NAP #ethics