Rights

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The root of all evil, and the false premise of every atrocity ever committed against mankind, is the sentiment that one is entitled to that which belongs to another. Hitler believed the Jews were so inferior to his own race that their lives were his to take. Every thief considers his needs or desires great enough to justify denying another person their property. A slave-owner thinks he is superior to every man in the world, and could morally subdue him to his will if he had the power. For as long as the human race has existed men have made moral claims to the lives, freedom and property of others. “Might makes right” has always been the law of the land. The strong feasted upon the weak. Kings oppressed their subjects, thieves terrorized good, hardworking people, and armies took prisoners as slaves.

Then, on July 4th 1776, the founding fathers of the United States acknowledged our God-given, inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today, the words that set us free from British control and set us on the path towards a truly free society is the word threatening to destroy the civilized world, as we know it. That word is, “rights”.

Today, we hear “rights” tossed around in an extremely casual manner. The “right” to a good education. The “right” to affordable, or even free, healthcare. The “right” to a job. The “right” to a fair wage. These “rights” are things people want the government to provide the. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize that things of value, such as healthcare and education, do not grow on trees. There are doctors and teachers who must be paid for these services to exist.

The question people do not ask themselves is: can a right be something one can purchase with money? Can I have the right to, say, a candy bar? I will admit I wish the government could guarantee me my fair share of candy bars. However, there is one thing a voter must consider before he decides to elect a politician who wants the government to pass a law that guarantees healthcare, etc.: with every right comes an obligation. Every American has the obligation to respect his fellow citizens’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what if every American had the right to housing, a job, and healthcare? Does that mean I, as an individual, am required to sell healthcare to anyone who wants it, my wishes and their ability to pay be damned?

Most will agree that all men are created with the right to their life, their liberty, and their property (i.e. the products of their life and liberty). Most will also agree that because all men have these rights, they must also have the right to protect them using physical force. Thus, the right to self-defense is born. That is how we must define “rights”. Anything which you or I can morally acquire or defend using violence is ours by nature. Can I morally defend myself from a thief? Yes. My property must be mine by right. Can I morally force my neighbor to buy me health insurance? No. Health insurance must not be mine by right.

Fortunately, people have not descended to the level of simply asserting their “right” to a product or service directly, but they have already done the next best thing: assign the dirty work to the government. The government has instituted programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits and many more to ensure every family gets the access to the basic human “rights” they need. How can people delegate a power to the government they themselves do not have? Governments derive their powers from the governed, so it is not possible for any government to have a power its constituents do not have. Would ten fifth graders voting six-to-four to steal another boy’s lunch money to pay for their food be justifiable? Of course not. Then why is three hundred million people voting to take money from a small faction of the population to pay for their healthcare justifiable?

Thousands of years ago, men gathered together and created an extension of their power to defend their natural rights, and they called that extension government. Instead of constantly worrying about their safety they chose to entrust that responsibility to a group of people whose only job was to punish infringements of any person’s rights. The people granted this government a monopoly on offensive force. The goal of government was to protect every person, big and small, against any physical harm from another. The system was extremely effective, until people figured out how to use that monopoly to further their own ends.

The actions of today’s federal government are directly set against the goals of a legitimate government. The United States Government was created to protect its citizens against violence from each other, but guaranteeing these created “rights” is turning our government inside out. Forcing people to pay for others’ pensions, healthcare, and food is theft, legalized or not. Instead of being the punisher of the violation of rights, the government has become the violator! It has become the killer, the thief, the slave-owner of the present. In the process of attempting to protect everyone from economic woes by giving them necessities for free, people have created a society where nobody has any right to anything except something another man has. My paycheck isn’t mine, but according to the government my neighbor’s is.

How will this process destroy the free world as we know it? So what if we take some money from the rich to give it to the poor? The poor need it for Christ’s sake! What a heartless, selfish 1%er I am. I just hate all poor people, and probably bunny rabbits and rainbows too. For all I know I might be all those things, but there are a few ideas I am sure of. Today, as has always been the case, there is a group of people who want to abuse the power of the government for their own objectives. These objectives may seem fair and good, but we must consider the consequences. Creating new, unnatural rights for ourselves has to violate the rights we were born with. To grant ourselves the right to healthcare, we must violate our own rights to liberty and property. If we remain on this path we will degenerate into a right-less society in which our days are spent protecting our possessions and watching for an opportunity to steal our neighbor’s. Created rights will destroy our inalienable rights. Without the rights to life, liberty, and property we are no more than savages with the means to blow each other to smithereens.





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