Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What the Hell are Rights Anyway?

That's all we hear these days:  Rights, freedom of speech, right to life, right to bear arms, liberty, natural rights, religion, 4th amendment rights, etc.   My rights, your rights...  Rights. 

Imagine this… A right is the ultimate fiction, nothing more than an abstract idea propagated by men along with “the law” to control men and induce them to act in a certain way within a society. There are no rights in the natural world, only constant struggle. You are endowed by your creator or nature not with rights, but only your five senses and various characteristics or skills such as speed, agility, endurance, and intellect to assist you in that struggle.   Life exists only as long as you can successfully use those senses and apply those characteristics in struggle or join with others to avoid or ward off conflict with anything bigger and badder that has a compulsion or desire to deprive you of it.

The Constitution is nothing more than a pact between mere mortal men to collaborate in a group effort to protect each other’s lives, liberty and property from those forces, both foreign and domestic, wishing to deprive them.  It has been and always will be under attack and is only as good as our mutual continued support to engage in the struggle to defend it to preserve equality, justice, and fairness for all.

An intriging parallel can be drawn between the Battle at Kruger in the embedded video below and the concept of rights and the struggle of interactions between the federal and state governments and the people.  Watch it, think, and then let's discuss.


(Updates )
17 Mar 2013 - Adding this link The Right to Life - From the blog of Philip Schuyler.  Interesting thoughts worth a look.


  1. Whew! That is one AMAZING video! The idea of herd animals "going for help" and then bringing back the herd for a concerted attack on a group of predators is something I would never have thought possible. A mother defending her young DURING an attack, yes, but getting help and then pushing the attack? Whew!

    - Michael

  2. I see the buffalo as the general population, strong in number but mostly weak at heart except for rare individuals who will strike back at agression only once in a while. Even though the lot of them could easily trample the lions into pulp with their numbers, they are afraid to get a scratch.
    The lions and the crocodiles are like the ruling class and the financial class. They take what they want, when they want it, and they don't let an oppurtunity to propser get by them. The government and the banks work side by side when it benefits them, but in the end they are in it for themsleves only. Lions and crocs are agressive, talented, and smart. They can take from the cattle what they wish when they wish, and the cattle mostly let them get away with it. The cattle just don't know any better.
    Inalienable human rights are a key founding concept necessary for a population to live, grow and prosper. Tyranny against the weak and ignorant is an evil that must be kept in check, but most sheeple don't bother standing up for themselves, which is a key component in having rights to begin with. Rights will always be under some form attack, and if the people that they are meant to protect cannot or will not protect themselves and invoke their own protections, then who will? If you are content to get drunk and watch TV instead of holding the taxman to account, I guess then you must be okay with him slicing into your wallet from time to time.
    The lesson we can take from the video above is that there is one true nature of the world, even though we fool ourselves into believing that we are civilized and educated: Mother Nature is not some warm, kind, gentle, benevolent spirit that looks after us and guides us and keeps us happy. Mother Nature is s BITCH and it is feeding time out there 24/7. Human nature is human nature. You need, therefore you take. Most take by earning, some take by stealing. Either way, we need, so we must aquire. The funny part of the liberal-progressive-socialist mentality is that they routinely ignore human nature when they propose (impose) their utopic idealism. If everybody played by the same rules, socialism and communism would be swell, for all of us. But human nature creeps in, and we are left to deal with people who take too much from the system and don't give enough in return. Under stress, the natural system will naturally self-correct. But a flawed system ignorant of founding principles and premise will fail. This is why, at least in this verse, capitalism coupled with a representative republic will flourish. Communism, socialism, and other repressive states will have a shelf life.
    The lions and crocodiles of our world will never stop being hungry. But if we let them gorge themselves, waste and abuse our resources and allow them to strain the food chain, they will, in the end, destroy us while they slowly commit suicide.

  3. @Anonymous - Yes, that's a pretty good summation. A larger part of my point that there is no such thing as rights is that people I hear demanding their rights are the first ones to say there should be a law which deprives others of their rights. The concept of rights and the rule of law are worthless unless all are subject to them equally.

    For example, someone claims rights to his own property but doesn't care about the infringement on the business owner when the state imposes a smoking ban on how he can use his property only serves to diminish his own claim to property rights. Or one claims the 4th amendment is inviolate, yet they barely bat an eye at the growing number of swat team raids on the homes of non-violent offenders perpetrating such victimless crimes as daring to use a marijuana leaf.

    We'll only preserve our rights if we stand up together and fight for the rights of the weakest among us like those buffalo did and not let the state divide and conquer us one at a time.

    Yes, those buffalo are afraid to get a scratch for that can mean life or death out in the wild just as many of us are afraid to stand up for others against state aggression because of the tremendous amount of impact it can have on our lives and our families.

  4. @Michael - Glad you liked it and darn good to see you again after all these years. Hope all is well and looking forward to catching up with you on how the battles are going.

  5. Very interesting discussion, Frank, and spot-on IMHO.
    Glad to see you putting your worthy ideas into the cauldron of political/social debate.

  6. Thanks, Bot. This was just a teaser to get people thinking.

    My concern, as I indicated some time ago on your blog with the example of property rights and the anti-smoking movement, is that so many people feel their property rights are practically inviolate as they simultaneously voice opinions that it's acceptable to use the state to deprive others of certain property rights for the public good without much thought how severely it diminishes their own rights.

    Then there is speech and the fairness doctrine (which will never die the death that it deserves) and the wonderful FCC. One small area with such far reaching implications along with so many examples in which whole books can be written on each. There's going to definitely be much more here on this subject as I gather more info to hopefully put something somewhat coherent together. Perhaps that can be my niche here where I want to bring this.

    Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

  7. You know, it occurred to me that the little buffalo being fought over could be an analogy for a "right" itself. We only maintain what we are willing to fight for and win. It matters not who is on the moral side of any issue. The only thing that matters is how much you are willing to give in order to protect what you hold dear. People have become accustomed to the lack of liberty by a slow erosion, so they don't notice what was never there. The buffalo was taken abruptly, so it was noticed immediately. Our rights, on the other hand...

    I think folks should frame this question in their head each and every time they cast a vote or decide to back a particular policy: "Does this increase liberty or decrease it?"

    Just thinking out loud.

    Have yourself a great weekend, my friend.

  8. That's excellent thinking, Bot. Indeed, it is only to whatever extent you are willing to defend what you hold dear, thus the struggle. Even with that big herd, individual buffalo were still cautious. As you rightly identified, the government is so big and such a pervasive force in so many miniscule aspects of our daily lives that we often don't see the slow and steady usurpation of our rights sneaking up from the blind side until it is too late.

    I was also trying to get that point across that we think of these things called rights in concrete terms as "endowed by our creator" and "inalienable" can be viewed as a fiction that lulls us into a mindset that we don't have to do much to preserve our interests, but what does that really mean? The founding fathers wrote that in the Declaration to a specific audience for a specific purpose and through that we are indoctrinated to think government is supposed to protect them for us, while instead, they modify them to please the wheel that squeaks loudest as in the "tyranny of the majority" that democracy embodies. I'm sure there were numerous other missives flying across the ocean for each little infraction until it reached that tipping point, many that we are unaware of today just like all those to our representatives in the beltway that similarly go unheeded because they're too small in number for each individual infraction.

    That Declaration was signified that diplomacy was over and it was time to take physical action, the commencement of the struggle to re-assert the existance of those "inalienable" rights. The resultant Constitution after hostilities ended was the vehicle created to build that new government as described in the Declaration as follows:

    "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    They knew that no system they could ever create was infallible in the hands of men. There is no doubt that our current system no longer operates under that rule of law set forth in the enumerated powers and the bill of rights where all men and their actions are to be judged equally with no prejudice. This system itself isn't broke, but the people who work within it are colluding to game it.

    The lions, crocodiles, and buffalo all hold what that calf represents dear. Just like the people, the states, and the federal government. It was nourishment for the predators and the future of the herd for the buffalo. Again, it goes back to the concept of inalienable rights in absence of struggle, as the federal and state governments fight over our blood and that of our children.

    They, like predators in the wild, divide and conquer. Just look at the growing number of swat team raids across the US (which will be the subject of my next post). The rest of the herd looks on and thinks they had it coming for straying from the herd. Meanwhile, that's one less able body here and there to help fight off the predators come for them in a smaller herd.

    But I wander... Just thinking aloud myself to get my train of thought for further writings in this area. Thanks again for stopping by and for your support. I'm really happy that video has you thinking like that about this very important topic. It gives me a little feeling of repaying some of the debt owed for your urging me to start this effort. Both the video and you have really induced a lot of thought in me.

    Have a great weekend yourself, Bot, my good friend!