What Are “Rights”, anyway?
Rights are intangibles: can’t be seen; have no substance in reality but they exist.
How can people talk about something that is not only invisible but without substance? Rights exist as ideas, as concepts. There are many concepts that have no physical form, like “good”, “evil” and “good will”. Some intangibles can be “concretized”. They can be constructed into something real. Rights are “concretized” in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amenments to the Constitution.
Rights are intellectual inventions. They place Government and Cultures under moral law by being used to control power. Power is Force. It’s Rights against Power. Rights to offset Power and Rights as the moral authority needed to control Power. Government does not need Rights because Government has the exclusive use of legal force, legal power. Power trumps rights as a practical matter since power is real and temporal. Power exists in the form of orce. Bigger people can force smaller people act as they command and Rights are the way to control a bigger person. Governments use armies; police; judges; and government in general to force people to do as the government decides shold be done. People need something to control power and that’s the basis for Rights.
Rights are used most often to control government. That’s the most important use of rights.
Rights exist just as other intangibles exist, and we can know them because they have a definition and a description. They are “concepts”.
Concepts are “mental integrations of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition”. Thanks, Ayn Rand “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”
Most of the political problems of the world are because of the lack of respect for as well as the purposeful deconstruction and destruction of Rights.
Rights do not have responsibilities attached to them. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, Rights are “inalienable”, – intrinsic with the person. Some say Rights are “Unalienable, not able to be seperated.
Duty Free and Without Responsibility
Both descriptions show there is nothing needed to have Rights. Rights exist when there is an individual because the descriptions include Rights as part of the nature of an individual. There is nothing that must be done to have Rights. No duties need to be performed; no money needs to be paid, no test has to be passed and no resposibility is attached to be able to claim the protection of Rights. Rights exist because you exist.
But those who desire to destroy the protections of Rights have sucessfully watered down the idea of Rights. Everything it seems has rights. From bears to beans, and most importantly government is said to have Rights
How were “Rights Lost?:
The Night is Black. There is no Moon. Everything’s Gone Wrong.
What Should We Do? Elect Bill O’Neill