You Have No Rights


Paul's picture
Suverans2's picture

What if you woke up one morning, no longer believing you had a "right to life" - whatever you mean by that? It is meant by that, that you have a “just claim” to your own life. How would your life change? Then you would believe that someone or something else had a “just claim” to your life.

Some have contended that one would immediately commit suicide! Then they are confusing the “right to life” with a “will to live, a very common error. Or they somehow imagine that people would no longer defend their lives from killers, passively awaiting their fate. If a man doesn't have a “just claim” to his life then he does not have "the right to defend it". This is what happens when someone chooses to be a murderer, he loses, by forfeiture, his "right to defend his life", notwithstanding he may still try to do so. Of course neither of these stand up to a second's examination; humans, like any animals, fought for survival long before they got the notion into their heads that there is any such thing as a "right to life." The desire to live is programmed into us about as deeply as any tendency can be. Here we see the “right to life” is being confused with the “desire to live”.

I have seen someone contend that this will to live is itself the "right to life." Here again we are confusing the “right to life” with the “will to live”. Of course, since all animals have the same drive, then they all must have a "right to life," just like the PETA folks claim. Would anyone here say, it is “wrong” for an animal to try to defend its life? I wonder if the people who make this claim are all vegans? Probably, but so what? Anyway, conflating ["mixing together two DIFFERENT elements"] the "right to life" with the will to live serves no purpose. Finally, it is admitted, the “right to life” and the “will to live” are two DIFFERENT elements!! We might as well just call it a will to live, which is less confusing to observers, if nothing else. As you just admitted, they are two DIFFERENT elements, so they cannot logically be called by the same name. Saying the "right to life" is the same as the will to live is saying there is no point in talking about any such "right." No, saying the “right to life” is the same as the “will to live” is calling an apple an orange. A murderer forfeits his “right to [defend his] life”, but he may still have the “will to live”.

Some might think that if the "right to life" goes away, then the "right to bear arms" (which depends on it) also disappears, and that we will be disarmed immediately. That is legalistic, statist reasoning. We can only ever be disarmed if we agree to be. It's not for the state to decide. The “right to bear arms” DOES NOT depend on the “right to life”; that is totally illogical. The “right to LAWFULLY defend one's life” depends on the “right to life”. It is because one has a “just claim” to his own life, that he may rightfully defend it.

If you woke up one morning no longer believing the "right to life" meme, [meme noun: a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) The “right to life” is not a “cultural” right, it is a "natural" right] your life would not change at all in the broad strokes, as an artist might say, or in the first approximation, as a physicist might say. You'd still go about your business as before. Your religion, i.e. your “beliefs”, have no real bearing on whether you have a “right to life”. Nope, no suicide. This, again, confuses the “right to life” with the “will to live”; and as you have already pointed out, they are not the same element.

However, around the edges, things might well change.

For example, no longer believing this phantasm "right to life" is out there somehow protecting you, you might take a little more responsibility to defend your life on your own. What do you mean “your life”, if you don't believe you have a “just claim” to your own life, then it is not “your” life to defend. DEFEND, v.t. 1. To drive from; to thrust back; hence, to deny; to repel a demand, charge, or accusation; to oppose; to resist; the effect of which is to maintain ones own claims ["rights"]. You might actually go out and buy that gun, rather than just thinking about it. “This is my weapon, this is my gun, this if for shooting, this is for fun.” Or if you have a gun already, you might practice with it more, and ensure your family members know how to use their guns as well. You might be a little more careful about the people with whom you associate (since most murder victims know their murderers); or live in a safer part of town. You might try to be nicer to those with whom you do choose to associate, to reduce their possible anger with you--polite society might make a comeback. You might stay away from things like drug deals, which in our Prohibition era have a higher likelihood of going bad and resulting in murder. There can be no such thing as “murder” if there is no “right to life”. Can we not see that? You might take more effort to get the hell out of a country that is turning on you (e.g. Jews in Nazi Germany).

If you examine the previous list, it looks like these effects, by and large, are positive things. Thus, giving up on the "right to life" meme [the “right to life” is not a “cultural” right, it is a "natural" right] has a positive result on one's life! It is because you have a “right to life", that is to say, it is because you have a “just claim” to your life that makes defending it “right”.

The less credit people give to this notion of rights, the less credibility there will be for memes that mimic the supposed "real" rights (negative rights)--the positive ones. That is, if the expression of a "right to life" draws guffaws, then how far will other people get expressing a "right to health care" or a "right to free schooling"? Confusion reigns – “health care” and “free schooling” are NOT “natural rights”, they are “entitlements”. Positive rights are clearly supported by the notion of rights in general. Withdraw that support, and they fall also. How wonderful could our world be if the majority of people doubted there was any right at all to rob their neighbor for some supposed social good? If it was considered robbery, plain and simple, with no justification? Again, “religion” has nothing to do with “rights”. In other words, just because someone “believes” they have the right to steal does not make it true. There can be no such thing a "robbery" without the "natural right to justly acquired property".

When you dig into this, you begin to realize that the meme of "rights" [civil, political and religious rights are “memes”, natural rights are not “cultural”] is much beloved by the state and its minions. The “state and its minions" love “civil and political rights” and “entitlements”, or so-called “right to benefits”, which they use to buy votes with. The “state and its minions” hate, with a vengeance, the “natural rights”, because "natural law" forbids anyone, even "the servile fawning dependents" (minions) of government, from taking your life, liberty and justly acquired property without your consent. That should give pause to anarchists, I would think. That should "give pause" those who "consent" [to be "citizens"], I should think. Fighting for rights is doing battle on the enemy's favored ground. Only if one is confused as to what “rights” he is fighting for. Jeff Snyder has commented on this: " fight for the establishment of rights or for recognition of rights by one's government involves tacit subordination to the state." Jeff's first mistake is calling it his government. His second mistake is thinking that he has “to fight for the establishment of rights”, since our natural rights are innate. innate, adjective: present at birth but not necessarily hereditary; acquired during fetal development. And, his third error is believing that demanding “recognition” of his “natural rights” somehow involves “subordination to the state” – it does not.

Now, I can understand there might be some fear that, if people generally gave up the meme of a "right to life," The “right to life” is not a “cultural” right, it is a “natural” right. that life might become cheap, and murders much more frequent. Again, there can be no such thing as “murder” without a “right to life”. We can examine that possibility and see.

Assume for a moment that the per-capita murder rate is described by an equation something like this:
M = m / (p + q + r + s + …)
where "M" is the murder rate in society, "m" the murder rate in a "state of nature," and all the other factors are the things that restrain murder. They include such factors as social disapproval of murderers, an inculcated or acculturated rejection of murder, a worry that if one murders then one might be caught by the state or by another gang, a worry one might be murdered back by the victim's family, worry that the victim may defend himself and kill the murderer, and so forth. All the possible factors that might restrain murder. Among them is a general belief that people have a "right to life." And, again, there can be no such thing as “murder” without a “right to life”, and virtually all those "factors" the author listed are based on this "right". "The Philosophy of Liberty is based on the principal of Self-Ownership", i.e. the "right", or "just claim", to one's own life.

We don't know the exact equation, but it should resemble this one. So, removal of this meme of a "right to life" The “right to life” is not "cultural", it is "natural"! This author seems to be addicted to this word “meme”. would seem to increase the murder rate some. Again, and again, and again, there can be no such thing as “murder” without a “right to life”.

But notice, these are not independent variables. I alluded to it earlier; if someone stops believing in a right to life, one naturally compensates by buying a gun. Oh, for crying out loud! The removal of a "right to life" may in fact decrease the overall murder rate due to these other compensating factors. THERE CAN BE NO SUCH THING AS “MURDER” IF THERE IS NO “RIGHT TO LIFE” -- END OF STORY! What if the gun ownership rate doubled in this country, and everybody carried? Would not this make crime untenable? Would government, the most murderous agency in history, be even less inclined to impose on us or kill us? It was the Jews' belief in a "right to life" that got them killed in Nazi Germany, as much as anything, because they worked under the delusion they were protected when they really weren't. They would not have permitted themselves to be disarmed, absent this belief; and not being disarmed, would not have been victimized to near the extent they were. This is getting tiresome! This author is once again confusing the “right to life” with a “right to live”. (To expand this point, they would not have registered their guns in the first place, thus allowing easy subsequent disarmament.)

I have to laugh at libertarians and anarchists depending on the murderous state to defend their life via the "right to life," and even more so depending on the "right to property" as they dutifully pay their taxes (surrender their property). If they are depending on the state to defend their lives and property then they are members of the body politic and ought to pay their taxes. I guess that means there is only a "right to a state-determined amount of property," eh? If you are a “citizen”, i.e. a subject of the state, then the state owns all your property.
Cujus est commodum ejus debet esse incommodum. He who receives the benefit should also bear the disadvantage.
Quicpuid acquiritur servo, acquiritur domino. Whatever is acquired by the servant, is acquired for the master. 15 Bin. Ab. 327.
″The ultimate ownership of all property is in the State: individual so-called ‘ownership’ is only by virtue of Government, i.e. law amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.″ ~ Senate Document No. 43, 73rd Congress, 1st Session. (Brown v. Welch supra)

The real reason to stop believing, is that "there is no there, there" (as Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland). There is nothing protecting you. The only way the “right to life” protects you is that it gives you the “right to defend your life”. Ever hear of the “right of self-defense” or “justifiable homocide"? justifiable homocide n. a killing without evil or criminal intent, for which there can be no blame, such as self-defense to protect oneself or to protect another... It is a phantasm, just a meme There's that damn word again! in our heads "Natural rights" are NOT "cultural".--not a very useful one at that--which the state violates with astounding regularity. How can you say that the state "violates" something which you say does not exist? Stop believing in this statist propaganda, folks. Please, show us all some “statist propaganda” promoting “natural rights”. If you want protection, then protect yourself, or join with others in a voluntary association to do it. If you want property, have enough that can be protected with your gun, or by your friends with guns. Understanding your “natural rights” does not magically negate protecting your life, liberty and justly acquired property, they are what make it “right” [lawful] for you to do so, and it is precisely because you have the "natural right" to try to protect your life, liberty and justly acquired property that your "friends" may choose to help you.

That's not to say that you can't ever use the state to help you in this protection, but keep in mind that doing so is exactly like employing the Mafia to protect you. Yeah, sometimes it will come out your way, but the cost will be high. And they are not the most reliable folks to depend on, and will turn on you when it suits them. Oh, and never forget that protection implies submission. Finally, this author gets something right, (although, unfortunately, I can't say the same for the attached article).
Protectio trahit subjectionem, subjectio projectionem. Protection draws to it subjection, subjection, protection. Co. Litt. 65.

Suverans2's picture

Can't watch the video on dial-up, but let me word that title another way, "You Have No 'Just Claim' To Anything", so we can see what it is truly stating.

It is precisely because we do have a “natural” right, i.e. a “just claim” to certain things, (life, liberty and justly acquired property), that makes it “wrong”, even for the government, to take them without the owner's consent.

However, if one consents to be, or remain, a voluntary member of the "Country Club", i.e. a U.S. citizen, then that person apparently does not have a "legal" right to anything.

″The ultimate ownership of all property is in the State: individual so-called ‘ownership’ is only by virtue of Government, i.e. law amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.″ ~ Senate Document No. 43, 73rd Congress, 1st Session. (Brown v. Welch supra)

On the other hand, "If he chooses to depend, for the protection of his own rights, solely upon himself, and upon such voluntary assistance as other persons may freely offer to him when the necessity for it arises, he has a perfect right to do so. And this course would be a reasonably safe one for him to follow, so long as he himself should manifest the ordinary readiness of mankind, in like cases, to go to the assistance and defence of injured persons; and should also himself "live honestly, hurt no one, and give to every one his due." For such a man is reasonably sure of always giving friends and defenders enough in case of need, whether he shall have joined any association, or not."

Suverans2's picture

Finally got to watch it, (and transcribe it if any other dial-ups here would like a copy send me a pm).

It seems that George didn't know that there were different kinds of rights, coming from different sources. The only two types that he specifically talked about in his skit were civil rights and entitlements (the so-called "right to benefits"), both of which are benefits of being a citizen/subject. He made not the slightest mention of any of our natural rights, the right to life, liberty or justly acquired property.

He made my blood boil when he made this monumentally ignorant statement, "Folks, I hate to spoil your fun, BUT there's no such thing as rights, okay? They're imaginary, we made them up, like the Boogeyman..." There's no such thing as a "just claim" to our life, liberty and justly acquired property??? And the idiots in that audience applauded madly!

I applauded when he said, "And rights aren't rights if someone can take 'em away. They're privileges." That is correct, George, if they can be taken away they are not "rights", they are "privileges". "Rights" can never be lawfully taken away, they can only be forfeited by the holder; "privileges" are the benefits that individuals receive with membership, they can be, and have been, taken away.

And, I applauded madly near the end of that clip when he told his audience, "Sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize the government does not give a f--k about them. The government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare, or your safety, it simply doesn't give a f--k about you. It's interested in its own power, that's the only thing, keeping it and expanding it wherever possible."

Anyone here happen to catch the end of that little skit? It shows, IMO, how screwed up George's thinking on rights really was.

"Personally, when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true, I think we either have UNLIMITED RIGHTS, or, we have no rights at all. Personally, I lean toward unlimited rights. I feel, for instance, I have the right to do anything I please...BUT, if I do something you don't like, I think you have the right to kill me. So where you gonna find a fairer f--kin' deal than that? So the next time some asshole says to ya', “I have a right to my opinion”, you say, “Oh yeah? Well, I have a right to my opinion, and my opinion is, you have no right to your opinion.” Then shoot the f--k and walk away."

I'm probably odd, but I don't think any of that is, in the least bit, funny.