Rights

gavel and hammer

[Someone, somewhere said that they ‘had the right’ to be entitled to so and so…]

Rights are artificial, social constructs. You have rights only as long as you exist inside society. There is no such thing as a right to live or a right to freedom germane to being human; you simply *are* until you happen to be absorbed under the rubric of a civilization that feels it cannot function in a morally or ethically appropriate manner without granting said rights. If rights were real things of nature, carrying the real, positive connotations that we wish to ascribe to them, then bad things would happen when someone transgressed against someone else’s rights, just like bad things happen when you fall to the ground after jumping off the top of a building.

The will to life and the will to freedom, or wanting to live and wanting to be free, are things common to all men, though the two aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive. But these two values, albeit absolute in their universality, are also things that are contingent on and defined by external factors. The rights you have today might not exist tomorrow and are only functions of time and the space that you occupy at that point in time. In other words, the concept of eternal, inalienable rights is a fiction.

The only way of protecting your rights in the long term is by becoming relevant and indispensable to your larger environment, as an individual and as a group of individuals, by whatever means necessary, to the extent that the cost of trampling on your rights becomes greater to the trampler than that of simply according them to you and letting you be. Certain ideas need an active participation between both internal and external worlds for them to come to fruition; picketing and haranguing out of a sense of entitlement and not much more is wasted effort better directed elsewhere.

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5 Responses to Rights

  1. kvrdz says:

    I’d take it a step further, Rights are a Human construct. Rights, justice, truth, hell even the very idea of meaning belongs almost exclusively to the Human realm. Merely incidental to our existence as biological beings. To think of Rights as an entitlement is plain vanity.

    • Following this line of thinking to its logical, multi-branched extremes brings us to conclusions that are absolute anathema to conventional thought. It might also have rather unsavory repercussions for our own selves, if we can view it with any kind of honesty and introspection. The latter is the hard part.

  2. kvrdz says:

    If i’m reading this right, (because a lot of the time i don’t, i have comprehension issues in a manner of speaking) I have no real qualms about this thought-action (suicide among others) dichotomy, but for what it is worth i have suffered from existential depression all my life.

  3. Pingback: The need for caste | Old Disgruntled Bastard

  4. Pingback: What, after the fall? | Old Disgruntled Bastard

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