Individuals possess rights because of which there are things that no person and no group or institution may rightfully do to each individual. To do them is to be in violation of those rights — which is to say, it is to be in the wrong.
One proof of rights is found in the fact that the only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission. Please ask yourself: whose permission? And who gives permission to those whose permission you’re acting under and to the people above them and then to the ones above them and so on? And why?
If the government says that one business can be open — let’s say a coffeeshop or a liquor store — but not another (a restaurant, for example, or a bar), these businesses and the individuals who own and operate them are all acting and operating not by right but purely by governmental permission.
Rights by definition can only belong to individuals — not groups — since it is only individuals who compose any group or so-called collective. Rights legally recognize, systematize, and guarantee your freedom and independence as an individual human being.
Independence is autonomy. It is the freedom to govern yourself and to rely upon your own independent judgment.
Independence is the freedom to express your own individuality.
When humans are left free, humans invent, innovate, create, exchange — humans freely associate, which in turns creates more innovation, more invention, more idea generation, more creation. In this precise way, freedom — the freedom to live and to produce and to keep the fruits of what you produce — creates prosperity and goodwill among human beings.
An adversary ethic and an adversary epistemology — i.e. a government governing not by consent but by consensus and force, and knowledge gained neither by processing relevant data, nor by the hierarchy of facts and by context but by consensus — these undercut the process of learning and functioning, negating human goodwill and human prosperity thereby.
What in the final analysis is freedom?
In its most fundamental form, freedom has only one meaning: freedom is the omission of force.
Freedom is the absence of coercion.
Freedom simply means that you are left alone.
It means that each and every individual — regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, color, class, creed, gender, brawn, beauty or any other non-defining human characteristic — each possesses the absolute right to her own life, and only her own life.
The thing that distinguishes the free person from the unfree person is voluntary action versus action that is compelled.
Freedom, like rights, is one of these things that virtually everyone believes in — that is, until everyone finds out what freedom actually means. And then almost no one believes in it.
The difficult thing for many people to grasp and accept about freedom is that it doesn’t actually guarantee much of anything. It doesn’t guarantee success or happiness, or shelter, or a certain income, or food, or healthcare, or a “level playing field,” or a level training field, or anything else that must ultimately derive from the production or labor of others. Freedom means only that you are free to pursue these things and that if you achieve them, they are yours unalienably, which in turns means: they cannot be taken, transferred, revoked, or made alien.
It is, for example, simple for most people to think and say that you have the right to a job, or the right to healthcare, or the right to free housing and so on. But it’s much more difficult to fully believe what this implies: namely, that you have the right to the knowledge and labor and life of other human beings. Because you do not. Nobody does.
The IHME is meanwhile suddenly realizing that Farr’s Law won’t be subverted — not even by the Wuhan virus or the panic it created — and that the virus is fading fast. And yet they nevertheless need to find a way to declare victory. Please don’t be fooled, not for a moment: the idea that “social distancing” (so-called) can eliminate a virus is one-hundred percent pseudoscience. It’s also a kind of lunacy. As is the notion that a cloth mask can somehow stop an aerosol virus, which it cannot.