All Rights Are Individual, All Rights Are Human, All Right Are Universal
  • This is in response to Hillary Clinton’s post from today (December 14th, 2023) in which she and her puppeteers write the following, among many other misbegotten inanities:

    The world had agreed to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion and the right to education, food, shelter, national identity, work for pay, and travel. It declared torture, arbitrary detention, slavery, and involuntary servitude violations of human rights. All had the right to a fair trial, to seek asylum, and to marry. All shared the responsibility to build communities respectful of “free and full development” of one’s personality.

    Notice first and last that neither Clinton nor her puppeteers describe freedom of speech, assembly, and religion as a right, which they are, but as something “agreed to.”

    Notice next what they do describe as a right.

    Ask yourself: where does the right to education go if there is no one to educate? where does your right to food go if there’s no one to produce your food? where does your right to shelter go if there’s no one to build your shelter? of what stuff does your right to  “national identity” exist? where is your right to “work for pay” if there’s no one to provide you with work? where does your right to travel go if there’s no means by which to travel?

    Ask yourself: where is your right to healthcare if there’s no one there to provide it?

    Where is your right to a lung transplant if there’s no one able to donate a lung and no person with the expertise required to perform a lung transplant?

    Where is your right to be cured of an incurable illness?

    Ask yourself: how do Hillary and her puppeteers rationalize writing about “universal human rights” while simultaneously praising regimes which, right now, in December of 2023, legally practice slavery?

    Ask yourself.

    Think for yourself.

    The concept of justice is inseparable from the concept of rights. The words are deeply interwoven and interconnected — linguistically, legally, lexically, historically, epistemologically.

    The word “justice” derives from the Latin word jūstitia, which means “rightness” or “righteous.” Jūstitia in turn derives from an even deeper antecedent — and with it the idea of rights: both terms were built upon a now little-known concept which composes the first three letters of the words jūstitia and justice.

    Quoting historian J. Stuart Jackson:

    “Rights come from the Ancient Roman concept of jus which is wider than that of positive law laid down by authority, and denotes an order morally binding on the members of the community.”

    In the old Roman sense, the term right, synonymous with jus, meant “that which is morally just” — which is to say, that which is moral or morally justified.

    Human beings can and often do breach or infringe the rights of other human beings, but this fact, far from arguing against the validity of rights, as it’s sometimes supposed, discloses instead the true and fundamental nature of rights, grounding rights in the facts of reality thereby — the facts of reality that give rise to rights:

    Human beings can and indeed do breach and infringe the rights of other human beings, but to do so is not right. It is wrong.

    It’s neither mere accident nor mere semantic happenstance that the word wrong is the antonym of right in this context as well.


    Rights are a formal codification of human freedom.

    Rights particularize the concept of freedom.

    A right is any act or action which can be performed or exercised without another’s consent or permission.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    Right specify the freedom with which you and I as an individuated human beings are born.

    Rights explicitly codify the fact that no other person or institution has rightful jurisdiction over the person or property of another individual human being.

    Justice (also sometimes known as proportionality or equity) is nothing more or less than the full legal recognition and protection of each and every individual’s right to her own life and property — and only her own life and property.

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term rights as “A justifiable claim, on legal or moral grounds, to have or obtain something, or to act in a certain manner.”

    Freedom in a politico-economic sense is one thing only: it is the absence of state coercion.

    Human freedom is the omission of state coercion and governmental force.

    Human freedom in this sense, the actual sense, guarantees you nothing much of anything at all: neither success, nor wealth, nor a universal basic income, nor clothing, nor shelter, nor food, nor healthcare, nor education, nor a level playing field, nor a level training field, nor even an equal opportunity. (This last thing is as crucial as it’s crucially gotten wrong.)

    Freedom guarantees you nothing much of anything except for the one and only thing that ultimately matters: it guarantees you that you are left alone and that this inviolable condition of being left alone is legally protected — legally and in full — and ratified by written document. So that you’re free to act and interact voluntarily and consensually with any and all fellow human-beings who voluntarily and consensually agree to act and interact with you. You are guaranteed freedom from the coercive power of the state.

    That is the one and only thing which true human freedom assures each of us: that we are left alone, free from government compulsion, coercion, force.

    Everything else that human-beings need to survive and prosper, whether food, clothing, shelter, income, healthcare, education, money, and all the rest, comes about not by right, since nature doesn’t assure any creature (the human creature included) of automatic survival or prosperity, but by voluntary, consensual human action and interaction — all of which is another way of saying: human cooperation freely engaged in — free from authoritarian coercion, free from state force.

    This is also called the harmony principle.

    The harmony principle stands in diametric opposition to the conflict doctrine, which was popularized but by no means invented by Karl Marx.

    Critical Race Theory (so-called) is a Neo-Marxist adaptation of the conflict doctrine.

    There are many, many other adaptations — as the popularity of the word “Democracy” totally testifies, without regard to its actual meaning: Vox-populi, also known as mob rule.

    The conflict doctrine is a doctrine of envy.

    The primary purpose of any and every strain and variation of the conflict doctrine — from the dawn of human history right up to the present day — is to obliterate the human impulse to true knowledge, true learning, true good-will, and peace upon earth among human-beings.

    The primary purpose and motive of any and all variations of the conflict doctrine is to sow confusion, strife, envy.

    The harmony principle, I repeat, stands in insurmountable opposition to the conflict doctrine.

    The conflict doctrine is a false and deadly doctrine, as history has proven over and over and over again, as history is yet again proving at this very moment while I write these words.


    The only alternative to human freedom as I’ve just described it is some form of command-and-control the mutations and permutations of which are endless:

    Bureaucrats, agents of the state, permitting (or not permitting) individual human-beings to exist but only on the condition that we each as individual human-beings exist not as we ourselves see fit but exclusively in the way the state, whether by means of “majority rule” (i.e. mob rule), deems we must.

    This order of affairs is also called slavery, which, incidentally, is still to this day legally practiced in many different countries around the world — countries whose governments are often praised by western elites like Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Barack Obama’s “Director of Communications” Anita Dunn (and her husband, who was one of Obama’s lawyers), Joe Biden, and of course Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who infamously spoke out in public about how much he admires China’s “top-down style of government.”

    Unquote.

    The following is from World Population Review:

    One-hundred-sixty-seven countries in the world today still practice slavery, affecting about forty-six million individual human-beings on planet earth. Six of these countries have significantly higher numbers:

    India (18.4 million slaves)

    China (3.4 million slaves)

    Pakistan (2.1 million slaves)

    Bangladesh (1.5 million slaves)

    Uzbekistan (1.2 million slaves)

    North Korea (1.1 million slaves)

    Other countries that have significantly high slave populations are Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Egypt, Myanmar, Iran, Turkey, and Sudan.

    (Link)


    The primary thing that distinguishes the free person from the unfree person is voluntary, consensual action versus action that is coerced or compelled.

    Acts of coercion and compulsion may be brought about by majority-rule, which is also known as Vox-poplui democracy, or they may be brought about by authoritarian command-and-control.

    The procedures and processes in any and every such case are irrelevant to the end result, because the end result is identical: state-sanctioned force and governmental coercion.


    Consensual, voluntary human action hinges upon the principle of individual rights:

    Are we each free to live as we choose, provided we do not infringe upon the equal rights of others?

    Or are we not?

    The most fundamental politico-economic question is this:

    Do we rightfully have jurisdiction over ourselves, or do others rightfully have jurisdiction over us?


    Ultimately there’s only one way to infringe another’s rights, and that is through the instigation of coercion and force.

    Quoting the 19th century politico-economic philosopher Auberon Herbert:

    Nobody has the moral right to seek his own advantage by force. That is the one unalterable, inviolable condition of a true society. Whether we are many, or whether we are few, we must learn only to use the weapons of reason, discussion, and persuasion…. As long as men are willing to make use of force for their own ends, or to make use of fraud, which is only force in disguise, wearing a mask, and evading our consent, just as force with violence openly disregards it — so long as this, then, we must use force to restrain force. That is the one and only one right employment of force … force in the defense of the plain simple rights of property, public or private, in a word, of all the rights of self-ownership — force used defensively against force used aggressively (Auberon Herbert, The Principles of Voluntaryism, 1897).

    As Auberon Herbert notes, force can be direct, as in assault and rape, or indirect, as in fraud or extortion.

    There’s no other way to breach rights than through the (direct or indirect) instigation of force.

    Majority rule — which is also known as vox-populi Democracy (i.e. the rule of the majority as decided by vote, or mob rule) — is an indirect use of force.

    Laws that restrict freedom of production and trade (such as prohibitions on interstate commerce) are an indirect use of force.

    Trade tariffs are an indirect use of force.

    Military conscription is a direct use of force.

    Compulsory education is a direct use of force.

    Mandatory medical injections — of any kind, whether they’re experimental biologically active genetic injections or otherwise — are a direct use of force.

     



    Rights, I repeat, are a formal codification and particularization of human freedom.

    Right specify the freedom with which you and I as an individuated human beings are born.

    A right is an act or action which can be performed or exercised without another’s consent, permission, or say-so.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    Privileges are not rights but the antonym of rights: they are permissions.

    A privilege in the true meaning of the word (as against the bastardized meaning made vogue this past decade) is in actual fact the polar opposite of a right: it is an authoritarian permission granted to any human deemed, for whatever reason — whether wealth (or its lack), whether skin color, race, gender, sex, sexual-orientation, country, class, or creed — privileged enough to receive authoritarian permission to live freely.

    “Freely,” I say, in the context I just described it above: the omission of government coercion, compulsion, and state force.

    Under any such a scenario, reader, please remember: you are never acting by right. You are under any such a scenario always and only acting by arrant authoritarian permission and the privileges these authoritarians either grant you or do not grant you.

     


    Human freedom means that no individual human-being requires any sort of privileged state or status and no authoritarian permission to her or his inalienable freedom to voluntarily exchange — what Adam Smith described as the freedom “to truck, barter, and exchange” — with anyone who voluntarily, consensually agrees to exchange with us.

    There is no type of freedom other than the type which voluntary exchange brings about.


    Rights are ethical principles, and they are also politico-economic principles.

    As such rights delineate human freedom in large groups.

    This latter thing is emphasized because rights would not need to be discovered if you lived alone, or even if you lived in a small and insular society.

    Rights derive from three fundamental things: human individuation, human society, and the power of choice, which comes from the human faculty of reason.

    The human faculty of reason is also known as the rational faculty, which is the thing that gives rise to all moral agency.

    Rights are discoveries, not inventions.

    One proof of this is indeed found in the fact that the only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    The question of course then becomes:

    Whose permission? And who gives permission to those whose permission the rest of us are acting under? And who gives permission to the people above them and so on?

    Answering those questions is where you’ll begin to see with gin-like, vodka-like, water-like clarity the true and fundamental nature of rights: a right is by definition any act or action that can be exercised without another’s permission.

    Thus the correct answer to the questions above is the exact same answer, and that answer is this:

    Nobody.

    Because a right is the diametric opposite of a permission.

    Because acting by right is the diametric opposite of acting by permission.

    Because as individuated human-beings we act by right, not permission.

    This is also why rights were and occasionally still are described as “inalienable” or “unalienable” (both words are still used today and they’re synonymous): because rights are not granted, and they cannot be revoked or transferred or made alien.

    Rights are immanent.

    They indwell.

    They indwell within each of us as individual human beings.

    Rights are either recognized or they’re not.

    If rights are not recognized, they’re breached.

    To breach a right is wrong.

    It can indeed be done — and it often is done.

    But to do so is not right.

    It is wrong.

    When, for example, a city official body-checks without prompting or provocation another individual human being, that city official, then, has instigated an act of force, and he has thus breached the rights of a fellow human being.

    That city official is therefore wrong.

    That city official has acted in a way unequivocally in the wrong.

    That city official has not acted rightly.

    If justice is to be served, that city official must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for infringing upon another’s rights, which are inalienable.

    In that hypothetical scenario, if the city official is not prosecuted for infringing another’s inalienable rights, an act of injustice has then been committed.

    Such acts of injustice must also be met with justice.

    The compounding crime in such a case is governmental corruption — from the Latin word corruptio meaning, in the words of Oxford’s unabridged English dictionary: “to cause to go from a sound into an unsound, impure condition; to make rotten; to destroy or pervert the integrity or fidelity of a person in her or his discharge of duty.”

    Police, like city officials, are governmental agents working in governmental capacities.

    Government by definition is that apparatus or agency which possesses a legal monopoly on the use of force.

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

    “In its best state, government is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776).

    “Government is solely an instrument or mechanism of appropriation, prohibition, compulsion, and extinction. In the nature of things it can be nothing else, and can operate to no other end…. Seen in this light, government is so horrific — and its actual operations in the past have been so horrible at times — that there is some excuse for a failure to realize its necessity” (Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine, 1943).


    When you distill the concept of rights down to its essence, you find at the crucible of it all that there’s really only one right, and that one right is the right to your own life.

    All the others — from liberty, to property, to voluntary exchange, to the pursuit of happiness — are an elaboration and extension of the right to your own life and no one else’s.

    Those who hold that life is valuable, hold, by implication, that men ought not to be prevented from carrying on life-sustaining activities. In other words, if it is said to be “right” that they should carry them on, then, by permutation, we get the assertion that they “have a right” to carry them on. Clearly the conception of “natural rights” originates in recognition of the truth that if life is justifiable, there must be a justification for the performance of acts essential to its preservation; and, therefore, a justification for those liberties and claims which make such acts possible (Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State, 1884).

    The crux of human freedom is rights.

    The crux of rights is human individuation and moral agency, both of which come from the structure of the human mind.

    The human mind operates by means of reason.

    Reason does not function automatically but requires for each and every individual human-being a continual exertion of will.


    A profound connection exists between the right to life and the right to property.

    The importance of this connection cannot be overstated.

    Yet it is precisely this connection that both the left and the right have lost all grasp of — if they ever had it all, which neither side did (and for very specific reasons).

    Quoting the French economist and political philosopher Claude Frédéric Bastiat:

    Each of us has a natural right to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? … [Human beings] can live and satisfy wants only by ceaseless labor, and by the ceaseless application of our faculties to natural resources. (Claude Frédéric Bastiat, The Law, 1848).

    In the language of present-day American jurisprudence, the word “property” is excellently defined thus:

    “Property is not only money and other tangible things of value, but also includes any intangible right considered as a source or element of income or wealth: the right and interest which a [hu]man has in lands and chattels to the exclusion of others. It is the right to enjoy and to dispose of certain things in the most absolute manner” [my boldface emphasis].

    This legal definition of property captures precisely the reason that the crux of freedom and free-exchange is private property: because the right to property is not only the right to the material goods created and purchased — though it is certainly that too — but even more fundamentally, the right to property is the right to the act and the activity which creates those material goods, including the wealth to purchase other material goods which other people have created and then voluntarily put on the market for exchange.

    There is no type of freedom other than the type that voluntary exchange brings about.

    The right to property “is a source or element of wealth … the right to enjoy and to dispose in the most absolute manner,” as the legal definition above well phrases it.

    The right to property is first and foremost the right to an activity — to the human action which creates and produces: the right to property is the right to the process of producing, using, creating, disposing. 

    The definitional significance here cannot be emphasized strongly enough.


    The reason that laissez-faire is the proper social system is not because it “works best,” as many nominal defenders of free exchange never tire of telling us. Laissez-faire is proper, rather, because it is just. It is right.

    Laissez-faire is the only politco-economic system that respects and protects the inalienable right to life, liberty, property, free-exchange, and voluntary, consensual human action.

    Rights — true rights — are not, cannot, and must never be subject to vote or majority rule.

    If rights are subject to be voted down by any majority, they are unequivocally rights unrecognized, broken, breached, ignored, denied — in which case an unspeakable act of injustice has been perpetrated.

    Under such system of injustices, which exist everywhere now, including most especially the United States, humans exist purely by authoritarian privilege and permission.

    If someone — anyone — ever at any time tells you that you do not possess the right to your own life but exist exclusively on the basis of a majority’s rule or authoritarian decree, then what you’re acting under is by definition not a right. It is a privilege. It is the polar opposite of right. Your life and property have then officially become permissions granted or denied, voted up or struck down, or only allowed by majority permission — or they are expunged entirely, and in thus doing so is your life and the life of your loved ones so expunged.

     


    The individual is the smallest minority there is.

    This individual and her rights can never rightfully be overturned by any type of vote or majority rule.

    Please note that and process it, I implore you.

    It is in this sense that rights are absolute: the are immanent, indwelling, and can never be rightfully voted away.

    One must never forget: money is property too.

    Money is the symbol of your labor.

    Money is a medium of exchange, nothing more and nothing less.

    Money represents wealth.

    The root of real wealth is creation and production, which in turn is human activity, which is property, which human action and human work.


    The concept of rights and the principles behind the concept of rights — including but not limited to the concept of justice— have been under relentless siege since the moment they were first brought into the light, a war waged against an intellectual principle by purveyors of coercion and ministers of force, the facade of whom mutates constantly from year-to-year, decade-to-decade, century-to-century, even while their core remains the exact same: frozen, unchanged, dogmatic.

    The essence of this frozen ideological dogma is the total inability to leave individual human-beings alone — i.e. to refrain from all acts of state coercion and governmental force, whether by vote and majority rule or authoritarian command-and-control, all of which amount to the exact same things: they are the total negation of the invidivual’s right to her own life and property — and only her own life and property.

    Yet even in spite of the relentless siege against rights and the principles undergirding the concept of rights, rights have remained remarkably resilient, utterly vital, and they will continue to remain so.

    The reason that rights have remained so resilient and unsinkable, even in the face of centuries of ceaseless attack, from all sides, all persuasions, all religions, all dogmas, all political doctrines and sides, is that rights are in a certain very real sense, and as the Declaration of Independence expresses it, self-evident.

    We each, as John Locke wrote, “have a property in our own person.”

    We are each individuated and sovereign beings — body and brain alike — and as such we are not the property of any other person or people or mob or bureaucratic institution.

    I say to you again:

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission. 

    Whose permission? And who gives permission to those whose permission the rest of us are acting under? And who gives permission to the people above them and so on?

    If your answer to that question is, “The rule of the majority,” or any of its endless permutations, then under any such ghastly scenario that by which you exist is not, I do assure you, nor ever could be a right.

    Under any such a scenario, you exist purely by governmental permission — i.e. by privilege — whether derived from majority vote, mob rule, authoritarian decree, or all of, which in actuality are the exact same thing: they are not inalienable. They are subject to vote and authoritarian decree.

    This, reader, is the sense in which the concept of rights is self-evident.

    It is also why rights are not only inalienable but also unkillable, eternal.

    Rights are right.


    Rights are right.

    Individual autonomy is the basic principle underpinning the concept of rights, and property is an extension of person, nothing more and nothing less — including, most importantly, the freedom to act, produce, and engage in voluntary exchange.

    There is no type of freedom other than the type that voluntary exchange brings about.

    If you believe, as I do, in human freedom, you believe perforce — by logical elaboration — in the freedom to exchange voluntarily with anyone who voluntarily, consensually agrees to exchange with you.

    If humans are not allowed to trade freely, humans cannot be called free.

    Human freedom is the absence of state coercion.

    Human freedom is the omission of governmental force.

    No freedom or justice can exist if rights, including property rights, do not exist.

    Rights formally warrant all holders to certain freedom-of-action— specifically, the freedom to act voluntarily.

    Please also take special note of the phrase “freedom to act.”

    This is a pivotal component to the definition of rights since rights do not assure anyone of anything except the freedom to try.

    Rights do not guarantee success.

    Rights do not guarantee a “level playing field.”

    Rights do not guarantee a “level training field.”

    Rights do not guarantee a certain status.

    Rights do not guarantee a certain level of wealth or income.

    Rights guarantee only this:

    Each individual human-being — irrespective of skin-color, race, beauty, sex, sexual-orientation, gender, age, country, color, class, creed, or any other non-fundamental, non-definitional human characteristic — each individual human-being is fully equal before the law and as such possesses the inalienable right to voluntary freedom-of-action, and if the individual does succeed (growing, for example, spectacularly wealthy, or even modestly wealthy or anything in between, through the process of voluntary, consensual exchange), then the fruits of that individual’s success, which is wealth, which is property, are inalienably that person’s: inalienably, by right.

    It is wrong for any person or agency to expropriate it.

    Expropriation is an act of force.

    It is wrong for any person or agency to expropriate it.

    Expropriation, I say to you again because its importance cannot be stated strongly enough, is an unequivocal act of force.

    Expropriation is pure force and nothing but pure force, whether direct or indirect.


    What, though, is the fundamental stuff of rights? Of what rough matter and material made?

    Of what substance do rights consist?

    Ideas, like thoughts, are real things. Although intangible and immaterial they are the fundamental driving factors in bringing about changes in the realm of tangible and material things (Ludwig Von Mises, Theory and History, 1957).

    Rights are not primaries but second-order principles or ideas that derive from something deeper.

    This something is a thing which is very specific and unique to the human species and the human condition. It is the human faculty of choice, which is also called volition.

    The faculty of volition gives rise to individual autonomy, which is another way of describing rights.

    It is in turn the human faculty of reason — also known as the rational faculty — that gives rise to the faculty of volition, which means the human capacity to choose.

    Reason does not function automatically but must be willed. This is so by definition — which is to say: by the very nature of what reason is.

    If it operates automatically, it is not reason.

    We each as individual humans live by means of our reason, which is our faculty of rationality, which is our conceptual apparatus, which is our human brain.

    This is the fundamental thing that defines and unites all human-beings — regardless of skin-color, race, beauty, sex, sexual-orientation, gender, age, country, color, class, creed, or any other non-fundamental, non-definitional human characteristic or trait.

    We each individually possess a rational faculty, which is the human faculty of reason, which is the capacity to think, and the activation of which by definition requires an act of individual choice, which is a cognitive-psychological act: an act of each individual will.

    This act is each individual’s decision to make, or not.

    This act of will — the will to focus, to keep one’s attention focused against the constant strain of inattention — is an act that cannot be performed by any human or group of humans for any other human individual.

    It cannot.

    It absolutely, unequivocally, and demonstrably cannot.

    This act of will — the act of focusing the attention and the act of maintaining focus — can only be performed by each individual person: each and every one of us individually, continually, and in the privacy of our own individual minds across the long arc of our lives.

    That is individualism.

    Individualism is nothing more and nothing less than this.

    There’s nothing “rugged” about it.

    Neither is there anything antisocial about it nor anti-community nor anti-good-will nor anti-charity nor anti anything remotely like any of this. There never was. Those cliches are facile platitudes — the results of over a century-long propaganda campaign consisting of nothing more than frozen collectivist dogma, with an icepick breaking apart at the core.

    Volition is nothing more or less than the choice to be aware, to pay attention — “the strain of attention and the strain of keeping the attention focused,” as the philosophical psychologist Rollo May accurately described it — to observe and to process our observations, to consider, deliberate, cogitate, contemplate, reflect, introspect, perpend, ratiocinate: i.e. to think, which means to reason.

    The words “thinking” and “reasoning” are synonymous.

    To think means to contemplate beforehand any future action we may undertake and to reflect afterward upon action already taken.

    “Reason is a faculty for the integration of knowledge that human beings possess,” wrote Baruch Spinoza.

    The realities of the mind, though intangible and immaterial, are realities nonetheless.

    “When we analyze human nature with all the tools that modern psychology brings to us … we find ourselves pushed back to the level of attention or inattention as the very seat of free will” (Rollo May, Psychologist, Love and Will, 1969).

    This one thing alone — and nothing but this one thing alone — is the thing that gives rise to the entire field of ethics, which is also called morality, which is also called right and wrong, good and evil, and which in turn gives rise to the fields of both politics and also economics: because human individuals possess the faculty of reason, the activation of which requires of each and every one of us an act of individual will, which is also called choice or volition, and which no one individual can perform for another.

    If human individuals did not possess the faculty of reason which gives rise to choice, which gives rise to ethics and morality, which is also called moral agency, the behavior and deeds of all human individuals would be neither ethical nor unethical, neither moral nor immoral but amoral — neither good nor bad but simply existing — just as animals are amoral for precisely this reason.

    The wolf, the pit-bull, the puma, the elephant, the shark, the gorilla, the grizzly bear, the killer whale that attacks and kills and eats the innocent child is not evil, not bad, not immoral. The man or woman who does so is.

    If human behavior were purely instinctive and automatic, as it is with animals, there would be no question of rights — there could not be any — because any action we undertook would be unchosen.

    Ethics and morals are only applicable to beings with moral agency — the capacity to choose: to choose between the ethical and the unethical, the moral and the immoral, the good and the bad.

    Rights in this very way form the logical link between ethics and politics, between morality and justice.

    This is why Herbert Spencer and a handful of other rarified freethinkers throughout history described rights over and over as “politico-ethical precepts” and justice “the ethics of social life.”

    “[R]ights are but so many separate parts of general human freedom to pursue the objects of life. They indeed are specifications of the law of equal liberty, not products of political will” (Herbert Spencer, Principles of Ethics, 1891).

    Quoting Samuel Adams:

    Among the natural rights are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property. Together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can … rights are [self-]evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.


    There is nothing in nature, neither human nature nor nature apart from humans, that gives government bureaucrats legitimate authority over the person or property of any other human being.

    Neither is there anything in nature, neither human nature nor nature apart from humans, that gives any majority legitimate authority to vote away the rights of any individual person or her property —not of any other human being.

    To say that we have the “right to healthcare,” or the “right to a job,” or the “right to a smoke-free work environment” is the same as saying we have the right to the life, labor, skill, expertise, knowledge, and action (i.e. property) of another, which we do not and cannot — by virtue of what rights are.

    Do you have the right to a lung transplant?

    Where, then, is your right to a lung transplant if there’s no one able to donate the lung to which you have a “right” to have transplanted into your body?

    Should any one human individual be forced or in any way coerced compelled into giving you her or his lung or lungs, since you have a “right” to a lung transplant?

    To ask this question is obviously to answer it: neither you nor anyone else has the right to anyone else’s body, brain, or any parts of their bodies and brains.

    In the scenario I’ve just described, that lung or those lungs, to which neither you nor any individual in actuality possesses a right, must be voluntarily donated — voluntarily, consensually, and fully informed. That — what I’ve just described in that sentence — is an act of consensual and fully voluntary human cooperation.

    It is not a description of rights or putative rights.

    It is a description of voluntary, consensual human action — human action and human cooperation freely engaged in.

    “Freely” in this context, the correct context, refers to the fact that no coercion, compulsion, or force whatsoever is involved: either person is free to say “no” and to do so without any fear of coercion, compulsion, force, reprisal, or punishment.

    Where is your right to a lung transplant if there’s no one able to donate the lung to which you have a right? Where does your right to a lung transplant go in such a (common) scenario? And where does that right go if there’s no medical specialists able to perform such difficult and exacting work?

    Do you have the right to a home?

    Then you perforce have the right to the knowledge, expertise, and labor of the carpenters or contractors (and all the sub-contractors) who will build the home to which you have a “right.” You have a right to their life and property. Their property is not only the material they must use to build the home to which you have a right but also to the human action — the work — they must perform in order to provide for you your right to a home.

    But what if none of these experts exist?

    Or what if not enough of them exist?

    Do you know the answer to these questions?

    The answer is this — and I give it to you here, now, instantaneously, because this exact scenario has played out in real-time, continually, all throughout human history. (Here’s an example of one of the most ghastly illustrations of it you will ever see, and for this reason I implore you to read it to the bitter end):

    Egalitarian Horror Story

    That, reader, is precisely what happens when rights are not recognized — whether it comes about by authoritarian decree or by majority vote, which is also known as Democracy.


    Those things which are required for life and prosperity come about through the process of voluntary exchange: voluntary, consensual exchange.

    There is no type of freedom other than the type that voluntary exchange brings about.

    The division of labor is the fundamental social phenomenon.

    The division of labor is the fundamental social phenomenon in large part because it brings about prosperity through the process of voluntary, consensual exchange —exchange of goods, services, expertise — and it large part also because it creates greater abundance of all these things and more: goods, services, experts, and the expertise of experts who precisely because of the division of labor can focus exclusively upon their area or areas of expertise and develop them into infinity.

    Freedom merely means that you are free to pursue all these things and that if you achieve them, including any and all wealth you may earn from the division of labor and the process of voluntary, consensual exchange, they are yours unalienably — which means: these things cannot be rightfully taken, transferred, revoked, or made alien.

    The words unalienable and inalienable are synonymous and both are still in use today.

    “The legitimate functions of government extend only to such acts as are injurious to others,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, circa 1785, in his slender book Notes on the State of Virginia, and here Thomas Jefferson is speaking of — and against — the instigation of force, compulsion, coercion.

    Around the same time Thomas Jefferson was writing those words, another erudite fellow, a German named Wilhelm von Humboldt, independently came to the exact same conclusion:

    “Any state interference into private affairs, where there is no reference to violence done to individual rights, should be absolutely condemned” (Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Limits of State Action, 1791).

    Rights by definition preclude any claim to the person, property, or labor of another, even if that person is a doctor, nurse, farmer, landlord, carpenter, plumber, electrician, teacher, or anything else.

    To say that humans if they choose do not have the right to open their liquor stores on Sunday or their car lots on Sunday, or to say that humans do not have the right to gamble if they choose, or to say that humans do not have the right to fully determine what’s injected into their bodies — this is all the same as saying your life is not yours by right but belongs in some measure to bureaucrats, and that humans to that extent exist only by the permission of these bureaucrats. They are acting under government privilege alone.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    It remains a fact, however, with centuries and centuries and centuries of hard-core history to prove it, that no government and no governmental bureaucracy in the history of humanity has ever proven itself more capable of running each individual’s life more ably than the individuals themselves — to say nothing at all about whether it’s right for such governments and their bureaucracies to attempt such reckless acts of criminality and injustice.

    Which it’s not. It’s not right.

    It’s wrong.


    The discovery and elaboration of the principle of rights is one of humanity’s greatest philosophical-intellectual accomplishments.

    But the elaboration of this principle remains unfinished.

    It is our current task to build upon and further elaborate the principle of individual sanctity and individual autonomy, also known as rights — to deepen our understanding of this principle and to more profoundly specify and codify the applications of it, and to identify and further define the facts of reality which give rise to it.

    This includes most fundamentally the structure of the human mind, which is rational by its very nature and because of which operates by means of the human faculty of reason.

    Reason is by definition volitional.

    “Reason,” as John Milton expressed it, “is choice.”

    All knowledge is shaped and conditioned by the structure of the human mind.

    In this sense — the literal sense — acquiring knowledge requires a continual act of choice, a continual lifelong exertion of cognitive-psychological will.


    Incontrovertibly the doctrine of determinism is the most fundamental and deeply entrenched of all dogmas opposed to the principle of self-ownership and individual autonomy, both of which principles are another way of describing the principle of rights.

    If each individual human-being is not self-determined — as the dogma of determinism asserts, in absolutely unambiguous terms — it follows, then, that others may legitimately determine our lives and our selves for us.

    Each and every one of us individually are, however, self-determined. We are each and all individual, autonomous, thinking individuals.

    That is where the quiddity of rights reside, and it’s where the entire argument is answered and settled.

    No other person or institution or majority or propaganda machine imaginable can ever perform the necessary act of second-by-second focus — the effort of attention — all day every day over the long arc of each and every individual’s life.

    All forms of collectivism are deterministic.

    All forms of determinism are inaccurate.

    They are incorrect.

    They are not right.

    They are wrong.

    Until determinism is thoroughly refuted, the deterministic dogma, in any of its continuously mutating forms and disguises, will provide the purveyors of force and the ministers of coercion with justification and rationalization and majority-sanctioned excuse to lord over individuals and to exert authoritarian command-and-control: it cannot be helped, we’re told, since our individual lives are ultimately determined by vast quantum forces beyond human self-governance, beyond individual autonomy, beyond individual choice, beyond individual human will or cognitive-psychological control.

    Choice, we’re told, is an illusion, as individual autonomy is also an illusion — and for identical reasons.

    This, I reiterate for emphasis, is the most deeply rooted dogma standing opposed to the principle of individual autonomy, which is another term for rights.

    Individual autonomy equals rights. I ask you to please never forget that.

    The antithesis of individual autonomy is called determinism.

    It is determinism most fundamentally of all that must be confronted on the battleground of ideas — confronted and defeated, routed and interred back into the state of oblivion from which it was so ignominiously exhumed — uprooted and extirpated, annihilated: philosophically, intellectually, relentlessly, explicitly.

    There’s something more to know about this necessary task of uprooting, extirpating, and annihilating the deadly dogma of determinism, and that something is this:

    It is an elementary matter to achieve, an absurdly simple task to perform.

    In fact, defeating determinism is child’s play — and do you know why?

    Because determinism refutes itself — entirely — for all time, upon its mere utterance.

    To defeat the dogmatic ideology of determinism, the only thing you have to do is point out repeatedly and without any compromise the incorrigible, irreparable rift woven into the very fabric of determinism: an inexpressibly colossal fallacy that makes up the totality of determinism’s structure.

    It consists of a logical error so gigantic and so conspicuous that the slightest touch upon it will unravel the entire thing forever — irreparably — reducing every deterministic ideology, no matter the multitude or endlessness of its dogmatic variations, into a heap of un-put-back-together again shreds.

    The great insurmountable deterministic fallacy I’m speaking of is this:

    If determinism were accurate and right — which it is not nor could ever be — then no person, no matter what she or he thinks or believes about determinism or anything else, would have any choice to believe or disbelieve determinism or anything else because all our thoughts and ideas and convictions and beliefs are already determined. They’re predetermined. They are each and all epistemologically equal and valid and occupy the exact same epistemic status and state: absolute and legitimate and correct and beyond reason, argumentation, debate, discussion, reconsideration, or refutation — no matter what they are.

    Why?

    Because it’s all already been determined.

    That is what determinism means.

    We each must think and believe what we do think and believe, and this cannot be helped or changed or reasoned against or argued or challenged or discussed or debated or refuted or even reconsidered.

    By logical elaboration, therefore, according to the deadly dogma of determinism, there cannot even be those words — they can have no meaning because they have no referent in reality and therefore do not exist — and they never can have any meaning or real-life referent, and so they never can exist.

    And why is this so?

    Because we’re all predetermined to think and believe exactly as we do think and believe, and the idea of processing which is also called reasoning, refuting, reconsidering, discussing, debating, persuading, changing one’s mind, or anything of this sort, stands in direct and obvious contradiction to any being who’s predetermined.

    By the very structure and terms of of the quasi-ideology of determinism and the very definition that underpins it all, these words cannot exist and can have no meaning: discussion, reasoning, ratiocinating, challenging, persuading, refuting, reconsidering — determinism’s very definition and structure precludes them all: all of them and more. And it does so at the very outset, upon the first utterance of the first syllable that would attempt to justify or rationalize it.

    In fact, there is not even the human capacity, according to all deterministic dogmas, to conceive these words, let alone consider them: discussion, debate, persuade, convince, reason, think, rethink, reconsider, challenge, refute, et cetera.

    There is neither any such capacity to conceive of these words nor consider them, nor is there any such thing as truth or falsehood, nor correct or incorrect, nor right or wrong, nor good or bad, nor accurate or inaccurate, nor justice or injustice — not to anything anyone thinks or believes or does because no one can think or believe or do anything other than what everyone does think and believe and do.

    Martin Luther King Jr. occupies the exact same politico-ethical status and state and moral stature as Adolph Hitler — just as Pol Pot and Joseph Stalin occupy the exact same politico-ethical status and state and moral stature as Hypatia and Socrates. They all — we all — occupy the exact same politico-ethical status, state, and moral stature as our kittens, dogs, goldfish, salamanders, guinea pigs, turtles, hamsters, and all our other pets and farm animals — flesh, fish, or fowl.

    We are all the same: without reason, volition, rationality, conceptualization, choice.

    This, I repeat, is what determinism is.

    Determinism means exactly this and nothing but this, and is stated precisely thus: “determinism means there is no choice” (Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary).

    None.

    Determinism, I reiterate one more time for emphasis, means there is no choice.

    Determinism means that every single idea, thought, deed, and everything else held in any and every individual mind is determined, and so therefore are all human acts deeds and actions.

    It is all predetermined.

    Every single thing.

    The words “determined” and “predetermined” in this context are synonymous.

    These words means that nobody has any choice to the contents of her or his mind.

    Determinism says in perfectly unambiguous terms that no person can in any way choose what to think or believe but thinks and believes precisely what each person is determined to think and believe — which means we each and all must think and believe exactly what we do think and believe because we are determined to do so, and there can be no reasoning away from this, as there can be no reconsideration of it or, of course, of correcting of it.

    There is thus no way for any person to persuade or ratiocinate away from this fact.

    Even the terms persuade and reason do not and cannot apply to determinism since these terms also presuppose a process of volition.

    Volition, also known as choice, is by definition fundamentally and entirely incompatible with any and all notions of determinism.

    They are irremediably and irreversibly contradictory.

    They are diametrically incompatible.

    All thoughts, ideas, convictions, and deeds, then, according to the dogmatic quasi-ideology of determinism, and the entire contents of each and every individual’s mind, no matter the person, no matter the contents, no matter anything else, are all predetermined.

    They are so irremediably — which means: they can in no way and through no act be reversed.

    They are set beyond repair, reconsideration, reeducation, reparation, reversibility.

    They are beyond reason, choice, thought.

    As such, according to every and all deterministic ideology, every thought and conviction and idea and act falls outside any realm of consideration, contemplation, deliberation, discussion, argumentation, ratiocination, reconsideration, remmediability, or persuasion: because there is no way for anyone to think and believe and do otherwise than what anyone and everyone does think and believe and do.

    This means among many other preposterous things that there can be no such things as right and wrong, which in turns means that there can be no such things as justice and injustice, ajudication, reparation, retribution, crime, punishment, virtue, goodness, dignity, honesty, integrity, uprightness, and so much more.

    This insurmountable fallacy woven into the fabric of determinism is a logical fallacy of the gravest, most pathetic, most unovercomable sort. It even, in the context of fallacies, has several well-known names:

    It is called the fallacy of self-refutation, or the fallacy of self-contradiction, or the fallacy of self-execution or, less frequently, the fallacy of self-exclusion.

    Determinism executes itself.

    It executes itself at the very outset.

    It refutes itself at the very outset

    It is a fallacy woven into the very fabric and meaning of the word determinism.

    Determinism contradicts itself instantaneously, upon the first utterance, and this contradiction can never be overcome — never.

    It represents instant checkmate.

    Determinism checkmates itself, and it does so at its first move.

    Determinism self-refutes.

    Determinism self-executes.

    Determinism self-contradicts.

    Determines self-destructs.

    Determinism excludes itself.

    Determinism is dead before it’s even born — dead on arrival: dead by definition.

    Determinism is wrong.

    Determinism is not right.

    It is in this way and for this reason that I say to you again, reader: refuting determinism, in all of its constantly mutating forms, disguises, masks, variations, horror shows, and atrocity exhibitions is absolute child’s play.

    You know what it’s actually like, when you get down to it? It’s like a fucking joke.

    I’ll therefore say it one final time — for posterity — because it’s so blatantly obvious, so bloody important, and so perfect true:

    Determinism in any and all of its manifestations is absolute child’s play to refute because determinism refutes itself. And it does so instantaneously, upon the first syllable that’s uttered in its defense.

    Determinism excludes and precludes itself by its very structure and definition.


    Rights are another one of these principles that virtually everybody thinks he understands, but which in reality only the slimmest fraction of people on planet earth actually do understand and ever actually have understood — lawyers, judges, legislators and other such bureaucrats, in my experience (and I’ve had plenty) among the most misguided of all and the most uncomprehending of all — by far — with notions of rights sickeningly out-of-whack with reality.

    For anyone who has any doubt at all about my statements here, I cordially invite you to take one brief look at the United Nation’s so-called “Declaration of Human Rights,” which was drafted by precisely such judges, lawyers, legislators, and other bureaucrats. I invite you to observe the sheer amount of expropriation — i.e. acts of state coercion and governmental force —required to fulfill even a fraction of that UN’s declaration’s stated aims.

    Better still take one look at the following statement, which I quote verbatim:

    “Just because you have an ‘individual right’ does not mean that state or local governments cannot constrain the exercise of that right” (Barack Obama, 2008, Philadelphia primary debate).

    Reader, I beseech you now and always to please hear and grasp the following thing I’m about to tell you. Please never lose sight of the following words — no matter which so-called side of the political aisle upon which you place yourself or have ever placed yourself:

    If, as Barack Obama states in his misbegotten quotation directly above, “the exercise of your ‘individual right’ can be constrained [by] state or local governments,” what you exist by in such a scenario is not, I do assure you, a right — not at all. It is a pure and clear permission: a governmental permission. It is a privilege granted, or not.

    Barack Obama explicitly and in no uncertain terms states above that he believes every individual, including you and including me, exist only by governmental permission, and not by right. That is Barack Obama’s explicitly stated stance.

    Permissions are the polar opposite of rights.

    Permissions are the polar opposite of rights.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

    A permission is a privilege. It’s either granted or not — whether by majority-rule vote or authoritarian decree. The form here matters not at all because the outcome is identical.

    Ask yourself:

    Whose permission and privilege? And who gives permission to those whose permission the rest of us are acting under? And who gives permission to the people above them and so on?

    The sheer stupidity of Barack Obama’s words and wording are not only a rare moment of political honesty: they also represent as perfect a compendiation as humanly possible in how horribly misunderstood the profound principle of rights actually is, and has always been.


    Rights always and only belong to individuals.

    Rights always and only belong to individuals.

    By definition, by virtue of what rights are — “that which can be exercised without another’s permission” — rights can only belong to individuals.

    There are no such things as “group rights” or “collective rights” or “men’s rights” or “women’s rights” or “black people’s rights” or “white people’s rights” or “straight people’s rights” or “gay rights” or “trans rights” or “Native American rights” anything else of this nature.

    There are only rights.

    There are only rights.

    There are only rights.

    And rights apply to all individual human beings.

    Whether the individual human being is straight, gay, trans, male, female, brown, black, white, yellow, red, all of the above, none of the above, or any cross-combination of any secondary, non-fundamental human characteristic or characteristics, rights by definition always and only apply to individual human beings.

    We are each as individuals defined and united by our human faculty of reason, which is the rational faculty, and the individual, no matter her color, class, gender, sex, sexual-orientation and everything else, is and always will be the smallest minority there is.

    I repeat: the individual is the smallest minority there is.

    The individual’s rights cannot be voted away or legislated away — not by a majority, not by a minority, not by a mob, not by bureau, not by authorities and their decree, not by anything.

    It is the human faculty of reason, which is a feature of each and every human individual, that gives rise to the principle of rights.

    It is this faculty and nothing but this faculty from which all rights derive, and for this reason rights cannot be “collective” but the polar opposite: rights are by definition a product only of individuals — each and every single individual human being.

    In fact, the term “individual rights,” like the term “human rights,” is a redundancy — a tautology, as the philosophers like to say, or pleonasm.

    Yet it is a redundancy and tautological-pleonasm of the direst necessity now — now more than ever, I think, because the actual meaning of the term “rights” has become so precariously misunderstood and perverted, beyond all recognition and perhaps, I fear, beyond all repair.

    “Only individuals exist,” wrote philosopher and economist Ludwig von Mises. “Collectives consist of nothing but individuals. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual acts … All rights are rights of individuals.”


    Individual rights properly understood are still sometimes known as “negative rights” or “negative liberties.”

    This terminology may seem somewhat antiquated now, and to our modern-day ears and eyes (mine included) may also, at first, appear to over-complicate the issue. Yet properly understood this terminology is a perfectly accurate and legitimate description of what real rights are.

    It’s my reconsidered opinion now that when understood properly this terminology clarifies far more than it complicates:

    The terms “negative rights” and “negative liberties” — and they too are synonymous — refers to the fact that your “negative rights” and “negative liberties” impose no obligations or burdens upon others except those of a “negative” type: each individual must abstain from infringing the equal rights of other individuals.

    This is also called compossibility.

    The term compossibilility is an even more antiquated term than the terms “negative-rights” and “negative liberties” — and yet compossibility is also an accurate term, a good term, in my opinion, which should never be forgotten, nor should it ever go out of use.

    Know at minimum the following thing:

    There are no such things as “positive rights.”

    There are only negative rights, also known as negative liberties.

    The term positive rights is a made-up term meant to negate the actual meaning of “rights” — a tactic in the interminable war waged against the philosophical and factually true concept of actual rights.

    The term “positive rights” — which to the day is used all the time by politicians, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats — is in actuality a total contradiction in terms.

    “Positive rights,” so-called, means others may legitimately take from you, without your permission or consent, and give the things it takes (i.e. expropriates) from you to whomever the expropriators deem — including themselves and their donors and voters — fit, worthy, deserving.

    This, as I say, is also called expropriation.

    Expropriation is an act of force.

    Expropriation is theft.

    Positive rights (so-called) are non-existent and self-contradictory because they are non-compossible.

    All legitimate rights are by definition compossible.

    Quoting once again a yet more breathtakingly stupid comment from one of our most popular and current politicians:

    The Supreme Court never ventured into the issue of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints [my italicized emphasis] that were placed by the founding fathers of the Constitution — i.e. that the Constitution is a charter only of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you. It says what the Federal government can’t do to you, and what neither government nor others are allowed to do to you in the protection of individual autonomy. And that hasn’t really shifted. But it doesn’t say what the federal government or state governments must do on your behalf [which are also called “positive rights”]. One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused — focused on negative liberties — I think there was then a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of state powers through which you bring about redistribution — redistributive change [i.e. rule by executive decree, through the implementation of non-existent ‘positive rights”]. I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through courts or the legal system. The Constitution reflects an enormous blindspot in the American culture, which carries on until this day. The Constitutional framers had that same blindspot: the fundamental flaw of this country. (Senator Barack Obama, 2001).

    The “fundamental flaw” and “major blindspot” Barack Obama is speaking of, if it’s not already glaringly obvious to all readers, is that America’s philosophical architects did not want, believe in, or even recognize the made-up, non-existent concept of so-called positive rights.

    I welcome the opportunity to reply to Barack Obama, all these 22 years later:

    The reason, sir, that the philosophical architects and framers of America did not say a word about so-called “positive rights” is that there is not such thing — by virtue of rights are.

    The Framers and philosophical architects of America only discuss negative rights and negative liberties for the following elementary reason: these are the only rights that actually exist — truly exist.

    America’s philosophical architects correctly grasped that “positive rights” are a contradiction in terms — there are no such things, by definition — and so any attempt to implement them would immediately result in the full and total negation of real rights, which are also called negative rights or negative liberties, which is also known as individual autonomy and choice: the freedom to choose to act and interact voluntarily and consensually with any and everyone who freely choosesto act and interact with you, consensually and voluntarily, because they, like you, me, and everyone else, are individuated human-beings.

    That elegant, free choice is what Barack Obama and so many billions of others seek more than anything to expunge from the human condition and human experience.

    All of this is so by virtue of what the very word “rights” means.

    They are no such things as “positive rights.”

    That term is a figment. It’s a contradiction in terms. It is a manipulation tactic.

    It, like the dogma of Determinism, commits the insurmountable fallacy of self-execution. It’s a fallacy that self-refutes upon its first utterance — a fallacy of self-refutation, self-contradiction, self-exclusion.

    It is, in short, a grade-school logical fallacy — a fallacy so basic and silly — which is why, as I keep saying, it represents a fallacy of the most conspicuous and unovercomavble sort.

    It also represents how absurdly misunderstood the actual principle of rights — the true and profound principle of rights — actually is and has always been.

    Positive rights, so-called, are noncompossible — by definition.

    Compossibility is one of the truest gauges for determining whether something is a real right or not.

    Yet as it happens, there’s an even simpler and better barometer — an absolutely foolproof measure, methodology, and gauge for determining whether something is a real right or not. This foolproof method is this:

    Your rights, my rights, everyone’s rights stop where another’s begin.

    Reader, if you follow this simple precept, and if you remember that property is nothing more than an extension of person — “the right to act and to keep and to dispose” — and if you remember that money is also property, you’ll never, ever confuse the issue of rights or justice, which is the full and legal recognition of rights.


About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

6 Responses and Counting...

  • Dyane 08.03.2022

    I needed this. Thanks

  • This is as brilliant as it is clear.

  • Brilliant because it’s clear.

  • As I’ve said to you befoe, “rights” are spooks and your post here still does not address or refute that.

  • Best thing I have read in a very long time. You have a great gift of writing clearly and getting your point and what it means, out.

  • Thank you!

    Thank you all.

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