To Declare Individual Rights

Before one can declare individual rights, the word right must be defined. I speak of ‘right’ as a moral or legal entitlement, to have or do something; not morally correct, just, or honourable. That distinction is barely sufficient. Google the word ‘right,’ and a plethora of offerings describe what a person should be morally or legally allowed to have, get, or do. For example:

Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. —Wikipedia

According to the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived”. Pursue this train of thought, and it is vibrantly clear that a difference exists between moral rights and legal rights.

Legal rights (like laws) affect every citizen, whether or not the existence [of] such rights is publicly known. —Business Dictionary

Legal rights are not rights at all.

Legal rights deny natural rights; our right to life made subject to permission. State-granted rights equal human rights. The state does not declare individual rights. Still it remains that without life, no dictionary, encyclopaedia, legal entity or government can exist.

Our right to life arises from our nature as living human beings. The source of Man’s rights lies not in divine law, or congressional law. Right to life derives from the fact that we live, i.e., from the law of identity. A is A. Man lives, independent of permissions or privileges granted by others. Rights can neither be created or abrogated by any person or government, but are consistently overruled notwithstanding.

If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life. —Ayn Rand

Individual rights

Rights are conditions of existence endowed by Creator upon each, for proper survival. A ‘right’ is a moral principle that defines and sanctions freedom of action, in a social context. Our fundamental ‘right,’ is each man and woman’s right to their life. All other rights derive from this. Rights of living human beings are individual rights thereby, not collective human rights. Most importantly, individual rights are conditions of existence, not conditions for it. It follows that rights are conditions of Man and of life, not conditions for Man and for life.

Individual rights are reciprocal

Mans right to act, so to live, cannot exist, or be ‘just,’ without fully accepting the reciprocal right of all others; equally so to do. Exceptions or exemptions self-cancel one’s own rights, respectful of related actions. Our need to declare individual rights becomes almost self evident. Most inportantly, guarantee of another right to life inherently protects our own. Right and responsibility go hand in glove.

Obligations

Can one be obligated to particular actions and remain free? Yes indeed. In fact, taking on obligations necessitates freedom. If we declare individual rights, then obligations are the chosen exercise of one’s freedom to choose, not its loss. One accepts obligations voluntarily or refuses voluntarily. We may choose no obligations or duties, or so many we’re not free to do anything but honour what we’ve already agreed, nevertheless we’re still free.

Force or coercion does not obligate, it threatens and punishes. It violates our choice to act alternately. The principle is clear. If one, or several others unilaterally restrain us to action(s) not of our choosing, then their command violates our freedom to choose, which unequivocally nullifies the purported obligation. No obligation can exist, to any ‘authority’ that denies our rights. Left with no choice, we become slaves to authority.

Legal permissions or sanctions

Legal rights are mere licence according to society’s statutes, customs, laws, or actions by legislatures—no certainty that individual natural rights are inclusive. Moreover, since (so called) ‘legal rights’ have blanket application to all citizens, or some as legislated, individual rights are expressly denied. Consider that if (natural) individual rights were inclusive in statute rules, applicable to all, no reason to create a ‘legal’ statute would exist.

This absence explains why so-called legal rights of ‘positive law’ concern only LEGAL ENTITIES, and not with living breathing human individuals. ‘Legalities’ overrule individual rights, despite that individual rights are unalienable—cannot be removed or altered—legally or even gifted.

Declare Individual Rights

Protection of one’s individual right to life, from physical violence, fraud, coercion, extortion, blackmail and such, was proper purpose of government initially. Do governments succeed? Mostly in propagating those evils, meaning we must declare individual rights and protect those rights forthwith.  Without rights, and our right to protect them, both vanish. Mankind is on that cusp right now.

‘Protection’ necessitates an objective code of rules, inclusive of means to protect those principles from violation, usurpation or cancellation. What needs would then exist for a body of people to make additional rules – such as ‘governments’ that churn out statute laws like a doughnut machine? None, but that is for another post.

It remains—

  1. To declare individual rights
  2. To protect individual rights in perpetuity
  3. That we protect that preservation from all violation, usurpation or cancellation.

These matters are addressed by Articles One and Two of the Constitution of Man

Next: Constitution of Man.

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