“You don’t have a right to get drunk, or you don’t have a right to certain kinds of sex.”

TheGrandmaster People's writings

I mean, I think the bigger take away is that we cannot limit our definition of “right” to mean “only what is strictly spelled out in either the US or a State Constitution.” Those things do not give us rights, they only specify the manners in which certain rights are meant to be protected.The Constitution doesn’t GIVE us the right …

Libertarians, Anarchists, and “Freedom”

TheGrandmaster Anti-Libertarian Philosophy, People's writings

Throughout history, Liberty has been a concept based on rights, rather than on freedom. Rights are a type of freedom, but not the only type of freedom. Rights are freedoms that carry with them responsibilities to others in the community. At the very least, a right carries with it the responsibility to respect the same right for others. Liberty is based on this …

Rights must be enforced.

TheGrandmaster Freedom Reclaimed

Yet that places those individuals in a position akin to supplicants, having to hope that others will respect their rights out of compassion, perhaps even having to beg others for their pity, rather than being able to assert and legitimately expect enforcement of their own rights. Leaving the enforcement of liberty rights up to the compassion of others-whether to individuals …

Courts are government

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The most familiar government monitors of wrongs and enforcers of rights are the courts themselves. Indeed, the notion that rights are basically “walls against the state” often rests upon the confused belief that the judiciary is not a branch of government at all, that judges (who exercise jurisdiction over police officers, executive agencies, legislatures, and other judges) are not civil …

Government “Intrusion” allows freedom.

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Rights are costly because remedies are costly. Enforcement is expensive, especially uniform and fair enforcement; and legal rights are hollow to the extent that they remain unenforced. Formulated differently, almost every right implies a correlative duty, and duties are taken seriously only when dereliction is punished by the public power drawing on the public purse. There are no legally enforceable …

All rights are essentially positive

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

“Where there is a right, there is a remedy” is a classical legal maxim. Individuals enjoy rights, in a legal as opposed to a moral sense, only if the wrongs they suffer are fairly and predictably redressed by their government. This simple point goes a long way toward disclosing the inadequacy of the negative rights/positive rights distinction. What it shows …

Wealth exists because it can be defended

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The public costs of nonwelfare rights show, among other things, that “private wealth,” as we know it, exists only because of governmental institutions. Those who attack all welfare programs on principle should be encouraged to contemplate the obvious—namely, that the definition, assignment, interpretation, and protection of property rights is a government service that is delivered to those who currently own …

Rights aren’t, and never have been, free

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The widespread but obviously mistaken premise that our most fundamental rights are essentially costless cannot be plausibly traced to a failure to detect hidden costs. For one thing, the costs in question are not so terribly hidden. It is self-evident, for instance, that the right to a jury trial entails public costs. A 1989 study provides a dollar amount: the …

Cost of Rights – Democratic Policies pay for themselves

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights, First Line of Defenses

Unlike social costs, “net costs” (and benefits) cannot be temporarily put to one side. Some rights, although costly up front, increase taxable social wealth to such an extent that they can reasonably be considered self-financing. The right to private property is an obvious example. The right to education is another. Even protecting women from domestic violence may be viewed in …

Cost of Rights

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The public costs of police and fire departments contribute essentially to the “protective perimeter” that makes it possible to enjoy and exercise our basic constitutional and other rights.

Cost of Rights – Level 10

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights, First Line of Defenses

In practice, rights become more than mere declarations only if they confer power on bodies whose decisions are legally binding (as the moral rights announced in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, for example, do not). As a general rule, unfortunate individuals who do not live under a government capable of taxing and delivering an effective remedy …

Cost of Rights – Rights backed by law

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Under American law, rights are powers granted by the political community. And like the wielder of any other power, an individual who exercises his or her rights may be tempted to use it badly. The right of one individual to sue another is the classic example. Because a right implies a power that can be wielded, for good or ill, …

Cost of Rights – Rights exist because they can be defended

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Within this framework, an interest qualifies as a right when an effective legal system treats it as such by using collective resources to defend it. As a capacity created and maintained by the state to restrain or redress harm, a right in the legal sense is, by definition, a “child of the law.”

Cost of Rights – moral and descriptive

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

The term “rights” has many referents and shades of meaning. There are, broadly speaking, two distinct ways to approach the subject: moral and descriptive. The first associates rights with moral principles or ideals. It identifies rights not by consulting statutes and case law, but by asking what human beings are morally entitled to.

Cost of Rights 2 – Liberty presupposes a way to defend it.

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

Public support for the kind of “safety net” that benefited the home owners of Westhampton is broad and deep, but at the same time, Americans seem easily to forget that individual rights and freedoms depend fundamentally on vigorous state action. Without effective government, American citizens would not be able to enjoy their private property in the way they do. Indeed, …

Cost of Rights – Rights are Costly

TheGrandmaster Cost of Rights

There is nothing exceptional about this story. In 1996, American taxpayers devoted at least $11.6 billion to protecting private property by means of disaster relief and disaster insurance.2 Every day, every hour, private catastrophes are averted or mitigated by public expenditures that are sometimes large, even massive, but that often go unrecognized. Americans simply assume that our public officials—national, state, …

MTO 8 – Taking ownership for granted

TheGrandmaster Myth of Ownership

Most conventions, if they are sufficiently entrenched, acquire the appearance of natural norms; their conventionality becomes invisible. That is part of what gives them their strength, a strength they would lack if they were not internalized in that way. Excellent, and the following several paragraphs are some of the more useful we will find in calling into question what it …