Tuesday, February 07, 2023

"Rights aren't real"

In any conversation about rights, someone will always pop in with "Rights aren't real".

And they're correct.

When you say someone "has a right" what you're really saying is that others have no right to do something to that person.

There is no right to murder, to rape, to kidnap, to tax/steal, to trespass, to ban or regulate anything, or to govern others. However you wish to express this is fine.

Saying "You have a right to..." is just shorthand for saying "no one has the right to" do something to you. Some people get twitchy over shorthand. It doesn't make it incorrect.

You have the right to free speech (and "reee speech") because no one has any right to shut you up. No one has the right to archate in any way, for any reason. The imagined right to do so-- as an individual or a corporation/government-- is not real. It doesn't depend on the target having any rights whatsoever.

As long as those who say "Rights aren't real" understand this, they are correct. 

If they imagine rights aren't real because someone somehow "has a right" (that can't exist) to do something to other people, then they are being hilariously inconsistent and wrong. 

I couldn't do this without your support.

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