Friday, April 19, 2024

Non-rights: IP, corporate "rights", and government "rights"

There are a lot of weird notions about "rights" out there, causing a lot of problems.

"Intellectual property" (IP) is one.
The idea that corporations can have property rights is another.
The grand delusion that governments can have rights of any kind is possibly the most damaging weird notion of all.

Intellectual property? It's an economically useful idea, but it isn't true.
Thoughts are your property as long as you don't share them with anyone. Once you let the thought out of your brain, you can't control it, and if you can't control something, you don't really own it. You can ask government to punish others for being exposed to your idea and integrating it into themselves, but that's sick. The same goes for using government to regulate AI's programmer's use of the ideas of others. If you don't want your idea-- your brainwork-- out influencing the world or informing AI, keep it to yourself.

As someone who comes up with ideas and releases them into the public sphere, I would love for those ideas to make money for me. I kind of need for them to do so. I know it would be wrong of me to use government as a way to force others to pay me for using my ideas, or to use government to "protect" those ideas. If I don't want my ideas to spread, I can keep them to myself. (You should see all the adaptations/uses of the Time's Up flag I've run across over the years- some promoting downright anti-liberty messages.)

Corporate "rights" are similar to IP "rights", as in they can't make sense unless you are in a hallucination. They are also economically useful-- to a segment of the population, anyway.

Rights are individual. Human individuals have rights. Groups (of humans) have no rights. A corporation is a group of individuals, defined by government, and treated as though it were an individual by that government. None of this changes reality or creates rights. Each individual who is a part of the corporation has equal and identical rights to every other individual, but no more. There's no such thing as extra rights. (Cops' superstitions notwithstanding.)

If a corporation's individuals try to insist on having government enforce its IP rights, this is such a stack of lie upon lie that it is hard to see what's even going on. Other than lots of "someones" pretending that things that aren't rights are. It's a very government-supremacist way to operate.

What about the insane claim that government has a right to do anything?
Governments are groups. As such, governments can't have rights. They have no right to make up and enforce imaginary "rights" for other collectives which can have no rights. They have no right to do things to individuals based on protecting the "right" of government to do anything to anyone for any reason. There is no such thing, and there can be no such thing, as a "right" to violate the rights of individuals. Government has no property rights. Government is not alive and therefore has no right to live. Government has no right to exist or to act. 

To violate individual rights is evil. To violate individual rights based on some crazy notion of "rights" that can't exist is both evil and crazy. To begin to truly respect individual rights would eliminate any perceived "necessity" for these silly non-rights. Which is why government tries so hard to prevent it.

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