Interesting Question

The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another....We are the state, and we shall continue to be the state until we have created the institutions that form a real community and society of men.

- Gustav Landauer, Schwache Stattsmanner, Schwacheres Volk!, June, 1910

Selected Correspondence:

18 June 2006

What are rights anyway?

Rights are freedoms of action that are known to be enforceable. Consequently there are no rights without beliefs about the future effects of behavior. Unenforcable general rights exist only insofar as they are argumentation that may one day yield enforcement.

Hence the Divine Right of Kings, the right of way, mining rights, conjugal rights, property rights, and copyright.

The decision as to what should be enforced and what may be ignored is political. This does not mean that rights are unimportant, but rather, that politics (the societal control of freedom) is so important as to subsume rights.

Politics emerges as the expression of the battle between our collective desires and strenghts. Due to the common nature of mankind, there is great commonality in some of our strongest desires. When these desires do not compete they drive politics forward to ensure their forfillment. This is what we usually mean by the capitalised Right, a powerword, a threat of collective enforcement.