Rights: Social and political aspects and implications
There is a price to be paid for every right.
When rights are enforced, freedom is lost.
This set of web pages contains comments on rights and freedoms.
Letter to the editor of The Age
More on Rights
Women comprise ten percent of the
population on skid row
Rights and Freedoms - Summary
Dear Editor, The Age (Australia)
Do the right thing, October 18, 2003
Barney Zwartz' article presents a confusing and bewildering array of
views on rights, but then it goes right back to antiquity, when the
society of people who debated rights consisted of a few thousand people
and the slaves who supported the rights of the free a hundred times more.
The article doesn't openly come across as being critical of any of those
varying and sometimes opposing views and doesn't specifically judge
anything at all (although it claims to do so), but in essence it presents
all of the views on rights as being equally valid. Of course, that is
absolutely true only if we accept the condition of relativism in which
total chaos is the norm on account of the absence of all standards.
Although some criticism of all other views on rights is inherent in each
individual definition of rights, all of the definitions share some common
What should such a comprehensive collection of rights definitions be
called? After all, there's got to be a name for it, not? How about: "The
pluralism of rights or the right to pluralism -- whatever suits you"?
Some of the definitions in the article mention obligations. Most of
them don't. That hides a fact that nobody can get away from. Nobody can
exercise, or avail himself of, any right at all unless somebody else or
everybody else grants it or is forced to "grant" it.
Barney Zwartz does not appear to promote any given view of rights over
any other, other than that he implies that the cult of individual rights
is being carried to excesses and that the pursuit of any and all rights at
any cost is contrary to the welfare of the tradition of community that
people pine for and would love to restore. However, how is anybody to
judge whether the curtailment of unrestricted rights is good or bad, wrong
or correct? Didn't liberalism all along make a good living on promoting
that unrestricted rights and the dismantling of the patriarchal traditions
of civilization were an absolute necessity?
Can we and must we now switch horses in midstream and accept that if we
rely instead on liberalism to get to the other side we will drown?
The granting of rights would be a giving and receiving of charity if it
were done voluntarily. The vast majority of rights are today being decided
by government fiat and hardly ever through any democratic process. The
social costs of those rights must be born by all able or willing members
of society -- through various forms of taxes. An individual can consider
taxes to be a charity only if he eagerly and happily pays them. However,
taxes are a mandatory obligation, a firm duty, for which failure to comply
with carries stiff and harsh punishment.
That is how privileges are turned into rights and how the voluntary
giving of charity is turned into mandatory indentured servitude to meet
financial obligations to the state resulting from the demand of rights by
others. There is far more to that.
Liberalism focuses on individual rights being an absolute, fundamental
social condition. In theory it says much about equitability, but it is in
reality where it fails to deliver. Rights cannot easily be promoted and
popularized without there being victims who are worthy of receiving them.
Where there are victims, there are oppressors and perpetrators of crimes
against the victims. Liberalism amply demonstrated its capability to
create more categories of oppressors and criminals than there are
categories of victims. On account of the cult of individual rights being
carried to excesses, our society has become increasingly more chaotic.
Mind you, there is a bit of order in the liberal chaos. It doesn't make
much difference who is doing the pointing of fingers, they all are pointed
without exception at western civilization and, within that, at the
patriarchy. Even western social engineers of both sexes derive orgiastic
pleasure from pointing their fingers in self-loathing at western society
-- firmly ignoring all of the enormous wealth of ideals and inventions
western civilization brought to the world, improving lives enormously for
all throughout the world, from the spreading of universal languages that
unified and even created cultures to bringing about substantial
improvements in living standards and average life expectancies everywhere.
Many rights came into existence during the past 100 years or more that
were never before recognized. For example, people in every developed
nation now have the right to receive a government-funded old-age-security
pension without the requirement to ever having to pay a dime into a fund
that would entitle them to it or to any other given benefit, that is,
except for those who willingly
bind themselves in indentured servitude.
The people who exercise their right to work thereby firmly commit
themselves to pay for the rights of all others, whether those are
gainfully employed or not, including the right of others not to work at
all. Traditionally it has been and still is predominantly men who choose
the right to pay for the right of women, the infirm, the elderly and the
not-yet productive not to work and to live off the labour of others.
In an equitable society such sacrifices by men would earn them much
honour. Nevertheless, in a liberal society in which men are said to be the
oppressors of the weak and everything that is female, that is no longer
possible. Since time immemorial men have been given the "right" to work
for everyone else, and, given their newly acquired reputation as brutes
and oppressors that the feminists awarded them, they can no longer
rightfully claim the full status of honourable citizens that justifiably
belongs to them. That is not logical, but it is liberalism, whereby some
people have more or more-forcefully-exercised rights than others. From
those in power to those in need, from those who work to those who don't,
from those who are male to those who are female (so much for the illusion
that it is all males who rape all of the females).
It is a false idea that anyone made sufficient contributions to justify
receiving the level of pay-outs from any government social security or
pension plan presently offered. In general and virtually without
exception, government pension- or security plans and the escalating,
increasingly uncontrollable, runaway government debts caused by them
saddle all other current members of society not receiving a pay-out with
the obligation to pay in to the plans increasingly more than they can ever
expect to get back. So much more that the younger an individual
contributor is, the less he can ultimately expect to get back for what he
pays in. That is because an ever increasing portion of what he pays goes
to servicing the debt racked up by the government in providing any and all
rights to all comers who qualify for politically-correct victim status.
As of now it is that older people or those whose right it is to choose
to be unproductive receive far in excess of what they did pay in. Within
just a few years, the people retiring then, after having made substantial
contributions to support the older or unproductive people now, will under
no circumstance receive as much in pay-outs as they presently put into the
social safety nets to support the generation that preceded them.
For one thing, nothing really or not even remotely close enough to
being enough ever goes into any funds to secure future liabilities against
those social safety nets that are now seen as universal and perpetual
rights. Whatever payments are being made by those who work go directly
into general revenue and not into any fund at all. The government then
happily covers from general revenue any obligations that currently come
due, and any "budget surplus" is lavished on whatever novel victims manage
to establish new and innovative rights. Thereby the perpetual escalation
of total government liabilities and individual rights is ensured.
There is of course a way out, but it is not practical, it just moves to
future generations the obligation to pay for the rights we have now
Government can put society even deeper into debt and saddle future
generations with a debt that is vastly greater than that they are saddled
with already. That is exactly what government does, and that is why
government debt is rapidly escalating out of control.
When and how quickly all of that will collapse into chaos depends on
how much longer society can service the massive government debt that is in
the order of $150,000 per capita (about 20 percent of that constitutes
accumulated budget deficit, and the rest is unsecured and unfunded future
liabilities) -- the price we paid for virtually unrestrained liberalism
and unrestricted individual rights.
Of course, the government can also insist that, since we no longer can
pay for the rights we granted ourselves, all debts are cancelled and
written off. That has been done on occasion, with the only perceptible and
lasting result being that the next round of clamouring for rights was even
more ferocious and unrestrained than any of the rounds that precipitated
the economic downturn or collapse.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. One person's rights become
another's or all others' obligations. Unfortunately, families have largely
been effectively and efficiently dismantled, even many of those that
ostensibly still exist. For the vast majority of people, direct human
interaction to bestow charity on all who deserve it is no longer a fact,
not even amongst close relatives, let alone distant ones. That means that
charity now is a mandatory service that every taxpayer has to provide for
through the taxes he pays and out of which the government provides funding
to itself or to organizations that provide charity to recipients who view
it as their right to receive that charity whether they earned it or not.
That makes being a spendthrift a virtue, more correctly a right, a
prerequisite for the very existence and rapid growth of government,
doesn't it? It's a reversal of the ranking of the industriousness of the
ant over the social irresponsibility of the grasshopper, with the first
pig at the trough -- and the one closest to it is usually the first --
getting the largest share of available "rights".
The sum of all contributions collected at any point in time is
insufficient to meet the sum of all of the demands on the various social
safety nets that exist at that point in time. Therefore debts accrue on
account of the need to meet shortfalls with which future generations are
being saddled. Hordes of government bureaucrats and the politicians whom
they firmly control worry about how that can be achieved without causing
the house of cards they built to collapse while they are still in office.
It is no accident that government bureaucrats and officials receive the
largest portions from the trough. They decide how much is being poured
into the trough and whether the general public, too, will get any access
to it at all.
And there is no limit on what rights and how many rights are available,
nor on what they cost or whether we can afford any of them. Just ask for
anything you want. You may not get all you ask for, but if you want to
make sure you get all or more of what you want, become a bureaucrat.
None of the views on rights presented in the article by Barney Zwartz
change to any large extent the progression I outlined. We are in serious
trouble as soon as rights are granted so that they become mandatory
obligations without regard to society's ability to pay right now for the
rights that are being used right now. A sleight of hand or a shell game do
not affect objective reality or the absolute truth. They only change our
perceptions of the absolute truth.
Too bad that Barney Zwartz did not mention what Milton & Rose Friedman
wrote about rights in "Free to Choose: A Personal Statement" (1980, 1979,
Avon Books, ISBN: 0-380-52548-8) After all, Milton Friedman got a Nobel
Prize, and Aristotle would have a hard time to be nominated today, not the
least on account of the realistic but politically incorrect views he held
of women's impact on the economy and politics.
Nevertheless, even Milton Friedman didn't get it all right. He
predicted in 1980 that the tide (of uncritically-accepted entitlements)
was turning (to be replaced with more common sense). Instead, the
acceleration of the decay of our financial sanity caused by our obsession
with rights escalated out of control.
I appended a few comments between quotes from the article [comments in
Walter H. Schneider
Fathers for Life
|The Age (Melbourne)
By Barney Zwartz
Rights are how we make moral claims today.
But such language can promote conflict and obscure what's at issue,
suggests Barney Zwartz.
Two recent court cases in the United States show how the talk of
rights has gone right off. In Florida a woman confined to a
wheelchair sued a bar for discrimination because they wouldn't hire
her as a lap dancer. And in Ohio a mother caught breastfeeding,
talking on her mobile phone and taking notes while driving at 100
kmh fought her fine in court, saying her constitutional rights were
It's true that this represents the reductio ad absurdum of rights
language, but it signposts a significant development in the past 50
years. That is, the way almost any moral discourse, and especially
any claim, is expressed in terms of rights. The language of rights
has become so second nature that it is hard for many to conceive
that there is an issue here. Even the church, against whom the
language of rights was developed, has embraced it. What has
happened? How did rights become so dominant in our moral thinking
and why is it a problem? (Full
Appended Quotes and Comments
1.) BZ: From a staunch and scathing critic of rights as subversive of
community and authority, the church has become a leading champion - and
without the theological revision this reversal might suggest.
[That appears not to be true at all. It ignores that the Church
became a champion of charity, and often the only one available and
willing. However, the Church did stress the need for self-reliance, and
charity offered by the Church became a last resort, not a universal right.
Generally it thought that welfare began at home and should stay there,
making for the promotion of intact families, not for their dissolution.
2.) BZ: The key was the Vatican II council in the early 1960s, which
brought a fundamental shift in the church's understanding of its place in
a pluralistic world and which explicitly recognised freedom of religion.
[However, not a single one of the precepts of Vatican II has been
incorporated into the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. In essence,
Vatican II is nothing more than a formal declaration of the consensus of
Roman Catholic liberalists. --WHS]
3.) BZ: English theologian J. Andrew Kirk underlines this with an
instructive paraphrase of the Old Testament prophet Amos: "Hear, O
countries of the Western world, this word of the Lord: you sell the
righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes (marked 'made in
Brazil'). You trample the heads of the poor into the dust of the earth and
turn aside the way of the afflicted. You take exactions from the poor
(copper from Chile and Zambia, tin from Bolivia, coffee from Uganda, tea
from Sri Lanka, fish from Peru). You have built houses of hewn stone (and
filled them with trivial luxuries).
[Whether something is a luxury or not requires judging by some
standard. What shall that standard be? Should it be something agreed upon
by society? How will that be determined? Should society decide that
something not necessary to sustain life is a luxury, or should it be
rooted in an individual's perceptions of what he is "rightfully" entitled
More on Rights
Don't neglect to read also:
October 30, 2003
by Paul C. Robbins, Ph.D.
The plot was simple: Snidely Whiplash versus Tom Trueheart for the
love of Tess. Tess was young and desirable, torn between Whiplash and
Snidely Whiplash wanted to ravage Tess and cared not a whit about her
welfare....He wanted to do her in, and then Tom Trueheart came to Tess'
rescue and did Snidely Whiplash in.
As Paul Robbins explains, such a story teaches morals, and the moral
is that in today's society Joe Average is Snidely, feminists are Tess,
and the politicians are Tom Trueheart (or successfully pretend to be
not to gain "Tess'" love but to gain her...I better not tell all of it
and let you read the rest).
An eye-opening read; give a copy to your friends. It explains
the basic and extremely successful strategy used to ram women's
"liberation" down everyone's throat. All men, their friends and
our children are the losers, but women lose, too, the more they gain
There is absolutely nothing new about that sort of recent development.
The trend is nothing but a continuation of the chivalry by "men" of the
Victorian age (politicians, judges and lawyers) who did their best to give
women — in the name of liberating them from male oppression — more and more
privileges at the expense of common men. In that fashion
The Fraud of
Feminism (1913, by Belfort Bax) has been at work already for
hundreds of years to bring about
Legal Subjection of Men (1908, by Belfort Bax).
Note: The Internet Archive does not always produce results for those two
preceding links. However, the two pieces by Belfort Bax can be found and accessed
in other locations on the Net. You can use, for example,
MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, Warren Farrell explains that men and women
are equally powerless but that men and boys are being indoctrinated to
admire women and to follow career paths that enable men to give women what
women want. For example:
What Are Boys Good For?
What does a teenage girl learn to give to a
boy? Let's look at a thirteen-page spread in Teen-the Christmas 1984
issue. Approximately seventy presents are mentioned, with an average price
of about thirty dollars (over two thousand dollars' [close to US$5,000 in
2007 dollars — F4L] worth of presents). Only one is for a male-pajamas
for a baby boy. As with Ms., no presents for boyfriends.
There are several teenage boys shown in the
pictures. One admires a girl while she admires herself in the mirror;
another is towing a girl's brand-new car. The same use of men as in
Is the girl in the Teen spread helping
the boy who has attached her car to a tow truck? No. She drapes herself over
the tow truck. And how does she learn to handle a stressful situation? The
caption explains: "If a stressful situation causes complexion concerns, keep
skin under control with Noxzema Acne 12. And pass the time in an
All twelve days of Christmas run the same
pattern: "Keep tabs on your weight," "File your nails ... ," "Massage your
hands," "Massage your feet," "Turn heads in your direction by keeping lips
lusciously lubricated .... " What does he get? Nothing is mentioned but her
beauty. What lessons does he learn? Admire and rescue. [Emphasis
by F4L] In Teen. In Ms.
Do teenage boys' magazines show a girl towing
his brand-new car, while he drapes himself over her tow truck and
worries about his acne? Hardly.
In men's magazines there are only a few gifts
for men to buy women. Remember the principle of the De Beers transfer. She
chooses the diamond and chooses among the men her beauty power can attract
to buy it. Which is why his ads are for how to become successful enough to
buy whatever she chooses; hers are to become beautiful enough to be able to
make the choice of both the gift and the man to buy the gift. Men's
magazines do not feature many gifts for women because men are expected to do
the buying after consulting the women, not the magazine, and to concentrate
their energies on making the money.
ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, By Warren Farrell, p 34-35
Once they become men (or perhaps even sooner), men
(or boys) begin to catch on. For example:
Why is changing a light bulb always a guy's job? Because women have more
important things to do - like making men feel useful and important by giving
them things to do, like changing light bulbs.
How many divorced men does it take to change a light bulb? None. They never
get the house anyway.
— Edmonton Journal,
2007 08 28, p. B2, Venting
edmontonjournal.com Online Extras - Venting)
It will take quite some time yet, however, before a majority of
society gets Warren Farrell's message expressed in the following.
One of the fascinating
parts about men is our tendency to subject ourselves to war, physical abuse,
and psychological abuse and call it "power." The ability to be totally out
of control while continuing to view ourselves as the ones with the power can
have certain advantages to a woman. As expressed in this poem:
He bought me
drinks all evening
in response to just a wink
Then accepted my invitation to
repair my kitchen sink
Then I brought him into beddy-bye
to get a little sex
Then couldn't help but smile
when he called it conquest!
ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, By Warren Farrell, p.
That story, translated into a joke that is far more ironic than
it is funny, goes like this:
An Irishman an Englishman and a Scotsman were sitting in a
bar in Sydney. The view was fantastic, the beer excellent, and the food
exceptional. "But" said the Scotsman, "I still prefer the pubs back home. Why,
in Glasgow there's a little bar called McTavish's. Now the landlord there
goes out of his way for the locals so much that when you buy 4 drinks he
will buy the 5th drink for you."
"Well," said the Englishman "at my local, the Red Lion, the barman there will
buy you your 3rd drink after you buy the first 2."
"Ahhh that's nothin'," said the Irishman, "Back home in Dublin there's Ryan's
Bar. Now the moment you set foot in the place they'll buy you a drink, then
another, all the drinks you like. Then when you've had enough drink they'll
take you upstairs and see that you get laid. All on the house."
The Englishman and Scotsman immediately pour scorn on the Irishman's claims.
He swears every word is true.
"Well," said the Englishman, "Did this actually happen to you?"
"Not myself personally, no" said the Irishman, "but it did happen to my
found at angryharry.com
Men's problem is that
women's "powerlessness" has been amply addressed throughout the history of
evolution, intensively so since the advent of radical feminism
[*], but that men's
powerlessness received little or no attention. Instead, men curry women's favors
by giving women gifts, even the gift of men's lives.
While in the past men were enticed to live up to the social duties
imposed upon them with promises that they would be paid back for that through
society paying them appreciation, honour and respect, today
— thanks to decades of feminist slandering of men, intended to "increase"
the social value of women — men are being vilified for being men, and not much else matters.
* If the term "radical feminism" (a.k.a.
Marxist- or socialist-feminism) is somewhat new to you, you need to expand
your knowledge. After all, radical feminism, the currently controlling
faction of feminism, governs just about everything that is happening in your
Carey Roberts column
Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on
His best-known work is an exposé on Marxism and the roots of
Carey Roberts' best-known work, his exposé on Marxism and the
Roots of Radical Feminism, is not necessarily easy to find, but
this link will help with that. (Some of the URLs for the article
series appear to keep changing. For that reason the identified link
leads to an Internet search for the series. The first or second link in
the return list will most likely lead you to the series.)
If you have concerns about these and other issues related to the condition of
seniors, visit, contact and perhaps even join:
SUN — Seniors United Now
The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization
for seniors (55 years and over) in Alberta
There are in the order of about half a million or more people of age 55 and
over in Alberta. If all of them were to join SUN, they would become the most
powerful advocacy organization in Alberta; and seniors would no longer be robbed
of their comforts and otherwise ignored.
At the price of one package of cigarettes seniors will be able to
gain a voice that will be heard by a government that otherwise can and will take
from seniors what they worked for all their life to enjoy in their old age.
If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the
systematic destruction of our families and society, a search
at google.com (for elderly OR seniors OR grandparent OR grandfather OR
grandmother site:http://fathersforlife.org) will provide you with the links
to about 80 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.