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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 (Australian Daily)

More on Rights

Women comprise ten percent of the population on skid row

Rights and Freedoms - Summary

Dear Editor, The Age (Australia)

Re: 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 aspects.

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 Cartoon showing disproportionate burden of providing for the elderly 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 brackets].

Sincerely,

Walter H. Schneider

Fathers for Life

The Age (Melbourne)

18 October 2003

Do the right thing

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 at stake.

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 Story)

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. --WHS]

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 to? --WHS]

More on Rights

Don't neglect to read also:

Men's News Daily

Whiplash vs. Trueheart: The Politics of Melodrama

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 Trueheart....

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 "victim" status.

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 The 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, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Fraud_of_Feminism and http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Legal_Subjection_of_Men

In WHY 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 Self.
   
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 easy-to-wear wardrobe!"
    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. In Self.
   
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.

WHY MEN 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
(more at 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:

One-Night Stand

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!

WHY MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE, By Warren Farrell, p. 289

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 sister."

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 life.  See,

Carey Roberts column

Carey Roberts is an analyst and commentator on political correctness. His best-known work is an exposé on Marxism and the roots of radical feminism.

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 planned, 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.

Next: More on Rights and Freedoms

White RoseThe White Rose
Thoughts are Free

__________________
Posted 2003 10 20
Updates:
2003 11 04 (added reference to The Politics of Melodrama)
2004 06 24 (added entry for SUN — Seniors United Now)
2007 07 29 (added entry for WHY MEN ARE THE WAY THEY ARE)
2007 12 22 (reformated)