That Feeling When You Mistake Risks for Rights and Thus Consent to Oppression
Holly Wood, PhD 🌹

That Feeling When You Mistake Entitlements for Rights

The United States Constitution includes a Bill of Rights. Real rights. Things that every person may do, without asking for permission, and that the state is not allowed to regulate. It hasn’t worked. Most of it has been infringed, big time, but it at least enumerates actual rights.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is really a bill of entitlements.

Most people do not recognize the difference between a right and an entitlement. All true rights are negative. They forbid anyone from preventing you from doing something. You may not be forbidden to speak, to obtain and carry weapons, to open your house for search without a proper warrant, to be tried without facing your accusers, to be punished without a unanimous conviction by a proper jury trial, etc.

I find no reason for enumeration. If it does not directly harm another person, you should have the right to do it. No matter how harmful it is to yourself. Enumeration is actually harmful, and this was well-known when the Bill of Rights was drafted. It enables the belief that the Bill of Rights grants those rights, and no others. No. Those rights are pre-existing, part of being human. The Bill of Rights is meant to remind the government of domains in which they are not allowed to legislate. Ever.

An entitlement is something that somebody else must create in order for you to have. Food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, if guaranteed by law, are all entitlements. Entitlement is newspeak for theft, from those forced to provide those products and services. Entitlements are wrong. Criminally wrong.

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