Wednesday 5 February 2014

Human Rights - another modernist evil


Human Rights imply coercion.

Because when something is a Right, it must be fulfilled, somebody must fulfil that Right: by compulsory allocation of a portion of their time, effort, money or other resources.

If the Human Right is absolute - so is the coercion.


Coercion implies that somebody be coerced.

When coercion is necessary, in practice this therefore means that - whoever can be coerced are the ones who are coerced.

Those who can be coerced are The Weak.


(More taxes are taken from those who cannot avoid more taxes; not from those who 'deserve' to be taxed. The higher the tax take, the more this is so. Those who take taxes are The Strong, those who are taxed are The Weak; and the taking of taxes makes The Strong stronger, and The Weak weaker - the feedback loop is positive.)


And, conversely, those who are in a position to resist coercion will not be forced to fulfil Human Rights.

Those who can resist coercion are The Strong.


Therefore, in practice and always, Human Rights are provided by The Strong coercing The Weak to provide the necessary resources.

Human Rights are provided by The Weak. 

But because they are acting under coercion, and not acting by choice, The Weak get zero moral credit for providing Human Rights - instead The Strong get moral credit for confiscating resources from The Weak in order to provide Human Rights.


In sum: Human Rights are provided by The Weak, but moral credit goes to The Strong.

Human Rights are how The Strong get ever more power, and more status, and more resources to deploy as they wish; all of this power, money and status being coercively-extracted from the The Weak. 

No wonder Human Right are so popular with The Strong! No wonder The Strong are always inventing new Human Rights!



voodoo child said...

To me the only claim, 'right', one can make on his fellow humans is to not to be killed by them on a whim. (Maybe some Common Law additions, ca the American Revolution.) The 'rights' concept, as you say, pre-steers any discussion by framing, per Lakoff.

George said...

Another example of inverted morality. Theft and jealousy are no longer sins, but a high-moral good because of Human Rights.

It seems for every major sin, the modern world has a big justification with which it renames the sin and creates a new morality.

Bruce B. said...

What about “Social Justice.” I have noticed that a prayer for Social Justice appeared in the 1928 BCP. I have a BCP that was printed in the 1890’s and it’s not there.

Bruce Charlton said...

@BB - Social Justice = Human Rights.

Really it is by now pretty obvious that these are wedge-concepts, designed to penetrate and break up Christianity and tradition.

The 1928 BCP was an attempt at Anglo-Catholic Christian Socialist takeover within the C of E. That was - I think - when the 'three little words' were changed in the Lord's Prayer - precursor to modern liturgical chaos and the wholesale re-writing of doctrine.

JP said...

You could replace "human rights" with "environmentalism" and the logic would be identical.

Environmentalism implies coercion; we must do something about the environment. Weak nations, weak corporations, and weak people are coerced -- resources are extracted from them to pay for "the environment" or to "fight global warming".

But then, writ large, "human rights" and "the environment" are like every other kind of socialist scam. They entail the transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected with the government and media as arbiter and enforcer.

Sylvie D. Rousseau said...

I like your way of pointing out that Human Rights (with capitals, one of the main tenets of the leftist-nihilist religion) are an exact inversion of human rights (no capitals) as deduced from natural law.

A little caveat: law enforcement, punishment, coercion, used to be for the things we must not do, the things that encroach on natural rights. Indeed, if it is coerced, it is not a right but an obligation protecting some corresponding right. I think the PC Left is in effect enforcing futile obligations to protect imaginary rights stated in unreasonable or nonsensical laws.

Arakawa said...

I wouldn't say the concept of a right is inherently bankrupt. Someone's right is merely the converse of someone else's responsibility. A right not to be killed, as per 'voodoo child' above, translates straightforwardly into a responsibility laid on each person in their right mind not to kill people, and on the government to restrain people who are not in their right mind on this matter.

It's when people start to invent 'rights' that fail to match up to obvious responsibilities, or to ludicrous 'responsibilities' that can only be enforced via large-scale schemes of coercion, or they demand more and more rights while denying the validity of the very notion of a responsibility....

This is while most of these rights lay a responsibility on the government, which is busy dismantling the whole idea of responsibility in its internal operations (overlapping committees can instead endlessly lay the blame on one another), while at the same time looking for every excuse to go around coercing people. So it is more of a situational reason why the term 'right' has this thoroughly tainted connotation... but boy, how deep we are into this situation now....

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ara - "I wouldn't say the concept of a right is inherently bankrupt. "

Maybe not, but I think it is clear that Human Rights are a slippery slope, and we cannot stop at the point where their advantages outweigh disadvantages - having grated authority to the concept of Human Rights we just keep on sliding.

Jonathan C said...

The strong get "moral credit" in their own eyes, but of course, in God's eyes nobody gets moral credit in this arrangement. They've found a way to do "charity" that debases all three parties involved--the Strong, the Weak, and the Recipients.

JP said...

The "right not to be killed" is not a Human Right as BGC defines it here. Murder was already a crime for thousands of years before Human Rights were invented. There was no need to invent Human Rights (and a vast coercive mechanism to enforce them) in order to prevent such ordinary, well-understood crimes. Human Rights were (and are) clearly intended to serve other purposes besides preventing ordinary crimes, for which the usual processes of law enforcement were perfectly adequate - or were before the PC crew started interfering with them.

Therefore, the concept of Human Rights is bankrupt because such "rights" often overlap with existing laws (against murder, assault, etc.). In this case the Human Right in question is at best redundant and at worst a way to prosecute someone twice for the same offense. Alternatively, when the Human Right is a new one invented out of whole cloth, it is evil, because it involves the strong coercing the weak as BGC explained.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JC. Absolutely right. It is so perfect an arrangement of evil that it is hard not to conclude that Satan has a very direct influence in the propagation of Human Rights. Or, perhaps more exactly, it is what is meant by an Antichrist phenomenon - doing great evil in the name of Good, such as to fool almost everyone.

“The Antichrist must be understood as a spiritual phenomenon. Why will everyone in the world want to bow down to him? Obviously, it is because there is something in him which responds to something in us—that something being a lack of Christ in us. If we will bow down to him (God forbid that we do so!), it will be because we will feel an attraction to some kind of external thing, which might even look like Christianity, since ‘Antichrist’ means the one who is ‘in place of Christ’ or looks like Christ.” Fr Seraphim Rose

Bruce Charlton said...

Comment from LEO

"The danger with the language of rights is the abuse of the determination of what is a right and who determines it, but we should not discard this concept. Good ideas can be corrupted, distorted, and abused, but the original idea can still be a good one.

In the Declaration of Independence, certain rights are seen as inalienable (or unalienable if you prefer). That is, they cannot be taken away. They cannot even be given away. That is what inalienable meant. God permanently assigned them to us. Men are “endowed by their Creator” in the words of the Declaration. We cannot, therefore, consent to their loss, and we have a right to resist their being taken away by men.

These are not human rights in the sense that humans thought them up and can enforce them. They are divine rights God gave to his children as a birthright, and only God can abrogate them. We have no right, therefore, to take our own life or to sell ourselves into slavery.

Once the original link to God is broken, then danger is at hand."

Bruce Charlton said...

On Google Doodle today

"The practice of sport is a human right.

"Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

–Olympic Charter

Nonsense on stilts, of course - yet put forward with all due seriousness for our contemplation.

JP said...


What is the basis for thinking that the "rights" that the Declaration says God gave to us were actually given to us by God? (Other than "the founders said so" of course.)

Where do you see "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" in the Bible?

No doubt you could do one of these modern day exercises in trying to derive whatever-the-Left-wants-today from the Bible, but I am skeptical.

Mercurius Aulicus said...

To quote Russell Kirk in The Conservative mind: Radicalism at the end of the eighteenth century expressed its case in terms of “natural rights”. Ever since Paine’s Rights of Men was published, the notion of inalienable natural rights has been embraced by the mass of men in a vague and belligerent form, ordinarily confounding “rights” with desires. This confusion in definition plagues society today, notably in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” drawn up by the United Nations Organization: thirty articles, and a somewhat greater number of “rights” defined therein, including the right to free education, the right to “enjoy the arts”, the right of copyright, the right to an international order, the right to “the full development of personality”, the right to equal pay, the right to marry, and a great many more which actually are not rights at all, but merely aspirations. The conservative adage that all radical “natural rights” are simply, in substance, a declaration of the Right to be Idle is suggested in Article 2: “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.” This lengthy catalogue of “rights” ignores the two essential conditions which are attached to all true rights; first, the capacity of individuals to claim and exercise the alleged right; second, the correspondent duty that is married to every right. If a man has a right to marry, some woman must have the duty of marrying him; if a man has a right to rest, some other person must have the duty of supporting him. If rights are confused thus with desires, the mass of men must feel always that some vast, intangible conspiracy thwarts their attainment of what they are told is their inalienable birthright. Burke (and after him, Coleridge), perceiving this danger of fixing upon society a permanent grudge frustration, tried to define true natural right and true natural law.