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Human RightsTaking a stand against human rights could be considered mad, or at least risky in the extreme. We don't do things like this without thinking it through. However, on the other hand, we did promise to always tell the truth as we saw it. If we are mistaken, then we will proudly stand corrected.

 

 

 

 

 

 WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?

Public wisdom

When most people hear about human rights, they automatically assume that they are:

  • Some sort of rights
  • Obvious
  • Universal
  • Good

But almost nobody can explain what they are. Nobody bothers to at least take the time to figure out what exactly are they are and where do they come from. This is normal because we have all been brainwashed not to ask questions. We are being constantly bombarded with disinformation (or at least one-sided information) so that we do not question.

Well, not us. That's why we are here.

We will analyze each one of those premises, but first, we need to understand where human rights come from.

The origin of human rights

There are two points of view. The most common (an erroneous) point of view is that human rights are a product of political theories. The precise answer to the question is that human rights are more fundamental principles which, in turn, give rise to political theories. As such, they are as political as it gets. As you can imagine, this does not bode well because as we have shown in Political Theories and Systems - What They Are And How They Work, Political Theories are unstable, subjective, self-contradicting, unproven and un-provable ideas or models as to how a system of government should work. And these are only Political Theories; when a Political Theory is put to practice becoming a Political System it becomes utterly indescribable precisely due to "realpolitik" (or so-called "political pragmatism"). Yes, that's the ultimate origin of human rights. Are you getting a warm and fuzzy feeling yet?

Yes, this is a rhetoric question.

The bottom line is that human rights are nothing more than political opinions.

Types of human rights

As with any right, they can be classified as positive or negative.

  • Positive rights

These are the rights that demand a duty of action or assistance from other people. What this means is that just because you have such a right, other people must do something for you. Typical examples are self-determination, subsistence, education, health care, etc. They are called economic, social and cultural rights.

  • Negative rights

These are rights that demand a duty of inaction or non-interference from other people. What this means is that just because you have said human right, people must not mess with what you are doing. Typical examples of such rights are freedom of religion, belief, association, etc. They are called civil and political rights.

Concept of duty

Positive and negative human rights imply and demand a duty to you from others. This is, just because you have a right, people must or must not do certain things. What exactly those duties may be depend of which basic political belief you agree with. In other words, which political theory you subscribe to; what is your political orientation.

Political orientation

If human rights are indeed basic beliefs that gave rise to political theories, this implies that each political theory may postulate different human rights. This is correct. Some human rights are shared by many political theories while others are not. Let's take a look at a simple example.

Right political theories (liberalism and conservatism) stress private property rights. They argue for non-interference with those rights. Non-interference is a negative right. It is the duty of all humans not to interfere with private property rights.

Left political theories (socialism, communism) stress collective ownership. They argue for action that will bring about collective ownership. This action is a positive right. It is the duty of all humans act to create the collective ownership of properties, hence destroying private property rights.

Both political theories believe in human rights which are often completely opposite in objectives, right types and duties!

THE ANALYSIS

The concept of duty

As we have seen above, for human rights to exist we need the concept of duty. Duty is simply an obligation that a person has to act or not act, and so the most relevant question is where this duty comes from? What makes this duty valid and legitimate? In order to answer this question, we need to know who is imposing this duty on you. The answer? Governments. Governments impose this duty on you.

Fair enough, therefore the validity and legitimacy of this duty is directly tied to the validity and legitimacy of governments. But this validity and legitimacy rests squarely on Social Contracts. But as we have seen in Social Contract Are A Scam

such a legitimacy simply does not exist. This means that governments are invalid and illegitimate which means that all their actions are invalid and illegitimate, which means that the duty for human rights that they are imposing on you is very much indeed invalid and illegitimate!

The rights

As we have also seen above, the specific human rights that governments will impose on you are directly dependent upon the political theory that a government subscribes to. But different governments subscribe to different political theories which may or may not be tinted with political views that may be different to a large degree! Furthermore, just because your government has a specific political orientation, this does not mean that you have the same one!

In other words, human rights are actually political decisions taken by governments based on their current political views. This is, they are just current opinions!

Obvious

Are human rights obvious? Well, no. Human rights are not obvious. It took thousands of years' worth of political philosophizing to arrive at them. Even when political philosophers finally managed to get some theories up and running, human rights differ from political theory to political theory. If human rights would be obvious, we could list them by ourselves. Try this. Get to your family and friends and ask one by one to list basic human rights. You will notice that some of them may actually remember one or two, but that's it. None of them will be able to list them all! Human rights are not obvious because they evolved from difficult political philosophies that evolved for more than 2000 years.

Universal

Are human rights universal? Well, no. As we have shown above, human rights depend upon political theories. Different ones will have different basic ideas at their core and therefore they will have different points of view as to what is a human right and what is not. Above we have shown an example of how this works in reality with property rights. Here you have a supposed right which is interpreted in diametrical opposition by two different political theories. So no, human rights are not universal.

Good

Are human rights good? To answer this question we need to understand what is the goal of political theories. Each such theory has the goal of maximizing "good". The problem is that each theory defines "good" differently. Right spectrum political theories define "good" a non-interference with free markets. Left spectrum political theories define "good" as complete governmental control of markets. Therefore, from each theory's point of view a human right is "good" if it supports the definition of "good" as defined by the theory. However, political theories have opposite views on what is "good" and what is not. This means that a human right can be "good" or "bad" depending from which political theory you are analyzing it or worse! It could be "good" and "bad" simultaneously if you take the view that diametrically opposing political theories co-exist simultaneously! So you tell us, are human rights good or bad?

Conclusion

As a matter of fact, human rights are:

  • Subjective rights
  • Not Obvious
  • Not Universal
  • Neither Good nor Bad

In other words, human rights are whatever politicians say that they are because it is more convenient for them to define them the way they define them because they define them in this way and not in any other way at the moment which may or may not change tomorrow or upon their subjective judgment in any other possible future. Got that!?

It can't get any simpler than this; and don't let us catch you gossiping that we do not explain things. Geezzzz…!

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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