"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Myth of Rights

As a child I was taught that the United States of America was a wonderful place because we had rights and that some of those rights were inalienable, which meant that they couldn't be taken away or voted away, that they were ours because we exist...especially, because we exist in the good old U.S. of A. Imagine my shock, several years ago, when I discovered that we really don't have rights. What we have are privleges granted to us by the government.

That's quite a statement, isn't it? Aren't we fighting in the Middle East so that the people there can have democratic governments...and rights? How can I prove my statement that we don't have rights? It's quite simple really, if we use logic.

First of all, if you don't have the right to own property, then you have no rights whatsoever. (This is presented here as a given. I hope you understand. I don't want to take the space in this blog to write several paragraphs of explanation why the right to own property is crucial to all rights.) If you do have the right to own property, then you must also have a right to use or dispose of that property as you wish, just so long as you do not violate the rights of others in so using or disposing of said property. If you cannot use or dispose of the property as you wish, then you do not truly or fully own the property.

For example, lets us say that you buy a refrigerator. It is yours. You own it and can use as you wish. However, if the government tells you that you can't use it to store butter, or ice cream, or beer (because they are bad for you), which are some of the very things for which you bought the refrigerator, then you don't have absolute use of your property when your use does not violate the rights of others. The government, in this case, controls your use. That is, the government is the actual owner of your refrigerator because the government can tell you what you can and cannot use it for.

Second, your most basic property, without which you cannot be a truly free person in a truly liberty-loving society, is yourself--your body and your mind. If you cannot use yourself as you wish, where in so using yourself you do not violate the rights of others, then you are not the true owner of yourself and the person or entity that can, by force if necessary, tell you how you can use your most basic property is the true owner...which makes you a slave, in fact, to that person or entity. (By logical necessity, minor children are not included in the myth of rights. That is, they don't have full adult rights...if ever there was such a thing.)

It is well known that the addictive and dangerous drugs nicotine and alcohol (alcohol being a true narcotic drug), just in unnecessary deaths alone, cause sixty times more such deaths than all the presently illegal drugs combined. (There are 200,000 deaths per year related to the use of alcohol and over 400,000 to nicotine...but fewer than 10,000 to the presently illegal drugs.) But billions (by one estimate, 100 billion dollars a year for all levels of government--local, state, and federal)are being spent to eradicate the use of the presently illegal drugs. This is tantamount to having a broken leg with the bone sticking out and a cut on your thumb and giving priority to the cut on your thumb while ignorning the leg.

But more to the point, if you own the property of your body and mind then you have a right to use any drug you wish. You have a right to abuse yourself with drug use, even to the point that it kills you--as alcohol and tobacco do to over 600,000 people every year. Almost all the violence surrounding the use of the presently illegal drugs is caused, not by the mere use of the drug (as is the case with alcohol), but by the laws which make these substances illegal, thereby opening the door for organized crime and violent street gangs to make huge profits...and to use deadly force to collect those profits when they believe it is necessary. (And, gosh, if the presently illegal drugs were re-legalized--think about it--then how would terrorists be able to make money by selling them...well, of course they couldn't. So, in fact, the war on drugs actually helps the terrorists!)

But again I digress. The point is that if you own yourself and you are not violating the rights of others, then the personal moral and religious beliefs of some (which are what our present drug laws are based upon) should not, under a secular government, be used to force you to live by the personal moral and religious beliefs of those others. It is not for your neighbors to tell you how to live your life as long as you are not violating their rights or anyone's rights. And the only legitimate purpose of a secual government is to protect our right to live our lives as we wish, whether our neighbors like it or not.

This issue of (the myth of) inalienable rights is not just about drug use. That is only one of many ways the the government is used to violate, not protect, our rights. However, for a more in depth discussion of how the present drug laws not only violate our rights, but are based on lies and misinformation, I have a 16-paged dissertation available ($2.00, including shipping and handling). Contact me at todscwaml@hotmail.com for mailing instructions.

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