Archives for posts with tag: rights

“You have a right to defend yourself, be armed, be dangerous and be moral.”
Madison Cawthorn, Representative for NC

In the context of Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial, a friend asked me ‘which right takes precedence?’

A ‘right’ can be understood in two ways.

As something granted to somebody by somebody else.
Or as a consequence of modus vivendi. A consequence of how people interact among themselves.

People who see it in the first way, will ‘fight’ to establish that ‘precedence’.

Those who understand rights as being a consequence of social evolution will negotiate among themselves about the order in which rights should be exerted.

Hence my assertion. No guns should be present at a ‘peaceful’ manifestation. Where people come to manifest their grievances. Where a car or two might get torched. Where a window or two might get smashed.
But where – if things go as ‘planed’, nobody will loose more than a couple of teeth. No matter what!

But as soon as guns are brought along, the ‘atmosphere’ is changed. People start loosing their lives.
And while a car, or a window, can be replaced… lost life cannot be brought back!

And for me, life takes precedence over property. I would aim a gun – If I had one, at somebody trespassing through my bedroom but I would not shoot at them unless my – or others, life was in danger.

So yes, Rittenhouse was right to defend himself but he shouldn’t have brought that rifle to a manifestation. No matter how riotous. It wasn’t his job to police the town. A town which wasn’t his home, where he owned no property… but where he eventually had taken two lives while ‘protecting property’. While asserting “his right to bear arms“.

Kyle Rittenhouse: Calls for calm after US teen cleared of murder.
These Are the Victims Killed in the Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting in Kenosha.
A Tale of Two Shootings.
St. Louis couple who brandished guns at protesters plead guilty.

I’m not OK with businesses refusing flowers/cakes for gay marriages but I can understand their owners’ point.
On the other hand, I also understand people who don’t want to wear masks. I’m not OK with it but I understand their quest.

What I don’t understand is the insistence with which some people want to ‘discriminate’ between these two situations.
Why should a business be able to refuse to serve a gay couple but not able to refuse to serve those who refuse to wear masks?!?

How can people discriminate between liberties? What makes a liberty more valuable than the other?
Specially when love between two people sharing a similar sex is still love while sharing viruses is potentially deadly…

And what’s so ‘progressive’ in calling other people ‘assholes’?!?

When are we going to cool down and start making some sense of what we’re living through?


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And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
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SARS-CoV 2 lock-downs have intensified the already heated discussion about ‘rights’. About “our rights”. Which have to be defended “at all costs”.

The way I see it, rights can be evaluated from two directions.
As ‘gifts’. Either gifted to us by ‘higher authorities’ or conquered for us by our ancestors.
Or as ‘procedures’. Elaborated in time by society and coined into law by our wise predecessors. Who had duly noticed that societies which respect certain rights work way better than those who don’t.

After all, societies are nothing but meta-organisms. Which, like all other organisms, function for only as long as the components interact according to certain, and very specific, rules. The ‘better’ the rules, the better the organism works.

In this sense, ‘rights’ are the code we use when interacting among ourselves. The rules we use when cooperating towards the well being of the society.

You don’t care about the society? Only about ‘your rights’?

OK, but if the society, as a whole, doesn’t work properly, who’s going to respect ‘your rights’?
Who’s going to help you when a bully will try to snatch ‘your rights’ away from you?
And bullies trying to separate you from ‘your rights’ are the most certain occurrence whenever societies cease to function properly.
Whenever the individual members of a society no longer respect each-other enough to collectively uphold their rights. Their rights.

Our rights.

Does he have any ‘right to exert his authority, inside the limits that have been delineated for him’?

Somebody who has real authority enjoys a certain degree of autonomy, if not outright independence. ‘Authority’ is almost never clearly delineated, there is always a gray area where the discretion of the individual in charge is the one that calls the shots.
More over if we, the ‘subjects’, consider that he has ‘the right’ to exercise that authority then it’s us who are in deep trouble.
‘Exertion of authority’ ‘smacks’ of the situationĀ  when the ‘authority man’ had conquered his position against the wish of his subjects – like the emperors of the old. (Or like the communist dictators of not so long ago, only they pretended to exercise their authority for the benefit of the people while the emperors of the old were more straightforward and declared themselves ‘gods’)
Nowadays, at least in the democratic states, authority is, theoretically, used as a tool, towards the accomplishment of what the person in charge is supposed to achieve, not as a right enjoyed by that person.
In fact the notion of a right to exert authority inside some limits is akin to what has been described as ‘feudalism’, a social arrangement not that different from the Athenian democracy. The people were divided in two categories, just as in the previous situation – the ‘imperiums’ of the Antiquity, the difference being that in an imperium the top class was inhabited by a single individual – the emperor/dictator, while in feudalism/Athenian democracy the top class was inhabited by the free people, whose authority/freedom extended only as far as it started to encroach the authority of the equivalent individuals. I have to remark here thatĀ in many circumstances feudalism has very quickly degenerated back to imperium – for instance in absolutist France, ‘L’etat c’est moi’, or in tsarist Russia, while England successfully avoided that due to the spirit enshrined in Magna Charta.
The difference between feudalism/Athenian democracy and the modern democracy being that currently we can no longer speak of individual authority simply because nowadays no one has the “right” to own slaves – as the Athenian ‘democrats’ had, nor even enjoy extensive authority (bar the right of life and death) over other people – the serfs, as the feudal barons did not so long ago.
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