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Friday, 24 August 2012

Classical Liberal Human Rights Are Not Today Socialist Human Rights

The principle of human rights is derived from the political doctrine of classical liberalism (not to be confused with "liberalism" in the modern American sense of left-wing political orientation).

Consistently with the liberal theory's emphasis on the individual's need to be protected from state interference and power, the concept of human rights has an originally negative connotation (permitting or obliging inaction), as the right not to be killed or physically attacked (right to life), not to be unduly restricted by the state (right to liberty), or not to be hindered in one's legitimate ambitions (right to pursuit of happiness). These are also called liberty rights, i.e. not entailing obligations on other parties, but rather only freedom or permission for the right-holder.

The human rights principle that has been used in recent times has the same name but little else in common with the liberal, original one.

It has a positive connotation (permitting or obliging action): right to a job, a house, a minimum income, free health care, free education, social security, financial support during unemployment, sickness or retirement, welfare, and many more: the list is endless. These are also called claim rights, i.e. entailing responsibilities, duties or obligations on other parties regarding the right-holder.

The state in this perspective has become a provider, like a parent, it is a "paternalistic" state. Far from trying to limit its reach and power to control, people who advocate these ideas cause the state to expand its authority, become bigger and more influential on people's lives. The state becomes more and more like, well, a socialist state.

Karl Marx's formula for communism, his final goal after the intermediate, transitional socialism of the dictatorship of the proletariat, was: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

This formula, especially in its latter part, is no other than the new re-definition of "positive" human rights by socialists.

Every need gives rise to a new human right.

The governed then expect everything from the state. But as rights are the other side of duties, and freedom is the other face of the coin of responsibility, inversely to delegate responsibility is to abdicate power and renounce some freedom. The more people expect from the state, the less control they have over their own lives.

So, what happened to "human rights" is what happens to a concept when used in a different theoretical context.

"Time" and "space" have very different meanings in Newton's classical physics than in Einstein's relativity theory.

Time and space are absolute in the former, relative in the latter. In addition, time becomes the fourth dimension of space in the theory of relativity.

Each theory redefines its concepts. So, modern-day socialists, who have virtually all ideological and doctrinal power in the Western world since the end of the Second World War, have redefined the liberal concept of human rights and transformed it into something antithetical to it.

Time and space are absolute in classical mechanics but relative in modern mechanics.

Human rights in classical liberalism are a protection from state power, but in contemporary socialist view they are a way to make that power never-ending. These two concepts, under the deceitful guise of the same name, couldn't be more in opposition to each other.

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