Monday, November 09, 2009

From Whence Do Rights Derive?

What gives me the right to express my stupid opinions on this blog? My right derives from the fact that neither the state nor anyone else with the ability to do anything about it gives a rat's patootie about my opinion or whether and how I express it. The state does not at present have any particular interest in my speech acts. Why would it? I can't really do the state any harm, and it may even score legitimacy points by ignoring me, especially in the case of states such as mine that claim to protect their subjects' freedom.

Other folks who might disagree with me don't care enough about it to try to punish me for my opinions. Part of this stems from my use of a nom de blogge. It isn't as easy to mess with me if you don't know who I really am. Besides, interference by a private individual or entity probably wouldn't be considered as a violation of my "rights". We have come to think of rights as deriving from the Constitution and applying only to state action. If I had some God given inalienable rights, wouldn't I be able to defend them against all comers, state and non-state actors alike?

Whatever rights I have I enjoy at the sufferance of my conspecifics.

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