Saturday, April 11, 2009

QOTD

From Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind" (7th ed. 1985) at 47-48:
Ever since Paine's Rights of Man was published, the notion of inalienable natural rights has been embraced by the mass of men in a vague and belligerent form, ordinarily confounding "rights" with desires. This confusion in definition plagues society today, notably in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," drawn up by the United Nations Organization: thirty articles, and a somewhat greater number of "rights" defined therein, including the right to free education, the right to "enjoy the arts," the right of copyright, the right to international order, the right to "the full development of personality," the right to equal pay, the right to marry and a great many more which actually are not rights at all, but merely aspirations. The conservative adage that all radical "natural rights" are simply, in substance, a declaration of the Right to be Idle is suggested in Article 24: "Everyone has the right to rest and leisure days with pay." This lengthy catalogue of "rights" ignores the two essential conditions which are attached to all true rights; first, the capacity of individuals to claim and exercise the alleged right; second, the correspondent duty that is married to every right. If a man has a right to marry, some woman must have the duty of marrying him; if a man has a right to rest, some other person must have the duty of supporting him. If rights are confused thus with desires, the mass of men must feel always that some vast, intangible conspiracy thwarts their attainment of what they are told is their inalienable birthright.

6 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

I believe I have the right to never have to deal with complete idiots, or, at the least, have blatant and obvious fools removed from the gene pool.

What can we do to get this one applied?

OBloodyHell said...

> If rights are confused thus with desires, the mass of men must feel always that some vast, intangible conspiracy thwarts their attainment of what they are told is their inalienable birthright.

And hence clamoring always for more and more government to fight the eeeeevil conspirators.


The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
- H.L. Mencken -

In this case "alarmed" is a bit strong -- "outraged" will work as well for the purposes they seek.

Carl said...

OBH:

If your first point is to be accepted, what would be concomitant duty?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Well I'm certainly not going to shut up.

OBloodyHell said...

> If your first point is to be accepted, what would be concomitant duty?

To answer that question would be *most* Not-PC.

I will direct you instead, sir, to The Marching Morons.

:oD

> Well I'm certainly not going to shut up.

AVI: You don't qualify on either account. And your grasp of the possibility otherwise renders the proof of that.

The biggest fools are those who cannot grasp that they might be, and sometimes unquestionably are, fools.

Wry Mouth said...

I appreciate your posting of this. I found it thought-provoking and am off to find the UDoHR so I can read it for myself. Thanks!