Saturday, October 15, 2005

What is the most important right?

(Oops! I inadvertently used the same title as Dr. Boudreaux's entry. That has been corrected.)

Don Boudreaux recently, and I believe correctly, dismissed voting as the most important right.

Now we have various "experts" of international do-gooder groups that say the most important right is to have national identity.
World's vast ranks of the stateless

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - Borders have made all the difference in the life of 25-year-old Noor Islam. He was born in Bangladesh, but an invisible line has virtually confined him to Geneva Camp, a squalid enclave in the capital, Dhaka.

Shifting borders dictated this fate. In 1971, when East Pakistan gained independence as Bangladesh, Islam's family and some 300,000 other Urdu-speakers found themselves without a nationality in the new Bengali state.

"In Geneva Camp, we don't have much access to education and jobs," Islam says, adding that citizenship would dramatically transform their lives.

The so-called Stranded Pakistanis are one of the largest and oldest communities of stateless people, a group estimated to number 11 million across the globe. Their predicament deserves more attention, say experts, since national identity is the most fundamental of human rights - indeed, the very right to have rights....
The fundamental rights of life, liberty and property do not recognize borders, and as such, national identity is the least important "right." Possessing or not possessing a particular citizenship does not lessen a person's rights to life, liberty or property, or give others permission to violate them.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Jefferson went from the general to the specific: he laid out the basic principles of freedom, then went on to explain how it applied to the colonists. Did he intend this only for them, or for all people? Did God really endow only British colonials in the Americas with "certain unalienable Rights," and not others of different nationalities?

Who was St. Paul admonishing in 1 Cor. 7:21-23? "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." Not just the Corinthians, but all men. And it was to all men that Thomas Jefferson, Frédéric Bastiat and others believed God gave the rights of life, liberty and property.

"National identity" isn't even worth considering as the least important right. Naturally, the UN regards it as important, listing it in its Declaration of Human Rights. I had never noticed before how this "Declaration" so epitomizes the UN: "a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge." Even were the UN's "rights" correct, they need active protection, just not understanding. But isn't that just like the UN? All words, and no action.


Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Hey, pretty good rant there.

All words, and no action.

Well, yea, mostly, but go threaten the exclusivity of their little “sovereign nations” club and see what happens. Ever read the story of Sealand?

All the world's nations got together after that and decided that even if you manage to build your own little piece of terra firma, you can't play with the big boys.

Anyway, the most important right one is endowed with is the right to shoot tyrants.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 12:57:00 AM  

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