As seen in "Rights, Responsibilities, and Communitarianism," the existence of a right implies a duty in others. The opposite of a duty is liberty, which implies no right in others. The identification of things for which there are no rights is thus an additional means of securing Liberty. The following is a list of no rights (or "non rights") that has been circulating on the Internet. It is sometimes said to have been written by State Representative Mitchell Kaye from Cobb County, Georgia. Now I am informed that it was really written and copyrighted by an active Libertarian from Mississippi, Lewis Napper. I have altered the common version slightly, inserting punctuation and changing the wording in a couple of places, but it is substantially identical to the circulating list, including the exhortation at the end.
We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great great-great grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bedwetters.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That a whole lot of people were confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of Non Rights.
- ARTICLE I -- You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any form of wealth.More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
- ARTICLE II -- You do not have the right to never be offended.This country is based on freedom, and that means the freedom for everyone, not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots and probably always will be.
- ARTICLE III -- You do not have the right to be free from harm.If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful. Do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
- ARTICLE IV -- You do not have the right to free food and housing.Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generations of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
- ARTICLE V -- You do not have the right to free health care.That would be nice but, from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in government run health care.
- ARTICLE VI -- You do not have the right to physically harm other people.If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
- ARTICLE VII -- You do not have the right to the possessions of others.If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen TV or a life of leisure.
- ARTICLE VIII -- You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience.We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight, if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
Libertarians tend to think that if we leave everyone else alone, they will leave us alone. Unfortunately, the world often does not work that way. If we see a crime being committed in daily life, we have a moral obligation, if we are able, to do something about it. This is a non-contractual duty of commission. The same principle works in the life of the Nation, with qualifications of prudence that sometimes it is better not to participate even in a righteous war. The original phrasing of this non-right, about an "aching conscience," seems to be directed a people who might think other nations had a duty to stop the Nazis from conquering and murdering people. A dictator with a "funny hat" is dismissive of what tyrants can do, and allowing them to get away with it for too long means that the strength derived from their success endangers us more directly. This goes back to the maxim of Machiavelli, that "allowing a disorder to continue," is not prudent or sensible statecraft.
- ARTICLE IX -- You don't have the right to a job.All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
- ARTICLE X -- You do not have the right to happiness.Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness -- which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
If you agree that a understanding of no rights is necessary to "Secure the Blessings of Liberty," I strongly urge you to refer this to as many people as you can, or link it from your own webpages. No, you don't HAVE to .... Nothing tragic will befall you should you NOT refer it. I just think it's about time common sense is allowed to re-emerge in our society and flourish again. Thank you!!!
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