Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
A positive right obliges action; for example, the obligation to pay taxes, or be forcibly inducted into the military. Luckily, there are very few of them because they are the exact opposite of liberty, which as counter-intuitive as the term seems, confers negative rights, meaning you are NOT to be subjected to the wants or needs of others, especially government. A person cannot be subjected to a requirement, another person or group without direct consent or mutual contract.
Negative rights are fundamental to a liberty society but, apparently, are not taught in schools: Columbia Law School surveyed random people whether they thought the famous phrase, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” was part of The Constitution, and two-thirds of those polled thought it was! How ironic & saddening that the basis of Marxism, the foundation of Communism, which is a doctrine of positive rights, is confused for liberty. In fact, it's possible that liberty; making decisions for yourself and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of your actions, is less understood than egalitarianism, which considers meritocracy as selfishness, and insists you are your brother's keeper. This misconception actually undermines the legitimacy of The Constitution in a democracy since the majority of people are not in sync with its main premise.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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