Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Kollective v. Individual Rights

Classical liberal arguments might have the form: Man was a creation of God. Our fundamental rights flow from God through man.

A collective is a creation of man. Men can surrender powers to a collective, but the collective does not have rights.

When on tries to argue that the powers given to a collective are fundamental rights on par with fundamental human rights, one creates a system with conflicting rights (see peril of derived rights).

Unfortunately, Conservatives are prone to claim collective rights whenever the arguments support their cause. For example, conservatives started yelling slogans for State's Rights after passage of ObamaCare.

The Constitution reserves powers, not rights, to the States. Slave holders used the slogan of state's rights to deny fundamental rights to slaves. Democrats later used the cause of state's rights to pass Jim Crow laws. Claims for states rights leads directly to conflicts between states and individuals.

In the health care debate, we see that Utah used the call for states rights to pass their own state level version of ObamaCare. The call for states rights (a collective right) accelerated the adoption of a health care exchange and stifled the call for health care freedom.

Conservatives also have an unfortunate tendency to claim fundamental or other special rights for corporations, churches or other collectives they admire ... when they should presenting the arguments as powers and not rights.

No comments: