Friday, February 16, 2007

Individual Rights

Arnold Kling led me to an essay by Edward Fraser. Later Arnold led me on a trail to this piece by Tyler Cowen and others–follow the link. The whole causes me some discomfort, because the ideological outlook of All, both the esteemed Authors and Critiques, do not reflect my own personal beliefs on the question of personal liberties. I would leave it at that, but for the fact my Readership should have some knowledge of my own beliefs. So I decided to set myself up as a Target for the Egg-throwers.

I am afraid I possess a rather archaic, Hobbsian belief in individual rights. An Individual, in the State of Nature, has need of no rights, or is he guaranteed any rights–not even those rights We deem fundamental–like the Safety guarantee of life, protection of property, or freedom from assault. It is precisely to obtain these stipulated features that the Individual enters into society, but they are not features innate to the Individual; they are granted by the society which issues them. Society has the responsibility, though, to extend and maintain these rights; failure to provide this extension, removes the duty from the Individual to give loyalty to the society. Herein lies both the establishment of patriotism and revolution, by this fulfilled extension, or lack of such extension.

Further study of this extension process asserts there must be an equality of such extension, lest there be a causation of revolution. This equality must cover all of the relevant arena of society; i.e., travel from initial base Safeties to the realm of personal interests, personal tastes, and personal beliefs, all in order to avoid causation of revolution. Hayek placed a reliance upon Tradition, but Tradition stands only because it survived predatory counter-beliefs up to a specific period of time. Study of Tradition through the course of History highlights that Tradition has always failed in the face of stronger personal beliefs which provided Change–becoming a new Tradition. This fact establishes that Tradition must not be allowed to strangle personal beliefs, in order to avoid the extreme Change of revolution. Individual beliefs and Individual practices, whether enjoyed or detested by any segment of society, must not be constrained; much as perhaps even the Majority of society would desire suppression, individual Self-Expression must be granted. lgl

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