Monday, 23 May 2005

Phony rights

With rumblings of republicanism ongoing, and talk continuing of changing the constitutional basis of the country and of whether or not to make New Zealand's existing Bill of Right's supreme law (see for example No Right Turn's candidate survey questions) the need arises to understand what the hell rights are about.

Do you know what rights are contained in the NZ Bill of Rights for example, and how many of those are genuine rights? How about the UN Declaration of Human Rights -- how many genuine rights there?

To help you out, Tibor Machan examines here the phony rights foisted upon the world by FDR.
The plain truth, he concludes,
is that all these phony rights of FDR and his supporters, many of them going very strong today in law schools and political philosophy departments across the country, indeed all over the world via the UN’s adoption of the list, have helped to systematically abrogate our genuine, bona fide unalienable rights - rights that are the conditions of our freedom and of a free society.


  1. Nice simple outline given by Machan here. But his understanding of rights seems to be askew when his comments attached to that piece include-

    "individual rights conflict with the morality of rational self-interest"

    Someone should have a word with him about that.

  2. michael fasher23 May 2005, 19:19:00

    at least the herald gets it

  3. PC, I'd be interested in whether or not you think there are indeed fundamental or 'non-phony' rights. I certainly do not think that rights exist - just things that society occasionally decide are important.

    Those of the UN claim that certain rights and 'inalienable'. Why then do rights change and develop? To be honest, the libertarian view of rights, and indeed the idea of rights themselves, confuse me. Perhaps you could enlighten me with a post on what you think defines rights, what use they are, etc.?

  4. Good questions anon, which I'll attempt to answer for you shortly.


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