Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Bush wrong on rights

Great letter in the New York Sun on rights and responsibilities, and how a misunderstanding of both affects foreign policy.

President Bush's speech at the United Nations on Tuesday betrayed a deep misunderstanding of the nature of rights and the proper role of the U.S. government [See, "U.N. Role Reversal for Bush, Sarkozy," September 26,2007].

According to Mr. Bush, everyone "has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food and clothing and housing and medical care." Also, according to Mr. Bush, the American government has a duty to provide for those needs, whether in America or anywhere else on the planet.

But Mr. Bush's vision of an American paternalistic state with duties towards the world's needy is in direct opposition to the vision and ideals of America's founders.

Contrary to the president and the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is no such thing as a "right" to a given standard of living, to food, clothing, housing, medical care, or any other value. In other words, there is no such thing as a right to the values created by others. What individuals do have is a right to work to produce those values free of coercion by their neighbors or by the state.

Contrary to Mr. Bush, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not "a landmark achievement in the history of human liberty"--it is a perversion of the true meaning and purpose of individual rights.

Irvine, Calif.


  1. Well, I gotta agree with you there. The concept of 'rights' has been hijacked by just about every body and their dog to justify what they want.

    It's a general problem where we allow words to be changed to encompass more concepts than the word was designed for, and the end result is people begin to lose an understanding of the fundamentals. The side effect is to dumb us all down without knowing it. And if one should try to 'educate' another they now stray into the arena of the 'politically incorrect' and get shouted down before Roberta can claim to be your uncle.

  2. So the UN charter should be renamed "The Universal Declaration of Wishes"

  3. I think George Bush would be much more credible on that if he started in the USA. Their "right" to bad, expensive healthcare has no enforcement mechanism, and as for democracy... I think he's got it mixed up with demagoguery.

  4. The US have their "Greatest Generation", which got me thinking about ours.

    Basically it cant be any since the War because those jokers cemented in welfarism with a vengeance.. and I've got my doubts about MJS because although his welfarism was mild, he set the stage of what was to come.

    King Dick and his crowd? Nah, he used the state as a personal tool.

    So I think we're back to those early players after the Treaty who slogged it out on the farms and seemed to have no personal guilt at all as to what they were doing.



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