Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some propositions on privacy

Let’s get some thoughts going on the “right to privacy.” Here’s a few to start you off.

“An issue such as ‘the invasion of privacy’ cannot be discussed without a clear definition of the right to privacy, and this cannot be discussed outside the context of clearly defined and upheld individual rights.”
- Ayn Rand

“Privacy: it’s a good, not a right. It’s not something to be recognised, it’s something to be earned.”
- PC

“Yes, we each of us need privacy. But our need for something is not a claim on someone else.”
- PC

“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
- Ayn Rand

“Social democrats are collectivists of the first order. For them society is a large beehive or ant colony, and they are convinced that they have landed the job of managing it. It is a bit ironic, actually, since it is usually social democrats who champion ‘the right of privacy.’ Apart from that, though, liberal democrats do not acknowledge the existence of individual rights. Most of all, they are nearly unanimous in denying private property rights. . .  these people dogmatically assume that "the wealth of the country" is for them to use and dispose of as they see proper. Individuals have no rights to their resources, income or wealth, especially not those individuals who have plenty of them.”
- Tibor Machan

“Does a human being have the right to privacy? Well, is human nature such that in their community lives people require their own realm of authority, their own sovereignty—self-government—with respect of various aspects of their lives? Of course they do—that’s what being a responsible moral agent amounts to. So the right to privacy exists. It stands as a bulwark against meddlesome other people, especially governments.”
- Tibor Machan

“Philosophically speaking, however, there is no contradiction between a ‘right of liberty’ and any ‘right of privacy.’ And neither of these rights is possible without private property rights. . . The ‘right of privacy’ is, fundamentally, an expression of the right of private property.”
- Chris Sciabarra

“Privacy is a good -- like food, music, or love. So while we have the right to take the actions required to secure our privacy via judicious use of our property and voluntary contracts with others, we have no direct right to privacy per se. . . Laws designed to protect privacy undermine genuine rights to property and contract.”
- Amy Peikoff

“The ‘right to privacy’ is a misguided attempt to save some shreds of certain [legitimate] rights while retaining a way to eviscerate others.”
- Arline Mann

Discuss.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Madeleine said...

Interesting.

Still does not address my point that the state is not above the law. If they imposed a law on all of us they imposed it on themselves; just as we have to obey it so do they.

7/30/2009 11:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Terry said...

“Privacy: it’s a good, not a right. It’s not something to be recognised, it’s something to be earned.”

This has been a penny-dropping statement Peter. Thank you.

7/31/2009 08:23:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

"Still does not address my point that the state is not above the law."

It's not intended to. That discussion, particularly whether the law was even broken, is one for the other thread.

What I want to encourage here in this one is not a debate on whether we do have privacy laws -- which we do - but whether we should have.

In other words, do we have a right to privacy that should be protected in law?

7/31/2009 09:13:00 am  
Anonymous reddeath26 said...

“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
- Ayn Rand

Ah the old belief that societies are all following the exact same evolutionary path. I have heard this was once the accepted explanation for societies and culture. Back in the 19th century wasn't it?

"A stage in civilization is merely a preconception made plausible by arbitrarily selected facts" A.L.Kroeber

Or dismissing the notion that all tribes are subject to the same laws.

"We rather see that each cultural group has its own unique history"
Franz Boas

8/01/2009 02:18:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

"Ah the old belief that societies are all following the exact same evolutionary path."

Not at all. In fact it's a prescription for the path a society might want to follow should it wish to become civilised -- and a means by which one might measure the degree to which they are.

8/01/2009 05:23:00 pm  

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