Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Answer me these questions three...

Beautifully stated by Larken Rose:
Sometimes very simple questions can cause profound cognitive dissonance. Here is a series of very simple questions I like to pose to people at random, especially if I want to make their heads explode. (For the record, my head was long ago exploded by these simple concepts, so I’m not claiming superiority here.)

1) Can you delegate to someone else a right which you don’t have? For example, if you don’t have the right to punch me in the nose (just for fun), can you GIVE the right to do so to someone else?
2) Can TWO people delegate a right that neither of them has? For example, if TWO of you want me to be punched in the nose (but neither of you has the right), can you GIVE a third person the right to punch me? What if 50 of you wanted it? How about a million people?
3) If people cannot delegate rights they don’t have, where did “government” get the right to do what it does?

It's worth reading the discussion too--Rose presents it much better than I usually do.  And so, it's now part of the library.  :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1.) No. Well, you can, but you'd better have the force to back it up.

2.) Same as #1. The larger group has the potential to enforce its collective will on the individual through superiority of numbers and force.

3.) Government assumes the right to do these things, and continues to do these things, because they are not physically resisted. All power is based, in the end, on force, not on what is right or wrong.

Rights can never be taken by the government, they must be surrendered by the people. Rights cannot be given by a government, they must be secured and guarded by the people.

Happy New Year, Kevin.