The idea of having rights is not important. When it comes down to it, you have a near infinite and uncountable number of variable rights. Instead of focusing on what rights we do have, it’s more important to focus on the rights we don’t have. The rights that you don’t have can be summed up into a single sentence: you don’t have the right to initiate the use of force unless acting in defense of one’s self or property. This is where the idea of the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle) stems from. Once this is understood, the debate of whether someone has the right to do something doesn’t matter, because it allows people the protection of all rights that don’t hurt others. When this is understood and put into policy, all other rights will naturally fall into line.
While doing an interview on the Late Night with Stephen Colbert show, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (elected as the representative of New York’s 14th Congressional District for the House of Representatives) stated: “I believe that in a modern, moral, wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live. What that means to me is: healthcare as a human right and every child, no matter where they are born, should have access to a college or trade school education if they so chose it. I think that no person should be homeless if we can have public structures and public policy to allow people to have homes and food and lead a dignified life in the United States.” This is a very common belief among modern day democrats, and especially socialists.
Coining these programs (free healthcare, college, education, housing, etc.) as “human rights,” is a perfect example of how politicians and activists use a play on words to rile up emotions in order to enact social and political change. Rhetoric like this is nothing more than a tactic to mask people’s emotions over logical thinking and reasoning.
Murray Rothbard prevails the emotional tactics of the left when he said: “It’s easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.”
This stems back to the idea of the rights that you don’t have. While you may want free healthcare and education, if it implies the use of force (usually through taxation), it is an illegitimate right–in other words, a privilege. Social programs and welfare are just ways for people to find legal loopholes to rob an entire country at gunpoint.
This is not limited to Democrats and socialists like Ocasio-Cortez. Large government has become a bipartisan belief. Conservatives and Democrats alike commonly support reform and regulation that exceeds the boundaries of the moral restriction to their rights. Government is not exempt in this boundary. They are nothing more than a group of human beings.
Neo-Conservatives and modern-day Republicans are big on the military and support large and expansive police states. Right-wing authoritarians (this includes Republicans, neo-conservatives and many centrists/populists) have repetitively supported military budget increases, war–many times being unconstitutional–and increases of police powers such as stop and frisk, etc.
Large governments and the existence of government, in general, is a violation of the boundaries of one’s rights.
Government’s source of income is taxation. Large government only expands with the expansion of that income, and therefore taxes. Taxation is the most commonly practiced abuse of rights. Taxation is nothing more than the government holding a gun to people’s heads and forcing them to pay their fee for existing. As Lyndsay Spooner says: “If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers has only to declare themselves a government, and all their robberies are legalized.” Taxation is theft. It is no different because the institution doing it calls themselves a government.
Aside from the issue of taxation, expansion of government always leads to the usurpation of individual rights and freedoms. Its entire existence is based around the usurpation of rights in order to “maintain civility.” People falsely expect that asking for the government to do something for them won’t lead to the degradation of freedom. Calling for government to fix something is just a way to use force against others in order to get what you want. The very essence of government is control. It is obvious that, when there is an increase in control, there is a decrease in freedom.
You don’t have the right to control someone. You don’t have the right to rob someone, even if you attempt to moralize it by calling it “taxation.” This would require using force and coercion against otherwise peaceful people. The reason that socialist ideas and the idea of government itself are accepted, is the lack of thinking about the boundaries of our rights. Aside from the complete dysfunctionality of both systems, they’re immoral, and the understanding of these boundaries are fundamental to understanding it’s immorality.