yujiri.xyz

Protagonism

To add rights is to subtract rights

To add rights is to subtract rights; to not allow punishing evil is to punish good.

For example, let's say I believe in "self-defense", but have a quirk in my concept of what counts as violence: it can't be violence if it doesn't involve direct physical contact with the victim's body. Thus, if Alice steals Bob's phone while he isn't holding it, I don't see Alice as acting in aggression, but the disturbing consequence is that if Bob retaliates by punching her to get it back, I don't see him as acting in self-defense; I see him as acting in aggression because he's using violence in response to something I didn't see as violence. (This isn't even a made-up example - though usually not made explicit, this specific misdefinition of violence is common in stories and in dealing with children.)

This is why it's so very important to understand what is violence and what isn't. If you don't see something as violence that you should, then you see a form of self-defense as aggression. You can't have one error without the other.

What is violence and what isn't

Another example: if I believe that "health care is a human right", what does that mean for me when people don't have health care and can't get it by themselves? It means that someone else has to provide it for them or pay for it to be provided, and they don't have a choice, even if they're not responsible for the sick person's condition. In the real political context, this means I'll steal from someone else to get the money to pay for health care for the person who doesn't have it. Thus, by adding the right to health care, I necessarily subtracted or demoted the right to keep one's own property.

Most non-libertarians don't seem to realize this. People will say that others have the right to keep their property, and also have the right to education, health care, housing, and an array of other things. These can't all be upheld at the same time. The only meaning of saying someone has a right to something is that if they don't have it, someone else *must* provide it. For these other rights to exist, the right to your own property has to be demoted.

As a non-libertarian-purist, I don't believe that you can never do this kind of thing, but please be conscious of the implication, and don't think that you can just add rights without subtracting any.

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