Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Rights

Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Rights

"Keep your tiny hands off my rights". If I must get cynical, "What rights?" Rights are supposed to be "legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement". Take for example The U.S. Bill of Rights. You might consider that you have the right to "freedom of speech" as per the First Amendment, but just take look at the epidemic of political correctness in college campuses. Or the right to be "secure from from unreasonable searches or seizures and blanket warrants" per the Fourth Amendment. I refer you to the recent CIA and NSA leaks, recent remarks by the FBI director and civil asset forfeiture abuse by local police departments. I could go on. Most of our "rights" have been watered to the point that they now look more like privileges - and only for some of us.

I've reading a lot of about Native American culture and other native cultures recently. Almost without exception, native intellectuals are perplexed by our obsession with "our rights"; "How about responsibilities?" they ask. "Rights" are not to be given or taken by some so-called legal authority, they are natural - provided that we don't physically hurt or cheat anyone. But, it seems, the more laws we put on books, the more people get hurt and the more they are cheated:
  • The more laws and commands there are,
  • The more thieves and robbers there will be.
  • --Excerpt from Tao Te Ching 57
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