Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Freedom and Rights

Far be it from your muddled and poorly-educated Pedant-General to criticise any of the extraordinarily eminent writers of samizdata.

However, in his, otherwise extremely pertinent analysis of a particularly nauseous statement by the safety elephant, he makes a stonking howler:
Freedom used to be what was left over when other people's rights to their choices were taken into account.

Permit me to disagree. Freedom must come first. What is the "right to live" if it is without free will, that is the freedom to choose?

This maxim should be tempered only by the accepted wisdom that one should not impinge upon or obstruct the freedom of others. This is crucial because Freedom is at the top of the hierarchy and well above any "rights".

This is, in turn, because Freedom is something natural, innate, inviolable. Rights are granted and could be revoked. This is not so of Freedom: It is Freedom that makes one human.

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