Thursday, May 04, 2006

Whose rights?

From The Minuteman Project webcite.
Criminal aliens and their followers have taken to the streets demanding not their rights but your rights.
We demand your rights! We demand your jobs! We demand your future!

I am fascinated by this idea of rights for lots of reasons, I guess. For one thing, it assumes that "your" (by which I think we mean "our") rights exceed or are better than "their" rights or they wouldn't want ours, and that that is as it should be. It also seems to assume that there is a finite quantity of rights, so "they" can only get more if they take them away from us. As a description of human rights I find that pretty chilling.

But maybe we mean economic rights, or maybe just money, which makes the zero-sum aspect of their demand for rights easier to understand. If there is only so much money to go around, they can only get more by taking it from us, right? But why should "they" come after "our" money when the absurdly rich have so much more? Unless we have ourselves confused with the absurdly rich.

Or maybe the rights in question are economic opportunities--the ability to pursue wealth limited only by one's energy, intelligence, diligence and ingenuity? Could it be that "our" rights depend on the denial of the same rights to "them"?

And we are okay with that?

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