Re: Rights

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 15:44:33 -0800 (PST)

> > So, Mr. "Macht macht recht"
> You joke about it, but actually "might makes right" can be
> taken quite literally. Rights without might are paper tigers.

An argument I have found effective in communicating this point: During the cold war, the USSR constitution included a guarantee of free speech to all citizens, just as the US constitution does. Why then was reality such that Americans had moderately free speech and Soviets did not? Because in the US, the people with the guns (cops, federal agencies, military, and many citizens) /believed/ in a greater level of free speech than did the Soviets (though still not very free by some measures).

Likewise, the text of the constitution that did not allow Congress to prohibit alcohol without an amendment in the 20s is precisely the same text that for some reason now does allow Congress to prohibit other drugs. Nothing has changed except the fact the people with guns now think prohibition is OK.

It's good to use reason and rhetoric to express opinions about what rights should and shouldn't exist; but until you convince the people in power, they will not exist in reality.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
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