Re: Useful Fictions
23 May 1999 00:18:30 -0700

This is primarily directed to Michael -

I think we agree on this issue. But I'll need clarification from you to see if we differ in any way. Like you, I happen to like property rights. I also happen to like all of the rights listed under the 'Bill of Rights'. Yet one must ask, do I need a 'right' granted to me by some document or govermental agency? The use of the word "right" seems to imply that it's a privalege which can be revoked. I see my capacity for free thought and speech, not so much as right granted to me, but as an intrinsic part of my existence. My understanding of your argument is that you see property rights in the same context? Is this correct? My point is that my intrinsic capacity for freedom is as real as one can get. If we insist on calling it a fiction, then we might as well call everything fiction - and any distinction between the two becomes meaningless.

To conclude, the feeling in my bones is real. The 'right' to feel it granted by a government is a fiction. That being said, I would say any 'right' is a fiction. My 'right' to free speech is a fiction, and so are property 'rights'. I don't need some 'right' written down by goverments and/or power elites telling me what I already feel in my bones.

I look forward to your response.

Paul Hughes