Re: Gov't NOT Coercion?

Gary Lloyd (
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 07:57:18 -0500 (EST)

Ian Goddard wrote:
>Gary Lloyd ( wrote:
>>>> Libertarians seem to think that they have
>>>> an inherent right to property upon which a
>>>> preexisting claim has been placed: the U.S.
>> The U.S. is not a person, and thus has no rights.
> IAN: Does this mean you could blow up the U.S.
> but not a person?

Can you blow up a group of people without blowing up any person within that
group? People have rights. Groups are simply collections of people who have

> The fact is, nobody has any
> rights but the rights they claim and the rights
> others agree they have, since rights are simply
> an intellectual construct not existing in the
> objective reality apart from the ability of
> those that claim rights to enforce them.

A right is a *just* claim. In order to be just, it must be both reciprocol
and universal. There can be no reciprocol, universal rights without the
right to consent (to that which would otherwise be aggression), which can
only come from the Primethic Decision, i.e. an individual moral choice to
the effect that proportionate defense against aggression is moral and
aggression is immoral.

A rights claim is, as you say, an intellectual construct, but it exists as
such whether others agree or not. In fact, without the right to consent,
agreement is meaningless. Might does not make rights. You are confusing the
ability to enforce a claim with the claim itself.

> perhaps you do not give rights to many
> people, only one person at a time.

Rights are not given; they are claimed. Privileges are given.

> Not sure I see the difference.

Let's imagine that you are arrested (mistaken identity, of course), and
locked up with a group of amorous cellmates. Will you bend over and submit
to the will of the majority, or will you claim the *right* to defend
yourself, even though you may, in fact lack the *ability* to effectively do
so? Do your rights not exist because your cellmates disagree? Does the group
have rights beyond those of its individual members?

When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.