"And what sort of philosophical doctrine is this -- that numbers confer unlimited rights, that they take from some persons all rights over themselves, and vest these rights in others. ... How, then, can the rights of three men exceed the rights of two men? In what possible way can the rights of three men absorb the rights of two men, and make them as if they had never existed. ... It is not possible to suppose, without absurdity, that a man should have no rights over his own body and mind, and yet have a 1/10,000,000th share in unlimited rights over all other bodies and minds?"
by:
Auberon Herbert
(1838-1906) English author
Source:
"The Ethics of Dynamite", Contemporary Review, May 1894; reproduced in The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State, and Other Essays by Auberon HerbertĀ (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1978), pp. 202-203
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, reston, VA US 
 -- gfields, Fort Worth TX 
Right on!
 -- George, Ohio
 
Rights apply to every individual or they are not rights at all. There is no such thing as "group rights".
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
 
Yep! nuff said
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
This man must be an idiot. Firstly he should define what he is talking about when he says RIGHTS. Using his approach all board meetings, city council meetings, family meetings where things are decided by consensus or majority, etcetera would be null and void and only chaos would ensue. Of course there are areas in which we have inalienable rights, we even have right to our own opinion but only part does "our" opinion rule the day, that is when the two out of three rule comes in very handy. Of course the losing side in any vote can walk awasy, leave the organization, the society, or the nation.
 -- Waffler, Smith
 
Waffler, your side lost the main elections last night. You might be wanting to leave the country yourself.
 -- cal, lewisville, tx
 
Waffler, What happens when town council or the Feds decide to run a highway thruogh your living room? What are your rights then? I guess if a person doesn't like it they should just get the hell out of the country right? And what about when a small group of "Health Officials" decide its mandatory to take some half baked vaccine? Where would your "Individual Rights" be then? Sorry Waffler, you come down on the side of communism every time by way of your Power to the State attitude. I prefer Americanism as it was meant to be....with Liberty and Justice for "All".
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
 
Excellent! I do believe Waffler is incapable of independent thought -- he worships authority as long as it is 'for our own good.' He has the mind of a permanent child to the state -- it would be fine really if he confined his ideas to himself, but these ideas only work if they are forced upon people or else. Nazism is the end result of giving 'councils' the power over people's lives. The American model in fact does not grant such authority, it is designed to protect one's own authority over oneself and to be accountable for one's actions.
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
I have recently experienced imminent domain Carlton at White Sands Missile Range. Uncle took the whole thing away from the ranchers in order to test the bomb and fire missiles. The whole endeavor led us into the missile age and to the moon. I understand the ranchers descendants are still pissed. As far as independent thought all you guys are in lock step and I am the one who is independint, so what the hell is Archer talking about as usual. I am forescore in favor of rights for the individual and for the rights of society, when they are in conflict I will consider each case on its merits. As far as White Sands the entire thing a state as well as the entire west was acquired by the American people via their government located in Washington, DC. That anyone individual or his posterity should lay claim to it to use it for ever and ever thereafter for any purpose desired without regard to society or the public good might be considered by some a stretch of individual rights. I am sure it would not be considered such by some of y'all. Again compare Archer and the rest of your comments to mine and decide who is the individualist and who is the individualist wannabe.
 -- Waffler, Smith
 
Waffler, your idea of independent thought and individualism is nothing but the justification for theft. It is indeed a shame that you never really understood the difference between the American republican model and the European totalitarian models. In Europe, the individual is but a subject -- he has been for centuries and he is not taught otherwise. In America, the individual is sovereign, but only over himself and his property, but sovereign none-the-less. In America, only a living breathing person can own land free and clear from any encumbrances, liens, or tax -- no where in Europe is this true, except for the few folks who got land patents from the Crown in exchange for military service centuries ago. Only in America (the land of opportunity) could a person own his own land -- you may find this hard to believe as we now obviously must pay property taxes on our land. Why is that? Because we do not really own it. And what qualified a citizen as an 'elector' in America? -- Landowners! Why? Because those who do not own the land cannot have a say in it -- they may have a say in the care of the commonwealth but not the property of their fellow sovereigns. The difference being that anyone can own land in America, but not all people chose to. Therefore the renters must follow the rules of the land owner -- the tenants of the land cannot dictate to the owners of the land -- that is the way it is, my friend. You own your car, and if you lend it to me, I must accept your terms for doing so -- I cannot force you to let me use your car because the rest of the neighbors agree with me. Those advocating Liberty in America of course are at odds with Washington which has far exceeded their authority -- the authority we gave them and can take away. According to the Constitution, the federal government may not even own land except for monuments and parks -- and even that 'ownership' is but stewardship of the commonwealth. So Washington has stretched that clause so much, it now has vast tracks of land that span the country, the size of which is greater than 1/3 of the nation -- the Founders tried to confine them to 10 miles square in a swamp because they never wanted the federal government to have any land or power over their own states. Waffler your justification for authority is based on arbitrary rule not law. All cases are to be decided in law, not your opinion on a case by case basis -- that is not justice, that is arbitrary rule. You probably think you are a great judge, but without the commitment to the rights of the People paramount, you but become a tyrant who decides who will be given a share of the spoils. That is not the America I stand for, and whenever such nonsense if spouted from the serfs, it is because their masters taught them that. That is not individualism -- individualism requires responsibility and hard work -- there are no bailouts for the sovereign individual.
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
Waffler you are the most in lock step person I have ever seen. Logic constantly escapes you. You are rare in the fact that you go on sites like this and stick up for your opinion. People that believe like you rarely put themselves in a position that would expose them to an actual thought process. For a progressive to think is to challenge his religion. Thought is not allowed. Only believe and be saved (from thought). As to the quote- the right to interfere in the lives of others may soon be the only right we will have left
 -- warren, olathe
 
I truly appreciate Warrens words as a compliment. I would be interested in knowing what he means by "a site like this". Exactly what type of site is this anyway. I came on this site because I thought it was not a "type" of site but that it was about "liberty" which I love dearly and a site in which I could be free to express myself. That is what I do. Back to White Sands for I believe it is very appropos to Carlton's isssue of Imminent Domain. My grandfathers and yours paid the taxes to acquire the land that became New Mexico. That some ranchers bought some of it and claim therfore the right to own and manage it for the next millenium is an affront to our grandfathers in my opinion. Archer loses of again, as usual.
 -- Waffler, Smith
 
Warren says I am rare and I love that description and suggest that it attests to my individuality. On the contrary I find the mind sets of the like of Mike and Archer to be in lock step with the likes of Rush and etal, not refreeshing, thinking at all. I give credit to Warren also because he does speak for truth when he sees it as in reference to the cause of the Civil War the other day. Our opinions are worth nothing if we cannot learn and rely on facts.
 -- Waffler, Smith
 
 
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