“Hello and welcome to Reality Check
Hi, I’m Mark Pellegrino and today I’m going to talk about RIGHTS.
Have you noticed there isn’t a day that goes by where someone somewhere isn’t arguing about rights?
Whether it’s rival networks fighting over the deeper meaning of a major news story or a group arguing on facebook or twitter, someone inevitably claims that rights are relative to things while someone else counters that rights aren’t relative to things at all. So who do we believe? Do we have a right to stuff or a right to something else?
To sort this out, we first need to go to the source of all the agita, a conflict of visions.
That’s right.
We all have a vision of what the world could and should be like if it were perfect, and for a very long time two opposing visions of a moral society have been competing for dominance. On one side of the moral divide, we have the collectivists who see society as a single body whose moving parts — you and me — are working from and for this body. Servicing it you might say. Kinky. The collectivist moral ideal is the common good which they believe can be achieved by the establishment of positive rights. No, positive in this context does not mean an affirmation or good feels.
Yeah not that. A positive right is a claim someone can make on you which you are duty-bound to act on. Making sense?
Okay, on the other side of the moral divide we have the individualists who see society as a collection of individuals working cooperatively for their own individual well-being. The individualist moral ideal is the individual good, which they think can be achieved by the establishment of negative rights. Again, nothing to do with feels.
A negative right is a claim that no one can make claims on you that you are duty bound to act on. In other words, to the individualists, rights are
duty-free zones. A prophylactic against the potential harm that majorities can impose on minorities, And since every single political issue, including rights, boils down to this conflict of visions, the million-dollar question is, which vision leads to a more secure and peaceful society?
Collectivism, which claims peace and security are achieved by the provision of want through the legalization of social duties, or individualism which claims that peace and security are achieved by the marginalization of violence through the establishment of duty-free zones.
Now if you can’t see what the big difference is between these visions try asking yourself what a duty is. Think it’s just an obligation? Nope. A duty is an unchosen obligation.
Now what does that mean? It means what you want think or feel about the obligation is irrelevant. You have to do it or else.
Seem peaceful?
Let’s see. Don’t agree with the current war? Too bad, you have a duty to serve your country. Wanted to save money for your own child’s education? Too bad, society demands you spend almost half your wealth on other people. Want to be a model, actress, head a startup? Too bad you have a duty to the unborn. Claims to service you can’t say no to have been called by other names at other times in history and have been outlawed for good reason, because rights and claims to service are incompatible. Let me repeat that: rights and claims to service are incompatible. So I guess that means positive rights aren’t rights at all. Correct! Any system that deprives a person with the capacity to say ‘no’ or freely choose between alternatives cannot be said to be a rights respecting system at all.
So which place would you rather live in? Somewhere where ‘no’ is not an option or where it is. Is it claims to service or claims to liberty? Check.”

Mark Pellegrino