Philosophers and political theorists make a distinction between negative and positive rights. A negative right is a right not to be subjected to an action of another person or group; negative rights permit or oblige inaction. A positive right is a right to be subjected to an action or another person or group; positive rights permit or oblige action. In relation to the three generations of human rights, negative rights are often associated with the first generation while positive rights are associated with the second and third generations.
Negative and positive rights frequently conflict because carrying out the duties conferred by positive rights often entails infringing upon negative rights. For example, the positive right to social welfare confers a duty upon the government to provide services. Carrying out this duty entails increasing state expenditures, which would likely require raising taxes. This would however infringe upon citizens’ negative right not to have their money taken away from them. Because positive rights imply positive duties to take action whereas negative rights imply that others must only refrain from taking action, positive rights are generally harder to justify and require more complex ethical substantiation than negative rights.
Political philosopher Isaiah Berlin clarified the distinction in a famous lecture titled “Two Concepts of Liberty.”
If negative liberty is concerned with the freedom to pursue one’s interests according to one’s own free will and without “interference from external bodies,” then positive liberty takes up the “degree to which individuals or groups” are able to “act autonomously” in the first place.
In other words, what are the conditions under which individuals shape their understandings of their own free will? What gives individuals a positive idea about how they should act, rather than negative limitations on how they may not act?
To read Isaiah Berlin’s lecture.
A point that needs repeating.
Eleven of the twelve items on the right control the “rights” of the individuals on the left. Either through, propaganda, fear, or violence.
Why You Should Never Speak To The FBI Without A Lawyer Present
From the ACLU of Massachusetts comes words of wisdom from civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who explains quickly and clearly why activists (or anyone else) should never have a conversation with an FBI agent without a lawyer and tape recorder present. The reason? Because the FBI is capable of blackmailing almost anyone into becoming an informant:
Learn how the FBI can manipulate what you say and use it against you, and how to prevent them from doing so! With civil liberties and civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate.
The Supreme Court was correct in ruling that the 4th Amendment applies in DUI cases. Drunk driving is a public menace, and the nation is better for efforts to crack down on it. But motorists arrested for driving under the influence, like other people accused of crimes, have constitutional rights that police must respect — including the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
People who are familiar to anarchism will have noticed the ramblings and contradictory dividentems betwixt the two frontiers of the anti-statists.
I’d like to first ask the two communities if they are Collectivism Anarchists, allowing different districts to run in the ideas of AnCap AND AnCom, as…