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tnstaec wrote

What you're describing are legal rights. They're kind of a moot point for anarchists, since we reject the state. Trickier for us to discuss are "natural rights". While I'm also skeptical of this category of rights (as I am of most of the legacy of the "Enlightenment") I haven't seen an anarchist response to the concept.


ComradeTucker wrote (edited )

Natural rights are a meme. Someone had to declare that they had natural, inalienable rights that should be respected, and everyone around them decided to believe they had them too, and that there was some moral consequence for violating them. If nobody believed in the concept of natural rights, there would be no rights to violate or consequences for violating them. In liberal societies, the state claims to reserve the right to punish those who violate the natural rights of others, and legal rights emerge from that. Don't get me wrong - I like this meme, and think it's a good fundamental concept for building societies without state oppression, but if the state or some other actor decides I don't have natural rights, well, then I suppose don't, because natural rights don't stop bullets.


kestrel77 wrote (edited )

i have what i consider to be an obvious natural right to live by virtue of the simple fact that i am alive. but, in reality i could die at any moment, possibly being killed by someone else. so in a material sense, what is a "right"? and does believing in them support our real movement?


ziq wrote

Yeah, and if you suddenly die of a heart attack, your 'right' to exist is shown to not be backed by anything.