Artificial Rights vs Freedom
Posted on September 14, 2017 by Robert Ringer
Now that the Radical Left is in full control of the Democratic Party, it’s no surprise that spread-the-wealth advocates like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker have jumped at the chance to co-sponsor Uncle Bernie’s single-payer healthcare bill. All of them like to refer to it as “Medicare for All,” which takes an astonishing amount of chutzpah, considering the fact that Medicare is going broke!
Harris, ignorantly believing she’s helping her 2020 presidential bid by jumping on board the single-payer bandwagon, made her position clear when she said, “This is about understanding, again, that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.” It goes without saying that, in true left-wing fashion, she made no attempt to explain why healthcare should be a right. But when you’re a Democrat, such details are inconsequential.
Of course, free healthcare is just the tip of the iceberg if socialists have their way. With the Radical Left on the march toward finishing Barack Obama’s clearly stated goal of fundamentally changing the United States of America, it’s a good time for all of us to take a step back and think about the subject of freedom, the commodity for which so many Americans have given their lives.
Just about everyone claims to be in favor of freedom, but few seem to agree on what the word actually it means. Which is why one person’s idea of freedom often violates another person’s freedom.
To one person, liberty means doing what he wants with his own life, while to another person it means doing what he wants with other people’s lives. Thus, each person believes that the other person’s concept of freedom is tyranny.
To the laissez‑faire businessman, freedom means an end to all government regulation. To the communist, freedom can be achieved only when individual incentive has been crushed and “the people” own everything.
Then there are those who believe job quotas for minority groups promote freedom. But to a person who is anti-discriminatory in the truest sense of the word, quotas and seniority considerations are a violation of freedom.
Based on the evidence, then, I think we can safely conclude that throughout history people have miscommunicated on the subject of freedom. Since conservatives, liberals, bigots, fascists, communists, environmentalists, and every other group imaginable all claim to be in favor of freedom, they obviously cannot be talking about the same thing.
The dictionary defines freedom as “being free.” In turn, free is defined as “not under the control or power of another.” How can there be so much confusion over a definition so clearly stated? For one thing, when people talk about freedom, they have a tendency to think in terms of freedom for themselves and, quite often, a license to do as they please to others.
Also, since time immemorial, utopian thinkers have confused freedom with equality, but nothing could be further from the truth. No matter what one’s moral desires, nature has made freedom and equality totally incompatible. “Freedom and equality,” wrote Will and Ariel Durant, “are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.’’
That is why, as governments step up their attempts to defy nature and bring about equality, they find it necessary to employ force. And when force enters the picture, it’s a certainty that some people are going to come under the control of others.
It is therefore not surprising that when people espouse freedom, more often than not they are referring to their freedom, not yours. Worse, you’re likely to discover that their freedom necessitates the violation of your freedom.
When freedom is subjectively defined by each individual, it is reduced to a meaningless abstract. The only way freedom can be rationally viewed is in its pure, no‑compromise form: human freedom — the freedom for each individual to do as he pleases so long as he does not commit aggression against others.
Politicians love to talk about freedom, even while telling us how they intend to further enslave us. They do this by manufacturing “rights” out of thin air and babbling endlessly about how they intend to fulfill them.
The problem is that all artificially created rights are anti-freedom, because in order to fulfill one person’s rights (read, desires), another person’s rights must be violated. So when folks like Kamela Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders talk about healthcare being a right, they never bother to mention the rights of the millions of people who would have their rights violated in order to provide “free” healthcare to others.
All this brings back nauseous memories of Michelle Obama’s telltale statement back in 2008, to wit: “Someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so someone else can have more.” People who believe in such tyrannical ideas are clearly opposed to a free society. In reality, what they yearn for is an external force (government) to “level the playing field” and equalize results.
They do not understand that true freedom means freedom for the “poor,” freedom for the “rich,” freedom for the “oppressed,” freedom for the powerful.” Simply put, human freedom means freedom for everyone.
With the 2018 and 2020 elections on the horizon, it’s a good time to start thinking about human freedom and keeping in mind that whenever politicians promise to fulfill this or that artificially created right, they are advocating the use of force against some portion of the population.
The rule is simple: Everything in life has a price, and the price of artificially created rights is bondage.
i always thought freedom is the absence of of force upon the individual and their property.
Well, join the club. I suspect we are rather out of fashion these days.
I think we need a secret handshake.
You've got the definition right, Jeff, but it is an anachronism these days as well as those of us who support such a notion. By definition, the creation of a State is ANTI-freedom, and the whole left wing agenda is about a Big State, so is 100% opposed to freedom. They just want the freedom to impose THEIR agenda. Most so-called conservatives are not much better, as they support much of military establishment and their aggressions, and are fond of lecturing people about the morality of what they should not be doing. As long as aggression is not committed against another, there is no master regulator who gets to decide what is best for anyone else, but such a notion is akin to peeing in the wind these days!
Truth is the best defense against suffering.
I support Medicare for all on a preventative basis, meaning no more subsidy for food products that are hazardous to health and don't allow it to be advertised on tv, much like tobacco, combined with getting to take fitness seriously. Do that and the rest of the population illness would reduce quite a bit. Those who are not physically fit, that population has about a 50% change of getting cancer and diabetes. The ones who take fitness seriously that rate drops to just under 10%.
Then again, is that not taking personal responsibility for ones health and does anyone want Uncle Sam to instruct the peeps on what they should already know but not doing?
So, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that you want the government to subsidize food that is healthy. Which means that you approve of using force to rob me to pay for it. And just who is going to decide for the government what foods are healthy? Do you really think that you are going to be appointed as commisar of healthy foods?
Based on your statements I can easily conclude that you completely missed the point of this article: human freedom.
Any person who advocates the use of government force to redistribute my wealth to others has no business talking about "personal responsibility", and yes, I mean you Angedur. By promoting _any_ socialist redistribution scheme you are promoting just the opposite: Your ideas promote personal irresponsibility.
You can only support personal responsibility by vehemently opposing _all_ subsidies, regardless of their intent.
In addition to Russ' questions, I have one more for you. According to the USDA stats, the most commonly purchased item that EBT (food stamp) consumers buy is non-diet soda. So if "health care" is a "right" and it's the GOVERNMENT'S responsibility to force citizens to "take responsibility" for their health and to live a healthy lifestyle, do you also support not allowing food stamp recipients to purchase things such as soft drinks, Kool Aid powder, candy, cookies, frozen pizza or frozen meals and other "unhealthy" food items with government-supplied funds? Remember, EBT cards are also a form of subsidy to the food industry.
I think the track record of the FDA, not to mention the members of the Sewer (aka Congress) allowing all the GMO and other harmful crap to be peddled everywhere in the USA by subsidizing them, lets us know very clearly that govt. is the LAST party that could make an informed or effective decision as to what is healthy. In addition, it is NOT my responsibility to worry about what others eat or their lifestyle habits, much as I might encourage them in directions I think are beneficial, and surely I should not be stolen from to subsidize those habits.
I don't care what they eat as long as I don't have to pay for it. Read: food stamps.
I should say : unless I want to
EBT IS "food stamps." The government made it more PC and gave the recipients debit cards that are loaded with funds at the first of every month. They justified this as a way to help the beneficiaries to save face. It opened the door to fraud that was even more massive than the fraud perpetrated previously.
Yes I oppose junk food on EBT cards, because of stress of those who are on EBT and most likely lack of sleep, these peeps most likely have insulin resistance and mild to moderate diabetes, you can count on that. Why make it worse to allow purchases of simple carbs that are simply hazardous to good health. Thats the exact last thing these peeps need. If peeps want that junky stuff, do it on their own dime.
Absolutely outstanding article. To bad such rational thinking is so rare in our universities, and virtually non-existent in mainstream journalism, not to mention the US Congress.
"Freedom is the societal condition when everyone has full, 100% control of their property:"
1. P-1: Primordial Property (but not the lives of their children)
2. P-2: Intellectual Property: Thoughts, Ideas, Concepts, Innovations
2. P-3: Tangible Property: House, car, furniture
Andrew J. Galambos circa 1965
I took a course from him in 1976 in LA, and he was responsible for much of my early libertarian education. A great Hungarian!
If people can not afford the medical treatment that could save their lives, should we let them die?
It's already happening all over the world. We cannot save everyone. And with respect to those living in the USA, why should I have to pay for a smokers lung operation, or a drug addicts HIV treatment? I see it everyday, people that make bad choices and then expect others to pay for it.
Yes, I agree totally! We make our choices, and must/should/ought enjoy or suffer the consequences!
I worked as a translator, had a lady tell us her doctors in Mexico sent her here to US to get help for her medical condition. Which I recognized as leprosy,on her face and one hand. I only translated, do not know whether or not she got meds coupons, but I suspect she did.
Peter, with all respect, while your heart is obviously in the right place, you are confusing liberty/freedom with A) Not caring about others (in actuality, charity/voluntarily helping others who are truly cannot afford a service is a huge part of a free society and American citizens as a whole are unendingly charitable). And, B) thinking that a truly market-based healthcare system would result in more people not being able to afford medical treatment. If we were to once again have a free-market based healthcare system (which we had until the mid-60's and, while not utopia, was the envy of the world) very, very few people would be unable to afford medical treatment that could save their lives. And for those who couldn't others would voluntarily come to their aid.
If we had a free market medical system, people would readily access natural remedies, and this would cause costs to plummet for everyone, because they work better and are safer, and it increases longevity and productivity.
In those countries that have socialized medicine, the government limits who receives certain kinds of care. For example, older people who are past their "productive" years in the Netherlands are denied kidney and heart transplants; they go to younger people who will be able to continue paying taxes after they are back in the workforce. In the US, there are (or used to be, before Obamacare) medical charities that cover medical costs for those persons who are unable to manage. In addition, the law prior to Obamacare required emergency rooms to accept and treat patients regardless of insurance status; most of those charges get written off, BTW. The real question here is who should decide when you die? Do you want a bureaucrat to choose at what age you are no longer useful to society, or would you prefer having that discussion with your family, your physician and your spiritual guide (if you have one)?
Transplants are horribly expensive, do not work well, and the organs may well have been taken from people who were still alive at the time. Trying to extend the "right" to receive a transplant of someone else's organ taken from him while he is still alive is a false freedom. Instead, let us develop stem cells so people can grow their own replacement organs. They can do this in situ, in a culture medium, or in a matrix laid down by a 3D printer. True freedom would cause such innovations to thrive. Not providing transplants is NOT deciding when you die. If you mess up your organs, you will die. Most people bear SOME responsibility for their poor health.
Funny you bring up stem cells, especially when I've been attacked by Jim Hallett who brings up GMO food! If you love your GMO grains, then you'll really love the GMO medications that are being developed using stem cells. And yes, I believe it is your right to choose whether to use these or not.
The one fact that no one wishes to admit is that EVERYBODY DIES sooner or later! The question that was posed here, however, was WHO DECIDES when it's appropriate for you to die? Do you allow nature to take it's course? Do you take the risk of having an organ transplant? Do you perform selective abortions on people whose genetic makeup makes them prone to certain diseases? Who is the final arbiter of your life?
The premise of the entire editorial piece has to do with implementing a single-payer "health care" plan, meaning you leave the responsibility for determining your health in the hands of Bernie Sanders and his ilk. What if Bernie doesn't like your opinions regarding wealth confiscation – do you believe that a government body he chooses (which is what those "death panels" in Obamacare are, BTW) might have a bias against providing you with even a modicum of lifesaving treatment? Where will you stand on the triage? My point in providing factual information regarding how governments decide who lives and who does not had less to do with the efficacy of transplant therapy and more to do with whose you allow to be responsible for life and death decisions. I for one choose NOT to give the government power over me in that regard.
When I recommend stem cells, I'm not talking about GMO medication. That is serious bad news. I am talking about using adult stem cells to heal a part of the body. As for GMO food, another deadly idea. Not to mention the increased used of carcinogenic pesticides like Roundup.
Yes, everyone dies. But it is NOT OUR DECISION. Not theirs, and not ours personally, although a person can choose to give up life when terminal. I have witnessed this. Everyone who is receiving care is entitled to food, water, and breathing assistance. Organ transplants should be a thing of the past. Abortion is murder, so unacceptable. God is the final arbiter of our lives. If we have a truly efficacious method of prolonging a reasonable life, we are free to use it, and help provide it for others. The government doesn't have a right to rob you at the point of a gun to prolong my life. In situations like single payer health care, the government decides you are not entitled to care if this doesn't meet its standards. We've been down that road in the Third Reich, and some governments are going down that road, and contrary to some people's opinions, it does not work well, does not let the most efficacious methods win out over the dangerous ones, and is going broke, everywhere.
A friend of mine formed a commune with her family. Her husband ended up supporting 45 people by himself. They left. It doesn't even usually work when voluntary. The only exception I know of is The Farm. Even kibbutzim failed.
Peter, medical treatment doesn't "save" lives. Prolong, perhaps – at best. Is it desirable to spend 500,000 tax dollars on , e.g., a heart-lung transplant for a 70 year old, only to have that person run over by a bus on his way out of the hospital? Or die from an embolism a week later? Or…?
Medical treatment CAN "save" lives, but most of the time I would agree it's just prolonging. I do not believe anyone should have a transplant unless a live donor can contribute one organ from a pair. Period. In that case, the taxpayer should not pay the costs. I have even been told that receiving a transplant can cause horrible emotional problems.
In respect to donor transplants, we have an opt in program. Perhaps that should be changed to opt out as far as if someone dies, organs automarically harvested unless there is advance directive to not allow it. Might lower quite a bit the waiting list.
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EMPHATICALLY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY HARVEST ORGANS FROM LIVING PEOPLE. You are proposing open season on ALL the disabled unless they are in some way able to protect themselves. It is the government's DUTY to protect the people from murder, and that is what you are proposing. Let people opt in if they want, but don't LIE to them. The organs of a dead person are useless. THEY HAVE TO BE HARVESTED BEFORE THE PATIENT ACTUALLY DIES. In any case, organ transplants are horribly expensive, because of all the medical CARE required, wreck a person's immune system, cause emotional and spiritual problems, and are OUTDATED. Adult stem cells work SO MUCH BETTER.
"we?" By we, do you mean all of us? Or do you mean a collective of individuals voluntarily cooperating on a cause they mutually believe in and care about? Or do you mean you and me? What if someone else has a cause they deeply care about as well? How do we pay for all those causes people hold dear an inviolate? How do we prioritize each gravely important cause?
I propose that nothing man devises is perfect, but paving the way for maximum possible individual liberty is perhaps the more perfect way of not letting people die.
What if it wasn't a bad personal choice? For instance, what if it was an act of nature?
That's what charity is for. You also see people helping people everyday. Especially here in the USA
The problem is when you put the government in charge, so much money is wasted, and then they have the power to decide who lives and who dies.
Charity, Crowdfunding, etc. are so much better because the money goes directly to help the individual and their choice.
There is such a thing as medical insurance.
The battle for Freedom will continue unabated as everyone
wants their version to prevail. If men were only angels.
Fact: there is and has never been a condition named EQUALITY! And following that statement, I and others have written essays and books. And, there is a difference between IS and OUGHT.. Just as there is a difference between KNOW and BELIEVE. Just for starters! Not beginning with those truths, irrational, unrealistic thought (of what passes for it) follows. (Thus sayeth Zarathustra! LOL)
I highlighted the word freedom in the article and tapped define. My Apple phone came back with "no definition found". Hmmmmm……
I agree with Jean. Free-market based insurance would surely bring out the competition and lower prices for healthcare. We also need to return to doctor's making medical decisions, not insurance companies. I'm referring to what care a patient receives and the length of stay in a hospital. All conditions are not the same. Going by a chart at an insurance company is not reasonable or prudent.
You can't just let doctors decide, either. Far too many doctors decide to become shills for pharmaceutical companies, and prescribe medications a person should not be taking. They can even FORCE a patient in the hospital to receive these against his will. Speaking from experience. We must deal with the rapacious pharmaceutical companies. Doing so would cause costs to plummet. The consequences of overmedicating can be SEVERE. Again, speaking from experience.
It seems as if the Democratic Party .is getting progressively (excuse the pun) worse minute by minute. The pre-1968 Democrats like John Kennedy, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson et al. would not even be able to recognize this party.as it is now compared to what it once was.
Access to health care is a righty not to have big government pay for it. Health care is a hot item because no one sees the whole picture . First the system of health care delivery go to a hospital emergency room for a problem because your primary care doc is too busy to see you. Next look at the patient –more than sixty percent of dr visits are for life style related diseases –drugs including alcohol,, obesity and its Manny related problems I could go on but I think you get it next comes the insurance companies. Designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.Gruber said it well in his comments that Obama care passed because they duped they STUPID PUBLIC They let the foxes ( ins co ) design hater hen house This is just the tip of the iceberg but I think the point is clear
Very interesting article! I understand your fear of the Radical Left very well. I have been there. I was born in Europe and as a child I learnt from my parents to fear communists. When I met someone I knew I went to the other side of the street. I was terrified. But I miss in the article and the comments another hindrance to freedom, at least for women. I am thinking of marriage. I promised myself very early that I would never marry and I kept my promise. Today I am 75 years old and very much because of the freedom I had I can now look back at an amazing life. I worked in several countries and all except one had very good health care for everyone. It was never questioned and I never heard the words right or privilege concerning health care. We did not question having a police force, road networks or schools either. Today I cannot say that I am very rich but I have earned enough money to have properties in three countries and I enjoy life. I know I will get the help I need if I fall ill and that is more worth than any of my properties and other material things. Good luck America! I am convinced that with time you will find solutions.
I agree women have the choice to marry or not. I chose to marry, and I am very happy. Schools are none of the government's business. They indoctrinate. The responsibility of providing for the education of children belongs to parents, church, synagogue, or charity. No one else. Roads are provided by government pursuant to specific constitutionally granted authority, and it's the only way you can assure freedom to travel. Government must run police and courts. Nothing else would work. Health care is also none of the government's concern. All it does is corrupts health care.
If people were responsible for their own actions, charities could afford to help those for which something was an act of nature. Taking my money or your money to pay for treatment for someone who lived an unhealthy lifestyle depletes resources to the point where help for those who suffered from an act of nature often cannot receive care at all.
Outstanding analysis. It's even more complex, however. When doctors arrogate to themselves to make the decision to OVERTREAT AGAINST YOUR WILL, they are raising costs for everyone, because this kind of action causes grave harm. I speak from experience. We need to educate people to stop demanding drugs and procedures they do not need. The best way to do this is to place as much responsibility on the shoulders of the end user (patient) as possible. Unfortunately, health insurance sticks a middleman in between so that no one is held accountable for poor treatment decisions. I am not opposed to health insurance per se, but we need to figure out why health insurance companies will often pay for shoddy medical products that do harm, instead of those that are safe and healthy, when they end up bearing the consequences through drastically increased hospitalization costs. In one example, refusing to pay a little over $600 for a safe drug, the absence of which caused a hospitalization that cost the insurance company $25,000. Another example: failure to cover hyperbaric oxygen treatment that could heal, at a cost of $5000, resulting in hospitalization that costs Medicare in excess of $30,000. For some reason, there is NO FEEDBACK about the EFFECTIVENESS of treatment, and a heckuva lot of FRAUD in favor of pharmaceutical companies that DELIBERATELY sell products they KNOW will harm, because people will buy MORE drugs to alleviate the harm, and they will stay drug dependent. Why else would there be sodium lauryl sulfate (a skin irritant) listed as an "inert" ingredient in thousands of pharmaceutical drugs? It serves NO purpose but to HARM. These are just a few examples. Or how about prolonging unnecessary treatment? Many practices are carried out because doctors fear legal liability from not doing enough. They shouldn't worry. Lawyers won't sue them anyway. It's "standard of care" to give poor treatment. Translation: they abuse everyone, so they get away with it. And it wouldn't hurt to attach a stigma to people who use many pharmaceuticals, like we do to people who use street drugs. Many of these drugs ARE addicting, because you WILL suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop. That's intentional, by the way. Only in a free market situation will there be enough common knowledge that people will demand and get better care.
Stunning that compassion in politics has become pornographic indulgence for the most recent most popular identity group or issue.
Healthcare is a right? Does that mean leftists intend that it is a civil right? And if that is so, then the USGovt has an obligation to deliver the right to every individual no matter what the circumstances? And to pay for this new, artificial civil right, then the USGovt must tax all persons and entities to pay to deliver this civil right? And if there is not enough tax revenue to pay for all the civil rights, then the USGovt mush takeover and administrate all rights and all revenue and expense? Sounds a wee bit like communism. So why aren't we calling Dimocrats Communists if that is what they are?
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