Saturday, December 16, 2006

Natural Rights Part 2

Ben, the Tiger has sided with Kathy Shaidle on the topic of natural rights.
What do I think? Well, I'm actually with Kathy -- there is no constitutional right to a cheese sandwich at Woolworth's.

Saying that I have a right to someone else's services is just plain silly, and those students could have been arrested for what they did. (And often were.)

That being so, however, sometimes one has to break the law to make a higher point. And that point is, of course, that those people in exercising their property rights and freedom of commerce were behaving like racist assholes, and making the lives of their fellow citizens a seemingly endless train of humiliations.

And the other point made there was that the system of everyday humiliations that was the private side of Jim Crow was only possible as long as those who were being stomped on implicitly tolerated it.

That still doesn't create a right to a cheese sandwich -- it just means it was worth breaking the law and getting arrested to make a point about higher justice.(emphasis mine)
It is an interesting argument, but I think he undercuts himself at the end. I ask you , what is this "higher justice", of which Ben speaks? It is quite obviously, the protection of the natural right of all individuals in a free society to be treated like everybody else. No more, no less. That overarching natural right trumps all other considerations. It certainly has primacy over freedom of commerce and property rights, Ben admits that by admitting there is a "higher justice" at stake. Therefore, since we both agree that natural rights are paramount, our only disagreement is whether a person needs to be arrested in order to point out the offense against natural rights. I think it an unnecessary obstacle to a just society for all.
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