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Privileges and not rights

This is actually an interesting post on voting for emergent parties, but the last part caught my eye:

[I]f you accept a situation where you have access and others don’t, then you are reducing these basic human rights to privileges. The same goes for your right to due process; if you tolerate Obama’s extrajudicial killings, then you are saying that life is a privilege that you deserve and that others do not. In addition to being morally reprehensible, this approach leaves you open to having your own privilege (to health, security, life, etc.) revoked at any time.

I like this formulation much more than the usual "we're all in this together" frame, which (a) has an awful lot of wishful thinking in it (true in practice on the Titanic?), and (b) doesn't clearly point to the implications of not being "all in this together" (as in, "I've got mine, screw you Jack."* Teasing out some of the implications of this way of thinking:

1. All privileges no rights plays perfectly into the divide and conquer strategy that the legacy parties are playing with their different factions (note that "they have no place to go" works just as well, as a tactic, with Paul supporters, who had done to them in 2012 exactly what was done to the PUMAs in 2008). Obama is assembling small slices of the electorate into the smallest and tightest coalition possible, ideally 50% + 1. But that 1 is very tighly bound -- by privileges they fear to lose, not rights. For example--

2. Privileges and not rights are precisely what Obama gave the gays (his personal assurances were never embodied in legislation or regulation) and the Hispanics (the immigration program is totally with Obama's grant).

3. Privileges and not rights is the sign of an oncoming feudal order. So it's pretty shocking to see "progressives" buying into it. I suppose they're blinded because, as a class, "they've got theirs," and they can see this moves as incrementalism on policy, instead of a change in the constitutional order. Sad.

NOTE * A shout out to Vast Left for this formulation:

Given corrupt ACA process, result that cements the core problems, testimonials to it are heart-tugging form of "I've got mine, Jack."

Also D hostage taking. Vote for me or we shoot this small child....

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nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

It's not just that "you have access and others don’t," but that the access can be divided, bartered, given as a favor, withheld as a punishment, sold. That was the whole debate around the insurance company subsidy bill. This bill will help some people, so you're bad if you oppose it. There are no rights; there's only the negotiation over who benefits. So if you're progressive, you not only accept the wheedling over who has access; you feel benevolent for pulling off the deal.

As you say, it's hostage taking.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... but I was taught that with every right there is a responsibility -- for example, being a citizen means staying informed enough to vote, and perhaps serve electorally. Having good roads and fire protection means paying the taxes for such.

So, with privileges, the responsibilities are not to the polis, but to the liege lord who grants them. It is literally life granted by that lord, and death -- and banishment, via the decitizenship of poverty, joblessness, renditioning, disappearance. I felt shame for the non-pol speakers at the DNC, who bartered their powerlessness in the face of that machine, in exchange for a bit more life, for themselves or their families.

It's so blatant, now -- just like the women shilling against Romney, who never bring up how Obama restricted abortion in Obamacare through executive order. A free woman would demand unrestricted healthcare from both candidates, and make them beg for her vote. We're not in that time, anymore, and a few years on, no one will remember what that was like.

Submitted by hipparchia on

lol!

i did briefly consider adding "1. stuff the ballot box | what ron paul does." but i suspect the users of urban dictionary are not exactly ron paul's target demographic. besides, ron paul's ideology, and ron paul himself, deserves, more than anything else, to be marginalized away into obscurity.

Submitted by lambert on

I note that you're quoting Republican regulars that you'd never in a million years regard as credible in any other context in both of your cites. It's a lot like quoting Obama supporters on Hillary stealing votes in NH. Tony Perkins, for pity's sake? That's what the regular would say, exactly as D regulars would and did make exactly the same charges.

Your comments also seem to attribute values and feelings to what I write that are not, in fact, present in the words. That the R regulars are doing to Paul supporters exactly what D regulars did to the PUMAs is a neutral fact based statement based on intra-party processes. It's also a very interesting data point for people following the legacy parties and wondering or hoping if they will split or collapse.

It has nothing to do with "poor" Paul supporters. My back isn't strong enough to bear that weight of projection and tendentiousness right now, so I'm not going to pick it up, or invest at lot of time sorting it out. Babies in comments like that get thrown out with the bathwater right now. Life is very short.

Submitted by hipparchia on

and nasty, brutish and poor too, should ron paul, or his ideas, get any real power.

That the R regulars are doing to Paul supporters exactly what D regulars did to the PUMAs is a neutral fact based statement based on intra-party processes.

meh. i call equivalation, defn 2.

It's also a very interesting data point for people following the legacy parties and wondering or hoping if they will split or collapse.

the two situations were quite different actually, in a lot of ways, which means that you've constructed a totally bogus data point here.