Positive Rights

Since the concept of rights limits the actions of the government, the only way to circumvent them is by adding new rights that are allegedly superior to the others. The concept of Positive Rights was developed. These new rights differ from the old rights. Instead of involving freedom from interference from others, these new rights demand goods and services.

The "positive" in positive rights refers to the fact that to satisfy these rights, other people must provide them. They require action from others, instead of inaction. A "right" to health care is such a right. In order to fulfill it, a doctor must be enslaved. The doctor may be paid of course, but then others are required to pay the bill.

Positive rights are not compatible with real rights, or "negative rights". The positive rights requires actions on the part of others. Negative rights requires that no man can be forced to do anything he doesn't want. The two are incompatible. Positive rights are accepted at the expense of negative rights. They cannot coexists, since they are polar opposites.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands