You dont have a "right "to be given anything!

You really have no concept what communism is do you? The principles of communism is that workers have a right to what is produced by their labor. The people that employ them don’t.
As for rights. Has anyone ever heard of the Miranda descision. If a police officer fails to take the action of reading you your Miranda rights he is violating them. The Supreme court has ruled that for some rights it is nesecary to take action. Now we can continue the debate on wether people should have the right to housing, but don’t make the assertion that there are currently no rights that require action.

zero, I would argue that it is implicit and widely accepted. Hence we lock up thieves. Some of us here therefore see property taxation as theft. People have a long established commonl law right to property. I am with Locke on this one.

The right to private property is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

granted, this refers to seizure of prperty by the state, but the principle of the right to property is still vested in the individual.

If it was implicit why do we have laws against it? We lock up theives if they break the law. Not because they are violating your rights. The right to private property is relatively recent, only in the last 150 years or so for most of the world. I’m reading this interesting book about the Rhineland in the 1840’s. Peasents had always had the right to go onto land and gather dead wood. The Diet started trying to restrict that right and impose laws against it. Specificly they were trying to develop the concept of private property.

The right is for protecting people against UNREASONABLE searches and seizures. Hence, reasonable ones are allowed. It says nothing about the right to private property.

And where, exactly, is the affidavit Nature signed explaining precisely which rights she has vested in each of us? I see Locke’s interpretation of the issue in the quote you cited above, but as far as I can see that was signed not by Nature but by Locke.


Not every law nesecarily protects a right. DUI laws are not expressed as a right. There are simply some behaviors that society deems unacceptable.

If nobody’s trying to take my life or liberty, or if I can protect myself from them without calling in the cops, the government need do nothing at all. Similarly, if I obtain and maintain my own housing without help, the government need do nothing at all. The government does, however, have to take action if I can’t obtain the things I have a right to without help. I’m sorry if you don’t like the term “naive,” but your choice of argument isn’t convincing me to retract it.
How about Obtuse? I like that word, and you are demonstrating it well.

So, how does the government act to give me free speech. I can stand on any corner and obtain it. You are getting confused about who is doing what. I will try once more. If I lock you in my basement it is that I is violating your rights, not the government. Now, whether the government takes action or not has nothing to do with your rights. The constitution does not say “the people are guranteed the right to be saved from every situation and to have those violating their rights arrested.” No instead it says “teh government promises not to do these certain things to you.”

This is where socialists and cconservatives disagree. Socialists think that the governments job is to do a lot of things for people. Conservatives think that it the governments job to refrain from doing certain things. I am saying that rights must be phrased in terms of inaction: We wont kill others, we wont stop them from praying, we wont throw you in the chokey without a fair trial or telling you what your rights are (Miranda?) we wont take over your house so that soldiers can sleep ther. Does this make it any clearer?

Goddamnit Mr.Z you are pissing me off. You are lumping socialists and liberals together. I’m a socialist, I do not think that it is governments job to do things for people. I won’t get into what I believe here, but rest assure I’m not a liberal. My support for you in the police thread should convince you of that. MY distrust of government is probably greater than yours. I mean you just want to get rid of it, I want to actively overthrow it.

sorry for the hijack/rant, I had to get it out and I’m really fucking pissy today.

Also you mentioned Miranda. As I stated earlier that is a case of riots being violated if no action is taken.

We may assume I know the history of communism. We won’t start that discussion because it has, I believe, already been dealt with in another thread.
That said, I see Oldscratch has written an intelligent post
below. The evolution of the concept of the right to property is fascinating. Of particular interest is the enclosure of commons and the Enclosure Laws passed in England. Oldscratch would benefit from reading John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and some U.S. constitutional history to learn more about the concept of the rights of man. I am surprised he hasn’t quoted that rascal, Proudhon, “Property is theft.” Of course, he was an anarchist, not a commie, but it’s the thought that counts, comrade.

Well my question was actually about whether this right was implicit or actually stated. In the example you cite it’s implicit. But, the interesting thing is that in the context of the 4th amendment as worded above, if it implies a right to property, it also implies a right to housing as well.

Anyway, I don’t think American citizens do have natural rights to property. An example of lack of property rights would be a law where personal property can be seized. Consider drug laws where private property can be deemed guilty and confiscated. Also consider other situations where the government can take your property like when constructing roads, or when you don’t pay your taxes.

Really, a property tax could be considered a form of rent. You pay the goverment to use the property, but you don’t absolutely own it.

Well, how does the government act to give me housing? I can get a job and pay for housing with my own money. If the government recognizes free speech as a right, it has to be prepared to take action to give me free speech (by court order, for example) if I’m not able to exercise that right freely. If the government recognizes housing as a right, it has to be prepared to take action to give me housing (by some HEW-type mechanism) if I can’t obtain it on my own.

I understand your distinction between infringement of rights by individuals and by government. My point is that protection of all rights requires government action.

It also undertakes to prevent other people or organizations from doing certain things to you. It won’t let your employer deny you equal protection of the laws, it won’t let your teacher make you say prayers in school, etc. etc. etc.

Are you really claiming that the right to freedom of religion, for example, consists only of not having the government require you to pray or not pray, and not of having the government prevent others from making you pray or not pray in certain circumstances? The only point I’ve been trying to get across is that governmental action is built into the protection of all rights, including the “intangible” ones like free speech. You can logically argue against a proposed right to housing, but not by claiming that the government doesn’t have to take action to defend other rights.

No, it does not. the 4th amendment says that the state cannot arbitrarily imprison or take what I own. One may may keep what one owns; one may not take what one wants, which is what a right to housing entails.


? How you figure? While the quote in the OP did seem to be arguing that it was okay for homeless people to take an abandoned building, I can’t see why we would have to concede that a right to housing would mandate such behavior.

Well, if a right to housing is absolute, then I am entitled to housing whether I am willing to work for it or not. If housing is to be provided for people unable or unwilling to pay for it themselves, then the money must come from taxes or the seizure of property to build houses. Either way, the hard-working are being robbed to house the indolent.

Nice paraphrase, but I’m not arguing what the 4th amendment means. I’m saying that if you can read implicit property rights from the wording of the 4th amendment you can also read implicit housing rights from it. It doesn’t say anything about ownership. If it mentioned ownership, then restrictions on search and seizures technically wouldn’t apply to people that rent or have a mortgage on their home.

The search and seizure laws work similarly in reverse. It’s a common practice for police detectives to attempt to rent property of suspects when they can’t get a search order. By renting out the property, the owner passes on any rights under the 4th amendment to the renter, which happens to be the police department.

Those who are arguing there is a right to housing must of coures admit that Bill Gates has a right to housing. So who is going to give it to him? I mean if it is a right certainly he can demand the government provide him with house as much as the next person.


True, some people would be enjoying rights that they haven’t done anything to deserve. But this is nothing new.

If I feel that you hav wrongfully terminated me and I sue you, the government is not assuring my rights. Rather I am using the court system to assert my rights. The government generally does not preserve peoples rights through action. THe victims of the infringement do through the courts. I can’t call teh police and have them arrest you for not allowing me to parade or to lead prayer at school. But I can initiate a suit. There is a difference.

Look at the cases that the supreme court rules on. Usually say something like “Brown vs. the board of education”. Notice that it is an individual suing another individual or entity, not the government suing the offender.

The exception is criminal cases. But laws against behavior do not necesarily indicate a right.

The thing about rights is you simply have them. They are there at birth. Now, those rights can be taken away by the action of others, but they aren’t given to you like property is. Which is my point. A house is not a right, it is an object. IT makes no logical sense to say that one has a right to an object unless the person owns it and you are discussing property rights (not real estate rights, but the right to own tangible goods.) You can have a right to buy a house. You can have the right to paint it or sell it. But you can’t have a right to be guaranteed x number of houses simply by virtue of breathing. It doesn’t make any sense.

Scratch, you are right. I was generalizing about socialists and libs. When I say liberal, I mean those in favor of bigger, costlier and stronger government and more social service-- generally democrats.

No problem Mr.Z. Just don’t do it again. :slight_smile:

Kimstu challenges Mr. Zambezi:

Actually there are several. From

Courts have ruled that government does not have a specific duty to protect individuals.


Mr. Zambezi, I think you read the court’s mind! Very insightful analysis.

This reference was dated 1996. Within the last year, there was a Supreme Court ruling that confimrd the above. I am still working on finding the actual docket.