Collectives and the Possession of Rights or Power?

Foolish Thoughts?

I once declared that only individuals can possess rights. A friend once asked me why a collective cannot possess “rights”. To me, the answer is simple if a person understands what it means to possess rights.

To possess a right a person must accept that he now possesses a responsibility. To possess a right a person has to realize he now possesses an obligation. To possess a right a person must realize that he now possesses a duty. It does not mean he can do whatever he wants though there are many who treat a right in such a manner.

He must accept the responsibility of his behaviors in regards to any particular right he claims. In the acceptance he then can claim any benefits that result from expressing that right. He must also be willing to accept any consequences that result from expressing that right either from the nature of life or his fellow man.

He must accept that he has an obligation once he possesses a certain right. That obligation is to never abuse his use of that right. It is not a toy to play with but a tool that man was given in order to pursue the opportunity of his happiness as he sees it.

He must accept that he has a duty once in possession of a right. That duty is to safeguard that right against all who would take it from him. And this be most important for it will ever be attacked by others who feel that rights do not belong to individuals.

If a man accepts that he possesses rights then he must also believe he possesses a free will in order to express those rights. For as we see a man must choose not only how to express those rights but also must choose whether or not they are important enough to possess in the first place.

And a free will is what separates a collective from an individual. A collective cannot possess a free will of its own. The behavior of a collective is a determined behavior. It is determined by the independent behavior of each of the individuals within that collective. It cannot act or think independently from the individuals as necessary for a free will to exist of that collective.

This does not mean that a collective cannot possess a force of life. What a collective does possess that an individual cannot possess is power. Give a collective enough power and it will force itself upon the individuals within that collective. It is up to the individual to possess the strength of will to resist the power of the collective. And that has been the biggest struggle of mankind.

It is only in the possession of a free will that a person can act in a voluntary and consensual manner. So, to convey rights upon a collective is to declare that a collective has the ability to act in a voluntary and consensual manner and it cannot. It can only act as determined by the will of each and every individual within that collective.

And those individuals who declare that collectives have rights are only being submissive to the power of a collective in hopes of being a beneficiary of that power. In declaring that a collective has rights a person is rationalizing the use of the abusive power a collective has over individuals. In declaring that a collective has rights a person is revealing just how weak his will is.

The individual belief of the possession of free will is directly related to belief of the possession of power by the collective. The greater the power of the collective is given the less a person believes in free will. For the individual recognizes that he has no control over his own life. The less power possessed by the collective the greater the belief in fee will. For the individual must accept control of his own life. This and this alone should be the biggest reason we should seek to limit the power of the agency of the largest collective in our lives, the federal government.

These are but a few reasons that a collective should never be seen as possessing rights. I know this leaves a lot of questions unanswered so if anyone has any questions I will be pleased to attempt to give an answer to it. The idea of rights is a very deep subject and one can spend a life time in study of it and never come to a definitive answer as to what it is or how it actually works.

Categories: My Personal Philosophy of Life, Politics | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Collectives and the Possession of Rights or Power?

  1. Just true. I’m not sure if a person who intimately understands the delicate nature of rights is not in peril of the loss of their own -or maybe it just feels that way

  2. BB-Idaho

    Interesting; if we assume that individuals possess rights and make up a collective which does not, what is the mechanism? Along those lines, when SCOTUS decided that corporations must be
    considered to possess all the constitutional rights of a citizen, was it a judicial collective assigning rights to a business collective and
    did it abrogate the individual right of individuals both within and
    outside those businesses? I’m thinking consitution-wise, that
    the incipient US layed out certain individual rights and reserved
    some for itself as a collective.

  3. The Griper

    explain a little more by what you mean, what is the mechanism?
    all of the rights of a citizen, BB!!!! i don’t think so.

    but remember also, a corporation can be convicted of the crimes of homicide as well as fraud in the same manner as a person. they can be taxed just like a citizen. so, if the government treats them like any citizen then why shouldn’t they be known in terms of a citizen?

    and remember one thing. they still do not have the one basic right of citizenship, the right to vote in elections.

    and remember, science essentially does the same thing. it assigns a ficticious person as a representative of a collective also. it is called the “average person”. as you know there is no such person.

    • BB-Idaho

      I was thinking of “The majority argued that the First Amendment protects associations of individuals in addition to individual speakers, and further that the First Amendment does not allow prohibitions of speech based on the identity of the speaker. Corporations, as associations of individuals, therefore have speech rights under the First Amendment. Because spending money is essential to disseminating speech,..”
      ..I’m no legal scholar, but if the 1st amendment ruling hinges
      on the phrase ‘spending money is essential to disseminating
      speech’, the Orwellian paraphrase “some citizens are more equal
      than others” comes to mind. As for the ‘average’ person, well,
      statistics are just mathematical descriptions of a distribution:
      recall the tongue-in-cheek bragging of the people of Lake
      Wobegon, where’ ALL the children are above average’.
      If, as you noted above “..reasons that a collective should never be seen as possessing rights.”, we need consider the
      preogatives of churches, charities, various government
      levels, megabanks, military units, boy scouts, public libraries, the HS band and the multitude of other collectives ..big, little,
      good, bad and ugly. Now, I’m wondering about the metrics
      of the “average collective”…

  4. The Griper

    we need to remember that any corporate money is the pooled assets of the stockholders. thus it can easily be said that any corporate contribution to any cause is the contribution of the individuals in direct ratio to the number of stocks each individual owns.
    here is where i’d agree with you though:
    the only problem with this is that not every stockholder will be a supporter of that cause. thus, he is being forced to support a cause he does not agree with. the same could be said of union contributions to causes too or to any other organizational contribution.
    the same can be said of any orgainization in regards to power or rights.

  5. BB-Idaho

    I agree that the use of corporate funds/union funds to influence
    politics may not be in the best interests of shareholder/union members. The problem, IMO, is not that good or better government may be obtained, but that the business/union interest is the objective. In that respect, shareholder value/union membership
    values are enhanced, sometimes at the expense of the individual
    citizen. Anytime ‘collective’ comes up, I go over the definitions,
    synonyms and antonyms..the term can be very broad, or more
    restrictive, depending on intent. Sort of ‘two’s company, three’s a crowd, but anything over one is a collective?
    Thinking of the free will of the individual vs the determinism of the
    collective, the biological concept of mind arises; the solitary mind
    needs not seek consensus, nor argue (other than with the self);
    yet free will individuals in agreement within a collective can steer it, it a certain way transferring the concept. Enron? To cross the
    Deleware River on Christmas to fight the Hessians? ..just some
    thought engineering pondering here….

  6. The Griper

    and some very good thought engineering too, imho. as i said in the post it is a topic that can be discussed or thought about a whole lifetime and it still would be a mystery.

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