Hidden Premises Revealed

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” — Fair enough. I need freedom from coercion and from having all my practical efforts to improve my life and the lives of those around me undermined by hyper-regulation and confiscatory taxation. Do you have the ability to restrain yourself from coercively undermining my efforts?

“Every child has the right to an education.” — True enough, inasmuch as every child is a human being, a potential or growing individual, and the essence of human nature qua potential is self-development, which in the definitive sense means the search for knowledge of the whole. To the extent that the concept of rights is useful at all, our rights all stem from the most fundamental one, which is the right to life; and the right to life, understood beyond the level of mere material continuity (self-preservation), means the right to live as fully as possible in accordance with human nature, which in turn, in light of the definitive sense of self-development stated above, means to live as a learning being.

Hence, every human child has the right not to have his learning artificially circumscribed and limited by impersonal societal forces euphemized as “school,” which operate above the heads of the people with whom he is personally familiar, i.e., the people who love him and care about his individual well-being and development. 

In short, the right to education, properly understood, is merely a variant form of the right to life, and hence may not be violated by the State with any form of compulsory indoctrination. To do so is effectively, i.e., in principle, to reduce the right to life to a matter of mere material self-preservation, and simultaneously to enslave everything in man that is immaterial.

“Everyone has a right to health care.” — Since “health care,” in this context, must be presumed to mean something other than self-preservation — to which we already had a well-known right long before health care “became” a right — the phrase can only refer to having a right to the service industry dedicated to the provision of medical treatment. Therefore, we should restate and clarify this “right to health care” in the name of precision: Everyone has the right to coercively control the efforts of trained medical workers and commandeer the latest medical equipment, facilities, and medicines for his own benefit, at gun point; this, in turn, entails that everyone has the further right to commandeer the productive efforts of all the researchers and developers involved in the production of said equipment, facilities, and medicines; which, in turn, entails the right to coerce, at gun point, all the individuals involved in such research and development, along with the resulting manufacturing and educational processes that make all these workers and products materially available for use; and further still, this entails the right to force a certain number of individuals in one’s community to go into medicine and excel at it, since a right to something that depends on others who must provide it necessarily requires that there be such others in the first place.

In short, with regard to health care, everyone has the right to enslave hundreds or thousands of people in his community as needed.

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