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Final

Final

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Published by Stacy Litz
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Published by: Stacy Litz on Sep 01, 2010
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09/14/2010

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Litz 1
 
Stacy LitzDr. Joel OestreichInternational Human Rights, PSCI 35330 August 2010 Natural Rights Theory: From Classical Liberalism to AnarchismWhen it comes to rights theory, there are many different philosophies that have beencreated
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One of the oldest and most well known is the idea of natural rights, which can bedefined as rights that one has at birth and no agent should be able to take them away
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Theserights typically are defined as negative, meaning they permit or obligate inaction, and require nouse of force to achieve
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Natural rights tend to have a basis of principles in freedom, self ownership, property, and the non-aggression principle
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  Natural rights, according to philosophy, take into account that certain rights areinalienable, above the law, typically based on morals, negative, and individually-based
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Whencomparing these rights to those that have become associated with modern rights theories andinternational human rights documents, there appears a radical difference
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There are many philosophers who discuss the theories of natural rights, but the idea has been around since theStoics of the 3rd century B.C., who determined that no one was a slave by their own nature
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 These ideas of natural rights began to develop to include self ownership and use of force, whichwas furthered by Martin Luther during the Reformation
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The theories of natural rights began toflourish during the Age of Enlightenment, when natural law theory questioned the divine right of kings
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Natural law has become the justification for rebellion against social contract, positive lawand government
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John Locke was one of the first to record natural rights theories in his major works,arguing that the natural rights of ³life, liberty and property´ could not be surrendered in socialcontract
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Social contract theory is the nation that people give up sovereignty to a government inorder to receive social order through the rule of law
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The ownership of property was determined by the application of labor and can be interpreted in a broad sense, to include human interestsand aspirations, or narrowly as a material good
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Also, Locke believed that human nature isdetermined by reason and tolerance and it could even be accepted to be selfish
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Locke, however,advocated for a government or civil society, which other philosophers would come to demonizein regard to natural rights that would hopefully "only resolve conflicts
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"According to anarchist philosopher Roderick Long¶s article Libertarian Anarchism:Responses to Ten Objections, John Locke mentions three contradictions to liberty that are worthmentioning
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First, Locke believed that even though the general population understands naturallaw, there would be questioning on the fine details
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Therefore, unless there is a general body of law, society will not be able to function
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Secondly, without a government, there would be noencroaching abilities, and individuals are too weak and disorganized on their own
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Lastly, Lockedid not believe that people could be judges in their own case, so a government is needed as athird party
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Long points out that even under government, people subscribe to differentinterpretations of justice
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Government ends up creating more laws and is not restrained bymarket demand
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Finally, Long predicts that in an anarchy, there certainly can be a third judge party, people could take turns being judges, rather than with a government where there is only
 
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one kind of judge that you may even end up disputing
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He questions who would be the finalarbiter if you wished to sue the Supreme Court, for instance
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 The idea of Locke¶s property philosophy is discussed in great detail by many, namelyanarchist, philosophers, for both supportive and criticized means
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Locke's theory on property isthat that if land is in its original state it is considered unowned until labor is exerted upon it
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Onecannot simply put up a fence and claim all the land he wants -- some effort must be placed on theland
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Murray Rothbard, an anarchist economist, states,If Columbus lands on a new continent, is it legitimate for him to proclaim all the newcontinent his own, or even that sector 'as far as his eye can see'? Clearly, this would not be the case in the free society that we are postulating
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Columbus or Crusoe would have touse the land, to 'cultivate' it in some way
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If there is more land than can be used by alimited labor supply, then the unused land must simply remain unowned
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Any attemptto claim a new resource that someone does not use would have to be considered invasiveof the property right of whoever the first user will turn out to be (Man, Economy, State)
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 Other philosophers have their own opinions on Locke¶s property, and Benjamin Tucker,anarchist philosopher, argues in that "in the case of land, or any other material, the supply of which is so limited that all cannot hold it in unlimited quantities
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´ Basically, property is only to be considered owned when being used or occupied by a person
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Lysander Spooner also pointsout that the "only way, in which the wealth of nature can be made useful to mankind, is by their taking possession of it individually, and thus making it private property
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