Dan Popp
Rights 2.0
By Dan Popp
April 5, 2010

A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. — Aldous Huxley

Americans have been getting rights wrong for a very long time. Those dead white men with their long stockings and wooden teeth thought that rights came from God! But we're much more sophisticated now. Thanks to the historic declaration of Speaker Pelosi that "health care is a right," we've come to understand that a right is only a wish carrying a gun.

As many users noticed, those clunky Version 1 rights weren't even services at all! They were just areas of our lives supposedly "off limits" to government. In this slick new release, rights are goods that other people must provide for us. No longer is the Constitution a "charter of negative liberties." That dusty document has been resurrected as a Premium Service Contract, with perpetual free upgrades!

Welcome to Rights 2.0.

As with most major revisions, the new operating system is not compatible with the old one, so you'll need to delete your original rights and reboot. This will be a minor inconvenience.

Everyone's excited about the new right to health care, but let's talk about some of the other features included in this whole new vista of rights. A few of these have been undergoing beta testing for awhile now, so it's possible you may already be enjoying some of the enhanced functionality of Rights 2.0.

There's a right to respectable pay. This is safeguarded by the "minimum wage" code. There is one known bug in this utility: the MinWage feature makes the lowest-skilled workers unemployable. So for many users this feature translates to the right to be disemployed by your government. The temporary patch is endless unemployment benefits, so at least you've retained the right to mooch from strangers.

Another cutting-edge 2.0 entitlement is the right to a house. Yes, Congress has created a right not only to housing, but to own a home at someone else's expense. Admittedly, this feature caused a pretty severe system-wide crash recently, but our technicians are working around the clock to fix the glitches on your new right to responsibility-free home ownership.

Now for the details on the Killer App in this package: the Right to Healthcare.

As you install the program, you'll discover that health care is only the shell of the system — the core is the right to health. After all, what good is treatment if you don't get better? With Rights 2.0 from SoftHeadWare, the government is now responsible for keeping you well. It's your right!

Let's explore some of the Main Menu items. Everyone knows that nutrition is a big component of health. So to fully realize your new right, farmers will have to grow food for you at whatever price the government sets. If you can't pay that price, you can get food stamps; and if farmers don't want to grow food for that price, we will shoot them. Ha ha! No, we will re-educate them.

Then shoot them.

And you can hardly be healthy without a good night's sleep. You need the proper equipment (bed, pillows, mattress) as well as the right environment for sleep. So clearly you have the right to very thick walls, or very quiet neighbors. Currently this subroutine is outputting very thick neighbors — please watch this site for updates. Meanwhile, comrade Nancy will be dropping by in the Sleep Freedom Truck to give you the bedding bailout.

Then there's leisure. Our new healthcare program correctly emphasizes prevention, and one of the key elements of prevention is a fair, decent and humane amount of relaxation. If you can't see how you can take a 6-week sabbatical and still pay your bills, that's why government is there: to force your employer to take someone else's recreation options, and give them to you.

"All experts agree" that regular sexual encounters are necessary for good health. Look for major enhancements along these lines in the near future. Frankly, we haven't worked out all the details of how the government will administer this right but, as with your other new rights, we can't be concerned about the so-called "consent" of greedy capitalists who want to hoard the supply.

We here in the Rights-Generation Department are excited about this breakthrough new release. For so long Americans have been blind to our true rights! Now doctors, nurses and technicians must work for us — whether willing or unwilling. Hospitals, drug manufacturers and technology companies must give up what they selfishly hang onto as their "property," to supply our supreme right. Taxpayers must open their wallets for our expenses, and leave them open.

The profit motive is dead! Long live brute force!

Speaking of which, diet and exercise being important to good health, your new rights include a personal trainer, who will report your habits to the Health Czar. Now that your body belongs to the state, there will be some exciting changes regarding your accountability. Nothing to worry about!

Rights 2.0 is the ultimate revision of human society.

Celebrate this brave new world, brothers and sisters! Let us revel in this, the newest and highest right we have bestowed upon ourselves: the right to confiscate the labor of others for our own benefit — the right to own, and to become, slaves.

What is the cry going up everywhere, from all ranks and classes? "All for one!" When we say the word "one" we think of ourselves, and what we demand is to receive an unearned share in the fruits of the labour of all. In other words, we are creating an organized system of plunder.

Unquestionably, simple out-and-out plunder is so clearly unjust as to be repugnant to us; but thanks to the motto, all for one, we can allay our qualms of conscience. We impose on others the duty of working for us. Then, we arrogate to ourselves the right to enjoy the fruits of other men's labour. We call upon the state, the law, to enforce our so-called duty, to protect our so-called right, and we end in the fantastic situation of robbing one another in the name of brotherhood. We live at other men's expense, and then call ourselves heroically self-sacrificing for so doing. Oh, the unaccountable folly of the human mind! Oh, the deviousness of greed!
— Frederic Bastiat

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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