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When he called for the liberation of the world’s poor from poverty at the U.N.’s World Summit for Sustainable Development, South African President Thabo Mbeki was not referring to the upliftment that results from voluntary and peaceful trade, but calling on the force of a centralized Global Government.
The WSSD’s social engineers inked reams of paper with their odes to diversity, which is code for poor non-whites, homosexuals, lesbians and the gender challenged, HIV inflicted, feminists, poor women and witch doctors. Anyone but First World, self-sufficient Christians.
The diversity that dares not speak its name – the natural inequalities between men that drive development and innovation – must be eradicated, they said. Diversity of abilities leads to “global apartheid,” which must be leveled with the force of a “democratic system of global governance.”
And how better to achieve this than to counterfeit “human rights” and compel “global society” to slake them?
Contrary to and notwithstanding the U.N.’s rights minting, the only rights of man are the rights to life, liberty, and property. These rights exist irrespective of governments.
Rights always give rise to binding obligations. In the case of natural rights, the obligations are merely negative. My right to life means you cannot kill me. My right to liberty means you cannot enslave me. My right to property means you cannot take what is mine, or stop me from taking the necessary action for my survival, so long as I, in turn, heed the same obligations.
Rights give rise to obligations between all men, including those who are in power. That men band in a collective called “government” does not give them license to violate rights.
The hallmark of natural rights, again, is that their exercise doesn’t infringe on another person’s rights. The obligations that natural rights give rise to are merely mitts-off obligations.
Which brings me to a different set of rights, those manufactured by governments or other interest groups. If to exercise a right a person must violate someone’s life, liberty and property, then the exercised right is not a right, but a violation thereof.
The rights imagined by WSSD stakeholders are all predicated on the violation of the natural rights of others. Access to clean water, sanitation, health care, energy and “food security,” don’t just materialize. Someone must be compelled to work in order to provide those who hold title to the right to live “healthy productive lives in harmony with nature.” Equally, the right to have one’s debt forgiven means that someone will be defrauded.
And it’s not the U.N. Neither the U.N. nor any other government has any wealth of its own. To deliver these “rights,” the U.N. must steal from taxpayers.
This is why the U.N.’s WSSD and its many initiative-yielding conferences have no moral legitimacy. These forums are rights-violating; they exist for the purpose of disposing of the wealth of others.
The argument that forcing some people to supply others with work, water and medical care will increase overall liberty can never be justified – liberty isn’t an aggregate social project. Every individual has rights, and no central planner should have the power to force some to be enslaved to others for whatever reason.
Much less is it legitimate to claim, as the democracy demagogues do, that the democratic process gives imprimatur to entitlement programs. (Despite being crowned at the WSSD as “the most universal and representative system in the world,” the U.N. doesn’t even pass this flawed test.) The position that the law is always just because it was arrived at through majority vote is a species of legal positivism.
The fact that over half of the voters voted for a forced transfer of wealth doesn’t legitimize the theft. Theft at the behest of majorities is still theft. Furthermore, if legal positivism renders laws legitimate, then the actions of a Hitler, who came to power democratically, must also be considered legitimate.
Neither can the Constitution be deferred to for a license to steal, even though it authorizes the levying of some taxes. Since not one of us was consulted or got to personally ratify the Constitution, taxes by constitutional fiat are theft.
If anything, the Constitution is the thin edge of the wedge that has allowed U.S. governments to cede the rights of Americans to the U.N. The “Supremacy Clause” in Article VI states that all treaties made by government shall be “the supreme Law of the Land,” and shall usurp state law. However charitably it is interpreted, Article VI of the Constitution has segued this nation into a loss of sovereignty and individual rights.
Never has Congressman Ron Paul’s, R-Texas, bill to repeal the U.S.’ participation in the U.N. been more urgent.