...on governmental PRIVILEGES.
Neither governments nor the Constitution confer rights. At best they protect them, though usually they violate them.
Human rights are an invention of human intelligence. They are definitional rather than inherent -- that is, they are made rather than found. They are the implicit interests of all thinking organisms in the protocols of fundamental civility, and as such, they exist whether we are conscious of them or not. Because they are IMPLICIT they can be surrendered by our EXPLICIT misbehavior (thieves surrender their right to property, kidnappers surrender their right to liberty, murderers surrender their right to life), but they are otherwise inalienable. Jefferson nearly had it correct, except when he insisted on bringing magic into it, although the case can be made that "endowed by their creator" is just poetical fluorish meaning "implicit in one's existence."
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West of 89
a novel of another america
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