Comment: Positive rights ...

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Positive rights ...

... are a demand on someone else to do something. Negative rights are a demand on someone else to refrain from doing something.

If you and I enter into a business contract, we each voluntarily agree to do something to benefit the other. For that reason, we have each gained positive rights vis-a-vis each other. We can hold each other accountable to take the action that benefits us.

Fundamental rights, however, are a different thing completely. Fundamental rights are not agreed to voluntarily. For this reason, they cannot be positive rights. They can only be negative rights.

I cannot demand positive action from you to help me own property. The only thing I can demand from you is to not interfere in my positive right to pursue the ownership of property.

If health care were a positive fundamental right, then you could force a doctor to "give you" health care. The doctor would be a slave to you, which violates his right to liberty.

If you demand that someone else (other than you) pay the doctor for his service, then that other party would have money taken from him by force, violating his right to property.

However, if everyone else in society were simply to refrain from interfering with your actions in acquiring health care honestly (by paying the doctor for his service from your own pocket), then nobody's rights are violated.

You are free to pursue health care to the best of your ability and nobody will stop you. Likewise, you will not force anyone else to do anything, but will enter into voluntary agreements only.

And when you enter into those voluntary agreements, you then acquire positive rights by way of contract which you can enforce (just as the other party can enforce against you).

So, fundamental rights can NEVER require positive action from others because that demand is a violation of the other person's rights -- by definition. Fundamental rights can ONLY be negative, so that you are free from others' interference in pursuing your own life as you best see fit.