The importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it

The importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it

This is a discussion on The importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; There is a battle raging here in regards to free speech. The government started “Human Rights Commissions” which have gone out of control and are ...

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Thread: The importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    The importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it

    There is a battle raging here in regards to free speech. The government started “Human Rights Commissions” which have gone out of control and are being used to silence dissent. Here is a link to more background if you wish. Ezra Levant

    The reason I posted this piece as the writer did a great job summing up the importance of freedom and the cost of neglecting it. I hope you enjoy it.



    Real rights and rights commissions

    REX MURPHY
    Commentator with The National and host of CBC Radio's Cross-Country Checkup

    November 15, 2008

    Jennifer Lynch, chief of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, participated in this week's ceremonies at the National War Memorial by laying a wreath. It's nice to know the commission honours Canada's veterans and the cause for which so many fought and died.

    The cause, distilled to its fundamental point, was freedom. The Second World War framed that cause in the starkest form imaginable. It is impossible to conjure up an example more pervertedly perfect of the odiousness (Churchill's term) of tyranny than Hitler's regime. There was only one freedom in Hitler's Germany, as there would have been only one freedom in Europe or the world should Hitler's insatiable nightmares been realized: his freedom to cancel every freedom of everyone else.

    One lesson that grieving millions took from that war was that the only certain anti-toxin to the "after-Hitlers," those lesser or greater avatars of tyranny an always changing world will almost certainly force on us again, was freedom. The second lesson was how massive the cost, how massive the sacrifice, to extinguish tyranny once it's taken hold in one country and marches on to others.

    This is what makes Remembrance Day so solemn - remembering those costs, those sacrifices, that are tallied in millions of dead and wounded. Freedom does not fall from the air. Freedom (ask the vets) is never free.

    At the heart of this freedom the Second World War taught us so dearly to cherish is the notion of the individual's intrinsic or, as we say now, human right to think, speak and write as he sees fit, circumscribed only by certain time-tested laws (defamation, libel, public safety) evolved over centuries and subject to the oversight of a trained and independent judiciary.

    The essential point is that the most basic rights, those of freedom of thought, speech and expression, belong to the individual. That is why we call them intrinsic or human rights. They are rights that inhere in our basic status as human beings. They are our most profound rights, belonging to our character as human beings. And, for that reason, we neither multiply them trivially nor dilute their force and meaning by placing them in piecemeal cohabitation with less fundamental accommodations.

    Like the right not to wash one's hands while working in a fast-food restaurant, or the alleged right to strip past a certain age, or the right not to be offended by a Mark Steyn article. These "cases" may have merits, and some wild philosopher may articulate those merits. But they do not abide, as rights, on the same plane as freedom of thought, speech and expression. They may be something, but what they are will not be inscribed on any cenotaph: They are not human rights.

    Human rights, the real ones, are ours from the beginning. They are not bestowed by the state, because the state does not "own" them; they are not a state's or a ruler's or, for that matter, a human-rights commission's to give. It equally follows that they are not a state's or a commission's to abridge, circumscribe, tamper with or make a toy of.

    The concept of human rights, real human rights, has been long with us. But only in modern times did we learn what immeasurable darkness falls on the world when they are nullified. The butcheries of Auschwitz and Buchenwald followed as a straight and bitter line from Hitler's assumption of absolute power in 1933 and his cauterization and extinction of the concept of freedom in the German Reich. Nothing less than the Holocaust underwrites the modern understanding and appreciation of human rights. They are as profound and central a concept to the democracies of the world as we have.

    They constitute the core of human freedom. They are the antidote to tyranny. They are fundamental.

    Of late, in Canada, however, this most painfully acquired understanding has been utterly unmoored. The various provincial human-rights commissions and their federal godfather have been cutting away at the core of, and extending into utter fatuity the term, human rights. They are capricious, agenda-riven, a great mishmash of political correctness and "right thinking" bulldozing away at the basic freedoms of thought, speech and expression while they, under some osmotic impulse, investigate, prescribe and torment with zealous and self-righteous abandon.

    Which is why I find Ms. Lynch's presence at Remembrance Day ceremonies odd. Because Canada's human-rights commissions are diluting and trivializing and thereby offending the very core of the concept that gives them their name. And a Remembrance Day ceremony is an awkward occasion to be reminded of that.


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    Good article. I wish more people would understand this part:
    Human rights, the real ones, are ours from the beginning. They are not bestowed by the state, because the state does not "own" them
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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    Good article. I wish more people would understand this part:

    Human rights, the real ones, are ours from the beginning. They are not bestowed by the state, because the state does not "own" them


    It is because they dont that the cycle repeats itself.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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