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on stolen rights.

The context.

i must admit that the intended message here is unclear. if the author intends to remind our community that never in the history of state authority (from feaudalism to more modern and covert authoritarian states) there has never been a case in which the state has simply decided --- in an act of repsonsible governance --- to jeopardize their own hold on privelege by extending the scope of rights enjoyed by the populace, then the message could not be more cogent. every right enjoyed by the citizens of western society was wrestled from the entrenched mechanisms of state by the blood, sweat, tears and direct action of individuals involved in movements which were condemned by the pr mills of the day and opposed through the deployment of the various control structures available to the gatekeepers of aristocratic communities. in this way, our situtation is not altogether different from those of the people that brought us such blockbusters as free assembly, equal protection, due process and the demise of the inquisition.

so the author is right here. there are no stolen rights: as the only true carriers of rights, the people cannot be considered guilty of stealing rights from the pockets of state; as fundamentally only legitimate given the mandate of the people, the state can never an agent in the process of stealing rights from the people --- we would be more accurate in describing these rights readjustments as the "surrender" of the relevant rights on the part of the people. as such, we should be vocal about the range of liberty which we (the people) refuse to surrender to the effectiveness of state and the reliabilty of security. we need to be clear --- at least to ourselves --- about what we consider to be the inviolable core of the rights reserved by the people and vigilant in their preservation (and, whenever a segement of these rights are wrongly appropriated by the doctrine of state, we need to engage in attempts to popularize the inviolability of these rights by acting as though they need not be "granted" to achieve legitimacy).

there are, indeed, no stolen rights --- only those which are demanded by the people (who, by the way, are seen as the very SOURCE of state legitimacy in the rhetoric surrounding the american republic) and those which have been surrendered by the people due to complacency or due to the influence of well-constructed propoganda campaigns designed to increase anxiety about crime (particularly the current poster-boys of domestic terrorism and the emeregence instances of "random" gun violence in the whiter corners of our society (for a change) --- which can only be fully understood in the context of the significant overall decrease in gun violence over the course of the 1990s), fostering a willingness on the part of the team-players still engaged in the hopeless and myopic pursuit of the american dream and, therefore, still willing to harbor the belief that their vote is an effective means of political commentary to support moves by the state which attempt to enlist the surrender of rights, privacy and anonymity in the interest of security, safety and efficiency.

no rights can be stolen. all rights can be lost. we are even entitled to claim more if we can only decide how they are to be described and their extent demarcated. demand those rights which you believe you should have --- the constitution says that YOU are the primary authority on this issue. it even says --- in some of the lower traffic portions typically found in the actual main text and in the more globally formulated rhetoric of its tenth ammendment --- that the government only has those powers which we are willing to grant.

admittedly, the archaic document which is currently (not) being used as the basis of our government is not ideal for the accomplishment of the long-term goals of the justice movement, but we can gain some much needed ground by acting as though it is still the relevant covenant in our form of governance. there are a number of reasons why this is likely true, but i will save those for another discussion.

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