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Posted March 25, 2023

Minority Rights

Some years ago I  ran into a definition of democracy so hilarious that I could not resist downloading it:

“There are so many different models of democratic government around the world that it is sometimes easier to understand the idea of democracy in terms of what it definitely is not. Democracy, then, is not autocracy or dictatorship, where one person rules; and it is not oligarchy, where a small segment of society rules. Properly understood, democracy should not even be "rule of the majority", if that means that minorities' interests are ignored completely. A democracy, at least in theory, is government on behalf of all the people, according to their will" .

I am of the persuasion that “Rights” are natural endowment and cannot be overridden by anybody. They can be suppressed, but this invites inescapable consequences. We all  are born with the “Right”  to breath air, drink water, eat food, have sex, sleep, associate, think, access resources and so on. Rights are universal and as such do not define social segments.

A  “minority” is characterized by a material difference from the norms of the society. Some people are  born deaf, mute, or blind and, in a sense, are “minorities”. A butcher who severed his arm on the meat-cutting bandsaw had no option to avert it after it happened. Nor did Andrea Bocelli have an option to be re-born with functional eyes. Such fellow humans are simply “members of the society” – the “minority” word must  never be associated with them. In a democracy they need no “protection”, because of the society’s obligation to address their special needs and respect their dignity, this is of the essence to civilized people.

In contrast, Lutherans aspiring to be Pontiff have the option to convert to Catholicism and then run for the Papacy. But, if instead, they ask for the RC flock to accept a Lutheran Pope, they are laughable.

What is misrepresented and misunderstood as a “minority right” is really licence to behave in a way that offends some material norm of the society. Those who pursue “minority rights” are people who “elect to differ” from folk in a way that affects the rest, or some of the rest. They  demand “special treatment”, by virtue of “choosing” to be members of that minority.

Granting such demands means that some of the rest, likely a majority, should cede something to the aggressive minority. This because of the fundamental truism, the law of thermodynamics really, that says: There is no free lunch and if someone gets one,  somebody else pays for it because the efficiency of any system cannot be higher than 100%, period. Clear?

This reveals the “demand for minority right” being really a request for magnanimity. Then, demanding that as if it was a “right” is tantamount to demanding subservience. Then, posing such a demand certifies condemnable those who pose it.

Retrieving stolen “Freedoms and Rights”, as per the cliche, is not a matter of “minority rights”. I recognize that Rights-rustling happens and I can easily argue that there are more stolen rights  than we commonly recognize. And, of course, one need not argue the propriety of returning stolen goods to their rightful owners. The remedy for these wrongs is known, it is Democracy.

There is a class of Minority Rights claimants that need special consideration. Dealing with this sector is not easy but imperative for if we do not, that which must be done will not be done. This is the reality of “addiction” and the need for “detox”. Particularly addiction to Religion and to other Mighty Social Myths. This is easier said than done – ask any  former tobacco or alcohol addict.

No, I do not advocate banning Religions. What I advocate is protecting the young from the Religion mind-scramblers till the youth reach the age of majority. The God-agents prey on children preferably “till the age of seven” to turn them into Godfearing “addicts” for life.  They chase the young and it is there we must frustrate them.

This is heavy stuff highly compressed to make it into a column. Hence I will close with a giggle. In my youth “education” was compulsory. The police would escort children to school when necessary. I was not long in school when somehow I learned that Schoolmasters were empowered to let kids become school-dodgers by issuing a certificate asserting the child “is incapable of absorbing knowledge”. I trotted off to his office and pleaded with the schoolmaster for such a certificate.  He laughed sarcastically, so loudly that he traumatized me for life. That I write about it now, means that his laughter was extra-curricula educational. Disappointing then, cherished now.

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