29 March 2011

His place at the table

Rights and duties are only in the second place about justice. In the first place, rights and duties are about the need for every person to acquire a civic personna and become a citizen. 
Persons become citizens by participating in the building of centrist institutions. The rights are the dispositions of each person in the purposeful behavior and conduct which constitutes the collective enteprise. 
  • The rights only incidentally confer allocations of the output of the collective enterprise; 
  • more to the point the rights confer claims to have a place in the inputs to the collective enterprise. 
  • Rights entitle people to contribute and to have their contributions welcome and accepted in the devising of the social enterprise; 
  • rights entitle people to have access to the pre-requisite resources they need so as to make credible the opportunity to contribute to that collective enterprise; and then, yes, 
  • rights entitle them to get their fair share of the collective output while at the same time being subject to the same disciplines as all the other citizens. 
Think of a soldier who has the right to participate in the war effort, has the right to the gear he needs to make his participation plausible, has a claim on medals in the event he performs heroically, and is subject to no more discipline than the others in the army. These are his rights. His duties all have to do with the obligations that come with taking his place at the table. 
No good deed goes unpunished. When you save a man's life, you're obliged to him forever. The duties are what you have to do given that your input is accepted and is an inextricable part of the collective enterprise. Your duties are to your superiors, to your peers, and to your subodinates. The duties are all about the exercise of your authority in light of the exercise of everyone else's authority as well. 
  • The rights are largely in the domain of access to the building and maintenance of the collective technology, the means of production; 
  • the duties are largely in the domain of access to the building and maintenance of the collective techniques, the terms of conduct. 

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