Individual Rights vs. Group Rights
middle class vs. lower class
The Zman has a piece critiquing the faith in individual rights. Sure, individual rights are about minimizing coercion, but someone has to do the dirty jobs.
The believer in individual rights is not going to take kindly to being coerced into something he doesn’t like. And yet, individual rights are nothing if the social order collapses.
you are going to need something that leads [people] to voluntarily submit to the social order. They will have to believe that their individual rights rest on their sacrifice of those rights in order to maintain the society which makes their rights possible.
Thus the case of Daniel Penny and Jordan Neely. What sort of force is permissible to subdue a crazy person?
Actually, I don’t think we have a problem. You can easily get people to believe in contradictory things, that force is sometimes needed to control someone out of control.
But you will find that the notion of individual rights typically goes with a middle-class person. And that if he breaks the peace then his individual rights come in second to the need to keep the peace. And he accepts this.
But that is not how the lower class lives. The lower class — and in modern cities various ethnic groups — thinks that only group rights apply: you mess with me, you mess with my people. And urban criminal gangs operate on the same principle.
That would not be a problem if the ruling class would uphold the individual rights of the middle class — needed for the city culture and economy to work — against the group culture of the lower class.
But in America right now the ruling class bids for the political support of the lower class by stigmatizing and marginalizing the middle class as “white supremacists.”
Thus the deaths of petty thugs, from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown to George Floyd to Jordan Neely, are used by the ruling class to whip up rage and political support from “the black community.” Especially in election years. Because Emmett Till.
No doubt this political strategy will work to keep blacks voting 90 percent Democrat until the day that it doesn’t.