The concept of rights is a controversial one, even amongst Anarchists, and I think that is mainly because people have a false notion of what a right is. As I have discussed before, from an Anarchist perspective, all that a right means is that we (as individuals, and by extension as social groups) are justified in using force to defend ourselves in certain circumstances. This is something that very few people would dispute, and thus the concept of rights should not be controversial. The Anarchist framework also eliminates the absurd idea of “taking away a person’s rights” when they commit a criminal action.
One thing that makes people reject the concept of rights is the concept of self-ownership. Most people who believe in rights would say that self-ownership is the foundation of individual rights. Yet this position is absurd, since there is no such thing as self-ownership.
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