2010s >> 2019 >> no-1374-february-2019

Rights. What rights?

When the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) was struggling with the feudal nobility, it was anxious to secure its ‘rights’ –  the ‘rights’ of the towns – the rising factor all through the Middle Ages – against barons and king, who controlled the state.

Rights were in the hands of the feudal state to bestow on its subjects. The word implies acceptance of one’s subordination to another, of whom you demand rights – the right to do something, express an idea, and so on. Rights are bestowed or withheld. Where there are no classes, no rulers and ruled, rights are an absurdity. They cease to be.

When the bourgeoisie stopped requesting its ‘rights’ and, instead, overthrew the nobility (namely in the French Revolution), it kept the language of Rights, and enshrined it in the bourgeois constitution. Now the bourgeoisie grants rights to, or withholds them from, its subject class, the working class.

Everyone thus today clamours about their ‘rights’ – the right to be a wage-slave, the rights of women, the rights of animals, the rights of minorities, ethnic or sexual. Like ‘freedom’, ‘rights’ is bourgeois language. We petition and plead with our masters for our “rights.”

No more rights! No more capitalist system! Abolish class by abolishing the wages system! Let’s get up off our knees and stop begging for treats.