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Devil's Advocate posted a topic in Political PhilosophyHello again, I have been considering the reality of an inherent right, as suggested by the DOI. Those who have exchanged ideas with me in the past know of my appreciation for Ayn Rand and her philosophy, and my attempts to integrate it with Locke, Jefferson and ideas expressed the founders of our country. In the midst of today's political upheaval, there has been much discussion (but less understanding, IMO) about the nature of rights. What follows is an attempt on my part to establish a baseline by which "a right to" anything might follow. AR defined rights primarily in a social context, which I believe left a gap between the man on an island and men in general. The following is my attempt to bridge that gap, and (as always) I'll appreciate any feedback that you'd care to offer. -- A right is freedom of action, which implies having the ability to exercise or refrain from exercising it. A right with no ability to exercise it is useless, and a right with no ability to refrain from exercising it is a compulsion. Common examples are freedom of speech and the right to remain silent. Derived from an ability to communicate, speech exercises a right and silence forbears it. Inherent rights are the freedoms necessary to exercise inherent abilities. Thus having an inherent ability for movement implies an inherent right of movement, and this (existent) right is made apparent (self-evident) when self-governing movement occurs. Inherent rights are also considered inalienable from individuals because, following the prior examples, the voice and movement of one cannot be transferred to another even by force. When individuals form or enter into communities, representatives are often called upon to regulate their activities. But the legitimacy of governance depends entirely upon the voluntary forbearance of the individuals being governed. Because governance is a service to individuals, and not the other way around, when governors fail to recognize and secure inherent rights, the responsibility falls back to individuals to exercise their independence.