Let's learn about the Forms of Government!! This video goes along with your Forms of Government assignment!
What We Believe Part 4 - Natural Law
"A right is something the government can't do to you." (Senator Mike Lee)
Redefinition of Rights - FDR's Second Bill of Rights
Assignment - View FDR’s Second Bill of Rights video clip and identify the new “rights” that he lists.
List each "right" that FDR discusses.
To the best of your ability at this point in the class, consider this: How does FDR’s view toward rights contradict the principle of Natural Rights upon which American is based?
FDR's Second Bill of Rights Near the end of World War II, FDR proposed a "Second Bill of Rights" that would fundamentally transform the nature of rights. He believed that people should have rights to have certain things provided to them by the State! (A right to get something from the government is a "positive right." It means that others have a duty to provide something to you.) This signaled a 180 turn from the Constitutional view of rights as articulated in the Bill of Rights. According the founding principles, people have natural, inherent rights to life, liberty, and property, and the Bill of Rights was designed to protect people from the government encroaching upon these pre-existing, inherent rights. (A right to be protected from encroachment is a "negative right." It means that others have a duty to refrain from infringing on your life, liberty, or property.) FDR was proposing a new definition of rights that placed a duty on some to provide something to others. Thus, FDR's approach involved a perspective toward rights that would deny some people their natural rights while providing nice things to others in exchange for votes.
Negative Rights and Positive Rights
Because politicians have expanded the definition of the word "right," a distinction between the traditional view and the new view was needed. A newly defined "right" to get something from the government is now known a "positive right." It means that others have a duty to provide something TO you. All forms of Leftism including Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, and the Social Justice movement, are based on this view of rights. A right to be protected from encroachment is a "negative right." It means that others have a duty to refrain from infringing on your life, liberty, or property. America's Constitution was based on this view of rights.
There are two ways to understand what a right actually is. Negative rights provide citizens “freedom from” governmental intrusion. They prohibit government from acting. Positive rights, on the other hand, require government to act in order to provide “freedom to” do or enjoy certain things. Can these two types of rights coexist within the same regime?