Welcome to the first series of Political Economic Digest. In this series we’ll be discussing about an individual’s rights and responsibilities and his/her role in the society.
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. It’s one of the most common quote that we hear when discussing about what needs to be done to develop our country. From our politicians to our civil leaders to general public, everyone uses this quote. So what does it exactly mean? Let’s analyze it. The first part “what your country can do for you” implies that the state is the parent and citizens the children and state is there to grant favors and gifts to the citizens. The second part implies, state is the master and citizens are the servants who have to sacrifice themselves for the country or society. The third way of viewing the relationship between a country and its citizens is “an individual is a free agent who forms mutual associations with a society for mutual benefit and the state is neither a parent or a master but the representative of people which is there to protect the mutual interest of the individuals in the society”. Hence, neither the government is there to grant us with favors nor it is there to rule us like servants. An individual is the Supreme Being who owns his/her life and the fruits of his/her labor and society is nothing more than the voluntary association of various individuals. Hence, a society cannot be superior to an individual and so cannot demand sacrifice from the individual.
In the presentation “Introduction to Liberty” (http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.swf ), you can view this concept in detail. The presentation says since every individual is a supreme authority in their life and property, no one should have rights to interfere with someone’s life and liberty. It also says since government is the mere representation of people, it cannot have any rights which the people themselves don’t have. Because what one doesn’t have cannot be given to the representative.
In the article, “Self Ownership in Nepalese Society”, the author talks about the concept of self- ownership and its interrelation with personal freedom, private property rights and why it is necessary to realize it for a prosperous society. The author also talks about the present scenario of Nepalese society.
In the article, “Origin of Human rights”, the author talks about the origination of human rights originated and their implications.
In the article, “A man’s rights”, the author talks about what are the true rights of an individual and what rights aren’t justifiable rights. The author distinguishes between the essential rights like right to life and property and the ‘unjustifiable’ rights such as right to employment or right to education etc.
Have an enjoyable read! Please feel free to send us an email if you have any queries.
Read more in the uploaded file.