The “Other” Natural Rights

Going back to our idealized state of nature, let us look at some other “rights” that people would have in such a state – rights that often get lost as population densities grow.

First, you would have the right to Pristine Wilderness: no smog other than from forest fires and volcanoes, no billboards, no clear cuts, no machine noises, and so on. All the interesting (and dangerous) animals and plants would still be around. Hmmm, now we are starting to sound Green.

Also, you would have the right of the Walkabout. You could go anywhere you like, and sleep anywhere you wanted to. Now, we are getting a bit of true communism to go along with our Green sentiments. Perhaps we are moving towards justification for lots of clothing-optional national forest.

You would also have the right to privacy. Not only can you be a naughty nudist in the woods, you can be such without an audience. On the other hand, if such things disgust you, you wouldn’t have to be exposed to them because you can be isolated with your own group of upright people. Now, we are moving towards freedom of moral practice: the ability to either “do your own thing” or the ability to shun those whose “own thing” is offensive to you.

But we are not done yet. In such a state of nature, you would also have the right of Foraging: to hunt bountiful game, gather wild fruit and nuts from trees untouched by other humans, and to build tools and shelter from whatever sticks and rocks you find, and to build fire with whatever dry plant matter you can find. In a truly wild area in the more human friendly parts of the world, it is possible to “make a living” by hunting and gathering with much less effort than modern humans work to get by. In some ways the standards of living are much lower in such a state, but leisure time is valuable. We have come across something akin to an entitlement right! It is not on the level of what the average social democrat would call for, but it is more than is called for by those who advocate ideal free market societies.

Read the Book

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