The Importance of Rights

Kyle Rowland writes:

In a recent conversation, the subject of expulsions of problematic demographics came up.

It was pointed out that when European countries expelled their Jews, generally no calamity befell them.

It was pointed out that when Muslim countries expelled their Jews, no calamity directly connected to this action befell them.

There are a number of differences I want to point out between those situations and the situation in the West today, but the most salient point is very simple:

Those countries were shitholes.

They were poor, wracked with violence and political repression, politically unsophisticated, and generally not very pleasant places to live in.

When places like that and places like the modern West co-exist, there is a loud sucking noise as all the smartest and most productive people flood out of those places towards the West, followed by not so smart and not so productive people when and where they can move.

I am reminded of a couple of expressions: We see the past through rose-colored glasses, and the grass is always greener on the other side. The past did not have some of the problems that we face in modernity – and when we look back, we tend to focus on that and give it a romantic sheen.

The past was a shithole. Conditions much more like the past are freely available, and people run from those conditions like they are death itself. If the conditions on the past were forced upon the current crop of complainers agitating against modernity, they would call it a genocide, and would not be far off the mark.

Part of what made the past such a terrible place was the abrogation of rights. When more productivity means that more will be stolen from you, civilization is stuck in a mire.

The notion that someone should be much, much, much richer than someone else for producing much, much, much more is profoundly unintuitive to most people. They consider it unfair and divisive.

The notion that the unpopularity of an individual, enterprise, or demographic should not result in their rights being abrogated and their property seized is profoundly unintuitive to most people. They consider it a betrayal, protecting the wicked from the righteous.

The industrial revolution required the resistance to these unintuitive ideas to be violently overturned. Outsiders saw the industrial revolution and wanted in – but didn’t want those nasty divisive principles. To an extent, they were able to imitate the successes of capitalist industrialism without adopting their principles. However, there were several caveats:

No country was able to ape the successes of capitalist industrialism without creating analogous inequalities on the basis of bureaucratic rather than market favor.

No country was able to ape the successes of capitalist industrialism without strict information control to prevent reformers calling for fuller imitation of capitalist success from predominating.

No country was able to ape the successes of capitalist industrialism without suffering from either brain drain or the need to forcefully prevent their citizens from emigrating.

Many great achievements can be claimed by countries that aped capitalist industrialism without adopting its principles. However, those countries still suffered from the problems and requirements imposed by those caveats, and ultimately all the most successful of these examples were forced to converge more fully by the weight of those requirements.

If a political entity, whether a nation-state or an entity with ambitions of becoming a nation-state, decides to abandon the principles behind capitalist industrialism – the rights that underlie capitalist industrialism – it is choosing to cripple its own potential, and take on a burden that it will in all likelihood just abandon in short order.

This being undesirable, it is best to hew closer to the principles that underlie the greatest success story that we have. Abrogation of a citizen’s rights based on their demographic background cuts directly against these principles. It saws off the branch upon which Western civilization sits.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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