I don’t think these words mean what you think they mean

Poor Brazilians have long counted on a thin welfare state for basic human rights, such as healthcare, education and social security; but this reality may soon drastically change. Brazil’s unelected president, Michel Temer, is seeking to amend the constitution to impose unprecedented austerity measures for the next two decades, effectively disenfranchising ordinary Brazilians, and especially the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

The austerity measure is that the Federal budget only rises in line with inflation for the next couple of decades.

This is not disenfranchisement.

13 thoughts on “I don’t think these words mean what you think they mean”

  1. “suddenly the Guardian believes in democratic legitimacy again.”
    Yep! Big change from yesterday’s lamented Great Leader, isn’t it?
    We are sure there aren’t goldfish on the Guardian editorial staff?

  2. I can’t keep up with what the Left believes in.

    Aside from the fact that at any given moment they profess to believe whatever is convenient. A minute later, there’s no guarantee that there won’t have been a U-turn.

    “Schrödinger’s Leftist” – he simultaneously holds two contraditcting views, one of which will appear when observed.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Poor Brazilians have long counted on a thin welfare state for basic human rights, such as healthcare, education and social security”

    Someone needs a lesson in positive and negative rights.

    I’m all for healthcare, education and social security being free at the point of delivery and need, when it can be afforded, but first you have to create the wealth.

  4. Exactly. Health care and education require action by other people. It can never be a right if it compels action by others, who of course have rights.

    Declaring health care and education as rights requires not believing in rights.

  5. Basic Human Rights…

    … these would be: individual sovereignty, near infinite freedom to do whatever we wish within the Law, economic liberty, enjoyment of property legally obtained.

    None of these basic rights can be observed when health, education and welfare are treated as ‘rights’… they involve theft by the State of private property (aka taxes); loss of liberty and indoctrination as determined by the State (aka schools); State coercion of the individual.

  6. Dearieme is right. There are no human or natural rights: rights (ie claims or entitlements) only exist within a legal system. Morality exists independently of law, but increasingly moral principles and opinons are cast in the language of rights. Such rights-talk is metaphorical.

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