Essay:Human rights

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Human rights are those rights that every human being is deemed to have. Typically, these include civil liberties such as freedom of speech, freedom of association, and so on. A dichotomy is sometimes made between property rights and human rights.


Human rights have proven difficult to protect through constitutional provisions. A new constitution will typically contain a bill of rights to protect against similar abuses as what the predecessor government perpetrated. Over time, those rights tend to be eroded. During periods in which interventionist sentiment prevails, there are movements to amend the constitution to abolish constitutional protections that get in the way of implementing interventionist programs. When classically liberal sentiment prevails, there is usually not much of a push to amend the constitution to restore the rights previously abolished or to add new constitutional protections, because those rights are not under any imminent threat. At the end of Atlas Shrugged, Judge Narragansett amends the U.S. Constitution by adding, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade.”