Worldwide oppression is rising. The old dictatorship in North Korea is gaining new acceptance by other governments, harsh new dictatorships are rising in Venezuela, Turkey, and elsewhere. Americans are losing their freedoms to monolithic government agencies like Homeland Security and TSA. Human rights are now more important to think about than ever before.
I would like to try to lay out an ordering of what principles in order of priority should be followed by humans in order to reduce conflict and increase human quality of life. The rights higher on this list should trump the right below them.
- Just treatment. Every person should be able to expect that they will be treated fairly in accordance with the principles below. This includes the right to a fair trial. Governments need to provide competent police and courts.
- Life – every humans has a right to not be killed.
- Physical Freedom– no human should be enslaved. This right includes the right not to be tortured or otherwise physically abused.
- Speech Freedom – you should be able to state or write your opinions without fear of state interference including the freedom of speech, thought, conscience, religion.
- Freedom of Movement – if a person does not intend harm to others, they should be free to move to any nation they wish. I have skills tested and worked with hundreds of people worldwide and it is unjust that many of these good people are trapped under bad regimes.
- Safe and clean environment. Governments and companies cannot dump harsh chemicals into heavily populated areas or take actions that put others at risk without fair and full compensation.
- Public information. Voting records, tax records, criminal and civil court records, government contracts, etc should all be free and easy for the public to view. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. This will help prevent voter fraud like dead people voting, tax fraud or unfair taxation, hidden settlements, or government contracts going to people’s relatives.
- Free Trade. People should have a right to hire or fire who they please, work for whom they please (no non-competes), start businesses, work in any industry (no government issued licenses / monopolies restricting competition). People should be able to spend their money or not spend their money as they wish. Misbehaving companies and individuals should face harsh penalties though.
- Small and local government. Local governments are much more responsive to their constituents and small governments are easier to prevent from becoming oppressive. Most power in government should reside in the smallest possible units of government. Towns should have the most power, followed by regions with less authority (basically just to protect against abuse by towns), then nations (just preventing abuse by regions), then globally (just preventing abuse by nations).
- Pursuit of Happiness. People should be able to take up hobbies or marry or do anything else they wish that does not interfere with the rights above.
- Property Rights. Trademarks (brand names such as Coca Cola or Walt Disney) can be owned. Patents and copyright and trade secrets are built upon an avalanche of human genius and prior ideas, therefore allowed for ownership of these ideas enormously slows the growth of that avalanche. Ownership of these should either be disallowed entirely or strictly limited to a maximum of three years.