I found this article, most of which I wrote a long time ago, and which is rather interesting. At first I wondered about it but I can see that there is a truth in it. What its basically saying is that the concern over rights is often used as a medium for personal problems and that this has had great and negative impact on this society. My observation is that this is still true. Here’s the article:
Here is a new take on a familiar theme:
Over the years I have found that many things associated with rights violation, civil rights, and rights in general, as well as many things coming from the Constitution, has this quality of a big pit or, to be more precise, like a big tar pit . . . once you get in you can’t get out. It has attitudes that won’t “budge”, and they never get resolved. Most people who take the rights points-of-view seem to think that they are automatically right all the time . . . there’s usually a self-righteousness about it. It creates a narrow-minded attitude that will not alter anything. Talking to many of them is like talking to a wall, unchanging, unmoving. In other words, its an attitude of something like a FIXATION, they become fixated on the issues of rights. This creates what I call the ‘rights pit’. Once people get in this pit its hard for them to get out. Some of its qualities include:
- They see only what they want to see
- They interpret things one way
- They are not willing to alter or change their points of view
- They use law to get their way
- They are self-righteous
In effect, it has created a mentality of using civil rights and the law as a “front” for some other motive. In fact, it seems that people who cite rights are probably doing it as a form of manipulation. In fact, my observation is that one of the sinister sides of the ‘rights pit’ is that it is an attitude that often implies malicious intent. As a result of this, when they get on their rights podium they are generally very accusatory and all to easy to blame. In other words, their whole philosophy is in assuming malicious intent in people and in blame. As a result, its whole viewpoint is one of endless blame.
THE PROBLEM OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS
In my observation, the ‘rights pit’ is often more rooted in peoples personal problems more so than actual problems between people. In fact, my experience is that most people who take the ‘rights pit’ mentality often have some form of a personal problem behind it. These can range from something like a worry, to an insecurity, to a neuroses.
A common theme I’ve seen is helplessness. Many who displays the ‘rights pit’ mentality display feelings of helplessness in some form or other. This helplessness is generally a deep-rooted sense, I’ve found.
Another common theme is a sense of fear, real or imagined. I think that many people “seek refuge in the Constitution and rights to guard themselves from some fear”. It becomes their refuge and escape.
It seems, to me, that the people who use rights as an avenue for personal problems tend to hide behind it so much that their personal problems often tend to never be resolved or even get worse.
The question of personal problems is so prevalent, in fact, that whenever I hear rights or words associated with it (such as civil rights, racism, sexism, etc.) I immediately question it. What this more or less means is that I tend to associate rights, now, with personal problems of some sort.
Because of experience and observation. Many have displayed traits such as:
They blow things out of proportion, usually to ridiculous lengths.
They see and create problems that often don’t exist.
- They complain about problems that don’t exist or are minor.
They won’t let problems go – they hold on to things too much.
- They excessively use rights and the law to the point of abuse.
- They are too accusatory and easy to blame people.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that these reflect some personal problem and that they are using rights as a way to deal with it. Because of this, the ‘rights pit’ is often used by people that have personal problems. In other words, rights is often an avenue that some people use to deal with their personal conflicts and despair.
In so doing, they sort of make their problems societies, or someone else’s, problems. In using rights, they basically drag other people into their world of personal problems. I, myself, have seen this. In fact, this is why I questioned it to begin with!
THE PROBLEM OF LEGITIMATE CONCERNS
In some cases, the concern over rights may be based in a legitimate concern, an actual problem. Sometimes, these are serious concerns. But their personal problem turns these legitimate concerns into something “personal” making it become their “personal problem”. Because of this, it becomes detached from the actual problem and takes on another quality. This makes it so that a legitimate concern becomes transformed into a personal problem, creating the ‘rights pit’. This shows, in my opinion, that the ‘rights pit’ is a mentality that often pulls people into it. In that way, it as if creates a problem between people that wasn’t there originally. But, because of this, many of the legitimate concerns are not really addressed as everything revolves around the persons problems. In this way, the ‘rights pit’ actually works against the legitimate concerns.
USING CIVIL RIGHTS, AND THE LAW, TO DEAL WITH THEIR PERSONAL PROBLEMS – THE INFLUENCE OF POWER
What the rights movement did is give some people an avenue for complaints that seem to be based in legitimate concerns, political ideology, and law. In other words, it gives them an ‘illusion’ of control over their helplessness. They do this by using the “cause” of rights and its law. This has become their ‘power’ and way to deal with their problems. As a result, they insist and depend on it severely. In so doing, they create a fixation, hence the pit.
The ‘pit’ seems to develop in stages:
They have personal problems
They can find an association of rights with their personal problem
They use rights as a defense
- They find that the use of rights gives them a power
Because of its effectiveness, they become fixated on it
The ‘rights pit’ is created
In many ways, the appeal of rights is that it gives them power. When they say it, or refer to it, people move and do things. In this way, the power they find in rights gives them an illusion of control over their personal problem. One effect of this is that they often become “power mad”, in a way, wielding rights like some form of a weapon.
THE ORIGIN OF RIGHTS AS A POWER – THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION AS HOLY SCRIPTURE
In the U.S., especially, rights is associated with the political ideals of the country. It has basis in the American Constitution and the founding of the country. Because of this, there is a sense of “sacredness” about it and a taboo about it as well . . . you don’t question it. In other words, in the U.S., the Constitution, and the laws and principles and ideals it created, is treated like Holy Scripture! Because of this, its made it so that just mentioning the concepts associated with the Constitution, such as rights, has these qualities:
- It makes you automatically right
- No one questions it
- Its associated with deep serious feelings
These qualities end up giving the stating of rights an unreal and incredible power that no on questions.
For people who think the Constitution is Holy Scripture this may be hard to see this. As for me, I don’t see it as Holy Scripture. To me, its a political and legal statement . . . there’s nothing holy about it. From this angle its very apparent. In fact, its sort of funny watching all these people take a political statement as if it were written by god. But I can also see the tragedy it causes . . . of a bunch of people who do not even so much as question anything about it and assume its automatically true. Personally, I think that treating the Constitution like Holy Scripture has created a tragedy in the U.S. Its really no surprise, then, that the treating of the Constitution like Holy Scripture has turned into an abuse . . .
THE ABUSE OF RIGHTS AND THE LAWS THAT SUPPORT IT – THE CREATION OF A NEUROTIC PARANOID HATE-FILLED SOCIETY
What has been created, over the years, is a gross abuse of the rights idea and the laws that its based on. In other words, it has gone way far beyond what it was intended. Many rights claims are completely asinine and ridiculous. It has caused a great distortion of rights and law. In fact, it has sort of destroyed it!
Originally, rights was a good thing. But, with the abuse of rights and its laws, it has become nothing but a medium of control by certain people. They have used the law, and politics, to be an avenue of control. In this way, they have affected the greater society. As a result, they have created a society reflecting the traits of their personal problems:
Paranoia and fear
- Seeing hate everywhere
- Seeing abuse everywhere
- Seeing rights and the laws that support it as a power to manipulate and control
- A domination of these points of view in their whole world view
In some ways, they’ve turned society into a paranoid neurotic creature.
THE “NEW OPPRESSION”
In reality, it has created what can be described as a “new oppression”. Now, we live in a society where we must be careful of everything we say, do, think, etc. We can be sued for the smallest of things. We can’t express anger, hatred, or even spank our own kids. In my many conversations with people I have found a great fear, that one cannot do things. People are even frightened, now, of speaking with certain people. Many males, for example, are apprehensive speaking to a female at work . . . and you surely don’t touch them in any way. I now must speak a certain way or I might ‘offend’ someone. Everywhere I turn I see this stupid asinine paranoia based in civil rights and rights violation.
I can see that, this condition has created a society of apprehension: a fear of lawsuits, blame, accusation, etc. . . . the effects created by the ‘rights pit’. In some ways, the ‘rights pit’ hangs over us like a cloud now. Its as if the personal problems of the people with the ‘rights pit’ has infected the rest of the population. In effect, the ‘rights pit’ has created a neurotic society with a neurotic attitude, and a society of fearing one other. This condition now defines modern American society in the late 20th century and into the 21st century.
Several problems bother me about this situation:
- It is a silent subject.
- No one condemns things that are so obviously wrong.
- No one questions the Constitution and its interpretation.
- The judgments of the legal system supports it.
These are only going to make it persist.
SOME THINGS THIS PROBLEM REVEALS
I think that this problem has shown a number of things:
- The Constitution should not be treated like Holy Scripture.
- The Constitution should not be blindly followed.
- The interpretation of the Constitution should be questioned.
- There needs to be alternate interpretations of the Constitution.
- The whole “American political idea” should be questioned.
We must remember that the Constitution was written in the late 1700’s and reflects the conditions and points of view of those times. In case no one has noticed, we are no longer living in the late 1700’s. I do not believe that the Constitution reflects inherent and timeless conditions of the human condition, as is often supposed to be the case.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen