Auberon HerbertAuberon Herbert, (1838-1906) English writer, theorist, philosopher, 19th century individualist, member of the Parliament of the U.K.

Auberon Herbert Quote

“How should it happen that the individual should be without rights, but the combination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?”

Auberon HerbertAuberon Herbert
~ Auberon Herbert

Ratings and Comments

Jay Hendon, Lake Oswego

I don't understand this quote. ".. but the comination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?" What does that mean? It's early here, maybe my brain just isn't fully functional yet?

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anonymous    8/26/05

I believe it's refering to the rights of industry.

Heidi Andrade, Boise, ID

I think he could be referring both to corporate power and governmental power.

Yndrd1984, Ames, IA

Look at his other quotes, he's talking about inalienable (or natural) rights and collectives (combinations of individuals).

Mike, Norwalk

Ahh yes, the illogic of collectivism questioned. Collectivism, socialism, communism, fascism, democracy, as well as all other philosophies that would claim that the state has inherent right while, the individual only has the rights the most powerful (majority or otherwise) acknowledges is the despotism that enslaves the world.

J Carlton, Calgary

Racial groups, Unions etc. having a collective bargaining power that supercedes individual rights is the problem I believe being described here. The logical fact is this: If rights do not expressly pertain to "individuals" then they are not rights at all. "Group rights" is an oxymoron.

jim k, austin

Mike and J Carlton summed it up well.

cal, lewisville, tx

It seems if enough folks do a wrong, suddenly it becomes a right.

shinpeter, Malaga

This quote has to do with the establishment of corporate legitimacy c.1870. The Corporation was recognized to have the same rights as the individual without the responsibilities of the individual. It is power without responsibility which is moral illiteracy. Not enough can be said about this since it is the basis of the rape of the people by the global transnational corporatocracy. Mussolini said Fascism would better be called Corporatism, the state run by the corporations which cannot be held accountable at an individual level. Everone there just has a job.

Waffler, Smith

I think this is a thought provoking but ultimately confusing and incomplete or not fully developed quote, therefore it does not deserve our attention.

Mike, Norwalk
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Mike, Norwalk Waffler, Smith 4/21/21

Waffler, by definition, rights are inalienable to the individual as Divinely endowed (or as a faculty of birth if you wish). Rights can NOT be passed from the noble sovereign to a second party or a collective. When speaking of rights; rights can not be passed on, only duties can be extended. Though representatives may represent personal rights, they don't receive the rights only duties to administer a sovereign's inalienable right(s).

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RBESRQ    12/20/09

Two is mightier than one

E Archer, NYC

When might makes right, man is pitted against man. This is the problem with confusing 'rights' with 'power.'

Ken, Allyn, WA

When I pull a gun on you and tell you to give me your money, I am a robber and am violating your right to property. When I and three or four of my neighbors pull guns on you and take your money, we are a gang of robbers and we're violating your right to property. When I and enough of my neighbors pull guns on you and take your money, we call ourselves a government (it doesn't matter what others may call us), and we somehow are not violating your right to property. Government: the unlimited "right" to individuals' property.

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Anon    3/19/10

A republic versus democracy once again.

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Anon    9/27/13

Well said J Carlton,

Mary MI
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Mary MI    12/1/14

This quote from Auberon Herbert is pointing out that in the mind-set of many, whether in the thought processes of those in government or in the abuse of democracy, the ideology is that the rights of the mob (Mob Rule) take precedence and can usurp the unalienable rights of the individual -- which, is a stupendously false and obscene premise.

Mike, Norwalk

Mary, very well said. As Archer points out, confusing 'rights' with 'power' is a real problem. The quote begs the question, where do rights derive. At natural law, the de jure foundation of existence, it is understood that rights are endowed inalienable as a faculty of birth. The individual has rights, whether or not a government exists. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. (Bastiat - The Law) Rights either derive from God (or for our atheist friends) as a faculty of birth or they derive from government. As Bastiat stated so well, rights (law) existed before man's government. If rights come from government (a collection of individuals) where, what and why is the lawful nexus that gave such - excluding the individual. The concept that governments can give license or other rights is absurd and an heinous tyranny.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

Pride, power and greed rooted intellectual and ideological posturing and pretense aside, human beings, individually and corporately, in the lightless sight of collectivists, are cattle/chattel.

cal, Lewisville, Texas

Waffler, it's your brain that is not fully developed and incomplete .


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