Book Reviews

Occult Features of Anarchism

An anthropologist examines secret societies, revolutionary movements, and esoteric ideas.


Erica Lagalisse's Occult Features of Anarchism is a history of secret societies and revolutionary movements, but it isn't one of those paranoid screeds in which every insurrection is allegedly masterminded by the Illuminati. This is a largely level-headed book by an anthropologist who sympathizes with the left herself. Her chief interest is in the ways mysticism influenced ideologies that we today associate with secular rationalism, and she makes a strong case that anarchism and socialism have longstanding links to hermetic ideas.

Along the way, Lagalisse notes how clandestine groups devoted to revolution mimicked, and sometimes overlapped with, secret societies devoted to esotericism—and how conspiracy theories helped spread the very ideas that the theories attributed to a cabal. When conservative 19th century governments circulated "fearful accounts of the Illuminati," she explains, it "had the ironic effect of inspiring others."

Conspiracy theories are not Lagalisse's chief focus, but she addresses them at the beginning and the end of the book. Her interest in the subject, she explains, began a little more than a decade ago, when she was an activist supporting Mexico's Zapatista rebels. Several of her comrades were drawn to conspiracy tales, and in one case the story in question was anti-Semitic.

Lagalisse helped talk the man out of the anti-Semitism—and talked herself into exploring the world that she'd stumbled into. She was an anthropologist, after all, and thus understood that even a false story can express "something of the everyday truth lived by its purveyor."

NEXT: Midsommar

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  1. Well, just because you are paranoid, does NOT mean that NO ONE is out to get ya!

    So, sometimes conspiracy theories can be TRUE!

    In that vein…
    Genetically Engineered Bacterial Spores at Root of New Conspiracy
    The TSA is just trying to protect us all! Now hear the latest!

    What I have heard is that the Islamofascists are cooking up yet MORE evil ways to bring down aircraft! They have deviously devised aluminum-eating genetically engineered microbes, which, as we speak (write and read), are being secreted into and onto the main weight-bearing aluminum structural elements of American and allied (non-islamofascist) aircraft, military and civilian alike. At the release of secret radio codes, these aluminum-digesting microbial GMOs will destroy aircraft in-flight.

    What are the microbes called, you say?

    Wait for it now…

    … The Aluminum-Eatee!!!

    1. Even after the game change… boring and awful.

  2. Oh, God.

    reason and their staff Anarchists.

    Libertarianism is NOT Anarchism.

    1. Libertarianism isn’t conservatism either.

      1. You sadly think you have an argument.

        1. Says the guy who leads with an ad hominim. Talk about irony…

        2. Well, he was responding to a comment similarly lacking an argument, so it seems appropriate.

          1. My comment was responding to an article lacking an argument, so blame Jesse Walker.

            1. Damn you, Jesse Walker!

              Though I’m not sure a book review requires an argument.

              1. He is literally arguing that someone should read the garbage he recommends.

                Hahaha. I suspected my comment would bring certain trolls and commenters to Walkers rescue.

                1. Meh, a review isn’t necessarily a recommendation. But that may be splitting hairs too finely. And yes, when you proudly expose your ignorance on the Internet, it tends to elicit a response.

                  1. A review is de facto some desire to bring it to everyone’s attention.

                    While it might be a BAD recommendation, that reviewer is still saying, “see, this is bad”.

                    You people crack me up.

      2. “Libertarianism isn’t conservatism either.”

        Libertarianism doesn’t constantly say “send them all back”.

        Libertarianism doesn’t obsess about making you say “papers please” to anyone, every time you offer to share a bite of food with them, or open a door for them, because they might be illegal sub-humans! Can’t “aid and abet” criminals, you know! But real Libertarianism doesn’t go for this kind of micro-management by Government Almighty.

        Libertarianism doesn’t want to make a collective-hive-based decision about whether YOU should be allowed to buy products of so-called “Chinese slave labor”… Without massive tax penalties (tariffs) for doing so… Libertarianism trust you to make your own choices, free of meddling and POTUS-driven selective protectionism of favored businesses and individuals.

        Libertarianism doesn’t believe in worshipping The State (no matter which party is ascendant).

        But you try and glean ANY of that by reading the trash dumped here constantly by conservatives!

    2. There is a line between minarchism and anarchism. Philosophically, I prefer the latter, but the realist in me would settle quite ecstatically for even a semblance of minarchy at this point.

      1. The way I see it government is inevitably immoral. But it’s also pretty much inevitable, and possibly beneficial in some ways.

        1. I’ve tried and failed to imagine a state of anarchy that didn’t end up with a group of people using organized violence to engage in plunder.

          1. Exactly correct, and a VERY short, pithy summary of the problem! It will remain thus, MeThinks, as long as human nature is what it is today. So we are stuck (the wise and benevolent ones among us) with MINIMIZING the size of the state, but ELIMINATING it totally is neither possible, nor wise.

          2. An-Cap (ish) societies:
            Free cities of medieval Europe
            Medieval Iceland
            American Old West (so very much this)
            Gaelic Ireland
            Israel during the time of the Judges

            You are correct, the desire to murder and steal is very strong, which is why these keep turning to the State (as it murders and steals by definition)!

            The State doesn’t exist to protect you from murderers and thieves, it exists to protect the murderers and thieves from you!

        2. Look at that Zeb. Some Libertarian justification for tiny and limited government.

          Good for you!

      2. That all might be. I cannot get a straight answer how “minarchy” differs from Anarchy, so I will assume there is none and it’s what Lefties do to hide (Socialists who call themselves Progressives) what they really have been labeled as.

        My point is that Libertarianism is NOT Anarchy or any form of political leanings that don’t have a tiny and limited government with police powers.

        1. As I recall, you’ve been given a straight answer on how minarchy differs from anarchy several times. Minarchy=extremely small government, anarchy=zero government. It’s the difference between 0.01 and 0. It’s not a Socialist Newspeak plot, these are simple, easy-to-lookup definitions that you simply refuse to accept.

          1. He has been given a straight answer more times than can be counted. Without exception he labels anyone who tries to make that distinction an anarchist, and then starts throwing personal insults.

            Like Tony, lc does not argue in good faith.

            1. Hey, sarcasmic I saw some of your comments from way back in 2012 based on some old reason staffer.

              Haha. It was hilarious. People were ignoring you back then too. I guess you always thought your comments made sense in your head.

            2. Most people on this board (and in life in general, I find) don’t argue in good faith. It’s a shame.

              Glad to see you posting more frequently again, by the way.

              1. I miss the old days when there was substantive debate on this forum. Before it was taken over by monkeys throwing poop all over the place. And thanks.

          2. Poor sock troll bignose

    3. So therefore no one should ever mention anarchism? Whether you like it or not, anarchism (the individualist kind at least) and libertarianism are closely related philosophically and are rooted in the same principles. And a lot of people are libertarians politically but philosophically anarchists.

    4. While not every libertarian is an anarchist, many of them are–and some of the most important libertarian thinkers were and are self-described anarchists.

      I don’t think loveconstitution1789 understands that the anarchist side of the libertarian spectrum trends closer to the positions he cares about, too.

      I suspect that when loveconstitution1789 sees the word “anarchist”, he imagines anti-fa.

      I don’t think he realizes that when most libertarians see the word “anarchist” in reference to libertarians, it conjures up imagines closer to the militia movement guys in Idaho and Montana–the exact opposite of anti-fa.

      1. No, lc1789 thinks anarchy and chaos are synonyms. He has said so many times.

        1. It’s a symptom of the same thing.

          When he sees “anarchist”, in his imagination, he sees anti-fa.

          When we see the word “anarchist”, in our imagination we see Murray Rothbard.

          He may not be able to put it in terms that are clear to anarcho-capitalists, but he’s putting anarcho-capitalism in the spectrum of the anti-fa crowd. When he sees us defending anarchists, subconsciously or otherwise, he imagines we’re defending people on then anti-fa spectrum.

          The ironic thing is that anarchist side of the real libertarian spectrum is probably closer, aesthetically, to militia guys of Idaho, Montana, and Texas. I honestly think all of that stuff escapes him entirely. He genuinely, truly, and honestly, doesn’t understand your landmarks. Anarcho-capitalist is just not on his intuitive map–and why should it be? Most people don’t understand libertarians. They think we’re Republicans who want to smoke pot. Why would they know anarcho-capitalism?

          Anarcho-capitalist? um . . . let’s see. Well, they’re anarchists, so we know they dress in black and go to demonstrations where they beat up white people for being racists–and the “capitalist” part? Well that could mean anything.

          1. I give your comments more attention than you give mine Ken.

            I don’t consider Anti-fa Anarchists. They might be some in that group but most Anti-fas are Socialists trying to bullshit Americans that this group is not fascist loving itself.

            Most Anarchists are posers. As I said, they are too chicken to pool their gold and valuables to buy land and start Anarchy-Land. Instead they would rather tear down this Republic.

            1. Thus far, it seems no State is willing to part with any of “it’s land” (that it never truly owned) for any sum of money.

              Don’t bother even using the term “anarchist” to describe An-Caps. We’re about as different as you can be. An-Caps are just logically consistent libertarians (NAP forever!).

              The State doesn’t exist to protect you from murderers and thieves, it exists to protect the murderers and thieves from you!


      2. No Ken, I understand what Anarchy is.

        As with Conservatism, Libertarianism can have some intersecting positions. The fundamentals are what differ and that is why they are different political ideologies.

        Libertarianism works under a framework for tiny and limited government with some laws that are deemed necessary. The early United States is a great example of Libertarian society, minus the slavery part.

        Anarchists do not want a tiny and limited government that controls with force and compulsion as a necessary evil. Anarchists fundamentally hate the USA.

        They are too chicken to pool their gold and valuables voluntarily to buy some land for Anarchy-Land, so some tend to pal around with Socialists to help burn the USA down. Out of the ashes and all that. That didn’t work the German Anarchists nor the Russian Anarchists, but hey it will be different this time.

        1. Translation: Anyone who wants less government than lc is a poo-poo head.

          1. sarcasmic has trouble with reading comprehension.

            1. Dude, you literally can’t comprehend the difference between “a little” and “none”, and you insult anyone who points out that fact. You have no business insulting anyone’s reading comprehension, nor calling anyone a troll.

              1. They guy who tries to elicit reactions with personal attacks is the first to call someone a troll. Talk about irony…

              2. You’ve literally not specified what that difference is.
                Lay out the extent of minarchy, then you might start saying something worthwhile.

                1. Um, he literally specified that the difference is between “a little” and “none.”

                  I suppose I will give an explanation. Not that you will read it for any purpose other than to poke holes and make personal attacks.

                  A minimal government protects the people from outside forces, enforces criminal laws against the harming of life, liberty and property, and provides courts for people to resolve disputes without resorting to violence.

                  That’s about it.

                  Now cue the typical “You don’t want any government at all because you’re a poop-head anarchist nanny nanny boo boo!” responses.

                  1. Oh my, you’re a touchy little suicidal bitch.

                    But thanks for laying out some specifics of what “a little” is.
                    So minarchy =


        2. I know you think you understand anarchism. For your own good, the good of the board, and the good of America, please read the following page:

          I can’t defend you if you don’t read that page, and if you refuse to read it, I can’t defend you either.

          You may disagree with anarcho-capitalists, but they don’t pal around with socialists, they often trend towards militia movement types in terms of their patriotism, and they are not the enemy of people who love the constitutional right and liberties.

          These are people who support Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul.

          You’re barking up the wrong tree.

          1. lc doesn’t have to read anything. He knows it all. Anyone who says different is an anarchist poser.

            1. Hit home with the poser remark, eh?

          2. Interesting link, but too long to read now. I think I’ll keep score and see how I rank on the A$ score 🙂

    5. Libertarianism is the idea that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves.

      Anarcho-capitalism is libertarianism by that definition.

      I am not an anarcho-capitalist, but I see no reason to distinguish between us until the government gets so small, we have a philosophical debate about whether to destroy it completely like the last viable sample of small pox.

      We are so far away from having to worry about that, and we’re on the same team until then.

      It’s true that the label “anarchist” has been completely tarnished by social justice warrior socialists that when you apply it properly, people don’t understand what you’re talking about anymore. It’s much like using the word “liberal” to describe those who believe in the separation of powers and free trade. That isn’t a “liberal” in most people’s minds anymore. To most people, a “liberal” is someone who wants to expand Medicaid, soak the rich with taxes, and blame society’s problems on racism. We can typically fix the “liberal” misnomer by putting the word “classical” in front of it, but the word “anarchist” has become so toxic that putting the word “capitalist” behind “anarcho” isn’t enough to deny the word its most toxic associations.

      I feel bad for legit anarcho-capitalist for having that happen to what they’ve called themselves for generations, and I don’t have a solution. I’m not saying they should change their name or anything like that either, but I think it’s a problem. Not everyone understands what you’re talking about when you call yourself an anarchist and a capitalist, and if you want to embrace your more revolutionary roots, maybe that’s a good thing. Anarchism without a confrontational stance might be like watered down beer–who wants that?

    6. This coming from the guy who thinks anarchy = chaos.

      1. When you can’t imagine things happening without being directed by a central authority, the concept of spontaneous order is pretty much impossible to grasp.

        1. A house-fire is a type of fire.

          A fire-house is a type of house.

          You’re talking about how you want to protect a fire-house, and he thinks you want to protect a house-fire.

          It’s not a symptom of his opposing a central point of anarcho-capitalist thought.

          It’s that the word “anarchist” has big associations in people’s minds with the black-bloc at the last anti-fa rally. He think anarcho-capitalists are one of them.

          1. Yes. He thinks “anarchy” and “chaos” are synonyms. There is nothing subtle about his willful misconception.

            1. I don’t think it’s willful.

              I think you’re making assumptions about what other people should and shouldn’t know about what, for most Americans, is pretty esoteric stuff.

              Like I said, most Americans don’t really know what libertarians are about. They also don’t really know what anarchists are about. Why should it be surprising if plenty of them aren’t as familiar with an esoteric subset of those categories?

            2. To most Americans, that’s what “anarchy” means. It means chaos.

              To most Americans, “anarchy” is a symbol artsy kids scratch on the wall of a bathroom stall when they get into punk rock. It means punk rockers getting drunk and doing whatever they want–including “slam dancing”.

              If those kids were less artsy and got into metal instead, they’re be scratching pentagrams on the wall of the bathroom stall instead of anarchy symbols.

              For most people, that’s the extent of the their understanding of anarchy. When you say you’re an “anarcho-capitalist”, they don’t know WTF you’re talking about–except the part about anarchy and punk rockers vandalizing whatever they want.

              Haven’t you seen The Road Warrior?

              Haven’t you seen Escape from New York?

              Didn’t you see the punk rockers who were trying to rob Arnie at the beginning of Terminator?

              All those bad guys were anarchists. Some of them were even wearing anarchy symbols so you could tell. Now you know what most people know about anarchy.

              And the ideas of Murray Rothbard don’t mean anything to them at all.

            3. Exactly. Society cannot exist without the guiding hand of government. Otherwise there will be chaos.

              It’s basically a creationist argument. Life is too complex to exist without intelligent design. The complexity of life is proof of God.

              lc applies the same illogic to society. Government is his god.

              1. Unfortunately for your preferred label, the vast majority of “anarchist” history, as in its existence as a political movement, has little to distinguish it from communists and communism

                1. I don’t know much about anarchist movements because I am not one.

                  Though I find it laughable that anarchists who supposedly want no state have little to distinguish themselves from communists who want a total state.

                  Doesn’t make any logical sense.

                  1. Yes, under Marxism, the Total State will “whither away” any day now! Trust us, it will happen soon now! Any day now, VERY soon! Repeat same line tomorrow…

                  2. You might like to read some history of the West from the mid nineteenth to mid twentieth century

        2. To Sarcasmic, its impossible for someone to understand Anarchism AND reject it.

          How would anyone ever accept governance without being a tool, right Sarcasmic?

          There you have the fundamental difference between Libertarianism and Anarchism. Libertarians are accepting that surrendering some rights to form a voluntary society for common defense, courts, roads, etc. is a necessary evil.

          1. And anarchists believe in spontaneous self-organization to do that, cooperatively. That is not chaos.

            Your refusal to comprehend that distinction, or even admit there is a distinction, is intentional self-delusion.

            1. Spontaneous self-organization is the hallmark of a free economy.

              It can exist with or without government.

              Government can facilitate a free economy by enforcing criminal law (no stealing), contracts (no cheating), and providing courts (no resolving of conflicts with violence).

              On the other hand government can fuck up a free economy with trade wars, regulation, licensing, prohibition, and other illegitimate uses of force against people who are engaging in peaceful, voluntary interaction.

          2. Every person on this thread except you understands the difference between minarchy and anarchy.

            Every person on this thread except you understands the difference between minimal government and no government at all.

            When everyone except you understands something, then the problem is with your lack of understanding, not theirs.

      2. Poor Alphabet troll.

        1. Attacking the messenger instead of the message is a hallmark of Progressives. Your kind of mis-logic would therefore mark you as a Progressive.

          1. Attacking the person, not their argument, is the hallmark of someone who cannot debate ideas. They exist all over the political spectrum. Though I do agree that it is more often used by Progressives who feel that you can discredit ideas by discrediting the person.

    7. > Libertarianism is NOT Anarchism.
      No one here said it was.

      1. Is said that anarcho-capitalism is one form of libertarianism!

    8. Anarchy means “without rulers”. A government prohibited from initiating force can not rule. Libertarianism IS anarchy even though it has a government.

      1. Notably, such a system would not be able to include courts

  3. I suppose Jesse Walker is better known now for his ideas about conspiracy theories, but I remember when he was the resident expert on pirate radio, the FCC, etc.

    I’d love to read an article by Jesse Walker about the broadcasters suit against Locast, the FCC issues in the middle of that, whether the broacasters are purposely under powering their transmitters to force consumers into the arms of cable companies, the real impact of Locast’s non-profit status, etc.

    1. I suspect you’re referring to his history of radio, Rebels on the Air.

      An update of the last few years would be worth buying.

    2. > remember when he was the resident expert on pirate radio, the FCC, etc.

      Those things ARE conspiracies! The FCC is in on it with pirate radio to infect us to alien viruses!!!

  4. Central to the ideas of America’s founders, and certainly of libertarianism, is the idea of basic human rights. But what are rights? Can you see them or touch them? They are not physical things, but metaphysical or “mystical” ideas. We can use logic and rational thought to deduce the consequences of those ideas, but we cannot avoid having something of the mystical in the foundations. And shouldn’t try to.

    1. Agreed. Wise words there!

    2. “Central to the ideas of America’s founders, and certainly of libertarianism, is the idea of basic human rights. But what are rights? Can you see them or touch them? They are not physical things, but metaphysical or “mystical” ideas.”

      Rights are an obligation to respect other people’s choices. There isn’t anything mystical about them. They arise from very concrete people making very concrete choices.

      If you throw a hammer at my head from point blank range without cause, you have violated my rights. The hammer has not. The reason the hammer didn’t violate my rights is because it can’t make choices.

      If you throw a hammer at rock at point blank range without cause, you have not violated the rock’s rights. You have no obligation to respect the rights of a rock or, in other words, because rocks can’t make choices, they have no rights.

      People are not non-physical abstractions and neither are their rights. A right is the obligation to respect the choices of a very real person, and their rights arise from the fact that they and their ability to make choices are entirely real.

      I am real, and so are my property rights–your obligation to respect my real ability to make choices for myself about who can’t and can’t use my property is also real.

      1. Maybe a more concise explanation:

        Your obligation to respect other people’s choices arises from both your own ability to make choices and the ability of other people to make choices.

        You are not obligated to respect the ability of a rock to make choices because rocks can’t make choices.

        You are obligated to respect my ability to make choices because I can make choices.

        Hammers are not obligated to choose not to crush my skull because they cannot make choices.

        You are obligated to choose not to crush my skull because you can make choices.

        I’m trying to understand why I should think of any aspect of those formulations as abstract. In all cases, we’re talking about a real ability to make choices–something that can be observed in the physical world. Is my ability to make choices any less physical than the rock’s inability to make choices?

      2. OK, a rock is a rather clear-cut extreme of non-consciousness.

        We don’t really have a firm grip on exactly what consciousness is, yet. That’s where the murkiness or mysticism comes in. A human has rights, but a chimp doesn’t? Other than the right not to be tortured (cruelty to animals)? How about a human vegetable, or a human fertilized egg cell? A fertilized chimp egg cell? Who has “consciousness” and “rights”, and who doesn’t? We don’t yet REALLY even have a firm handle on how much consciousness that supposed human vegetables (comatose patients) have or don’t have, sad to say.

        So to my mind, this is a HUGE source of murkiness, where the so-called “mysticism” (for lack of a better word) has to creep in, to some extent or another.

        1. We’re not talking about consciousness but choice.

          The formulation I mentioned above, that if you can’t make a choice, you have no obligation, extends to conscious people. The law should not punish you for murder in cases of self-defense, because in cases of self-defense, you didn’t really have a choice–or, at least, the government shouldn’t punish you for not choosing to let yourself be killed. It’s not about consciousness. It’s about the ability to make choices.

          Notice, choosing to exert the force necessary to pull the trigger is something that can be measured in the physical world.

          It seems like such an elementary concept and yet we hardly seem to be aware of it–and yet libertarian and other systems of morality have all evolved around the elementary concept of agency. It seems to me that there is a very simple truth:

          Our obligation to respect other people’s choices arises from our ability to make choices and their ability to make choices–and people are not abstract things. They’re very real.

          The laws that obligate us to respect other people’s choices (be it laws against rape or theft) may be abstract but the obligation that arises from our ability to make choices and the ability of others to make choices is as concrete as the ability to make a choice.

        2. The very theme explored in many sci-fi classics, 2001, I Robot, Blade Runner (from the P.K. Dick novel), Star Trek’s Data character,

          We do give limited rights to some animals hence animal cruelty laws. We see it as wrong to kill a dolphin but not a tuna. Yet we capture and train dolphins although some people object to this. Not flipper though, flipper was there by choice.

          Some see it as just fine to keep a cat as a pet in the house, yet not a tiger in the zoo which I find an odd contradiction.

          I find it interesting that animal rights people and environmentalists seem to see every animal as part of nature and deserving of natural rights except one, ourselves.

          Has anyone explored the idea of animal rights in the libertarian context? Or AI and robots?

          Sorry to say but squirrels are not on the favored animal list.

    3. we cannot avoid having something of the mystical in the foundations

      I disagree about the need for something mystical. The foundations can simply be logical premises upon which a civil society can exist. One does not need anything mystical to understand that solving disputes with violence does not result in a civil society. Same with property rights. Theft creates conflict which leads to violence… So if you want a civil society with minimal conflict, and peaceful means of resolving conflict, then you need to establish some basic premises, or rights, and work from there. If you want to think of them as originating from some mystical source, then go for it. But I don’t believe that that is necessary.

      1. All we need is a NAP.

    4. A right is a moral entitlement. There is only one human right, to not have force initiated against you, which comes from our nature as sapient beings. There’s nothing mystical about it.

      1. A right is the obligation to respect someone’s choices.

        Property rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, even . . .

        I can’t think of any exceptions.

        1. Where does such an obligation come from?
          And what if someone disagrees?

          1. In the sense of a negative right i am obligated to not initiate force against any of those things. It is not just about not punching someone in the nose.

            At least I think that is what it means.

            I really don’t understand about how enforcement works in anarchy I guess I should read Kevin’s link.

            I think of the NAP this way. There are versions of the golden rule. The difference between that of Jesus and Hillel for example.

            Love thy neighbor as thyself.

            Do not do unto thy neighbor what is hateful unto thee.

            The second is a negative right or moral principle. The first is positive.

          2. “Where does such an obligation come from?”

            I explained that above.

            If you are not obligated to respect the rights of a rock because it can’t make choices and you are obligated to respect my rights because I can make choices, then your obligation to respect my rights arises from my ability to make choices.

            If your obligation to respect other people’s choices arises from your ability to make choices, and the rock you use to hit me in the head with isn’t obligated to respect my rights because it can’t make choices, then your obligation to respect my rights also arises from your ability to make choices.

            Rights are the obligation to respect other people’s choices, and they arise from your ability to make choices and the ability of other people to make choices.

  5. So obligation comes from the golden rule?
    Is the obligation/rule an immutable law of physics (such as gravity, entropy, force, etc)?
    Did such obligation arise sui generis?
    Can this obligation be represented mathematically?
    Are all individual life forms thus obliged, or only specific ones?
    And how does the ability to make choices oblige one?

    You’re arguing an ethic.
    But some disagree with your ethic.
    What then?

    1. “Rights are an obligation to respect other people’s choices. There isn’t anything mystical about them.”

      Your god obliges you to respect other’s choices.
      Other’s god obliges other to enforce its will regardless of your choices.
      But other’s god is objectively false, while your god is objectively true?

  6. I think the answer to your last question would be yes.

    Natural rights theory as I understand it maintains that rights are facts of nature discoverable by reason, like Newton’s physics.

    Consider the first line of the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    That is pure natural rights. These are “truths” so there must be other ideas which are “false”.

    1. I understand the need for such faith, but I also understand that it is faith.

      Newton’s laws are backed up by mathematical proofs.
      Natural rights are backed up by only ideals

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