Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Libyan rights protestWhat would happen if citizens acted on the assumption that they have rights? If one person did it, he would become a martyr; if two people did it, they would be labeled an enemy organization; if thousands of people did it, they would be a hostile movement; but if everyone did it, the state would have to become less oppressive.

-- Ludmilla Alexeyeva, cited in Benjamin Nathans, "The Dictatorship of Reason: Aleksandr Volpin and the Idea of Rights" (Slavic Review, Winter 2007), p. 631-632.

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