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Episode 27 - What's so Positive about Negative Rights?

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Release Date: 03/19/2019

153 – Full-Time with David Bahnsen show art 153 – Full-Time with David Bahnsen

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

David Bahnsen returns to the podcast to discuss his latest book: .  David holds a high view of work and, in an era where self-help gurus are teaching us how to work less to achieve a work/life balance, David wants to shift the paradigm to work/rest and celebrate the productive nature of our being.  Also discussed in this episode are what the church gets wrong about work, how each generation brings different challenges and advantages to work culture, universal basic income (UBI), whether the Marxist are right and work under a capitalist system is exploitation, and what the future of...

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152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck show art 152 – Humanist Conservatives with Jeffery Tyler Syck

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Fusionism—the viewpoint advocated by the likes of William F. Buckley and Frank Meyer of order and liberty mutually reinforcing each other—has been the dominant form of conservatism in the United States for a generation.  In the era of Trump and the rise of nationalist populism on the Right, however, fusionism has steadily lost influence.  Should conservatives double down on what’s worked in the past?  Or is it time for a different approach that was advocated by some of the original critics of fusionism on the Right?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is...

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151 – The God of This Lower World show art 151 – The God of This Lower World

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the single most important virtue for a leader to possess?  What quality can make the run-of-the-mill politician into a statesman?  Is it integrity, communication skills, resilience, courage, empathy, or wisdom?  All of these things are important, of course, and if any are sufficiently lacking we wouldn’t call that a good leader.  But what would you say is the chief virtue?   Conservative thinkers from Burke to Kirk to Kristol to Strauss and even many of the ancient and medieval thinkers from Aristotle to Plato to St. Thomas Aquainis identified a single virtue...

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150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan show art 150 – We Don't Need No Indoctrination with Luke Sheahan

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What is the purpose of higher education?  Is it primarily to prepare us for the jobs of the future?  Is it to ensure the leaders of tomorrow hold the right opinions on important issues?  Is it to provide a safe haven for the pursuit of Truth?   Thinkers on the Right have held differing—sometimes incompatible—views on the purpose of higher education.  Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is returning guest Luke Sheahan to explore these arguments and how conservatives might respond to the rise of radicalism and wokism on college campuses.   About Luke...

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149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian show art 149 – The Legacy of Roger Scruton with Fisher Derderian

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Having published more than forty books on an astoundingly wide range of topics and holding noteworthy positions at the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, the University of Oxford, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the University of Buckingham, Sir Roger Scruton was the quintessential British gentleman and scholar.  He was also one of the greatest conservative intellectuals of the last century and the beginning of this century who died in 2020.  Fisher Derderian joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis for a woefully incomplete exploration at the legacy of...

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148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels show art 148 – Conservatism in Practice with Gov Mitch Daniels

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

The Saving Elephants podcast has welcomed a wide array of incredible guests who are on forefront of the conservative political movement.  But most of the guests discuss conservatism from the perspective of a theory or set of principles or idea.  Few have had the opportunity to enact political conservatism as a practice.  And few ex-politicians have been as successful as former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in advancing conservatism as a practice.  While Daniels is reticent to label his approach “conservative” or identify as part of red team vs. blue team, his practices...

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147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve show art 147 – Where the Religious Right Went Wrong with JB Shreve

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

One of the strangest political developments over the past several decades has been the devolution of the Religious Right and large swaths of politically active Evangelicals as they morphed from character counts moralists of the 1990s to MAGA Trumplicans.  Regardless of the merits of where the Religious Right stands today, one could be forgiven for being perplexed at how they arrived here at all.   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis is JB Shreve, creator of podcast and blog, to demystify the Religious Right’s conversion to the Church of Trump.  Both JB and Josh were...

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146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman show art 146 – The Myth of Nationalism with Samuel Goldman

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

What does is mean to be an American?  And why do we Americans obsess so much over the question of what it means to be an American?  This nagging question has plagued our nation since its birth and various national “myths” have been advanced to offer some form of national identity and cohesion.  At times one myth has proven stronger than the others, only to be overshadowed as historical events call its sufficiency and truth into question.  So where does that leave us today in an era of collective, existential crisis?   Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to...

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145 – Smoking Yule Logs and Donning Gay Apparel show art 145 – Smoking Yule Logs and Donning Gay Apparel

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

In 2021, Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis joined three other veteran podcasters on a new podcast endeavor: Are We Right? Cal Davenport, Brooke Medina, and Calvin Moore, and Josh debated a wide range of topics from politics to religion to culture and invited the audience to weigh in on whether or not they’re right. While the show was tragically short-lived, a number of excellent episodes were produced and this is a re-podcast of their Christmas episode to commemorate the holiday season: In the spirit of the season, Are We Right presents an epic Christmas-themed episode unmatched in...

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144 – Conservative Historian Redux with AD Tippet show art 144 – Conservative Historian Redux with AD Tippet

Saving Elephants | Millennials defending & expressing conservative values

Earlier this year Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis was on AD Tippet’s podcast, .  This episode is a re-podcast of that conversation that covered a wide variety of conservative topics from both the past and today.   About AD Tippet   AD Tippet (the podcast formerly known as Belisarius Aves) is the founder and publisher of the Conservative Historian and . “History is too important to be left to the left,” writes AD. “The Conservative Historian provides content and opinions on conservative thinking through the prism of history.” You can follow Bel on Twitter @BelAves...

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Is healthcare a right or a privilege?  As the Democratic party swings Left, more and more Americans—Millennials in particular—are growing comfortable with the idea that we have a right to healthcare.  Not to mention free education, food, shelter, and a host of other things.

 

But before we can even hope to have a productive conversation about these things, we must first address some fundamentals: What is a right?  How do rights differ from privileges?  Where do rights come from?  What is the basis of a right?

 

Traditional conservatism has long distinguished between what we might call negative rights and positive rights.  In its most basic form, a negative right is the right to enjoy things that are yours by virtue of you being born or earning property.  They are called “negative”, not because they are somehow pessimistic, but because no one has to do anything for you to enjoy these rights.  Your right to exist and do what you will with the things you’ve earned and possess requires no government bureau.  Nothing is required of anyone save that we leave each other well enough alone.

 

A positive right, on the other hand, is a claim to something such as access to healthcare, food, or shelter.  A positive right requires that someone give you something.  Your “right” to healthcare means someone else must pay for your healthcare and provide you whatever services your “right” entitles you to.

 

But what is the basis for our rights?  Do negative and positive rights share the same basis and are they equally valid?  Are they simply favors doled out by a benevolent government that wishes its citizens to enjoy good things?  What happens if negative and positive rights conflict?  Who should win out?  And who gets to decide?  Joining Josh once more is frequent Saving Elephants guest Bob Burch to discuss these very important issues.