Obligations as Rights
- Positive Right: consenual obligation to act
- Negative Right: consenual obligation to not act
In a default state of nature, nobody consents to any coercion/force against themselves. This is a simple truism that violence against us is either our desire, which implies consent or is unwanted, which makes it coercion. The important aspect here is that a right is always a consenual, regardless if it's implicitly or explicitly obtained. Without consent there simply can not be any right.
For example, someone is starving and I have food. Neither of us have any obligation/right to one another, since we have never met one another before. So he's not obligated to respect my food and I'm not obligated to respect his life. We aren't expecting anything from one another and we'd no sooner sneeze than we would kill one another. There are no rights, because there is no consent given by either of us to the other.
Next enters the idea of civilization, community and natural rights. It's from these ideas that implied consent, through a social contract with ones neighbors is derived. The key here is that each community does have a set of consensual rules. The people in the community have given this consent, whereas an outsider has not. Upon joining the community, they consented to a negative right to not initiate force against others. The starving man, being an outsider has never consented to this negative right and is free to initiate force against others. There are different expectations of natural rights between those inside and outside of a community.
For a principle such as the Non-Aggression Principle, the obligation is to not initiate force against everyone on the planet and not just people in that specific community. However citizens within a modern state, the obligation is to not initiate force against other citizens, but this doesn't extend to people outside of the community. The state in this sense is just a really large community with clear delineation between citizen and outsider, consent and non-consent, right and no-right.
I condemn todays society because it's obligations end at the state borders (or sociopolitical borders perhaps). A more just and ethical society would extend these obligations in a universal manner. So while the non-consenting person would be under no obligation towards anyone, the consenting person would have an obligation even to the non-consenting person. This wouldn't mean that the non-consenting person is under any obligation, just the consenting person.
However we can see a lot of potential for abuse might be created. A non-consenting person could become a free-rider with no obligations, reaping all the benefits with none of the responsibilities. IMO this is why the libertarian community draws a line with the NAP. Because while we can easily extend a negative right in a universal sense, it's really just the positive rights that can be abused by free-riders.
Therefore the negative right is to be free from initiation of force is extended to everyone on the planet, but a positive right remains only for those citizens within the community. When it comes to food and property, then those positive rights are reserved to those that consent, in the same manner as a state. So we're no better than a state with regards to positive rights, but we are better with regards to negative rights.