Certain rights of an individual exist that should be enjoyed freely without any hindrance. Such rights include liberty, right to life and right to own property. The rights of an individual contrast the rights of a group. It is important that the rights of an individual be protected because this will guarantee the rights of the community. An individual right has to be protected first because it is the basic principle upon which people are in a position to coexist among themselves. When an individual’s right is guaranteed, the society will run smoothly because protection for a person’s right instills discipline that makes people to live in a harmonious way. The book Nineteen Eighty four by George Orwell has demonstrated the rights of a group over the rights of an individual in a totalitarian state. This has made the book to be thought as being against socialism. It shows how the rights of individuals are violated.
In my opinion, the rights of individuals should always prevail over the rights of a group. The individual rights are important because when the individual is granted their rights, it ends up connecting with the rights of the group. Individual rights are the basis of the rights of the groups. A relevant scenario exists when a child is protected from child labor; it will guarantee the rights of all children. When a legislation is enacted protecting a child against child labor, it means all the children, as a group are included. Therefore, it is evident that if the right of an individual is guaranteed, the communities will also be given their rights.
As has been demonstrated in the book nineteen eighty-four, the rights of the group should not be used to deny individuals their rights. Human rights such as loving one another are essential and should be protected as long as they do not infringe the rights of other people. However, we observe in the novel Winston being arrested for being in love with Julia (Orwell, 1983). He is arrested because he does not like a party, the Big Brother. He joins another organization that is against the Big Brother. This act demonstrates a violation of the human right. A person has the right to make their own decisions and they should not be forced on the parties that they should support. This demonstrates a situation where the rights of a group are being given preference over the rights of individuals.
For the rights of an individual to be guaranteed, there must be no acts of violence. A violence amount to a violation of someone’s right. George Orwell has shown the rights of individuals being violated in his novel. People that engaged in rebellion against Big Brother were subjected to torture and arrest (Orwell, 1983). This is a violent way of engaging people to support a group using force. The book shows that democratic systems that guaranteed the rights of an individual were not in existence. It is therefore evident that the rights of individuals exist in democratic systems only. In democracies, people have the right to liberty and they can express themselves freely. This is contracted by the totalitarian states where individuals do not have rights and therefore the institutions or groups have rights over the individual.
Finally, rights of individuals are seen to thrive where there exists contractual obligation and responsibilities to impose them. Therefore, there must exist a system that will ensure that the right of an individual is guaranteed. In this context, rights are enforced by the government under which the individual is governed. In the book nineteen eighty-four, the government abducted its responsibility of protecting the individual rights. Instead, they violated it in their pursuit for support so that they can remain in power. This is a characteristic of a government that has failed in its mandate. In conclusion, if the individuals are not guaranteed their rights, there will be bad governance because they cannot express their opinion nor criticize where the government has failed. This signifies the importance of individual rights.
Orwell, G. (1983). 1984: A novel. New York, NY: Plume