If you have a credit card, mortgage or loan, or if you bought a car or a house or entered into a lease or hired a DVD or rented some equipment etc etc ad nauseum ad nauseum you have entered into agreements that confer rights and obligations on the parties that are enforceable. Those agreements transfer property, not rights. Buying a car, for example, makes that car your property, but it doesn't "give" you the right to use your property as you see fit--you already had that right. Another example would be renting equipment from someone. Renting property does not "give" rights either--you are only extended privileges by the owner of whatever it is you are renting. ...I guess the answer is those 'rights' existed only as 'ideals' and had no force or authority before those documents were written. Can those rights have the force of law? In the absence of laws that protect your rights, the task falls to you as an individual. In other words, if the government won't defend your rights, you have to do it yourself. That's one of many reasons the second amendment exists. Free education and whatnot I don't know where you got that from... That would be from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 states that everyone has the right to an "adequate" standard of living, and Article 26 states that everyone has a right to education. That is not true. Could you walk up to a millionaire, say, "Pay my tuition for me," and legally force them to do so? Of course not. That person's money is their property, and you don't have any right to anyone else's property. So my question is this: If it's not right for you to do that, how does it magically become right when the government does it?