Since only an individual man can possess rights, the expression “individual rights” is a redundancy (which one has to use for purposes of clarification in today’s intellectual chaos). But the expression “collective rights” is a contradiction in terms.
Any group or “collective,” large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members.
A group, as such, has no rights. A man can neither acquire new rights by joining a group nor lose the rights which he does possess. The principle of individual rights is the only moral base of all groups or associations.
“Collectivized ‘Rights,’”The Virtue of Selfishness, 101Rand, a bitter opponent of Marxism, had Communism in mind when she wrote this. Since Communism recognized no individual rights (apart from the right to be a Communist), therefore Communist governments had no rights.
But it's important to clarify something. Having no rights is not the same thing as other people having the right to do whatever they want to you. Just because the Communist government of the Soviet Union was illegitimate, or the theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia are illegitimate, doesn't give someone else the right to declare war on them capriciously. These governments may have no regard for the rights of their citizens, but their citizens do have human rights nonetheless. The government of North Korea is utterly illegitimate, but dislodging it would probably create more suffering than the regime itself does. Totalitarian states have a way of protecting themselves like that.
The popular election of our senators is bad public policy because it stripped the states of the one voice of representation they had in Washington, DC.Note the assertion that popular election of Senators stripped the states of their rights, and therefore the states are entities that have rights independent of their citizens. One wonders what those rights might be? The cynic in me suspects those "rights" are really the rights of interest groups, that is, the right of wealthy and powerful individuals to draft their own laws.