Human rights as the path to global tyranny

In his article on transnational progressivism, John Fonte notes that the European Court of Justice struck down a British law on corporal punishment, “declaring that parental spanking is internationally recognized as an abuse of human rights.”

That’s quite a dramatic evolution of a term in just a few years. “Human rights” only became current as a rallying cry in the seventies. It was thought to have a certain moral legitimacy and urgency because it seemed to refer to those absolutely basic rights pertaining to our very humanness that cannot be violated. Yet now “human rights” has come to include every possible claim for privileges and equality. For example, as Fonte points out, racial disparities in income are now considered “violations of human rights,” and leftist organizations such as Amnesty International and the N.A.A.C.P. have petitioned the U.N. to hold America accountable for its “refusal” to address this grievous abuse!

The original, minimalist definition of human rights seemed useful because it was saying: Here are minimal limits on state behavior that we can all agree on. But now that self-evident and therefore non-debatable quality of human rights, by being expanded to include the entire liberal agenda, is threatening to abolish politics. Previously, it was considered non-debatable that states shouldn’t torture people for their political views. Now it is considered non-debatable that states must eliminate parental authority, open their borders, and make all their citizens economically equal.

The case exemplifies the dynamics of liberalism. Initially liberalism claims certain rights or freedoms. But since liberalism also believes in equality, it soon turns out that all rights must be of equal importance; as Amnesty International has put it, all rights, including economic and cultural rights, form a single indivisible whole. But the protection of such an indivisible network of rights requires nothing less than a totalistic world government.

Thus the liberal belief in equal freedom for all leads, step by step, to the abolition of all freedom.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 06, 2002 11:46 AM | Send

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