A new human right is born
On one hand, I’m rendered speechless by this news, my jaw was literally agape as I was reading it.
On the other hand, it is simply the consistent, logical application of liberal principles, and there’s no reason to be surprised at all.
Vacationing a human right, EU chief saysThe piece de resistance here is that vacationing not just a nice thing that the state feels it ought to provide (e.g., “in our sophisticated social system, we include vacations among the things our citizens need”), but a human right. Meaning an absolutely indispensable, inviolable requirement for being human. When “human rights” came into vogue, in the 1970s, during the Carter presidency, the idea was that there are certain things that you just can’t do to a human being, e.g., torture, judicial murder, throwing people in prison without a trial. Human rights were the absolute minimal things that cannot be violated, that no reasonable person would disagree with. On the basis of these minimal things there could be agreement that would be the basis of shared international standards. That was the source of the moral force behind Amnesty International—that the rightness of human rights, and the wrongness of violating them, were absolutely self-evident. It was an unanswerable moral cause.
And now the international left has defined human rights as including the right to have a vacation and to travel. Declaring every good to be a human right is really just a shortcut to mandatory global socialism of all things and values. At the same time, if the “human right” to a vacation belongs to the same class of things as the “human right” not to be tortured, doesn’t that show that the left really doesn’t take very seriously the human right not to be tortured? They are rendering human rights all encompassing and meaningless at the same time, so that they, the left elite, will be empowered to classify as a human right whatever they want to classify. It becomes entirely arbitrary. It’s a formula for a whimsical global tyranny. For example, when torture by a Muslim or leftist regime that the left favors is going on, the left will say that that’s not a violation of human rights. But when some poor nonwhite person in a Western country lacks the money for a Mediterranean cruise, that will be a violation of his human rights.
Key to the enterprise is the punitive power against human rights violators. If a society does not subsidize a poor person to take a vacation, it is violating his human rights. And what does the world community do to a government that is a human rights violator? Well, it arrests the responsible government officials and tries them at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
I am not predicting that such an absurdity will literally happen. I am saying that this is the direction of the left-liberal logic.
As I’ve said many times, leftism is the political form of evil. Both the unleashed fact of that evil, and our unhappy knowledge of it, will be increasing by leaps and bounds in the coming years. History is not over, Mr. Fukuyama.
Soon there will be West-subsidized travel packages to South Africa, to go on a special “Kill a Boer for Human rights” holiday.John Dempsey writes:
This story sounds extremely odd when you consider that it comes from a Berlusconi appointee. But, hey, stranger things have happened.Alex K. writes:
I wonder how long before sex is considered a human right in this way. Meaning that, like vacations, it must actually be subsidized by the government.Hannon writes:
Thank you for your excellent deconstruction of this whimsical new item in the EU product line.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Send