Selected Article

Friday, October 24, 2008

Your rights are worth Nothing

Rights are a luxury. Better yet, they are the illusion of a luxury. Naturally, you’ve heard that “all men are born equal in dignity...
Rights are a luxury. Better yet, they are the illusion of a luxury.
Naturally, you’ve heard that “all men are born equal in dignity and in rights”. However, I’m not so sure how true that is, and I definitely believe it becomes obsolete a few moments after birth.

You see, things such as laws and rights are abstract concepts that are only guaranteed when there are proper man-made institutions to safeguard them. Often enough, you will find yourself in a scenario where these institutions themselves trample on your rights, only to protect the currently established system. This can be seen in one of two scenarios.

Today, we discuss the “Bully” scenario, where people with power act in unlawful ways towards others, only to make sure they get to keep the power all to themselves. The reason they do all it is that they do, is because, well, they can.

Painful, yet simple.

The system’s right-safeguarding institutions in this scenario, work in favor of those in power, and so when your “Bully” needs to take away your rights, he simply does, and you can do pretty much nothing about it.

Now some may argue that there are bigger authorities, with bigger sticks than your bully’s, who might help you claim your rights back. That could be true in some cases, except when the highest authority either is the bully, or just looks the other way when your bully is screwing you over.

For instance, in the current system, the United Nations is conceptually the highest authority when it comes to armed conflicts. Whenever you have a conflict arising between two countries, or different parties of the same country, the United Nations try to step in and make resolutions that will solve the problem with the least amount of damage to all parties involved. Now resolutions are just an extension of rights and laws. If there’s nobody to make sure they are respected, they become worthless, and whatever rights either party gained from this resolution is just forgotten, lost.

Take a look at the biggest problem in the Middle East: the Palestine-Israel issue. Don’t worry I won’t tell you how to solve this one, I’m just making a point. In this scenario, Israel is the Bully. Why ? they do all the things they want, because they can, and the Palestinians end up going to the UN in an attempt to salvage whatever is left of their rights and dignities. Sure some of them blow themselves up and kill a few Israeli civilians, but have some perspective please. As you might have guessed, the UN plays its natural role of “higher authority”, and has issued quite a number of resolutions on that matter. Resolutions I might add, almost none of which Israel respects. The only reason this is still an ongoing pattern, is because the Higher Authority and the Bully are quite friendly with each other, and so the Bully rarely gets as much as a slap on the wrist.

The bigger loss here, is the rights of people dying. This conflict has celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, and for sixty years, people from both sides of the conflict have been earning the right not to die in war, only to find that right reduced to just lines on paper.

Of course, decisions not to abide by these resolutions must make sense, at least politically, to the Israeli government. After all, they haven themselves the right to destroy people’s homes, build immense walls around people’s towns, and set up blockades in the name of political leverage. These must guarantee some security rights to the Israeli people, and it must be working, or else it would just be another meaningless slow massacre.

A massacre, like so many others, in the face of which the world, through its highest peace authority, is implicitly telling the dying people:

“Your rights, and your lives, are worth nothing”

post a comment

Recently On Topic