Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Human rights

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

This is my political philosophy. It is the wellspring of every belief I have about society and our place in it.

Liberty, equality, fraternity. I strongly believe we should build our world on those three words: axioms for a decent world that we can be proud we live in.

Each is meaningless without the other two. It is no use to tell us that each has the same freedom and the same restriction: there's a deep truth in the old joke that both lord and tramp are equally barred from sleeping under bridges. It is no use to tell us that we are all equals when we insist that some perform labour that is worth more than others', when there is no connection between the value produced and the work done, and even were it clear, it is not clear that we measure value in the right way. It is no use saying we are brothers, fellow beloved, if we have no care for each other, and cannot tolerate each other's difference. It is no use to say you must be a person exactly like me before I will allow you fraternity: where then is the liberty I promised you?

I do not want free markets that are not fair. I do not want free markets that are not open to all but prefer some over others. I do want exchange that creates value for all, that enriches all, that ensures that I am not warmed while my brother is left out in the cold.

I do not want equality that means slavery. I do not want a government that thinks that it best defends me by becoming a stern father. I do want an association of brothers and sisters. I do want you to be safe, to be nurtured.

I do not want meaningless platitudes, talk of brotherhood with no intention to make it real. I do not care that it is Human Rights Day. I care that we strive, in whatever way we can, to make this truth our reality:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

1 Comments:

Blogger Looney said...

Yes. This.

December 12, 2012 at 5:41 PM  

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