How are human rights and democracy changing your life?
Such words as human rights, democracy and the rule of law are now in the mouths of many people across traditions and practices in many parts of the world. Human rights has brought so much change in human life especially in the period after the World War II. Some of the historical horrors have been reduced so much due to human rights campaign. But lets question, who really invented human rights and democracy? This blog seeks to bring to discussion some few elements of legitimacy of the universal human rights and democracy.
The world has become a global village as has been said by some scholars and intellectuals. By all standards international human rights are universal principles that bind on people and their governments in order to keep some ideals and to change attitudes. In a way prohibition of some acts such as genocide, discrimination, apartheid regimes, mass killings, among others have been restricted due to the international human rights. It is no longer a question of defying and rejecting the obvious and compromise what human civilization has achieved ever. For instance, fundamental freedoms of humans is accepted universal value and ideal for the United Nations. Such traditions and practices at international level have brought a lot to be desired than to regret.
Democracy, on the other hand, is also fully accepted by the majority of nations where the voices of individuals matter in the public administration. The Greeks spoke of democracy as the rule of the people, by the people and of the people but also did not rule out certain oligarchies and rule of demagogues. Too much democracy can lead to demagogy, therefore, dictatorship by an elite or mafia like group.
The assumption that every human being shall always behave in a respectful manner towards the other person is absolutely wrong. People are different and individuals are also made of different characters that blend into what the society is. However, there must be some normative framework that would coerce people to conduct themselves in a certain way and keep to the societal ideals. There is no problem with this issue.
Whether it was France of USA that crafted the universal human rights as we know it is a long topic. What is questionable is whether to accept human rights principles as universal? This is a problem. There is a feeling that such universal standards and principles are imposed and do not tally with home grown traditions and cultures of communities. There is relativism in the area of human rights. The home grown human rights has more legitimacy and acceptance than the international human rights.
In disregard to the promotion of human rights in all constitutions still we have groups that tend to resist this way of doing things. There are terrorists that behave as anti social group or anti globalization of human values and standards. There is a resistance by certain communities that believe in human rights but fail to subscribe to the imposition or what is known as global governance. Such expressed resistance defies universal ideals…
What is in question today is how to domesticate such universal ideals? It is possible to predict some level of consensus among and between communities without provoking people to over react. Universal standards shall always encounter resistance but what all of us must agree to is that we belong to the same humanity and we deserve certain shared values and standards of life.
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