Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 December - Human Rights Day, 2014.

Human rights 365

On 10 December every year, Human Rights Day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.

A summary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Some of that list of 30 seem to become more difficult to achieve as time goes by. In much the same way that the Old Testament's Ten Commandments can be summarised simply by: "Love one another", the UN's declaration could be summarised simply by #1 & #2. (Everyone is free and we should all be treated in the same way. Everyone is equal despite differences in skin colour, sex, religion, language for example.) As with "love one another", if we were to get #1&2 right, the rest would follow naturally.

PS ~~There's an archived post which mentions astrological links to human rights' progress through history, for any passing reader interested, it's HERE


Sonny G said...

To me, the Rights Bill is BS~!

They can pass all the laws, sign all the bills ,, make all the flowery speeches they want to.
I personally know about gender discrimination, age discrimination and spiritual discrimination and I'm a middle aged white woman, so that means I don't know, nor I have felt "the Half of It".

One day, maybe , all will have Human Right, but not Today.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ BS it may seem like today, but humans do need reminding there could, and ought to be be better way to live!
UN made this declaration with good intention. Humans ignore it at their species' peril.

mike said...

Basic human rights seem like a simple principle and objective in human interactions, but that tends to overlook the inherent differences each of us upholds as individuals. It can be most difficult to respect another individual's views, when it conflicts and is polar to our own perspectives.

Humans, like so many other species on Earth, have the self-interest (selfishness) that encourages personal survival at all cost. Then add the social interaction that allow for inter-personal gains amongst a group. The personal vs inter-personal aspects can be both harmonious and detrimental...there is always a lop-sided balancing of the two.

Sanity is a concept more than a reality and the notion of sanity is dependent on a judgement. Each of us is crazy, some more than others. Rationalization and justification can yield conditional results, whether religion, astrology, ideology, philosophy, economics, politics, or some other prospective method of evaluation is used. Thinking and intellect is always subjective, not objective.

With all that said, I think human rights is a lofty goal given the nature of humans and contemplating our history. We cherish our individualization, but group ourselves according to best-fit, social and cultural ordering, which has exclusionary properties. There will always be similar and dis-similar strata, whether among our family members, community, country, or global.

Our greatest progress comes from the aberrant individual that dares to think and perform differently. That same individual risks being killed or imprisoned for that individualism. Typically, many generations later, that individual is revered by society and upheld as a hero. We already have a vast number of heroes or archetypes as templates, but we tend to idolize the symbolism, yet not truly incorporate the message. There is always the appearance of gaining in human rights, but it's a mirage of fresh paint over old plaster.

Twilight said...

mike ~ It is a simple principle, even if it's also a lofty goal. Every person is different, every race has its differences from other races - and between one individual and another, yet we are still just one species - humans. Until members of the human race accept that basic concept, and all it implies, the UN's Declaration will fall on deaf ears, and we shall continue to destroy one another and one anothers' human rights.

The UN Declaration is a sign that someone, somewhere has tried - and that's at least start, a light to work towards isn't it?

Our "heroes" as you call them were our better nature in flesh and blood - proof that there is a way, and we do have, within us as a race, a better nature. If we choose to ignore that way, as a race, choose to submerge our better nature, then the whole human "experiment" will have been a dire failure.

mike (again) said...

You said, "...and that's at least start, a light to work towards isn't it?" Well, of course it is, but it has been the plight of humans through our history. There are many individuals that do "get it", but there are too many that don't. And, if humans are put in a position of sharing resources at a time of life-and-death food shortages, do they select the humanitarian or selfish choice? A majority of the global population is in a daily struggle for existence, which isn't conducive to anything but survival at all cost. It is easier for us to rationalize that one group may not deserve the same treatment as another. There is a constant debate here in the USA over welfare benefits providing housing and food out of our tax dollars, which has some aspects of economic, racial, educational, and immigration rights attached.

Consider the CIA torture report that was just released. The USA government primarily, but at least 54 other rendition nations, elected to deny rights to persons considered enemies. The bulk of America went along with that verdict in the name of security. American military efforts have killed over a million Afghanistan and Iraqi civilians in a misdirected war, in the name of freedom and rights to democracy.

I'm not at all sure what living on planet Earth as a human is all about. The axiom that history repeats itself over and over in slightly differing versions is certainly appropriate. We seem caught in a time-loop. It may be our karma, lesson, or fate to endure this continual theme. It might also be our fate to succumb to the survival of the fittest...those that trample and take the most win. We assume the "experiment" has a humanitarian outcome supported with human rights, but nature can be cruel, too, but only from our human context of understanding.

I'm all for human rights, Twilight, but being a pessimist and not seeing real improvements since the dawn of humans, I'm doubtful. I think it fits-in to the realm of unachievable ideals that we humans like to entertain, much like Santa Claus, Jesus, or the ancient gods.

mike (again) said...

We'd rather spend all of our money (and go in debt) on war than provide local and global benefits of a peaceful nature. That speaks volumes for our current level of human rights' consideration.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I have a streak of pessimism in me too - or maybe it's more accurately realism.

I understand your point of view, cannot argue against it, especially in current world circumstances. Yet if there's nothing better ahead, not even a fighting chance of anything better, better even by a small step, then the dark side has won. I'm not pessimistic enough to believe that.

You wrote: being a pessimist and not seeing real improvements since the dawn of humans...

There have surely been SOME improvements, they just have never been big enough or powerful enough.
You mentioned the other day how sci-fi authors saw the future some years ago, through a 1950s lens.
They imagined bigger, better, more fantastic changes. What actually happened was subtle, less obvious, both for good and ill - this could be similar.

Human nature has within it the elements for good and for healing, but very very slow healing (a bit like my foot!) Take my foot as an example (LOL!) If I were to say "Dang, but this is taking too long, I'll just let it fester, nothing much is improving", I'd be minus a foot in the end.

What has improved, albeit very slowly, during human habitation of planet Earth? We still kill, but we have learned how better to heal others or prevent the spread of certain diseases; we still carry on ruining our environment, but we have learned how to communicate and encourage protest and opposition - it's slow, yet growing. We still wage wars, but have put in place a way of defining war crimes, which unfortunately is not always followed - but the principle has been raised and documented.

The positive elements just have never outweighed the negative ones...yet. Still there has been some improvement over aeons, since we began standing on 2 legs.

I think that living on planet Earth is about learning...very slowly, as slowly as the slowest outer planet's orbit in our solar system. Maybe we haven't even identified that one yet.

Sonny G said...

I have read what you both wrote and given it lots of thought.

ok it isn't all BS lol.. lots of the of the official reports make me question the WHY as I dont trust any of the government folks.

what if the History we read is the same as our news is today, which will one day be history.. The good and humane things dont make for interesting new so we dont hear about it.
Perhaps human rights will be gotten one human at a time. I'll hold on to that thought and participate in making that happen as best I can.
Thank goodness that damn full moon is past... :)

mike (again) said...

I don't perceive human rights as futile, but it has been an ages-old, back-and-forth of selective dominance vs the "we ain't gonna take it no more". We make progress in increments, but lose progress in increments, too, as the generations roll by and technology evolves. Emancipation of the slaves turned them into share-croppers, many staying with their masters, but under a different arrangement called debt. The industrial age legalized slavery for wages, which expanded to other nations by NAFTA and outsourcing. Unions protecting workers' rights have been diminished by corporations and greedy politicians. The digital age has wrought new versions of entrapment. Broadband users are no longer people, but data, and the data collected is used to divide, control, and discriminate against those very users, not to mention the big-brother induced loss of privacy.

I just saw on the news that the USA budget is going through congress and there are considerable add-ons that benefit select groups. One Republican add-on is:

"A provision tucked deep inside the $1.1 trillion spending bill filed by Republicans on Tuesday night would dramatically increase the amount of money a single rich donor could give to national party committees each year — from $97,200 to as much as $777,600.

The provision, inserted as a rider only hours before it was filed, would mark a further erosion of campaign cash restrictions. They’ve been whittled away by recent federal court rulings, most notably the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision."

SCOTUS has already ruled corporations are "people" and have some of the same "rights". Now, we people are "data". The rich are always ahead of the game and manage to wield power, discriminate, and control in legalese fashion.

Forget human rights...we Americans once thought we had constitutional rights...LOL. The same phenomenon is occurring around the globe, not just here in the USA. Somehow or other, our government (and most other first-world governments) has colluded to recognize and espouse protection of most human rights, but concomitantly limit and restrict the generic individual.

Yes, you need your foot, Twilight...LOL...and yes, we need human rights. We have a new-and-improved version of the old game to contend.

mike (again) said...

We Americans have outsourced our (lack of) human rights:


"... American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.

... Many farm laborers are essentially trapped for months at a time in rat-infested camps, often without beds and sometimes without functioning toilets or a reliable water supply.
Some camp bosses illegally withhold wages to prevent workers from leaving during peak harvest periods.
Laborers often go deep in debt paying inflated prices for necessities at company stores. Some are reduced to scavenging for food when their credit is cut off. It's common for laborers to head home penniless at the end of a harvest.
Those who seek to escape their debts and miserable living conditions have to contend with guards, barbed-wire fences and sometimes threats of violence from camp supervisors.
Major U.S. companies have done little to enforce social responsibility guidelines that call for basic worker protections such as clean housing and fair pay practices.

... The squalid camps where they live, sometimes sleeping on scraps of cardboard on concrete floors, are operated by the same agribusinesses that employ advanced growing techniques and sanitary measures in their fields and greenhouses.

The contrast between the treatment of produce and of people is stark.

... Bosses at one of Mexico's biggest growers, Bioparques de Occidente in the state of Jalisco, not only withheld wages but kept hundreds of workers in a labor camp against their will and beat some who tried to escape, according to laborers and Mexican authorities."

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ The good and humane things dont make for interesting new so we dont hear about it. - Very good point. True, the good stuff doesn't sell papers and magazines, or get hits on blogs and websites. And that alone leads to people getting to the stage of feeling darkly pessimistic and "what's the use?"

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I agree. it's a never-ending struggle, a spiral that repeats, but with different ingredients and situations - part of human history.

The very fact that the term "Human Rights Day" came into being has to be a plus. But as Sonny wrote, an attempt at moving towards improving things doesn't get publicity. Human Rights Day didn't get much mention, far as I could see, though I don't watch TV news. I saw it mentioned in one or two places online. I'd have thought Google could've put up one of their special logos for it - like they do about other stuff - but no! It is conveniently forgotten because it doesn't fit the narrative. And look at the news that came out the day before Human Rights Day 2014!! DANG!!!

Anyway, thanks for all the points you've made. I shall re-read them again when I'm fresher in the morning.