Rights and goals the second distinction I want to emphasize is that between rights and goals. In our times, "rights" proliferate at the rhetorical level, with extraordinary speed. To the rights to life, liberty, and security of person have been added the rights to nationality, to privacy, to equal rights in marriage, to education, to culture, to the full development of personality, to self-determination, to self-government, to adequate standards of living. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights claims as a universal every political, economic, social right yet conceived. The declaration consists of a preamble and thirty articles, setting forth the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which all men and women, everywhere in the world, are entitled, without any discrimination. Article which lays down the philosophy upon which the declaration is based, reads: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
In actual societies, unlike essay in definitions, political principles do not exist in isolation; they interact and the effort at maximization begins at some point to undermine some other value. Frequently the relations among values are themselves embedded in tradition and habit, and profoundly resistant to alteration. Burke focused on the distinction between ideas and institutions. He said, therefore, of the French revolution: I should therefore suspend my congratulations on the liberty of France until I was informed as to how it had been combined with government, with public force, with discipline, with obedience of armies, with the collection and effectiveness. All these are good things, too. Without them liberty is of no benefit whilst it lasts and is not likely long to continue. The failure to distinguish between the domains of rhetoric and politics is the essence of rationalism-which encourages us to believe anything that can be conceived can be realized. Rationalism not only encourages utopianism, utopianism is a form of rationalism. It shares the characteristic features, including a disregard of the experience, the concrete probability, in favor of the affirmation of rationality, abstraction, and possibility. Applied to human rights and foreign policy, disregard of the distinction between ideas and institutions leads to an expectation that declarations of rights have existential status-and constitute valid, practical programs of action.
They involve millions, they rest on expectations shaped by experience-or they rest on habit and internalized values and beliefs-or on coercion. These internalized expectations become inextricably bound up with identity. They are extremely resistant to change. Since institutions exist not in the minds of philosophers but in the habits and beliefs of actual people, they can be brought into existence only as people are persuaded or coerced into conforming their thoughts, preferences, and behavior to the necessary patterns. History and recent experience indicate that some kinds of goals and plans cannot finally be implemented, no matter how much persuasion or coercion is employed. Moreover, in the absence of experience there is no way to estimate accurately the feasibility, the costs, even the concrete desirability of an idea or ideal. Therefore, though write rights are easy to claim, they are extremely difficult to translate into reality.
Many ideas can probably never be realized. Not everything that can be conceived can be created. One can, for example, conceive a unicorn, describe it, destroy whole forests in a determined effort to biography find one, and still fail. Ideas are readily brought into being and are readily manipulable by their creators. They are susceptible to being changed merely because a decision is made to change them. Their relationship to context is therefore also manipulable-subject to being held constant or spondylolisthesis altered depending on the decision of their creators. But institutions have very different characteristics. Institutions are stabilized patterns of human behavior.
They are: * first distinction: between ideas and institutions; * second distinction: between rights and goals; * third distinction: between intentions and consequences; * fourth distinction: between morals and politics. Ideas and institutions there are several important reasons that, in thinking about "rights" (as about all other plans for social systems it is important to bear in mind the differences between ideas and institutions. Ideas are the product of the mind. They are abstractions which may have no empirical referents. Anything is possible in the domain of abstract reason that does not violate analytical canons which are themselves the products of mind. Robert Owen, for example, proposed "a world convention to emancipate the human race from ignorance, poverty, division, sin, and misery." In our times we propose declarations and laws to attempt to hold other nations responsible for the disappearance of some of these evils to which. Since the world has not arrived at Hegel's promised end where the rational becomes the real and the real rational, there exists no experience with the realization of abstract ideas in society.
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Covenants on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and on civil and Political Rights; the 1977 decision to support the mandatory. Arms embargo against south Africa; the decision, during President Carter's official visit to south Korea in mid-1979, to present the south Korean foreign minister with a privately compiled list of the names of over 100 alleged south Korean political prisoners; Secretary vance's call, before. Support for the Shah of Iran; and President Carter's decision, in June 1979, not to lift economic sanctions against the muzorewa government in Zimbabwe Rhodesia. Viewing the carter administration's human rights policy in retrospect, it seems fair to conclude that its principal aims were to infuse. Foreign policy with "moral content to create a broad domestic consensus behind the administration's foreign policy goals, and, generally speaking, to make americans feel good about themselves. Whether the policy succeeded in achieving any of these objectives is debatable. One thing, thesis however, is clear: the thrust.
Human rights policy as it evolved under the carter administration, was directed against. Instead of using the human rights issue to place the totalitarian states on the defensive, the. Frequently joined the totalitarians in attacking pro-western authoritarian states, and actually helped to destabilize pro-western regimes in Nicaragua and Iran. Towarore adequate conception of human rights it is always necessary to know what one is talking about. Although debate about the existential and cognitive status of human rights has occupied philosophical giants in past centuries, recent discussions could profit from renewed and systematic attention to some fundamental distinctions. Four of these seem to me crucial.
Human Rights Commission that under no circumstances was he even to mention the name of the recently arrested soviet dissident Yuri Orlov. President Carter's disinclination to single out the soviet Union for criticism extended to a number of other communist regimes, as well. On April 12, 1978, for example, president Carter informed President ceausescu of Rumania that "our goals are also the same, to have a just system of economics and politics, to let the people of the world share in growth, in peace, in personal freedom." And. In 1976, before the carter administration came into office, congress had passed an amendment to the foreign Assistance Act which, inter alia, required the State department to submit annual reports to congress describing the human rights performance of states receiving. Aid, and which prohibited the.
From assisting states which consistently violated the human rights of their citizens unless the president "certifies in writing that extraordinary circumstances exist." On the basis of the annual reports required by the 1976 law, the carter administration withheld economic credits and military assistance to Chile. South Korea and the Philippines continued to receive. Aid, on the president's recommendation that such aid served the security interests of the. Nonetheless, the public criticism of those governments helped delegitimize them, at the same time it rendered them less susceptible to our views. These tendencies were exacerbated by the nearly exclusive focus of Carter doctrine and policymakers on violations of human rights by governments. By definition, activities of terrorists and guerrillas could not qualify as violations of human rights, whereas a government's efforts to repress terrorism would quickly run afoul of Carter human rights standards. This focus not only permitted Carter policymakers to focus on government "repression" while ignoring guerrilla violence, it encouraged consideration of human rights violations independently of context Various major actions undertaken by the carter administration appear to have been derived, either in whole or in part.
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To recognize that there are various equally valid concepts of human rights in the world. The soviets, for statement example, "have. Developed a completely different concept of human rights. For them, human rights are essentially not civil and political but economic." President Carter, resume meanwhile, was busy trying to erase the impression, resulting from his letter to sakharov and his meeting with bukovsky, that his advocacy of human rights implied an anti-soviet bias. "I have never had an inclination to single out the soviet Union as the only place where human rights are being abridged he told a press conference on February 13, 1977. "i've tried to make sure that the world knows that we're not singling out the soviet Union for criticism he again told a press conference on March. "i've never made the first comment that personally criticized General Secretary Brezhnev he told a press conference on June. In fact, so eager was the carter administration not to single out the soviet Union for criticism that, within a year of its coming into office, secretary vance privately instructed the. Ambassador to the.
the poor. The right to enjoy civil and political liberties: freedom of thought of religion, of assembly; freedom of speech; freedom of the press, freedom of movement both within and outside one's own country; freedom to take part in government. Policy, vance stated, "is to promote all these rights." "If we are determined to act he continued, "the means available range from quiet diplomacy in its many forms, through public pronouncements, to withholding of assistance." Significantly, nowhere in his speech did Vance indicate that human. In accepting the notion that economic and social "rights" are just as important as civil and political rights, secretary vance went well beyond any previous. Understanding of human rights. Another prominent administration spokesman on human rights,. Ambassador Andrew young, went further still. "For most of the world young declared, "civil and political rights. Come as luxuries that are far away in the future." young called on the.
On April 30, 977, however, secretary of friendship State vance delivered a major policy address in which he set out to explain just what it was the carter administration meant by "human rights" and how it intended to promote them. According to vance, by "human rights" the administration meant three things:. The right to be free from governmental violation of the integrity of the person. Such violations include torture; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; and arbitrary arrest or imprisonment. And they include denial of fair public trial and invasion of the home. The right to the fulfillment of such vital needs as food, shelter, health care, and education. We recognize that the fulfillment of this right will depend, in part, upon the stage of a nation's economic development.
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Kirkpatrick viable human Rights Policy, in this paper I deal with three broad subjects: * First, the content and consequences of the carter administration's human rights policy; * Second, the prerequisites of a more adequate theory of human rights; * And third, some characteristics. The carter Human Rights Policy, how the carter administration came to be outspokenly committed to the cause of human rights is far from clear. Moynihan has observed, "Human rights as an issue in foreign policy was by no means central to jimmy carter's campaign for the presidency. It was raised in the democratic platform drafting committee, and at the democratic Convention, but in each instance the carter representatives were at best neutral, giving the impression of not having heard very much of the matter before and not having any particular views." Indeed. "Our people have now learned he told the foreign Policy Association in June 1976, "the folly of our trying to inject our power into the internal affairs of other nations. nevertheless, by the time of his inaugural address, jimmy. Carter had become adamant on the subject of human rights. "Our commitment to human rights the new president informed the nation, "must be absolute." Within weeks of his inauguration, President Carter replied to a letter from Andrei sakharov, and met with the noted, soviet dissident Vladimir bukovsky in the White house. These symbolic resume acts generated a great deal of excitement, yet they hardly constituted a human rights policy.