Saturday, May 05, 2007

Americans vs Human Rights

Americans talk a lot about "rights" and how the USA is a "free" country. Of course this is completely absurd, but we will here plumb the depths of the absurdity.

What do people mean by rights? Well, everywhere in the world, everywhere worth living anyways, by 'rights' people mean human rights. And by human rights they mean something like what has been codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So far so good.

Now what's interesting is that the UDHR has no resemblance whatsoever to the American Bill of Rights. And when presented with the UDHR, Americans will usually proclaim that these are not human rights. It is thus obvious that a mistranslation has occurred. Americans mistranslate human rights into their local concept of civil rights.

Natural Rights

It's important to appreciate that human rights are a 19th century invention. They were invented by the European communists and anarchists as part of their rejection of capitalism and private property. It is obvious that human rights are incompatible with the American religion of capitalism. But that's no problem to Americans.

It's not a problem because they can fall back on an obsolete 17th century theory of so-called "natural" rights. This theory has very distinctive features which mark it as fundamentally different from, and incompatible with, human rights theory. The key distinction is between so-called "positive" rights and "negative" rights. A distinction which Europeans, among other people who believe in human rights, almost universally consider to be incomprehensible gibberish.

It is known that there cannot be any meaningful distinction between "negative" rights and "positive" rights since the distinction is a mere linguistic trick. Most "negative" actions, even neglect, can be thought of as positive avoidance.

And in any case, there exist "positive" rights which must be fulfilled for the continuation of civilization. One of them is the right of an infant to be fed and attended to, including having eye-contact, without which the next generation would all grow to become psychopaths and civilization would instantly collapse.

But this shouldn't come as any kind of a surprise since the framework of "natural" rights is predicated on a state of savagery and not civilization. The wishes of wild men in a State of Nature defines "absolute" rights, and the wishes of government defines "civil" rights. The first is contrary to civilization, and the second is ... contrary to civilization.

Propertarianism

But there is another ideology of rights common in the United States which denies all rights to human beings. All. Rights! This ideology is Propertarianism. Also known as Satanism since its adherents' ideology of egotism comes right out of the Satanic Bible. Also known as market fundamentalism since its adherents have an unvarnished adoration and worship of so-called "free" markets. Also known as right-libertarianism since its adherents have managed to steal and coopt the anti-capitalist label of 'libertarianism' from the anarcho-communists.

Propertarianism is an anti-human ideology. Literally anti-human since it assigns no rights whatsoever to human beings. In the Propertarian philosophy, all rights are assigned to property. This is why they talk of property rights. Human beings may or may not have property depending upon whether or not they are Owners. If they are Owners then they have the rights, property rights, which come with the property. If they are not Owners then they have nothing.

Propertarians claim that human beings have rights but what they mean is that human beings are objects which makes them property. Thus human beings have rights as property. Including the right to a master. Libertarians claim this master is by default "yourself". But only by default since you can always "freely" sell yourself to another. This is standard right-libertarian philosophy, followed by right-libertarians to greater or lesser extent.

Moreover, this doctrine of humans-as-property is made evident when it is contrasted against what the opinion of the rest of humanity. Because the rest of humanity rejects the notion that humans are objects that can be owned at all, even by "yourself". Not least because if you could own yourself then you could sell yourself (turn over possession of your body for another mind to run) except this is literally physically impossible, which reveals the notion as absurd nonsense.

It is clear that right-libertarian philosophy is organized around things, not around people. This is why there is no room for justice in right-libertarianism because things don't care about justice. What's more, the imposition of an owner onto every object is the manifestation of a psychological problem very similar to magical thinking. Because right-libertarians essentially personify objects. And correspondingly depersonalize human beings.

People in the Autistic spectrum seem to do that and it explains why right-libertarianism is so common among people with Asperger's syndrome. The originator of Thatcherism was an Asperger's sufferer.

[The reason magical thinkers and autistic people both support propertarianism are interestingly opposite. Magical thinkers support property rights because it simplifies abstract relations. There's no need to reason about human rights when you have property rights.

In contrast, autistic people support propertarianism because there's no need to synthesize messy human concepts. They're able to reduce all human-object relations down to 'is owner of'. Sure, they could reason about those concepts, but they can't create them in the first place.]

In any case, it is clear that right-libertarians must be mentally handicapped since their ideology has no connection with reality. There exist so many counter-examples of it that it is trivially disproved by looking around oneself. Right-libertarians would be easy to dismiss, to the psychiatric hospital, if it weren't for the vast reservoirs of magical thinkers who have lapped up portions of their ideology.

And now we have come full circle to Americans. Because Americans buy into the ideologies of Propertarianism and Natural Rights (and also Capitalism and Individualism) it is unavoidable that they are extremely hostile to Human Rights. And that is why the US government violates human rights on such a consistent and extreme basis. Because Americans. Hate. Human. Rights.

8 comments:

sptrashcan said...

Before I go into detail, I would like to ask: what is the purpose of your essays? Are you writing notes for yourself, or are you attempting to communicate with others? I'm going to assume the latter for now, but if the former is the case then of course you need not consider my opinion of your form or content.

With that caveat in mind, and assuming that you mean to communicate with people who are not you, and that you wish to be understood: you are a terrible writer. People who are not you do not think as you do, and do not have the information you do. Things which are 'obvious' to you are not obvious at all to many other people, myself included - even people who are fully capable of comprehending your reasoning when you explain it. Even assuming that most of the difficulty lies in the asserted mental deficits of nine-tenths of the human species (a claim you assert repeatedly, without proof, as a matter of course), the remaining one-tenth still has no idea what the hell you're getting at.

It pains me to say this, because when I do manage to figure out what you are saying, it's often pretty interesting. But I do not have the time or energy to enter into a multipage dialogue with you every time you phrase a sensible idea in an astoundingly impenetrable way.

Unfortunately, by writing this, I suspect I have disqualified myself from the ten percent of human beings whose opinions you lend any credence to, because I am clearly too stupid to reason at your level - or else I would be able to intuit your meaning immediately and without further information. Well, whatever. :(

If you're still reading, I have some things to say about the actual post in question.

Having read the Wikipedia article on negative and positive rights, I would say that attempting to dismiss the distinction between them as a linguistic trick is, in itself, a linguistic trick. There is a very simple test that absolutely distinguishes between negative and positive rights, which is this: if no human being ever interacted with me again, I would enjoy all of my negative rights, and none of my positive rights. In a modern society where this kind of isolation is not feasible, you might say that this distinction is no longer meaningful - but it still exists, conceptually if not practically.

Your assertion that psychopathy is always and entirely caused by insufficient eye contact during infancy deserves much more explanation than the throwaway line you give it.

The latter section on right-libertarians comes close to asserting that those who disagree with "the vast majority of humanity", meaning you, are either insane (if in the ten percent) or stupid (if not), because they disagree with you. If right-libertarianism is facile to demolish, as you assert, then go to the minimal trouble of demolishing it before you dismiss it. And don't think that winning an argument with me over right-libertarianism means you have disproved the ideology, as I don't subscribe to it myself.

Ah, but the real point here was to paint all US citizens, past, present, and future, with the black mark of complicity in the worst misadventures of the US at home and abroad. As a foreign-born citizen of the United States, who has spent his formative years living in America and raised by an American, let me assert two things: 1. I do not support the violation of human rights by the United States, either within or without its borders, not only because I find it personally abhorrent but also because I find it contrary to the principles of this nation, and 2. I am astonished by your bullshit.

Incidentally: Nicolas Sarkozy has just won the elections in France, and considers the vote a referendum on, and his victory a repudiation of, the principles of the student revolt of 1968. I seem to recall your having made positive remarks about those demonstrations and their legacy - how does this vote affect your opinions of France, which if I have read you correctly (as mentioned above, a difficult task at the best of times) have heretofore been fairly positive?

Richard Kulisz said...

> Are you writing notes for yourself, or are you attempting to communicate with others?

More the former than the latter. I plan to use these essays as references so I don't have to repeatedly make the same arguments over and over again. I don't see this blog having a large following.

> a very simple test that absolutely distinguishes between negative and positive rights, which is this: if no human being ever interacted with me again, I would enjoy all of my negative rights, and none of my positive rights. In a modern society where this kind of isolation is not feasible, you might say that this distinction is no longer meaningful - but it still exists, conceptually if not practically.

The reverse is more like it. To exist conceptually, a distinction has to be meaningful as an idea. This is not meaningful at all. Not because that kind of isolation is impractical but because the whole point of human rights is to talk about living in society and also because human rights are blanket principles that apply everywhere and everywhen. Your "test" is essentially "apply society to a human being up to a certain arbitrary age and then remove it suddenly, what you have left are negative rights" except this is arbitrary nonsense. And it's nonsense even assuming it's meaningful which it isn't because the operation it describes (of suddenly removing society) doesn't exist conceptually. It may exist in reality but not from inside the theoretical construction that delineates human rights.

> Your assertion that psychopathy is always and entirely caused by insufficient eye contact during infancy deserves much more explanation than the throwaway line you give it.

I never stated it is ALWAYS caused by insufficient bonding which requires mutual gazing. Gazing, not just eye contact. I said that lack of bonding is SUFFICIENT to cause psychopathy. An important distinction. And in any case, far beyond the scope of this blog entry. People can do their research, though I suppose I should have provided a link.

> If right-libertarianism is facile to demolish, as you assert, then go to the minimal trouble of demolishing it before you dismiss it.

No thanks. I've done so repeatedly literally dozens of times. If I do it again, it will be on its own terms. It's not like Critiques of Libertarianism is difficult to find.

So basically, your complaints boil down to I haven't properly referenced things which I have already planned to write about in future (magical thinkers, right-libertarianism, human rights). I'll make sure to do that if you tell me how.

> I do not support the violation of human rights by the United States, either within or without its borders, [...] because I find it contrary to the principles of this nation,

Then you are very naive. The principles upon which the USA was founded include eternal domination and war against its enemies both within and without, as well as colonization and private profit. This is the REAL principles which can be trivially reconstructed from the USA's actions at virtually any point in time. They are not the lies which American tell themselves of course. Then again, one can hardly treat with a straight face the notion of taking what psychiatric cases say at face value. And with their violent savagery, the American people have proven themselves to be psychiatric cases. I'm not going to argue this issue further because it is either obvious to you or you will never accept it.

> Incidentally: Nicolas Sarkozy has just won the elections in France, and considers the vote a referendum on, and his victory a repudiation of, the principles of the student revolt of 1968.

It doesn't mean anything. France is not and never will be the USA. The office of President in France is not even remotely like the office of President of the USA. And even if it were, French politics simply isn't the same as US politics. French people do not go into hibernation in between going to the polls every four years.

Richard Kulisz said...

> And don't think that winning an argument with me over right-libertarianism means you have disproved the ideology, as I don't subscribe to it myself.

And don't think it's necessary to ever win an argument with someone who subscribes to right-libertarianism in order to disprove the ideology. Strict right-libertarians are mentally handicapped. There is something fundamentally wrong with their thought processes and their cognitive abilities.

sptrashcan said...

> More the former than the latter.

Well all right then. Have a good one.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

"And with their violent savagery, the American people have proven themselves to be psychiatric cases. I'm not going to argue this issue further because it is either obvious to you or you will never accept it."

You're a bigot, and I have no more time for you.

DavidM said...

When you decide that someone has the *right* to anothers property, money or labors *you* are advocating slavery(whether you realize it or not).

Taken to its logical conclusion, without property rights the rest really don't matter and can be summarily removed from you at will.

There is a book on the subject whose name eludes me.

Enact free trade, free markets and easy access to capital and prosperity almost always follows in its wake.

Compare W Germany to East, China to Taiwan, N Korea to South, Japan to the Philippines.

Up until China began some property rights and free markets, South Korea's economy was larger than all of China!

Anonymous said...

Hardcore Libertarians don't believe there is any such thing as "society". It's astounding, considering the gifts of language and higher reasoning that society bestowed on these individuals that in turn allows them to rationalize away society.

Your thoughts on the property-centric view of Libertarians led me to tangent off to autism, which some describe as a profound deficit in social intelligence. And then, in the next paragraph, you bring up Thatcherism and Asperger's. Bravo!