The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

The Economist on Human Rights

Posted by rantingkraut on March 26, 2007

This week’s Economist has a leader worth reading on the proliferation of ‘human rights’:

… few rights are truly universal, and letting them multiply weakens them. Food, jobs and housing are certainly necessities. But no useful purpose is served by calling them “rights”. When a government locks someone up without a fair trial, the victim, perpetrator and remedy are pretty clear. This clarity seldom applies to social and economic “rights”. It is hard enough to determine whether such a right has been infringed, let alone who should provide a remedy, or how. Who should be educated in which subjects for how long at what cost in taxpayers’ money is a political question best settled at the ballot box. So is how much to spend on what kind of health care.

(Read the rest here)

There is also a related piece on the changing mandate of amnesty international in the same edition.

2 Responses to “The Economist on Human Rights”

  1. yossarian said

    AI’s response – and that of others – can be found here:

  2. […] all, who could deny the importance of access to food, housing etc. for individual autonomy? When The Economist criticised Amnesty International’s expanding human rights mandate for including economic […]

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