There are many things that people think are without any doubt good. Humans, the society and the world community should strive for it, even fight. The ethical values of it are seldom doubted, nor its consequences. Human Rights seems to be such a kind of Unquestioned Good.
But is it?
Supporting democratic reforms in the Ukraine in 2014 might be interpreted as a deliberate Western threat of the traditional power influence sphere of Russia. Ukraine might be brought under Western influence for noble reasons of more democracy, but it is doubtful if its government has become really more democratic.
This Thinkibility nibble hypothesizes that the concept of human rights and democracy is used to manufacture public consent for waging gruesome proxy- wars leading to an even further collapse of human rights in the countries concerned.
Main Stream Thinking
We could hypothesize here that a geopolitical issue as a Human Rights matter had been manufactured to get public consent, ergo: Unconditioned Good, supported by usual suspects like the United Nations, the Council of Europe, International Criminal Court, International Federation of Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch and other Non-Governmental Organisations.
As an example, Amnesty International reported in June 2011 about allegations of mass human rights violations by Gaddafi regime troops that “Much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge”.
The Arab Winter
The Arab Spring caused the “biggest transformation of the Middle East since decolonization.” By the end of February 2012, rulers had been forced from power in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, and civil uprisings had erupted in
and major protests had broken out in Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Sahara and minor protests had occurred in Saudi, Western Sahara and Palestine.”
One of the causes of the uprisings that are the in the main stream media bejewelled is the role of the Social Media that would have brought the concept of (digital) democracy in the Arabic World.
Democracy, and by extension Human Rights, as Unquestioned Good. A promise to solve all societal problems seems the dominant ideology. Like a gospel, and every country have to be evangelized.
But is it?
Other causes of the uprisings that are mentioned are political corruption, food scarcity, low wages, influx of refugees, ethnic and religious conflicts, the role of mercenaries, economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, the concentration of wealth in the hands of monarchs in power for decades, insufficient transparency of its redistribution, corruption, and the refusal of the youth to accept the status quo.
Note that none of the issues mentioned above could be solely solved by promoting Human Rights or Democracy.
Note also that extensive civil wars, general regional instability, an economic and demographic decline of the Arab League and overall religious wars between Sunni and Shia Muslims have broken out.
“Rise of Islamist “state-building” where “state failure” has taken place—most prominently in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Islamists have found it easier than competing non-Islamists trying to fill the void of state failure, by securing external funding, weaponry and fighters – “many of which have come from abroad and have rallied around a pan-Islamic identity”.
The norms of governance in these Islamist areas are militia-based, and the governed submit to their authority out of fear, loyalty, other reasons, or some combination. The “most expansive ” of these new “models” is the Islamic State.
” Islamists are fighting Islamists across sectarian lines in Lebanon (Sunni militants targeting Hezbollah positions), Yemen (between mainstream Sunni Islamists of al-Islah and the Shiite Zaydi Houthi movement), in Iraq (Islamic State and Iraqi Shiite Militias”.
Note also that the ongoing conflict in Syria “is widely described as a series of overlapping proxy wars between the regional and world powers, primarily between the US and Russia as well as between Iran and Saudi Arabia“.
As another unintended result of Human Rights issues a process of mass migration was initiated.
Human Rights as an Ideology?
We might conclude that Human Rights is a new religion or ideology, a noble endeavour, but used as a cover, kind like the medieval Christian crusades “has been for the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage“.
Development economist Carlos Lopes, a prominent African intellectual and former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), once stated in an interview that it would not be wise to impose on other countries how to apply democratic values .Take a country that is totally destroyed in a conflict. It is counterproductive to demand that such a country hold elections. The results of such experiments are terrible. You legitimize authoritarian regimes with it. F.i. in Rwanda, it is counterproductive to demand that a country hold elections after one of the most horrific genocides of all time. After such a traumatic event, you need a period of recovery and building of national identity. Elections were not immediately held in Germany after the Second World War either.
As a Romanian naval officer, who with his colleagues shut up the armed local police force in their barracks, thus saving the revolution against Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena in 1989, noticed: “Before the revolution, we had no Democracy and Human Rights but at least we had food. Now we have Democracy and Human Rights, but no food”.
2 Replies to “Unquestioned Good – Human Rights”
Did Making the Rules of War Better Make the World Worse?
Why efforts to curb the cruelty of military force may have backfired.
John Mearsheimer on why the West is principally responsible for the Ukrainian crisis.
The political scientist believes the reckless expansion of NATO provoked Russia. America ignored Moscow’s red line, however, and pushed forward to make Ukraine a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. That strategy included two other elements: bringing Ukraine closer to the eu and making it a pro-American democracy.