Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why Everything Is Fucked Up (Long Version)

[The original is at Mockingbird's Medley. The following is what happens when snark turns to thought.]

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said yesterday: "We are willing to resume the human rights dialogue. We are willing to have exchanges and discussions on human rights with the United States and other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and non-interference."

Human rights and mutual respect are more properly a matter between a government and its people. That's the whole point of the Social Contract. Until China--all societies, actually--learn this lesson human rights are not fully recognized.

America's role is to remind other nations of respect for fundamental human rights. By word and deed. America can do the word part. The United States adopted one of the first great declarations of human rights in the world. Not only did the Declaration of Independence clearly state the nature of human rights and liberty, it also described how those rights would be secured. However, fitfully and incompletely America has lived up to her early ideals, those ideas remain among the most noble in political thought and philosophy.

Deeds don't work as well for the US. Our 100 years center stage in the world has been typically colonial and imperialistic but America managed to keep a pretty good reputation in the world by bailing out Europe in WWII and counterbalancing the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These days, that reputation is pretty damn spent.

But the words are still there and they still mean something to me. I recommend them to China and other nations as a very good start toward human rights and liberty. Actually, most nations have adopted the very similar UN Declaration of Human Rights, which is the 20th century statement of 18th century ideals. The challenge is to make these ideals real for all societies in a way that they understand and accept.

Here I am, sounding Messianic, offering some Universal Truth for the world. But I'm merely repeating what I understand to be the best of Western Enlightenment thought, which I believe does speak a universal truth in its definition of human rights. It's one of Western Civilization's better accomplishments. What I write here and speak elsewhere declares my goals. After that, I am very, very willing to look at any ideas that ethically advance those goals.



Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crecen las palmas
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma

Guajira Guantanamera
Guajira Guantanamera

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmin encendido
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo

Y para el cruel que me arranca
El corazon con que vivo
Cardo ni ortiga cultivo
Cultivo la rosa blanca

Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace mas que el mar

pete seeger (from the writings of jose marti)

when we're in gtmo together i'll teach you the harmony parts.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 总结报告 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述廉报告 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 汇报体会 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习心得 工作心得 培训心得 读后感 发言致辞 发言稿 开业开幕 领导讲话 动员讲话 庆典致辞 节日致词 新春致词 晚会致辞 追悼词 节目游戏 毕业致辞 思想宣传 组织人事 晚会主持词 会议主持词 婚礼主持词 常用书信 表扬信 感谢信 倡议书 责任书 承诺书 检讨书 申请书 保证书 决心书 悔过书 建议书 慰问信 邀请函 条据书信 礼仪文书 贺电贺词 社交礼仪 个人礼仪 商务礼仪 职场礼仪 涉外礼仪 饮食礼仪 节日礼仪 婚庆礼仪 鲜花礼仪 其他礼仪 交际礼仪 秘书 呼吸机 氧气机 婉转的夜曲 淋过雨的空气 带著一根烟.浪迹天涯

2:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home