On Human Rights

Human rights may be universal, according to the Western Liberal ideal of how things ought to be in this world.

However, in actual practice, the notions of what constitutes a human right and how it applies within a specific culture is incredibly varied and mixed both across cultures and societies as well as within them.  What’s a human right in Russia is not a human right in Somalia.  What works in New York State doesn’t work in the State of Mississippi.

Each society has a method for defining just and unjust behavior and following through on how to enforce, teach and pass on that information to their children.  How that is done and what those definitions are are more likely to be cultural features of the given society and not things that are terribly amenable to persuasion or change (especially when that change is something that they don’t want to do in the first place).  In accordance with the ideals of Western liberty (and the acknowledgement of situational reality) it is most likely better not to interfere or force another group of people to do something that they’re not inclined to do.  Otherwise, it’s a violation of Western ideals and a practical hindrance to achieving our society’s priorities of survival, well being and peace in the context of the larger social world that is around our nation (and that our nation is apart of).  Societies will always tend to organize along the logic and traditions that have guided them in the past, more or less.  Change is possible in some cases, the most notable of these instances being the introduction of new religious traditions and beliefs into different areas of the world.

However, much of this change is superficial, with the key elements of the old society being preserved in the deeper background of the societal logic and ways of interacting with, perceiving and prioritizing the world that is around them.  We can use the same historical examples of the spread of new religions by noting that many of the old traditions and customs were kept and/or reinterpreted in the light of the new religious traditions (Christmas trees, for one example) with perspectives and attitudes kept, maintained and/or reinterpreted (eg Protestant work ethic being a reinterpretation and justification for working hard according to Germanic and Celtic traditions).

All empires have collapsed.  It is as impractical to impose Western ideals and values on the rest of the world as it is to try to impose Islamic or Chinese ideals and values.

Why not let people who live in territories other than your own govern according to their needs, wishes, hopes, desires and perspectives?  For what purpose do we insist on everyone conforming to our own Western standards and ideals when that is simply not going to happen?

Think about it.

Because our relations are on the line here.

Without positive relations, who will you have to interact with, especially if your back is against the wall?

Who will join you in a fight, if you’ve fought, neglected and/or offended everyone else that is around you?

Think about it.


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