Monday, July 30, 2007

That’s Just Not a Human Right

You have basic human rights, but they may not be what you think. We Americans think our basic human rights are rights to free speech, to and from religion, to assemble, and freedom of the press. Although critically important, these are not human rights. They are political rights.

Our basic human rights are to nutrition, shelter, education, and healthcare.

Over the years, we’ve accused China of failing to provide basic human rights, to which they responded that United States failed to provide basic human rights. China cites the number of people in the U.S. without medical insurance and the number of homeless. We cite China’s lack of freedoms of speech and religion.

Both countries are right. They’re just arguing at cross points. In the end, it may be that China is better at providing basic human rights and the U.S. is better at providing basic political rights.

Before anyone gets the wrong point . . . political rights are critical. Without political rights it is nearly impossible to obtain basic human rights. We order to have a rational discussion we just need to differentiate.

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