Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


'Profound' Arrogance at UN

'Profound' Arrogance at UN

Discussion with Islamic academic on global ethical human rights


I consider it an arrogant gross abuse of power by the bureaucratic elites at the UN in disregarding history to reinvent human rights to emphasize elite interests rather than individual rights which Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are meant to protect e.g, people are not numbers.

I also deeply and strongly feel the arrogance is profound, in thinking it is only they who ‘know’ (whereas in my personal opinion only God knows).

And, they then use the UDHR as their authority to justify what is essentially an elitist human rights agenda which I consider seriously jeopardizes the future of the declaration and if the discontented cannot get justice peacefully their only recourse may be violence..

Below is a discussion with Assistant Professor of Law, Atika Lohani, University of Sargodha (International Islamic University, Pakistan). She is the first academic in the global establishment prepared to discuss global ethical human rights since my book, which outlined the ethical approach, was published in 2008 and later recommended on the UN website for about two years.

I consider ‘neoliberal absolutism’ was created on 10 December 2008 when the whole UDHR was made compatible with IMF globalization policies which focus on elites and the Corporations resulting in human rights now being based on elite interests rather than individual rights (see my article, ‘A Great World can be achieved by Great States ensuring ethical human rights ‘bottom-line’, 8 Jan 2014,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/08/18748916.php

Global ethical human rights is an ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization, based on the individual, to replace the, by far the most dominant, global ideology, ‘neoliberal absolutism’ (see description of ethical approach at bottom of my article, ‘Global turn-around: to persuade Western Powers to adopt ‘bottom-up’ ethical human rights’, 4 March 2014,http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/03/04/18751943.php ).

Ethical human rights requires that all should have, at the very least, the core minimum of all the rights in the UDHR. In human rights terms, ‘the ends do not justify the means’ so it is considered that the present focus on reducing extreme poverty should not be at the expense of individual freedoms which certainly appears to be the case e.g. Bangladesh is considered a success story in reducing extreme poverty but its famed microloan scheme is politically out of favor ( see ‘Yunus flays Bangladesh’s ‘destruction’ of Grameen Bank’, Hindustantimes, 6 Nov 2013, http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/yunus-flays-bangladesh-s-destruction-of-grameen-bank/article1-1147750.aspx and also UNDP Bangladesh, 2011 data, http://www.undp.org.bd/mdgs.php ).

Consequently while ‘survival rights’ are being addressed it seems to be at the serious neglect of ‘self-help rights’ (see a ‘voice for the poor’, cost minimal, discussed below).

It is like giving a person a fish without a fishing rod – even with better education it offers virtually no hope for the great majority especially in a world with rapidly increasing inequality.

But more sinister, in my view, it requires the elimination of independent thought and consequently the seeking of truth i.e. it means the crushing of the human spirit and potential, including spiritual potential (see the above articles).

In my view, this has dire consequences for the future of humanity e.g. severely limiting the growth of human knowledge with the ‘nil’ to ‘minus’ GDP growth outcomes of many States in the European Union very likely an indication of this.

That is why ethical human rights is very firm - that BOTH ‘survival rights’ and ‘self-help rights’ are required – without one or the other or without both constitutes slavery. The State cannot give ‘food’ with one hand and take away ‘freedom’ with the other (or vice versa) in order to keep people perpetually enslaved.

Ethical human rights is about freedom with social responsibility e.g. you cannot have large numbers at the bottom of the social scale with very few opportunities in life and say you live in a free country.

Much more needs to be written on this subject which I intend to do in my present book (I have another contract with Lexington Books, Maryland, USA, on the subject, Replacing Neoliberal Absolutism; ethical human rights, development and globalization).

The discussion on the social networking sites began talking about a 'voice for the poor' and women followed by ethical human rights:

Abhijeet Sinha is Advisor and Director ASSAR (network & support program for Social Welfare Initiatives) was the first to respond to my post concerning the UN International Women’s Day Awards & Workshop at New Delhi.

Anthony Ravlich An important principle of the ethical approach to human rights, development and globalization is that the poor should have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can influence the democratic majority (cost minimal). And the latter would include poor women e.g. in NZ Maori 'tribal' underclass I think women are very loath to report violent abuse because they would be seen as 'narcs'. I think the voices of these poor women would be far more authentic than the prevailing 'middle class', professional women who may be well-meaning but I think very detached from the human family given what I see as the extremely political interpretation of the UDHR being currently followed.

Abhijeet Sinha anthony ravlich you are absolutely right - poor should have a voice of their own in the mainstream media so they can influence the democratic majority (cost minimal).

Atika Lohani I appreciate that as well. But if poor women have no access to the platform to raise voice? then? like if whole system is repressive and repressive institutions do not let any one to have voice? The systems are embedded to curb the poor and in return poor have lost any urge to raise the voice. At such point anyone is needed to lit the candle. I am talking from completely different cultural standpoint. The problem I raise although needs somehow kick-start from others but its ultimate goal should be like you mention that " voices of poor women " should be arranged to be heard. Unfortunately all the movements do not work for this end rather they end up or continue as an oligarch does.

Anthony Ravlich I have had much contact with warrior 'tribal' Maori in the urban area, Auckland - they are too afraid (understandably) to stand up to their elite for a share in compensation paid by NZers who in past history took much of their land. Maori at bottom are treated very badly. My plan involves fighting for ethical human rights to be reflected in domestic human rights law (many omitted human rights) which I consider will give them greater independence and a voice. It just takes one very brave Maori to claim his/her rights and, for example, 'speak out' about the failure to share compensation. But the support of law in the latter situation and the situation you are describing would very likely be essential.

Anthony Ravlich Further to the above I should be careful not to offer too much hope after all many Maori have left the country e.g. one in six are said to live in Australia, and they would probably have seen next to no hope of getting a share in the compensation. And exceedingly few NZers will even talk about this injustice such is the fear that exists. In the situation you describe it may even be very difficult promoting ethical human rights in the State. However, because its a globalized world I consider it necessary to also have ethical human rights reflected in international human rights law. So if you can't promote ethical human rights within your country you can fight for it at the global level. Because this is a peaceful approach I will be attributing any violence that occurs primarily to the failure of descent-based elites domestic and international i.e. at the UN, to ensure all the human rights for people - they also make sure people are kept very ignorant of them (see ch1 of my book). It is patently obvious that they have reinvented UDHR, based on 1000s of yrs of human history, to emphasis elites rather than individuals (see my articles). They are arrogant elites who think they KNOW. And what they have done amounts to an arrogant gross abuse of power, in fact, in my view, 'a global crime against humanity'

Atika Lohani Dear Anthony I am thinking and trying to articulate ethical human rights approach Vis-a-vis bottom- up ideology. When you talk about these vulnerable groups and the efforts to bring a systematic inclusion of ethical human rights agenda, and you propose and choose this systematic approach to enable those oppressed getting their voices heard, is'nt it a top-down approach to achieve bottom-up system? I think its another top-down approach to help those who have learned to live under oppression.

Atika Lohani I understand ethical human rights approach would stand to justify non-justiceable social and economic rights. Having realised the impact of international law problem in dealing with ICCPR , ICSECR, which culminated in those group of rights being continuously treated as non justiceable rights. But if one chooses to change international law's interpretation of whole Charter of human rights according to ethical human rights approach it gives impression as you need to stress a different top-down approach in an attempt to secure bottom-up agenda.

Anthony Ravlich Atika, I do not see it as ‘bottom-up’ ‘ideology’ e.g voice for the poor in the mainstream requires the inclusion of all grounds of non-discrimination as required by UDHR i.e. so the mainstream media cannot discriminate. The latter ‘self-help’ core minimum human rights are not user-pays – they are ensured. While I consider that the deprivation of basic survival e’g ‘food’ (because basic human needs cost little), like the deprivation of self-help, at the core minimum level is about power i.e. to enslave people.

But there is also a matter of justice to be dealt with. Because, in my view, those who have been deprived of many core minimums (and this also includes many ‘tall-poppies’ of all social classes who were treated just as badly) should be compensated (see my submission to the Auckland High Court, ‘Freedom is not an impossible dream’, where I describe many as having been ‘crushed and isolated’).

Article 8, UDHR, states: ‘Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law’.
Compensation, to begin with, could be achieved by directing affirmative action to those have been so cruelly treated (remember it also affected their future children, a number abused – those children need to know that the State admits what it did to their parents) - but once justice is done affirmative action need not apply What I am describing is not ideology – its all firmly based on the UDHR. ‘Bottom-up’ simply means ‘based on the individual’ (as per UDHR) rather than as at present ‘elites’ requiring ‘top-down’ which I consider resulted in enormous social mayhem which, of course, perversely justifies the need for their ‘near absolute’ ‘top-down’ control in perpetuity . You are the only academic since my book was published in 2008 (and later recommended on the UN website) who has been actually prepared to discuss ethical human rights (although I have received supportive comments by a number). I hope the above answers your challenging comments. Thank you.

Following the above I sent a message to Assistant Professor Lohani in response to an earlier discussion on twitter on the Golden Rule and ethical human rights both of which I see as reflecting a Universal Truth.

Anthony Ravlich Also I see ethical human rights (secular) as equating with the Golden Rule (do unto others..) believed in by major religions

Atika Lohani you are absolutely right

The following is my message sent after the above discussion:

Atika, you already (may) be aware, but when I said I considered ethical human rights as with golden rule reflects a Universal Truth I could say that because my universal beliefs which I try my best not to compromise connects me with an inner wisdom (spiritual) - without it I could not have come up with this plan - I was helped in so many ways. Thanks for your help, Tony

I believe it is God, Tony

Also, I agree with Socrates when he says 'I know nothing'. So I shouldn't say without God I couldn't have come up with the plan - lets say I find it really extremely difficult to believe. Its why I don't think I am absolutely right in anything - in my view, only God KNOWS. I wonder, because I do not know the mind of God, if this is a point being made re arrogance of the dominant elites who seem to think they KNOW, Tony

Atika, I do feel strongly deep down that that is the point being made, Tony - I like the quote from Shakespeare - that 'there are more things in heaven and earth than you have ever dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio'. While I really believe in ethical human rights - there are other things like awareness that there are other things which seem of a spiritual nature going on within and without - I believe I'm a person of reason (I have a brain), but its not all , all the best, Tony

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news