08 January 2015

Human Rights for a Neoliberal Era?


Back in 2004, George W. Bush voiced his conviction that “[n]o President has ever done more for human rights than I have.”
This is the same president, of course, who unleashed untold carnage on Iraq, endorsed torture techniques with the phrase “Damn right,” and defended illegal CIA kidnapping programs—among countless other projects.
But given the extent to which the concept of human rights has been perverted beyond recognition, Bush might be forgiven for hallucinating himself into a champion of the cause.
It is for this reason and many others that author and activist Julie Wark deserves such thanks for endeavoring to set the discourse straight in her book The Human Rights Manifesto.
As Wark explains: “[T]he term ‘human rights’ has been so traduced by the powerful”— who see the very idea as an “obstacle to [their] material interests”—that it must be reclaimed if there is to be any hope of advancement in the direction of justice on this planet. As it stands, the planetary arrangement constitutes an unprecedented violation of the freedom and dignity that are the founding principles of human rights. READ MORE AT WARSCAPES.