Thursday, March 30, 2006

That Neutrality-But-Fighting-for-Human Rights Tendency

While the insistence of Amnesty International to be bereft of political inclination and ideology is quite admirable in ensuring that human rights are truly respected regardless political tendencies, it is in that neutrality-but-fighting-for-human rights tendency that the inherent weakness of the organization comes to the fore. The struggle for human rights, even in a liberal and abstract sense, does not exist in a vacuum. In every country and continent, it is set in a backdrop of political and socio-economic contradictions in which the powerful in a society defines the terms of how and what human rights are to be respected, observed and even violated.

To insist the liberal view that human rights is irrespective of ideology and persuasion is to play blind to the existence of classes and the conflicts that arise from it. It fails to highlight that the reason for the detentions in Guantanamo is part of a war on terrorism not for basic human freedoms but for the global quest for oil and larger foreign markets for surplus goods and capital. Moreover, it also it fails to explain that the cause for the Communist Party crackdown of political dissent in China of its very own peasants and workers is due to the emergence of a new capitalist class breeding itself inside the Party which is supposed to struggle for the interests of the working class and the people. To simply abhor both the human rights violations of Hamas and Israel through suicide bombings and military aggression, respectively, does not in reality help address the roots of conflict and war, and lifts to the realm of sentimentality the need to address the human rights issue. It fails to question for example, the reason why Nepalese Maoists chose the road of people’s war or why Iraq is on the brink of civil war as suicide bombings intensify.

An organization cannot struggle for human rights without knowing the entire historic struggle of a people oppressed. It cannot simply make criticisms of both sides of the conflict as there must always be bias for the oppressed, exploited and deprived of their human rights. As such, it must also keenly identify the powerful which defines human rights in its own terms and the powerless which struggles to preserve itself, the aggressor and the aggressed upon peoples, in which the organization is cognizant that these political and socio-economic contradictions are a result of class conflicts (religious and racial conflicts etc. are off-shoots of class conflicts) in societies. It is in this framework that an organization must delineate its struggles in order to contribute truly to achieving a just and lasting peace. It must struggle for human rights as part of a national/class struggle for liberation and change and as part of the international struggle against all forms of imperialism, fascism, chauvinism and reaction which create the environment in which human rights violations thrive.

Comments: Post a Comment

Free Web Counter

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

<< Home