| THE RIDDLE OF HUMAN RIGHTS|
by Gary Teeple
What are human rights? Are human rights disputed ideological concepts? and how can they be defended, and extended? Wolf-Dieter Narr of the Free University of Berlin writes that through this book "one is able to recognize the fundamental ambivalence which characterises all the 'theories' on and the practices of human rights in the West." It, "makes the reader aware of human longings and needs which are the other part of human rights." This book challenges the concept of human rights, it shows that the contradictions that characterize human rights reflect the conflicts inherent in capitalist society, lead to the pervasive violation of those rights, and make respect for them impossible, particularly in this era of global capitalism. The author argues that human rights as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are not 'human' rights - but rather time-bound and relative to a particular mode of production.
'...a singularly important contribution both to scholarship.' - Harry Glasbeek, York University.
'Unlike those whose sympathy is readily apparent, but whose analytical powers are capable of expressing little but heart-felt sorrow at a century of butchery and anguish at the abominations that will continue to beset us now that we have paid the toll to cross the bridge to the twenty-first century, Teeple is not merely devoted to authentic human rights but is also profoundly realistic about their origins and their future. His message is elegant in its simplicity. Contrary to such proud pronouncements as the American Declaration of Independence's insistence that the existence of human rights was "self-evident" and that they are "endowed by [the] Creator," Teeple is clear that rights to life, liberty and anything else are historically contingent and that their establishment and defence are at all times contested. The price of liberty is not merely eternal vigilance but enduring struggle.' College Quartely
288x152 mm. xiii+273 pp.
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