December 10, 2022 - No. 57
International Human Rights Day
International Human Rights Day
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 10 is observed as International Human Rights Day to mark this occasion.
After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, and even during its drafting and the adoption process, the Anglo-American imperialist forces launched the Cold War, based on the lie that the "West" is the "defender" of human rights, and that socialism and communism are not. It was a patent falsity, but it has obviously served as the backdrop for many of the crimes committed against the peoples fighting for national and social liberation since World War II. Not only did the Anglo-American imperialists refuse to de-nazify the zones under their control but they actually protected the Nazis, gave them safe haven and positions of influence and authority. At the same time they persecuted the communists, slaughtering them en masse as they did in Indonesia or keeping them in concentration camps for 40 years as they did in Greece and south Korea, while carrying out witch hunts, coups d'état and wars of aggression in the name of the containment of communism. They established NATO as an aggressive U.S. imperialist-led war alliance and its North Atlantic Council to make sure that only systems to their liking were permitted in Europe, based on definitions of rights and types of government which they themselves approved and imposed.
Anti-communism and the defeat of the Soviet Union and countries of the former people's democracies, not defence of democracy and human rights, was their motivation and the most heinous crimes were justified on this basis.
The peoples of the world do not accept that conclusions can be reached about whether human rights are being violated in this or that country based on the self-serving propaganda of warmongering forces. A serious study of the economic, political and social system of a country will clearly expose what is going on there. Serious study and investigation of social systems is not the desire of the U.S. imperialists and their allies, including Canada, who float "human rights" pretexts and organizations for their own purposes. For them, truth is a matter of creating an outlook which permits them to carry out their neo-liberal anti-social nation-wrecking agenda with impunity. They use the pretext of championing human rights in whatever manner suits their particular pursuit of the moment. If truth has to be bent and twisted to its opposite, so be it, if this is what serves their interests. The question of human rights is used by the Anglo-American imperialists as a political tool, a weapon to justify aggression and intervention against peoples and countries hostile to their interests.
Their accusations against others of violating human rights have proven to be well-orchestrated campaigns to divert attention from what the U.S. imperialists and the "West" have been doing at any particular time. At the time the Universal Declaration was adopted, this expressed itself in the clash between the countries that comprised the socialist camp and those that comprised the capitalist camp. The socialist countries fought against permitting rights to be treated as an abstraction while there was no obligation to put in place the economic and social conditions required for their realization.
According to the U.S. imperialist mantra, communism is based on the violation of human rights and for this reason is to be overthrown. According to this logic, the overthrow of communism would thus prove the superiority of the U.S. democracy and its defence of human rights.
To this day they continue to erect monuments to condemn the alleged crimes of the communists while the crimes the U.S. imperialists and their allies, including Canada, have carried out in the name of freedom, democracy and human rights are to be forgotten. But history has its own cunning. Reality exists. Human beings not only exist but they strive to humanize the social and natural environment as a matter of their being human and this is what settles scores with the old conscience of society.
Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union and people's democracies, when the period of flow of revolution ended and revolution went into retreat and U.S. imperialism began subverting the entire world in order to create a unipolar world under its dictate, crimes against humanity committed in the name of human rights are unprecedented, even in comparison to the crimes committed during World War II. It is this drive of the imperialists against the peoples of the world that is behind the most flagrant violations of human rights everywhere, including in the U.S. and the "West" as we see on the news every day.
The developments in the United States, said to be the greatest champion of human rights, expose in stark detail the overall clash between authority and condition. Increasingly, narrow private interests usurp authority to carry out a desperate anti-people agenda. The expansion of the rule of the executive branch of government at all levels means broad wrecking in the name of "rules-based" actions where they make the rules as they go along and force others to submit or face the consequences of the use of force against them. All of this is done in the name of defending democracy, freedom and human rights against authoritarian regimes. No matter what crimes they commit, all of it is done in the name of human rights, opposing corruption and fraud, defending the national interest and other pretexts.
Now, even domestically, the peoples can see the extent to which the U.S., Canada, Britain and countries which form part of their blocs are using totalitarian methods and police powers to privatize all public services and use the state treasury to pay the rich to retool and build the infrastructure they require in this digital age in which artificial intelligence has transformed technology, making much of what has hitherto existed obsolete. In the course of these developments human beings have become things which are disposable, but still the governments of the U.S., Canada, Britain and France and countries with which they form cartels and coalitions claim to champion human rights.
The fundamental human right they violate most is the right to conscience. Representatives of the imperialist powers at the UN Human Rights Commission make hollow statements to divert attention from this reality and seek to render all opposition hopeless. Their preferred method is to create straw men and red herrings in order to push their interests, but if this fails, they justify wars of destruction, colour revolutions and coups d'état while accusing others of human rights violations and atrocities which they themselves pay para-military and reorganized Nazi squads to commit.
All of it shows that the spearhead of the struggle for human rights today is the affirmation of the right of all human beings to be, while the imperialist powers and all those who have usurped power by force are threatening them with extinction. This, in turn, means that the affirmation of human rights today requires the affirmation of the right to conscience, which is what participating in making the decisions that affect the lives of human beings and their social and natural environment, implementing these decisions and rendering accounts for the result is all about.
In his important work, The State of Human Rights After the Cold War, written in 1992, Hardial Bains writes:
"Human beings are not only social in the way they acquire their living, but in all aspects of their life, they constitute a break with the animal condition. This break with animal existence -- with the vagaries of nature -- places a new, vital condition on all humans, the condition of being.... This condition of being dictates ... that human beings must have a say in the production and reproduction of real life. The demand of a say emerges out of the condition of socialization and leads to further socialization.... The condition of being demands that everything be judged on the basis of the extent to which the conditions permit the actualization of human rights."
"A right is fundamentally a phenomenon of human civilization [and] reminds the powers-that-be that we are human beings and that we should be treated in a way which befits human beings," Hardial Bains writes. He explains:
"A clash between the act of being, Authority, which refuses to do its duty, and the act of being, Condition, which is demanding that the people do their duty, is the order of the day.... The act of being of the condition has assumed the primary position over the formalities and abstractions used as justifications by various authorities. When authorities do such a thing [neglect their duty], the right to conscience is violated.... Either the authority must bring about changes in the conditions, that is to shoulder its responsibilities so as to favour the right to conscience, or the conditions will continue to deteriorate until the people terminate the authority....[The people] are doing their duty by claiming their rights from the act of being in definite conditions; they want to overcome those conditions."
The violation of human rights today is done by asserting the right to be of Authority in the face of anarchy and violence and the danger to the security of that Authority. This is to cover up that Authority has become anarchy and violence in the form of a state which "never stops claiming that it is innocent of any wrongdoing and that everything which is being done is for the well-being of the entire people and humanity. But the very act of being, the very existence of anarchy and violence, refutes such a claim.... If such a government were fighting for the interests of the people, and were actually doing its duty, anarchy and violence would not take over. This is because the people, who despise anarchy and violence above all else, since they are the ones who suffer from it the most, would certainly side with such a government.... When a government claims to combat anarchy and violence through the massive use of force, by an all-round assault on the mass of the people and through their humiliation, it is not beyond belief that such a government may have created that anarchy and violence in the first place."
The peoples of the world are doing their duty by "demanding their rights on account of their conditions of life." They are striving to end conditions which violate the human rights of the people and their right to conscience, their right to be. Hardial Bains wrote:
"People are seeking to abolish the conditions which give rise to violations of human rights in the first place. They want to protect their right to conscience and use the content of their conscience to improve their condition of being.... It is the Authority which is increasingly coming under fire and it is the conditions which are more and more crying out to be changed and an increasing number of people are coming forward to take up their duty.... Forms will vary, but in every instance they will reflect the contradictory process posed by the clash between the claims of authority and the demands of the conditions.... The act of being is what has to prevail. The act of being of conditions overrides any claims of authority."
The struggle for human rights today is the struggle for the emergence of the modern democratic personality which upholds democratic principle as an act of being. Those who take up their duty to themselves and society force the Authority to change the conditions. An Authority which refuses to do its duty to the people and society, an Authority which refuses to submit to the Necessity for Change will be overthrown by the very force of history itself to remove all blocks in the path to progress.
Those whose Authority is out of tune with the needs of the times will be more concerned with the trappings and symbols of the Authority than in doing their duty to the peoples and their societies.
"By depriving the people of the right to conscience, Authority is being turned into a cult and conditions are being worshipped as final and immutable," Hardial Bains wrote. He noted:
"Whether or not the right to conscience exists in real life, will actually determine whether a people live or die. It is the fundamental question of our time, along with matters related to the nature of a state, its form of organization and the economic system. It is at a par with these, and it actually overrides them in its importance.... Rights can only find their concretization in the solution of the problems facing a modern society, be they related to the economic well-being of the people or to the peace and harmony between peoples within a nation or between nations, or to matters of a spiritual and social nature.... Rights will be realized when Authority changes the conditions in favour of the people and the people carry out their duty by ensuring that Authorities do such a thing. People can perform their duty only if they have the right to conscience. This struggle, then, is the fulcrum on which the uplifting of the world and its renewal rests."
(The State of Human Rights After the Cold War -- A Theoretical and Political Treatment, Hardial Bains, 1992.)
Hardial Bains speaks at
International Seminar on Communism and Human Rights,
March 27, 1995.
Today, one of the most important arenas in which ideological struggle has broken out is that of human rights.
The modern definition of human rights stipulates that all human beings have rights by virtue of their being. Besides this, there are human beings who also have rights by virtue of their conditions, e.g., women by virtue of their womanhood or those with disabilities by virtue of their concrete objective condition or the national, linguistic, religious and other minorities on account of their own concrete objective reality.
The bourgeoisie of all countries is screaming itself hoarse that it is the defender of human rights and that countries that affirm their independence and uphold their right to be are authoritarian and violators of human rights. It is even suggested that communism, as a result of a quality inherent to it, is the enemy of human rights. Communism and human rights, according to these critics, are like oil and water. The two do not mix.
Is it really true that communism is the violator of human rights and that communism and human rights do not mix? This, of course, is not true. Communism is the condition for the complete emancipation of the working class, a condition for the emancipation of entire humanity. How can it be that communism which is the condition for the complete emancipation of the working class can violate human rights?
Communism, in its modern rendering, presents the Collectivity of Rights as the basic condition for the defence of all rights, whether they are inviolable and belong to all people by dint of their being human or whether they belong to them because of their concrete objective conditions. If people as a collective nation or country do not enjoy the collectivity of their rights, how can they enjoy any other rights? The U.S. is attacking Cuba's collectivity of rights while screaming about the absence of human rights there. The Democratic Republic of Korea and many other countries such as Iran are also being threatened on similar grounds.
Collectivity, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means:
"1. Collective state or quality; collectiveness ... Every unsocial act or sentiment tends to overthrow that collectivity of effort to which we owe all.
"b. ... The whole taken collectively; the aggregate, sum, mass...The collectivity of living existence becomes a self-improving machine.
"2. Collective ownership, collectivism in practice...I vote for the collectivity of the soil...and of all social wealth.
"3. The collective body of people forming a community or state.
"... The State is the real collectivity ... the State is everybody, it is the country. 1884, Rae Contemporary socialism -- 149. An omnipotent and centralized political authority -- call it the State, call it the collectivity; call it what you like -- which should have the final disposal of everything."
Collectivity of rights, like "collectivity of soil" or "collectivity of social wealth" or an "omnipotent and centralized political authority" is something which exists and must belong to all. What quality should a person have before that person can partake of the collectivity of rights? The person just has to be a human being. This is the broadest definition which can be given as it includes all people without exception by dint of their being human. Not only does communism provide these rights to all as a matter of course, but it agitates for this definition at all times and under all conditions. This being the case, can it be said that communism and human rights do not mix?
The bourgeoisie provides an extremely narrow definition of what is a human right. According to the founding fathers of the U.S., such a right only belongs to the "natural aristocracy," to those who excel in the capitalist market. To eliminate the capitalist market through the socialization of the means of production is considered by the bourgeoisie to be a violation of "human rights." This is why it is preaching and demanding, including by force of arms, that every country in the world must have a capitalist system with an "open door policy" through which the big powers can enter and do whatever they wish.
Communists put the Collectivity of Rights on a pedestal for the simple reason that what is needed is to harmonize the rights of the individual with the general interests of the collective and the rights of all individuals and collectives with the general well-being of society. Individual or collective rights or the general well-being of society make no sense if the Collectivity of Rights is not put in the first place. How can the bourgeoisie support human rights when it demands that the collectivity of rights must be negated? Communists fight for a polity based on the collectivity of rights as a principle. They consider the collectivity of rights to be the guarantee of the rights of the individual and their collective and of all individuals and collectives and the general interests of society. Only the collectivity of rights has the power to coordinate and subordinate all rights to the opening of the door to the progress of society.
CPC(M-L) invites all concerned to participate and develop the discussion on Communism and Human Rights.
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