Though I am a committed advocate of human rights; I had not considered participation when I first read about your competition on the 2nd of June. First there was little time to prepare BUT mainly because I am aware that my views usually receive a hostile reception from “human right activists” and “so called protectors of individual human rights” who are what I call “linear thinkers”. However before logging off from the website I noted the “by line” and your “mission statement” that says “Shielding Humans from Humans”. This has provided the motivation to submit this paper with minimal preparation as it clearly matches my thoughts on the need for change!
Before going further the reader must start by acknowledging that we now live in a Non Linear World where there is an increasing frequency of events that seem to threaten the aspirations of many individuals in their quest for equal Human Rights. I believe democracy for billions may not be achievable by following a singular approach. It may also be noted that the new tragedies that occur do not seem to follow any past pattern, as they do not have a historical precedent. Old skills, Old norms and traditional logic will therefore not help combat the new dilemmas that invoke conflict and are disruptive to society. Paradoxically we now experience that smaller “minorities at the fringe of society are able to exert an ever increasing influence. This threatens or restricts the freedom and rights of the majority within established democratic societies”.
While the basic charter of Human Rights is focused to protect the “minority from the tyranny of the majority” we find that this has started to reverse in our new non linear WORLD.
THIS I believe is an unintended result based on our quest for idealism; an ERROR created by the rigid interpretation of the basic charter of human rights.
We should agree that though the design of the charter was to insure individual rights; the “final intent” was to help build and create a free and fair “society of equals”. History and experience has however shown a different result. There is consistently growing inequalities. Human rights that are merely granted in a constitution do not always provide freedom for individuals if there is poor governance and lack of infrastructure. Human Rights have to be constantly “protected”. Only a well developed institutional infrastructure and strong economics are able to maintain a mechanism that is able to protect individual rights.
The concepts and beliefs that democracy should always be totally based on individual human rights need to be questioned for large diverse populations based on recent historical experiences.
The traumatic experience of introducing democracy in Russia before they put in place an infrastructure led to chaos and crime. On the opposite side we have the amazing rapid economic growth sans individual human rights in China. India is another example which has a mature democracy but based on poor governance, poor economic policies of the last century, there is the struggle to provide equal opportunity and hence equal rights.
It is paradoxical and hypocritical, that economic freedom has become the principal guideline that defines the democratization process. All types of Governments including non democratic ones have been eagerly embraced by the mature democracies of the developed World based on economics and commerce being open. Countries where there are limited human rights and even totalitarian ones have thus been allowed to grow and be beneficiaries in global development. This has strategically been used to satisfy the citizens who live in societies with virtually no civil rights and they have eagerly accepted economic freedom as their democracy. civil rights for decades.
History thus proves that countries with large diverse populations, disparate cultures and varied economic standing cannot successfully follow the “same chronology for the adoption and implementation of Human Rights as per the perceptive norms of the developed World who believe that there is just ONE formula as per past pattern”. We need different strategies and milestones to achieve the “same end goal”
The essay thus exaggerates and suggests the potential for ONE singular and simpler (relative) solution. This needs to be perceived as a progressive “guideline and direction” which would create the maximum impact in resolving issues while adhering to the same end goal. “While the final and ideal principles must protect every individual human right; Individual freedom must also never jeopardize the rights and benefits of society as a whole”.
The Non linear situation where a minority groups and extreme fringe groups are able to change the lives of the majority must be seen to be the result of a misplaced interpretation of HUMAN RIGHTS which continues its linear focus on the INDIVIDUAL. Today even those who threaten the rights of society CANNOT be considered to be a part of the society, if they are able to threaten another individual’s rights. EVERY individual must be seen to be JUST A CONSTITUENT of the larger unit which needs and deserves a greater protection!
(Non Linear Thinking and related terms from www.nonlinearthinking.com )
MAIN CONTENT of the ESSAY:
The essay seeks to emphasize the unintended MISMATCH and INACTION over the last century that has increased the GAP between the INTENT and the RESULT from what was perhaps visualized by the founding fathers of the Charter of Human Rights that embodies the principles of Democracy.
While there is little doubt that the founding fathers were great visionaries; They would perhaps have visualized the application of the principles within the Magna Carta to a maximum of 100 or even 200 million citizens in the distant future. They did foresee that this alone would be a stupendous task of implementation and so they have included many safeguards. BUT History now shows that even in the country of its origin and after 200 years, “discrimination” continues to be an every day social issue despite strong economics, good literacy and a highly developed infrastructure for law enforcement. Human Rights are now increasingly being quashed by the economic strength of individuals and the priorities of special interest. ( both in minority)
The Human Rights charter very correctly assumed that INDIVIDUAL freedom would imply and result in a free society. Again history has shown otherwise and over the centuries we have seen the failure of most anticipated “trickle down theories”. Whether they have assumed economic prosperity or human rights within the developing or developed World, the end result has always seen “ seemingly greater rights through economic control by a reducing number”
The developed world and mature democracies have confused MOST YOUNG or even ASPIRING democracies because “laissez faire” has changed the interpretation of democratic freedom. Democracy is now implied and expressed in “economic terms”. This has made Human Rights increasingly dependant and gradually controlled by any political policy that promotes commerce. This indirectly makes economic power the dispensing authority for human rights.
Paradoxically even a mature and developed Democracy seems to create a GREATER NUMBER OF UNEQUALS and a consistent DISPARITY as per economic statistics.
The aim of the essay is not to analyze or criticize what experts have already reiterated BUT to “oversimplify” and consider A ONE CHANGE BASED DIRECTIONAL SOLUTION which can initiate a corrective action to benefit the diverse and complex socio-economic issues facing us globally that directly affect Human Rights. Even beyond human rights the writer has considered that this change will provide better solution designs to manage the symptoms of our errors, namely Terrorism, Religious extremism, crime, population management, infrastructure development, environment care, and even healthcare. ALL these can benefit by a “change in our current approach”. We need to position “society above an individual”.
The change that is sought is thus ONLY in the INTEPRETATION and NOT the BASIC INTENT of Democracy nor in the basic principles of Human Rights which need to always remain the “ultimate goal and final achievement in developing a truly democratic society”.
Paradoxically if individuals need protection THEN it is ESSENTIALLY from “governments, their institutions and all those who rule them. Rarely is a united society the one that threatens an individual IF he or she is a part of it!!
The change being sought is to shift focus “to society which is the real intended beneficiary, within which the individual is just a constituent”. This must make sense when there are BILLIONS who now aspire and seek to live under democratic principles. There is little potential for the young democracies, or the developing economies to ever afford to set up a FAIR infrastructure that can protect EACH INDIVIDUAL with the billions. The trickle down through individual “ can no longer provide a sustainable flow to create an equal society”.
I am very aware and conscious that any suggestion that seeks to “reduce the rights of an individual over society” would raise the hackles of most “human rights activists” and the basic suggestion would be likely considered “ an anathema and a heretic suggestion”.
AT the cost of being very repetitive through the essay I must emphasize that this suggestion needs to be considered on the basis of our recent history, and finally on the INTENT of every democracy; which is clearly to PROTECT THE SOCIETY.
The starting point must be consider the need for every individual to first integrate within a democratic society IF THAT is where the individual has chosen to call home. BEFORE he or she should be granted individual rights INTEGRATION should be established.
The solution design goes beyond my personal opinion and is an approach that works for MANY complex issues using Non Linear Thinking tools. The objectives when designing Non Linear Solutions within complexity perhaps need to be mentioned here. Their focus is to simplify and help in solution design for complexity and uncertainty. The objectives are to develop
a) AN “implementation strategy that is above idealistic solutions”. And to find solution design that “minimize conflict” (relatively). Experience has shown that in most cases the RIGHT solution is already known to all and is a “cliché” that brings forth huge opposition from special interest groups who have economic or political interest (which usually go hand in hand) to maintain status quo.
b) Non Linear thinking also relegates the sanctity of “right and wrong” (while staying within the law) as these are relative perceptions created by past norms. While staying within the law “right and wrong or ideal solutions” are considered secondary points of reference when working on solutions for complex problems, which clearly need a NEW approach.
c) Non Linear thinking is a methodology that creates “Lateral Solutions” that create minimal conflict; but logically offer maximum impact on wide ranging issues with JUST ONE CHANGE!!
Democracy now creates an elite minority of UNEQUALS who control the majority through their ever increasing economic control or muscle power. This in turn gives them greater access and control of new resources which gives them even more influence. Finally it is “this minority that can use democracy and economic power to fiercely PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS with great vigour and far more vociferously than the greater majority”.
Economic reports from the IRS within the USA have been analyzed to reveal that the top 1% in the USA have received the largest share of national income since 1928. In 2005 the majority of all gains went to this 1%. Recent data in a report in The New York Times (March 29th 2007) shows that the top 300,000 individuals collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. This is the result in a very developed and matured democracy that the entire developing World now seeks to emulate!
Within Billions the numbers would be worse and we cannot afford to await the result a few decades later!
While all societies have policies that are intended to support the weaker sections (through taxes & economic subsidy) which the fortunate few are supposed to pay to help balance the socio economic books of social justice; the results clearly show the exact opposite result. This indicates the progressive failure of modern democracy that is defined and controlled by economics. A linear interpretation of democracy has been unable to protect the rights of the majority and the disadvantaged.
Though Economics and politics (both of whom finally control the protection of human rights) we have thus created a faulty system that now provides a disproportionate but favourable return for the minority, while not being able to provide a similar “protection for the less powerful and UNEQUALS who are in majority”. The majority are vulnerable to exploitation by the economically powerful minority”
The intent of the essay is thus three fold:
FIRST to create a consensus that “society must be the MAIN beneficiary, and this is in line with the original intent of the charter of human rights”. SECONDLY (after the above is accepted), that despite the reflex hostility to the suggestion for ‘reduction in individual rights” the solution proposed is inclusive and intended to ENLARGE THE SCOPE and bring better results to the intended beneficiary (society) faster than before. The solution will no doubt have to be developed by broad minded experts and those who are far better qualified than this writer. The plea is to focus on “solutions that can be implemented” and not the ideal ones (that create conflict and remain unimplemented). The intent must be to “ENLARGE THE SCOPE and insure the EFFECTIVENESS of Human Rights protection policies” THIRD & FINALLY the intent of this essay is to show that the suggested ONE change will have a profound and direct effect and provide better management of diverse issues where we need urgent solutions like Terrorism, health care, Environment, global warming and socio-economic issues.
PRESERVING HUMAN RIGHTS – In this Non Linear Era. The human rights of the majority in democratic societies are now threatened by fringe minorities!
The Human Rights charter was designed to protect the MINORITY from the tyranny of the MAJORITY!! In the last few decades we have seen that economics (increasingly controlled by a smaller minority) has gradually started to control the policies that determine the “level of exploitation and protection of human rights of the majority”.
The last decade and the new millennium has also seen a Non Linear trend and a deterioration (clearly unintended) within democratic societies; where now “fringe minorities and small numbers threaten the human rights and lifestyle of the majority through terror and violence”. Even in global politics we see that the majority of citizens seem to be split down the middle, AND coalitions are forced to bring in the “fringe minority” that in turn influence government policy.
There has been sufficient debate and analysis that correlates Economic Freedom to Individual freedom, implying the strong link that has been forged between improved human rights and economic freedom.
Noted Nobel Laureate and economist, the Late Milton Friedman wrote in 1962 his famous book “Capitalism and Freedom”. Though lauded as a best seller, it received more debate and less attention from professionals and policy makers. Economic freedom has become the FIRST perception of a democratic society and this has relegated the expression of human and civil rights within global society.
In the 80,s the economic growth of China had already commenced and though there was no sign of “civil liberties”; their model of development had already been accepted and existed as a “microcosm” within the city state of Singapore. Here the model of economic freedom with restricted human rights had successfully created a prosperous society. Human rights were put on the back burner with minimal opposition from the citizens in exchange for economic freedom. A new order of democracy has thus already started AND WITH GLOBAL APPROVAL! This global acceptance allowed rapid development where there was minimal civil freedom but almost full economic freedom. The global approval came and was given by the mature and developed democracies who developed economic ties and helped them prosper SANS civil rights!!
SO while the old democratic order continued to assume that capitalism was just an extension and symptom within democracy: AND the charter of human rights was the essential core enshrined value; the message to developing economies was DIFFERENT!!
Their neglect of civil rights was ignored by the “civilized and democratic developed societies” who started to allow them “global integration despite and even if they had negligible civil rights” as long as they allowed trade and permitted economic freedom, they were welcome to join the democratic world order. These were Singapore, China, the UAE model which the Middle East countries now follow and many autocracies, army dictatorships and monarchies.
This “compromise” that started more than 3 decades ago helped create the positive flow of economic benefits to “non democratic societies” which in turn created great disparities within their own societies. The new wealth was created in fewer hands that this THEN created channels to promote and fund “extremist views and minority groups” who were used FIRST for special interest and then abandoned.
These fringe elements thus already existed BEFORE they became problems to society and were paradoxically the creations of the cold war games of the developed world.
WE witnessed that global economic prosperity gradually “took over and started to control human values” directly influencing human rights and reducing the ability of politics and law to protect the less fortunate citizens, despite them being in the majority.
A NON LINEAR development had clearly started to appear as a result of this callous economic proliferation in the late 80’s. The majority are now threatened by the tyranny of the minority; and this started to develop in the economic globalization phase of the 70,s & 80,s, when the economic power of capitalism was considered to be the best weapon to combat the communist and totalitarian ideology.
The threat now comes from small fragmented localized groups who numbered perhaps in just 100,s; BUT soon learnt that violence and economic disruption were able to create huge impact. These minority extremist groups have become the current promoters of terror and they disguise it within their own ideology. Economics is always the initiator or the goal.
Paradoxically it is now the resident majorities who have lived generations within Democratic societies; who have started to LOSE their rights.
When globalization was being undertaken by large multi nationals, they influenced government policy to make immigration easier. THE aim was to merely find ways to lower costs and or control critical industrial resources.
They started to transfer jobs to cheaper locations, import from any country irrespective of democratic rights of that supplying country or its labour policies. THIS HAS over the decades resulted in the “weakening economic strength of the local citizens and the erosion of their established society which had built up respectable systems of equality in their democratic society”. THIS should be seen as an erosion of a system that protected human rights and took decades to build up. ALL THIS IN THE NAME of democracy and Laissez faire??”
This unintended but quick erosion in the benefits over decades within a democratic society was a setback to the development of “equality” as a principle because it lost out to the priority of economic benefit for the few. THIS has now become the new guideline and emulation MODEL for all democracy. This is what exists today.
It is important to strongly co-relate our “environmental degradation within this erosion” as commerce had started to take priority over “rights of those who have poor representation and voice”. The environment HAS NO VOICE !! Finally we have perhaps started to notice its reaction and devastating response!!
With globalization as the panacea for all success; Jobs moved freely wherever costs were lower irrespective of the human rights record of the trading partner. Laissez Faire and economic freedom has always provided the alibi for economics gaining control over human values over riding any objection which suggested caution.
This started the boom of travel, with citizenships being purchase able, trade able and residency being granted to ONE and ALL irrespective of their cultural, “human rights background” and with scarce study on the societal practices within their country of origin.
This I believe was the critical error of democratic governments in the developed world. Democracy is now merely an economic quest of billions. This approach has been disastrous and has relegated Democracy to become a GEOGRAPHY BASED RIGHT !!! ANYONE who is standing on democratic soil is considered DEMOCRATIC!!
While the requirements of the developed World have always been for lower cost labour, THEY (the developed economies where human rights are considered pivotal) started to grant “equal rights” through citizenship based on physical presence. This ignored the BASIC value and confused the perception. “Human Rights is an inherent culture that resides BETWEEN THE EARS and not based on YEARS” .
Citizenships should not have been SOLD based on economic investment, or residency or because ONE blood relative resides within the democratic society etc. Before any individual deserves to be granted EQUAL rights and protection of his or her Civil rights there must be some “background or culture which gives that person the capability to integrate within the free society which is being adopted as the new home”
There is NO INTENT here to NEGATE the need and benefits of immigration for economic growth. The point being made is to “differentiate economic freedom, with civil rights”. Those who immigrate/emigrate solely for economic freedom NEED NOT be assumed to inherently possess the SAME VALUE SYSTEMS THAT SEEK TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL!!
If immigrants originate from a society which HAS NO or LIMITED civil rights; then it is “most likely” that the individual value system does not help them to “integrate in their NEW country and consider their NEW country as their own society”. This is increasingly becoming apparent in the developed societies, with very hesitant & guarded changes being made in the Law.
The charter of human rights and the supporting Laws had assumed “that most individuals were good humans and would possess natural and instinctive human values that help and protect the weak”.
This must be understood (unfortunately) as an error which assumes that all persons will INTEGRATE WITHIN ANY NEW CIVIL SOCIETY based on NATURAL human instinct. IT does not and will not happen!
The economic logic of granting rights TO ALL WHO LIVE OR EVEN VISIT FREE SOCIETIES has led to a situation today where small numbers of new citizens as visitors can threaten the rights of the majority. I sincerely believe that the above mentioned erroneous interpretation of democracy could have contributed to the events of 9/11 and the continuing subsequent acts of terrorism.
While the policy makers are always hesitant to say, their actions have accorded this threat to a particular section of society and religion, which has aggravated the problem further. Today we perhaps have MORE Terrorists from a community than we had on 9/11. This thought process has to be corrected and the error must be internalized.
Associating 9/11 as an error of democracy would prima facie put this writer in the category of being “insane”; but let me explain. Having brought forth the “error of democratic societies in giving EQUAL civil rights to ANYONE and EVERYONE who lives or visits a FREE SOCIETY and DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY”; the SUBSEQUENT and greater error was to associate “terrorism to be based on or perpetrated by a particular global sect or religion”. This allowed the terrorists to use ideology as their front and created a greater force!! SO how should we define the terrorist??
While Governments in the developed world are NOW unable to WITHDRAW the CIVIL RIGHTS granted to those who come from NON DEMOCRATIC BACKGROUNDS, the FACTS reveal that this new brand of TERRORISM HAS BEEN HISTORICALLY BORN AND BRED where human rights do not exist, where there are no equal rights for women and where there is little or no democracy as defined by the mature democracies of the world!! THAT is the defining profile of the original terrorist NOT religion!!
IT must be noted as paradoxical is that “while terrorism is supported by dictatorial, non democratic individuals, army regimes, the START UP of terrorism was practiced ON innocent people who usually lived in FREE SOCIETIES and where there was complete civil freedom”
Though the progressive growth of terrorism now includes ALLOVER THE GLOBE, including those who have been brought up in democratic societies, the BIRTH is based on the teaching of those who are bred in “undemocratic societies”. They have chosen to primarily target their terrorism within democratic environments. WHY?
BECAUSE “real democracy will destroy terrorism and their group” AND ALSO because there is MINIMAL risk and little fear of punishment in a society which grants EVEN visitors full civil right protection. This compared to the non democratic societies they live in and where they would face instant execution as the punishment !!
SO how does a mature democratic society NOW justify a suggestion of a new seemingly UNEQUAL behaviour towards outsiders??
I believe there must be a better interpretation within democratic principles that accepts the civil LAW OF RECIPROCITY! This can be the starting point for development of systems and justification for change.
DEMOCRATIC societies could RESTRICT the civil & individual rights to any individual visitor or immigrant who comes from a SOCIETY that does not allow “reciprocity” of the SAME democratic ideals of the HOST country. If democratic and secular behaviour is not permitted in ANY LAND, then a person cannot be considered naturally attuned to become “a democratic citizen”. This can be termed a law within the logic of democratic reciprocity.
This should be considered fair as it FIRST preserves and protects the HOST countries own citizens and at the same time permits economic freedom for all which WAS and still REMAINS the PRINCIPAL driver for honest immigration anyway.
I believe I should quickly move beyond and away from Terrorism lest this writer be seen to be an “extremist” or part of the fringe minority.
However before moving to other issues I must emphasize that for more than a century CRIME has and still remains the PRINCIPAL beneficiary that grows to become the strongest “economic force in ALMOST ALL democratic societies in terms of turnover and/or profitability”. The crime syndicates that came up with the introduction of free trade in Russia were clearly the greatest threat to Russian democracy; AND paradoxically responsible for the apparent reversal in government policy towards civil rights. In their democracy CRIME and mafia like gangs stepped in to provide the missing “infrastructure” of law enforcement. They then legitimized through the process of control of resources!!
It is most likely that China has observed and learnt from these global events and so far has chosen to follow the success of Singapore. They seem to be replicating THAT model of economic freedom sans civil rights. They need not be blamed per se; because relative to any other past society; this new model has benefited a HUGE population and has created an economic upgrade for perhaps the LARGEST number of persons in the history of human kind. They today have a great influence on the world which is clearly going to be further enhanced after the Olympics are showcased !!
Healthcare; a major threat to the human rights of weaker sections.
Healthcare is one of the fundamental barometers of Human Rights based on the need to protect life and its premature loss. A similar error of interpretation within democratic principles that focuses on individual rights has created a huge global loss to those living in economically poor countries.
AS one example the HIV virus and its progression to the disease AIDS has decimated sections of society, eliminated many millions in the African subcontinent and remains one of the greatest sources of discrimination and thus a cause of human rights violations in the developing world and globally.
What is the connection we can make with democratic principles?
HIV testing has NOT been allowed to become a mandatory requirement because it is considered an extension of human rights intended to protect the privacy of the person. This obviously is the legacy of the developed world where the AIDS virus was perhaps first discovered or recognized. While the intention was and remains to protect privacy; this logic has in itself been responsible for the extreme discrimination because “secrecy has been inbuilt into the system by design”.
Society at large has suffered because of the misplaced desire to protect the individual. The discovery and revelation of HIV makes the disease taboo, because of secrecy and the individual becomes an untouchable. The weakness of the logic can be further ridiculed and exaggerated by a simple example if policy makers were to answer the following question:
“WHAT would be the democratic response in law to the human rights of an individual IF the HIV virus was an “airborne” virus?
I believe like in the case of SAARS, Bird flu, Tuberculosis, which are ALL potentially infectious; the infected persons would be immediately isolated without any questions. SO do the principles of human rights change according to the TYPE of VIRUS and ITS ACTION? If so, then this does not make sense!
I believe we in society need durable principles; and the best guideline should be “to focus on benefit to society NOT merely on the individual”. Since HIV has infected millions, starting with just a few individuals we should learn that it is the SOCIETY that suffered and is always at greater risk. Having experienced the huge COST to society; we need to change for the future diseases that have yet to come. THIS must
become the guideline for success in this fight to preserve and protect society. ONLY trying to preserve individual human rights is a “limiting” value as it can be ignored or brushed away TILL society becomes the sufferer. THAT is not good management!!
Unfortunately countries like India and younger democracies are perhaps too weak to develop their own model, or do not understand or fear political backlash from the developed world? Early detection and prevention can prevent tens of billions in economic value with the further opportunity to save millions of valuable lives.
Concepts of individual rights are already crumbling by silent consensus in order to protect society.
Examples: “Probable cause” is no longer sustainable in this era of suicide bombers and explosions. This is no longer an applicable human right, because we need to have physical security checks for vehicles and our personal effects to protect society. This has come in silently without change in the OLD LAWS because it is a natural and correct progression that has already reduced the individual’s rights. WHY then should anyone sensible object?
THE ENVIRONMENT is perhaps the greatest sufferer of this misplaced desire to protect Human Rights!
The powerful lobby of the cigarette industry protected “their rights” for decades BUT we as a society could have prevented millions of lives being saved BY HAVING a HEALTH WARNING on the products much earlier and clearly WHEN we already knew, BUT could not act on it for many decades in the last century because of the economic muscle of a minority.
Similarly our environment has been ravaged by the economic interests of a VERY small minority compared to the billions of potential beneficiaries who are NOW sufferers of the consequences of global warming, water shortages and the depletion of natural resources.
Access to nature resources has been considered a very basic human right and now unfairly this is NOT sustainable for the majority who are deprived. This must imply that anyone “using natures resources for commerce should have been responsible for their renewal and not just for the cost of usage.
When ordinary consumers (who are in majority) pay for raw materials and products; the pricing is based on the logic of replacement and scarcity; BUT the corporate who manufactures has used economic and political tools to get access to precious natural resources for a minimal cost; WITH no responsibility for RENEWAL. NOW society must pay for the renewal? Is this a good result of “rights?” We can no longer assume that individuals will be concerned for society and can not afford to wait another a few decades to find out !!
A great error of economics has been to ALLOW natural resources to be priced based only on their cost of REMOVAL, TRANSPORT and SCARCITY. The cost of RENEWAL has been left out as an obligation of the extractor because society was not considered to be a partner in natures resources. Corporates have avoided the MAIN cost (of renewal) which we in society now have to bear because nature can no longer sustain our levels of consumption.
This error can perhaps be termed as the greatest “human rights theft in human history” and the weaker billions now stand to lose access to natures resources and PAY for this error for generations to come.
Defining the SINGLE correction.
Attempting to create a NEW definition and improved direction that interprets Democracy and Human rights is perhaps audacious to say the least; and specifically for the writer who is a not an authority or a a lawyer and an unknown writer. BUT lateral solutions based on non linear thinking are able to provide simple and logical directions which do not require prior experience, much intelligence or even past knowledge.
This solution is a direction is perhaps more applicable to emerging democracies in Asia where populations are large and diverse. There is no real intent or desire to suggest this for the developed world where the dominant economic power is based on LEGAL services of the services economy BOTH of which are clearly dependant on the concept of individual rights. This has enabled the few to control global wealth and is the perceptive success model that the majority want to emulate.
The writer seeks to warn the developing world and new aspiring democracies that we CANNOT and MUST not emulate the SAME chronology for implementation.
Going forward and hypothetically beyond the example of Singapore as a microcosm; I would dare to attempt and define an enlarged version of the democratic charter for evolving Asian democracies.
AS mentioned earlier; perhaps the main exception must be to “always protect the individual from the government because in this non linear world those who govern seem to push systems that help “special interest based on their economic strength” and disadvantage the majority.
SO: WHILE THE END ASPIRATION will always be to protect individuals; IN PRINCIPAL THE CHANGES REQUIRED ARE based will hopefully be based on consensus logic that the objective and intent must always be to PROTECT “society” as the final and intended beneficiary. The guidelines can be that:
- DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS MUST IN PRINCIPAL ALWAYS SHIFT FROM THE SMALLER CONSTITUENT IN FAVOUR OF THE NEXT BIGGER CONSTITUENT UNIT!
- THE INDIVIDUAL SHOULD NOT HAVE SUPERIOR OR PRIVILEGED RIGHTS OVER SOCIETY OF WHICH HE OR SHE IS A CONSTITUENT. The logic is that ALL CHANGES IN SOCIETY WOULD AUTOMATICALLY MAKE HIM OR HER AN EQUAL BENEFICIARY! (This may not apply IF the person is NOT perceived to be a part of the society. IF SO then he or she does not deserve to be granted “greater or equal rights”)
- THIS CONCEPT is not intended to STOP at the individual versus society. This concept has SUFFICIENT GROWTH potential within it to be sustainable for GLOBAL benefit.
- The extension & extrapolation of this change can go beyond the Individual to SOCIETY moving to the NEXT larger unit.
- Society then will be required to SECEDE ITS RIGHTS IN FAVOUR OF THE LARGER BENEFICIARY (To the Region of which it is a part like the City or Township). THEN the state must secede for the benefit of the country and so on.
- The principal of equality MUST frame our rules and norms that make it obligatory, acceptable, morally and socially logical for the smaller UNIT (individual or group as a part CONSTITUENT & BENEFICIARY within the larger unit) to SECEDE in favour of the NEXT LARGER or what can be defined as the SENIOR entity.
- This logic continues and could extend to where a COUNTRY AND FINALLY countries will have to secede for GLOBAL BENEFIT!!
- Perhaps the Doha rounds will finally prove this need.
Complex global dilemmas such as environmental issues and global warming can have solutions ONLY when this becomes the “free and fair thought process”. The majority can then be protected from today’s inverted Non linear situation where MINORITIES are influencing and controlling the future of the majority and affecting their day to day civil and economic freedom.
Since the writer is not a qualified author and is proposing a new thought process; no references have been used here. There are however numerous papers and studies such as the revealing essays by Conor Gearty published by Cambridge University Press titled CAN HUMAN RIGHTS SURVIVE?
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has Bob Greenstein who regularly researches inequality and is an advocacy group for the poor, that identifies that the top 1% control the economic future of the “rest”.
I trust this essay will be seen as a non technical and lateral view that provides a directional solution that seeks change only in our perceptive interpretation of democracy and human rights NOT IN ITS INTENT!!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR
UDAY PASRICHA work as a consultant for strategy and "India specific" market entry. His focus is to help understand and accept that Complexity & Uncertainty are the norm in todays World. His tools include lateral thinking that have motivated the development of non linear thinking specifically for economics based solutions & strategic design that seeks to focus on "simplicity and implementation while creating minimal conflict".