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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Freedom, Justice, and Human Rights 

Republicans pay plenty of lip service to the concept of freedom, but they only believe in it as a means to an end - that end being a monopoly. It's a free market until someone wins; it's a free country until... It's the reason why their politics betray an atrophied sense of justice.

The July/August issue of Foreign Affairs magazine contains an interesting essay on justice. It's not a free read, and the author is much too kind to the Bush administration, but it's worth reading. Here's a short excerpt:

Giving Justice Its Due
George Perkovich
Ultimately, however, freedom is not enough; the human appetite for justice is inherent and inextinguishable. Psychologists such as Melvin Lerner have described the developmental basis of what they call "the justice motive." Beginning with early childhood interactions, humans learn that one must often defer gratification to achieve one's goals. Selfishness is subordinated to norms and rules that take the well-being of others into account, because doing so ultimately leads to fair outcomes. What starts as a somewhat transactional process eventually becomes normative, to the point that people witnessing injustice toward others may act against their immediate self-interest to remedy the situation. The justice motive is so strong because people need to believe that if they are good terrible things will not happen to them and to trust that this principle governs the world.

Yesterday, I searched history "human rights" milestones and found a resource worth sharing:

Human Rights Timeline

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