The Riddle of Human Rights

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Humanity Books, 2005 - 273 pages
In The Riddle of Human Rights Gary Teeple makes the case that human rights are peculiar to a historically given mode of production; in other words, they comprise a public declaration of the principles of the prevailing property relations in a given time and place. Although human rights are proclaimed as absolute and universal, the reality is that nowhere in the world are they upheld as either absolute or universal—the ability to exercise the rights spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is everywhere circumscribed and relative to the imperatives of the powers that be.

Teeple also explores the effects of globalization on the current and future exercise of human rights. He argues that the entire range of civil, political, and social rights is becoming subordinate to global corporate interests. In the wake of September 11, 2001, Teeple suggests that the threat of terrorism serves as an excuse for the arbitrary abrogation of established rights and the violation of international law to further the demands of global capital.

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The Diverse Origins
The Absolutes
The Contradictions

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