Cato’s new Center for Promotion of Human Rights Launches Innovative Web-based Freedom Programs for World Audience. This includes “six innovative foreign-language web-based programs” designed “to promote libertarian ideas and policies around the world”. “These new programs will publish in Chinese, Portuguese, French, Persian, Kurdish, and on the continent of Africa in English and Swahili. They join our other three highly-successful programs in Spanish, Arabic and Russian. In addition to the sites, the various teams publish books, syndicate articles to the print media, and organize seminars for students, conferences for policy makers, and much more.”
But I wonder about use of the term “human rights.” Why not “Individual Rights,” which is usually used by libertarians, given the socialistic connotations of the term “human rights”? For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [sic] (2, 3) is a veritable socialistic manifesto:
Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
The International Covenants on Human Rights include the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2), which provides for similar welfare rights.
These treaties are socialistic abominations. They recite a whole host of positive welfare rights; but they also recite some negative rights (even a stopped clock is right twice a day).