The ethics of globalization

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How are human rights and ethics related? What ethical approaches exist? Can economic, social and cultural human rights be kept separate from civil and political rights? What about future generations' rights? This presentation attempts to illuminate some of the ethical arguments by which human rights could claim universal validity and indivisibility against arguments in favor or cultural relativism or a libertarianism.

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The Ethics of Globalization : 

On The universality of human rights The Ethics of Globalization Attac ESU Saarbrücken, August 2008 YJ Choi

Agenda : 

Agenda Human Rights What are Human Rights? Different Generations of Human Rights Ethics Ethics – A General Introduction Criticism Against Human Rights

Agenda : 

Agenda Human Rights What are Human Rights? Different Generations of Human Rights Ethics Ethics – A General Introduction Criticism Against Human Rights

What are Human Rights? : 

What are Human Rights? Unconditional Universal Inalienable Indivisible Human Dignity

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)Human rights : 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)Human rights Adopted 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly 30 articles Preamble: “A common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 28: “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”  International Covenants International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 3-21) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (articles 22-27) http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Human rights : 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Human rights Created 1966, entry into force 1976 Five Categories of Rights Protection on individual's physical integrity (against execution, torture, arbitrary arrest) Procedural fairness in law (rule of law, basic rights related to arrest/imprisonment, right to a lawyer, impartial process in trial) Protection from discrimination based on gender, religion, ethnicity, ideology etc. Individual freedom of belief, speech, association, freedom of press, right to hold assembly Right to political participation (organize a political party, vote, voice contempt for current political authority) Two Optional Protocols Individual complaints Abolition of the death penalty (except during war) http://www.unhchr.ch

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Human rights : 

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Human rights Commits parties to work toward granting ESC rights to individuals The right to self-determination The principle of "progressive realization” ESC rights include the right to… …work (incl. work under just and favorable conditions) ...social security (incl. social insurance) …family life (incl. paid parental leave and the protection of children) …an adequate standard of living (incl. adequate food, clothing and housing, and the continuous improvement of living conditions) …health (to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health) …education (directed to "the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity“) …participation in cultural life No optional Protocol http://www.unhchr.ch

Agenda : 

Agenda Human Rights What are Human Rights? Different Generations of Human Rights Ethics Ethics – A General Introduction Criticism Against Human Rights

In accordance with the watchwords of the French revolution, one can distinguish three generations of human rights Different generations of human rights : 

In accordance with the watchwords of the French revolution, one can distinguish three generations of human rights Different generations of human rights First-generation human rights (Liberty) Aimed at protecting the individual from excesses of the state Generally understood as negative rights / liberties Mainly civil and political in nature  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Second-generation human rights (Equality) Aimed at protecting the individual from excesses of the economic system empowering the individual to engage in economic activity Generally understood as positive rights / liberties Mainly social, economic, and cultural (ESC) in nature  International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Third-generation human rights (Solidarity) Aimed at supranational resolving of issues (e.g. climate change, extreme poverty,…) Generally understood as positive rights / liberties enjoyed by future generations Mainly humanistic in nature; related to human duty; broad and still controversial Based on http://www.wikipedia.org as of July 2008 >> Work In Progress <<

Potential third-generation human rights mainly address ecological crises and call for supranational solidarity Different generations of human rights : 

Potential third-generation human rights mainly address ecological crises and call for supranational solidarity Different generations of human rights Human duties (rights) The right to compensation for the unintended consequences of human activity The right to access to essential environmental resources (e.g. clean air, water,…) The right to accelerated international development efforts (technology transfer, debt cancellation,…) Intergenerational rights The right of future generations for a sustained natural environment The right to compensation for past generation’s rights violations The pursuit of what? The right to liberty from alienating living conditions (e.g. when being subject to constant competition, being manipulated to exploit oneself,…) Other rights The right to communication The right to refuse to kill (i.e. conscientious objection to military service) Animal rights >> Work In Progress <<

Libertarian and Humanist perspectives on the relation between different generations of human rights Different generations of human rights : 

Libertarian Humanist Second generation human rights limit first generation human rights First generation human rights are causally related to second generation human rights Second and third generation human rights can never be legally binding due to the primacy of economic necessities and national interests (souvereignty) First and second generation human rights are in principle indivisible Second generation human rights presuppose minimum levels of productivity and property rights First generation human rights presuppose minimum levels of education and health Second and third generation human rights can be and ought to be legally binding in the long-term Libertarian and Humanist perspectives on the relation between different generations of human rights Different generations of human rights >> Work In Progress <<

First and second generation rights characterize a social order alongside two different dimensions Different generations of human rights : 

First and second generation rights characterize a social order alongside two different dimensions Different generations of human rights Human rights-regulated economy (ESC human rights) Neoliberal economy Representative Democracy (Civil, Political human rights) Repressed Democracy(„Homeland security“) Totalitarian Regime („Police state“) Participatory Democracy Command economy Participatory economy D 2008 Utopia2030? USSR 1989 US 2008 US 1989 Russia 2008 BRD 1989 Economic freedom Political freedom >> Work In Progress << schematic

Agenda : 

Agenda Human Rights What are Human Rights? Different Generations of Human Rights Ethics Ethics – A General Introduction Criticism Against Human Rights

One can distinguish between four main areas of ethical inquiryOverview : 

One can distinguish between four main areas of ethical inquiryOverview Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics How should a social order be designed? Descriptive Ethics How can ethical norms be justified? How should one behave as an individual? How do people commonly behave in everyday life? >> Work In Progress <<

There are four common approaches to ethics, each associated with a different criterion for normative validityOverview : 

There are four common approaches to ethics, each associated with a different criterion for normative validityOverview Deontology Teleology Virtue Ethics Ethics of Empathy realization of rights & duties impact of actions‘ consequen-ces accordance of character with vices & virtues empathy with the Other Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics >> Work In Progress <<

The ethical approaches are neither mutually exclusive nor contradictory as each refers to a different aspect of ethicsOverview : 

The ethical approaches are neither mutually exclusive nor contradictory as each refers to a different aspect of ethicsOverview Deontology Teleology Virtue Ethics Ethics of Empathy Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics Implementation Culpability >> Work In Progress << realization of rights & duties impact of actions‘ consequen-ces accordance of character with vices & virtues empathy with the Other Duty Liability

TeleologyExamples : 

TeleologyExamples Teleology (impact of actions‘ consequences) Given the impact of technological progress, human survival depends on our efforts to care for our planet and its future. Imperative of Responsibility (H. Jonas) Establish a social order that adequately considers the relevance of its consequences for all interests affected! Preference Utilitarianism (P. Singer) Act so as to produce the greatest happiness (i.e. pleasure and the absence of pain) for the greatest number of people! Utilitarianism(J. S. Mill) Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics „The happiness of those, who are considered to be morally relevant, justifies the means“ ( ignorance of the suffering by those who are not considered morally relevant) >> Work In Progress << Common sense mis-conception

DeontologyExamples : 

DeontologyExamples Deontology(realization of rights & duties) Normative rules of rational discourse cannot be denied without them being presupposed. Transcendental Pragmatism(K.O. Apel) Establish a social order consistent with mutually acceptable principles of justice derived from the Original Position! Theory of Justice (J. Rawls) Act in such a way that you treat humanity, (whether in yourself or in any other person), always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end! The Categorical Imperative(I. Kant) Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics “Human beings have the right to life ( absence of murder), liberty ( freedom of thought), and the pursuit of happiness ( unlimited property rights).” Common sense mis-conception >> Work In Progress <<

Virtue Ethics Examples : 

Virtue Ethics Examples Virtue Ethics(accordance of character with vices & virtues) The human quest for happiness and the problem of ethics cannot be separated from another. Humanist Ethics (Erich Fromm) Establish a social order that provides all human beings with a minimum threshold of key capabilities required for the good life! The Capability Approach (M. Nussbaum) Act so as to promote the development of proper habits, ethical virtue and practical wisdom required for attaining eudaimonia! Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle) Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics “In order to live the good life, we need to aspire a life of luxury, occupational success and admiration by achieving monetary wealth, powerful positions and popularity.” >> Work In Progress << Common sense mis-conception

Ethics of Empathy Examples : 

Ethics of Empathy Examples Ethics of Empathy(empathy with the Other) The premordial, asymmetrical responsibility to the Other precedes any objective searching after truth. Proto-Ethics (E. Levinas) Strive for a social order in which the oppressed are liberated in order to realize everyone’s potential as human beings! Ethics of Liberation (E. Dussel) Act in such a way that you hurt noone; rather, help everyone as much as you can! Ethics of Compassion (A. Schopenhauer) Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics “Empathy is just a subjective impulse triggered by the recognition of a related creature in need.” ( dependends on one‘s ability to identify) >> Work In Progress << Common sense mis-conception

As a general ethics of reciprocity, the golden rule provides a common ground for religious as well as philosophical approaches The golden rule : 

As a general ethics of reciprocity, the golden rule provides a common ground for religious as well as philosophical approaches The golden rule Treat others as you would like to be treated! Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them do to you! Do to others what you would want them do to you! Love thy neighbor as yourself! The Golden Rule Metaethics Individual Ethics Social Ethics “Love thy neighbor as thyself!” ( interpreted as referring only to related people) “Whoever has the gold makes the rules” Common sense mis-conception As all human beings are essentially equal, we ought to approach each other with reciprocal respect. Deontology Teleology Virtue Ethics Ethics of Empathy >> Work In Progress <<

Agenda : 

Agenda Human Rights What are Human Rights? Different Generations of Human Rights Ethics Ethics – A General Introduction Criticism Against Human Rights

Ethical approaches converge on human rights, provided the claim for universality is recognized, while facing different criticismCriticism Against Human Rights : 

Ethical approaches converge on human rights, provided the claim for universality is recognized, while facing different criticismCriticism Against Human Rights Deontology Teleology Virtue Ethics Ethics of Care It is self-evident that every human being holds inalienable and indivisible human rights. Every human being‘s essential interests should be considered adequately. Human rights constitute a minimal necessary precondition for a life in dignity [the good life]. The realization human rights is a moral duty that precedes any theoretical reasoning. Position on Human Rights What if rights restrict liberties? What if one‘s interests are culturally determined? How can we know about the good life? Why is there a moral duty apriori? Critical questions >> Work In Progress <<

Controversy between universal human rights and „mainstream“ ethics is mainly due to different scopes of ethical consideration Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Universal human rights: unconditional validity human solidarity Attac stance „Mainstream“ ethics: cultural relativism primacy of tolerance the „fact of pluralism“ Controversy between universal human rights and „mainstream“ ethics is mainly due to different scopes of ethical consideration Criticism Against Human Rights Whose interests do I consider relevant? What aspects of behavior do I consider relevant? Context-specificdecisions Only own principles Collective actions & omissions Current humanity(the Other, global population) Self Group (ethnicity, language, religion, gender, ideology) Sign. others (friends, family) Current & future humanity Area of legislation (national, regional) Own & others‘ principles >> Work In Progress <<

Islamic criticism: For a muslim, the Shari‘ah bears absolute authorityCriticism Against Human Rights : 

Islamic criticism: For a muslim, the Shari‘ah bears absolute authorityCriticism Against Human Rights On 30 June 2000, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) officially resolved to support the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam: People have the "freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah“ The right to hold public office can only be exercised in accordance with the Shari’ah  forbids muslims to submit to the rule of non-muslims Gives men and women the "right to marriage" regardless of their race, colour or nationality, but not religion Gives women "equal human dignity", "own rights to enjoy", "duties to perform", "own civil entity", "financial independence", and the "right to retain her name and lineage", though not equal rights in general Prohibits to force anybody "to change his religion to another religion or to atheism", but it gives the individual no freedom to change his religion or belief Grants individuals the right to express their opinion freely and encourages them to propagate that which is right and good according to the norms of Islamic Shari'ah Forbids the misuse of this right in order to "violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets", "undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate", "arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred" or commit an "incitement to any form of racial discrimination" http://www.wikipedia.org as of July 2008 >> Work In Progress <<

Open questions regarding Islamic criticismCriticism Against Human Rights : 

Open questions regarding Islamic criticismCriticism Against Human Rights According to the Ambassador of Pakistan, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam “is not an alternative, competing worldview on human rights. It complements the Universal Declaration as it addresses religious and cultural specificity of the Muslim countries” According to the IHEU, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam can “in no sense be seen as complementary to the Universal Declaration” What could a mutually tolerable modus vivendi look like? A defining characteristic of human rights is their validity independently of nationality, culture, ethnicicty, religion, or ideology,… Could a regionally, nationally or religiously confined modification of human rights be acceptable? Is this the most urgent matter that humankind currently faces? What about an internationally coordinated regulation of global capitalism? What about the necessity for third generation human rights? http://www.iheu.org >> Work In Progress <<

Libertarian criticism: A right cannot be violated by another right Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Libertarian criticism: A right cannot be violated by another right Criticism Against Human Rights “Such "economic rights" obviously contradict the right to liberty and property. There can be no such thing as a right to violate the rights of others. "Economic rights" merely hand government the power to violate individual rights, thereby rendering the individual a slave to the needs and desires of others. They effectively make communism the social ideal.” (Glenn Woiceshyn)

Ghandi‘s response to Libertarian criticism Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Ghandi‘s response to Libertarian criticism Criticism Against Human Rights “I learnt from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus, the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world.” (Ghandi) (Ghandi , May 25, 1947, in reply to a letter asking for his comment on the UDHR)

Interpretation of Ghandi‘s response Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Interpretation of Ghandi‘s response Criticism Against Human Rights “I learnt from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus, the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world.” (Ghandi) The empowerment of an individual to be capable of fulfilling the “duty of citizenship of the world” by virtue of caring and education is a meta-right: It precedes any other right. If there are unconditional and universal human rights, then there must also be unconditional and universal human duties. The moral weight of human duty is relative to one’s (or an economy’s) capacity. >> Work In Progress <<

Another Libertarian criticism: Rights can only be negative in nature Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Another Libertarian criticism: Rights can only be negative in nature Criticism Against Human Rights “The wording of the Declaration of Independence is quite precise in this regard. It attributes to us the right to the pursuit of happiness, not to happiness per se. Society can't guarantee us happiness; that's our own responsibility. All it can guarantee is the freedom to pursue it. In the same way, the right to life is the right to act freely for one's self-preservation. It is not a right to be immune from death by natural causes, even an untimely death. And the right to property is the right to act freely in the effort to acquire wealth, the right to buy and sell and keep the fruits of one's labor. It is not a right to expect to be given wealth.” (David Kelley)

A response to David Kelley Criticism Against Human Rights : 

A response to David Kelley Criticism Against Human Rights What is happiness? How meaningful is the „freedom to pursue happiness“ if happiness is just understood as the accumulation of wealth as opposed to the liberation from alienation?  right for free humanistic education How freely can one act for one‘s self-preservation when he or she cannot even afford shelter, food, healthcare or education?  right for existential provisions What „fruit of labor“ is effortless return on wealth? What „fruit of labor“ are inadequate wages for social or charitable labor?  call for performance justice What is the right to property historically meant to protect? Wasn‘t it originally meant to ensure that nobody can exploit another person by arbitrarily keeping or taking part of his or her fair share of originally created value? Refers to the entrepreneur rather than to the heir  in favor of legacy tax Refers to the worker rather than to the investor  in favor of capital income tax nobody can arbitrarily take away another person‘s personal belongings ? (i.e. any object that is of sentimental value or supposed to provide pleasure when being consumed) Refers to goods, services and the financial resources intended for their purchase rather than to financial resources dedicated to effortless wealth accumulation  in favor of capital / asset tax >> Work In Progress <<

Another response to Libertarian criticism: Empathy Criticism Against Human Rights : 

Another response to Libertarian criticism: Empathy Criticism Against Human Rights Would those who deny an unconditional duty to help human beings in existential need still deny any unconditional right to receive help if they were in existential need themselves? Can they imagine being in existential need themselves? Relativizes the argument of “the Small exploiting the Great” The capacity to imagine being in existential need requires an awareness about the possibility and totality of existential need the ability to identify with the Other despite one’s own individual uniqueness Does the failure to receive help when one was in need deny others the right to receive help? Can injustice experienced by oneself justify injustice experienced by others? Does the occurrence of free-riding question the right of those who are really in need? Can the unfairness of some justify any injustice done to others? >> Work In Progress <<