Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Declaration

"Break the Chains!"

The recognition provided in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the right to rebellion comes both as a moral endorsement, removed from consideration of tactics, be they violent or nonviolent, as well as a recognition of the natural order of things, that is, of the fact that, human nature being what it is, tyranny always tends to breed rebellion, often as a “last recourse” for a subjugated people. Indeed, people seem to be deeply aware of the dangers inherent in revolutionary action, so much that their decision to rebel is never taken lightly. That’s why popular revolutions are rare occurrences as opposed to regular warfare between states, empires and nations.

But when push comes to shove, the human spirit will always cry out: “Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem,” or “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful servitude.”

Note: “Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem,” or “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery,” is a statement attributed to Rafal Leszczynski, the Count Palatine of Posen (1650–1703). But the statement became more known when quoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and later by Thomas Jefferson in a letter sent to James Madison on January 30, 1787.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Preamble 

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures,  national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”

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