Freedoms and Rights #
Before we go into some actual philosophy and current issues, let’s establish a baseline by looking at some of how freedoms and rights are laid out around the world
UN Declaration of Human Rights #
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations lays out quite a few protections that are mostly ignored and unenforceable, but fundamentally agreeable. The actual text isn’t very long, but here’s the quick version
- All people are equal, should treat everyone else as equals, and deserve to live and do so freely without being detained without reason, to get fair trials where they are presumed innocent, and not be tortured.
- Everyone has the right to travel within their country, leave and come back to their country, and to take asylum if elsewhere if necessary - unless they’re like a terrorist or something.
- Adults have the right to marry and have children without discrimination, but they can never be forced to marry. Everyone has the right to own things, and not have them taken arbitrarily.
- Freedom of thought, religion, and press are all good ideas - but nobody should be forced to think or worship in a certain way
- Everyone can vote & access public services. The government should reflect the will of the people.
- “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”
- Equal pay and unions are a good call
- Breaks and time off are necessary
- Everyone has a right to food, healthcare, clothing, housing, education
- Elementary education is required
- Parents get to choose the kind of education
- Copyright is a thing
Now, if you read a few of those and went “hmmmmmm…” because where you live (including the US) fails to meet all those standards, you might want to let that sink in for a moment. You also might have taken issue with some of the requirements- maybe you don’t think copyright is a good thing, or you don’t think convicted felons should be able to vote, whatever. I’m not judging your opinions, just stating that even the UN bill of rights isn’t totally agreeable to everyone.
US Bill of Rights #
I also think it’s interesting to compare this to the US Bill of Rights, which I’ll summarize here:
- Freedom of Speech & Press would be nice
- Soldiers can’t steal your house
- The government can’t search and steal your shit except for when it does anyway
- You can’t be tried twice, you don’t have to self-incriminate (pleading the 5th) and get due process
- You should get a speedy, public trial by impartial jury for criminal matters and can have a lawyer
- … and you can have a jury in Federal civil cases
- Excessive bail and fines shouldn’t be a thing
- Just because it’s not on this list doesn’t mean you don’t have other rights
- The Federal gov can only do what the constitution says, otherwise the power belongs to the states or people
Sweden’s Four Fundamental Laws #
Germany Rights #