Sunday, October 1, 2017

Why the Universal Delcaration is Remarkable (Part 2)


As we were saying, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is truly a remarkable document. , The peoples of the world had suffered tremendous losses.  They had every reason to be angry, judgmental and punitive.  They could easily have divided the world into good nations and bad nations, good races and bad races, good people and bad people. They could easily have designed the new world order based on winners and losers - and 'to the victors belong the spoils.' The historic precedent for this way of thinking was well-established.

The questions of the day are: 

  1. Why didn't they do that?
  2. What would have happened if they did?

These are really important questions for the issue of diagnostic othering.  

The short answer to Question #1 is: 

Been there!  Done that!

The pitfall of creating good races and bad races of and good categories and bad categories was what the Nazi regime was all about.  The result of this kind of othering - taken to it's ultimate conclusion - was human suffering to an extent the world had never imagined. 

This is a really important point for us to get in modern times.  The horror of World War II is now 7 decades past.  So, it's easy to overlook some things that were fresh in the minds of human rights pioneers of that period.  

  1. The human race has already tried othering as a response to human suffering.  
  2. The human race has already tried segregating away classes of people who are believed to be the cause suffering
  3. The human race has already tried disabling, debilitating and outright exterminating those it considers socially 'other.'   

Guess what?

The good people of that time concluded it doesn't work!!!!!!

Ok, next question.

The short answer to Question #2 is the same as Question #1: 

Been there!  Done that!

The writers of the Universal Declaration were able to witness the outcomes of social othering first hand.  They saw it for the dead end it was.  They rejected it out of hand.  End of story.

But that also created a problem - which led to even more questions:

  1. If there aren't good people and bad people, worthy people and unworthy ones, how do you make sense of all the pain and suffering?
  2. What do you do about it?

Ultimately, the writers of the Universal Declaration came to the conclusion that they needed to invent something new....

(to be continued)

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