Human Rights: Universalism, Marxism, Communitarianism Essay
The Marxist and the communitarians have a common perception about Universalism. They all believe in the inefficiency and incompetence of Universalism. They also stipulate that Universalism is demolishing the global community. However, Marxist and Communitarians hold different views regarding perspectives against the Universalist conceptualization of human rights.
According to Marxism, individual’s rights are created through socialism. This concept is formed by individual’s actions but not an individual’s nature (Tremblay et al, 33). Marxist stipulates that human rights are man-made.
Thus, for individuals to achieve their goals, they must work together as a community. This will facilitate attainment of goals and interests. Moreover, proper balancing of social economic aspects will ensure that there is the advancement in people’s rights and interests.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the founder of communitarianism believes that human beings are born free and equal. Communitarians believe that the society incorporates some aspects of equality. What is more, modern civilization has hindered freedom and rights that are granted at birth. Modern civilization has brought self-interest that encourages people to seek power.
Marxist and Communitarian do not believe in the existence of human rights. On a Marxist’s point of view, human rights reflect the values and priories of political knowledge. Communitarians state that human rights are unnecessary and conquer with Universalism beliefs regarding human beings and their rights.
Marxist argues that people are part of the capitalist society. They work for their personal gains rather than working for the society. Marxist indicates that Universalism holds the principle of individualism and selfishness. Communitarian elaborates the same thing. It stipulates that universalism does not protect human beings from constraints and violence.
According to Communitarians, individualism or self-interest has a solution. This lies on creating a new social contract. Here, the state makes decisions to address the will of the people. The people do not contribute to the matters involving their interests (Tremblay et al, 63). In reality, this is not what happens in the democratic system.
The people are represented by one person who does not address their needs. Thus, communitarians appreciate the reality of human rights. Under the social contract, the state is bound to do what the people want. Hence, there is no need of having the human rights. In fact, having and exercising human rights will not benefit the members of the society.
Marxist believes that capitalism should be replaced by communism or cooperation. This will encourage proper and strong activities that will benefit the society. Again, private property should be converted to public property to serve the community. This will eliminate social classes and ensure that there is equality in resource distribution.
Universalism has received a lot of criticism with regards to its principles and concepts. While there are shortcomings that come along, Dalai Lama tries to respond to Universalism by giving clarification.
In the speech at the United Nations World Conference in 1993, Dalai Lama made significant clarifications and allowed many people to understand the essentials of universal beliefs. The speech tried to mend the differences among extremists whose ideologies and beliefs contradicted.
With the existence of various beliefs on matters concerning human rights, Dalai Lama urges people not to side with either Universalism or Cultural relativist. It insists on a pluralist approach to the global society, which encompasses a balance between universal beliefs of individuals and Cultural relativists’ perceptions on community matters (Tremblay et al, 41).
He says that all people should not fight to secure personal gains, but to work as a team for the good of all mankind. He argues that human rights are essential for both individual and community expansions.
Dalai Lama stresses on the need of global harmony that defines and respects human rights. He continues and notes that, it is not wrong to have individual and societal needs irrespective of a person’s country. The rich diversity of cultures and religions should be used to assist in strengthening the fundamental human rights to all.
For this reason, individuals should not fight to justify their needs. Clearly, human rights strongly oppose negative aspects of certain issues in the society such as exploitation of children, racism, and suppression of women. The foundation of world’s peace is achieved through universal responsibility.
Adaptability to universalism in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, is quite evident. African and Asian countries have improved since colonization. For instance, Christianity was introduced during this time, and it redefined the religion as seen in most of the developing countries.
Dalai Lama strongly disagrees with the perception of Western theories and Eastern (Asia and Africa) cultures. It is quite clear that Eastern countries, especially Asia, have their traditions held firmly in values of duty, order and community stability.
This eliminates individual commitment. Dalai Lama, who came from Asia, was dissatisfied with this ideology. He made it clear that all individuals seek happiness, equality and freedom. These are values that run a society and make it a good place for all people.
Tremblay, Reeta C., et al. Understanding Human Rights: Origins, Currents, and Critiques. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2008. Print.
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