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Against human rights - Slavoj Zizek

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  1. Introduction
  2. Human rights
  3. Slavoj Zizek
  4. The role of pursuit for pleasure
  5. Conclusion

Slavoj Žižek proposes an argumentthat goes against all the basis on the contemporarysocieties. He proposes that human rights are not as relevant as they are made to be. He uses the belief that human rights rests on three assumptions, reducing the ability of political leaders to have excess powers, empower individuals to serve self-serving purposes rather than higher callings and that human rights enhance the influence of historically acquired traits of humanity. By challenging the basic functions of human rights, Žižek shows that they are not relevant.

Žižek starts by making the proposition that ?beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder'. Therefore, the importance attached to human rights are a function of cultural and social forces as opposed to the fundamental good served by these rights. For example, there is an illustration of the condition in the Balkan states to demonstrate the validity of the claim. These countries lived in acceptance of the ?violations' that were illuminated by other European civilizations. As such, the violations were not really ugly to the locals because they were a function of their culture. It is only through the eyes of an eternal party that they adopted the outlook of violations.

[...] The criticism is based on the fundamental importance attached to human rights in the European states that the perceived violations in these states. ?i?ek uses a historical perspective to show that the violations are a function of Christianity as opposed to presence of Islam and they represent the historical legacy of the European development, the additional illustration of the role of the west increasing dissonance in Turkey is used to illustrate the violations by the champions for human rights, the West. [...]

[...] In addition, interventions serve political purposes because they are subject to political examination. ?i?ek shows that to serve human rights, it is relevant to remove political from the equation, in the same way that the pursuit of human rights play a role in violations, the rights of freedom and choice must be violated to protect more fundamental human rights. Therefore, elimination of some human rights is important to safeguard other rights. ?i?ek concludes by showing the current political systems are favorable to the whites, the male gender and the powerful. [...]

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