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Human Rights in the Disaster Capitalism Context Essay

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Updated: Nov 2nd, 2021

Everyone possesses some rights that are common to all since birth. These can be called human rights. Since these rights are common to all human beings, the same may not be forfeited by or denied to anyone. It means that these cannot be taken away. By the word human rights, it is generally meant to be the protection of individual rights against the encroachment by the state and it also means the basic rights and freedom of individuals. Human rights comprise of civil and political rights as also economic, social and cultural rights. Rights such as right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, equality before law come under the civil and political rights.

Right to participate in culture, right to food, right to work and right to education come under the economic, cultural and social rights. In 1948, the United Nations general assembly adopted and announced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights containing thirty articles on 10th December. An evaluation of the human rights reveals that human rights are hampered in most part of the world and one of the best examples is the town of Fort Murray in northern Alberta.

The words of Elizabeth Kolbert make it clear when he illustrates the state of the poor folk of Alberta, the living victims, who undergoes great difficulty with the waste materials bumped by oil companies. Kolbert remarks, “The tar sands begin near the border of Saskatchewan…they cover – or, more accurately, underlie – some fifty-seven thousand square miles, an area roughly the size of Florida.” (Kolbert).

This loudly proclaims the fact that every individual deserves the same rights and dignity.

Basis of human rights

It is common knowledge that the basis of Human Rights is the citizenship, being human, intelligence, right to freedom, right to live, moral standing, equality and so on. Among these, right to life stands as primary need to be fulfilled first. Being human comes next. The human rights must ensure identity, consumerism and citizenship. Right to food and shelter are considered as the basic needs and related to the problem of identity because without food and shelter one loses identity. It may be because of one denying the rights of the other. In other words one can say, “Only mind-havers can care; only mind-havers can mind what happens.” (Dennett).

It is crystal clear in the modern times, that is, majority of the modern men are selfish and disregard their fellow beings. Security and freedom are the needs to be fulfilled and in addition to this, the education and healthcare needs are inevitably to be ensured. Citizenship is related to the right to freedom and equality because every citizen must enjoy the freedom and equality without any discrimination of caste, creed and so on. Health care and safety needs are closely related to the issue of consumerism. Broadly speaking, nowadays every individual is considered as the consumer, so the consumerism badly affects the labourers because they have to face exploitation from their owners.

Considering the remarkable quotation from the article namely “Disaster Capitalism: The new economy of catastrophe” written by Naomi Klein one understands the need for necessities of life. Here Klein reveals one of his personal experiences when a family invited him to watch the disaster caused by the floods and see the present state of their lovely home. Klein reveals their pathetic state when he says: “The walls were moldy and cracked, and every item—books, photos, sofas—was caked in the algae-like scum. Out back, a walled garden was a fetid swamp, with a child’s swing dangling forlornly from a dead palm tree.” (Klein).

This quote reveals that even though the basic needs like safety and shelter are included in the human rights, the implementation of these rights were not successful. When reaching the conclusion, one can infer that human rights are obligatory and one should try to establish human rights. As it is a right that promotes the well being of the individuals, one can see that each and everyone has the obligation to ensure the legal and moral rights of others that makes the life honorable and peaceful on earth.

Works Cited

Dennett, Daniel C. Chapter 1: What Kinds of Minds are There?: Knowing Your Own Mind. (Provided by the customer).

Klein, Naomi. Pha- Exchange Mailing List Archive: PHA- Exch> Disaster Capitalism: The new Economy of Catastrophe. Kabissa: Space for Change in Africa. 2006. Web.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. Section: Annals of Ecology, Unconventional Crude, Canada’s synthetic-fuels boom. (Provided by the customer).

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Human Rights in the Disaster Capitalism Context'. 2 November.

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