Power And Human Rights Discourse Essay

Power And Human Rights Discourse Essay

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Pathologies of Power and human rights discourse
Without much hesitation, many argue that the concept of human rights is a universal one and therefore the only blockade on progress and relief is the worldwide level of involvement. The Nuremberg trials, for example, brought the level of neglect by many countries to light. A large population suffered atrocities while everyone else with the ability to intervene stood idly by. Although such an interpretation is true to a certain extent, addressing violations of human rights requires more attentive analysis. In fact, the importance of discourse and human rights on an international level had not fully developed until WWII, and though a few decades have gone by since then, problematic ideas and subsequent actions are still prevalent. In response, many have developed their own analysis of everything from power structures to the basic definition of human dignity. Among such assertions is Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power, which specifically criticizes solutions through legal means, charity, the idea that progress is a linear development, and the misdiagnosis of human rights violations. Although from a medical perspective, the issues Farmer calls into question are relevant to the current global approach towards human rights.
While countries have responded to human rights crises by forming international entities backed by legal documents, Farmer claims that such an approach is ineffective if not coupled with an attempt to understand the systems in which violations occur. He also argues that “the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration has led to many celebrations but to few careful assessments of current realities” (221). In other words, many people revel in the fact that such a ...


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...y like Uganda or just a way to help as proposed by the respective community, one may infer that those in power may not be so interested. And so the cycle is reinforced.
In terms of development, Farmer does not believe it is a linear process. Proponents of the contrary argue that progress will occur if the correct steps are taken. Leonardo and Clovodis Boff argue that “‘reformism’ seeks to improve the situation of the poor, but always within existing social relationships and the basic structuring of society, which rules out greater participation by all and diminution in the privileges enjoyed by the ruling class” (156). Specifically, . “Liberation entails break with the present order in which Latin American countries could establish sufficient autonomy to reshape their economies to serve the needs of that poor majority” (156). (Development and linear progress/reform)

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