As we bid goodbye to 2018 – and why wouldn’t we want to? – it is time to take a very brief – we don’t need to look too closely or we might become a little despondent – look at what the past year has been all about.
One thing, above all else, stands out from a crowded year. Human rights. Just about everything that has occurred this year has had at its core the subject of, neglect of, denial of, striving for or abuse of, human rights. I don’t think I need to go into all the specifics of these things. If you don’t agree with my assessment, stop wasting your time, go read somewhere else.
We, as a people today, place great emphasis on the rights of human beings, and consider it of such importance that organisations at all levels of human society have been set up to define and/or enforce what we think of as an unalienable and irrevocable part of our heritage within the human family. Yet the very fact that this has been thought necessary, speaks volumes as to the fragility of our position even amongst ourselves.
I pulled this quote, a brief definition of human rights, from the latest book I am reading, which was the final ‘spark’ I needed to write this piece:
‘…rights to the benefits of culture, to property, to the preservation of health, life, physical integrity, security, and a means of subsistence, and to residence, movement, and inviolability of the home.’
– Lynas, Mark. Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (p. 75). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Let us ask ourselves the question: If we require, for peace of mind and physical well-being , such rules of law around our personal rights, enforcible, though quite obviously often ignored, waived, or indeed frequently and rudely stomped on, among the human community, even now, in what is supposed to be an enlightened age of cultural enrichment, economic prosperity and advanced technological progress –
a) How will, or do, we fare as but a small though influential part of the natural world and life of our home planet, when that natural world presents itself as less benign or implacable, and much more forcefully antagonistic to our shared existence here than it has fortuitously been in the recent past of our living memory?
b) How will we fare on this issue in a time when our ‘enlightened age of cultural enrichment, economic prosperity and advanced technological progress’ is somehow removed or ripped away from our grasp and we are plunged into a state of much lowered expectations or even into a ‘survival of the fittest’ situation?
I feel sure you will understand to what I am referring there. The two most pressing of a whole bunch of unwelcome strangers knocking at our door – Climate Change and Imminent Economic Collapse. The former being a now unstoppable inevitability which is even now breaking down the last barriers of natural resistance to thoroughly overwhelm us in the immediate to long term future – like it or not. The latter almost as inevitable because of our innate inability to stop and think about what we are doing, leave alone any possibility that we may unilaterally decide to change our way of life to accept ‘less’. The usual obscene spending spree of the past week, pledges to that thought.
These things, either acting separately or together, will bring to an end once and for all the question of human rights, bringing with them an eventual, perhaps even an abrupt, overturning of all that has come to mean human society and civilisation. And without that overarching structure in place at all levels of human society, the concept of ‘rights’ will have no meaning – at least for a while – and think, if you have any concept of history, how long a struggle it has been to get to where we are today of those issues, and how relatively ineffective that progress is even today.
So, what have we to look forward to, as the page of history turns once more?
Hh-hh-hh-hh-h. (that was a resigned and suppressed – no heaving of either chest or shoulders – chuckle)
Welcome to 2019, which may well be the year that marks the end of human rights.
…and here, from Wondermom Wannabe, and not more than a hint of sarcasm from me, is the opportunity for you to record the highlights of your life – in a free, printable, review of 2018…