Monday, May 21, 2012

All human desires become rights

Diane Ellis at Ricochet quoting from Milan Kundera's Immortality, on how the idea of "human rights" in the West becomes the right to have whatever is desired:
...[B]ecause people in the West are not threatened by concentration camps and are free to say and write what they want, the more the fight for human rights gains in popularity, the more it loses any concrete content, becoming a kind of universal stance of everyone toward everything, a kind of energy that turns all human desires into rights. The world has become man's right and everything in it has become a right: the desire for love the right to love, the desire for rest the right to rest, the desire for friendship the right to friendship, the desire to exceed the speed limit the right to exceed the speed limit, the desire for happiness the right to happiness, the desire to publish a book the right to publish a book, the desire to shout in the street in the middle of the night the right to shout in the street.
C.S. Lewis, on how desires come to be rights and the baneful consequences: "Whatever men expect, they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on (the devil's) part, be turned into a sense of injury."

Milan Kundera on Human Rights - Ricochet.com