This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Human Rights Watch – You are Disgusting!

susanlatimer's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by susanlatimer

Comment 5 by Steve Zara

Being generally ignorant of political history and political theory

Me too.

I would be fascinated to know if there are established principles of human rights that could apply to a situation where the majority vote for an oppressive religious or dictatorial government? What happens when democracy conflicts with human rights? How do we define who is right, and who has rights in such a situation?

This is why forward-thinking and meticulously written constitutions are important. They prevent democracy from just being a case of mob rule. These aren't a given when a corrupt system has fallen or been toppled, leaving a vacuum of sorts.

And as Maryam Namazie said:

Also for elections to have meaning – even in the limited parliamentary sense – you need to have freedom of association, press, and expression and so on.

You can't build democracy on a swamp or it crumbles. It's fragile enough as it is.

Sadly, "democratic" societies have often violated human rights but in a healthy democracy, the means to correct that is available (the women's rights movement or the civil rights movement in the U.S.).

How do we define who is right, and who has rights in such a situation?

Do you mean morally or in terms of international law and if so, what we can do about it?

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 03:36:47 UTC | #910841