The way I see it: This is why I'm a Social Liberal.
استقلال القضاء حق كل المصريين

Saturday, May 13, 2006

This is why I'm a Social Liberal.

[This post was originally written and meant to be published on the 6th of May. Real life events forced me to save it as a draft and I was only able to continue it today.]

I have political views. A lot in fact. The way I see it has been dedicated to commenting about various socio-political and economic ideas that I've been exposed to, mainly in Egypt and the Middle East. I dabble in the occult [Read: International Affairs] when I can draw parallels with events of the Middle East.

My previous post was about President Evo Morales of Bolivia nationalizing the countries Energy sources, mostly those owned by foreign corporations. Not everyone shared my view that his actions would lead to a situation which is more socially equitable. Sorry, I still think it is. It was mentioned that there were people who invested money into these projects. Obviously, they expect (and deserve) a return on their investment. Sandmonkey, whose post I linked to in this paragraph, believes that Morales' decisions were immoral.

This is not meant as a blog-bashing post, rather, I am criticizing a mode of thinking. This same blogger, along with all those who share his views, clobbers "suicide-bombers" and all groups/individuals who carry out acts of "terrorism" because of their "murderous nature". He clearly states that he is "sick of the people dying".

So, it's not alright if people die violent death in bombings, shootings or stabbing incidents and it's completely alright if their country is sucked dry of its resources, because other people payed money to make profits from these resources, effectively killing hundreds and thousands over a longer period of time. That makes complete and utter sense; Bolivia needs the gas and petrol to sell in order to make money to fund their resource and money starved government (whichever government it is).

What happens is that these companies come from the US, or other developed countries, and then sign contracts which award the Bolivians an amount significantly lower than half of the profits or revenues generated. I can understand how someone can expect to make money by helping you do something that you wouldn't be able to do other-wise; the Bolivians wouldn't get any revenue at all if these companies weren't there... but come on! Less than HALF! Half!

For someone who's pre-occupied with human rights quite a bit, I would have expected that that single fact would have caused Sandmonkey to shout: STOP! You need to see how things are there! He also works in the field of finance, according to his bio, so he understands the numbers and the terms. But, apparently the forces of capitalism which the glorious United States has been adamant on sowing everywhere in the world either directly or through one of its proxies [Read: IBRD, IMF, IFC etc.] are much too blinding.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) [which all anti-islamists/ anti-Hamas/ anti-"suicide bombers" apparently know word for word] has a numer of articles that I think might be relevant when discussing Bolivia.

Let's take it from the top (and I'll try to take only the most relevant articles of the Declaration):

First, there is the preambulatory clauses;
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
[Note the bit with freedom of speech, belief, fear and want.]
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
So, "rule of law" is important against tyranny and oppression and also to prevent people to rebel against any possible tyranny and oppression. Keep in mind, this law has to be Just.]
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
The crowning piece really. Why do people seem to believe that the dignity and worth of the human being is violated only when they're killed? It's as if kicking them out of their homes and depriving them of equal opportunities to get a job and "allowing" their government enough resources to spend on public projects and so on is not a demeaning of these persons; that they can still maintain their dignity and feeling of self-worth when they're homeless, destitute and ravished by disease.

What about promoting Social Progress? What about those better standards of life? What is the western world going to do about this? And why should they do something about this? I'll tell you why; it is their financial and developmental organizations that help perpetuate the state of affairs in the developing world. I'm not even going to shout history. I'm not going to scream foul and say: what about all the years of servitude and highway robbery that most developing countries had to go through.

I won't do that, but not because these things are not true. They are true. It is because other developing countries proved themselves capable of improving their situation and implementing correct economic and developmental policies (sustainable ones too!) that I will not scream history.

[Continued in next Post]

Listed on BlogShares