These two articles were my favourite reads this week. Hoping that you will find these snippets of value enough for you to click the links to the full articles:
BEWARE THE DUSK OF DEMOCRACY
Democracy is under threat around the globe when just a few years ago it looked as if it would dominate the world. Predators from ultra capitalists and fundamentalists to ruthless politicians are winning. It’s time for action from more than just a few dedicated activists to seize back the power.
Democracy has always been a tenuous affair.
While watching Sky News several weeks ago and witnessing reportage of the ‘coming-out’ sermon given by Islamic State (IS) cleric Abu-Bakr Al Baghdadi in Mosul, Iraq, I was suddenly struck by a fearful thought. Those of us who spend all our waking (and sleeping) hours campaigning for democracy, rule of law and social justice are blowing in the wind. There are much more powerful forces than us out there and we are losing.
In our moral self-righteousness we fool ourselves that even while only a minority of people actually get off their backsides and fight for social justice, equality and people’s dignity, these remain powerful rallying ideas; powerful enough to propel millions to demand and fight for change.
But they are not. Millions of people have lost belief in social justice, equality and dignity. These ideas are increasingly a minority preoccupation.
Read the rest of Mark Heywood’s excellent ‘Beware the Dusk of Democracy’.
WHEN SOME RIGHTS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
Over the weekend, in a speech lauding the right to freedom of expression, President Jacob Zuma reportedly cautioned that rights — such as freedom of expression — should be balanced with responsibilities and that no one should assert their rights while trampling on the rights of others. The idea that you cannot (or should not) exercise your rights when this infringes on the rights of others is widely held. But the idea is wrong. Here is why.
Human rights are not always the best prism through which to view our responsibilities in the world we live in. This is so because what you have a right to do and what is right to do is not always the same thing. In other words, a Bill of Rights does not contain a complete set of ethical rules that can guide us on how to live a virtuous or ethically responsible life.
In political arguments the right to do something is often conflated with whether it is right to do it.
Read the rest of Pierre de Vos’ well articulated thoughts at Constitutionally Speaking.