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July 03, 2007

The Original Declaration of Human Rights

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Out-Lawyer’s Blog

 

 July 4, 2007

 

The Original Declaration of Human Rights

 

 

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948, UN) was redundant. 

 

 

 

The original and seminal instrument, accompanied by vivid, practical demonstration, was the American Declaration of Independence (1776, US). 

 

 

 

The 20th cenury attempt, like so many of the last century's political documents and constitutions declared too much and accomplished too little. 

 

This was partly due to its internal confusion (mixing, for example, concrete social and policy goals with the necessary, freedom-preserving elements of liberal governance) and because it was yoked to a bureaucratically inept, often corrupt and powerless institution. [I say this reluctantly, since the UN -- a complicated stew of good intentions and mixed results -- is balanced on the knife's edge between work-in-progress & failure-in-the-making!]

 

 

 

Put simply, the DHR lacked the nurturing leaven of patriotic bravery and, yes, of the blood of those who would die to protect it.

 

 

 

Today and the following days provide us the occasion to reread that original document and to note, once again with wonder and appreciation, its wisdom, concision and universal reach.

 

 

 

JBG

 

 

 

 

 

The Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

 

 

 

Full text at - http://www.jaygaskill.com/DeclarationofIndependence.htm

 

 


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