Sunday, February 23, 2014

Liberalism & Capitalism - Jordan Scott

It's interesting to me that the introduction of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights ends on the idea that above all, what they hope to end up with is a group of happy people. "The demand of the citizens may always be directed towards the maintenance of the Constitution and the happiness of all." More importantly than having a better government, well-run society compared to other countries, they just want our nation to be filled with happy people. I find this hard to believe. Maybe I've just been watching too much House of Cards, but I think in most societies, the people in politics want to be happy before the rest of the country is happy. Is there any society in which politics/government act in the public's favor before their parties favor?

Article 6 brings up an especially interesting point that I think people today forget about. The law is the expression of the general will. Today, it seems like most people are trying to undermine, outsmart, and outright dislike the laws that we have put into place. Of course, we agree that when someone murders someone, that should not be allowed. But then situations like OJ Simpson happen, and we don't even trust that the law is doing a good job. Where is the disconnect between the people make the laws, and the laws are an enemy of the people?

I'm sure Article 11 has come up a lot recently, with the idea that people have the right to publish and write what they want, unless it causes harm to the country. The Edward Snowden debacle is sure to toe this line.

Wow, Olympe de Gouges is my hero. Why have I never heard her name before? This is as big a travesty as the fact that she was executed. In her preamble, she mentions the protection of the Constitution, and people's happiness, but she also adds in the idea of "the right to good morals". It is completely immoral that women were left out of the first Declaration, when as she points out, women have all the same faculties as men, and should be treated as human beings and not animals, which is basically what they're implying by not including women. What other reasons are there for Gouges to add the idea of morality as a right?

I also appreciate the fact that she doesn't just write this Declaration for women. She is showing that it should be a declaration for man AND women, and she includes men just as often as she does women. That is true equality. She also makes a clear point to say the law shouldn't go easy on women. The law should be blind to sex. Why wasn't law already blind to sex? Women weren't smart enough to realize they were committing a crime?

1 comment:

  1. To attempt to answer your second question about whether or not laws are the enemy of people, I would begin by saying that laws can be. Laws are both the ally and enemy of the people. Because laws change and can be written poorly, they do have the potential of harming people, like in the OJ Simpson case you mentioned. Despite human error disrupting what in theory should be a law system that works, the laws actually can work. It may take time and effort to refine a law to the contemporary situation, but laws seem to improve over time. People can learn from the past errors in the laws to improve them. Laws still have ways to go before being perfect, but I do believe they contain the potential to become less of an enemy for people.


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