US inequality and New Zealand, a human rights perspective
I posted the following on some US websites e.g. Rich Dad – is the US a Banana Republic. It discusses US inequality and New Zealand. http://www.richdad.com/Richdad/RDBlog/RDBlog.aspx?TopicID=35
Human Rights Council Inc (New Zealand)
Ph: (0064) (09) 940 9658
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Re American inequality. My hypothesis (as I am from New Zealand) is that America is following similar policies to that in NZ – a major difference though is that while NZ discriminates on the grounds of social status at birth (see UK social class discrimination) the US discriminates re socio-economic status (wealth) but the latter has its origins not in the Corporations but rather the bureaucracy. NZ, the US and many other States are ‘going nowhere’ – ‘freedom and democracy’ is now going in reverse as more countries are becoming authoritarian. Who is going to take risks when countries are going nowhere and in fact there seems to be increasing internal conflict. There are a number in the establishment who know what the problem is but are too afraid to ‘speak out’ about it. While I can only be specific re NZ I think many States have a similar problem. Essentially, NZ’s problem is that there are many human rights omissions in our human rights law (the source is the global elites at the UN who design these instruments) – so it is not just our fault – but it highly favors the countries ‘sacred cows’ and for obvious reasons people do not want to discuss it. Much can be found in my book, ‘Freedom from our social prisons: the rise of economic, social and cultural rights’, Lexington Books, which is on the UN portal website despite my harsh criticism of the UN. I think the US should look at what is happening to small/med business (see the American Small Business League website and how federal contracts are been diverted to big business on a massive scale). In NZ I am promoting a radical, ideas-driven bottom-up development (an entrepreneurial/ethical human rights culture) which is part of the ethical approach I take to human rights, development and globalization but because it really shakes the status quo and people will only face the truth as a last possible resort they simply do not want to know – its far too unsafe. But this is very short, sighted better to go through the suffering of facing the truth and making changes than having it forced on us very likely after enormous people damage. I am Anthony Ravlich, Chairperson of the Human Rights Council Inc (New Zealand) ph: (0064) (09) 940 9658.
Further to my contribution above re US inequality. In an article, I am writing about what happened to New Zealand over the past 20 years – it was based, in my view, on a simple idea that ‘the collective is everything and the individual nothing’. Human rights omissions, see different forms of discrimination above, reduced the individual to nothing – the major objective being to crush individual potential (including the inner being) that is how the collective becomes everything. Have a look at the videos on the internet – Collectivism: sons of darkness and sons of light – which will show those with little human rights knowledge that individuals are not mere products of their environment but much much more – in fact if they were ‘nothing’ there will be no radically new ideas only ideas which prop up the status quo would be permitted. New Zealand fell into this trap of mediocrity - only the truth about the human rights omissions coming out and a freak major earthquake in Christchurch (no one killed) which together with massive rebuilding re ‘leaky homes’ (not surprisingly due to lowering standards of individual excellence) has saved it for the time being i.e. individualism and a expanded ‘bottom-up’ private sector is again wanted. But part of the problem was originally, in my view, also individualism itself. This was seen by Franklin Roosevelt, a great American President in my book. He faced up to the truth of social class and recognized if everyone was going to get a ‘fair go’ (those on the bottom would have paltry opportunities and access to liberal rights – there had to be limits to unequal rights) that a wider ‘duty to the community’ was necessary i.e. his second bill of rights for America (containing economic, social and cultural rights). The latter was necessary to ensure that the policies he implemented – which lifted the lid suppressing creativity allowing America to flourish – would always protect those at the bottom – not just help them but allow them also to help themselves (their right to development – to follow their dreams and use the talents). We are all at different stages of development in life sometimes we need help but usually, if not seriously damaged, prefer the dignity of helping ourselves. What is not needed is discrimination which crushes us into a prolonged dependency. (While a bit outside of my field, I suspect it is this discriminatory collectivism which is also hated by religious terrorists concerned about the inner being and hence their jihad or holy war. Although, in my experience, the truth will set us free but human rights are at least listened to covertly in our very fearful societies). I have had a look and it does not surprise me to find that US federal, state, employment law and human rights acts have omitted non-discrimination on the grounds of social origin which in America’s case would permit discrimination on the grounds of socio-economic status (or according to socio-economic classes which are not officially recognized as existing). And the latter, I strongly suspect in the US as in NZ, it is a bureaucratically driven and supported by government i.e. in my view, the status seekers rather the wealth seekers hold sway . The extreme focus on money suggests to me you may be taking human rights for granted – am I right? By failing to face the truth the discriminatory collectivism slowly takes over the country almost invisibly. In my view, the Christchurch earthquake was one of life’s miracles – better being on the right track than a track which leads to a nation in darkness – even if it does cost a lot of money, needlessly of course because all the rights should had been included in the first place. I recently thought of one of William Shakespeare’s quotes – ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy’. I hope you have a miracle.
PS. I should also have added to the above re where individualism went wrong and led to the discriminatory collectivist takeover (in NZ, hopefully in the past, and strongly suspect the US) is that it failed to exercise a wider duty wrt race and women. Again unequal rights have their limits - you cannot deny people the core minimum obligations of the State wrt civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights and should also include their self-help rights to development, human rights education to ensure they are not kept in a state of dependency - see our website, www.hrc2001.org.nz, Anthony Ravlich, Chairperson, Human Rights Council Inc. (New Zealand)