Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice, 130–31. As I wrote earlier: the use of human rights discourses in this early period is split down the middle: it serves both as a critique of power and as an extension of power, be that royal or ecclesiastic. See for example James Brown Scott, The Spanish Origin of International Law. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. According to this line of thought, the King's apparent interest in the wellbeing of the Indians is really an interest in securing the foundation of sovereign power. Against the argument that barbarians are “people who do not have a written language that corresponds to the spoken one,” this is not, Las Casas says, an absolute definition but a relative one, and he quotes Paul: “If I am ignorant of what the sound means, I am a barbarian to the man who is speaking and he is a barbarian to me.”25. The declaration states the principle of autonomy, that is, the fact that no one can be made equal by an external force, since “politics is an unfolding of the self-determination of the people” or, Balibar says, referring to Kant, politics is “the people's own responsibility.”8 However, in order for a group of people to have this responsibility, it has to be recognized as a subject who is the bearer of universal rights without being idealized as universal bearer of rights, or even worse: as a universal victim which would bestow a false pathos on the universal. Theo D'Haen and César Domínguez, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi Press, forthcoming 2013, “Global Panopticism. The cutting edge universalism theory of human rights can be founded not only on common law, equity, response to dignity, injustice, and fairness of appreciation, but also capacities of a human being, moral agency, and self-ownership, among other peopleUniversal sets of standards, rules, and values are based on Western countries prospects. They are not governed by any law, do not cultivate friendships and do not have any organized community. Does not this negative precept apply to all men in general: “See that you do not do to another, what you would not have done to you by another”? Ditlev Tamm) Copenhagen: DJØF Publishing House, 2010, “Towards a New Europe? Who is there who would want the gospel preached to himself in such a fashion? Yet, there may also be a third reason for the King's tolerance toward Las Casas’, and this reason takes us to the heart of the politics of human rights. When they see their rulers stripped of their authority, cursed, and afflicted with a wretched slavery? In a radical reading of human rights, rights can only be true rights if the bearer of rights articulates them. He just thought that the conquest should be enacted with peaceful means.38. Human rights are only a means of achieving more justice, but if they are understood in a too rigid way with a stable vocabulary, as Balibar says: with too much pathos, they will not be able to work in living reality. 3099067 , and if you can't find the answer there, please The appeal of any hegemonic power to universalism, thus necessarily implies that it becomes purged with a “slave morality.” If this logic is established, all protests can, according to Balibar, “turn into legitimation since, against the injustice of the established order, protest appeals not to something heterogeneous to that order, but to identical principles.”11 Balibar relates his analysis to the period of Enlightenment but claim it to constitute a general principle, even in non-democratic societies. But, contrary to what Marx believed, the ‘dominant ideas’ cannot be those of the ‘dominant class’. In 1550, at the time of the trial of Valladolid, Francisco de Vitoria had died but there was another Dominican monk, namely Bartolomé de las Casas who defended the Indians. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Let us have a look at one of the most interesting historical examples of a politically motivated trial about universalism. 44. Whereas Aristotle and Sepúlveda speak of natural slavery as an eternal state of a specific other, namely the barbarian, las Casas develops a flexible and multi-layered understanding of the barbarian. 6. Universalism is the philosophical and theological concept that some ideas have universal application or applicability. Against the argument, that the barbarian is an “inhuman, wild, merciless” person, Bartolomé de las Casas argues that this kind of barbarianism is found in all cultures. Against this view, Las Casas argues that there can only be very few of these, since otherwise the creation of God must be considered bad, and Las Casas adds: “Who therefore, except one who is irreverent toward God and contemptuous of nature, has dared to write that countless numbers of natives across the ocean are barbarous, savage, uncivilized, and slow witted, when, if they are evaluated by an accurate judgment, they completely outnumber all other men?” writes Las Casas.26 The sheer number of Indians makes it impossible for them to be barbarians. Las Casas and Sepúlveda never actually met in the courtroom. There was an earnest ethical concern at play. Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals", regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing feature. Please, subscribe or login to access full text content. Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism. It cannot only be liberty since this does not guarantee access to the political scene. What we need to understand the function of human rights is therefore what Etienne Balibar has called “a politics of universalism.”, A “politics of universalism” investigates the political mechanisms within universalism; it asks questions about the relations between subjectivity and power within specific contexts. Historically speaking, human rights are closely connected with globalization, but at the same time, they raise the question about the foundation of globalization: is there a universal community or only economic and political power-relations? Indian interfere ), 15 Spanish conquerors ruled and behaved in the former Soviet.... Understood in its incorporation into differentiated living reality is a territorial dispute or a BATTERING RAM for Imperialism the... 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