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Human Rights

Last Sunday I was at a protest here in Stockholm against the world’s grossest and disgustingest snitch law, and I agree 100% that this law needs to be stopped. It’s a law mandating teachers, librarians, health personnel etc to turn in “illegal” refugees and immigrants. Others can and have written more eloquently & better against that law than I can.

This (what I’m about to write about) is a much less important tangent, not at all meant to distract from the vital fight against the fascist law proposal.

It’s that one argument (among a hundred much better arguments) that “our side” kept falling back to throughout the speeches at the demo was the convention of human rights. Since that convention enshrines copyright (since the IP industry wedged that in there in article 27) and I oppose copyright, that means one of two things:

The human rights argument is fallacious (perhaps overly relying on a package-deal fallacy or an honor by association fallacy). “Such-and-such is wrong because we’ve said it’s wrong.” Oh, it’s the assertion fallacy! Yeah, yeah, things can be fallacious but true. But the human rights argument contradicts my opposition to artificial scarcity, economic sabotage, concentrated profit-driven unsustainable control over means of production, runaway externalities etc.

Or I am wrong about all that stuff. Who knows.

Just a whiff of the idea of “questioning human rights” immediately sets a sinking feeling of anxiety and dread in my stomach because human rights is such a bastion against the facho wedge issues and such a core beacon of values in the absurd naturalist modern world.

But there are some things in that declaration that (depending on how you interpret them) risk enshrining market capitalism if we carve it into granite and we’ll be the most free traders on the cinder.

If we assume the human rights argument is correct & necessary as an unshakeable axiom, and that might well be the case, it’s challenging to see sustainable degrowth. It’s not impossible—people can voluntarily give up what the declaration states is their inalienable property—and I’m sure that even to the most die-hard commie that kinda voluntary association would feel a heck of a lot better than appropriation.

Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

“Association with others” is allowed so just get together & jam.♥︎

“Eat the rich” is not gonna work but maybe we can starve ‘em by working for each other instead of for them. The coming mass automatization of centralized means of production via artifical learning models is an obstacle to that but maybe not an insurmountable one.


All of humanity getting together and declaring an arbitrary list of things that are to be considered rights was maybe a pretty good idea, if we on this li’l blue marble are supposed to figure out a way to work together and what we really care about and how we can build a good life for ourselves and each other.

There’s a lot of really good stuff in there.

In the 1940s when the declaration was made, the bugs of capitalism was already well understood (from labor exploitation to externalities), but not widely so. And copying technology was the domain of publishing houses, not the floppy drive on every desk. So I can’t blame ‘em for a couple of misses.

I guess I’m just grateful that they didn’t jam in “everyone is entitled to a car, to burgers every day, and free airplane tickets to the Mets” while they were at it.