chapter  7
19 Pages

Against Human Rights

BySlavoj Žižek

Contemporary appeals to human rights within our liberalcapitalist societies generally rest upon three assumptions. First, that such appeals function in opposition to modes of fundamentalism that would naturalize or essentialize contingent, historically conditioned traits. Second, that the two most basic rights are freedom of choice, and the right to dedicate one’s life to the pursuit of pleasure (rather than to sacrifi ce it for some higher ideological cause). And third, that an appeal to human rights may form the basis for a defence against the ‘excess of power’.