chapter  3
7 Pages

Enduring right

WithPeter Fitzpatrick

This chapter is concerned with a pure and primal humanity, a completeness of being, arrogated by the Occident through claims to the 'human' of human rights and to the freedom embedded in their assertion. It focuses the sharpened salience assumed by these rights and this freedom in the aftermath of the 'events' of September 2001. That combination of rights and freedom is found in an origin attributed to human rights: the 'declaration' and elevation of universal rights, 'rights of man', in the French and 'American' revolutions. Much criticism has been directed at how such universal rights have been tied to the formation of particular national societies or tied to particular social relations. The constitution of human rights in variants of such exclusion persists. Humanity as universal can only be approached from within, and from that orientation such humanity extends ever beyond any fixity of position, exemplary or otherwise.