A powerless companion
DOI link for A powerless companion
A powerless companion book
This chapter argues that it is far too soon;- analytically in the one case, and historically in the other;- to sign on to either the Marxist or mainstream position about the relationship between human rights and neoliberalism. First, much more analytical clarity is required to prove more than a simple case of conjuncture between the two phenomena that are sometimes too easily conflated. Second, the record so far suggests that human rights seem fit to provide little, if any, help in remedying the development in the history of capitalism that its critics range under the heading 'neoliberalism'. The chapter examines a range of Marxist positions on the relationship between neoliberalism and human rights, beginning with Karl Marx's own theory of rights, both because of its intrinsic importance and its frequent application to current debates. It stresses that human rights offer a minimum of protection where the real significance of neoliberalism has been to obliterate the previous limitation of inequality.