UN Declaration of Human Rights Fourth Step Toward...


By William Westmiller

Among all the good and bad ideas about government, the best and the worst can be found in the United Nations. Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a charter document for the founding of the UN. It incorporates the highest ideals and the lowest depravity of human thought. Like sugar mixed with arsenic, the Declaration has no residual value for human life. The poison inherent in this document has seriously injured every American and every resident on earth for five decades.
The thirty articles of the Universal Declaration are a deadly blend of human rights principles from the US Constitution and socialist perversions that have crippled Europe for the past half century. It was drafted as a compromise between two alien views of government, as though Thomas Jefferson and Karl Marx had been forced to draft a joint treatise on good government. Lacking the integrity of those two historic figures, the politicians who founded the United Nations had no qualms about mixed premises.
The most damaging flaw in the Declaration is the proposition that rights are granted by governments, not inherent in individuals. The consequence is that rights become superficial legal entitlements, which commonly impose affirmative duties on some, at the expense of others. The right to private property is cast as no more fundamental than the "right" to periodic holidays, good social services, and access to cultural events. The Declaration is a long shopping list of ideas, many of which we could applaud. It's the little crystals of arsenic that have gained prominence in elite political circles, threatening the basic Constitutional rights of every American.
When the Clinton Administration issues an Executive Order, it is never aimed at enforcing fundamental human rights. It is always an application of some United Nations agreement which expands government power at the expense of individual rights. In most cases, these executive edicts are a nimble interpretation of some UN mandate, which the President hopes to impose on every state andmunicipality through the leveraged tentacles of the federal bureaucracy. In private meetings, Hillary Rodham-Clinton refers to this method of social change as the "Third Way" toward a better world. Without legislation, without Congressional debate, the Administration will implement the commitments we have endorsed, simply by our continuing membership in the United Nations. If everyone has a "right to medical care", enunciated in the Declaration, then the Administration believes it has all the mandate it requires to implement that Universal Human Right as it sees fit.
In some cases, outrage has caused the temporary suspension of Executive Orders, but rarely is the outrage directed at the actual basis for the directive. In many cases, the foundation for the edict is an actual treaty, endorsed by the Senate without a second thought. Our politicians seem ill equipped to challenge international agreements which commit the United States to vague entitlements such as equal pay, social security, "favorable remuneration", child care or education "promoting the activities of the United Nations". These little words on paper are the coveted tools of autocrats bent on expanding government power over our lives.
Nevertheless, there is some merit in having an international forum to discuss issues of war and peace. The nostrum that "as long as they're talking, they're not fighting" is good sense. The General Assembly might even afford us an opportunity to instruct the more tyrannic nations in the principles of civil government. Even hosting such a forum in New York City may actually expose some foreign elites to the joys of America's culture and lifestyle. And, we should be willing to pay a per-capita share of the expense for such a forum. However, the primary function of the United Nations is not conversation, but rather the implementation of those poisonous Universal Rights through a vast army of special envoys, agencies and commissions. We're paying two cents for talk and billions for international welfare that props up a host of "evil empires" around the world.
The individual rights expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are indeed Universal Rights inherent in every human being everywhere in the world. Forming a world government whose sole objective is the defense of those rights is a worthy and important goal. Some of the established international institutions explicitly adhere to those objectives, but the United Nations is not one of them. Simply withdrawing from the UN won't establish the framework for a peaceful and secure world. Rather than damning the darkness and withdrawing into our sanctuary, we should all be about "Tikun Olam", the Hebrew phrase that suggests a commitment to repairing the world.
ARI Comment on UN Rights


©1999, William Westmiller
California Coordinator of the Republican Liberty Caucus
Past Candidate for the Republican Nomination for (24 CA) Congress
Former National Secretary, California Chairman, Libertarian Party
repair4.c38 ~780 Words
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