Chapter

The Capitalist Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679489.003.0010
The Capitalist Argument

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This chapter examines the capitalist argument for the claim that human rights are Western. Human rights are Western in the sense that they are associated with the phenomenon of capitalism. This economic phenomenon arose in the West and continues to flourish in the West. The argument could be developed along these lines for all the three generations of rights: the civil–political, the socio-economic, and the developmental and ecological rights. It is argued that the relationship of capitalism to human rights is Janus-faced. Sometimes it assists human rights and sometimes it runs counter to it. The essential point is that there is an ambiguity in the relationship and ambiguity often leaves room for creativity. It certainly militates against any concepts of inevitability in the relationship.

Keywords: capitalism; human rights; Western idea; civil–political rights; socio-economic rights; developmental rights; ecological rights

Chapter.  1234 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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