education and human rights

December 14th, 2008 by Romeo Anghelache

A German guy was saying, some months ago, that this financial crisis, if it deepens, might push the population into rethinking the legitimacy of the current system. I think he was late in noticing that, it’s been quite some time since I got convinced that the current capitalist system fell far below legitimacy, if it ever was legitimate by any means; it seems to be designed to only encourage violence, predator instinct, stupidity and irresponsibility. And if I got convinced, surely I’m not the only one.

I read somewhere else that this crisis has caught the political left unprepared, with no alternative model. But the political left in question is a fake left, it is a political move to soften things on the way to social and human degeneration. The only left I can trust is what is called today the radical left but I will only trust it from the outside, I will just pay attention to it. This reluctance of being part of it comes from my experience of living in a socialist country, Romania: most people claimed to be socialist, lived in a socialist principled society, but most of their actions did not qualify as socialist. The only government I can trust is the one whose detailed daily movements I can check whenever I want to, I don’t care how one would name it.

There is an alternative model to the current historical mistake, and that model can only emerge from a certain kind of education: that kind of education which allows one to qualify for human rights. It has to be understood by all of us that human rights are not a natural given that any predator with a human resemblance can benefit from. An authentic human (humanist) has to spend some time with criticizing the concepts of human and human rights, until it becomes clear why humans should benefit from human rights, and which ones are those rights. There should be an exam at the end of the formal part of this education, an exam at the end of which one qualifies for human rights or not. One can take this exam as many times as one wishes, but before passing it, no one should benefit, in principle, from human rights.

This is only the recognition that a human is the result of experience and thinking, which have to be checked. Until one qualifies for human rights, one should only qualify automatically for animal rights.

If, say, Bertrand Russell or Aldous Huxley had a definite idea of what human rights might be, that authentic experience got lost with their death, some trace being left through their writings, but the authentic understanding of human rights has to be renewed for and by each newly born human.

The only viable alternative model to the tragedy today is a model built by people qualified through this kind of education, people who earned their human rights.

So, beside sciences, one new subject should be part of any school program: humanism. Graduating humanism meaning that one understands what rights a human being should benefit from and why. It should encompass and replace philosophy, sociology, psychology, ecology, religion and any other subject that might prove its special relevance to the definition and criticism of humanity and human rights. Replacing, yes, because the aim of all these matters should not be to get you, for example, a psychologist job, but to help you understand humanity, ultimately your own life. Graduating humanism, however, only means you became a human covered by human rights, but should be completed with sciences for one to be able to act wisely in the natural context.

Fragmented knowledge is to be avoided in schools: if one builds a particular skill and is happy to apply it without concern about its possible consequences is doomed to produce and live a tragedy. One should get access, in schools, to what has been settled and agreed upon by the human culture, and should get the tools to scrutinize these agreements and settlements, to continuously question their validity.

Comments are closed.