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Abstract follows. Well worth a slow read.


ABSTRACT
The Subprime Crash that started capitalism’s latest crisis was mainly a proxy for an inexistent housing policy which would benefit many impoverished middle class families.
Housing being clearly recognized as a human right, the behaviour of markets and its critical consequences could lead us to say that the Subprime Crash is above all the dramatic and global expression of the incapacity of markets to meet human rights.
More than that, it could also be the demonstration of the counterproductive effects of the neglect of human rights by the market and by economics itself, the crisis being a result of this neglect.


Human rights are assuredly one of the most influential and fruitful concepts of moderntimes in the human quest for dignity. Economics has developed a considerable amount of tools especially designed to overcome, or at least mitigate, scarcity, probably the most tormenting spectre that haunts the deprived. Human rights and economics, thus, have contributed immensely to free human kind, human rights from fear and economics from want. Despite this convergence it seems that economics regards human rights as
competing rather than as completing.


I have argued that mainstream economics discourse is often contradictory with promoting human rights. What are the changes economics must undergo in order to promote human rights? These changes will be examined in four aspects concerning specific economic, social and cultural human rights. First, on the right to work, second on the right to social security, third on cultural freedom, and finally on substantive democracy.
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Michael Josefowicz's profile photoDibyendu De's profile photoSteven Putter's profile photoDaniel Durrant's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Michael Josefowicz This was exactly what I wanted to say in our 'By the Water' project. First comes the right to work and earn.

From the statistics it appeared to me that they (specially women) are denied this basic right to work and earn. Otherwise why they should suffer 'wife beating', allowed by social consciousness? Moreover, the effect spills over to the relatively high mortality rate of children below 5 years of age.

Second social security can't happen without access to some property of sorts, leased or otherwise, over which people can have some ownership. Otherwise it is the simple propagation and domination of the market theory. I have seen the good effects of owning property by the 'have nots' and how it changed everything in the state where I live.

Then comes play and education that would have far reaching effect creating continuous inflection points in the economy and life styles.

Though some of these elements do appear on the map of the project these don't appear to seamlessly flow from one another in an integrative and inclusive manner.

May be I am the only one who is not just getting the feel of it in the design. One can't do collective good within the same capitalistic structure. No?

It is like planting a tree to restore the ecology under which sustainability thrives. What is the best time to plant a tree? The best answer is 20 years back. When is the next best time? Now.

If you feel that my concerns, arising out of my understanding of Nemetics are BS (may be it is) kindly ignore. I shall then delete the comment.
 
+Dibyendu De Bullshit? hardly. I think you have gotten to the core of the approach in my mind. My focus on literacy is that it opens so many more opportunities to earn a living. As rural populations move to arrival cities being able to read and write well gives them enormous new opportunities.

I've seen it play out many times here in the States. Although usually merely the acquisition of the right language is the enabler. Back in the day we used recent polish immigrants to take care of some hand work projects. The one who spoke English good enuff became the leader merely by virtue of being able to translate nemes from her NemiSphere to my nemiSphere who had real money to pay for real value.

Where we might have different view is in our view of the evolving capitalist system. What I see is an inevitable and positive trend for the next stage of the species' development.

As I read Marx's Revenge I think what I see is completely consistent with that brilliant nuanced discussion.
 
+Dibyendu De The other place where I might disagree with your comments is the notion that it is step one, step two , step three. Rather all three phases are entangled as a system moves to resilience.

Do you think that makes sense?
 
Yes it does. They are all entangled. Sorry to have written it down in Steps - quite misleading indeed. They are all to be started at the same time to have cross over effects that would highly accelerate the progress. To learn English as a language is must. That gives them a head start as cities/towns develop.
 
"Thus, the choice individuals are called to make is not a matter of
whether human rights should be adopted or not, given the economic system; but which is the most favourable economic system, given the adoption of human rights. In a democratic society, if the human rights option collides with a definite system of economic rules, it is then necessary to enrich this system and modify its rules."

This to me is where the cookie crumble and the penny needs to drop, but i say again, basic human rights=basic human obligation.
the one can not be without the other. What will we consider basic human rights today, right here in the now?

The space to sustain yourself, this will include
Clean Air
Water
Shelter
Nutrition and food
the ability to have a voice that the species can hear and the ability to hear every member of the species speak

this for me is the basic essentials, out of this all other can flow and be created in dignity by the individual.

thoughts
 
+Steven Putter +Michael Josefowicz yes, basic needs, including literacy, should be met. Not simply because opportunities are located in english speaking cities, but also b/c the web is mostly in english.

What is needed is an 'economy for everyone' that ensures the "highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, to progressively free education, and to cultural, artistic and scientific freedom."
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