Talal Asad on Human Rights Discourse

Why, I asked, was there such a disparity between the record of third-world countries and those of Euro-American democracies? My answer to that question is equally banal: people in the latter are neither more hypocritical nor more virtuous than in the former. If third world countries are cited more frequently for violations, this is not simply because there are more dictators there using violence against their own populations (although that is in fact so.) It is principally because their societies are as yet unredeemed. When that redemption is complete, rights and capital will be equally universalized. But whether universal capital or universal human right will bring with it practical equality and an end to all suffering is quite another question.

[tarboush tip to dan for the brilliant excerpt, relating to the discussion here.]

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