The Rights of Man

June 30, 2011

Hay Festival 2006.
"The contrarian traces the history of The Rights of Man from the publication of Part One in 1791 in London and its rapturous reception across the Atlantic. He analyses the meaning it has acquired since its creation, and its significance as the cornerstone of contemporary debates about our basic human rights."
In 4 parts.
   

Christopher Hitchens talks to Phil Maynard about his biography of Thomas Paine, Iraq, and US politics: books.guardian.co.uk

6 comments:

Michael Dawson said...

RoM --> rule of law, correct?

So, Hitchens, endorser of the blatantly illegal re-invasion of Iraq, as well as fan of every other unilateral affront to international law, is a very curious source on this topic.

How does he manage to suppress the obvious conclusions of his own better work (such as this piece)?

It's "Right of Man" not "The Rights of Man". It's a strange mistake that Hitchens makes every time he talks about Thomas Paine. There is a 1775 lecture by Paine called "The Rights of Man" but the books itself doesn't have the definite article. Pedantic, I know but his analysis of Paine is so good that it's a shame he KEEPS getting the title wrong.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is "RIGHTS of Man", however, the work is so universally read it is commonly referred to as "The Rights of Man", kind of like "The Holy Bible."

You've missed the tiny nit you tried to pick.

sasss31 said...

"So, Hitchens, endorser of the blatantly illegal re-invasion of Iraq, as well as fan of every other unilateral affront to international law, is a very curious source on this topic."

Actually, it was not unilateral; the liberation of Iraq was a multinational force consisting of 39 countries. The likes of you would rather allow murderous dictators such as Saddam Hussein and rogue regimes such as the Taliban to stay in power. The world is a better and more secure place today than it was 10+ years ago.

Steve H said...

I don't know where Dawson gets his idea that the rights of man has anything to do with international law. Most of international law is about reinforcing the interests of nation states, not of human beings.

I didn't agree with the invasion of Iraq but it can't be denied that the point of international law on which Hitchens' detractors hang their hats is this:- governments can mistreat the people under their charge as badly as they like just so long as they don't extend that mistreatment outside their borders.

That's hardly a summation of the philosophy of Rights of Man.

. said...

sasss31 said... “The world is a better and more secure place today than it was 10+ years ago.”
You must be joking.

Michael Dawson said... “… a very curious source on this topic.” True. ? What rights or freedoms do Americans REALLY have, in a country where Democracy is only for the few? Total hypocrisy. Howard Zinn - "America was a racist class society then and remains one today to benefit elitist interests at the expense of working households, especially Black and Latino ones. "We try to pretend in this country that we're all one happy family. We're not."

 
 
 

Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir