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Old 02-05-2020, 08:48 AM   #54
Posts: 292

"human rights" are tricky. I certainly enjoy my privileges as an American citizen, but I often think the discourse surrounding them seems to assert them as some kind of transhistorical fact essential to the human condition, rather than as a specific social construct. I guess Jefferson gets to the heart of the matter when he claims "these truths to be self-evident," suggesting that they exist a priori. Which they don't, obviously, since the US founding documents had the need to assert them in the first place.

Thus, I think calls for social action based on appeal to "human rights" ironically runs the risk of taking our social contract for granted, rather than as something that must be constantly re-articulated and reaffirmed, and protected and fought for.

I'd argue tho that art actually IS a "transhistorical fact essential to the human condition." I don't think one can live a human life without encoutnering/participating in art. So I think your question is less about whether "art" is a human right," but moreso whether consuming certain forms of art in certain ways is a "human right."

To which I'd say no, I think we have more pressing social needs than making sure everyone can consume art in some certain way. Especially since so much art is free on the internet.

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