The new democracy should not only be based by the revised Universal Values of Humanity but also include Human responsibilities. When human values become enshrined in law they become rights. But rights are not given on a plate. Implementing rights and maintaining them over time has a price tag both in monetary terms as well as in keeping the ethical balance. For example, my child has the right to be properly fed and clothed and it is my responsibility to make it happen. People have the right for an emergency hospital care in case of an accident, and this is my responsibility through the collected taxes to ensure that such a right can be materialized.
The overwhelming focus on human rights has created an unhealthy imbalance by ignoring human responsibilities. We see it quite often in courts across the EU countries, when an offender seems to have more rights than a victim. It is a clear evidence of how sensible liberal values have led to the so called political correctness, seriously undermining the political and social stability. The pendulum of liberalism may have shifted too far towards the rights. Therefore, it is time to consider some ideas for reducing the imbalance between the rights and responsibilities such as:
- Human rights have to be balanced with citizens’ responsibilities. It is far inadequate to have the EU Human Rights Court, which is blind to the citizens’ responsibilities
- Countries must be able to control the free flow of EU citizens and access of EU migrant’s to the hosting country’s benefits
- Migration control (both external and within the EU) must differentiate clearly between economic migrants and asylum seekers. States should have full control over economic migrants to maintain the economic and cultural stability. We have to recognize and say it loudly that economic migration in large numbers in a very short time from countries with different cultures, like the 2015-2016 wave of migration into the EU, may create very serious social tensions. Asylum seekers should definitely be helped to save them from grave danger of persecution or death because they may have lost all means to survive. If the situation in their home country improves within say 5 years, they should be sent home. If they are allowed to stay longer than that, they should be offered asylum rights, naturalization and eventually citizenship in the host country. They should be reminded that they have to assimilate with the prevailing host nation’s political and cultural system rather than escape to their own ghettos. Economic migrants e.g. from Africa should be helped in an entirely different way, in their own countries under a big international well-co-ordinated and controlled programme. I am putting forward a proposal on how it could be done in the final Part 3 of this book.
- Every gender has a responsibility to maintain social cohesion and observe social norms. For example, it is not helpful for the sake of political correctness to promote homosexuality as something seemingly better than heterosexuality, best exemplified by the pink parades. While granting people of non-heterosexual inclinations the same rights as everybody else, the reverse should also be the case and at least in the UK it has not been so, e.g. partnerships have been granted to non-heterosexuals but not to heterosexual couples. The same goes for racial equality. For example, black people have the same responsibility as the white people to treat other races as they would like to be treated. There should not be an exaggerated protection of any race. All races are equal.
- Governments and global companies must take the responsibility for controlling the impact of globalisation, so that its negative effects are minimized.
- Large corporations should be held legally responsible if they do not pay tax due in the country where they operate
- It is the government’s responsibility to introduce tougher control of the market in general by drastically reducing monopolies, and oligopolies, but especially in the media (in the UK about 40% of all media is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and in the USA the same 40% of the media market is controlled by Comcast).
Similarly as for the human rights related to 12 Universal Values of Humanity defined earlier, there should also be a complimentary list of Universal Responsibilities of Humanity. Here is one example for Freedom.
Freedom and safety as a responsibility
We all take it for granted that we live in peace and in relative safety within the borders of Europe. But there must be someone that delivers peace. It is the army and police that do it. In most EU countries, compulsory military service was abolished years ago. The result of that can be seen in the way young people behave. It is great to see them enjoy such a wonderful peaceful life. But this is like giving a little child a toy. A child is unaware of what it may cost their parents. Young people are not even taught at school that, for example freedom, requires contribution both in money (taxes) and in kind (e.g. serving in the army).
However, change may be in the air. In February 2018, President Macron announced that he would re-introduce one year compulsory military service for between 600,000 and 800,000 young people. They will have a military training and spend at least a month with the armed forces. (Stone, 2018). Similar decision was made by the Swedish government. The conscription system abolished in Sweden in 2010 was re-introduced in 2018.
Military service is mandatory in Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece and Lithuania. In the majority of cases, it is compulsory for all male adult citizens, while women have the choice of enrolling into the military service. They can choose between military or civilian service. Germany considered in 2016 to have conscription returned in case of national emergency, as provided by the constitution. Interesting fact, in 2013, Austria held a referendum where around 60% of the voters were in favour of retaining compulsory military service.
Of course a military service is only one of the examples of how the right to freedom should be balanced by the responsibility to deliver it. It illustrates a broader point that our societies should be re-educated in that rights do not come free; they also require us to take the responsibility for their delivery.