Progressive critique of human rights sometimes view institutionalized human rights as part of the disciplinary state's arm; imposing Western cultural hegemony on second and third world cultures. This includes recent oxymoronic, Orwellian-speak styled human rights based "humanitarian" wars or "interventions".
Goodheart does not necessarily disagree but sees progressive critiques as "backward projections from the contemporary dominance of liberal legal, institutional, and philosophical instatiations of human rights, one that neglects ample historical evidence". In short, he suggests that progressives not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I am largely sympathetic with his arguement and his ensuing exposition. Although, it is true that human rights has become part of the disciplinary state, it should never become unmoored from its grassroots, emancipatory history. He draws on Karen Zivi who argues that "rights claiming" is a performance that helps to create identities and foster solidarity among participants claiming rights; and can thus generate new political possibilites, either through asserting new notions of membership or citizeneship or by resignifying exisitng ones. Zivi aruges that critiques of human rights as connected to the disciplinary states, miss the unpredictability and and transformative potential of "rights claiming".
Overall, I find this article satisfying. We hear on social media signifcant concern around the rise of the alt-right; leading legislators and some advocacy groups to push social media tech to assume censoring roles. I think this is a slippery slope since social media has become the contemporary social square and provides a useful function in mobilizing groups, associations, and individuals to participate in the political life of the community. Curtailing "wrong- think" speech is a poor way to address concerns.
My belief is that spaces for deep, sustained, political dialogue enhances rather than diminishes our community.
But, in order for this to happen, we have to in some way unplug from media and allow ourselves to once again read, reflect, absorb, contemplate, and discuss a range of ideas in the "real world" of people, places, and spaces. As Kierkegaard aptly said in the nineteenth century, "people demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought they rarely use".
As I resurrect this blog, began in 2012, I wonder if it will be a venue that has any value and may already be supplanted by y0u tube, twitter, and instagram with their emphasis on the immediate and brief exposition (140 word or average of 16 - 20 minutes for most vlogs).
But even if it fails to reach an audience, it is a useful way to journal my own politcal, social, and creative thought and expression.