Hannah Arent's Paradox Of Human Rights

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The human rights discourse suggest that a human has rights, based solely on the fact that (s)he is a human. (Alıntı yap birinden)? According to Hannah Arendt, the condition of the stateless and refugees beginning from the end of the First World War show us explicitly the paradox of this discourse, for the refugees had no rights precisely because they were merely human, and had nothing else to hold on. They were not citizens, thus stateless, which meant that they had no rights. In this paper, the paradox of human rights will be discussed from a Arendtian perspective, and it will be argued that a solution to this paradox can be found only and foremost with deconstructing what a human and politics mean, following Agamben’s perspective on “bare life” and “biopolitics.”
A)Post WWI
“Imperialism,” the second part of The Origins of Totalitarianism entails Hannah Arent’s critical discussion on human rights. “The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man” is the final chapter of “Imperialism” where Arendt mainly discusses how the failure of human rights is the fundamental fact of modern times.
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We have to consider that both represent the Enlightenment’s conceptualization of sovereignty. According to Arendt, the paradox of sovereignty was that on the one hand, it was giving the right of a rational people to control its own destiny. At the same time, however, this right to control destiny entailed nations pursuing their ends whatever means necessary. Thus, the question arises, if the deprivation of stateless peoples and refugees from rights are simple errors/exceptions or inherent problems of nation-states. According to Arendt, ethnic cleansing and genocide are actually part and/or result of this understanding of sovereignty, for nation-states possess “the sovereign right of
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