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'Human rights begin with breakfast': this quip from the former President of Senegal, Leopold Senghor, prompts many to react in alarm. Some see this assertion as part of an argument that certain rights, such as the right to food, need to be properly secured before one can turn to the luxury of the right to vote or to the privilege of freedom of expression. Indeed, many subscribe to a so-called 'full belly thesis', according to which subsistence rights to food and water have to be secured before turning to civil and political rights relating to political participation, arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, or privacy. Such argumentation is not as prevalent as it used to be (at least in government circles). Today all governments accept (most of the time) that there should be no prioritisation among different types of rights. Different types of rights are seen to be mutually reinforcing: better nutrition, health and education will lead to improvements in political freedoms and the rule of law; similarly, freedom of expression and association can ensure that the best decisions are taken to protect rights to food, health, and work. Despite the logic of such a desire to secure 'all rights for all people', traditional assumptions about what constitute 'proper' human rights still persist. One does not have to look very far to find voices claiming that the rights we are discussing in these texts are not really human rights. Such an approach probably conceals a sense that such rights get in the way of rational choice and economic efficiency. Alternatively, those who wish to confine human rights to issues such as torture and freedom of expression may have simply underestimated how much we now care about poverty and disease, not only when it affects us - but also when it affects other people.
“Since China’s reform and opening began in 1978, the country has come a long way on the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Over 30 years of reform efforts and sustained spectacular economic growth have turned China into the world’s second largest economy, and wrought many profound changes in the Chinese society.”
The Road to the Rule of Law in Modern China
Quanxi Gao, Wei Zhang, Feilong Tian
Quanto mais importante se torna a China, mais difícil se converte o entendimento da sua realidade. O mundo ocidental na diversidade dos países que o compõem tem a sua visão peculiar, própria e especial da China, devido ao crescente aumento de empresários, estudantes e turistas que viajam para o país, que acrescido do conhecimento de especialistas na matéria cria maior confusão na aprendizagem da realidade chinesa.
“An evil group of men has always wanted to rule the entire world. In the past conquest has failed to achieve this, due to the resulting outrage and awareness of the enemy. In our present time evil groups are trying a subtle but effective way to rule. This is to gradually infiltrate and delude the masses into accepting their ideas.”
A maioria das novas complexidades globais reflectem conflitos de longa data sobre recursos naturais, interesses económicos ou antigas rivalidades políticas. Um mundo entrelaçado parece ter um maior número e intensidade de disputas sobre práticas e relações comerciais ou políticas nacionais, o que desestabiliza os laços entre países e gera conflitos sociais, económicos e políticos. No entanto, parte dessa agitação reflecte novas fontes de imprevisibilidade. Por exemplo, existem estados falidos ou áreas desgovernadas, em muitos locais, ao redor do mundo. Uma série de locais, especialmente em África e no Médio Oriente, têm governos sem autoridade e incapazes de limitar o comportamento agressivo.
“It was 250,000 years before the world’s population reached 1 billion, around 1800. But it took only a dozen years for mankind to add its latest billion, passing 7 billion in October 2011, by the United Nations’ official count. This is megachange: change on a grand scale, happening at remarkable speed. It is all around us. Technology is spreading astonishingly fast – think of the internet, mobile phones and the oceans of information now captured on computers or transmitted via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The global economy is tilting towards Asia in front of our eyes. All this is having a deep impact on people’s lives, businesses’ strategies, countries’ politics and the planet’s prospects”.
Megachange: The World in 2050
D. Franklin and John Andrews
A excepcional evolução, também, pode ter lugar periodicamente na política. Os terramotos políticos não são tão raros, como ficou demonstrado pela vitória considerada improvável de Donald Trump, em 8 de Novembro de 2016. A média terminou na área da economia, após 2008, devido à grande recessão, e é de acreditar que será difícil criar um crescimento económico robusto e sustentado como defende Tyler Cowen no seu livro “Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation”.