Thursday, 17 November 2011

Who Is the Subject of the Rights of Man?

by Jacques Rancière, 2004

What lies behind this strange shift from Man to Humanity and from Humanity to the Humanitarian? The actual subject of these Rights of Man became Human Rights. Is there not a bias in the statement of such rights? It was obviously impossible to revive the Marxist critique. But another form of suspicion could be revived: the suspicion that the ‘‘man’’ of the Rights of Man was a mere abstraction because the only real rights were the rights of citizens, the rights attached to a national community as such.

Click here to download this paper in pdf.