First of all, let me say that in the past I have felt a bit uncomfortable saying merely “Hey Guys” because many feel that only refers to men.
Some women do, however, use the term when addressing everyone. And probably not all women like the term “Gals,” which is another way to try to be more inclusive. Also, we have people who see themselves as non-binary, which adds yet another wrinkle to the problem.
Sometimes I use “Folks” but only when I’m in sort of an American mood. I’m not in that mood today and would like to keep my writing style just as fluid as some see their own genders. For me, it is essential to be a fluid writer because contexts, situations, perceived issues and influences are dynamic, not static.
So I leave it open to suggestions on how best to informally address my readers.
The next point I’d like to make is about why I choose certain Think Free entries on certain days for updating. Honestly, there is no fixed plan here, other than I simply do what’s next in line, even if I am not totally enthused about that particular topic at a given moment. I find it interesting when sometimes the next topic in line, which I may have initially written over a decade ago, seems incredibly relevant to today.
This is the case with the next entry I’m updating. I actually began studying the idea of individual rights and freedoms in an Indian book back in the 1980s. The scholar referred to Indian society but as part of the Commonwealth of Nations, there are great similarities between the Indian and Canadian outlooks, Canada also belonging to the Commonwealth.
Individual Rights and Freedoms
Individual Rights and Freedoms is a political ideal that aims to defend the fundamental rights of an individual within society. However, once put into actual practice, defining and upholding the idea of individual rights and freedoms usually presents an ongoing challenge.
For sociologists like Zygmunt Baumann, modern democracies exhibit an uneasy tension between individual freedoms on the one hand and individual rights on the other hand.
The problem is this:
How can individuals be perfectly free while belonging to a society that by definition requires some kind of functional interdependence?
What if, for example, your neighbor’s freedom to have a party interferes with your right to sleep at night (or if you work the night shift, their freedom to have a party during the daytime)?
Due to potential conflicts like these, we have policies and laws that are continually being created or modified to try to protect and promote individual rights and freedoms, as well as the ideals upheld by a given social body.
This sounds great. But some like Scott Turow suggest that policies and laws do not necessarily solve problems because justice systems often favor high-status at the expense of lower-status groups. And in unduly corrupt societies, legal systems tend to go lightly on some offenders while slamming others.
Even worse, in some countries policies and laws could actually be created or modified to suit the desire of criminals who influence policymakers and politicians through intimidation and bribes or some weird variant of the Stockholm syndrome. Alternately some regimes could see changes effected by policymakers and politicians who themselves are criminals.
Academics and pundits on international news outlets rarely talk about corruption and crime influencing and degrading their own society. Sure, they may talk about “gang-related shootings” but seldomly about the white-collar criminals behind that violence, as if street gangs are not connected to an intricate, international web of illicit activity.
Related » Psychosis, Corruption
3 thoughts on “Towards a more comprehensive look at “Individual Rights and Freedoms””
Edit – minor tweak, no change in meaning.
9:37 a.m. – Edited this sentence to:
“Also, we have people who see themselves as non-binary…”
– Added subheadings.
9:49 a.m. – cleaned up this sentence a bit:
“…but as part of the Commonwealth of Nations, there are great similarities between the Indian and Canadian outlooks, Canada also belonging to the Commonwealth.”
9:57 a.m. – revised two paragraphs toward the end to include the idea of “policies.”
“…policies and laws that are continually being created or modified…”
10 :11 a.m. – added the notion of the Stockholm syndrome, which in a general sense seems to apply more often than not. The abused, if you will, come to identify with their abuser to resolve an uneasy cognitive dissonance that arises from choosing to act in bad faith.
“…through intimidation and bribes or some weird variant of the Stockholm syndrome…”
11:02 a.m. – cleaned up this sentence:
“…justice systems often favor high-status at the expense of lower-status groups…”
02/22/2022, 3:42 a.m. – made a few edits for clarity
Totally agree. Was extremely sensitive to this while teaching to the extent it grates me now to watch both male and female You Tubers starting out with Hi Guys. Much prefer Hello/Hi Everyone/Everybody or more specific like Hi Listeners/ Viewers.
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Thanks, I like “Hi Everyone!”