n Acta Juridica - Human dignity, right and the realm of ends

Volume 2008, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



This is my first trip to South Africa. In fact, it is my first time on the continent of Africa, and even my first adventure south of the equator. I am honoured to be in South Africa, because I regard this nation as just about the only one whose history in the past half century might have the power to inspire us with hope. My own country, for instance, the United States, has long thought of itself (and has even been thought of by others) as a defender of human rights and liberty. But during the past fifty years, it has become the world's leading imperialist power. It now engages without hesitation in brutal wars of aggression. It regards its military power as exempting it from all international law and even from all recognised standards of human decency. At home as well as abroad, it is turning into a sham all the conceptions of human rights, and all the ideals of democracy and freedom, which it still arrogantly thinks of as its exclusive property.

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