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Genuine politics cannot risk a step without first having demonstrated its fidelity to morality, and even though politics may justly be called a difficult art, its combination with morality is no art at all; for morality slices in two the knot which others flounder in the face of once they fall into squabbling. Human rights must be kept whole, no matter what that may cost the powers that be. In this case there must be no compromise, no median worked out between pragmatically oriented rights (between rights and utilitarianism)–all politics must bend its knee before human rights, and only in this fashion may politics ever aspire to reach the stage where it will illuminate humanity.
–Immanuel Kant, Zum ewigen Frieden – Anhang II (1795) in: Sämtliche Werke vol. 5, p. 703 (Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst ed. 1927)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”