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C LASS N OTES FOR : P OLI S CI 3Y03
McMaster University, Winter 2014
T UESDAY , M ARCH 18, 2014
Processes that took place in Latin America caused various catastrophes by the Cold War.
- People were killed in so called war against communism
- Pursued by the “Allied?”
- Pursued by the Americans, the Industries
- What did the cold war mean in the case of Latin America?
Massive human rights tragedies during and after the Cold War
- Algeria, Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam), Latin America, Southern Africa, Central
America, Rwanda, Congo, the former Yugoslavia, Sudan/Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria,
- Why are they called “Massive human rights tragedies?”
- Based on a profound sense of hatred for the “other” (whose humanity has been denied since
colonial times by religion, science and culture)
o Calls into question the “Universality of Human R ights”
We have not stopped trying to invent human rights
- Origins, development and eventual consolidation (Democracy and Human Rights)
- Progressive changes and inventions to human rights
o Worked to do what we do with our democratic political systeme that these work!
- Why are we always inventing human rights and ameliorating our democracies?
- Access to contraception is a human right? Constantly inventing newer and newer human rights.
- Why are human rights and democracy are incomplete processes?
- We as society are always evolving,
- The origin, emergence and expansion à we are part of the enlightenment, model and intellectual
tradition, which believes in progress. Our Western heritage means that we are constantly evolving.
- Because of what we claim to be “inventors of democracy”, “inventors of human rights” and we
claim to believe in the idea of progress, it is because of this, that it is very hard for everyone to try
to figure out the incredible atrocities (that we who invented human rights, etc.) c ould have done,
to inflict so much pain, torture, etc.
All dialectical historical processes
- Columbus arrived, in 1492, and by 1518 the entire population of the Caribbean islands were
o Decimation means, 1 of every 10 people in the America’s died as a result.
o What was the outcome of the decimation of the people from the Caribbean
o The Europeans imported people from elsewhere, brought people from Africa, as the
massive slave trade. The Massive enslavement of millions of Africans who were
transported into the Americas as laborers that would make possible the development that
was taking place in Europe.
o These were done by gov’ts and nations that claimed they needed to have their individual
human rights respected.
- First and Second World War, among st Western Christian democracies.
Angie © McMaster University 1
Winter 2014 Started on: 3/21/14 4:43 PM
- The United Nations was created in order to stop / prevent conflict
o What conflict followed after the conclusion of the Second World War
- 1823 - United States has a manifest destiny and this includes exporting Americcivilization to
the rest of the world
o America belongs to the Americans
o Denunciation of the European Powers that in 1823 the period where Latin American have
gained their independence.
- Human rights tragedies have resulted as a result of Western gov’t interventi on
o We have a right to claim the issue because of who we claim to be.
o How can we rationalize all of these massive human rights tragedies?
o There is now way we can justify all of these things we have done.
- Carried out mainly by governments (amounting to sta te-sponsored terrorism) in the name of
- Carried out mainly by Western powers in the name of democracy and human rights (the
Instrumentalization” of both)
- Because of the willful blindness of the international legal system (political expedie ncy prevails
- Because of the questionable performance