December 2, 2012
Don´t fiddle around with fundamental rights!
In politics in general and especially in EU politics you frequently run across the expression "striking a balance between fundamental rights and X" - where X might stand for war on terrorism, hunting down file sharers, protecting children or combating crime. Or just about anything.
Let's take this apart to see what it implies. "Striking a balance..." To achieve a balance you must weigh things against each other. An other way to put it is to compromise.
So, what is the compromise supposed to be about? "Fundamental rights." That is – the most important values that we build our society upon. The principles that guarantee democracy, rule of law and liberty.
Let's see... Hm... No.
No Fucking Way.
There doesn't even have to be any bloody terrorists – if our politicians are to disassemble our fundamental rights themselfes. Then we loose on walk over. Then politicians are the real threat to common people and to a decent society.
It gets especially absurd when X is protecting special interests from reality. For example protecting Big Busines from the free market.
Like the film- and music industry. They refuse to face reality. They demand special legislation to protect their outdated business models. And they are willing to kill a free and open Internet, put us all under surveillance and privatize law and order in the process.
Most politicians happily play along with this.
So, what's next? I could imagine farmers would find it very handy and cost effective if they could keep slaves. Striking a balance between fundamental rights and the farming industries need to make a buck.
No, there is no difference when it comes to the underlaying principles. You cannot just be a little bit pregnant. Either you respect our fundamental rights or you don't.
We cannot be sloppy when it comes to fundamental human rights and liberties. They must be defended, at all cost.
Even when the threat comes from some sweet old lady sincerely trying to protect the children. Sorry. Our fundamental rights are moore important. Naturally we should do our best to protect the children. But we shall not do it e.g. by introducing censorship, as suggested by EU officials.
The sloppiness has rised to a level where politicians often make infringing civil rights their first, spontaneous proposal - before even considering other (often better) options.
Today politics takes away a little of our civil rights here and a few of our liberties there. It is done in small steps and always with the best of intentions.
Everything can be justified or explained in one way or another. This also goes for really bad stuff.
That is why it is important that we draw a line. And that is exactly what fundamental rights are about. It's the stuff you don't touch. It is a no go-zone for politicians. It is what bureaucrats should not be allowed to tamper with.
As politicians and civil servants no longer seems to understand the value and importance of our fundamental rights – it is now up to us, the people, to defend them if we want to keep them.