Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5: Race for the Funds? Commentary on What Are Not Civil Rights?

(This is the fifth mini-blog in the series of commentaries related to
1: Race for the Funds?

5: What Are Not Civil Rights?

Equally important in the discussion of what are civil rights is what is not.
Civil Rights are not mineral rights, water rights, rights which pertain to control over something, or someone.

There is a misperception among people from Third World and other countries with histories of socialist or communist dictatorships that civil rights of person A means "rights over" person B, that is, to control person B.

This attitude is common among people from not only the Middle East and Africa, but also among people from Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. There are constant references to who is "in power", "regimes", reflecting experience with dictatorships rather politicians of political parties, leaders elected to serve time-limited terms in democratic countries like the USA. The use of the Russian term "czar" as in "drug czar" in American politics for the past few decades has not helped correct this misunderstanding.

The concept of rulers rather than leaders also is common in China, with histories of ruling dynasties, in the South Asian countries China influences, for example, North and South VietNam, North and South Korea. The concept of power of one group over another also is compelling in highly stratified ethnic societies like Japan and very obviously so in the "caste" structures of India.

It is difficult for people from these more authoritarian, stratified societies to understand the American pluralistic system of leadership determined by majority numbers of voters from two major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats.

(Return to http://monthlynotes.blogspot.comfor Blogs 1-5 of "Can Consumers Survive the Credit Reporting Industry?"