And His Holiness did.
When Pope Benedict addressed the UN last Friday in a long lecture dedicated mostly to invocations of divine faith in praise and encouragements for the institution, three pointedly serious statements stood out as being potentially of immense helpfulness.
The Holy Father noted, in admonishment, the world crisis causing behavior of a powerful few:
"... we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world's problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community."
Regarding human rights, the Pope spoke of pretentious and superficial legal formalities meant to distract from the perpetuation of injustices, thus thwarting a universal exercise of real human rights.
"Experience shows that legality often prevails over justice when the insistence upon rights makes them appear as the exclusive result of legislative enactments or normative decisions taken by the various agencies of those in power.
When presented purely in terms of legality, rights risk becoming weak propositions divorced from the ethical and rational dimension which is their foundation and their goal.
The Universal Declaration, rather, has reinforced the conviction that respect for human rights is principally rooted in unchanging justice ... This aspect is often overlooked when the attempt is made to deprive rights of their true function in the name of a narrowly utilitarian perspective.
Since rights and the resulting duties follow naturally from human interaction, it is easy to forget that they are the fruit of a commonly held sense of justice built primarily upon solidarity among the members of society, and hence valid at all times and for all peoples.
This intuition was expressed as early as the fifth century by Augustine of Hippo, one of the masters of our intellectual heritage. He taught ... the saying: "Do not do to others what you would not want done to you"."
[Underlining added - not in the text as published]Pope Benedict prefaced these two names-unmentioned oblique criticisms, obviously referring to Anglo-American bullying of the world community, with a reference to a succinct prerequisite for fair and felicitous socio-political arrangements for all Mankind.
For the ongoing basely ignorant, dangerous and unethical dominance of humanity through institutionalized disrespect and disregard for the lives of its vast majority, Benedict gave a precise antidote in calling for the implementation of the relatively unfamiliar but wonderfully human fundamental ethical principle of subsidiarity in governance long proclaimed as of being dire necessity by the Papacy:
"The United Nations embodies the aspiration for a "greater degree of international ordering" (John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 43), inspired and governed by the principle of subsidiarity, and therefore capable of responding to the demands of the human family through binding international rules and through structures capable of harmonizing the day-to-day unfolding of the lives of peoples.
Since "international ordering", "binding international rules", "structures", do not seem necessarily assuring of freedom for the "human family", yours truly looked up the "principle of 'subsidiarity" to see if it mitigated against rigid control
"The idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. The concept is applicable in the fields of government, political science, cybernetics and management.
The word subsidiarity is derived from the Latin word subsidiarius and has its origins in Catholic social teaching. The concept or principle is found in several constitutions around the world (see for example the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution).
The principle is based upon the autonomy and dignity of the human individual, and holds that all other forms of society, from the family to the state and the international order, should be in the service of the human person.
Subsidiarity assumes that these human persons are by their nature social beings, and emphasizes the importance of small and intermediate-sized communities ... "Positive subsidiarity", which is the ethical imperative for communal, institutional or governmental action to create the social conditions necessary to the full development of the individual, such as the right to work, decent housing, health care, etc., is another important aspect of the subsidiarity principle.
The principle of subsidiarity was developed in the encyclical Rerum Novarum of 1891 by Pope Leo XIII, as an attempt to articulate a middle course between the excesses of laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and the various forms of communism, which subordinate the individual to the state, on the other. The principle was further developed in Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quadragesimo Anno of 1931, and in Economic Justice for All by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops."
The statement by the Holy Father introducing this principal should be latched on to and quoted over and over again everywhere by those who oppose imperialism, and struggle for a more pacific and radically democratic world of respect and fairness for all humanity.
Turns out the principle of subsidiarity is fundamental to the protection of healthy societies from the encroachment of materialistic empires. It is also appropriate for understanding the grassroots democratic political economics flaring up all over the third world as local cultures, for centuries dominated, oppressed, enslaved, robbed of their natural resources and bilked of their earnings, while their traditions and way of life were maligned, degraded, destroyed and labeled 'undeveloped' 'backward', 'inferior', 'pagan' by predatory institutions of the industrialized nations intruding and conquering by trade or raid.
The subsidiarity principle is an erudite social studies concept that explains the value of allowing people 'do what comes naturally' once out from under exploitation of the banks and military of both powerful empires and harsh governments of their subservient satellite nations.
The Zapatista revolt in Mayan Chiapas, Mexico, indigenous cultures in the Amazon basin now successfully fighting off attack from corporations backed by outlaws and corrupted government agencies, closely followed in other places in Latin America, in India, in Australia, in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, where, in kind modest size communities, derogatorily called 'backwaters', people are recognizing their own culture, for its time honored nurturing of warmth, happiness and mental health, as superior to the decadence of the 'developed' world wherein so many in materialist confusion become alienated from life itself.
In their cultures, as in ancient cultures, greed and selfishness are considered anti-social, ignorant and useless. Of course these 'subsidiarity principle' revolutions are in all cases attacked by the aggressing ubiquitous traders and armies of the former outright occupying colonial powers or their implanted co-conspiring comprador elite.
More than half of mankind is oppressed under the antonyms of the principle of subsidiarity:
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