Global Socioeconomic Perspectives LIB 320
Professor: Angela Cranon-Charles
January 18, 2010
Responsibility to Humanity
The question to Americans, concerning supporting human rights, is proposed as: Is there any responsibility to a broader humanity, or only to themselves, their family, community, or state? The question is ages-old, and provokes Americans to examine the very foundation of where they stand on the issue, no matter whether a persons position is secular, moral/ethical, religious/spiritual, social, individualistic or collectivist in nature, concerning the physical, or dealing with civil order, human safety, the environment, or even is merely political or humanistic. The question is not easy, and the answer(s) is/are not easy either because it is based on the complexities of international societies in a dynamic interplay of transnational power struggles in an anarchic world, global politics and industrialization, international trade and commerce, natural disasters, environmental issues, and at its heart, the concept of universal human rights. Human beings ultimately have a responsibility to each other on all levels; however, to correct the problems of the past, this higher ideal must be balanced with equality, respect of cultural differences, health and safety, and sustainable living standards, even if that means the best way to help someone is to leave them well enough alone.
Should people, as individuals, or as members of their churches or other groups, or even as a state or nation take a more active role in support of universal human rights? This authors position on this would be yes overall, but with definite limitations or rules determining the process. It is well known, at least to those outside of the United States, that America is seen as egotistic and a nation that sticks its ethnocentric nose into other peoples (foreign countries) business without regard for the people or collectivist cultures who live there, all in the name of helping them (Viotti and Kauppi, 2009, p. 434). This is akin to an overbearing next door neighbor opening someone elses front door without the owners permission, taking over their family, and telling them not only what they need to do to fix their problems, but also doing it for them without their input. This is where the advantages of cultural relativism and the emic (inside) view, rather than American-centric etic (outside) view is essential in dealing with other cultures on their terms.
An example of how human rights have been dealt with in foreign countries, and failed, has been done in areas of famine. People in India have been given wheat in the past, which caused their agricultural market to fall (http://www.heritage.org/research/TradeandForeignAid/bg665.cfm). Similar instances in other countries have also occurred with other foods, and it is like sending pork as food relief to Jews or Muslims, who cannot and do not eat such things based on religious beliefs. Ensuring that people get what they need, rather than what Americans deem they might want, should be a high priority consideration if humanitarian issues are going to be properly addressed. Equality in the political realm, as well as in gender and racial issues, socioeconomic status, sex, language, color, religion, opinion, or other status is considered fundamental, but mostly from a Western view, which is exactly the point.
In order to determine if one should reach outside of themselves toward human rights efforts, they must first conceptualize and ask the bigger questions of what, how, who, when, where, and especially why? So one can sleep better at night? For the pats on the back, or a lift of the ego? Because there is a belief in the basic rights of all humans regardless of their birth, background, status, or any social or other factor? Because theyve experienced loss, pain, and oppression, and wish to heal others from this kind of agony? Whatever the reason(s), the emic view guided by cultural relativism (framing an issue from within the context of its corresponding culture), along with drawing the applicable line in the sand of ethical relativism (making decisions based on a particular situation) must inherently include concepts of respect and equality for any headway to truly be made in the arena of human rights. Anything less is a blatant injustice to the entire concept of supporting human rights. Additionally, gaining permission from the government of the places where aid is to be brought, or where human rights issues are going to be addressed, within their own customs and laws and culture is equally important, as is obtaining the permission from the people themselves (i.e., letting them ask for help is better than trying to help people who either dont need aid, or simply dont want it).
Sometimes help is welcome without having to ask for it. There is no doubt that things happen in life, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, and that many people feel the U.S. should step up and assist, whether monetarily, or by individuals flying out there to lend a hand, or just to help via other efforts. This author thinks that as part of a single human race on planet earth, people make themselves appear less than human if they choose to turn their heads, and they ignore the problems of the world. After all, it happens every day at the personal level. Even though people should start locally (ones house, family, or community) by taking care of home, there are sometimes external efforts that simply must be addressed for the good of the human race overall, for basic human rights and quality of life (and sometimes their very lives and survival depend upon it). Taking care of the earth, and each other, as social creatures, and as cognitive beings with a conscience, should be as natural as breathing air. Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way.
All of this is really about social responsibility; social responsibility to the self, and to others. Davide Secchi (2009) in The Cognitive Side of Social Responsibility, starts out by asking the question, What is social responsibility? (p. 566). It is delved into further by inquiring how this question relates to cognition and ethical analysis. It falls into being aspects of social responsibility, docile attitudes, and active engagement in social behaviors of responsibility and ethics. Social responsibility has also broadened with the occurrence of expanded globalization. The Global Compact of the United Nations should, at its most critical point, be reliant on a legal framework and its relationship to businesses or companies that participate in it, according to Ahmet Mentes (2009, p. 130). The basic Global Compact covers ten principles for global responsibility at the global scale (p. 130). These are listed as:
Principle 1 : Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights;
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Normative theory (making rational and informed decisions based on the concept of what ought to be) is what Sahar Akhtar (2009) states that David Miller based his stance on regarding national identity and social responsibility, especially as it pertains to global issues, and human rights (p. 308). Akhtar goes further, saying Miller suggests that two different types of responsibility exist: 1) Outcome responsibility, which is being responsible for the results of ones decisions and actions, and 2) remedial responsibility, which involves the responsibility one has in remedying or addressing some situation and that human rights issues are at the heart of this kind of social responsibility towards others (para. 3). The concepts of outcome responsibility and remedial responsibility can be extrapolated to include the individual, group, or the societal, national, regional-collaborative, or even global levels.
Social responsibility, as part of remedial responsibility, also is part of normative theory regarding the reason to go to war, which encompasses what Viotti and Kauppi (2009) call just-war theory or the just-war doctrine; this is where jus ad bellum (the right to go to war) and jus ad bello (right conduct in war) comes from a long tradition in Western thought that can be traced to Plato (427-347 B.C.) (p. 176). The right to go to war has a basis in four concepts, which consists of a just cause, the state having authority (which is sometimes debatable), that armed intervention must have been provoked, must have a good chance of success (not futile), and must absolutely be the last resort (pp. 177-79). Unfortunately, war is not always based on all of these criteria, and there is sometimes no distinugishing between war as retaliation for being attacked, and war to help the masses in the country being attacked. For instance, one has to ask whether the U.S. truly went to war with Iraq as an aggressive response to right the wrongs of the 9/11 terrorist attack, or whether it was to go after weapons of mass destruction (which were not found to exist), or whether it was to help a foundation of democracy be built within the Iraqi borders for the Iraqi people, or if these were excuses for some other secret agenda. Perhaps there are indeed sometimes when the focus of a war should be kept on the original perpetrators of a terrorist attack rather than spreading like a cancer into other areas not deemed under the just-war clause. Perhaps some things, and people, and countries, are better left alone.
The concept of social responsibility (whether outcome or remedial) can also have a different basis for acting, however, as it need not be war. The I (individual) can be just as applicable as the we (collective) under the same definitions. A single person might join in with an NGO, or go with a few individuals through the mission field via their church to bring aid to a foreign city after a natural disaster, such as the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. At the macro level regarding this same event, MSNBC News staff (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34829978/) reported that:
From Europe, Asia and the Americas, other governments, the U.N. and private aid groups were sending planeloads of high-energy biscuits and other food, tents, blankets, water-purification gear, heavy equipment for removing debris, helicopters and other transport, and teams of hundreds of search-and-rescue, medical and other specialists.
In addition to helping in natural disasters, many in the world (whether individualist or collectivist) think that people need to intervene for the greater good when whole societies or ethnic groups lives are at stake, such as in a case of genocide. Others think that only certain entities should get involved, such as industrialized nations that have more money and can afford to help. There are also different political and social views of who has the most power and could be most effective. According to Viotti and Kauppi (2009) when it comes to realism (view the states as having the greater power), liberalism (pluralist view of nonstate as well as state actors on an international scene), and economic structuralism (view of the elite (class in power) overriding state boundaries) there are obvious cleavages within globalisms major players of who has the authority to do what, and when, and to whom (p. 16). Realists are typically pessimistic, liberalists typically optimistic, and economic structuralists typically base their view on capitalism and logic of the players, as global issues relate to world politics and the potential for international relations (p. 95).
Humans, however, are 6+ billion in population, and are a single human race (rather than chopping the peoples of the world into demographic and purely political divisions), and are by nature social creatures who must breathe, drink, sleep, eat, and raise their young together, take care of the elderly in their families and friends, and tend to take care of each other in general, no matter where they come from or what their cultural backgrounds are. Social responsibility goes beyond the individual, and is often enacted through social organizations and institutions, even in the way of green initiatives around the world. According to Anonymous (2009) in the Journal for Quality and Participation, social responsibility in the form of governance reaches from the political arena to the corporate boardroom to the leadership of churches, social groups, and other organizations (p. 21). Furthermore, seven particular topics are considered in the ISO 26000 draft regarding Social Responsibility, community involvement and development, consumer focus, fair operating practices, human rights, labor practices, organizations and organizational governance, and the environment. Accountability is claimed to be the most important aspect regarding social responsibilities within organizations. The positive and negative effects on the environment by industrialized societies are paramount, and these organizations should allow such transparency of their work and results to ensure proper accountability (p. 21).
NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) typically have a sincere ethical background and genuine ethical motivation according to Yves Fassin (2009), but that the way these groups sometimes behave do not always live up to the principles they advocate (p. 503). NGO ethics practices were developed into a framework for study and analysis, including questionable practices, hidden agendas, purposeful communication errors, other unethical behaviors and power abuses, and fraud also appeared. Activist-corporation relationships were also discussed. Although the strategies and tactics and other aspects (such as stakeholder reciprocity) of the NGOs practices were covered, the judgment of the results was purposefully left at the discretion of the readers, although responsibility of the corporate stakeholders was encouraged as the solution to ensure abuses of power do not occur.
Transparency is for integrity and to honor the rights of the people whom they are serving, as well as the people who are dishing out monetary gifts and payments to these ends. Sometimes, it appears that those being helped might need to be saved from the very ones trying to help them, as shown above. Still, even with all of the right ethical considerations intact, what indicates human rights abuses are often questioned. Human rights indicators come under scrutiny by Sofia Gruskin and Laura Ferguson (2009) as it is applied to the programs and policies of human rights and health efforts, and to determine their effectiveness requires questioning the intended purpose behind the construction of an indicator, who uses it, the kind of indicator it is, the extent to which it provides information about vulnerable populations, as well as how the data are collected and used (p. 714). The authors specific concern is that more development needs to be incited than what is currently used in the field (p. 749).
A reliable model related to this might be taken from anthropological methods of research, especially as it is applied in the real world. An example of early applications in feminist theory, specifically, brought out the inherent limitations and outright abuses of seeing the world through only male researchers eyes. Social roles, oppression, patriarchal societies, gendered division of labor, gender inequalities, womens and childrens rights, economic factors, race and socioeconomic class, to name a few, were some of the areas where anthropologists were able to draw out qualitative data on how about half (that being female) of the societies being investigated were being neglected or ill-represented due to Western paradigms and the vast majority of explorers and natural scientists, etc., being male.
Today, much progress has been made in this arena within the general public, by governments, NGOs, and other groups, plus marginalized peoples of all kinds have been brought to the forefront, although not always on their own terms. The inside, or emic, view is imperative in dealing with these situations, especially since many of the human rights issues in the world (where external aid is needed) are occurring in marginalized societies, or developing nations. Often times the issues are not just cultural, but physical, such as health problems due to malnutrition, or injury from war or civil strife, genetics or illness, environmental pollution, or agricultural or water problems. Medical aid is one of the few provisions that is not as dependent upon cultural values and norms as other issues can be.
Doctors Without Borders (http://doctorswithoutborders.org/) are a good example of how medical or health aid can come from elsewhere, since the human body, with the exception of specific genetic or congenital or acquired health issues, is for the most part a universal and reliable unit. Language can be one of the cultural limitations, however, but the way the body is treated, at least in allopathic medicine (as opposed to tribal, shamanic, faith-based, or other non-allopathic methods) is somewhat standard or uniform, even across cultures. And yet, the individuals treated must have their own story and unique circumstances taken into account prior to being treated. People of all ages must be consulted, and their situation must be examined carefully.
It is important that social research is focused around the emic cultural view because qualitative data is needed prior to health problems being treated in the health industry. This is especially true as it relates to areas outside of the U.S.; in one case, dealing with HIV/AIDS of marginalized children in the Caribbean. Social action, according to Adele Jones (2009), and marginalization factors must be included in the risks and rights of these children, and anything less is inadequate because of the special needs of this higher-than-average-risk population (p. 293). The study was based on 44 informants using semi-structured interviews as it applied to feminist theory and showed how it crosses over into social marginalization to increase such risks to health (Jones, p. 293). Even with specific anthropological approaches, there is still the question of universals, or common denominators in human rights around the globe, which must fall into play.
Ooms and Van Damme (2009) discuss Julio Frenks topic of Comment on G8 (Group of 8 Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K., and U.S.) responsibilities on global health rights, and how Julio Frenk insists that health security in the world requires a universal package that provides the needed services and are applied to everyone globally (p. 607). This health requirement, and indeed a health right, which is based on basic global human rights, is considered a necessary ideal and should be placed upon a global-level action for the poor in any foreign country of the world that need health and medical services. The concept insists that countries that are the haves, should help provide for the have-nots. World Social Health Insurance is the plan, and unless the former idea of the richer countries helping out the developing nations is addressed and answered properly, he agues the health social contract as a key component of human citizenship will remain a distant dream (p. 607). It is hard for individuals, alone, to help in such matters, and begs for collaborative efforts for decent results.
Social contracts, whether for health or other human rights issues, are agreements between those that make them and their government, and are the predetermined choices that formulate the moral or ethical code in which people live, what laws they make, and how these obligations are sustained. Every society is different because laws and social contracts vary widely, and some are enforced, whereas others are not, and some are simply nonexistent.
In some societies, such as Muslim countries, religion is the rule of law. Even so, rare extremist entities, such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda, can breed terrorist activities in different areas of the world. Terrorism, and torture are human rights issues. Even so, war and defense against terrorist activities can also be considered a human rights problem. According to J Patrice McSherry (2009), terrorism can be labeled neither good nor bad (p. 10). It is dangerous to assume that the United States can claim war against terrorism and the result be good when rule of law (regarding human rights) has within it the security doctrines of the State, and lives are harmed (p. 10).
The US Constitution, and in particular, the Bill of Rights, guards human safety and helps prevent (or at least protects or defends against) human rights violations. Internationally, the UNs Convention against Torture includes other human rights violations and inhumane punishments, which is also applicable to other events occurring in the modern world. Until September 11, 2001, Americans had not considered, or been willing, to admit to a loss of human rights or other legal freedoms under the Constitution by allowing legislative acts, such as the Patriot Act, to become law. When terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the Twin Towers in New York City, everything changed. Suddenly a loss of freedoms, in the name of protection, seemed to balance out the widespread fear and panic of further possible attack on human safety. Nevertheless, hijackers, suicide bombers, and radical terrorists need to be stopped.
One must question, however, whether the loss of some freedoms is the price that must be paid to protect other freedoms? An analogy might be whether barricading ones home with locks and alarms, and wearing a gun all the time, so as not to be a victim of a thief, robber, or murderer in this way, is worth the cost when real victimization might be as simple as the psychological fear-inducing advantage of the perpetrator? Terrorism, after all, is about a form of power instilling insurmountable fears within the population at large; and if this kind of victimization succeeds, then the long-term terror inflicted by a single act, has also succeeded in doing far more psychological and emotional damage than just the initial physical damage. These kinds of tactics can also be found in authoritarian regimes where civil strife and civil war are prevalent, such as in States in Africa, where militaristic regimes rule over regular civilians, invoking fear and trepidation. These are indeed dangerous places to send aid, and are often done in futility as people are shot or killed and items of value are blown up. Additionally, war crimes, or even domestic crimes can cause victims to need help in the department of human rights. The question becomes one of weighing where, when, and what the situation is, who can be helped, and most importantly, do they want to be helped and how will (or not) the aid sufficiently make a difference? Sometimes aid is not debatable, and other times it is almost pointless.
Domestic crime produces human rights abuses, but even criminals here in the U.S. are also victimized, and so human rights abuses are not uncommon within the prison systems. Individuals who wish to take care of home, or who want to help at the State level, often do not think about criminals as being victims themselves. However, it is impossible for corruption in government, and the Criminal Justice system, to be 100% accurate or right in their prosecution of alleged criminals. There is corruption in all levels of public service, ranging from police, District Attorneys, trial Prosecutors, and even Judges and juries. Also, rapes, beatings, and other human rights abuses occur to both the innocent and the guilty within prisons, not to mention the direct and indirect abuse by guards and employees or organizations, and structural violence by the system itself against those incarcerated, which is especially true for those who are among the small percentage of falsely imprisoned innocents.
Sometimes prison sentences can last for decades before the person(s) is/are exonerated by DNA or other evidence, if they are lucky enough to get out. Still, inmates as human beings, are supposed to be protected by the Correctional facilities in which they reside. According to Wolff and Shi (2009), study sample of about 7,000 males from 13 prisons were questioned, and feelings of victimization increased when their safety was not preserved, and decreased when they were safe from assault or sexual abuse within the previous 6 months (p. 800). Perceptions of safety or victimization, and perceived safety at specific facilities fluctuated depending upon the prison Units, and the results were useful in finding ways to improve the situation.
Groups, non-profits, and governmental entities exist to protect the rights of all humans, whether incarcerated or free. One of the problems with human rights, as Westerners declare it, is that it is from an ethnocentric view of individualism. Many collective societies (such as in Asia) focus more on the group or society as a whole, rather than individual rights. Self-effacement is common, as is hearing the popular saying, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down, which promotes harmony within the group, rather than radical individualism. This basic mental set within collectivist cultures creates an entirely different paradigm, especially as human rights are applied. Laws are written with groups of people in mind, rather than individual rights. The question is, what, if any, human rights are considered the common denominators both within and between cultures that differ in these fundamental ways? The answer is not always so easy, yet locating and naming the areas that overlap on what could be considered universal human rights issues regardless of how the policies surrounding them are developed or implemented within their respective cultures is probably the most important challenge of all.
Individualist cultures, such as in the United States, have roots of universal human rights in the teachings of several people. According to Viotti and Kauppi (2009), Aristotle promoted do no harm as the maxim, while Immanual Kant in the eighteenth century suggested that universal laws or absolute obligations were categorical imperatives [that] bind all human beings (p. 440). Additionally, the seventeenth century writings of John Locke, and his follower Thomas Jefferson, believed that humans form the government, and must limit that government so that civil rights, which includes the natural rights of life, liberty, and property for individuals, are upheld (p. 441). Such things seem useless to collectivist societies, which see the greater good serving the many rather than individuals. Saving a single lone creature from the sea is not as worthy as saving an entire school of fish that swim together. Efforts in ultimately naming universal human rights are where true international solutions reveal themselves regarding the many collectivist and individualistic, developed and undeveloped, peaceful and war-ridden countries and cultures of the world. Governments dont always agree, however.
Refugees and migrants are examples of how government deals (or prefers not to deal) in matters of human rights. If minority groups or others in collectivist societies will not adhere to the majority (the whole) of society due to civil strife, armed conflict (including areas attracting armed intervention), political or social or economic upheaval, genocide, natural disasters, or other conflicts, then the government of the host country may feel that they do not have any responsibility to respond to the problem of refugees that leave (Viotti and Kauppi, 2009, p. 457). Sovereignty of the nation is also brought into question if outside interference overrides the authority of the State. Remember, many Americans (and certainly many foreign nations) still have the view that the U.S. has become not only a world power, but also a bully that tries to police the world by pushing its agenda too far. Even the UN peacekeeping efforts in both Somalia and the former Yugoslavia are good examples of where outside influences interfere with sovereignty to keep international peace and security in place (p. 456-57).
Foreign powers will also sometimes come together to help with overflows of refugees, migrants, or other human rights problems within the host countries. Whether right or wrong or only partially correct (in cultural relativism all three are correct views) the fact is that human safety and well being is a concern for individuals, families, as well as groups, states, regions, and/or the entire global society. Establishing universal human rights has been the focus for some time for many countries, especially those willing to collaborate. In one article, The Desire for Freedom Exists All Over the World, it is stated that the EU (European Union) conducts dialogues on a regular basis concerning human rights issues (2009, p. 5963). China, Germany, and other countries also conduct dialogues and consultations. The Plan of Action by the Federal government plus the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is discussed as well as other events and policies. These measures, in effect, act as a foundation for human rights activities and their associated problems or successes in an overall view of the global scene, especially as it relates to the growing individualistic concept regarding human rights (p. 5963). Again, it is this authors position that individualistic and collectivist views have common denominators (universality) of identifying fundamental human rights at their most basic level, but that it is the implementation of how those rights are dealt with that are culturally different and relevant within such cultures.
Peaceful relations on the international scene and working towards a just society with respect for cultural differences at all levels is necessary for success. International relations and a civil society are but two aspects of growing importance between the historical development of world politics and where things are headed today. Relations between States, and issues such as war, global armaments, terrorism, human rights, capitalism, and trade, are also on the forefront. According to Viotti and Kauppi (2009), sustainable development and the global environment are leading the way in terms of global issues, with humanitarianism, religion, along with nationalism and its conflicting identities all being part of the identity and civil society construct (p. xiii).
With continuing globalization, international law includes rules and norms that the nations of the world are required to follow; however, in an anarchist world this is not always enforced. Still, certain areas are paramount regarding international law, which includes multilateral issues dealt with on a global scale, and areas of trade, the environment, and human rights are at the top of the list. Human rights also lead in the way to the environment where humans, and even plants and animals have become the priority against violations and degradation of life (Viotti and Kauppi, p. 33). Global warming, health care problems due to pollutants in the environment, inadequate food supplies, contaminated water supplies and wells (or rivers, or other bodies of water), and desertification are only but a few of the concerns for the future of the planet and all who live upon it.
International law has addressed the majority of these problems over time, mostly via treaties and new laws and Conventions where neighboring states and countries around the world have come together to agree on policies for a just and civil society. Scientific consensus, and global leaders recognizing the problems, and working together to rid their own domains of these issues one by one has slowly met with small changes that are finally making headway. The eradication of CFC usage (to help reverse atmospheric ozone depletion) in the U.S. and other states has been a great step forward, especially with the Montreal Protocol even though some countries did not sign it, and others do not always adhere to the laws (Smith, 2009, p. 111-12). Environmental and social justice are at the heart of Smith and Pangsapas book, which Norbert (2009) argues is what policy surrounds for the practice of civic engagement (p. 319). Citizens, industries and corporations can use civic engagement to become environmentally responsible for the promotion of these policies (p. 319). This can be done at any level (individually to globally).
It is important to note that many of the environmental pollutants associated with industrialized countries are now being put into check via environmental laws. Developing nations who feel that First World countries caused the problem, and often brought those problems overseas to their rivers, lakes, streams, and lands and oceans, should be the ones to clean it up, and that their own now-industrializing countries should have an equal chance at development as well. The difference today, which many are not taking into account, is that there are many low-tech and low-cost applications that are considered green technologies, which can be implemented by international and commercial endeavors in these developing nations. Some of these applications are more efficient, as well, instead of comparable systems that use more energy and create more pollutants.
One example is solar water distillers at either the single household, or industrial or commercial sizes. The large systems are comparable in price with R/O (Reverse Osmosis) systems for water purification, and yet run via the sun and a small amount of electricity (which can also be produced by the sun or wind or hydroelectric power) but produce zero air pollution, and have no expensive filters to replace. These types of systems can clean the drinking and cooking water for an entire village, or a number of entire households, a business, or can be used for other applications. When proper care is taken to promote and educate and support environmental laws that will ultimately only help the Third World into smart growth, it will produce equal (if not greater) success by overcoming the environmental problems of the previous industrial period that First World countries still have to deal with to reverse the ill-effects. Since the problem of higher pollution levels due to the lack of regulations and enforcement that exist within developing nations, it is imperative to implement human safety costs.
Measures of equality in the political realm, and supporting the emic view of cultural relativism are important as each person chooses whether they want to move outside of their comfort zone and into a greater global consciousness and toward human rights efforts. Promoting a healthy environment for the sake of the people living today, no matter if it is at home, or in other countries, is part of social responsibility. People of the world already practice such responsibility in their daily lives at home, with many moving into areas of local social groups (such as friends, church, or other) as well as some stepping out and helping abroad. Human beings ultimately have a responsibility to each other on all levels; however, to correct the problems of the past, this higher ideal must be balanced with equality, respect of cultural differences, health and safety, and sustainable living standards, even if that means the best way to help someone is to leave them well enough alone. Making that informed decision at the individual level, now, is what prepares people for the next step to helping those at the home front, and aiding others beyond the narrow world of self, with respect being an integrated part of the process.
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