The Religion of Human Rights: Part 3
by Alain de Benoist
This is the third part of excerpts from Alain de Benoist’s timeless essay ‘The Religion of Human Rights’, published in 1988, in which he argues that the concept of human rights serves the interests of liberal-capitalist societies and undermines political and cultural diversity.
Also read parts one and two.
In Technology and Science as Ideology (1968), Jürgen Habermas points out that liberal society is characterized by the expansion of ‘sub-systems of purposive-rational action’.
Max Weber, in turn, demonstrates that in such a society, cohesion is no longer achieved through political leadership but through decentralized self-regulation of a technocratic nature. Consensus is then based on the practical consent of individuals to a way of life they can no longer do without; this consent occurs at the level of the sub-systems, not on a general level. (These integrating sub-systems can include the workplace, the professional sphere, club activities, the world of the car, the domestic sphere, etc.) To maintain its rule, the system therefore no longer needs political discourse or national mobilizing myths. This fact leads to a depoliticization and denationalization of bourgeois society — what Max Weber called its ‘secularisation’. The legitimation of the entire social structure through political argumentation or ‘unquestioned traditions’ gives way to legitimation through economic ideologies or private ethics that justify a materialistic view of life (and orient themselves towards the mechanistic and economistic aspect of the internationally legitimising system).