Freedom from oppression, what is it? To make a long story short, it comes down to this: Freedom of body, heart and mind. Freedom of body implies no physical violence, no violation of, or a serious danger to, anothers health; freedom of heart would mean no destruction, stealing or using without permission of what another loves and belongs to them by right or possession and freedom of mind means that nobody can be forced to do something, not in accordance with their own conscience: No terror, extortion, blackmail.
In other words, simply live and let live, with respect for others right to freedom and a life without problems.
What we see in the newspapers often refers to violation of the first kind: Freedom of body. Without any respect, both children and adults are victim of atrocities and abuse, in wars as well as in conflicts between people of different groups. As if that is not enough, authorities commit such crimes against their own citizens, sentencing people to death without a fair process, applying torture and illegal detention, or using violent means to force people into obedience. Last but not least, some people molest each other, even within their own families.
The second and third kind, freedom of heart and mind, is less visible but ever so serious. And if the three go together, there is downright slavery. Oppression turns into possession; and slavery is a fact, even though it isn’t slavery of the kind where one person owns another person; but does that matter? Slavery should be identified from the viewpoint of the slave; who the slave’s owner is, is of no importance.
Three quarters of the population of China lives from less than 5 dollars a day. Many can’t afford housing; they sleep in dormitories at their working place. In other countries, young guys without education and no perspective for the future make a desperate move to become a mercenary in some war. Even in countries considered rich and prosperous, at least one out of five persons is poor. In those countries, the worst thing about being poor isn’t even the lack of money, it is the oppression by the system that makes being poor a horrible experience. Without any respect for human rights, their choices are taken away from them. They are being turned into slaves, forced into marriages, forced into labour, used for human subject research in medical experiments andsoon.
The increasing rate of bureacracy together with systems in which human interference is being replaced by computers makes it all worse by the day. Employees do not use their conscience, nor their common sense; those have been taken over by the system. They become extensions of digital brains without any human sense. If we don’t do something soon, this world will be ruled by robots and zombies, not by people.
Those that believe in conspiracy theories are way too optimistic: If only we had an intelligent group of leaders in the world; but we obviously don’t. It is plain and utter ignorance; stupidity of the worst kind that makes it impossible to uphold human rights. Evidence of this fact can be found in the worlds most foremost organization that is supposed to protect human rights: the European Court of Human Rights. This incredibly expensive institution has a procedure that contains the most stupid deadlock you can think of: It is only possible to present a case that has been tried in all the national courts; but the national courts refuse cases of violation of penal law by authorities. The fact they refuse is a plain violation of Artikel 13 of the European Convention, yet there is no way to complain. So authorities in a country may commit crimes and violate penal law, violating all human rights in whatever degree, and there is no way to stop them.
The Dalai Lama is right. We can’t expect anything from our institutions. There is only one way, which is another kind of education for the next generations, an education that teaches what freedom from oppression actually is.
Religions were meant to do this; but failed and only led to more division and war. The world beyond observable reality, and it’s ultimate source, is abstract; it is that which sustains all. It cannot be conceptualized, but as we are humans, we cannot keep ourselves from doing so. We want pictures, a story, words to communicate with others. Yet as soon as we do so, these stories divide us and before we know it, we have associated things with the unseen, assigned partners to what we consider true, and created different concepts, different truths.
So wise man after wise man, again and again warned their people to see through those concepts, to stop worshipping idle forms. No matter which written down revelation we take, though their words and their concepts might differ, the message is ever the same: To go back to the content instead of the form, which is doing good and repelling evil. To submit in humbleness to the fact, ultimately there is something that cannot be known. To quit foolishness of mind, so we are able to investigate reality with true insight. Then faith and reason are complementary, instead of competing.
The one good thing that can be said about human rights, is that the world agrees upon them, at least on paper. They are the common ground we share. So why don’t we find each other on this common ground, quit all ideologies that violate them, and start educating people to base all their opinions on fundamental human rights?