Are Human Rights Superior Than Sovereignty?

The question is somewhat interesting since both Human Rights (which are all property rights by the way), and Sovereignty are ambitions one can seek to produce not states of nature that must be abridged.   However, the misleading nature of the question aside:

The ‘Postwar Consensus’ and the International Charter of Human Rights, were designed to prevent wars by requiring that all states direct policy and resources to the development of rule of law and modern economy, using largely political and economic pressure.  But also military pressure if necessary – almost always provided by the USA, as the successor to, or continuation of, the British Empire. 

In this sense, sovereignty was limited by the western world (America-and-Anglo-conquered-Europe) to the expansion of human rights and consumer capitalism (and mistakenly, democracy) in exchange for limited aggression against them.

This consensus held largely until Russia invaded Ukraine, set up rebel governments in the Donbas basin, seized Crimea, threatened Eastern Europe with reconquest in 2014. Since then, the combination of policies designed to weaken American political economic and military power by the Obama Administration, and the need to pivot back against the Russian threat, have exposed the Nato Alliance (the USA) as incapable of protecting member states, and the remaining member states unwilling to defend other member states – and possibly themselves.  Furthermore, China’s expansion into sea territories claimed by others, and Russian expansion into disputed the arctic, have further ended the postwar consensus.  So the postwar consensus has been de facto ended.

Practically speaking, the only guarantee of sovereignty in the 21st century is provided by nuclear weapons, and a standing military capable of suppressing both domestic populations and at least making invasion extremely difficult or expensive.  There is no longer any even tepid guarantee of human rights imposed by a collection of foreign states. And in fact, the only incentive for states to defend human rights is to defend the financing of their militaries, by defending their economies using consumer capitalism, which requires human rights in order to function.

South Korea being the world’s only substantial hold out.  The Arab countries quickly switching now to consumer capitalism given the change in future oil revenue predictions.  The same problem faces Russian which for all intents and purposes is an enormous gas station, where 50% of revenues depend on natural resources.

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