The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom

(Encounter Books, 2018)

Book Forum
May 15, 2018
12:00PM to 1:30PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute
Featuring the author Aaron Rhodes, Human rights advocate; Executive Director, International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (1993–2007); President, Forum for Religious Freedom–Europe; with comments by James Kirchick, Visiting Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe and Project on International Order and Strategy, Brookings Institution; and Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute; Director of Policy, Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, State Department (1986–1987); moderated by Ian Vasquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

With a doctorate from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and decades of work in the world of international human rights institutions behind him, Aaron Rhodes has written a devastating account of that world’s intellectual confusions and moral corruption. In exquisite detail, and as none before it has, his new book explains how the 20th century’s push to treat economic and social “rights” as human rights has undermined the very idea of human or natural rights. That has led in turn to restrictions on the rights that alone have secured the liberty of countless millions around the world. Please join us for a discussion of the foundations, course, and prospects of the Enlightenment project that has given us the modern world of individual liberty.