The right to resistance must be a core human right as rights without remedies are merely rhetoric; this right is tacitly recognised in international law and politics; and its content can be determined by looking at resistance to slavery. (Free chapter from Cambridge University Press)

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Hi r/philosophy In light of the global protests against systemic racism and police brutality, Cambridge University Press has decided to make the chapter on the right of resistance from my book *Global Poverty, Injustice, and Resistance*open access until the end of July. This means that you can read it for free. I though some of you may be interested. It’s big chapter but the argument can be broken down as follows: 1. Human rights need a right of resistance in order to be ‘rights’ in a meaningful sense. If rights do not have remedies, they are nothing more than rhetoric. Resistance is the ultimate remedy. 2. This right is not overtly recognised in many jurisdictions, but it remains nascent in international law and organisations in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various declarations of the UN. 3. The content of this right is difficult to determine but looking at the practice of resistance can help us understand some of the ways that it can be acted on. The test cases focus on resistance to slavery: The Haitian Revolution, Fugitive Slaves, and day-to-day resistance. I’ll do my best to answer any questions as I sit under a pile of marking. Hope you all are keeping well and safe. Best, GDB PS. Share as widely as possible while its free.


What is the enforcement mechanism for defending the right to resistance? When people talk about the right to resistance, does it preclude the use of force in this day and age? The right to bear arms is not recognized as such globally, or where it is recognized is restricted in most of the world, with few exceptions (and even in countries that are the exception significant portions of the population feel that it should be a privilege or that the state’s military fulfills the requirement). This continues despite the long history of violence by the state against its people or those it wishes to conquer whether for colonies or for annihilation. I wish the article would have gone into more detail with the included examples of resistance. The colonial resistance was too brief in my opinion and should have gone into further detail about colonial resistance, or cited other examples of indigenous resistance against colonization. I also wish the writers would have taken time to consider the actions against injustice by the likes of John Brown or the Black Panthers or the partisans in WW2. I’m surprised Fanon wasn’t cited in the article at all when it comes to resistance or violence. > This chapter argues that there is a human right to resistance. However, there are two questions that linger: under what conditions can the right to resistance be acted upon, and are individuals living with severe poverty in these conditions? Answers will be given by looking at the charge that global poverty is a crime against humanity. I look forward to the follow-up, assuming it has not been published already, as I want to see how they answer those questions. I think that Camus would have been worth referring to as well, with *The Rebel* and several of his essays included in *Resistance, Rebellion, and Death.*


Isn’t this why the 2nd amendment is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States? I’ve always found it odd how people can on one side be in favor of ‘human rights’ but on the other be against the right to self defense (from tyranny or otherwise).


unlike in the military where it’s your *duty* to disobey an unlawful order


A right such as this is worth less than the paper it’s written on unless you have the means to physically defend yourself and that right.