This is a piece written from a political standpoint by my great grandfather Antonio Graziadei. It offers food for thought on the question of human rights. The basic premise remains that human rights are an essential step in the emancipation of humanity, especially of the working classes, although he questions whether they go far enough. The invitation is to consolidate the current set of human rights and he invites us to question whether we could even add new socially based ones to the existing ones, but certainly not to do away with the ones we have obtained through centuries if not millennia of struggles.

Robin Monotti Graziadei

“It is not difficult, after all, to dissipate the deception of such an abstract and individualistic notion, which considers humans and their rights outside of society. Humans do not exist if not within society and by means of society. Therefore even their rights are connected with society and with its organization, and especially with its economic organization. We can speak of natural rights only in that society is itself also a natural fact.

In a society divided between classes, in a society in which rich and poor exist, powerful and weak, the rights of the human person cannot but realize themselves differently depending on whether individuals belong to to one or the other group. Without doubt the notion that even the poor abstractly have certain rights that are no less than the rights of the rich represents a moral progress. But a moral progress does not realize itself without certain material conditions, nor can it be distorted to try to block the way to those same developments which it aims to realize.

In synthesis, the attempts to separate the human person from society, and to attribute to the former rights which are independent of the latter, corresponds to a very specific goal: to avoid that the collective organizes itself in a different way than the current prevailing order..”

From Antonio Graziadei, Democrazia Borghese e Democrazia Socialista, Luigi Morara Editore, Roma, 1952. Translation by Robin Monotti Graziadei.

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