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Hayek's Critique Of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

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  • Feldman Jean-Philippe

    (Institut Michel Villey & the Centre de droit américain (Paris II-Panthéon-Assas))

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    Abstract

    Critiquer la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme du 10 décembre 1948 paraît relever de la provocation ou de l’inconscience. Ses contempteurs, qu’il s’agisse des marxistes ou des conservateurs, se sont déconsidérés. Nonobstant, c’est avec force courage que Hayek s’est attelé dès 1966 à une critique en règle de cette déclaration “constructiviste” dont l’objectif impossible était de fusionner les droits de la tradition libérale avec ceux de la conception marxiste. Le Prix Nobel démontre que les nouveaux droits ainsi proclamés ne peuvent être traduits dans des lois contraignantes sans détruire incontinent l’ordre de liberté auquel tendent les droits “traditionnels” : la Déclaration constitue l’un de ces instruments qui oeuvrent à la dévalorisation du Droit et partant à la destruction de la Liberté. C’est par son prestige et par l’ignorance de ceux qui l’ont exploité que ce texte a pu prospérer. Son seul mérite est de mériter l’oubli.It might seem provocative or inconsistent to criticize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948. Its detractors, whether they be Marxists or Conservatives have fallen into discredit. Notwithstanding, Hayek has courageously tried to criticize this “constructivist” piece whose impossible goal was to unite rights in the liberal tradition with those pertaining to the Marxist conception. Hayek shows that the new rights which are proclaimed in this fashion cannot be translated into juridical constraints without destroying forthwith the liberal order cherished by “traditional” rights: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of the tools which enhances the depreciation of Law and, by the way, the annihilation of Freedom. This text has flourished thanks to its prestige and to the ignorance of those who have employed it. Its unique merit is to deserve oblivion.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:9:y:1999:i:4:n:3

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