State of Mankind

A New Way Of Thinking

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International  Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

 After a study of the Constitution of the USSR, and the comparison of that document with our founding documents and modern cultural beliefs, the natural curiosity would question why our beliefs have moved away from our founding and toward that of the USSR.  To this end, another comparison is extremely interesting, a comparison between those principles of the Constitution of the USSR and those of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a United Nations treaty.

ICESCR was drafted in 1954, signed in 1966 and effective in 1976.  The actual document can be found at: http://www.un-documents.net/icescr.htm.  These documents can be somewhat difficult to read and understand, however, Wikipedia has a pretty good sum up at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICESCR.  (Normally Wikipedia should be avoided, as they tend to be a shaky source, but this summary seems pretty fair).

The basic provisions of ICESCR will be in purple, and comparative language from the 1936 Constitution of the USSR will be in red.  There are many points to be made and ICESCR is somewhat long, so we will focus on just a few of these points.

Article 2.1.  Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.

The focus here is not to compare, but to show that this agenda is to be accomplished progressively.  The world should slowly move toward these principles.

Article 3.  The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.

Article 122.  Women in the USSR are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social, and political life. …

Article 6.1.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right.

Article 7.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:

  1.  Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with
    1. Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work;
    2. A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant;

d.  Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays.

Article 118.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance with its quantity and quality. …

Article 119.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure. …

Article 8.1.a.  The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice…

Article 8.1.b.  The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and the right of the latter to form or join international trade-union organizations…

Article 126.  …citizens of the USSR are ensured the right to unite in public organizations—trade unions, cooperative associations, …

It is interesting to this author that article 8.1.b seems to be focused on the global economy.  In Chapter X of the review of Quigley’s Tragedy & Hope the global aspects of the ‘pluralist’ economy are discussed.

Article 9.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance.

Article 120. Citizens of the USSR have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work.  This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense…

Article 11.1.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.  The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.

Article 118.  …The right to work is ensured by the socialist organization of the national economy, the steady growth of the productive forces of Soviet society, the elimination of the possibility of economic crises, and the abolition of unemployment.

Article 12.1.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Article 12.2.d.  The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.

Article 120.  …free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

Article 13.1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education.

Article 13.2.a.  Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;

Article 13.2.b.  Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.

Article 121.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to an education.  This right is ensured by universal, compulsory elementary education; by education, including higher education, being free of charge, ; by the system of state stipends for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by instruction in schools being conducted in the native language, and by the organization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working people.

Article 15.1.  The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone;

  1. To take part in cultural life;
  2. To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;

Article 123.  Equality of rights of citizens of the USSR, irrespective of their nationality or race in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. …

This comparison has covered the basic rights that the ICESCR provides to the citizens of the world.  It should be realized that there are some rights in the Soviet Constitution of 1936 which are not included in ICESCR.  These are in Articles 124, 125, 127, and 128 which are basic ‘negative’ or civil liberties (freedom of worship, speech, press, assembly, inviolability of person and homes) which, as shown by history never really had much meaning in the USSR anyway.

To anyone who has made it through the information this far, I will apologize for the lack of interesting reading.  While not entertaining, I believe these comparisons are important to show the roots of beliefs and where many of our ideas come from.  I believe this comparison shows clearly that the threat of “Communism” is still alive and well, and stems mainly from factions which have huge amounts of power within the United Nations.  This is just one of many similar treaties from the United Nations.  Worthy of note, as can be seen on the map from the Wikipedia report, the United States is the only major country which hasn’t signed and ratified this treaty (It was signed, not ratified).  They don’t call it Communism, but at the base, it looks like it and smells like it, and I believe will end out about the same if we allow these groups such power.

“The United Nations concept is one of unlimited government power with virtually no meaningful restraints to protect individual liberty.”  -Ezra Taft Benson

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