On Human Rights

One of the first things she pointed out is that what was exposed by the refugee crisis of the last century was how so-called human rights were actually political and national rights. So you were only — you only had as many rights as were guarded by the country in which you happened to be born.

Once that country decided to decitizenize you, once it decided that you were no longer a citizen, once it decided that it had no more responsibilities towards you, you were rightless. She said the world — she said very famously, “The world found nothing sacred in the abstract nakedness of being human.”

Lyndsey Stonebridge on Hannah Arendt in this episode of On Being: Thinking and Friendship in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt for Now.

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