anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

This is why I don't read translations.

I don't understand this Rainer Forst article on the "Basic Right to Justification". God, I hate reading translations (Forst is German). The sentences are so clunky that I have to read them at least twice before I can make out their basic meaning, much less the obscure theoretical point that they are meant to convey. I mean, I really doubt a person writing in English who has a pretty good sense of what good writing requires would write a sentence like this: "Against the background of presuppositions of a discursive justification of moral norms and rights, such a theory reconstructs those moral experiences and learning-processes that support arguments for human rights that cannot be rejected reciprocally or generally."

Or this: "For if one wants to dispute the status of these rights as human rights - as they are recorded in the 1948 General [sic] Declaration of Human Rights, for instance - one must be able to supply arguments that show the merely limited validity of those rights; and such arguments must be able to prove themselves reciprocally and generally to those who might suffer from any violations of those rights."

"Merely limite validity"? Arguments must be able to prove themselves? The syntax in the first example is simply confusing. The entire article is made up of weird sentences like this, and they are all trying to convey a strange theory of human rights - that the most basic human right is the right to justification, which is the idea that reasons must be given for any laws, rules and institutions that claim authority over an individual or a group of individual. In a less theoretical sense, it demands that governments justify their policies when such policies place a burden on a person or a group of people. I mean, the idea that the government has to justify its policies is relatively uncontroversial, but Forst is asserting that there is a RIGHT to justification and that it is the most basic HUMAN RIGHT from which other human rights can be derived. It's pretty radical in the sense that it's quite a new idea, and it's really interesting, but fucking hell, I am finding it so hard to understand this article because it's translated and the translation isn't that great.

I mean, seriously, what does this even mean? " I discussed above, human rights are demanded in certain political situations where social relations are examined for their legitimacy and where there is doubt that these social relations comply with standards to which human beings as human beings have a non-rejectable claim. At the same time, the goals of the protest remain special and bound to concrete experiences of injustice."

What the fuck??? The goals of protest are special?! I am really dying here.
Tags: human rights, llm

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