Rights Americans Do Not Realize They Have

| Educate!

Above: Eleanor Roosevelt holds a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949. Ms. Roosevelt served as the first chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights that drafted the Declaration, stated that it “may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere.”

The United Nations has outlined the basic rights and freedoms we are entitled to. It’s called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Below is a graphic from Zen Pencils describing those rights. These are rights that no government can take away from you; but they are also rights violated every day in the United States and many nations around the world. The United States ratified the Universal Declaration in 1992 when George H.W. Bush served as president.

From the United Nations history of the Declaration:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. The document they considered, and which would later become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was taken up at the first session of the General Assembly in 1946.  The Assembly reviewed this draft Declaration on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and transmitted it to the Economic and Social Council “for reference to the Commission on Human Rights for consideration . . . in its preparation of an international bill of rights.” The Commission, at its first session early in 1947, authorized its members to formulate what it termed “a preliminary draft International Bill of Human Rights”. Later the work was taken over by a formal drafting committee, consisting of members of the Commission from eight States, selected with due regard for geographical distribution.

Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Graphic below from Upworthy by Zen Pencils.



  • Pingback: Rights Americans Do Not Realize They Have | Lightsigns()

  • Pingback: Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History » Clearing the FOG Radio()

  • Pingback: Mendocino County Today: November 1, 2013 | Anderson Valley Advertiser()

  • Pingback: The way forward on health care | Eye On Williamson()

  • RE UN “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

    At Article 22 of the UN “rights” thing, it devolves into taking from those who produce and giving to those who do not. Articles 1 through 21, I’m OK with. Article 22 and beyond, I am not and no working person would either.

  • Margaret Flowers

    I see this as part of living in a society. We are born with different circumstances, resources and abilities. And we are better off as a society when everyone has what they need.

  • I need two 23 inch monitors to support my Internet
    viewing issues. I think your statement “everyone has what they need” must be defined in great detail. Can you please explain what you mean by “needs”?

  • kevinzeese

    Needs are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • kevinzeese

    So you’re against social security, unemployment, days off for holidays? Wow. Go back to the 19th Century. Those sections seem to be the ones working people should be most supportive of.

    The so-called “producers” are only able to produce because of the commonwealth of the society. Bill Gates would not be Bill Gates if he had been born in 1750. Warren Buffet, as he has said, would be some animals dinner if he had been born in Africa. These people benefit from the commonwealth — not just money but intellectual and technical progress that has been made over many, many generations. Those who have benefited from the commonwealth need to give back to it, to re-nourish and enrich it for the next generation through progressive taxation (which we no longer have to any significant degree) that funds social programs for all so everyone can have the freedom to help build the commonwealth in their own way.

  • Corey

    The USA does not respect of follow this, it never has and never will. From what I understand, regardless of Roosevelt’s involvement, no one in the position if authority to speak for USgov actually supported this Bill of Rights.

  • Corey

    Foolish FOX-like argument. If you don’t understand first the need of the basic foundation of “society”, as in “We” and not “Me”, then you can’t build on that to understand any culture. No man is an island!

  • From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate
    for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including
    food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social
    services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
    sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood
    in circumstances beyond his control.
    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and
    assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall
    enjoy the same social protection.

  • JohnT

    A Troll Corey.

    He, she, or (it) will not to upset my feeling of solidarity with my fellow man.

    Go away Troll, you will get your just due.

  • Solidarity with everyone but those who disagree with you. Sound progressive to me.

  • Exactly right. I hate my Social Security and Medicare. However my government taxed me into poverty and complete dependence on them. Many teachers unions realized this about Social Security and Opted out of it. THey have their own retirement plans that deliver far better benefits for their investments than Social Security ever will. You you are from retirement, You won’t be happy when it arrives and you find out what you will receive. My complaint isn’t with government per se but the the size, cost, wastes and extent of today’s federal government.

  • JohnT

    There is no time to convert those that are hopelessly entrenched in among other things, materialism, which by the way is killing the planet.

    Go away. Please.

  • pixeloid

    18 of those are are seriously abridged or have a list of caveats in the US, unless of course you’re a rich white conservative Christian heterosexual male.

  • kevinzeese

    You are reading it right. Building the foundation of the economy requires people to have jobs and money to live. This money gets recirculated in the economy, unlike the hoarding of the 1%, and builds the economy.

    Because of technology replacing jobs we need to be developing shorter work weeks and a guaranteed national income. There are many ways to do this that make economic sense and it is going to become essential.

  • kevinzeese

    Good thing you are in a tiny minority. Teachers unions replaced Social Security with Medicare. We need to be talking about expanding these programs not shrinking them. Many seniors live in poverty retirement because pensions have been destroyed and 401k plans have not worked as an alternative.

    These are probably the two most popular government programs in the country. We need to build on their success not destroy them. There is more than enough money to pay for these programs. It is a question of priorities and the US has its priorities in the military and security state rather than the necessities of the people.

    The government also needs to take back money creation power from the Fed. This should be a government function not a bankers function, i.e. the bankers should not be profiting from money creation and pushing the government into debt.

  • Teachers unions never opted into Social Security. They have their own OASDI and it delivers far better benefits than SS. Almost everyone doesn’t understand Social Security until they retire. Since I retired, I understand both Social Security and Medicare. If teachers unions don’t want to give up their privatized social security and if Galveston County, Texas employees don’t want to give up their privatized social security, why do you think SS is wonderful and successful?

    I’m not sure I understand your statement 401k’s haven’t worked. Mine has and everyone who didn’t sell in March 2009 (at the bottom) is better off today than they were in 2008 and before. Market keeps hitting all time highs.

  • GreenCPA

    It’s received wisdom that humans have things called rights, which they’re born with in the same way that they’re born with lungs and kidneys. But fifty years ago women in this country didn’t have the right to have abortions, and doctors who performed them were criminals. Women now have that right, though it could still be taken away (if the “Right to Life” contingency ever becomes the majority).

    It would be simple to cite many more examples of rights that people lacked one day and gained the next or possessed one day and lost the next. It would seem, therefore, that rights are not innate or “God-given” or inalienable; they’re things you have only if people AGREE that you have them, and if they stop agreeing that you have them, then you don’t have them any more.

    In the absence of agreement, you can only ASSERT that you have (or someone else doesn’t have) a given right, and the only way you can back up this assertion is by resorting to authority (for example, holy scriptures or a government document) — which only works if your opponents happen to accept the authority you cite.

    The most effective authority, of course, is the law of the land (but even this authority can be rejected — as opponents of abortion do — since the law of the land can always be changed. It is also open to shifting interpretations which makes something like the massive NSA domestic surveillance program seem far beyond Constitutional one day and Constitutional another.

  • Healthcare not Warfare

    Taking from those that produce and giving it to those who do not have been the meme ever since Ronald Regan, on the contrary, I think adherence to the Declaration of Human Rights would fix that problem


    Wrong. I am a retired NY State teacher and teachers’ union member whose union DID opt into Social Security, which I now receive along with my NY State Teachers Retirement System pension. Not every state is as backward and anti-human rights as Texas.

  • You are correct.

    States where teachers do not participate in Social Security

    Minnesota Connecticut Missouri Illinois Nevada Kentucky Ohio Louisiana Texas

    Alaska Maine California Massachusetts Colorado


  • I was trite and rude. I apologize.

    Is the questions, “How to make sure people have what they need”? Should our government simply establish a minimum government supported housing, food and clothing policy? If that is not your view, can you explain what you mean by “when everyone has what they need”?

  • Pingback: America The Most Inhumane | Change-Links()

  • Pingback: Rights Americans Do Not Realize They Have | PopularResistance.Org | Joe Blum's Blog()

  • Dawn Wolfson

    A piece of paper stating that we have those rights is not any guarantee that we have them when we live in a country that puts money and power above people. Most of these rights are NOT guaranteed here in the US, and, in fact, many people would argue that these are not rights. Changing that mindset is the real battle.

  • Pingback: Newsletter: Respect Our Human Rights Or We’ll ‘Shut It Down’ | PopularResistance.Org()

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Good point this. We should find ways to include your ways and needs…the best We can.

    If you don’t want to avail yourself of Social Security benefits, that is your “right”.

    But, not everyone is comfortable “playing the stock market”.

    I am glad you have found your answer in 401k’s. May they continue to service your needs adequately.

    Personally, I am quite comfortable with the modest benefits I earned from the Social Security Program. I don’t have to pay rent because I “take care” of my Sweety (77) and her son can afford to park us up here in good ol’ hill country, on a humble bit of property) As long as their is some Democracy left in government, I will feel secure in this Social Program.

    Without it, I would face the choices of trying to develop a product to sell, or a service to offer for a price. (This is possible, because I have a strong imagination, but I am dealing with diminished energy at 70 years old.) Maybe hunt for food…in an environment that has a shrinking wild food supply? Try to grow marijuana…and probably end up as ward of the state in a terrible prison system? I think I would rather die of starvation or exposure than commit crimes against other People or their property…even if they are “excessively” wealthy.

    I have been weak in a capitalist nation, with its emphasis on personal aggrandizement at the expense of Others…but an asset to the bits of Worker Democracy that struggles to become a Real Democracy in which We The People decide what is right and wrong with Our Nation. I made my choice. You have made yours. Let Us not contend regarding the paths We have taken, but respect each others decisions.

    I just don’t understand why you want to terminate a Good Hearted Social Service Program, that has done so much Good in Our Land?

    Maybe you don’t like poor old Workers that helped to make the capitalists wealthy? They are no longer useful?

    I suspect it is about the taxes that make this possible…until We can (through Our Treasury Department) generate Our Own Money. Once that is achieved then taxes would no longer be necessary.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Good question.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Standards should be built that We can all agree on.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Question: Where can the mindset, you refer to, be found in America?

    Is it basically: “Get rid of you, so more for me”?

    I would like to get a Better Idea of the extent of this “thoughtset”.

  • Dawn Wolfson

    The one you mentioned definitely exists, but I was thinking of people I’ve had discussions with who argue that the only rights we have are to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, at which point they quote the Constitution, and I point out that that quote is from the Declaration of Independence, and if they’re quoting the Consitution, what happened to the Bill of Rights.

  • Ed Bradford

    I cannot respond because I have been blocked by a close minded moderator on this list. Sorry. Suggest FB, Google+ and other political threads where the moderator is has an open mind.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Thank you for the reply, Dawn Wolfson. I appreciate your important work, in the discussions. You make a couple of very valid points regarding the sources of the phrase: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and you remind Us that there is more to Life than that…that those three concepts should be built upon.

    Which the Second Constitution begins to do.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    “Changing that mindset is the real battle.”
    It would be Good for Us, that care more, to develop and nurture a feeling, of the enjoyment, of worthy work well done, in this “battle”.

  • Scolos Narbarson

    Well, Ed Bradford. I did manage to read something you said about hating being “dependent on the government”, in retirement.

    I understand feeling somewhat uncomfortable about being dependent on the government. But fail to see why i should “hate” this state.

    The government made me a proposal (but didn’t give me the option to say no) and I accepted it, feeling that, if I didn’t, I might be denied legal and lawful employment…the right to work. I chose to comply for two reasons:
    (1) The Social Security Program was designed to help non-business types, like me, when We get too old to Work.
    (2) I accepted the governments directive, in this matter, in the spirit of American Citizenship Responsibility…which reflects the social viewpoint that We are in this together…in many ways. There was a Social Need, that transcended my personal needs and I responded to this as a cooperative member of the America We Love.
    (3) I have a deep distrust of capitalism and corporations. As a child, I heeded Eisenhower’s warning to We The People. Through the many years that followed, I became aware of the “harm” that the capitalist/corporate world is doing to Us and Our World. So…I sided with the little Good that can be found in “government”, in the hopes that it would stand between me and the predators of greed. So far, so Good…so far. But, I am dismayed to see that which I had to trust, losing whatever strengths it had for Most Of Us, being worn down and replaced by capitalist evil.

    So. My dependency on the government is a personal sacrifice for a greater Good…in the forlorn Hope that even greater Good will come.

  • kevinzeese

    Even as a “last ditch” effort a shooting war with the US government would be a terrible mistake; a strategy bound to fail that would justify police and military violence against US citizens.

    It is astonishing how you would dare to take a quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr. to justify violence. He was a great practitioner of nonviolent resistance and I am sure he would also oppose a guerrilla war against the US government as a counterproductive strategy that would do more harm than good.

    Research on the success of resistance movements is clear: nonviolence works at double the success rate of violence. Violence only comes close in the case of a civil war.

    I almost did not approve this comment because it is inconsistent with the approach we urge people to follow but instead decided it was better to allow it and comment on why it is a mistaken approach.

  • Douglas Payelle

    Funny how we are losing these rights or are we just giving them away

  • Douglas Payelle

    No we don’t

  • Douglas Payelle

    Under line rich

  • Douglas Payelle

    Remember when you point a finger four of them point back to the Pentagon

  • Douglas Payelle

    I spent my life paying into Social Security

  • Guest


  • Go back and read it again.

  • Douglas Payelle

    The no we don’t goes for not have any rights in the workplace a boss can bully you and dismiss you at any time under the so called right to work act. They can make you do things that are illegal that is if you want to keep your job. Speak up and your gone think your state will help you then you are mistaken

  • Okay, I understand what you are saying now.