|The human right of housing is subverted by the right of speculation. |
When speculation is unbridled, sharks are protected against the
This article by the Swiss emeritus professor Arnold Kunzli is translated from the German in Neue Wege.
Housing as a Human Right
By Arnold Kunzli
[Arnold Kunzli’s lecture “Housing as a Human Right” presented at the 1990 Bern peace week and broadcast later by radio DRS is translated by Marc Batko from the German in the Swiss Neue Wege 84, June 1990. The text shows that a right to housing also includes a right to land but that these two rights cannot be realized within existing property structures. Only a distribution of land ownership in a discretionary property of communes and a revenue property of individuals enables the human right to land and housing to be guaranteed to all people. As in his latest book “Rescue Freedom from its Protectors!”, Professor Kunzli (Zurich) reveals in this lecture how little capitalism and human rights are compatible with one another.]
The Idea of Human Rights
The idea of human rights, as we understand it today, was conceived during that secular movement of emancipation called the age of the Enlightenment. It implies that certain innate, inalienable basic rights come to the person, to every person without exception, owing only to the fact that he or she was born as a person, independent of sex, age, intelligence, race and membership to a class, religion and nation, independent even from time and space. These rights have a pre-political or supra-political character and are valid absolutely and universally. Standing above the positive law, they cannot be balanced, decreed or abolished and form the substance of what is called human dignity.
– In the formulation of the 1776 American Declaration of Independence composed by Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all persons are created equal endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”