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Poor Citizen Essay, Research Paper

INTRODUCTIONIs? hapless citizen? a contradiction

in term? Can we genuinely speak of a individual as? complete? citizen if he strives twenty-four hours

and dark for his endurance in poorness? Can such a individual exercising the rights

granted to him by the virtuousness of his rank to the community? Does non the

term poorness suggest the failure of societal citizenship rights? This concise

essay will try to briefly answer these questions.In order to be able to

sufficiently answer these inquiries, we need to briefly examine citizenship

rights and expression at what is that rights give to the individual in whom they are

vested and find how poverty effects the citizenship rights of an person. Understanding Social Citizenship Rights. To the Greek philosopher

Aristotle citizenship was the privileged position for all free work forces of the

city state. Women and kids were non considered citizens and were hence

excluded. Marshall ( 1950 ) sees citizenship as a position bestowed upon the full

members of a community. Marshall argues that there are no fixed built-in rights

in the construct of citizenship, nevertheless with historic development rights have

come to be associated with citizenship. Marshall identifies three types of

rights that he argues to be associated with citizenship in modern democracies.

He calls them civil rights, societal rights and political rights. ? To T.H. Marshall civil rights are rights of

citizenship necessary for personal freedom and autonomy and include? autonomy of

the individual, freedom of address, thought and faith, the right to have belongings and

to reason valid contracts, and the right to justice? ( p. 10 ) . In the economic

sphere, Marshall considered it a basic civil right to be able to follow the

business of one? s pick at the topographic point of one? s pick, capable merely to

legitimate limitations. Citizenship in the modern democracy is based on

cosmopolitan right to vote and equality before the jurisprudence ( Barbalet 1988 ) .Socio-economic rights have

besides been reflected in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, as cardinal homo

rights. These rights are besides farther elaborated in the UN? s International

Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These rights include rights

to societal security in the event of unemployment, ? illness, disablement or widowhood or old age, rights to nutrient,

lodging and vesture, rights to medical attention and rights to assorted kinds of

instruction ( Jones 1994 ) . These rights besides include inter alia the right to work, to merely and favorable conditions of

employment, to protection against unemployment, to fair wage for the

work done, and to rest and leisure. Furthermore, everyone is besides said to hold

the right to? freely take part in the cultural life of the community, to bask

the humanistic disciplines and to portion in scientific promotion and its benefits? . [ 1 ] There is a argument in academe as

to whether socio-economic rights are cardinal human rights or merely

citizenship rights granted to the members of a nation-state. Maurice Cranston ( 1973 )

argues that for a right to be basic and cardinal human right it must fulfill

three conditions of? practicality? , ? catholicity? and? paramount importance? .

Cranston argues that socio-economic rights fail the trial of? practicableness?

i.e. it is non practical for authoritiess of the developing states to supply

all for their dwellers with goods such as? a criterion of life adequate for

their wellness and good being? . Cranston argues that for a right to be

cardinal it must be truly cosmopolitan in two ways: it should be a right

for all, and right against all. This, Cranston argues, is non true for

socio-economic rights as a right to periodic vacations is a rights claimed merely

by the employees. In the same manner socio-economic rights are non against wholly, as

the right to freedom of look, instead they are rights against a authorities

or an employer. Socio-economic rights pass the trial of? paramount importance? ,

but because of their failure to be practical and cosmopolitan they are non

cardinal human rights, but citizenship rights. Donnelly ( 1985 ) has

criticised Cranston with being excessively simplistic. He argues that to state that right

to societal security is non cosmopolitan because non everyone will necessitate to fall back to

the public assistance installation supplying societal security, is to state that the right to

just test is non a cosmopolitan right because non everyone will necessitate it. Welfare goods are considered

to be closely associated with societal rights as it is through the ingestion of

public assistance goods that a citizen is able to gain the rights granted to him as a

citizen and attain good being. There are three grounds for sing public assistance

goods indispensable for good being. One, they are regarded necessary for the

quality of life people spend. The 2nd ground concerns the duty of the

society to provide to the demands of its members. Third, sing public assistance

goods as rights tends to cut down the stigma attached with the benefits given to

the people by the authorities ( Jones 1994 ) .UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF RIGHTS Needs as RightsIt has been argued that people

hold rights because they have demands. This line of statement is non without

jobs. First of all what are demands and how can they be defined. What is the

difference between demands and wants? Needs have been argued to hold an aim

quality that wants do non hold. Privations are inherently subjective and assorted.

The demands are said to be limited and indistinguishable for all human existences hence

it is practical to take them as rights for all human existences. Needs are things

that are considered important to the wellbeing of the persons. Can this be

argued that people have a right to what they need? This can non be done for the

ground that needs in themselves are non? finish? ( White 1975, pp.105-7 ) . The

statement is that if one says that he has a peculiar demand he can be asked for

what. Thus a full statement of demands must hold the justification for the demand.

Justification facet of demands is rather of import. The essentiality of the demand

is judged on the footing of justification. Our response to a individual? s claim that

he needs a gun will be different if he needs the gun to support himself against

felons or he needs it to kill person. Therefore, it can be said that the moral

claim of the demand is wholly dependent on the terminals to which they are directed.As already stated, demands can merely

be treated as human rights if some cardinal, basic demands can be identified

that are universally sought by all worlds. Rawl? s ( 1971 ) has identified these

basic needs as what he calls the primary goods. These are the goods that are

rational to desire for the chase of one? s terminals, irrespective of what these terminals

might be. In this sense? basic freedom, and chances, income and wealth,

can be conceived as supplying for cardinal demands? ( Jones 1994, p.151 ) . Weale

( 1978 ) has added specific demands as instruction and wellness attention to the list of

basic human demands. The designation of basic demands has the advantage that

these demands are common to all and are required for the chases of any

intents. However, if demands are identified as wealth and income than this

attack does non assist us in set uping demands every bit rights as it does non help

us in finding who ought to acquire what. Another manner to set up cardinal

human needs is to find them on the footing of what is required by worlds to

map decently as worlds. We would stop up with a list including air, and


certain lower limit of nutrient and H2O. The list may besides include a certain grade

of liberty, physical and mental wellness as the necessity to move as human existences

( Doyal and Gough 1991 ) . So, it can be said that

socio-economic rights are indispensable for the well being of citizens. The following

subdivision examines briefly that what is it that rights offer people and see how

poorness effects the ability of persons to exert their rights.Rights as Freedoms Rights grant a certain

grade of freedom and autonomy to the right-holders. Harmonizing to the? Interest

Theory? of rights? to impute rights to person is to state that some facet of

that individual? s wellbeing is lawfully or morally shielded against intervention

and non-assistance? . The other dominant theory of rights called the? Will

Theory? of rights? maintains that all rights consist in enjoyment of

chances for single or corporate picks? each right invests its holder

with some grade of control over his or her state of affairs ( Kramer et al 1998, p.2 ) .So it would non be incorrect to state

that rights are fundamentally about the freedom and picks they offer to the

individual in whom they vest. Therefore to understand the nature of rights we need

to research the construct of personal autonomy and liberty. ? Personal autonomy has frequently been defined as freedom or autonomy to

make or non to make something. This freedom is non unqualified and is restricted in

certain instances by the Torahs of the land and the rights of other persons. ? The

rights of persons to make up one’s mind and to move as each of them chooses within a

circumscribed domain of life may be described as the right to personal autonomy & # 8217 ;

( Jones 1994, p. 122 ) .According to Immanuel Kant homo

coinage is alone in the facet that it is capable of independent behavior. Unlike

non-humans who can merely move in conformity with their nature, worlds can move

harmonizing to their ain construct of what they ought to make i.e. in conformity

of their self-imposed regulations. So, in Kant? s position an person will be deemed to

hold acted autonomously if he acted in conformity with the regulations and rules

that he had prescribed for himself, or in other words when he acted rationally.

Kantian construct of liberty has come to be associated with? neutralist?

liberalism i.e. the province should stay unconcerned with the terminals to which its

citizens may give their lives ( Jones 1989 ) . However the progressives who take

that position do non keep that province can and should stay impersonal in all affairs.

The regulations regulating the chase of these terminals may be set by the province, nevertheless

the citizens should hold autonomy to prosecute their ends in that model. To

neutralist progressives there is a differentiation between? right? and? good? . For them

? right? provides them the model within which they are free to prosecute their

ain constructs of? good? .Berlin ( 1969 ) has criticised the

Kantian construct of liberty as excessively narrow and suited to repressive governments,

which are usually at odds with the basic rights to freedom. Broad theoreticians

take a more generous position of the construct of liberty. In their position liberty is

the autonomy to do picks, to explicate programs and undertakings, and to be the

designer of one? s life-goals and ambitions.J.S. Mill has placed high value

on single? autonomy? , the word he has used for liberty, i.e. the freedom to

persons to develop their ain life in the manner they consider proper. Joseph

Raz ( 1986 ) argues that ideal of personal liberty is? the vision of people

commanding, to some grade, their ain fate, forging it through

consecutive determinations throughout their lives? ( p. 369 ) . To Raz freedom and

liberty means presence of worthwhile options to the persons to determine their

lives.One finds in the literature that

economic restrictions have been treated by some writers as restraining the

freedom of the hapless people, whereas others have regarded them as bounds on what

people are? able? to make instead than what they are? free? to make. It has besides

been argued that if deficiency of material resources sums to deficiency of freedom, so

the right to make a peculiar act will intend the right to hold the resources to

make that act. However, if deficiency of resources is non deficiency of freedom than the

rights to freedom will be much more modest. Furthermore, if poorness is non

described as? unfreedom? , the right to freedom will non include the right to

non be impoverished. It has been argued that a manner out of this? able? and

? free? argument is to reason that hapless have a negative freedom to accomplish their

? good? but they do non hold a positive freedom to accomplish their wellbeing. Decision From the above treatment it can

be said that rights are about autonomies that provide the right-holders with the

liberty to do picks. Socio-economic rights should be able to allow

citizens with liberty to determine their socio-economic lives, the manner they wish

to determine them by choosing the picks available to them. Make hapless citizens have

this liberty? Do they hold sufficient socio-economic picks that make them

capable to determine their lives as they like? Does deficiency of resources in any manner

shackles their chase of their ain impression of? good? ? Amartya Sen ( 1992 ) writes that

the resources that a individual has represent the extent of freedom he has to

devour the assorted? packages? of goods available. To utilize the same statement the

lower the degree of resources the fewer the picks available for ingestion.

Fewer the picks available lower the degree of freedom granted to the individual to

act in the manner he wishes to move to accomplish his ain impression of? good? . Therefore

it can be argued that deficiency of resources decreases the freedom a individual has to

achieve good being. Freedom is cardinal to the impression of rights ; therefore it

can be said that with poorness the person? s capableness to exert his

rights decreases.It can hence be concluded

that hapless citizenship is in fact a contradiction. A individual can non be hapless and

a full citizen, exerting the freedoms of action granted to him by virtuousness of

his rank to the state. ? ? REFERENCES1.

Barbalet, J.M. ( 1998 ) Citizenship:

rights, battle and category inequality, Milton Keynes: Open University

Press. 2.

Berlin, I. ( 1969 ) Four Essaies on

Liberty, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3.

? Cranston, M. ( 1973 ) What are Human Rights? , London: Bodley

Head. 4.

? Donnelly, J. ( 1985 ) The Concept of Human Rights, London:

Croom Helm. 5.

? Doyal, L. & A ; Gough, I. A Theory of Human Need, Basingstoke:

Macmillan. 6.

? Jones, P. ( 1989 ) ? The ideal of the impersonal province? in John Horton and

Susan Mendus ( explosive detection systems ) , The Nature of

Political Theory, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 7.

__________ ( 1994 ) Rights, Basingstoke:

Macmillan. 8.

Kramer, M.H. , Simminds, N.E. , and Steiner, H. ( 1998 ) A Argument Over Rights, ? Oxford: Oxford University Press. 9.

Marshall, T.H. ( 1950 ) Citizenship

and Social Class, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10. ? Rawls, J. ( 1971 ) A Theory of

Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 11. ? Raz, J. ( 1986 ) The Morality

of Freedom, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 12. ? Sen, A. ( 1992 ) Inequality

Reexamined, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 13. ? Weale, A. ( 1978 ) Equality

and Social Policy, London: Routledge & A ; Kagan Paul. 14. ? White, A.R. ( 1975 ) Modal Thinking, NY: Cornell University

Press. [ 1 ] Article 27 ( 1 ) Universal

Declaration of Human Rights.