“Human Rights”: The Hidden Agenda

“'Human Rights': The Hidden Agenda,” The National Interest, Winter 1986-87.


A final point: There are some conservative (or non-left) “human rights” activists who feel that this theme can be exploited for purposes of anti-communist and anti-totalitarian propaganda. It is impossible not to admire the diligence with which they expose the sufferings of people under communism, and this kind of candid ideological warfare does serve to remind us of the nature of the enemy-a reminder that is always timely. But there is reason to wonder whether this strategy, on its own, can be effective over the longer term. There cannot be many people who do not already know about conditions in the Soviet Union. The question is: Why don’t they care? Why are most of the major Christian churches in the United States so utterly indifferent to the persecution of Christianity in the Soviet Union and in Soviet- occupied Eastern Europe? If this be ignorance, it is a special kind of willful ignorance.

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