As Marx says in the ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844’, we realise human essence through labour (Marx, 1977:73-74). It is the realisation of human potentialities what concerns Marx in the first place, for it is the creation of our productive activity what constitutes the source of human happiness. Therefore, it is not only through labour where a person expresses its individuality, but also in the result of it; the product of labour (Marx, 1844:17-18).
The notion of political authority is strongly disputed, and very few have brought into consideration the problems surrounding it better than R.P. Wolff in his In Defense of Anarchism. This essay consists of a critique of Raz’s Normal Justification Thesis (hereinafter NJT) as a response to the autonomy challenge presented in Wolff’s a priori anarchism.
States already exercise the right of admittance or exclusion. Nonetheless, it is the task of political philosophy to determine whether they should. Historically, the state has been an exoskeleton whose purpose was to protect and promote the development of free and national societies. However, pressing phenomena such as globalization, migration and international integration are pushing for a paradigm shift in the state’s raison d’être in this regard. For what used to be a strong exoskeleton is now an internal one, diminished in visibility and weakened in character. And this raises some questions regarding two fundamental aspects of all democratic states. Namely, that the demos is bound; and that this demos has the right to define, and exercise control over, its own boundaries. This essay attempts to respond to the challenge the latter encounters today. And it seeks to do so from a normative perspective, rather than a positivist one, assessing one aspect of an argument that defends the morality of a state’s decision to unilaterally close its borders: David Miller’s self-determination account as a basis for territorial jurisdiction.
The modern human rights doctrine responds to an intention of providing a precise
formula of what human dignity entails and the respect it deserves. However, some argue,
the chosen formula is inadequate. Perhaps the most relevant and pervasive challenge to the
liberal doctrine is that which addresses the emptiness apparently embedded in human rights
talk. Proponents of such views allege that this rhetorical use is a “bitter mockery to
the poor and needy” (O’Neill, 1996:133) inasmuch as talking of rights without their proper
enforcement makes them “an inherently vacuous conception, and to speak of human rights
is a kind of puffery or white magic” (Geuss, 2001:144).
Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence last October poses the question of which is the political structure that could accommodate Spanish and Catalan interests, as well as create a framework of coexistence for all Catalans. But in order to satisfactorily arrive to any conclusion, we must first review which are the claims that ought to be appeased or granted, and what contributed to the development of such claims.