Argumentative Essay On Right Vs. Responsibility

1680 Words 7 Pages
Right vs. Responsibility
Why states should protect one another.

Along the sunny shorelines of Lesbos, Greece, a small body washes ashore. A child, in a failed attempt to seek refuge from the terrors in Syria. Teary eyed volunteers grasp the child, and bury it modestly. The government stops these Samaritans from grave digging, resulting in complete outrage and many unanswered questions. Implicitly, they ask this: wouldn’t you want your family given burial if you were unable? Is it not within human nature to lend a helping hand? This paper will argue that states assisting other states can be beneficial (commensalistic, at the very least) not just economically but morally. Two major questions will primarily be addressed, as well as related questions
…show more content…
Under this topic, there is the issue of wealth and who has it. The more developed countries (MDCs) are the ones with the ability to assist other states because usually, they have less internal conflicts to deal with and more money to work with. Lesser developed countries (LDCs) tend to have too many internal issues to remedy before they can begin helping others. A report from the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) argues that “what is at stake here is not making the world safe for big powers…but delivering practical protection for ordinary people, at risk of their lives, because their states are unwilling or unable to protect them” (Responsibility to Protect, 11). The ICISS rather bluntly brings reality to the situation; it is not the wealthy and powerful people, it is the regular and everyday people whose lives are in jeopardy. People who would otherwise not be, are involved in violence because of their state. Similarly, Luke Glanville articulates that in a commission by the UN, experts in a High-Level panel state that “governments have the primary responsibility to protect their own citizens from such catastrophes, when they are unable or unwilling to do so that responsibility should be taken up by the wider international community” (Glanville, 11). Glanville furthers the Panel’s point: the “issue is not the ‘‘right to intervene’’ of any …show more content…
These examples bring to light the question of the morality in their decisions, and their consequences. A contemporary situation is the island of Lesbos, Greece, where hundreds of refugees have washed up on the shore, deceased, in attempt to escape Syria. Volunteers gave the bodies simple burials, out of respect for the departed and their families. Eventually, there were so many bodies washing ashore that the ceased the burials. People were disgusted, because they felt for these people so strongly. The state chose to stop burying citizens of other states. This relates to the example of Antigone’s persistence in the burying of her brother, Polynices, in Sophocles’ Antigone. Polynices was branded as a traitor and had lost his citizenship to Thebes; King Creon refused to bury him, letting his body rot. Antigone could be compared to the volunteers who buried the refugees because they knew it was right—she wanted to give her brother at least a simple burial. King Creon, representing the state, considered Polynices a non-citizen and did not allow for a burial, as he explains that “an enemy is always an enemy, even in death” (Antigone, 522). Both of these examples showcase the state exercising their right to choose who to provide aid to, but any moral person would be left uneasy at

Related Documents