Social minimalism author writes on N. Korea’s human rights U. N. reports North Korea's Supreme leader has crossed the line

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Feb 23, 2014 No Comments ›› Dan Bodine
Throughout history "goodness" has emerged to keep civilization from "falling off the cliff." (Image credit to )

Throughout history “goodness” has emerged to keep civilization from “falling off the cliff.” (Image credit to

By Dan Bodine


Wars and rumors of wars! Since forever, no?

Is the world more dangerous today than it was 50 years ago? A hundred years ago? More intolerable? More crueler? In the majority of places?

One of the reasons I remain optimistic that the sky isn’t falling on our present economic and political situation, is my unwavering belief in the goodness of people. Goodness always shows up as a majority will — as in that classic battle between Good and Evil — to urge commonly accepted standards of human rights, most of all, be used as a denominator for exchanging currency or political favors, i.e.

Think I’ve been watching too many “Lone Ranger” TV reruns? Of course both forces exist amongst us! Always have. Good and evil always fiercely compete. Total destruction for the planet often has been one hair-trigger away.

But despite the swings in wealth inequities and atrocities carried out over time around the world, in the name of one cause or another, one basic element to stabilize world order time and time again has remained true. The goodness in most men and women to bring order out of disorder.

To provide a guidepost of sorts. To bring civilization back from “off the wild, unbeaten path” of the present to the “tried and true” way of tomorrow’s progress, by stubbornly refusing to give in to tyranny.

It’s showed up in myriads of ways, of course. In millions and millions of men and woman throughout history. In situations of good versus bad.

From raw emotional protests against the “unjust” or the “wrongheadedness” in courts or politicians, to less headline grabbing such as clergy or various scholars in one field or another, being willing to “gently nudge” public opinion toward a more moral and ethical position thru teachings and writings. Showing the way.

Dr. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Global Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, is just one of many in this latter class.

But she is a distinguished one, with a long, long career of service and accomplishments. If you want to know about human rights, and why it’s important for a country to secure them for its people before it can say it’s making “progress” in the world, she’s the one to talk to, so to speak.

She introduced me to “social minimalism” in her 1995 book, Human Rights and the Search for Community (Westview Press), a term I’ve adopted and named this site after.

Realizing Libertarian or far-right political concerns were around when our nation was founded helped me “see” better over that wall of history that is our past, to better understand what’s happening today. And brought a sense of peace to me I hadn’t been able to find before.

She’s written several other books. Her blog is at if you’d like to read some of her work.

The link will take you to her latest post, “Crimes against Humanity in North Korea,” explaining the seriousness of a recently released U.N. Commission of Inquiry (COI)  report on the human rights abuse in North Korea.

She discusses the political situation, why such a report is so tardy, as well as the future implications of this benchmark report.

The “wheels of justice” always have turned slowly, it seems. But, too, they seem to always keep turning in the direction of decency in Life. No matter what.

Some people put their trust in a lot of different things. Fast cars and fancy living and making killings off of explosive stock markets, i.e.

The concept of something like that (the how-to’s) always has been too much for me to grasp, with the fork God handed me. Too much for my plate.

Me, I’m just a simple, ol’ Texas country boy, who likes his eggs over-easy. The goodness in God’s people eventually to overcome evil is where I put my trust.

Who knows? Friday, it was the capture of the notorious druglord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Mexico. Who’s terrorized a planet for decades.

Maybe next month or next year, it’ll be Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s Supreme leader.

And the world, also, will be better.

That’s just the way it’s worked out.

So far.

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