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The Struggle for Universal Human Rights - Essay Example

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The Struggle for Universal Human Rights

I think that both of them have created unique impact on the history of USSR and the history of human rights in the world - they were first to open to the world politics and general public the truth of the Soviet totalitarian regime; they were the first who, risking their lives tried to influence the inner regime, in which they lived, addressing the foreign community an asking them for assistance. However, and what I will try to prove in this work, Sakharov seems to have come closer to his goal, and the present situation in Russia partially proves this and partially owes him for the freedom which people now have in their views and expressions; being less radical he was different from Solzhenitsyn, who ultimately and probably invisibly for himself, moved to the goal of reviving the imperialism from the goal of reviving human rights.
In his striving to protect human rights in the USSR, Sakharov displayed better understanding of the real situation and his influence on the dtente in the USSR was much greater than that of Solzhenitsyn.
The thesis about the continuous connection between peace, international security and human rights was the central in the system of Sakharov's views. This thesis started to be formed at the beginning of 70s, with Brezhnev - Nixon's policy of dtente, and as its alternative. In July, 1973 in the well-known interview to Olle Stenholm he expressed his vague hopes and fears as for this new direction in Soviet - American relations. He was afraid that the process of rapprochement would go according to the Soviet rules without inner liberalization of the country. The aims and motives of dtente are not clear until the present day. It is assumed that the American side was aiming at decreasing the level of opposition between the two countries, and save some military expenses, while the USSR was accounting for western loans, technologies and crops. These fears and hopes were later realized and made him form an alternative dtente program. In his Nobel Prize lecture in 1975, Sakharov formulated the thesis:
'I am sure, that international trust, mutual understanding and disarmament and
international security are impossible without the society's openness, freedom of
information, convictions, publicity, freedom of trips and choice of residence'1.
Sakharov's doctrine was based on the three main arguments: first of all, if the state presents the threat to its citizens, it will also present the threat to its neighbors. Second, the respect of the human rights provides the democratic control over the foreign policy of the state and military expenses, thus the society won't allow the militarization of economy in the peaceful time. The third argument of Sakharov was that following the human rights would provide the free exchange of information and ideas between the nations will foster their rapprochement, mutual mistrust decrease and decreases the probability of conflict. However, reflecting on these arguments, it is also possible to add the fourth one: human rights can (and must) become the general value for all nations and this commonality of values will decrease the possibility of ...Show more


The present paper will be based on the assumption that in Russian dissident movement, the greatest progress in human rights revival and protection was made not by Solzhenitsyn, but by Sakharov. Sakharov has historically done more to make the USSR the country, where the human rights would be defended and taken into account, with less radical position than that of Solzhenitsyn.
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The Struggle for Universal Human Rights Essay essay example
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