Support Aeon this December

Every donation makes a difference.

Please Give Now

‘We need your support to sustain Aeon in 2019. Your end-of-year gift will help us spread knowledge and promote a cosmopolitan worldview.’

Brigid Hains, Editorial Director

Please Give Now

Human Rights


Latest Popular


Anthropology Cities Demography & Migration Economics Education Fairness & Equality Gender History Human Rights Law & Justice Nature & Environment Politics & Government Poverty & Development Progress & Modernity Race Religion The Future War & Conflict Work
Essay/
Education
An inconvenient child

My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom

Michael Graziano

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

Essay/
Human Rights
Twilight in the Box

The suicide statistics, squalor and recidivism haven’t ended solitary confinement. Maybe the brain studies will

Shruti Ravindran

Essay/
History
The forgotten prophet

Radical Quaker Benjamin Lay was a pioneer of abolitionism, who lived what he preached. So why was he erased from history?

Marcus Rediker

Essay/
Cities
Homes for the homeless

San Francisco’s homeless are harangued and despised while conservative Utah has a radically humane approach

Susie Cagle

Essay/
Ethics
The ugly truth

We all know our culture puts a premium on good looks – does that mean that the ugly are oppressed?

Jonny Thakkar

Essay/
Gender
Clothes and daggers

British missionaries hated the sari; US feminists would ban the burqa. Why do empires care so much about women’s clothes?

Rafia Zakaria

Essay/
Ethics
The limits of tolerance

A religious worldview cannot expect the same kinds of tolerance as racial, gender, or sexual identities. Here’s why

Paul Russell

Essay/
History of Ideas
Dignity is delicate

Human dignity is a concept with remarkably shallow historical roots. Is that why it is so presently endangered?

Remy Debes

Essay/
Human Rights
What do slaveholders think?

It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

Essay/
Education
The school of failure

The worst public schools do one thing very well – they teach poor black kids how to stay in the American underclass

D Watkins

Essay/
History
Atlantic freedoms

Haiti, not the US or France, was where the assertion of human rights reached its defining climax in the Age of Revolution

Laurent Dubois

Essay/
Cosmopolitanism
The essence of evil

You don’t have to be a monster or a madman to dehumanise others. You just have to be an ordinary human being

David Livingstone Smith

Essay/
Human Rights
Caste lives on, and on

Indian society deludes itself that caste discrimination is a thing of the past, yet it suffuses the nation, top to bottom

Prayaag Akbar

Essay/
Human Rights
Crippling injustice

Disabled people in modern China are still stigmatised, marginalised and abused. What hope is there for reform?

James Palmer

Essay/
Ethics
Survivors

Filthy and violent it may be, but life is still precious for the world’s street children. Can you look them in the eye?

Ben Faccini

Essay/
Education
In praise of Dewey

He knew how to protect democracy – not by rote and rules but by growing independent-minded kids. Let us not forget it

Nicholas Tampio

Essay/
History of Science
The sexism problem

Harassment drove me out of physics 30 years ago and little has changed. Why is scientific sexism so intractable?

Margaret Wertheim

Essay/
Law & Justice
What kind of citizen was he?

Conventional wisdom sees Socrates as a martyr for free speech, but he accepted his death sentence for a different cause

Josiah Ober

Essay/
Medical Ethics
In praise of defiance

Labelling someone crazy and difficult is a way to resist justice and change – and psychiatrists are complicit

Carrie Arnold

Essay/
Fairness & Equality
Lessons of Demopolis

Wisdom from classical Greece: democracy and liberalism are both better off if we understand the difference between them

Josiah Ober

Essay/
Medical Ethics
Eugenics never went away

Thought eugenics died with the Nazis? Think again: the eugenic programme of sterilising the ‘unfit’ continues even today

Robert A Wilson

Essay/
Law & Justice
Facing time

Behind bars in Texas, I saw masculinity in all its violence and vulnerability. Was this the war that men had primed me for?

Steven Powers