Culture vs. Wordism
Here's a fine example of what I call "wordism":
The freedoms of speech and press spelled out in the 45 words of the First Amendment protect U.S. journalists from government restraint or reprisal for what they say or write....
Contrast this situation with the plight of journalists in northern Mexico, where the de facto authorities — invasive and ruthless drug cartels — have been killing journalists, and doing so with relative impunity.
The Los Angeles Times reported recently that an estimated 30 reporters had been killed or had gone missing since a government effort began in 2006 to break up the powerful criminal groups.
What a difference just 45 words — and the democratic society they helped shape and sustain — make.
I call it "wordism" because the author believes the proclamation of certain rights is what makes those rights exist. The problem with his argument is that the Mexican Constitution's Article VI also has a flowery proclamation of freedom of ideas and speech.
So is it pretty words that create rights or is it culture? And that raises another question: What happens to traditional rights when a country is colonized by a hostile culture?