Rights held to be justifiably belonging to any person; human rights. The phrase is associated with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted by the French National Assembly in 1789 and used as a preface to the French Constitution of 1791.
- The left worries about the universal rights of man, whereas the right worries about preserving nationalistic tradition and culture.
- This last point may recall Karl Marx's famous critique of the ways in which a democratic constitution formally committed to the rights of man and citizen may distort perceptions of injustice, and so blunt demands for social change.
- The spontaneous proliferation of the Jacobin clubs, with their high-minded commitment to the rights of man and the citizen, reflected this inspiration.
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