The 18th century concept of individual rights is founded on the opposite and revolutionary idea -- that each individual is an end in himself, with his (or her) life and happiness as the moral purpose. That's what the United States' founding fathers meant by the individual's right to "life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness." These rights, being "unalienable," cannot be abrogated by government decree or majority vote.###
Because these rights apply to each individual, nobody's rights can negate anyone else's. Individual rights are not entitlements to food, shelter, health care, money, love, sex, etc., forcibly extracted from others. They are freedoms of action that a rational being requires to choose and achieve the values that his life and happiness require, actions such as creative thought, productive work, voluntary association and free trade. Only such freedoms can yield peaceful coexistence and prosperity.
Individual rights are precisely what the UN's declaration is designed to destroy. No, it doesn't openly attack individual rights; that would be rejected outright by freer countries. It destroys rights by internal corruption -- by perverting the meaning of rights into its exact opposite.
The declaration first covers what appear to be legitimate rights, such as "the right to life, liberty and security of person," "the right to own property," and freedom of "thought" and "opinion." (The right to pursue happiness is absent, for reasons that will soon become obvious.) It then introduces a series of "economic rights," such as a person's "right" to work, paid holidays, protection against unemployment, social security, free education, and a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care .
If people are entitled to these, who will be forced to provide them? Whose property will be seized to pay for them?
Such "economic rights" obviously contradict the right to liberty and property. There can be no such thing as a right to violate the rights of others. "Economic rights" merely hand government the power to violate individual rights, thereby rendering the individual a slave to the needs and desires of others. They effectively make communism the social ideal. (This is made explicit in Article 29, which states: "Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.")