A realistic charter of human rights
Given the precarious state of life on our planet it would seem reasonable that the long term survival of the human race is subject to some considerable doubt. Globalisation has more rapidly brought negative consequences more so than positive ones. Although circumstances would seem to be rapidly spinning out of control there is no going back. We are on a one way journey wherever that is leading.
If we are to have any hope of overcoming these horrendous obstacles it will be necessary in the fairly near future to arrive at some sort of world government. That could be a UN with real teeth and power, although given its charter and the various rights of veto belonging to super powers who seldom agree, this is probably a pipe dream. A significant number of powerful nations would have to be willing to surrender most of their sovereignty. Millions die while nations and their governments follow their own agendas.
A democratic world government could only work if the bulk of humanity had sufficient education and intelligence to think both long term and fairly rather than chasing after immediate self-interest or ludicrous agendas and promises of extremist groups. The West’s promotion of democracy in the Middle East is an obvious example. The moment a genuine democratic election is arranged it is often the case that a majority elect an Islamic government tending toward the extreme and the West is mortified by the results.
A world government dictatorship is undesirable as the likelihood of an enlightened leader (in the mould of the Delai Llama) is remote. Even more so than leaders of democracies dictators seem only interested in their own well-being and that of their immediate circle of support. Syria and North Korea are obvious cases in point.
How we are to begin in saving our species and many others is a bothersome open question. Unless we can reign in the greed and philosophical stupidity of the mega rich and the very powerful we have little chance. The capitalist ethos of congregating more and more wealth in the hands of individuals or small groups is certainly doomed. The question is; will the survival of the human race go down with it?
A new charter of human rights will have to start from a non-capitalist standpoint. The very idea of human rights also necessarily includes the concomitant notion of human responsibilities. The idea of rights without responsibilities tends toward the absurd and is totally useless.
Charter of human rights
- 1. All humans should respect all forms of life and live and let live wherever reasonably possible.
- 2. Every human being has the right to basic shelter, food, water and the necessary means to sustain their lives.
- 3. All people have the right to produce and raise children (although not too many given the overpopulation of the world) in as much safety as possible. All children have the right to at least a basic education and preferably one beyond that.
- 4. People have the right to accumulate modest amounts of property and have that property protected. Such property should be subject to reasonable limits so as not to condemn others to poverty.
- 5. All humans have the right to defend themselves up to a reasonable use of force. This specifically does not include the right to bear arms. We have all seen how this amendment to the US constitution has played out. The right to bear arms actually diminishes personal safety rather than increasing it.
- 6. Everybody has a right to work and an obligation to do so, health allowing, until a reasonable retirement age has been reached. Such retirees have a right to modest support for the rest of their lives. People likewise have the right to reasonable amounts of non-work time and to be compensated fairly for their work.
- 7. All humans have the right not to be exploited, economically and generally, by others. This in turn translates into the obligation not to exploit others.
- 8. All governments, from world down to local, should be secular. Human beings follow many different, and quite often competing religions. No-one, and no religion has the right to assume a monopoly on truth and hope. People can believe what they want to believe and it is impossible to stop this in any case.
- 9. All governments and large private companies should be required to be completely transparent in all their deliberations and practices. The obvious exception to this requirement is weapons technologies and military matters. This exception is necessary to prevent such technologies falling into the hands of terrorists or criminals.
- 10. General transparency in governance is about the only effective way to fight corruption and corruption is one of the greatest blights on humanity, blocking our way forward.
Unless our outdated means of coordination between nations is quickly superseded it is all but certain that our species is going to follow the dinosaurs. There is little time left to act. Violence destroys much more than it gains. The various wars are testament to this. We must find non-violent ways of disempowering those who presently run this world, and are either possessed by greed and stupidity or else hamstrung by that of others. It could be argued that Barrack Obama is one of the most enlightened presidents in US history but is hamstrung by the realities of the power and wealth cliques that lie behind him. He may possibly even personally that Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are right deep down. However, there is no way he could say that or pardon them without risking a very likely assassination of himself. His position prohibits him from making many decisions and choices that he may like to.
The only way forward is for each individual to do what he or she can to follow a path of enlightenment and fight greed and stupidity at every turn, on every level!
If you’re interested in the future of our species and the world in general don’t forget to buy my novel ‘Brownout – 666’ (available as an eBook from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple I-store etc etc for a paltry few dollars). Don’t worry, I am not about to be capatapaulted into the ranks of the greedy mega wealthy. I am just scratching out a living.