Wondering Wednesdays, Baby Acres, and Human Rights as Justice

This post  goes on to begin the rough draft of my current non-fiction WiP, Baby Acres: A possible Vision for Making Society Suck Less, in 60 Years.   (Thanks, once again, to JYP and Tammy for the title ideas!!)  The overall goal has been to lay out a roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us, so, I am turning, this week, to the introductory chapter, Chapter 0, of the book, in the hope that All HumanKind  will eventually have each person’s basic needs  met.  This book lays out one possible path for getting to that point.

Introduction part II: Peace and Justice

 

   Peaceful change revolves around various types of justice.  Social justice is perhaps the first type of justice that comes to mind, but economic justice, both of outcome and of opportunity, and also climate and other sorts of justice count heavily when considering the factors involved in building a just society.

 

  Social justice is one of the more obvious types of justice, or more visible, in terms of how we human beings treat one another.  The basic human rights to dignity, equal treatment under the law, and equal access to resources as seen in the right to due process, competent legal representation, etc, have been the focus of civil rights activism and litigation, most prominently in the 1960s, but reaching much farther back than that, in the United States (Jones, Stayed on Freedom’s Call, P. 20). Cooperation between many oppressed groups over time has led to a variety of policies aimed at addressing mistreatment of vulnerable people in public venues, often based on visible characteristics such as race, gender, etc.  The right to associate and travel, live in safe areas, access social venues, etc, has often been addressed, however, without actively acknowledging the fact that the realistic exercise of these rights is dependent upon the actual ability to pay for access to these rights, as most of our venues in the US require some form of entrance fee, or payment.  What often goes unaddressed, and ignored, is the right to economic justice that forms the bedrock of one’s ability to gain access to nearly all of these rights, in practical usage.  Yet, this lack of acknowledgment and action is not due to lack of warning.  Many have pointed out over the years that providing social justice, without providing economic justice, is paying mere lip service to the ideal of a just society.

 

   The calls for economic justice as part of social equity in the United States go back far, but a convenient start might be the most well known of those calls, from the 1960s.  In 1963,The March on Washington was a march for “jobs and freedom” as part of the long struggle to end Jim Crow, implemented both as social segregation, and also as economic segregation.  The economic part of Jim Crow, preventing most Negroes from working in most professional job positions, was the true motor of inequality, leading to both the formation and enforced permanence of a deliberately poverty-stricken underclass constantly obligated to accept any jobs offered by the dominant members of society.  The codification of this system based on skin color meant that even after the end, de Jure, of social Jim Crow, the majority of the members of that underclass remained stuck in the position of living in substandard housing and having to accept the lowest paying of jobs because the dominant culture had not changed, even when the laws did.  Thus, the legal ability to attend the same cinemas, the same schools, and the same concerts did not grant the financial ability do take advantage of these new rights.  Jim Crow was still, economically speaking, alive and well despite new social justice laws.  Many observers, from Dr. King himself, who called for a Citizen’s Income just a few years after that famous march (King, Where Do We Go From Here, 1967), to Joseph Stiglitz, to Steve Pressman, to Thomas Piketty, have continued to point out that economic inequality both hampers all forms of justice for vulnerable groups.  They also argue that economic inequality exerts increasing pressure toward injustice on all groups, from the dominant down to the most vulnerable, in that society.  Thus, social justice and economic justice must really be considered one: two sides of the same coin.

 

A society which would like to consider itself just toward all of its members, and indeed attempts to provide social and economic justice for all groups, would still be missing something crucial, if social and economic justice were the only types of justice to be considered.  While public goods such as libraries, health care, transportation, and education may be considered part of the social or economic spheres, these systems are also part of a set of pieces of social infrastructure which work in our society both as common touch stones, and as common points of concern.  Each person needs access to information, and to community level places for gatherings and  entertainment, provided by local libraries.  Each person needs health care, and the health of every resident in a society affects every other resident, from the hospital system right down to the sewage and water treatment systems.  Transportation is a concern that touches every resident as well, whether driving in a private car, or riding on a trolley, and the culture and education of every resident of a society inform how those modes of transportation will be used, or abused.  Yet, information and communication systems, sanitation, transportation, and even schools all impact the local environment, and also pull resources from the local environment.  And, as many Native American Tribal councils, like that of the Black Hills, in South Dakota, can confirm, not all lands are treated with equal care.  Thus, climate and land or commons based justice must also be considered, as part of the foundation of any just society.  Hence, social, economic, and commons based justice must all form part of any discussion or offering of a potential vision for a just society.  Those three fundamental forms of justice must also then be made tangible by codifying specific examples of what that might look like.  One offering of an example was given to us by a president who saw the need to end both segregation and to list necessary freedoms.

 

That is the rough draft of the first part of my introductory chapter. 

Last week was the third installment of this series…

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to visions for a better world.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how Commons Justice (or bad) can affect a society that might be built, in 50-100 years.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.   Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 51/67 , and the most recent lesson 52/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

31 thoughts on “Wondering Wednesdays, Baby Acres, and Human Rights as Justice

  1. Economic justice/freedom is definitely important, andI think we’ve vastly underestimate how much. In America, your economic status determines everything you do and have. As you’ve hinted at here, even library access, etc. is limited if your socioeconomic status is lower/low.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dr. G!

      And there are plenty of people that refuse to believe or even imagine that this might be the case, when I tell them, cite statistics, and offer references!

      It boggles my mind that anyone could even conceive of an argument for social justice or freedom in the face of the crippling effects of poverty. Then I get people insisting that “if even one person can do it, anyone can do it” with no regard (or perhaps no knowledge nor understanding) for outliers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. EXACTLY! It’s the myth of meritocracy, right? And then each race/ethnicity has a representative who has made it, so we look at the/those person/people and say, “look, they did it,” while ignoring all the other factors that may have made their economic success possible.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. bleepety bleep bleep bleep!!
          Just lost my reply!
          Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the statistically challenged head, and they love to make tokens out of someone who is an outlier in 5 ways, while denying the very concept of an outlier.
          Statistics education is crucial,
          and
          that is part of Critical Thinking that needs to be taught with Empathy
          across the board in every locality.
          or
          a new Gap Year as a modern CCC with every kid sent to a part of the US where that kid did not grow up and does not share “background,” so that kids from middle/well-off families and areas can get to know kids, folks, and situations of those not well off, and so that kids from poor areas can get to see the “cultural capital” implications of the upper SES groups.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, absolutely!
      Thank you for this reminder, Quips: on my rough draft, I just try to get the main ideas out there, and then my next drafts are for citations, grammar, and sentence lengths. I’m really a bad one for having terribly long sentences over and over again, I suspect!
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Each person needs access to information, and to community level places for gatherings and entertainment, provided by local libraries. Each person needs health care, and the health of every resident in a society affects every other resident, from the hospital system right down to the sewage and water treatment systems. Transportation is a concern that touches every resident as well, whether driving in a private car, or riding on a trolley, and the culture and education of every resident of a society inform how those modes of transportation will be used, or abused. Yet, information and communication systems, sanitation, transportation, and even schools all impact the local environment, and also pull resources from the local environment. And, as many Native American Tribal councils, like that of the Black Hills, in South Dakota, can confirm, not all lands are treated with equal care. Thus, climate and land or commons based justice must also be considered, as part of the foundation of any just society.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Economic justice is certainly vital, but how is it to be achieved, dear Shira? Are you planning to address it in your book, since this is only an itroduction?
    Also, to add more validity to your points, it might be helpful to include citations from reliable sources. Just suggesting…
    Good luck with this project, darling!
    Much love,
    D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are many ways to skin… er, solve that problem, dear Dolly. Once we develop the will, the means will present themselves, and then we can choose the best way to accomplish the material implementation of this vision, or some other vision or combination hereof, as the era permits in that specific generation for the needs of those in that generation and according to the then-existing resources. I will go into more detail, in later chapters, on potential ways of ‘Getting there from Here.’
      And of course I plan to address those points, later in the book, as well as potential rebuttals of my suggested manners of addressing those points.
      🙂
      As this is still the rough draft stage, I am merely getting all of the ideas out of my head and onto paper, or desktop, so to speak, and I generally leave the citations and bibliography for my 2nd draft.
      But, if you’ve read my earlier published books, you know that my first was academic, and thus had inline citations tied to the end note (bibliography). For Stayed on Freedom’s Call, however, I chose not to use inline citations, since I wanted it to feel more “accessible,” and so I only used a bibliography. Some readers told me it still felt like an academic book, so I am feeling stuck for whether to cite in the text, and put off some readers, or to leave citations for the end, and risk readers missing my citations:
      What is your advice, Dolly?
      Thanks,
      -Shira

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that you have to make up your mind as to your target audience. A book cannot be “somewhat or somewhat less” academic, no more than a woman could be “a little bit pregnant.” Either it is purely academic, or definitely intended for wider audience (more “accessible”). Who is your intended audience, dear Shira?
        Shabbat Shalom!
        Big air hugs,
        D

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like this introduction! I think it does a great job of setting the stage.
    I am on Team Inline or Team Footnote citations, as I think it lends more credibility and I don’t think it necessarily makes the text inaccessible to a wider group of readers. Although formatting plays a big role in this.
    But I really like this introduction with respect to content and flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coolness, JYP, thank you! This helps me alot.
      Next week comes the final part (part III) of the Intro., and I’m sweating over my chapter I, as I’ve been having a terrible time filling in my chapter outline. It just doesn’t seem to hang together correctly with the later chapters, so I’m still revising the high-level outline for chapter 1. It has to cover all four phases, and relate each phase to one or more of FDR’s 4 freedoms, but I think I mixed alot of the ‘getting there from here’ ideas in with that, rather than outlining, first, what each phase could look like, so now I am untangling that, and moving the ideas like Each One Teach One and hashtags I created to embody that, out of chapter 1, and over to chapters 7-10. The problem is that I have a chicken-and-egg issue, wrt to how to lay out what the vision could look like without justifying it first, but justifying a vision that has not yet been painted is almost leaving the reader blind.
      ?

      Like

      1. Re: chicken and egg vision vs. justification first, it might be the sort of thing that will be easier to decide after you write one variant and see how it reads? Justification first isn’t necessarily leading the reader blind, but again, it might be an instance where you start the draft and reevaluate.

        Liked by 1 person

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