This post begins to expand on my current non-fiction WiP, Baby Acres: A possible Vision for Making Society Suck Less, in 60 Years. (Thanks to JYP and Tammy for the title ideas!!) The goal is to lay out a roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us. I’d love to see other such roadmaps toward a Kinder World, but thus far, I don’t see any fully drawn up plans, so I figured I’d put my ever-evolving roadmap out there for scrutiny. Part of that map includes posts that I have written before, as I piece ideas I’ve had over the last 10 to 15 years together into one coherent framework. I hope to offer that framework as one possible vision of what a society might look like that could eventually pass the Rawlsian Veil of Ignorance Test.
This framework started as The Four Freedoms for All HumanKind Movement idea, but then I realized that a movement needs more than one person, so I thought I’d better try to explain it and get some other folks to help me tracing this path, or possible path, forward for our society.
Back around 2011 or so, I had the idea that if we had a modern inclusive rite of passage adapted to our current society, we could build a better definition of what it means to be an adult, and how we figure out at what point that time has arrived, for any given person. Some sort of definition, and then test of passage, made universal, could be a more satisfactory criterion, or set of criteria, than mere age, whether 18, 21, or 25, as has been in different times and places in American society. That led me to imagine the Adulthood Challenge, with its various prerequisites and the final test. That led me to wonder how on earth we could bring such a new ritual into general acceptance as a means-test for adulthood, and what that could mean for those who pass, or don’t. What sort of society would we have in which some number of 40 or 50 year old persons are not considered legal adults, and what would that mean for such a society? How do you determine who is reasonably able to conduct the responsibilities of adulthood, and what exactly are those responsibilities, since the state of being an “adult” comes with duties, but also grants rights and privileges denied to children. And you cannot have a functioning society with absolutely no bar, or you then have to grant driving, governing, and other privileges and other decision-making functions to anyone and everyone at any time, which clearly will not work. So, the need for some way to decide on the maturity and preparation level of each person in society led me to wonder what levels of preparation, and in what areas, an adult in our society is expected to have, and how one could fairly test that across the entire society. This, of course, reminded me of the woeful state of our public education system in the US, not to mention other parts of our social infrastructure which are in the public domain, such as library systems, and health care.
That brought me to another problem: when one has not had access to basic necessities, like health care, information, education, and transportation, as a child, one reaches (assuming one survives long enough) the age of juridic adulthood lacking much of what kids who grew up in less traumatizing or negligent or abusive or poverty-stricken homes generally have. So, backing up from adulthood, I wondered how we can build, or rather, what would be needed, to build a society that ensured access to those tools for each and every child. Starting with food, clothing, shelter and health care for kids whose parents either die young and had no other family, or kids who never had adequate parents to begin with. Clearly, state Child Protective Service systems are not good enough, judging by “foster care-to-prison pipeline” statistics. (I’ll come back to further ideas about this in future posts as part of Phases III and IV…)
If you follow my blog regularly, you might have noticed that those four basic necessities, health care, information, education, and transportation, are something I rotate into my posts on a regular basic, under the name of a hash tag #publicdomaininfrastructure. That is because a couple of years ago, I realized that those four basics had the potential to solve a lot of problems for a lot of people, if our social infrastructure systems like Public Libraries, Public Health Care, Public Education (for both kids and adults), and Public Transportation were upgraded. A lot. With those systems adequately funded and utilized by the middle classes as well as the poor, you could also get a situation going where people meet and greet and get to know each other more, as well as more attention to the needs of those public goods than merely as a hand-out for those who cannot or wish not to use the privatized version of all of these public goods. Then I realized that without empathy, you cannot have any of those things. So, then I began to wonder what a society could look like that met all of our needs, while keeping our freedoms intact, and still allowing each individual person to go as far as that person’s potential would allow, creatively, athletically, intellectually, etc. Without having to dig out of a childhood hellhole just to get to the starting line. What various shapes could such a society (indeed, societies) take, and how could you ensure that any and all of those various shapes remained just?
Obviously, you don’t go from where we are now, to a just and safe world for all of us, including women in Africa, in a day. So, I divided the various parts of ideas I’ve had over the years into four sets, thinking that a movement can surely be built in 15 years or so, and then gave somewhat arbitrary names to each of those sets of ideas, to phase in one after another as part of a path to one possible offering of a vision for a better world. And the path, or paths, will certainly not be simple, but “another world is possible,” clearly, because we have 6000 years of recorded human history to show us that nearly every possible form of governance has existed, and ceased to exist, on our planet among human beings. So, I wondered, how we could conceive and plan a set of possible visions for a society that would be just, safe, free, and fair, for each and every human being on this planet. I wondered why I’ve not seen someone write a book about such an idea, or set of ideas. Then, I wondered if I should write one, myself.
“And so, it begins.”
1.) Search for two different sources related to social infrastructure.
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.
3.) Share your thoughts on how a society might be built, in 50-100 years, that is more just.
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:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
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