Rights to Life
We all have rights to life.
Astonishingly, these rights are excluded, denied and reduced throughout our now global political economy to such an extent that it threatens Life on Planet Earth.
How could this essential insight be missed you might ask?
Why does it matter if we know why we are alive?
Or what can we learn from this inquiry that will protect our lives, the lives of our children and the life of all others?
John McMurtry’s studies into the values of life are contained in his writings and in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), published by UNESCO.
What John McMurtry names ‘life-ground ethics’ emerge as the staging point for primary agreement between people in communication and as the critical valuation inside communicative logic.
We all share the valuing practice of life, which is the only yardstick that life gives us, to measure and value life itself.
Where would you be without a sense of your own life?
Or an understanding of what protects your life and its essential conditions?
Or, without acknowledgement of other lives and their need to protect themselves?
By ignoring the rights to life of others, what harvest do we reap?
Is this not, absolutely, where our global civilization is today?
Have not so many governance mechanisms now excluded, denied, reduced or destroyed these life-rights, in the name of Titanic-quality progress?
What is government except a set of rules based on underlying values that protect citizens and life itself?
Today, many public institutions and the people who occupy them, ignore citizens to focus on money, ignore the claims of life, claims made in the name of humanity and the innate rights to life, supposedly guaranteed by citizenship?
Surely, no human-being or, more correctly, citizen with rights, may be excluded from such ‘rights-to-life’ evaluation?
Nor too, any other lifeform denied its living rights? Negotiated by us, because we acknowledge their rights to life, which they may not assert directly.
If we are not protecting life, we are enabling death on an unimaginable scale.
Even the death of life on Planet Earth in one human lifetime, y/our lifetime.
‘Life-ground ethics’ belong as a tool, skill and ‘social right’ held by each human being, as part of our unique identity and ability to perform in the world.
Thus, all claims to science or reasoned ‘objectivity’ (see blog, Philosophy & Science), are grounded in public life-values, or not grounded at all.
Misunderstanding around this lack of grounding, McMurtry argues, is why so many different stories and arguments between different cultural positions or standpoints occur.
One older set of agreements, assumptions or scientific ‘truths’ are gradually over-turned or refined over time, by new agreements, as part of the inventive character of life, art and science.
This cycle of learning, however, causes confusion between people at different points in their own lives.
A confusion that only, a now digitally-enhanced learning practice, supporting both private and public evaluation grounded in life-values, is able to address.
Not using money as the yardstick for public evaluation.
Money is unable to value life.
But employing people with a clear understanding of their own life rights, able to examine their own cycles of ‘learning and re-learning’ and the learning of others.
Learning information we each require as a right, in order to navigate our singular and shared realities in a dynamic 24/7 digital age (see blog, Information Abundance).
Thus, Rights to Life are contained inside all rules, decisions, agreements, information and data, as THE crucial venue to begin examining our world of communication, even our daily lives, now so threatened.
Especially, where this communication is easily untethered from the lifeworld, where some seek to wrestle power and wealth for themselves, against the actual rights to life, or protection of those rights, held by all.
A formal practice of citizen self-governance (see blog, Self-Learning & Self-Governance) is probably essential for human survival at this critical moment in human history.
In order that every citizen is able to protect their own life rights.
Particularly today, where decisions that affect all our lives: economic, political, religious or environmental, have such profound implications for every lifeform and every human being.
Via an everyday practice of communication ethics, complex human values grounded in life, are considered by people working openly and for the public-interest, with others.
A public and/or private inquiry that serves each and every one, by being connected to the transformative effects of an always underlying human concern for life.
Communication ethics additionally responds to the failure of traditional inquiry via specialisms.
Instead, offering world citizens (see blog, Citizen Rights vs State Rights) a programme to make their own decisions, grounded in clear ‘life principles’.
Communication ethics thus grounded, no doubt enhances democracy, particularly via the examination of critical life values that people hold wittingly or not.
Self-governance responds to the failures of allowing private-interest over public- interest, the multiple failures of traditional governments to protect and serve citizens — as evidenced by the risks we face today — and a public incoherence caused by media and information systems dedicated not to life, but a now-pathological pursuit of profit.
Whether we agree, or disagree, the important consideration throughout the public realm, is how people confront their disagreements, using a lens of life values legally connected via mechanisms for citizen-participation held throughout our democracies.
Not a democratic vote once every five years, but citizens participating everyday as a matter of life-rights, making decisions, voting even hourly, or by the minute, using digital capacities now openly available.
And in real-time, building new agreements, especially to address persistent problems that threaten us all imminently.
Today, the question arises for every concerned world citizen.
How do we make substantial changes within and beyond our communities to ameliorate multiple crises and everyday issues?
Especially, in the face of such serious environmental, political and economic risks, even to the life of our first globally connected and only Living Planet?
Learning how to communicate formally and methodologically is the beginning of any shift towards a new, life-affirming sustainable, resilient and abundant future.
Education reconceived as self-learning towards protecting planetary life, enabled through multi-community self-governance at every scale: global, regional, national, sub-regional, local [5D].
Governance is a principle of scale, not territory. We are all one, we share the same DNA. We all bleed the same red fluid, breathe the same air, drink the same water and have the same life-requirements.
Yes, greed, violence and fear are persistent features of human conduct, while history shows these are overcome with balanced civic regulation, now required at all scales of our global network society.
Difference occurs, yes, while different possibilities or probabilities, do not remove or deny the natural life requirements each citizen may claim.
A public communicative ethics and logic identifies and protects our individual life-rights and thereby protects us all.