Thursday, October 21, 2010

Everyperson, Equal Access and Perpetual War Economy

Justice is a loaded word. Everyone wants justice, even if they don’t know all the meanings and implications of the word, as if it is a product that can be purchased. Mostly, when people use the term justice, they are referencing it from the standpoint of equitable treatment and equal access. The democratic essence of our American republic is founded on the notion of such an equality.

And yet, justice, in this sense of equality, is not a reality, only a dream and a political buzz word.

Everyday, when I relate some mundane happening, and how it affected me, I hear reflected back from others, “oh, yes—that happened to me a while ago. I know how you feel.” And I believe those persons do have an idea how I feel. And when others tell me their stories, I believe I know how they feel. We are all unique individuals, but we also share the same capacities for existential experience, the same needs and feelings, the same desire for recognition, inclusion, acceptance, exchange, respect and dignity. If you have ever met anyone who does not share these things with you, I would love to hear about it. I have never met anyone who is other than me or you, in these respects. One could generalize: we are each an Everyperson, and we are each stymied in some aspect of acquiring justice, as in equality, that ideal everyone talks about so vividly.

Too bad there is no such thing as justice. Oh, yes, justice could be attained or enacted or even enforced where it has been enacted. Justice is possible; but there are some persons who do not believe that Everyperson should have it. There are some persons who don’t believe that Everyperson should believe in anything, behave in any fashion, or appear in any way other than do they. There are some persons who will pretend that others do not share the same capacities for existential experience as they have. And some of those persons won’t allow others the same access to the good things in life that they themselves possess, even if what they have is so much that it could not possibly be used up.

When We the Everypersons ask for equal access to healthcare, for example, we are continually rebuffed by folks who tell us that this is not possible because it is too expensive and there is not enough money. How facile that response! It has been suggested by various organizations that the entire amount of the annual budget of the U.S. Department of Defense, not even including the nuclear weapons program, could provide clean water, access to healthcare and food for the entire world. And yet, we are led to believe this money is best spent perpetuating wars that bring anything but justice, or peace, to the places where they are waged.

I would suggest that if money were invested in people, that is Everyperson, rather than weapons—for the cultivation of healthy food, the provision of basic housing, the assurance that drinking water is clean and available, the insuring, not underwriting, of access to healthcare delivery—“that war would be no more”, in the words of the beloved spiritual.

Yes, I know, my argument is facile also. I know that I cannot convince the world’s wealthiest persons or their lobbyists or their muscle or their bought-and-paid-for politicians that this is the heart of justice; what I suggest comes between them and their right to do business. But the truth is, there is no shortage of money; there is more than enough money, indeed, there are persons who have more money than they know what to do with—there is plenty of money with which to do all the wrong things, such as parting Everypersons unjustly and inequitably from their earnings as often and soon as possible, with little redress from any governing body that should provide oversight and protection in such matters, and polluting the planet with toxic garbage and nuclear weapons.

Why can't all this money be spent on the right things? Not only would it be better spent, but I think it would be cheaper than all this other nonsense. And there would be so many more hero/ines that we could venerate!

Change will only occur when there is a willingness on the part of those few persons, controlling the majority of the money, to accept the validity and equality and rights of Everyperson to those of themselves. When their actions speak otherwise, as they do everyday when millions of Everypersons are denied access to the basic protections, much less the basic quality of life necessities, it seems clear that these other persons particularly want a world full of illiterate, impoverished, starving and dying people to control.

This is injustice.

This is unthinkable.

But I ask you to think on it, particularly while you are preparing to vote in the upcoming election.

I also commend to you the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

And check out the PowerPoint presentation at

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