Want to make the world a better place?
Look for those making claims about creating some form of public benefit, e.g. regarding protecting animals, children, the environment, or human rights and democracy. Ask those making the claim what they doing to make sure conditions in which children are born and raised, including their environment, resources and role models, are being improved through things like family planning, delay and equity entitlements so as not to undo the benefits of the work we are otherwise doing in the world?
Extreme wealth accumulated after 1948 – when the international human rights regime was solidified – was made at deadly cost to the world’s most vulnerable because world leaders evaded using the first human rights, children’s rights connected to a healthy and natural environment, as the fundamental standard for political legitimacy and cost/benefit analysis. Instead, under pressure from elites, they used an unsustainable system of growth that exploited children’s birth positionality (especially their nationality), one now likely to kill hundreds of millions of those least responsible for the crisis. They did so to evade wealth transfers children’s rights entitle, to privilege their own children while creating a worker class that could absorb emissions and other costs, to lock in top down and racist systems of coercive power over bottom up justice, and to benefit from unsustainable and now deadly growth-based investments. They benefitted from the illusion of representative government in order to build wealth, without paying the actual costs of its equity, and in the process threatening global security.
This is not about population as much as power relations, and not about growth as much as positionality and inequity, understood as an equal and influential role in determining the rules – formal and informal – one has to live under.
That wealth is owed in the form of birth-equity family planning and climate reparations linked to the Children’s Rights Convention as a minimum standard, which are the most effective solution to the crises we face today because they actually improve the conditions in which future generations are born and raised. These reparations are constitutive, and the first and overriding human right, based on refutable values inseparable from our creation. These payments can save countless lives. They can also liberate: Positively peer-reviewed research has established it is impossible to ensure the capacity for us to choose who has influence or power over us, to be free, without reforming family policy around every child’s right to a fair start in life, testable by sufficient investments in each child to create equal offsets and degrowth relative to nature. Democracy requires treating people as emancipated ends, with equal and influential roles in choosing the rules under which they must live, and this does that. The basic condition of legitimacy for any rule is that it must be fair, and logically the first rule is that which accounts for our creation. People, not constitutions, first constitute nations, To ensure long-run success and disincentivize unjust wealth transfers, we include the children of targets – if they are or when they become adults – in the process of just demands.
The Fair Start core tactic to ensure the solution, as we demonstrate in engaging regulators in California:
- Look for those making claims about creating some form of public benefit, e.g. regarding protecting animals, children, the environment, or human rights and democracy. Ask those making the claim what they doing to make sure conditions in which children are born and raised, including their environment, resources and role models, are being improved through things like family planning, delay and equity entitlements so as not to undo the benefits of the work we are otherwise doing in the world? You are looking for those who – despite what they claim – actually ensure zero protections/thresholds for children in their creation, and hence the undoing of the claims they make You are looking for fundamental injustice, systems heaping costs on the most vulnerable in a form of cost colonization, and that as such undo the constituting of democracies. For example – look at old annual reports for large nonprofits, many funded by wealthy families. The claims of success almost always omit the deadly impacts of inequitable growth undoing the claimed benefits – for animals, for children, for the environment, and for the legitimacy of governance. Those running the charities chose their own positionality – and easy fundraising – over the values they claimed to further. Those in governance used the institutions of governance to assign themselves and others property rights without concurrently legitimating those institutions. They got the benefit without covering the costs.
- Find the deadly green-growthwashing around terms like “sustainable” and notify the target making the inaccurate claims. For example, Stanford University’s inaction on life-saving family reforms makes their use of the term “sustainable” is inaccurate. In fact, governments that according to one Nobel laureate treated children as economic inputs in a system the created private benefits at deadly publics costs, rather than guaranteeing children their rights will have waived much of their authority, and encouraged mass shootings and others violence (targeting the innocent like children rather than those benefitted from the injustice) as a reaction to the individual’s disempowerment we see today.
- We were promised democratic town halls and – fundamentally – got disempowering and ecocidal shopping malls instead. Were shooters to target those who really benefitted from robbing them of their democratic voice by converting democracies into unsustainable economies, the world might change very quickly. But that would also be wrong, replicating the violence that created today’s system. It’s better to discuss these shootings, and how family reforms can halt them.
- Assess the full damage of the inaccurate claims – on all five levels – and the fundamental system they helped to sustain. Engage in publicly factchecking the claims – fundamental factchecking derived from the most basic values we all share – versus the reality as part of the Fair Start #WholeTruth campaign. Contrast (publicly if necessary) the positive role models taking reparative action that shows political legitimacy starts with children’s rights, primarily birth and developmental equity. The unification of child/animals rights form the first baseline (the border between the rights of one person v. another) for political legitimacy because they are constitutive – the true law of all animals, or unlike the traditional list of misoriented baselines that ensured the climate crisis, specify starting with the creation of actual power relations relative to the subjects’ environment, e.g., birth and developmental equity. and the autonomous and biodiverse nonhuman environment children need to be free.
- In other words, there is no legitimate (inclusive and thus representative, or consensual) “We the people” from which to orient obligation without first addressing the need to reverse and compensate climate impacts on infants. This is the only way to ensure the conditions that allow self-determination, and freedom from the deadly impacts of others. Who we should be – free – always comes first.We cannot derive obligation from others by first evading it for ourselves. We cannot derive obligation from its absence.
- This is not charity or altruism. According to a raft of positive peer-reviews it is impossible to ensure the capacity for us to choose who has influence or power over us, to be free, without reforming family policy around every child’s right to a fair start in life, testable by sufficient investments in each child to create equal offsets and degrowth relative to nature.
- Urge the target to back policies that ensure the conditions in which children are born and raised, including their environment, resources and role models, are being improved through things like family planning, parenting readiness and delay, birth equity and smaller family entitlements? Given the primacy of children’s rights and the hundreds of millions of lives at stake, young women engaged in fair start demands would have greater justification for using coercion to assure what their child needs than unrepresentative government would have to defend illegitimate property rights created and maintained at deadly cost to primarily children of color. People, not written constitutions, constitute nations and people are born with the need for resources to develop – they are not “simply here” (even though our brains have trouble thinking otherwise).
- Eventually Fair Start demands can be facilitated with artificial intelligence and economic baselining, as the Fair Start movement develops social media systems tied to a universal sovereign process that can identify those with just demands, those who should pay and be charged with deadly ecocide, the correct amounts and the priority uses. Yes, AI gets the basics of Fair Start reforms, and will be key to implementing the changes and crowdsourcing the reforms as overriding other norms.
Here are a few facts:
Climate change is now harming fetal and infant health harm, primarily in vulnerable families of color, as heat increases threaten to kill millions in the future. Roughly three quarters of attempts to mitigate the crisis has been undone by pro-growth policies, policies that exacerbated the one-tenth wealth gap between black and white families. This is happening because a handful of largely wealthy white men chose economic growth as the baseline for policymaking, rather than equity and democracy-building children’s rights that would actually legitimate – through inclusivity – nation-states. They chose to exploit a false sense of autonomy to exchange participatory democracy for economic growth.
Investing in women rather than exploiting and isolating them without equity funding would have significantly mitigated the climate crisis. Changing family outcomes by paying young women delay and readiness entitlements would have worked and saved many lives. Instead these men evaded investing child-rights based family planning, and further birth-privileged their own wealthy progeny while profiting from the unsustainable growth that allowed lack of child-rights allowed.
This divided social justice / public interest movements into less effective silos – like misperceptions of animal rights – that did not threaten the status quo the way birth-equity (equally empowering shares in your democratic system of voting) would have. This in turn undercut democracy, leading to the oligarchic threats the United States faces today.
This now means they – the disenfranchised – will suffer the brunt of a crisis for which they were least responsible, including violations of their right to have even one child in healthy and safe conditions. And because of basic vote dilution, voter suppression, and other factors, they will be unable to use democratic processes to protect themselves, and may rationally choose other measures. And in the face of all of this, many governments driven by industry are paying women to have more children with no easy safeguards like “survive and thrive” baby bonds in place, while wealthy families and foundations reliant on growth fund charities engaged in distractivism.