Because intergenerational justice makes us who we should be, it is inevitably the first and overriding obligation, or that which first constitutes just communities and enables our consent to the power others would have over us.
Therefore no system, law or policy is legitimate if it does not first promote minimum levels of wellbeing and equity at birth for children, as well as their development for, and inclusion into as adults, self-determining democracies situated in biodiverse and regenerative environments where each of their voices will be politically influential. Any law, policy or system that does not first do these interconnected things – providing children an eco-social Fair Start in life – violates human rights, prevents consensual/inclusive governance, promotes preconstitutional systems of oppression, and is a threat to freedom.
We ensure intergenerational justice by eliminating, through discourse and praxis, a line of myths which act as barriers.
Myths: The right to have children, as a personal and private matter, allows parents unlimited discretion to have children. Some are born wealthy and others poor, as a matter of magical fortune, rather than human decision-making.
Truth: The idea that the right to have children is self-determining of parents more than other-determining of children is a misinterpretation of the right foisted on us by colonially-minded patriarchs designed to evade our equity-building collective obligation to children, and to maintain population growth as a means of exploiting future generations as consumers, cheap future labors, and compliant taxpayer. Like all rights the right to have children is limited, collective in nature, and base on the needs of future children whose interests are inherently greater than parental interests. Applying those limits – to level the playing field for all kids – can have ten to twenty times the mitigating impact on the crises we face today, including climate, inequity, and child poverty, and would protect the most numerous and vulnerable categories of entities: Future generations and nonhuman entities.
Myth: Social justice organizations in the fields of equality, human rights, child welfare, environmental and animal protection accounted for the impacts of family planning policies on their missions.
Fact: Most organizations ignored the impacts of poor family planning and population growth on their missions, and instead mislead supporters, donors, and the general public, something that enabled many of the crises we face today.
Myth: Intergenerational concepts are too vague to apply in law, policy and practical ethics.
Truth: Every normative claim uses implied or express pronouns (“pregnant pronouns”) that – because they refer to people – implicate Fair Start and can be modified to promote it. If a claim involves people, it involves a position on Fair Start, which can be achieved in most parts of the world through enacting specific thresholds for 1) parental readiness before having kids, 2) distributions to give all kids a fair start in life, and 3) smaller and sustainable families. Together these moves represent relative self-determination, or the limitation and decentralization of power.
Myth: The written constitutions of nations, subject to some international law constraints, are the dominant set of rules under which we must live.
Truth: The most fundamental and overriding law is that which creates us, or physically constitutes – through procreation and parenting – our communities. That law overrides things like property rights, which would interfere with Fair Start. That law is what most accounts for our lived experience, and should, if we believe that governance derives from sovereign people. Moreover, power is not simply centered in the violence of the state, but includes subtle things like bad parenting and climate emissions, and its borders are represented by actual groups of people, not artificial lines on maps. Those borders can be divided into free people, and people who refuse to further children’s rights to an eco-social Fair Start in life that would allow them to constitute just democratic communities, or precons. The fight for freedom lies at that border.
Myth: The things people value, and the market demand they create, are naturally occurring and justify free markets over democracy.
Truth: Valuation, demand and population growth were created by poor and unsustainable family planning that ensured no minimum levels of welfare for children, abysmal levels of education, extreme inequity ensuring cheap labor, and bloated nation-states where the average person had no real voice in political outcomes. Businesses today profit from a system that mass produced consumers instead of developing capable, and truly free, citizens.