Friday, December 7, 2012

Meandering musing on Social Issues

I figured I would start a list of the issues of our day and see if History will some day support my view of the world.

Let's first look at a couple issues of the past:

#1 Slavery: the ownership and treatment of a fellow human being as chattel. This is well established as being categorically wrong now.

#2 Universal suffrage: giving all adults the right to vote. In the past both women and minorities have been denied this right.

#3 Worker's Rights: in the past workers had almost no rights, worked in dangerous and deplorable conditions for unreasonable number of hours, millions died from poisons, exhaustion, poor work conditions and other work-related deaths. Sadly we face a degradation of these rights today. The Constitution grants US citizens the right of free association and in some states like Wisconsin this right has been infringed by making it illegal for workers to form a Union.

Looking forward...

#4 Marriage Equality: rights in the US are individual rights and we're guaranteed EQUAL protection under the law. This means that if one adult has the right to marry another adult, that right must be applied equally. It is just inexcusable, on the basis of small-minded prejudice, to deny gay people the right to marry and enjoy the rights, benefits and responsibilities that come with such an endeavor. Watch this video for more information (from Republican Ted Olson).

#5 LGBTQ* Rights: A broad term covering marriage, but also legality of sexual activity, recognition of relationships, adoption rights, military service, anti-discrimination, and gender identity & expression. Eventually the mistreatment, bullying, harassment, physical assault and denial of rights to people who are merely different in whom they love will be anathema.

#6 Minimal Standard of Living: giving a level of dignity and recognition of the human condition over living standards including: a decent place to live, adequate food & water, education, necessary clothing, and medical care. I think this will also lead to a policy of full employment, where everyone who wants to work will be put to work. This will require some serious rethinking of how an economy should work because the disgusting truth is that, in our capitalistic system, full employment leads to a collapse of the system.

#7 Bodily Autonomy/Abortion: You simply cannot force someone to carry a child to term, the consequences of denying bodily autonomy are horrific, millions of women suffered through it in the past and many of them died. Advances in birth control will probably reduce it close to medically necessary abortions.

#8 Animal Rights: I think we will find that higher animals are sentient, feeling, beings and we will be required to extent to them certain Rights.

#9 Death Penalty: will be abolished, partly on the basis of neurological findings.

This isn't a complete list obviously, post some of your thoughts.

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