The Five JUSTICES

Monetary Justice

Social Justice

Economic Justice

Environmental Justice

Peace Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Social Justice

Contents of this Page: - Global Justice - Rejecting extreme left and right politics - Justice for others - Basis of GJM - Effective control over everyday lives - Poverty - Negotiated Land Reform - Taxation - Women - Social Divisions - Democracy - The meaning of Social Justice


Global Justice

There is a Source of all creation which has endowed the absolute values of Truth, Love, Justice and Goodness which represent the ultimate ends of human actions. Many people call this Source, God.
All people are raised and live in total interdependence in a sequence of time and as such are entitled to:
• have warmth, clean air, clean water, food and housing
• be respected, equal, free and able to choose their own destiny
• fulfil their full emotional, intellectual and spiritual potential
• have implemented the five Justices
Monetary Justice, Social Justice, Economic Justice, Environmental Justice and Peace Justice.

Social Justice guides us in the creation of social institutions. Such institutions, if justly organised, provide what is good for people, both individually and in their associations with others. Social Justice is an integral part of Inclusive Justice under God.

 

Inclusive Justice

Rejecting extreme left-wing and right-wing politics

Inclusive Justice firstly means a rejection of extreme left-wing and right-wing (including libertarian) politics for something which does not exist at present – a situation in which all individuals (not just the well-off) are given proper respect and have a high degree of control over their everyday lives. This is not a centrist politics that mixes left and right (as in forms of social democracy). Rather, it is something completely new and, as yet, not capable of being understood by those whose mindsets are based upon outdated paradigms.

Left and right are ultimately out to dominate, manipulate and control. Despite their shallow rhetoric and propaganda, they do not intend to recognise a simple truth – the major function of democratic government in organized society is to secure for the people the results the people want from the management of their public affairs as far as such results are physically possible and morally right.

A particularly nasty mechanism by which left and right (the right, in particular) control politics and therefore economics is the corrupt use of money. Corporate donations in one form or another now control politics. The political system of the USA has become so completely corrupted by corporate (and, to some extent, labor union) money – indeed, most of Washington, D.C. is a system for high-spending lobbyists – that the United States should be on its knees begging the rest of the world for pardon. Unfortunately, it is shameless and the hypocrisy is beyond belief.

There is a sliver of hope in that Canadian PM Chrétien has announced plans to ban corporate and union donations to political parties although the ban should extend to large donations from individuals.

 

Ensuring Justice for others

Inclusive Justice secondly means that we consciously and persistently devote ourselves to ensuring Justice for others. The highest responsibility of each person is to perfect the social order by promoting the five Justices in his or her personal life and all associations with others.

All Justice begins with the human person (not social institutions such as the State, the business corporation or the labor union). Indeed, the individual is the most important factor in organized society, and as a divinely created being, with both spiritual and physical potentials and needs, has certain inalienable rights which must be respected and preserved. However, the upholding of merely individual rights (as in libertarianism) often degenerates into a belief that equates the pursuit of a person’s individual self-interests with those of society.

In contrast, Inclusive Justice requires that individual rights also have responsibilities attached and those responsibilities go much further than charity. Although charity is an important palliative for human suffering, it is usually only that – a palliative – rather than a push for large-scale structural change. See Seven Steps to Justice, Rodney Shakespeare & Peter Challen, obtainable from Amazon.co.uk

The Seven Steps form the theoretical and moral basis of the GJM. The Steps are:–

• There must be public acknowledgement that the present banking is an unjust monopoly that creates 97% of the money supply as interest-bearing debt.

• State-issued interest-free loans (plus a small cost for administration expenses) should be used for public capital investment thereby halving the present cost.

• State-issued interest-free loans (plus a small cost for administration expenses and a possible cost for loan insurance) should, on market principles, be used for private capital investment if such investment, using the mechanisms of binary economics, creates ownership stakes and property incomes for all income groups, including the poor.

• State-issued interest-free loans (plus a small cost for administration expenses and a possible cost for loan insurance) should be used for loans to start-up and small business.

• Since the Steps above are counter-inflationary and ultimately diminish the money supply, debt-free non-repayable money should be issued for individual secure incomes to the extent necessary to keep a stable level of prices.

• That, in addition to the Steps above, the position, role and economic position of women in the world be specifically addressed.

• That the Steps above be implemented as the only possible long term solution to get peace in areas such as the Middle East, Kashmir and Iraq.

N.B. Over time, in the Global Justice economy, interest-free money will come to replace interest-bearing money and not be in addition to it. Since it is replacing, it cannot be inflationary.

 

Effective control over everyday lives

Thirdly, Inclusive Justice has no meaning unless it gives substantial and effective control over our everyday lives. In practical terms, that might appear to mean only an independent and substantial income. Yet it is much, much more than that. One of the deepest of human psychological, and certainly of bodily, needs is to be productive – to physically produce enough for our own reasonable physical requirements. That means access to, and effective use of, the means of physical production.

Which cannot mean access to jobs alone. The present mantra is always jobs, jobs, jobs and understandably so because, in practice, jobs are at present the only way by which most people can earn a living. However, the mantra ignores the fact that a lot of people (such as carers who work without pay for long and arduous hours) cannot labour for money. It ignores the fact that jobs are not always available. Moreover, even when available, many jobs do not pay enough for a reasonable standard of living. Indeed, in many parts of the world, they pay only a pittance and, everywhere, jobs are insecure. To which can be added the humiliations and frustrations when having to obtain welfare benefit from the state

The way forward, therefore, can only be via the ownership of productive capital paying out its true, full earnings. It can here be noticed that in large areas of the world, millions of people labor ceaselessly every day and they are, and always will be, in poverty because they do not own, or do not have effective use of, capital.

Moreover, it is only with effective material security that all individuals can be secure in the knowledge that he or she is worthy, respected, equal and free, and that the freedom to choose his or her destiny is an inalienable right.

 

Poverty

Fourthly, in the world as a whole, 20% of the population have only $1 per day per person to pay for everything; another 20% have only $2 per day, and a further 15% (making 55% in all) have under $3. As things are, with the global population expanding by 80 million each year, there could be, in thirty years time, 5 billion people living on $2 or less per day.

 

Negotiated land reform

Fifthly, in many areas of the world access to land is essential because land has an importance that it does not always have in Western societies. For those areas, land is a unique social good providing people with everything – a livelihood, food, social status, and security in times of illness or old age. In other words, it satisfies both physical and psychological needs. Thus land is not, and cannot be, viewed as merely another asset subject to the whims of, and exploitation by, the ‘free market’. Rather it founds all aspects of life and, without direct access to it, the lives of millions of poor farmers and their families are endangered.

Putting it in a slightly different way, when land, rather than industry, is the mainstay, or important part, of an economy, concentrated land ownership prevents most people from being productive. The land issue is really about access to productive capital which, in countries like Brazil means access to land because poor people are unlikely to be allowed to get anything else. Thus, in Brazil, a huge country rich in natural resources, about one fifth of the population go hungry every day. That fact is connected to another fact – about 50% of the productive land is held by 1% of the owners. Thus land is not available for the millions of people who live on the rubbish dumps and in the squalid favelas of Brazil’s cities.

Nor are the narrowly owned lands well managed – too often, they are left idle, under-utilised or treated as speculative assets. Rather than being used for food production, the best lands are used for monoculture exports.

Land reform is generally a prerequisite for societies to shed their feudal characteristics and move to a more developed mode of production. However, World Bank policies since 1975 (called “market-assisted” land reform) have not encouraged giving more people access to land. Rather those policies are to abolish the communal tenure systems (by which ordinary people had access to land) and, instead, put the land into a narrow ownership committed to cash crop production for the repayment of national and international debt. The World Bank even admits that the interests of small farmers are not among its reasons for reviewing its land ‘reform’ policy. That is an honest but shocking admission. Thus the net effect of the World Bank program is not the distribution of land to the landless but the increasing concentration of land in the hands of the landed elite.

Therefore:
• ordinary people are being denied productive capacity (and so are pauperised);
• productive capital (in this case, fertile land) is going into narrow ownership; and
• the iniquities of the international banking system are being increased.

In short, “market-assisted” land reform is no land reform at all. It is not aiming at enhancing equitable land distribution, breaking feudal rule and advancing backward rural economies to a more developed mode of production. The World Bank's land reform concept is indeed distributing land -- from the poor to the rich.

The GJM demands proper access to land. Among other things, that will also require access to cheap capital credit, the teaching of technical skills and a realistic recognition that some people will cheat the system. Yet, despite the problems, large-scale negotiated land reform is something but that can, and must, be done.

 

Taxing land

Closely related to the need for proper access to land is the public right to a fair share of the “rent” of land via Land Value Tax (or Site Value Tax) – see below. “Rent” is here defined widely to include not only the site value of a piece of land but also the enormous economic value of government-granted privileges such as broadcast licenses, utility franchises, etc.

Owners of land also benefit unfairly when, as a result of community activity, their land rises in value e.g. the building of the London Jubilee underground train line resulted in a great rise in local land values. Those values, however, amount to a free gift to the land owners. Instead they should be appropriately taxed on a rise in value which is not the result of their efforts.

 

Land Value Tax (or Site Value Tax)

A Land Value Tax is a tax on the value of land as opposed to a tax on the improvements (such as buildings) on the land. Such a tax is simple and costs little to administer. The tax would encourage underdeveloped land to be brought into use and would in practice tax that land which has greatly gained in value because, for example, of the construction of an underground train system. In varying degrees, Land Value Tax operates, among others, in Jamaica, Chile, Kenya, Pennsylvania in the United States, some areas of South Africa, and Tanzania. It should be noted, however, the interests of Justice are not served if a Land Value Tax is introduced at too low a rate and then there is no tax on the buildings.

 

Healthcare, education, clean water, sewage and electricity

Sixthly, control over everyday life is completely meaningless without access to (and the necessary money for) health care, education, clean water, sewage and electricity. It is an astounding reminder of the corruption of the present world that water is everywhere being privatised (i.e. being put into the ownership of a narrow, not locally connected, group of people) with consequent huge increases in the price of water without anyone apparently being concerned that local people do not have the money to pay for the water. It has been estimated that in the world each day about 25,000 people die as a result of dirty water.

Social Justice is outraged.

 

Women – and babies

Seventhly, it is a very strange thing that while half of the adult human population are women, the world in general really only understands men’s rights, and men’s liberties. Indeed, in some way, hard to define but always there, all the big debates on politics, economics and the like, never quite seem to touch completely and accurately on the position of women. When the subject does arise, it is always as an afterthought. Women are always in the power of men, sometimes subtly and sometimes not so subtly. It happens all the time because male-dominated society always refuses to look at one question – Why is it that most women in the world are never allowed a properly secure economic base of their own? And – dare it be asked? – Why are babies not allowed a small independent income sufficient for their basic needs?

Social Justice vows to ensure that women have an independent income. In this way, they will have proper control over, and choice (e.g. as to whether or not to enter the conventional labor market) in their lives.

It also vows that babies will have sufficient income to provide for basic needs.

 

Caste and other social divisions

Eighthly, Social Justice abhors caste and other social divisions. They are an affront to the modern world. Such divisions are ultimately the result of the way people do, or do not, earn their income. Social Justice, therefore, has an economic basis.

 

Cancelling the debt of poor countries

If the poor of the world are to have lives imbued with the five Justices, they must be allowed a fresh start by having existing debt cancelled. Anything less is a betrayal of hope and decency.

 

Strengthening democracy

Lastly, the eternal rhetoric of unfree finance capitalism is of “Freedom” and “Democracy.” It’s all lies, of course. There is only freedom for the few to own productive capital.

And as for Democracy, it is but a periodic opportunity to exercise the very weak power of the individual vote. All of which explains how the everyday reality of so-called ‘democracies’ is a stitch-up by vested interests and corporations who bankroll politicians and political parties in an anti-democratic way for their own advantage.

Yet there is something that can stand up to the anti-democratic forces and, in a constructive and potent way, deepen democracy. It is the widespread ownership of productive capital (which, incidentally, is why the forces of left and right ruthlessly oppose it.) It has been well said that, apart from a concern for Social, Environmental, Economic and Peace Justice, the litmus test for joining the GJM is whether a person favours the present concentrations of economic power (either in the hands of a plutocratic elite or in the hands of an over-powerful government) or its structured diffusion, as with Global Justice.

Under God

The GJM accepts that there is a Source of all creation which has endowed the absolute values of Truth, Love, Justice, and Goodness which represent the ultimate ends of human actions. Many people call this Source, God.

There is a hierarchy of human work: The lowest but most urgent form of work is for sheer personal survival. The highest form of work is improving the social order including relationships with others and doing work the soul must have.

In interacting with nature to promote one's own perfection, every person must respect the rest of creation. Each human being, a steward of nature, remains responsible for conserving natural forms of existence, each of which is interdependent and shares the same divine origin with humanity.

 

So Social Justice demands

1. Secure incomes for everyone, including babies

The GJM proposes two secure incomes for everybody. (see Monetary Justice and Economic Justice). That does not mean, of course, that people cannot get income from other sources as well, e.g., from the labour market, or from an existing pension or benefit. Rather, it means that such income is in addition to the two secure incomes.

Apart from the amount of money they engender, two secure incomes have an important feature necessary in the modern world – should economic circumstances limit or reduce one of the incomes, the other is still available.

2. Proper provision of services

Just as we need clean air, food and a decent home, so we need healthcare, education, clean water, sewage and electricity. Such provision is partly a question of political will and partly one of the economy being able to provide the necessary physical means. Such provision requires an efficiently functioning economy. See Economic Justice.

3. Individual capital ownership for everyone

It is no good just being opposed to the forces of the extreme left and extreme right. Using the state, the extreme left has an immensely powerful means of controlling the lives of all individuals. In a different but no less effective way, using their ownership of the productive capital, the extreme right can control society e.g. as today it controls the media and the banking system.

There’s an answer, however – individual widespread ownership of productive capital.

see
"Seven Steps to Justice"
by Rodney Shakespeare & Peter Challen

Published by

NEW EUROPEAN PUBLICATIONS LIMITED 2002
188 pages 215mm x 140mm Paperback
ISBN 1 – 8724 – 1027 – 8 Price £10-95

This book is available at www.amazon.co.uk or through UK bookshops
or by mail order –

£11 including postage to:
Peter Challen,
21, Bousfield Road,
London, SE14 5TP
Tel: 020 7207 0509

 

4. Corporate donations to political parties be banned

Corporate and union donations and large donations by individuals to political parties must be banned.

5. Proper access to land

In many countries, proper access to land is the only way to give people a living and dignity. In such circumstances, huge concentrations of land ownership are an affront.

6. Cancellation of the debt of poor countries

If the poor of the world are to have lives imbued with the five Justices, they must be allowed a fresh start by having existing debt cancelled. Anything less is a betrayal of hope and decency.

Remember – the world has the technology and productive resources to eliminate misery, poverty and injustice and save the planet.

 

Monetary Justice

Social Justice
Economic Justice
Environmental Justice
Peace Justice

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Global Justice – the true, fair, democratic and efficient solution to poverty. Global Justice means Inclusive Justice!