Have you ever felt like things are finally coming together, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle you started a long time ago? This is how I feel when I think about Equitism. For many years Colombe, myself, and our colleagues have pushed different projects to improve our societies, but only now do I finally see what was uniting all our work from the beginning: the perennial quest for equity.
Today, I am sharing a short text summarizing our interpretation of equity, our vision for global justice, fairness, the north star that will guide our advocacy and political work for years to come. It's similar to what you find on our website but incorporates the feedback received in the last few weeks. Check it out, and let me know what you think!
A GLIMPSE OF LIGHT: AN OVERVIEW OF THE EQUITIST PHILOSOPHY
Equitism demands that individuals must be given an equitable footing and the possibility to pursue their dreams throughout their lives while contributing to the overall prosperity of their community. One's life must not be determined nor valued differently by the characteristics that human beings inherit at birth, whatever their gender, sex, skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, health, religion/faith, nor by their age, geographical location, nationality, socio-economic backgrounds, but by their character, the power of their convictions, by their aspirations, ambitions, vows, and desires.
Equitists stand for the protection and promotion of freedoms and rights, including and not limited to freedom of speech, freedom of movement, political freedom, freedom to love, rights of privacy, access to the internet, rights of owning one's digital identity, and data, rights to express one's sexuality and identity, rights to terminate an unwanted pregnancy or have autonomy over one's own body, and the freedom to alleviate one from suffering and terminal illness. No construct or governance should justify a restriction to access to these rights.
The followers of Equitism put the highest value in providing each human being with the tools needed to achieve one's path, without dogmatic rigidity but freedom of choice. Individuals must also have access to reliable and free information to ensure that all members of society can exercise their judgment. Only then can every person create a well-informed opinion on past and current issues and fully grasp the future and the implications that today's actions might have on it.
The Equitist doctrine believes that all individuals must access basic services, such as healthcare, education, and social safety nets. In an era in which wealth and material goods could satisfy all needs of living beings, Equitists reject poverty and material deprivation. There is no justification for any person to have their basic needs unmet denied because of the flawed design of human societies.
Equitism rejects the idea of separateness and borders and believes that civilized societies do not have to be organized in secluded territories that monopolize lands and resources, furthering nationalistic or regionalist discourses. In today's modern and global world, for one not to be shaped by the location of their birth or to be unable to choose their way of living, the creation of a transnational, democratic federation to provide each human with the same political rights shall be advanced.
Equitists vigorously support the preservation and enhancement of the environment, guided by the conviction that humans are a fundamental element of the natural ecosystem that governs animal and plant life. As such, Equitism wants to ensure that the impact of human societies on the environment is neither negative nor null, but positive. Equitists are convinced that the economy can only provide long-lasting wellbeing, if society understands that the ecosystem is the source of all our material wealth and, therefore, living sustainably.
The Equitist doctrine rebukes wars, conflicts, and acts of aggression, believing they are unnecessary endeavors that deprive society of much-needed resources and cause harm and suffering. While self-defense might be used when needed and the responsibility to protect from mass atrocities may require a limited utilization of military power, a priority must be to decrease defense investments in times of peace substantially. All countries must enact the abolition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
The followers of Equitism put the highest value in utilizing technology to ensure a level playing field in all human activities, including educational, medical, social, and others, for all individuals. Ethical, technological advancement is a fundamental engine of societies, but its benefits cannot be selectively available when relevant to the wellbeing of humans and other beings.
Equitists commit to always seeking progress, always questioning the known, and seeking to discover the unknown. They commit to using technological advancement to better society and bring it to unprecedented heights. Equitists advocate for space exploration to be performed outside the influence of flawed human governance models, like nation-states. They embrace equity, freedom, unity, and respect for other groups of beings encountered in the quest for a new life, if ever successful.
III. The State and the Economy
An Equitist state must regulate and steer society to achieve the closest result to an equitable status to bring the maximum level of happiness and welfare to its people. The state's role as a fair arbiter among different groups with competing priorities can only be achieved with the highest level of participation possible by its citizens, thus by implementing systems of direct or semi-direct democracy.
In terms of leadership of the state, shared leadership shall be privileged over vertical ownership to mitigate human flaws and include more views of society. To favor stability and envision significant social and economic planning, executive mandates should last longer than in current democracies and be limited to one mandate to ensure that public interest is the priority of those governing the people.
An Equitist economy controls and steers market forces to decrease inequalities among its members. The paramount indicators of the health of an Equitist economy are a low level of economic inequalities and the high living standard of the population. This must be largely achieved through the uplifting of those previously disadvantaged.
An Equitist economy protects private ownerships of enterprises to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and favors worker-owned and cooperative models of organization to increase the pools of views and experiences in the management of enterprises and their beneficiaries. An equitist enterprise has a fair wage distribution, moderating the gap between the lowest-paid laborer and the highest one.
Only when these criteria are met can the status that will bring the highest level of wellbeing to humankind be achieved.
THE READERS' CORNER
While the team and I continue to produce content for the upcoming Equitist Manifesto, you can send some comments over, but also much more. Check below some interesting ways you can help in making the world a more equitable place.
- Interesting sources: read this NYT report about the outstanding result of work-owned companies in the Basque region of Spain
- Join the team: become a member or a volunteer at Atlas to support the creation of our vision. For example, our Policy, Campaign, or Communication Teams would be glad to have your support to tackle societal discrimination: join us, and our Community Team will guide you to the right people ;)
- Spread the word: In our quest to create an equitable society, we produce this daily newsletter, (soon) a weekly podcast, and every month together with our 20,000+ members, we launch campaigns to turn words into action. Please support our work and share the link to this newsletter.
Thank you for going through this material!
Tomorrow I will be busy writing for another project (hint: a book Colombe and I are working on), so I'll get back to you on Monday with the deep-dive in one of the areas hinted at in this overview - I hope you are as excited as I am for this new phase!
Just as a reminder, I hope that we will have a first draft of the "Equitist Manifesto" by the end of the year together to invest the run-up to the Equitist Convention/Atlas Assembly (early April) holding open consultations on this work.
We'll change the world!
Andrea Venzon (he/him)
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👉 The content of this email is part of the work to create the Equitist Manifesto. Here you can find the structure we want to follow, and previous issues are available here!