Universal Social Absolutes

Originally posted: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 13:51:09

For a truly progressive society that works for everyone, one that also envisages some of the upcoming problems faced by humanity, four basic principles should be enacted and held as the absolute minimum that can be done for the benefit of all. None of these things are new, and most are implemented to greater or lesser degrees in most democratic countries. That the following are available is proof that the task is not a logistical one, but one of philosophy and politics.

The aim, of course, is to enable as much of a level playing field for people of all backgrounds as much as is possible. Equality of opportunity is the goal, not outcome.

Equality of outcome is not the ideal that should be sought, as it is impossible and ignores science and scientific findings. This is a pernicious ideal, one that is harmful, unachievable, and undesired. It is corruption disguised as kindness.

Equality of opportunity, having everyone start on as even a keel as possible (within the limits of what the state can and should achieve), that is something that can and should be implemented. Yes, it is impossible to take account of all the possible variables that affect a persons' ability, but not all of those are within the power of the state to adjust. Removing the bigger barriers, such as cost and access, however, is possible.

Universal Social Absolutes are the achievable expressions of the core ideals of a society, indeed of civilisation. The are the basis for growth, - moral, personal, and economic - and stability. They are also pragmatic - welfare and healthcare may be something you a privileged not to have to think about now, but the future is not yet revealed, and it never hurts to have a safety net.

I appreciate that this list might not be fully exhaustive to some tastes - and to other ideologues it might go to far. However, a healthy, educated, engaged, and supported population an only be a positive, therefore these are my 4 Universal Social Absolutes:

  1. Universal Healthcare - properly funded, administered with care not cash, measured using meaningful metrics - designed without profit consideration 
  2. Universal Suffrage - anything less is indefensible. If you are of age to pay tax, be legally accountable, or be drafted for military service, you should be accorded the right to vote. Should only be restricted as part of a punitive measure taken against convicted criminals.
  3. Universal Welfare - most likely in the form of a UBI or state dividend. The ultimate safety measure against the unforeseen. This is not a fix-all solution but makes for a far more equitable welfare system than the current systems - and builds in some amount of future resilience.
  4. Universal Education - this involves formal and vocational education, up to (and inclusive of) Undergraduate Degree (or equivalent). Not restricted by age. As I'm often fond of quoting, "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant" Harlan Ellison

What do you think?

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