Humans are adept at fooling themselves, whether thinking the Earth is flat, or that our ecosystems can absorb limitless amounts of pollution – like climate emissions – before failing. Many might believe they are not racist, but when put to an empirical test, show massive racial bias.
It’s certainly possible that humans could have imagined and theorized concepts like justice, democracy, freedom and liberty without positioning themselves to actually experience those things. The luminary John Rawls is well known for characterizing justice as fairness, and if the first rule in any set of rules is that which accounts for our creation and existence, then for justice – and the freedom he saw as contingent upon that – to exist our creation should be fair. But that’s never been the case, with some children being born into poverty while others are born with million-dollar trust funds, and generations of past inflicting their destruction of the environment – including our climate – on future generations.
But can’t we make it more fair? Yes – there are dozens of ways to do it.
And here is why we must.
If government derives from the people, then we have to consent to the power each one of us does and could exercise over one another. And that requires changing the way we plan families to make it more just, at the very least recognizing that children have more at stake in the process of creation that their parents, and using things like the Children’s Convention as a standard for family planning. That move would allow us more consent to each other’s power – ecologically – by restoring nature as a buffer that stops companies like Exxon from threatening us though the climate crisis, and socially by empowering people in a democratic way and with equal opportunities in life.
This leads to an impossibility theorem: If we reject fairness in creation, we either have to 1) reject the idea that government and the obligation to follow the law flows from people as the ultimate authority, 2) we have to reject the idea that people should be politically equal, e.g. have equal time at the podium, 3) we have to reject the idea that people should be empowered in order to make government legitimate, or 4) we have to define power in strange ways that quickly begin to exclude things like climate emissions and bad parenting, and make no sense. “Power” means any form of human influence, which means national borders on a map are nonsense, and the true border of power/consent is the norm that accounts for our creation.
Truly free people will ensure they can choose – through Fair Start – who has power over them. Conversely, preconstitutional people, or precons, will block this process. Targeting them to make public examples of their harming others may be the most effective way to change the direction of our future.