15 Feb Human beings are born free and equal
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 1 states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, that they are endowed with reason and conscience and must act with each other in a spirit of brotherhood.
Proclaimed and adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948, it expresses a vision and a determination to try to put an end to the horrors of war from which the astonished World is trying to recover by laying the foundations of ‘a just future. Huge program!
However, the world is unfair! We would all like to believe in equality between human beings … but it is clear that nature itself is unjust, that some are large and others small, that the health of some can be good and others precarious, that power, money, luck, talent are unequally distributed and are the blatant reflection of a total injustice.
Only death seems to render a semblance of “justice” at the extreme end of the course … and again…
Several human initiatives have attempted to inject justice solutions into this web of injustice.
This is the case with education perceived as likely to be able to act on minds, sport capable of acting on bodies and health, games of chance or astrology considered as possible referrals to fortune…
Can we consider that there has been success?
The world remains populated by the strong and the weak, the lucky and the hapless.
Democracy, in that it gives everyone a tiny fragment of public authority, embodies a definite effort for economic and social justice and is certainly the least bad of regimes.
The invention of money has been the most powerful accelerator of injustice.
It cannot be denied that its appearance constituted an immense advance on barter and a definitive factor in economic and social development, but it is both a blessing and a curse.
Officially, money is the reward for hard work, talent, and effort. But without looking too far, there are many examples of works which enrich no one and of fortuitous coincidences which ensure the wealth of mediocre ones.
The year 2019 was marked in France by the social and political movement of yellow vests, an expression that has become paroxysmal of the growing power of a deep unease born of the feeling of injustice within the population. The individualization of society has created a multiplication of different categories with which everyone is likely to identify to believe they are entitled to claim an injustice.
A multitude of identity criteria can be the subject of a claim (skin color, gender, place of life, etc.) and have been added to traditional economic categories.
There follows a multiplication of divisions making the public debate conflicting and inaudible. The competition of demands has a counterproductive effect: everyone finds a good reason to believe that they are treated less well than the other which increases the feeling of injustice.
the arrival of the Coronavirus and the resulting health emergency have relegated this movement to the background without drying up its source. It’s even a safe bet that this virus could make the situation worse.
The crisis has revealed even more glaring inequalities throughout the successive confinements and semi-confinements, and situations of cumulative inequalities fuel feelings of injustice.
In public discourse, we contrast two evaluation parameters which are “saving lives” on the one hand and the economy on the other.
Seen like this, it is certain that the question does not arise and instinctively leads to the choice to sacrifice the economy.
But who can really be able to “save lives”?
A life can be prolonged, but it is not saved in the true sense of the word.
In contrast, the restrictive measures that governments are endorsing in an attempt to stem the crisis that concerns us are destroying lives.
The analysis of the proportionality of the measures would undoubtedly be more relevant – as the philosopher Gaspard Koenig emphasizes – if one endeavored to compare comparable criteria such as, for example: lives saved / lives destroyed.
This requirement for proportionality seems to have disappeared from the radar of our captains and this no doubt makes it more difficult to understand / accept the decisions taken which suddenly seem imposed… and unjust.
The magnitude of the present task of governments is akin to that of Sisyphus and it is not satisfactory for anyone to push his rock relentlessly.
France remains the country of Human Rights but as Emmanuel Macron says: “we know every day how we should have done to win the war yesterday” which does not help to optimize the management of a complex daily and to depart from traditional reactions in a context that is not!