Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 6 - When Social Rights become Meaningless

Why is there such a big difference between what we declare in our constitutions and international agreements and the actual world we are creating?  

In this blog we will look at social ground rights. This is a specific form of constitutional rights, and we will look specifically at the situation in the Netherlands. Ground rights are a type of rights in a constitution that in theory express ‘the human dignity’ and ‘respect for the individual’, such as the right to privacy, the right to free speech and the right to non-discrimination, etc.

In Dutch law there is a difference between classical ground rights and social ground rights. Classical ground rights will be those rights that are supposed to protect the citizen against abusive tendencies from the government (such as the right to individual freedom and privacy). Here the government stands accountable and the citizen can take the government to court for infringing on his classical ground rights.

With social ground rights, on the other hand, the government is giving itself social responsibilities in relation to the welfare of the population, however this is done without there being any form of accountability.

An example would be the goal to provide “sufficient employment” (Art 19. of the Dutch Constitution: “Improvement of sufficient employment is an object of concern of the government”. See also Art 20: “The subsistence of the population and the spreading of the wealth is an object of concern of the government.”). One could ask what is “sufficient employment”? Hence it is never possible for a citizen to make the government or any institution accountable for not being able to provide “sufficient employment” – because “sufficient employment” conveniently means nothing.

Social ground rights often sound good, but when having a closer look, we see in the very wording of those rights that they stand as empty promises without any form of accountability.

In Equal Money Capitalism for instance the objective is to create 100% employment. That is a clear commitment that cannot be misunderstood. It means that any person who is not able to get employment has the legal right to a job – which must then also be provided, as jobs are that which generates income, which is how the right to a rich and equally abundant life for all is ensured. Obviously Equal Money Capitalism is based on the premise that there is always more than enough work to do – because the journey to perfect and improve life on earth equally for everyone is certainly never complete – and therefore jobs will always be available.

In the current form of capitalism we have become used to the idea that Human and social rights don’t really mean anything, - and hence to the idea that life has inherently no value - and that it is okay for half the world to exist in poverty combined with skyrocketing figures of unemployment, because “hey, we are doing our best.”

This will certainly no longer be acceptable in Equal Money Capitalism. The fulfilling of its social commitments will be the primary way in which the effectiveness of the new system can be measured. The social rights in Equal Money Capitalism will thus be actual commitments that can be measured so that the written words and the lived reality become Equal and One.

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