Fairness Agenda

Don Jordan donjordan at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 30 21:23:50 PDT 1998

Carrol Cox:

Beautifully said, on fairness and the "river of blood." And Shaughnessy's Fairness Agenda is indeed nice. But you're right--such a goal should stress human rights rather than appeal to "fairness." Besides, every attempt at presuming the ability to set world goals should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights <http://www.hrweb.org/legal/udhr.html>, which is currently under attack for being too "liberal."

I also disagree with Scott Simpson's need for empirical evidence before acknowledging discrimination's negative effects on the economy. Any sucessfull world-wide organization dedicated to seeking a more pleasant world for the bulk of mankind, i.e., a world in which those at the top are controlled by those on the bottom, will have to be morally based. Social discrimination must be eradicated from mankind's mind before any idealistic world-wide movement to better the condition of the common man or woman will have a chance. We must leave idealogy behind us and strive to accomplish what's right. We must no longer be ashamed of being idealistic and of wanting to do the right thing.

At 05:21 PM 7/30/98 , you wrote:
>My brain is befogged by depression right now, and you are asking a more
>complex question than you realize, but I'll try to explain why at least
>many on this list would fail to respond to this post. All the policies
>and principles you list are very fine. No one would really disagree that
>their implementation would be all to the good, but actually all that is
>totally irrelevant to reality.
>First of all, as that fool cold warrior and budget cutter Jimmy Carter
>noted, the world isn't fair, and "it" (the "world") is never going to be
>fair, so appealing to fairness simply isn't an appeal to reality.
>"Secure equality for all," you say. But the social system we live in is
>simply synonymous with inequality, and a river of blood lies between us
>and any other social system, and at present no one really knows how to
>mobilize the troops to wade that river.
>Unions at present are mostly controlled by men (mostly men) who fear
>anything which would activate their members.
>Tens of Millions of people really believe that Crime and Drugs and
>School Prayer and the reform of education (i.e., the gutting of
>education) are significant issues. And those of us who know otherwise
>cannot, for one reason or another, work out a strategy and a set of
>tactics to create the organizations that could disabuse people of these
>vicious myths.
>Some substantial proportion (I fear a very large proportion) of those
>who are really sincerely committed to the welfare and power of working
>people either cannot or will not see that worker unity requires first a
>battle against male supremacy and racism among workers themselves.
>Tens of Millions of people seemingly believe that the man who is leading
>the assault on what is left of the "welfare state" is in fact possibly
>our friend -- I mean, of course, that reactionary slimeball, Bill
>And you come to us wanting us merely to sign on to "support
>Demilitarization" -- i.e., overthrow the source of militarization, the
>U.S. state and its ruling class.
>Michael Shaughnessy wrote:
>> Dear list,
>> about a week ago I forwarded the Fairness Agenda and asked for
>> people to sign on as well as to request feedback. Apparently a coup0le of
>> people signed on, but I was disappointed that no one sent feed back. A
>> second try;
>> 1) Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas/reactions about using the
>> Fairness Agenda as an attempt to organize non-leftists around economic
>> issues?
>> 2 Are there specific points in the agenda which cause you to say yes
>> or no? (I here highlight the points and will only repost the longer version
>> if people request it)

>> 1. Enact a Fairness Budget for America.
>> 2. Ensure Jobs, Living Wages, Benefits & Worker
>> Rights for All.
>> 3. Ensure Equality for All.
>> 4. Promote a Just and Sustainable Global Economy.
>> 5. Support Demilitarization, Human Rights & a New
>> Internationalism.
>> 6. Guarantee Sustainable Communities & Environmental
>> Justice.
>> 7. Provide Adequate Social Investment.
>> 8. Limit Private Money in Politics.
>> 3 Are there specific principles in the agenda which cause you to say
>> yes or no?
>> PRINCIPLES: Dignified Work; Environmental Justice;
>> Economic Redistribution; Democratic Participation;
>> Community Empowerment; Global Non-Violence; Social
>> Justice, including Racial and Gender
>> Perhaps this is not of any interest at all to the people who read
>> and write on this list, but questions about practical organizing around
>> economic issues is at least part of what I am looking for.
>> Thanks for your consideration.
>> Michael Shaughnessy

Don Jordan San Bernardino, CA <donjordan at earthlink.net>

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