With the accelerated global developments moving our Western society towards a new political system of governance, we see a limited opportunity to improve our outdated social contract by empowering citizens in liberal societies in a way that allows us face to the challenges and opportunities of a hyper-digitized 21st century.
In our ‘position summary’ we structure our arguments as follows:
Citizens have become subservient to a new political reality evolving under the organisational structures of the United Nations towards ‘stakeholder capitalism', away from national self-government. By its own definition, this new global partnership requires citizens to take a democratic step back
To avoid falling further behind in the political process, we need to strengthen our position under international law by upgrading Article 29(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
In this historic and highly celebrated document, which is technically non-binding but determinative in practical terms, the United Nations claims unilateral priority over human rights, and can suspend all rights at will without an independent judicial process (contradicting Article 1 proclaiming All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.)
For centuries it is understood that ‘every human law has just so much of the nature of law, as it is derived from the law of nature. But if in any point it deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer a law but a perversion of law.’
We argue that allowing non-elected bodies absolute dominion over the rights of humans is such a perversion of law
Traditionally, our Western constitutions and international treaties are written from the standpoint of the interests of the community, represented by the executive, over individuals
If a people is unable to influence policy through suffrage, it turns the executive power structures into self-sustaining institutions that ultimately represent "the system" rather than its voters
People's representatives then turn into 'system administrators' which inevitably leads to forms of socialism, communism and tyranny
The amalgamation of governmental and non-governmental executive powers under the auspices of the United Nations also puts pressure on the independence of the judiciary
While fraught with dangers to our human rights, digitization does allow global citizens to organise in unison, efficiently and exponentially for the benefit of social structures across the board
Building on John Adams' revolutionary ideal of a "government of laws, not of men," we should in fact strive to become "peoples of laws, not of governments."
In this we should not go under the illusion that the 'community' is always more important than the individual, or that individualism equals egoism
The lowest common denominator of a community is the individual, so robust individual rights make communities stronger, not weaker
Nor should we shy away from defining a hierarchy of values herein, based on 'First Principles'. It is from a powerful moral compass that we can strengthen the individual, the community and our Western democratic principles
Recognizing that the ultimate challenge remains how to keep the separation of powers independent, the individual must always enjoy impartial protection from the latent tyranny of the community
Consequently, Article 29(1) of the UDHR should also be amended.
World Alliance of Independent Thinkers
Jeroen Sluiter - All Rights Reserved – 2022 Version 2.4 (this 'position summary' is in constant evolution)