The coronavirus upheaval justifies raising and addressing fundamental questions. Do we want to go back to “business as usual”, do we want to pick up on a dysfunctional economic model characterized by wealth imbalances and structural violence? This is a historic opportunity to demand and implement cross-cutting changes in the system, redefine our priorities in terms of human rights and human dignity, demand that our governments cease wasting our limited resources in wars, missiles, drones, military bases, false flag and other criminal interventions, and instead devote more research and development into preparedness strategies – preparedness to anticipate threats, prevent them where possible or combat the consequences of future pandemics, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis or asteroid impacts.
This is the time to revive the legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, rediscover the spirituality of the <Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ensure that human rights are juridical, justiciable and enforceable. It is also time to draw on the experience of top economists like Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty, and reorient the economy toward a coherent human-security paradigm that leaves no one behind. We can and must demand transparency and accountability from the authorities, whose responsibility it is to convert the economy into a sustainable people-centred institution that creates jobs in the health, education and services sectors.
We must push-back against the embrace of Big Brother, globalism, militarism, totalitarianism, intrusive government surveillance, conformist culture and homologation, thought police and denunciation, fake news from government and the so-called “quality press”, fake law, fake history, fake diplomacy, fake democracy.
We must push-back against efforts to turn us into mere numbers, robots, or “consumers”. Inaction against the social virus of conformism and indifference means surrendering the fundamental freedoms and human rights acquis that prior generations won for themselves and for us. This is no time to cop out, deceiving ourselves that things eventually will fall into place. This is the moment to rise up to the challenge, demand reasonable budgetary priorities, laws and regulations that place people above profits, demand ethics in foreign policy, an end to the insane arms race and criminal wars.
All humans have a right to live in peace – not just ourselves, but also all the peoples that our governments assault, exploit and humiliate. We demand that public institutions promote and protect our privacy and family life. Both are under attack in flagrant violation of articles 17 and 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Article 10 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We must assert our individual and collective right to our culture, identity and traditions, our right to access all information, as stipulated in article 19(2) ICCPR, our right to impart information without governmental or private-sector censorship, our right to our own opinions, our right to be wrong. If we allow ourselves to be intimidated by the tenets of “political correctness” and succumb to self-censorship, Orwellian dystopia has won.
We demand from our democratically elected officials that they do what they were elected to do, that they represent us and not only the lobbies or the corporations. The alternative to action is reckless self-delusion. The Romans already knew that mundus vult decipi – the world wants to be deceived. Let us not be deceived by the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset”, the latest scam to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Even Julius Caesar warned about our blindness and our tendency to believe what we want to believe: Quae volumus, ea credimus libenter (We like to believe what we want.) (De bello civili, 2, 27, 2).
More than ever in 2021, we must demonstrate the courage of our convictions and learn to articulate our own ideas – notwithstanding the asphyxiating social pressures of an emerging “cancel culture” that destroys the marketplace of ideas and undermines democratic governance. We need more whistleblowers who reveal the crimes and covers-up of government officials and mercenaries, including those in the private sector. We need pluralistic news services -- and this necessarily entails more, not less, alternative media. Sapere aude! Dare to know. (Horace/Immanuel Kant)! •
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that:
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