The right to life have a long history – it goes back almost 200 years when it was first stipulated in the United States Declaration of Independence – wherein it was declared that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that “among these are life” as the right to life.
Since then it’s been declared in various conventions, for example the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in article three that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security” – and in the European Convention on Human Rights it’s declared in article two that “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law”.
I am not going to go further into referencing legal material because it’s already clear from looking at the most common conventions, that there is a right to life, and that this right to life applies for each and everyone. What I am instead going to focus upon is expanding upon the definition of life, because what does a right to life really imply? Can we say that merely surviving entails living? Can we say that working in a sweatshop for 16 hours each day is living? Can we say that scrounging for scanty and rotten food in a container as one’s only means of surviving is living? Can we say that not having access to a proper home, not having access to proper sanitation, not having access to health-care, not having a access to pension, not having access to education, implicates living?
So, you can see how important it is that we give a proper and clear definition to life and living when it comes to understanding, applying and implementing these legal conventions that are in-fact legally binding on the states that have committed to them.
Up to this point our governments and courts have given life a very, very limited definition. The European court have in relation to article two of the European Convention on Human Rights ruled that state have three main duties:
- A duty to refrain from unlawful killing
- A duty to investigate suspicious deaths, and
- In certain circumstances, a positive duty to prevent foreseeable loss of life (1)
Obviously this is a severely limited perspective on what life entails – to have the right to not be killed does not mean that you’re in-fact enjoying a right to life, because what must be understood is that surviving is not the same as living. Do I have any legal sources to make this claim? No, obviously not – because the current legal system have no understanding what-so-ever about life – but there are those that do have such an understanding.
Who? You and Me – Yes we as human-beings do have a clear understanding within ourselves as to what is life, I mean consider the point for yourself, can you in self-honesty state that living in a constant state of starvation implies living? Can you in self-honesty state that not being able to read, not being able to write, not being able to express yourself through such basic life skill as vocabulary, is living? – I mean this is not living, and we all know this – we all know and understand that LIFE is a word that holds a meaning far greater than a exiguous existence of suffering as living for nothing more but surviving.
Consider the fact that people starving have their brain function decrease, until their cognitive abilities are akin to severe drunkenness, and then worse (2). That means you’re unable to do anything with your so-called life, unable to make decisions, unable to follow through on your passions, unable to care for your family, unable to care for yourself, simply because you do not have the physical capacity to act out your intentions, possibly you don’t even have the capacity to create intentions to begin with. Can we call this life? Is this really living? Or is this in a matter of fact DEATH, simply because in starving one do not have a life, your entire world is that of suffering, that of a wish to not exist anymore because there is no joy, there is only that constant inner physical aching of getting and reaching for that nutrition that the body so desperately need to continue it’s existence.
We really need to look at what is life and what isn’t life – it’s obvious that living and life contains not only the physiological symptoms of so-called life, but that it contains FOOD, WARMTH, SUPPORT, HOUSING, WATER, SANITATION, CLOTHES, EDUCATION = this is LIFE and the RIGHT to LIFE as stipulated in conventions throughout time do state that we have the right to such a life.
BUT – what is required for us to make a reality of our legal commitments? What is it that seemingly always stands in the way for life to become a reality for all human beings on this earth? It’s so simple, right in-front of our eyes, yet so few of us actually recognize how this ONE point is the primary point that determines everything of ourselves, everything of what we can become, everything of what we do, everything of what we decide – Do you know what it is?
Yes – money is the KEY to LIFE – money GIVES life and the lack of money TAKES life.
To create a system where the right of life can be implemented, and become a reality – we need to look at how we can make MONEY a resource that have all have access to – that all have an equal opportunity to take part of, use, and harvest in order to build their life’s.
We thus NEED a system that gives LIFE – the LIVING INCOME GUARANTEE is a political proposal that makes sure that the right to life becomes a LIVING REALITY – it’s a feasible, realistic, simplistic and practical solution as to how we can transform our current distribution system of money to become more equal without crippling peoples free choice and ability to create their own life’s – it’s thus a way for us as humanity to stand up to the legal commitments we’ve made and make them real – so that the right to life isn’t anymore just words on a paper but a actual physical reality – not just for some – but for all.
Investigate the Living Income Guarantee and become part in manifesting the Right to Life as a actual reality.
1. Jacobs and White p. 56