The Manifesto of Just Atonement Inc.
Adopted March 13, 2018
Democracy is under siege.
It is dying because of increasing global war and conflict, and changing environmental conditions that will strain every political system on the planet in just a few short years.
We define democracy to mean a social, economic, cultural and political system which is expressly dedicated to the development and cultivation of free human consciousness.
While democratic systems may differ across time and cultures, we define democracy through four essential criteria. A democratic country is one that:
(i) adheres to the rule of law without exception, and guards it with a robust and independent judiciary that constrains executive and legislative actors, actively investigates corruption, and prosecutes any and all abuses of power;
(ii) protects human rights and essential human freedoms (including economic, civil, political, social and cultural freedoms);
(iii) commits itself to the defense and support of non derogable norms of international law and governance, including the resolution of international disputes through peaceful means; and
(iv) promotes an economic structure that provides equal opportunity to all as well as harmony with larger social and environmental systems.
We are defenders of democratic values, and avowed enemies of those who would destroy democracy.
We reject the notion that executive or legislative power can act extra-legally in order to preserve or defend a society.
We reject the subversion of human rights in favor of government powers. When the rights of a single person are violated, the rights of an entire society are violated.
We reject the use of aggressive war and the threat of war as an instrument of international politics.
We reject all forms of discrimination, the oppression of discrete minorities, all forms of caste systems, and all forms of exploitation.
We reject those who only defend political and civil rights while ignoring social, economic and cultural rights. And we reject those who only defend social, economic and cultural rights while ignoring political and civil rights.
We reject the use of the words “democracy” and “freedom” by powerful states as excuses or as cover for their international crimes, and decry such propaganda as an assault on democracy itself.
We reject the short-term and near-sighted overuse of planetary resources in ways that are literally toxic to our societies, and the foisting of environmental harms on the poor and voiceless.
We reject those who belittle science, and who ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus that our current way of life is not at all sustainable and must immediately change so that our civilization and our species may continue to survive.
We reject any urge or temptation to believe that democracy can be defended or preserved through undemocratic mechanisms.
We believe that by building peace and environmental sustainability, we create the conditions for democracy to revive itself and flourish.
We believe that law is a powerful means in which to build peace and environmental sustainability, and we commit ourselves to the use of legal, democratic mechanisms to build a better future for ourselves and our descendants.
We acknowledge the reality that the alternative to these efforts is, at best, the destruction of democracy and the victory of tyranny, empire and dictatorship; and at worst, species-death and the end of human civilization.
We find hope in the resilience of the human spirit, and the unnamed and forever deep beauty that comes from the cultivation of human consciousness. We believe our efforts may take years, decades, or even generations to accomplish. We believe in the ultimate victory of democratic norms as the guiding light of human civilization.