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What do we mean when we say we can ensure every child's right to an ecosocial Fair Start in life by all means effective? 

What it simply means is that as a peremptory norm, a child’s right to a fair start, enabled through cooperative resource distribution and responsible family planning, overrides things like the property rights of the wealthy.

In other words, it's more important to invest in kids, and prepare them for the future - especially given the climate crisis, than to prioritize the needs of the uber rich. 

Why are the rights and responsibilities that surround having kids peremptory? If power derives from the people, then the norm that accounts for their creation and subsequent empowerment overrides other norms. It is the first necessary condition of legitimacy. It involves literally constituting the political entities that then develop subsequent norms. In other words, nations were not “constituted” at historical points in the past by god-like founders, but we are either constituting legitimate systems of governance with every child we have, or we are not, depending on how we do it and the values (like wellbeing, consent and nature) at play.

Always the First Rule

By population we mean people, which really means 1) our creation, and early childhood/development, because of the disproportionate impact of this phase on our lives and who we are. Also 2) while we think of people as individuals or groups of individuals, our creation also entails the creation of power relations between those individuals, and between people and their ecology. 

It entails these relationships. 

It would be impossible to account for justice or freedom without first accounting for this crucial phase because 1) creation/existence always precedes other modes of justice or freedom (e.g. how we deal with pandemics), and 2) because what makes us obligated in a system (to follow the law for example) is our capacity - contingent on the crucial phase - to consent to the influence of others / our become relatively self-determining rather than being constantly determined by others.

Freedom from others means freedom from the power they would exert on nature. 

Freedom from others means freedom from the power they would exert on nature. 

To ensure that capacity we would have to start at the border of human influence, or nature, and maintain a neutral position so that as any particular group grows the capacity for self-determination gives way (or is directly inverse) to the capacity for determination by others. To maintain the position, at a certain range, the group in question has to divide. 

For example, we would need to change family planning policies to minimize the impact heat rises have on infants and their self-determination. We would have to ensure smaller families creating less emissions, in which each child had health care sufficient to mitigate the harm - perhaps by targeting those responsible for the crisis to pay for family planning incentives/entitlements and care. And those children would have to be raised capable of constituting autonomous political units, if they chose to do so, the sort where people are empowered to prevent crises like the climate crisis from occurring in the future.  

There are no obligations that precede the obligation to maintain this neutral position, or the obligation to ensure all children ecosocial fair starts in life. A system is fair and obligatory when it goes all the way back - or fully accounts for its power. We are skipping a crucial step if we don't do this. And adhering to obligations, like honoring government issued property rights before using that wealth to create people in a fair way, would be being dishonest. The owners of that wealth would have never paid the price of freedom, never come from a just place, or fully accounted for the power of the system in which they live.

We can urge others, in our discussions, not to skip the step of starting from a just place. If those with whom we engage in policy debates cannot explain how they are first establishing a foundation of fairness and justice where future children are assured higher levels of welfare, equity, nature, and an effective role in democracies, their solutions are long run undermining freedom, and systems of mutual obligation. 

That is the lie at the base of our language – that the generation of our societies, the base “we” from which all our language proceeds – should be determined by subjective autonomy rather than values and objective justice. That lie preserved fundamentally exploitative power structures and drove the crises causing immense suffering today, and the suffering – of the most vulnerable – that will occur in the future. And those who pushed and are pushing the lie are fundamentally responsible for the outcomes.

Some are beginning to recognize that our systems skipped the crucial step, and to fix it. Their demand creates the possibility of a real social contract, a fourth dimensional one, and means the violence protecting the wealth that might incentivize/entitle Fair Start physical democracy-building is the last hurdle between humans and freedom. 

Loving children means policies that protect the majority - those who will live in the future. 

Loving children means policies that protect the majority - those who will live in the future. 

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We can think about it in these ways 

If the fairness of our political and legal systems is what obligates us to follow laws, how can we be obligated without requiring fairness in the most important phase - the creation of the people in the system? Do we really think we are honoring the concept of equality of opportunity in life without that? The research is clear: Poor kids mostly become poor adults

One reason we have accepted family policies as they are - despite being unfair - is that we have not found creative ways to make them fair. But there are many ways to do that: 

ANIMAL & ENVIRO ORGS: Ask them to speak out for smaller families Ask any groups you support, including child welfare and human rights organizations, to engage with these four crucial questions. Everything interrelates at family planning.

We say “all means effective” because we refuse to ignore the moral reality of the order of norms, and because the freedom and wellbeing of future generations and nonhumans – the most vulnerable and numerous classes of entities – depend on our using Fair Start to liberate them. Does that mean we promote things like violence? No – we explicitly reject violence and other forms of coercion because we believe they cannot further Fair Start, but will instead ensure cycles of violence that in fact harm kids and their development.

Learn more about Fair Start.

The Facts About Fair Start

  • A clear link exists between rapid population growth and poverty. Better family planning and smaller families increase economic prospects by allowing greater investment in each child.
  • According to the World Bank, in 2015, almost 2 billion people (26% of the world’s population) were living on less than $3.20 per day, and nearly half of the world (46%) was living on less than $5.50 a day.
  • The costs and benefits of overpopulation under globalization are now distributed by class more than by nation. Labor bears the cost of reduced wage income; capital enjoys the benefit of reduced wage costs.
  • The United State and much of the capitalist world believed that new bodies were needed to produce more labor. This pro-natal, pro-capital belief has created a world in which huge inequities exist. For example, the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people, which is more than 60% of the planet’s population.
Smaller families allow us to invest more time in each child. 

Smaller families allow us to invest more time in each child. 

  • Family size affects those in developed countries as well as underdeveloped nations: In the U.S., the Kansas City Star reported that of more than 6,000 prisoners in 12 states, 1 in 4 was a product of the foster-care system; there is a foster-care-to-prison pipeline in many states. Foster children are also diagnosed with PTSD at a rate greater than Iraq War veterans, and every year, more than 4,000 former foster care kids end up homeless after leaving the system. Meanwhile, the number of American children in foster care increased 12% between 2012 and 2017.
  • Our current family planning systems provide no minimum standard of well-being for future children, allowing children to be born into failing state systems because their parents cannot care for them. That exacerbates inequity and ensures rich kids stay rich and poor kids stay poor.
  • Current pronatalist policies sow the seeds of nation destabilization by further increasing inequality.
Smaller families are more sustainable. 

Smaller families are more sustainable. 

  • A recent study from Stanford has found that efforts to mitigate climate change could yield trillions in economic benefits. And the best way to mitigate climate change is by choosing smaller families. Yes, it’s more effective than changing diet or forms of transportation.
  • By the year 2100, the world population could vary by billions of people, depending on whether the average woman in the world today has one child more or one child fewer in her lifetime. If the average woman alive today has between 2 and 3 children, the world population will grow to as many as 16 billion by 2100.