Values & Politics
SW Community members are invited to send in information and examples of:
- The relevance and importance of Values and Politics to achieve sustainability and the Global Goals (the SDGs of Agenda 2030), including social justice.
- How “Values and Politics” has been interpreted in particular contexts.
- How particular individuals, organizations, commercial enterprises and governments have been held to account (or not, and why not) for harm they have inflicted on people, communities and the environment.
Accountability: reporting and telling what you have done, how it was done and what the results are.
The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.
Accountability (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
In ethics and governance, accountability is answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance, it has been central to discussions related to problems in the public sector, and private (corporate) and individual contexts. In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies including the administration, governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.
In governance, accountability has expanded beyond the basic definition of “being called to account for one’s actions”. It is frequently described as an account-giving relationship between individuals, e.g. “A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct”. Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability.
In governance, accountability is frequently described as an account-giving relationship between individuals …
Consumption, what we use, buy, eat, take from the environment, when we breathe we consume air, when we drink we consume water.
Consumerism is the act of consuming, so using up.
Richard Robbins is worth quoting at length on the impact of consumption on the environment and on people.
William Rees, an urban planner at the University of British Columbia, estimated that it requires four to six hectares of land to maintain the consumption level of the average person from a high-consumption country. The problem is that in 1990, worldwide there were only 1.7 hectares of ecologically productive land for each person. He concluded that the deficit is made up in core countries by drawing down the natural resources of their own countries and expropriating the resources, through trade, of peripheral countries. In other words, someone has to pay for our consumption levels. [Emphasis Added]… Our consumption of goods obviously is a function of our culture. Only by producing and selling things and services does capitalism in its present form work, and the more that is produced and the more that is purchased the more we have progress and prosperity. The single most important measure of economic growth is, after all, the gross national product (GNP), the sum total of goods and services produced by a given society in a given year. It is a measure of the success of a consumer society, obviously, to consume.
However, the production, processing, and consumption, of commodities requires the extraction and use of natural resources (wood, ore, fossil fuels, and water); it requires the creation of factories and factory complexes whose operation creates toxic byproducts, while the use of commodities themselves (e.g. automobiles) creates pollutants and waste. Yet of the three factors environmentalists often point to as responsible for environmental pollution — population, technology, and consumption — consumption seems to get the least attention. One reason, no doubt, is that it may be the most difficult to change; our consumption patterns are so much a part of our lives that to change them would require a massive cultural overhaul, not to mention severe economic dislocation. A drop in demand for products, as economists note, brings on economic recession or even depression, along with massive unemployment.
The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects.
… Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%.
More specifically, the richest fifth:
- Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%
- Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%
- Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%
- Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%
- Own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%
Runaway growth in consumption in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment never before seen.
Human Development Report 1998 Overview, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — Emphasis Added. Figures quoted use data from 1995
Cooperation is doing things together in harmony, in agreement, it also applies to businesses who work together and have mutual tools and facilities. Like some shops that sell the goods produced by different people.
Cooperation (sometimes written as co-operation) is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for common or mutual benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish benefit. Many animal and plant species cooperate both with other members of their o https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperationwn species and with members of other species (symbiosis or mutualism
Many animal species cooperate with each other in mutual symbiosis. One example is the ocellaris clownfish, which dwells among
the tentacles of Ritteri sea anemones. The anemones provide the clownfish with protection from their predators (which cannot tolerate the stings of the sea anemone’s tentacles), while the fish defend the anemones against butterflyfish (which eat anemones)
- the quality or state of being worthy, honoured, or respected
- high rank, office, or position
- a look or way of behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control
Human Dignity is The Basis of Fundamental Human Rights
Human dignity is inviolable and it must be respected and protected. The dignity of the human person is not only a fundamental right in itself, but constitutes the basis of fundamental rights in international law.
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined this principle in its preamble: ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.
For this reason the dignity of the human person is part of the substance of any right protected by international human rights law. It must, therefore, be respected, even where a right is restricted.
Respect is how you feel about someone or something
Having respect for someone means you think good things about who a person is or how he/she acts. You can have respect for others, and you can have respect for yourself.
Respect is how you treat someone or something
Showing respect to someone means you act in a way that shows you care about their feelings and well-being.
Showing respect for others includes things like not calling people mean names, treating people with courtesy, caring enough about yourself that you don’t do things you know can hurt you.
If you respect others they will respect you and not hurt your dignity.
Respect is a feeling of admiration or deference toward a person, child, non-human animal, group, ideal, or indeed almost any entity or concept, as well as specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect.
Some people may earn the respect of individuals by assisting others or by playing important social roles. In many cultures, individuals are considered to be worthy of respect until they prove otherwise. Courtesies that show respect include simple words and phrases like “thank you” in the West, simple physical gestures like a slight bow in the East, a smile, or direct eye contact, or a simple handshake.
Empathy: to feel and understand the feelings of another, whether human, animal or plant,
- the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
- the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.
Power and Governance: What is used and how to run a state, country, business, institution, school etc.
The term governance can be used specifically to describe changes in the nature and role of the state following the public-sector reforms of the 1980s and ’90s. Typically, these reforms are said to have led to a shift from a hierarchic bureaucracy toward a greater use of markets, quasi-markets, and networks, especially in the delivery of public services.
The effects of the reforms were intensified by global changes, including an increase in transnational economic activity and the rise of regional institutions such as the European Union (EU). So understood, governance expresses a widespread belief that the state increasingly depends on other organizations to secure its intentions, deliver its policies, and establish a pattern of rule.
By analogy, governance also can be used to describe any pattern of rule that arises either when the state is dependent upon others or when the state plays little or no role. For example, the term international governance often refers to the pattern of rule found at the global level where the United Nations (UN) is too weak to resemble the kind of state that can impose its will on its territory. Likewise, the term corporate governance refers to patterns of rule within businesses—that is, to the systems, institutions, and norms by which corporations are directed and controlled. So understood, governance expresses a growing awareness of the ways in which diffuse forms of power and authority can secure order even in the absence of state activity.
More generally still, governance can be used to refer to all patterns of rule, including the kind of hierarchic state that is often thought to have existed before the public-sector reforms of the 1980s and ’90s. This general use of governance enables theorists to explore abstract analyses of the construction of social orders, social coordination, or social practices irrespective of their specific content. They can divorce such abstract analyses from specific questions about, say, the state, the international system, or the corporation. However, this general usage creates the need for a more specific term, such as new governance, to refer to the changes in the state since the 1980s.
Whether one focuses on the new governance, weak states, or patterns of rule in general, the concept of governance raises issues about public policy and democracy. The increased role of non-state actors in the delivery of public services has led to a concern to improve the ability of the state to oversee these other actors. The state has become more interested in various strategies for creating and managing networks and partnerships. It has set up all kinds of arrangements for auditing and regulating other organizations. In the eyes of many observers, there has been an audit explosion. In addition, the increased role of nonelected actors in policy making suggests a need to think about the extent of their democratic accountability and about the mechanisms by which it is enforced. Similarly, accounts of growing transnational and international constraints on states suggest that a need to rethink the nature of social inclusion and social justice. Political institutions from the World Bank to the EU now use terms such as good governance to convey their aspirations for a better world. https://www.britannica.com/topic/governance
Rights are what we should be able to have as in Human Rights and Duties are what we have to do the be able to receive the Rights.
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.
Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived”.
Duty (from “due” meaning “that which is owing”; Old French: deu, did, past participle of devoir; Latin: debere, debitum, whence “debt“) is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment or obligation to someone or something. The moral commitment should result in action; it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition. When someone recognizes a duty, that person theoretically commits himself to its fulfillment without considering their own self-interest. This is not to suggest that living a life of duty entirely precludes a life of leisure; however, its fulfillment generally involves some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Typically, “the demands of justice, honor, and reputation are deeply bound up” with duty.
- as result of being human
- as a result of one’s particular place in life (one’s family, one’s country, one’s job)
- as a result of one’s character
- as a result of one’s own moral expectations for oneself
Various derivative uses of the word have sprung from the root idea of obligation, a concept involved in the notion of duty; thus it is used in the services performed by a minister of a church, by a soldier, or by any employee or servant.
Many schools of thought have debated the idea of duty. While many assert mankind’s duty on their own terms, some philosophers have absolutely rejected a sense of duty.
Duty has to be accepted and understood on the basis of one’s foundation of sense and knowledge. Therefore, duty and its manifestations vary with values from culture to culture. On one hand duty may be seen as terms of reference, job description, or behavior – and it is all of that … but duty is not only about doing things right, it is about doing the right thing.
Some Values – Honesty, Justice, determination, consideration, love – some known as core values.
In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics), or to describe the significance of different actions (axiology). It may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them. It deals with right conduct and living a good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action may be regarded as ethically “good” (adjective sense), and an action of low in value, or somewhat relatively low in value, may be regarded as “bad”.
What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethic values of the objects it increases, decreases or alters. An object with “ethic value” may be termed an “ethic or philosophic good” (noun sense).
Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be. “Equal rights for all”, “Excellence deserves admiration”, and “People should be treated with respect and dignity” are representative of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues.
Violence: The use of force in a way that harms a person or property
2 : great force or energy especially of a destructive kind <the violence of the storm caused great fear:
1a : the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy
b : an instance of violent treatment or procedure
2: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : outrage
3a : intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force the violence of the storm
b : vehement feeling or expression : fervor; also : an instance of such action or feeling
c : a clashing or jarring quality : discordance
4: undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)