John Lennon sang the song Imagine—envisioning a time when everyone will be at peace “and the world will be as one.”
Perusing the bookstore, I came across a relatively new book that came out last year called 2048 by J. Kirk Boyd, Executive Director of the 2048 Project at the U.C. Berkeley Law School that carries a vision of peace, unity and human rights similar to the song.
By 2048, Boyd envisions a world with an “agreement to live together”—marked by an International Bill of Rights with five key freedoms:
1) Freedom of Speech—includes freedoms of expression, media, assembly, and associations.
2) Freedom of Religion—the right to worship in your own way and separation of church and state.
3) Freedom from Want—everyone has a right to a useful and fairly paying job, a decent home, adequate medical care, and a good education.
4) Freedom from Fear—freedom from repression, enabled by an independent judiciary and the enforcement of the rule of law.
5) Freedom of the Environment—driven by preservation and sustainability for future generations.
I would see the freedoms in the U.S. Bill of Rights that are not explicitly mentioned here to be implicitly covered by the broad categories of Freedoms from Want and Fear.
For example, the right to bear arms and such could be covered under the Freedom of Want. Similarly, the guarantees to a speedy, public trial and not to be put in double jeopardy or unreasonably searched etc. could be covered under Freedom from Fear.
Boyd’s 2048 implementation of an International Bill of Rights carries forward the Declaration of Human Rights—that consists of 30 articles—by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948—on it’s one hundred year anniversary—that has unfortunately not been fully realized yet.
In a time when so much oppression, repression, and global poverty still exist, I am awed by this vision and call for human rights throughout the world.
I like the clarity and simplicity of Boyd’s five freedoms. They can be easily understood and remembered.
The freedoms according to Boyd will enable us to focus together, think (and write) together, decide together, and move forward together.
This is a far different world than the one we live in today that is driven by scarcity, power and politics and that keep people in seemingly perpetual fighting mode.
What will it take to reach a world architecture that brings peace, prosperity, and dignity to all? A global catastrophe. A common enemy. A messianic fulfillment. Or is it possible, with G-d’s help, to move today—incrementally—through our own planning, reason and devices to live in peace as one humankind?