Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is what I'm writing for work. It is the manifesto for an ideological movement of citizenship and global identity.

Every generation is invited to endow its share of history with a name. It begins with recognition. If the events of the day are marked by a growing contrast: the comfort of some is removed by a widening chasm from the tragedy of many, and the voices of the dying are hushed by the hands of the wicked, such a day is set to end.

This recognition is followed by response. First, by bold symbolic action, usually by the young.

Then, in the audience of the effected, a proper articulation of the problem emerges. Then a movement of change, often sweeping so quickly the Establishment fumbles to trace it.

We are at such a time.

The Fourth Estate is a recognition of human identity in the face of global connectivity and the responsibility that flows from it. It is a blueprint of the future founded in humanity's bold endeavor to seek a more perfect peace, a more perfect unity, and a more honest expression of success.

We have always experienced empathy for our neighbor, our family. In a novel age such as this where the stories and faces of humanity writ large are brought to our living rooms, our eyes and our ears, and what's more: our products and consumption touch the globe as a whole: this empathic responsibility has outgrown its ancient limits of proximity.

It is a coalition of minds that believe there are no national boundaries, no laws, no man made rules that trump the law of common humanity written on the heart. It is not something new, it is the proper expansion of something old, truths that are self evident, God-breathed, and manifest in the history of discontent:

We believe all men are created equal, and that justice for some is not justice for all. We believe that human evil is the responsibility of all men. When we turn our face from horror, we bless it to continue. We believe our task is to live the simple and true things, and work them out no matter how hard: that men and women, no matter where they live, are equal. and loved. and worthy. and that we are all connected, not just in a complicated global exchange of goods and commodities, which is undeniable, but in a human web of innate value.

And these things define us: We are not the intellectual elite. We are not the bored idealists in the lounge chairs of comfort. We are the young people on the sidewalk. We will sleep where we fall and work until our hands are raw, connected like never before to the central nervous system of mankind.

In the face of a modern world that is inextricably connected in a web of exchange, we accept the responsibility to protect those that are victimized by extreme cases of injustice. It is not 'their' problem. It is a humanity problem.

We believe in starting with the specific to prove the universal. We are starting with Joseph Kony, the rebel leader of the Lord's Resistance Army that has systematically abducted children to fight as soldiers in his rebellion.

We will not ignore his murderous campaign simply because his escapades do not impact us economically or threaten us militarily. We will respond because he destroys human life.

And our responsibility to protect does not invalidate our national identity. We believe in the pride of cultural expression and society. But we do not believe in the fiction of self-interest in isolation. Our choices echo to every single corner of this globe, and we should respond with reason and temperance.

To the degree in which society denies the affect of its choices on its own citizens and those of its neighbors, is the degree it will fall victim to history as a failure. As a decaying monster.

It is about rejecting the concept of the 'other,' the belief that 'they' are the problem and 'they' are out to get us. We understand that 'they' are us, and we are 'them.'

When we acknowledge the mystery of value in every human life, and witness to such, we thrive, and succeed, and protect one another.

We choose to stand up for that belief. We will fight for it, expand our talent, exhaust our bodies in its pursuit, and define a generation of human belonging.

We are The Fourth Estate.

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