1F2571 Definition of a Universal Standard of Living

Definition of a Universal Standard of Living:

By a universal standard of living is meant the assurance of a life without any existentially threatening hardships – whether material, physical, psychological or intellectual. Through the creation of an inclusive, thus planetary, and hence universally valid standard of living for all inhabitants of Planet Earth, a world view based on exploitation[1] and materialistic competition among individuals would be deprived of its very basis. Based on a social solidarity-fostering education and a universal human way of thinking founded upon in principle collective values, the simultaneous guarantee of a (high) universal standard of living for all inhabitants of the planet, irrespective of their race, sex, age, origin, education, language, social status and property, would mean the consistent overcoming of an individualistic and materialistic competitive system, and signal the end of poverty, criminality, personal insecurity, exclusion and injustice. 

A universal standard of living, which must apply to the whole planet and be derived from the commons, and hence constitutes a basic right (= human right), would include the following services and basic rights to be guaranteed by the Social Commons:

A. Living space and clothing

Every human being, corresponding to his or her individual circumstances, will be provided with an adequate (size and quality) living space – generous apartment with garden use, where possible on the model of a small home with garden – including all necessary utilities and furnishings taking account of climatic conditions. Likewise every human being will have access to practical, high-quality, fashionable and (individualistically) attractive clothing.

B. Diet

Society will guarantee every individual a sufficient and balanced diet or food supply, including the supplies necessary for food storage, processing and preparation. A corresponding supply of drinking water and an adequate supply of semi-luxury goods will also be guaranteed.

C. Health

Health advice, therapeutic aids and care at the highest achievable scientific and technical level is part of the commons and hence of the universal standard of living.

D. Education, vocational training, information and communication

Education and vocational training are basic rights and an elementary part of the commons. Formal education and vocational training must cohere with the basic values and the moral structure of a globally renewed society or, more precisely, must constitute their spiritual and intellectual pillars. Education at the highest achievable scientific and technical level is part of the universal standard of living which is guaranteed by society. To this also belongs unrestricted access to information and communications systems.

E. Means and services for cultural and recreational activities

Goods and services necessary for ensuring that all human beings enjoy a wide range of recreational pursuits are part of the universal standard of living to which members of society have access. Relevant types of activities extend from reading books to extreme sports. Not included would be activities which are excluded on the basis of the new social way of thinking (education), for instance either for socio-ethical reasons (such as boxing, because it involves inflicting intentional physical harm on one’s opponent and the glorification of brutality and violence) or on environmental grounds (for example motor racing involving combustion engines). Restaurants and bars are part of the social recreational sphere, as well as all cultural activities whose contents go beyond the dimension necessary for education and vocational training.  

F. Transportation and mobility

The transportation system must ensure secure and unimpeded mobility of people. From the socio-psychological and environment point of view, individual transportation needs to be adjusted – already today millions of cars mostly with just one occupant circulate daily through already saturated traffic networks. Because of the aspired-to massive extension of collective, environmentally sustainable and global transportation systems (as part of the commons and the universal standard of living) – both for occupational and recreational use – the need for personal/individual transportation will gradually diminish. 

G. Personal security and the judiciary

The personal integrity and inviolability of individual is part of the universal standard of living which must be guaranteed, as is unlimited access to judicial – i.e. social and individual – justice.

It is important to underline that each individual person is entirely free with respect to how to arrange and shape his/her personal life. The universally valid high standard of living and the above listed services are in any case ensured independently. 

[1] Viewed from a global perspective, the capitalist economy, also in Europe, North America, Japan and in other economic powerhouses which are generally regarded (from the neoliberal conservative-capitalist perspective) as economically successful, rests in part on exploitation and exclusion of third countries and their populations and on the environmental exploitation of natural resources (including drinking water and air) and the tacit acceptance of uncontrollable risks (as for instance in the case of atomic energy).