In the Anthropocene era, when humanity has become the dominant force in shaping planet Earth, we have reached a tipping point where we recognize that our current structures, which over emphasize the pursuit of security through military nationalism, must change to a human security model based on the necessity of protecting our one planet home. We are reminded by indigenous peoples of the truth that we must live in harmony with the regenerative processes of nature.
Eight billion people living in a world with profound social, economic, and political inequalities, and without recognizing the limits of nature, is pushing the Earth’s living systems toward collapse. Gender inequity, colonialism, slavery, racism, religious prejudice and bigotry, and other forms of oppression, along with current debt- and military-based norms, have led to a system of disequilibrium and injustice that no longer serves humanity and that endangers the entire planet.
At the same time, we have reached a point where our technological innovations governed by market forces are exacerbating environmental degradation, and the advanced modern weapons we produce diminish security the more they are perfected. The pursuit of war to achieve political ends presently puts humanity at risk of extinction.
Climate change, the biodiversity crisis, new global pandemics, and other planetary boundaries demonstrate the need for a new context for re-defining justice. These threats cannot be met at the governance level of cities, states, or nations, and require new levels of global cooperation through governance structures that can achieve sustainable human security.
We the Peoples, must now choose to either disregard our current destructive systems or to forge a new unitive path of truth, justice, and human security. Now is the time for a unitive understanding of justice that transcends our many limited loyalties, that both honors and unites our cultural identities, celebrates diversity, and transforms the scarcity economic mindset, which promotes outdated, dysfunctional, and destructive systems.
Unitive justice acknowledges the harm caused by exclusionary hierarchies of power and responds to the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Unitive justice is a call to acknowledge the wounds of injustice in our painful past. Unitive justice is a new horizon where all of us can rise together, collaboratively, toward greater wholeness, universal security, and deeper, more systemic justice.