Justice and Y2K: Thinking Ahead of the Curve
- Y2K is one of the most expensive mistakes made in history
- The burden of cost for Y2K will have to be distributed either by
- The "regular workings" of the culture (in US, legal torts, in others, varying) or by
- An extraordinary procedure either
- Because of a panic response that leads to scapegoating or
- By a procedure recommended beforehand for how to appoint both responsibility and capacity to pay the costs
- The potential danger of Y2K is that it will especially benefit people with enough money and expertise to have taken care of themselves; and the burden will be laid, as it traditionally is in most cultures, on those who cannot defend themselves or their interests
- The consequences of such a "natural outcome" (whether by the regular means of handling torts, or by the extraordinary means of scapegoating and other violence) is that Y2K could drive a still greater wedge between the haves and have-nots in our society and globally, aggravating an unhealthy imbalance in the distribution of wealth.
- If Y2K operates "naturally" it will vastly increase the amount of mistrust and even paranoia in the larger population about the workings of government.
- As of now (June 1999) we have yet, as a culture, to address this issue.
- The culture with the greatest degree of civic commitment thrives
- Consistent isonomic rules
- Public discourse
- Limited prime divider between elites and commoners
- In times of crisis, cultures respond according to patterns of behavior
- Paranoia, mistrust, conspiracism, private planning, weapons stockpiling make for social fragility
- Mutual trust, public discourse, collective response make for social resilience
- Generate and follow policies that encourage social resilience and limit the effects of social fragility
- Many of these themes are inherent in Jubilee
- Social justice and economic relief
- Redistribution that favors commoners and prunes back the accretion of wealth and social power
- Collective or covenantal commitment to mutual support
- Sharing the burdens and rewards of society
- Initial colloquium to discuss the issues and plan of approach should include
- a good mixture of Y2K experts – technical, legal, social
- legal historians and philosophers
- sociologists and economists
Participants: those who wish to do pragmatic legal philosophy
- Legal scholars, jurists, judges, lawyers
- Catholic church and other religious groups involved in social justice
- Jubilee Debt Relief groups
- Insurance companies and economists
- Historians and social thinkers
- Establish a White Paper of recommendations on how to handle Y2K disputes equitably after the fact both domestically and internationally
- Appoint committees to address the various problems posed by Y2K
- prepare the education of the jurists who will need to decide cases
- use current (pre-Y2K) positions as one of the factors
- suggest the legal principles of equity and how they should be applied in cases after 2000
Recommend the most socially viable responses to both Y2K onset and Y2K recovery.
Encourage the greatest degree of honesty before 2000 and fairness thereafter.