Over two centuries ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote a document that forever changed our understanding of politics, of society, and of the citizens’ role in change. Now, events here in Michigan call on us once again to evolve beyond our current political structure, and to assume a more perfect state of equality and justice. A decent respect for the diversity of humanity and the complex demands of living in an interconnected environment requires us to declare the causes of our discontent and the elements of our vision for a better future.
We hold these truths to be self-evident; the People deserve equal rights under the law, regardless of any personal attribute, self-identity, social class, or status. The People have the right to a core level of health care, education, legal representation, and access to employment. The People own their bodies, their identities, their labor, and their privacy. All People should be accountable to the same rule of law and held responsible for their actions. The People have the inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness and should not be made to fear their safety and well-being as a tool to manipulate their actions, guarantee their compliance, or demand their obedience.
To secure these rights, a nation consists of three important bodies – the People, government, and the private sector. Government exists to protect the People from harm, whether from external or internal sources. When the private sector proves itself incapable of providing services that abide by these core values, then Government must create regulations that guarantee the maintenance of the People’s basic human rights. The People and the private sector each benefit when the implicit social contract between the two is kept in proper balance. The private sector provides the People with jobs, fair wages, and products for consumption. The People provide the private sector with a lasting social infrastructure that allows the private sector to function and grow. The People each have one vote and no one human person or non-person entity should have the capacity to unduly influence free elections. Society must provide all of the basic freedoms guaranteed to the People as human beings – freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, a free press, the free practice of religion, and the ability to redress grievances.
Nations exist within the larger framework of a global society. The United States is one of 200 sovereign states in the world. Each of these states deserves the same consideration for self-determination and existence for its People that we demand for ours. Any global call for assistance or intervention should be coordinated by global or regional representative bodies. Violent intervention should always be the very last resort, and only considered after every possible diplomatic effort has been fully exhausted.
We also live as part of the interdependent web of all existence. The People must acknowledge the rights of other life forms and our responsibility as stewards of our planet. All nations, their People, governments, and private sectors must place equal emphasis on the future of our global society as on the immediate gratification of needs. Any action that threatens future generations, regardless of the short term benefits, should be considered a non-viable alternative. The highest aspirations of all humanity can only be achieved if love is our most important core value – love of self, family, community, society, and the world.
Whenever the social contract between the People, government, and the private sector becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles. Such change should not be undertaken lightly, but when a long train of abuses results in insurmountable corruption and tyranny, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of our planet requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors. A democratic government derives its just power from the People, but the private sector does not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.
Democracy in the State of Michigan is under siege from a well-funded horde of marauding savages. Their names are Greed, Selfishness, Hatred, Bigotry, Misogyny, Ignorance, and Elitism. We call for a revolution of the spirit of our nation and of our world; not a revolution of bloodshed and violence, but a revolution to win back the souls of the People.
We absolve ourselves from allegiance to this government and to the private sector as currently constituted. Instead, we pledge allegiance to the People, to the heart and spirit of our human community. We pledge allegiance not to dogma, but to our capacity to reason, to love, and to courageously seek to build the best society for all. We pledge allegiance not to hollow promises and creeds, but to honesty, integrity, and openness in our words and our actions. We pledge allegiance to no status quo, but to respecting ourselves and others and to helping everyone gain and maintain the basic freedoms guaranteed to all. We pledge allegiance not to blind obedience to ancient voices, but to a respectful consideration of all the sacrifices made and being made by all people so that future generations can be empowered to continue the legacy of peace and freedom.
We pledge allegiance not to any flag or other symbol, but to the inherent rights of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We pledge allegiance not to any currency, but to fair compensation, free speech, freedom to believe, freedom to define one’s own identity, and the freedom to love.