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Human Property: A Matter of Life and Death

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All companies are special and different. But within societies, people, because they are human and part of the same species, can recognize each other, have common needs and embrace common causes; they can have an overhanging gaze.

The big monotheistic religions do not do anything else; they are universalist, concern the whole of human beings but admit and respect the diversities of societies and cultures. Only certain values and commitments are common and shared by all. These values can be ideas, but also goods or things.

● The issue of the common goods of humanity is the subject of a rich literature, numerous national and international debates and symposia. All the world bodies are interested in it, all civil organizations have made it their hobbyhorse. What is emerging today is, on the one hand, the need, at the global level, to define a certain number of goods that belong to the whole of humanity; and, on the other hand, the measures taken by the proponents of the market to protect their territories through a frenzy of appropriation and protectionist measures. Thus, in recent years a form of commodification of life has developed with the privatization of certain goods or values by market operators.

● The list of universal goods that ensure the overarching 'well-being' of the whole of humanity is relatively short, but each of them, such as water, health or information, poses problems of appropriation that provoke violent resistance. However, these goods must necessarily, in the long run, leave the logic of the market based on non-interference and enter into a logic of non-domination simply because they are part of life on earth and their absence leads to death.

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Amartya SEN and Martha NUSSBAUM have published, under the aegis of the United Nations, The Quality of Life. In it, they distinguish ten or so "capabilities":

▪ To be able to live a full human life to the end as far as possible; to avoid premature death, or to be able to die before our life is diminished to the point that it is no longer worth living.

▪ To be able to enjoy good health, adequate nutrition, a decent home, opportunities for sexual satisfaction; to be able to move from one place to another.

▪ Be able to avoid unnecessary pain and experience pleasure.

▪ To be able to use our five senses; to be able to imagine, think and reason.

▪ To be able to feel an attachment to people and realities outside ourselves; to be able to love those who love and care for us, to be able to mourn their absence; in general, to be able to love and feel pain, desire and gratitude?

▪ To be able to form a conception of the good and to engage in critical reflection on the planning of our own lives.

▪ To be able to live for and towards other human beings, to show them our capacity for recognition and attention, to dedicate ourselves to various forms of social and family interaction.

▪ To be able to live in concern for and in relation to animals, plants and the natural world.

▪ To be able to laugh, play and enjoy recreational activities.

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▪ To be able to live our own life, not someone else's.

▪ To be able to live our own life in an environment and context of our choice.

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