We as humans are as cells in our body politic. While not all cells need to help all other cells at all times, we have evolved into being organisms in which most of our cells work most of the time to maintain the wellbeing of the organism — us — as a whole.

I do try to take care of the cells of my body, as my body will give me a lot of pain if I don’t, but taking care of my cells is not the purpose of my existence. Only I can decide that. So what do we want our purposes (not limited to only one) as a social entity to be?

There’s a lot to be said for flexible systems, and allowing us to grow into new dreams as we can devise them. There is also a lot of difference between a flexible system and no system, or a chaotic system. There do exist things that we have wanted for as long as we’ve been human, or will not change fundamentally over several lifespans, and we should be explicit and concrete about those.

Maintaining the human cells of our social organism is the first of these. Human beings are not all equal, but we are all equally human. As we each wish to be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect, it should be a major goal of our society to treat all of us with as much dignity, kindness, and respect as we can manage. I personally would prefer being treated with humor to being treated with dignity, so that should probably be a value here as well.

A fundamental aspect of maintaining our human cells, as is becoming more and more obvious, is maintaining the environment in which they exist. We need to phrase and adopt a much broader interpretation of the Sierra Club creed: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” Since we have already taken and left quite a bit, we’d better hurry up about going back and cleaning up after ourselves.

Creating and appreciating beauty is another human fundamental. We haven’t been treating our artists and performers with nearly as much kindness and respect as would be good for us, and it would be good to correct that. And the rest of us could use a lot of training in how better to be an audience. Appreciation is a learned skill.

And friendliness is one of the fundamental attributes of being a social organism. As a science fiction fan, I want to get out in the galaxy to meet the aliens because I want to make friends with them. And I look forward to our uplifting dolphins, elephants, chimps, and octopi to full sapience as well, for the same reason.

We wouldn’t know about such potential friends if it weren’t for the next pair of fundamental values: Study, and exploration. Or curiousity, if you prefer to call it that. We need to run and find out, and ponder over what we’ve found and what we can do with it/how we can make friends with it, and then figure out what it can mean. And then go run and find out some more.

I’m sure you have more to suggest, and I look forward with great anticipation to your writing ‘em up and sending ‘em in. In the meantime, and getting back on our initial subject, I suggest that Justice consists in behaving in that manner that best supports our social body as an organism – including, but very much not limited to, seeing to our own individual welfare. After all, I’m the cell of my social body closest to its me, and thus the cell in the best position to care for that me.

To your left, you will see a column of issues about which we can practice justice. To your right, you will see a column of organizations we can use as tools to do so. Please pick your issues and your tools and have at, and if there’s any way we can be of assistance to you please ask; it’s what we’re here for