October 02, 2009

Human Rights to the Earth

The Next Economy will deeply respect and value all life on earth. It will recognize that we as human beings are trustees and caretakers of the many life forms that dwell here with us. – Alanna Hartzok

In the Next Economy, money will be issued and circulated as a service for the people as a whole rather than used as a mechanism for the exploitation of the many by the few. The Next Economy will be built upon the highest values of both the Left and the Right. It will be a fair economy and a free economy, using but not abusing the earth and her many resources.

The human body is composed of earth elements. We are walking, talking bags of dust and water; recyclers of plant and animal material as we ingest and excrete, inhale and exhale. There is no ultimate separation between ourselves and the land and everything upon it. Our existence is totally dependent on the land and natural resources of the earth. This earth is given, and every one of us has an equal right to the earth as our birthright.

As far back as the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 the right to land for the common people was denied in favour of the English barons’ right to ‘improve’ the land in order to extract greater rent from the landless. Countless peasants were evicted from their holdings or saw their common lands fenced off. The enclosures appropriated land once commonly held, and redefined it as ‘private property’, thereby giving it the status of a tradable commodity. The vast majority of people were denied access to the land they had once tended.

Throughout the following hundred years, as the land was enclosed the women and men and the earth based religion of the peoples of northern Europe were brutally repressed. Women who practiced healing and agriculture, and who were leaders of their communities were tortured, hanged, or burned at the stake. The Holy Inquisition was a women’s holocaust; about 85 percent of those killed were women. Some say their murders numbered in the millions. The European indigenous women were strong and vibrant and had equal status to their men. They could stand their ground because they had access to the common lands. The imperial forces called them witches, and these independent, resourceful women were hunted to death.

Christianity lost its mission of economic justice when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. From that time forward Christianity went hand-in-hand with the forces of conquest. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Before the Europeans came to Africa, we had the land and they had the Bible. We bowed our heads to pray, and when we opened our eyes, we had the Bible and they had the land.”

Only about one quarter of the countries of the world have adequate records of who owns what land. It is always the poor who suffer deprivation and loss when the land they have farmed for generations is taken from them because they have no papers. This continues to be justification for the corporations to take land from native peoples. Because there was no written title to the land, in the twisted logic of imperialism, that made it vacant.

Growing numbers of us are appalled and chilled to our bones at what the World Bank (in which the U.S. Treasury has a 51 percent controlling interest), the International Monetary Fund, and other instruments of international finance and control are doing to our world. The anti-globalization protesters of today represent the voices of the poor, the disenfranchised and the forgotten. Placing ourselves on the firm and just foundation of human right to the earth is one of the most important endeavours of our age.

Land is used not only for the production of wealth but also as an instrument of oppression of human by human. The challenge before us is to bring about change in policy all around the world so that people will pay for what they take, not what they make. The Earth’s natural resources have been pillaged for the profits of a few. Change will not be easy because we are up against the international banking establishment’s plan for themselves – after all, when land becomes more affordable; banks will be unable to capture as much interest from mortgages.

Satellite technology can help us determine if land, water and air resources are being polluted or destroyed. Those indicators can serve as red flags indicating the need to levy pollution taxes or fines. All of these concerns can be monitored by the masses via computer technology. Safeguarding the planet and the people will become the best game on earth.

More and more of us are convinced that the only way to a just, prosperous and ecologically sustainable future is to share the value of Earth’s resources more fairly. Alanna Hartzok is one of the few professional economic writers who understands the crises of our age and provides practical solutions in the form of direct action through mobilized citizens, enlightened earth rights state institutions, politicians who are true representatives of the people, the enlightened vote of the citizenry, and environmental tax reform.

Take a peep inside Alanna’s compassionate and brilliant mind and read her detailed solutions at http://www.earthrights.net/about/hartzok.html from which this mailing is unashamedly taken.

Stuck between India and the Taliban

“If someone takes my land there is nothing I can do. If I cannot pay the police or the judges I will have no justice in my life.”

The man is from Pakistan. His home is 50 kilometres from the Afghanistan border. “Now the Taliban are very near, they are beheading people, bombing schools and throwing acid in the faces of our women. No one is safe. Who will bring us justice?”

It is a reign of terror. The Pakistan army is not about to suddenly develop a collective spine and stand-up for the Pakistani people. Pakistan is, after all, a highly mismanaged, corrupt, developing state that has fostered religious extremism for decades while continuing to build a formidable nuclear arsenal. The Taliban, although considered unislamic, were once the perfect solution for Pakistan because they were a proxy-force that slowly killed off any influence from India, Russia and Iran.

The main factor in the Taliban's resurgence is the support it enjoys from Pakistan's intelligence services. However, the prospect of the Taliban getting its hands on Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is the stuff of nightmares. If the Taliban get too close to the nuclear prize, Pakistan will be sacrificed. Pakistan’s war choices are likely to remain contrary to the will of the Pakistani people and migration from the horror is only going to increase in these conditions. It is a complicated and messy region and the US and its hapless allies have made themselves part of the problem.

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