Natural Rights

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Philosophically speaking ‘natural rights‘ is an element of an argument about the basis of the rights that individuals have in society.

What if nature had rights?  What if there was a Ministry of Mother Earth?  What if the experiences of people living with land were given priority?  Remember that capitalisms roots are in the extraction of value from land ownership.  The most fundamental challenge to capitalism is to challenge underlying historically based assumptions of nature’s use.  Give nature the same rights as humans.

That’s what the Bolivians are in the process of doing.  That’s provocative.  You can find a number of short pieces, including this one, and if anyone can point me to a longer discussion it would be appreciated.

4 Responses to “Natural Rights”

  1. Cathy Fitzgerald Says:

    This was out on the Cultura21 network yesterday

    ‘Polly Higgins … is touring around the globe talking to people, she is proposing a new international law in the Crimes against peace. To sit as an equally wrong action as Genocide, Crimes against humanity, War Crimes and Crime of aggression, will be Ecocide.

    Ecocide: the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.

    She is hoping to get this through as an amendment to the Crimes of Peace and needs two thirds of the countries who have offically signed up to these laws, but is applied to all countries that haven’t signed up, to vote for this.

    It sounds like a very good way to stop a lot of the worst activities being performed on the earth and will force a shift in consciousness and start the snowball rolling in a cultural change.

    The websites are

    http://www.pollyhiggins.com/Polly_Higgins/Welcome.html

    http://www.thisisecocide.com/

  2. Ilka Blue (@ilkablue) Says:

    I recommend you look at Steven Wise – his interview with Derrick Jensen in ‘How Shall I Live My Life’ is a great overview of his work toward gaining legal rights for nonhumans and how he uses the language of the law & the legal system as the (art)form to pursue this work.

    The name Polly Higgins has been rolling through my email inbox lately. I siphoned through some old mail to discover there is a mock Ecocide trial in London on 30 September – visit http://thehamiltongroup.org.uk/common/about.asp?id=ecocide for more info.

    Hope these leads are helpful – Ilka Blue

  3. Natural Rights : The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts Says:

    […] | September 15, 2011 | This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland […]

  4. News Room :: Natural Rights Says:

    […] This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland […]

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