Financing Planet Management

An essay by Alanna Hartzok, forwarded by John Wilmerding, jwlmrdng@sover.net

 

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....I am sending to all on this list my essay (available

in pamphlet form also) which attempts to paint a big picture of

the fundamental need for a "correction" of our "perception" of

the human relationship to the earth, and how this enhanced

perception can create laws and tax policies (and economic

systems) based on an understanding that we need to affirm "equal

rights to earth" based on the fundamental equal value of all

humans. The introduction is in this email and then you can

continue to the end from the website listed:

 

Financing Planet Management

Sovereignty, World Order and the

Earth Rights Imperative

 

By Alanna Hartzok

January,1994

 

2nd Edition Printing - January 1995

 

The author wishes to express her appreciation to the

following for their very helpful editorial suggestions: Mason

Gaffney, Mary Rose Kaczorowski, Susan Klingelhoefer, Harry

Lerner, Lisinka Ulatowska.

 

Published by the

Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

41 East 72nd Street

New York NY 10021

Tel. (212) 988-1680

FAX: (212) 988 -1687

 

Write or call for additional copies and to request a free

publications catalog

 

 

"We have reached the deplorable circumstance where in large

measure a very powerful few are in possession of the earth's

resources, the land and all its riches, and all the franchises

and other privileges that yield a return. These monopolistic

positions are kept by a handful of men who are maintained

virtually without taxation . . . we are yielding up sovereignty."

 

- Agnes de Mille (1905-1993)

 

 

FINANCING PLANET MANAGEMENT

 

"Heaven has its reasons, Earth has its resources, Man has

his political order, thus forming with the first two a triad.

But he would err if he failed to respect the ground rules of this

triad and infringed on the other two."

- Xun Quang Xunzi, 3rd c. BC

 

Defining the parameters of sovereignty is a key component of

the world order dialogue as it struggles to reach consensus

regarding the boundaries and prerogatives of power.

 

Sovereignty is the status of a person or group of persons

having supreme and independent political authority. In dealing

with the concept of sovereignty, we are dealing with the reality

of power. It is a power over territory, over land and water, oil

and minerals, as well as those life forms which have miraculously

emerged out of the mud of the earth.

 

The kings and queens of Europe, Africa, and Asia were

sovereigns. They reigned supreme and were thought to be divine.

They descended from those having the strongest might and force to

prevail over territory. The larger and richer the territory they

could hold under their power and authority, the higher their

status. They were both feared and courted by other humans.

 

These were the dominators who ruled the land and made the

rules. Their rules became law. Their territorial law was that of

"dominium" -- the legalization of control over lands originally

obtained by conquest and plunder. All real estate was the royal

estate. Might made right, as the rules of power became the laws

of the land.

 

Peter Hansen, executive director of the Independet

Commission on Global Governance, has stated that the "United

Nations cannot by the nature of things, have the formal attri-

butes of sovereignty, which has been defined around a territory,

around a (specific) population, because centralized control of a

sovereign body with a given territory and population, is not the

same thing as a sovereign U.N. To assume that it would be is not

a very meaningful way, in my opinion, to define the subject." --

World Peace News, November 1993

 

But it seems to me that the U.N. has in fact been defined

around a given territory, that territory being the planet as a

whole, as well as a specific population, which is all the

planet's people. The issue here is not that of populations and

boundary lines, but of the demarcation of power and control over

the earth that is the foremost "formal attribute of sovereignty"

to be debated.

 

To speak of enforceable world law is to speak of world

power. A world legislature would have the power to make the laws

of the land and to make the rules for the territory of the earth.

And this is what concerns me, because we have not yet discussed

the rules of territorial control and ownership in sufficient

detail.

 

Consider these realities:

 

Fact: A U.N. study of 83 countries showed that less than 5% of

rural landowners control three-quarters of the land.

 

Fact: The most pressing cause of the abject poverty which

millions of people in the world endure is that a mere 2.5%

of landowners with more than 100 hectares control nearly

three-quarters of all the land in the world, with the top

0.23% controlling over half. (Susan George, How the Other

Half Dies, Penguin Books,1976, p.24)

 

Fact: At best, a generous interpretation would suggest that

about 3% of the population owns 95% of the privately held

land in the U.S. (Peter Meyer, Land Rush-A Survey of

America's Land - Who Owns It, Who Controls It, How Much Is

Left; Harpers Magazine, Jan.l979)

 

Fact: According to a 1985 government report, 2% of landowners

hold 60% of the arable land in Brazil while close to 70% of

rural households have little or none. Just 342 farm

properties in Brazil cover 183,397 square miles -- an area

larger than California. (Worldwatch Oct. l988)

 

Before a global authority, be it a reformed United Nations

or a federal world government, can be trusted to wield power

benignly, the problem of the current undemocratic control of the

earth must be addressed. Innumerable battles and wars have been

fought, and many are currently in progress,

 

(to continue please go into this URL):

 

http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/earthrights/docs/fpm.html

 

[Alanna K. Hartzok is a member of the CERJ Advisory Board]

 

Alanna Hartzok, Chambersburg, PA -- United Nations NGO Rep.,

International Union for Land Value Taxation. Active in Council

of Georgist Organizations, Pennsylvania Fair Tax Coalition, Earth

Rights Institute. Recent presentations at: UN/NGO Forum,

Istanbul; Fairleigh Dickinson University's Center for Human

Resource Management Studies; Harvard Club of New York; Jerome

Levy Economics Institute; House of Delegates, West Virginia;

Wilson College; PA State Legislative Committee Hearings; World

Citizens Assembly/Campaign for a More Democratic United Nations;

Third Global Structures Convocation. Published articles:

Pennsylvania's Success with Local Tax Reform (Journal of

Economics and Sociology); Financing Planet Management:

Sovereignty, World Order and the Earth Rights Imperative; "Acting

As if The Second Assembly Already Exists" (In 'Building a More

Democratic United Nations', edited by Frank Barnaby); "Chicano

Land Grant Struggles:" (Global Times); "Who Owns the Earth?",

"Land Reform and Ramifications" (Progress).

 

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