based upon the principles of sustainability and harmony with nature, using
permaculture methods, is one of the few ways we have of
guaranteeing a future for human beings and the natural environment of
which we are only a part. Together we can overcome the consumption
and greed promoted by current institutions and replace those motives with
nurturing, mutual support, and a vision for the future.
Earth Democracy : Justice, Sustainability, and Peace
By Vandana Shiva
(From pages 9, 10, 11)
It pulsates with the limitless
potential of an un-folding universe even while it addresses the real
threats to our very survival as a species. It is hope in a time of
hopelessness. it brings forth peace in a time of wars without end, and it
encourages us to love life fiercely and passionately at a time when
leaders and the media breed hatred and fear.
PRINCIPLES OF EARTH DEMOCRACY
All species, peoples, and cultures
have intrinsic worth. All
beings are subjects who have integrity, intelligence, and identity, not
objects of ownership, manipulation, exploitation, or disposability. No
humans have the right to own other species, other people, or the knowledge
of other cultures through patents and other intellectual property rights.
The earth community is a democracy
of all life. We are all
members of the earth family, interconnected through the planet's fragile
web of life. We all have a duty to live in a manner that protects the
earth's ecological processes, and the rights and welfare of all species
and all people. No humans have the right to encroach on the ecological
space of other species and other people, or to treat them with cruelty and
Diversity in nature and culture must be
Biological and cultural diversity is an end
in itself. Biological diversity is a value and a source of richness, both
materially and culturally that creates conditions for sustainability.
Cultural diversity creates the conditions for peace. Defending biological
and cultural diversity is a duty of all people.
All beings have a natural right to
All members of the earth community,
including all humans, have the right to sustenance--to food and water, to
a safe and clean habitat, to security of ecological space. Resources vital
to sustenance must stay in the commons. The right to sustenance is a
natural right because it is the right to life. These rights are not given
by states or corporations, nor can they be extinguished by state or
corporate action. No state or corporation has the right to erode or
undermine these natural rights or enclose the commons that sustain life.
Earth Democracy is based on living
economies and economic democracy.
Earth Democracy is based on
economic democracy. Economic systems in Earth Democracy protect ecosystems
and their integrity; they protect people's livelihoods and provide basic
needs to all. In the earth economy there are no disposable people or
dispensable species or cultures. The earth economy is a living economy. It
is based on sustainable, diverse, pluralistic systems that protect nature
and people, are chosen by people, and work for the common good.
Living economies are built on local
Conservation of the earth's resources and
creation of sustainable
and satisfying livelihoods are most caringly, creatively, efficiently, and
equitably achieved at the local level. Localization of economies is a
social and ecological imperative. Only goods and services that cannot be
produced locally--using local resources and local knowledge--should be
produced non-locally and traded long distance. Earth Democracy is based on
vibrant local economics, which support national and global economies. In
Earth Democracy, the global economy does not destroy and crush local
economies, nor does it create disposable people. Living economies
recognize the cre-ativity of all humans and create spaces for diverse
creativities to reach their full potential. Living economies are diverse
and decentralized economies.
Earth Democracy is a living democracy.
Living democracy is based on
the democracy of all life and the democracy of everyday life. In living
democracies people can influence the decisions over the food we eat, the
water we drink, and the health care and education we have. Living
like a tree, from the bottom up. Earth Democracy is based on local
democracy, with local communities--organized on principles of
inclusion, diversity, and ecological and social responsibility--having the
highest authority on decisions related to the environment and natural
resources and to the sustenance and livelihoods of people. Authority is
delegated to more distant levels of governments on the principle of
subsidiarity. Self-rule and self-governance is the foundation of Earth
Earth Democracy is based on living
Living cultures promote peace and create
free spaces for the practice of different religions and the adoption of
different faiths and identities. Living cultures allow cultural diversity
to thrive from the ground of our common humanity and our common
rights as members of an earth community.
Living cultures are life nourishing.
Living cultures are based on
the dignity of and respect for all life, human and nonhuman, people of all
genders and cu1tures,
present and future generations. Living cultures are, therefore, ecological
cultures which do not promote life-destroying lifestyles or consumption
and production patterns, or the overuse and exploitation of resources.
Living cultures are diverse and based on reverence for life. Living
cultures recognize the multiplicity of identities based in an identity of
place and local community--and a planetary consciousness that connects the
individual to the earth and all life.
Earth Democracy globalize's peace, care, and compassion.
Earth Democracy connects
people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing
them through competition and conflict, fear and hatred. In the face of a
world of greed, inequality, and over-consumption, Earth Democracy
globalizes compassion, justice, and sustainability.
Live for the Future.....
future for human beings....
and the natural environment.