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A New Declaration of Interdependence 2010

This is based very closely on the structure and wording of the original 1776 Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, to show that the time of crisis we face now is similar to the situation that inspired the American Revolution (though perhaps even more dire, and on a global scale).

A New Declaration of Interdependence 2010 (printer-friendly PDF)

A New Declaration of Interdependence

ON EARTH, JULY 4, 2010

A Declaration of the Concerned Inhabitants of Planet Earth

When in the Course of world events it becomes necessary for all people to recognize the natural bonds which connect all beings and to resume our appropriate standing as one among countless kinds of beings of the earth, in the complex interactions to which the Laws of Nature entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind and the needs of all life requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to reassert their interdependence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all beings have the right to thrive, that they have certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as appropriate to each specific kind. –That as humans, endowed with the capacity for great empathy and reasoned foresight, we are also burdened with Responsibilities to protect the healthy functioning of global life systems.— That to secure these rights and meet these responsibilities, Government and Economic Systems are instituted among humans, deriving their just powers from the consent of the participants and from their work to preserve  the vitality of ecosystems for future generations. — That whenever any Form of Government or Economic System becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Systems, laying their foundation on such principles and organizing their powers in such form, as seems most likely to protect these Rights and meet these Responsibilities. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Government and Economic Systems long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and ongoing experience shows that humans are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the systems to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to diminish the integrity of Life systems for the profit of the few, it is the people’s right, it is their duty, to reject such Systems, and to provide new Guards for all species’ future well-being. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these recent generations; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Economic and Governmental Systems. The history of the present government and economic power structure is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all leading to the establishment of a dangerous concentration of wealth and power for the few while neglecting the suffering of the many. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Our Government and Economic Institutions have refused Assent to the Laws and Limits of Nature, the most wholesome and necessary for the common global good.

Our governments have too often failed to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance; and when such laws and regulations have been passed, governments and institutions have largely neglected to attend to them.

Our governments have failed to pass other Laws for the protection of the Rights of all Nature, rights inestimable to the well-being of all.

Our governments and economic institutions make critical decisions at places unusual, inaccessible, distant or hidden from the Public, such as corporate boardrooms and international trade organizations, without the opportunity for Public scrutiny or Democratic input.

Our governments and institutions have wrought great harm to humans and other beings through their hunger for conquest and their belief in unlimited growth.

Our governments and institutions have, through their actions and decisions, wrought devastation on the diverse cultures of indigenous human populations and polluted, unraveled or extinguished many vast and intricate ecosystems.

Our governments and institutions have developed and deployed weapons and potent toxins capable of ending the lives of vast multitudes of beings in an instant, or caused lingering suffering in the lands where they have been used and among the beings exposed to them.

Our governments and institutions have triggered the extinction and endangerment of a multitude of species and the suffering or eradication of human communities, through their reliance upon, use of and extraction of fossil fuels and limited mineral resources.

Our governments and institutions have also triggered the extinction and endangerment of a multitude of species and the suffering or eradication of human communities, through their untenable exploitation of the planet’s living treasures.

Our governments and institutions have elevated the status of groups known as “corporations” to match or supersede the status of living individual humans, affording them rights previously foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving their Assent to the corporations’ policies and Acts of pretended Legislation:

For the requirement to consider the financial return to shareholders above any other concern, including the perpetration of cruelty and abuse;

For lax enforcement of safety policies, leading to catastrophes with the possibility of destroying communities through the release of radioactive materials and industrial toxins;

For disasters such as those at Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Deepwater Horizon, and for spilling vast quantities of petroleum and other toxins in our seas and on our soils;

For protecting corporations from effective punishment for many Murders and Extinctions which they have committed on the Inhabitants of this Planet;

For recklessly fostering Industrialization and Usury on all parts of the world;

For robbing indigenous peoples of their lands and livelihoods to obtain profitable resources;

For imposing Advertising on us without our Consent;

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Clean Air, Water and Soil and thriving habitats;

For causing undue suffering to animals to maximize profit in industrial food production, entertainment, fur hunting and other businesses.

Our governments and institutions have plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, disrupted our communities, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Our governments and institutions have kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies that siphon resources from other causes.

Our governments and institutions are at this time transporting large Armies and Mercenaries to complete works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the ideals of responsible global citizenship.

Our governments and institutions have repeatedly participated, whether knowingly or inadvertently, in uncaring destruction of all ages, sexes and species of life on this planet.

In every stage of these Exploitations We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. Government and Economic Systems, whose characters are thus marked by so many acts which may define Injustice, are unfit to dominate the civilization of a free people and healthy biosphere of the future.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Global brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by dominant Government and Economic Systems to exploit their land and communities. We have reminded them of the destruction wrought by these systems on the living communities indigenous to the North American continent. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably disrupt our pursuit of justice and compassion in our interactions with one another and with the habitats of all beings. They too have sometimes been deafened to the voice of justice by the alluring promise of wealth. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity to denounce the erroneous notion of our Separation, and hold all beings of Earth, human and otherwise, as part of our interdependent global community.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Concerned Inhabitants of Planet Earth, appealing to the Wisdom of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the interests of all beings and all coming generations, solemnly publish and declare, That we all must work to restore justice and compassion in our interactions with one another and with the habitats of all beings; and that as Free and Independent humans, a great challenge is upon us to imagine a system of justice that would encompass our most current understanding of the complex interdependence of Life and adjudicate among the competing interests of all beings.  Humankind must act now with the interests of maximizing the vitality of the Future of Life on Earth as our foremost ideal, and cease to confuse Liberty with ownership and the Pursuit of Happiness with the accumulation of property and striving for status above others. Thus, do we not only reassert the right of all humans to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but further recognize the rights of all species to thrive. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the intricately interwoven operation of Great Nature, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

~ Re-envisioned and written by Michelle Y. Merrill and Judy Bloomgardener under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Generic license. We invite you to share, revise and otherwise play with this text.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2010 3:17 am

    A friend commented that this sounded “angry.” Yes, it does. I think she remarked on it because angry is not at all my usual style. At first, my reaction was defensive: “Well, I was doing my best to emulate the sound and form of the original.” And that’s certainly the case.
    As Johnny Rotten reminds us, “Anger is an energy!” So, yes, this sounds angry. Maybe it’s time to tap into that as a renewable energy alternative. We’re going to need a lot to fuel the work of creating a healthy, sustainable new culture, and I’m all about a diversity of energy sources.
    So, with peace, love & understanding, plus just a little bit of a mad-on, I once again ascend the soap-box and vehemently Declare Interdependence!
    How ’bout you?

  2. July 2, 2011 9:19 pm

    This time of year always reminds me of a little firebrand from Iceland:
    Raise your own flag! Make your own stamps! Declare Independence!

    Happy Independence/Interdependence Day 2011!


  1. A Declaration of Interdependence: Re-imagining Independence Day | Ponderings of a Perplexed Primate

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