For those of you wondering why I expend so many words banging on about rights, here’s a story which illustrates the point nicely.
You may have read about it yourselves in the last few days; I did, but dismissed it as a belated April Fools joke, until it started cropping up in stories all over the MSM. The first few paragraphs in this example say it all:
Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.
The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration”.
The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.
As I’ve argued repeatedly on this site, all rights entail responsibilities. Clearly, the “rights” enshrined in law in Bolivia imply a corresponding responsibility on Bolivians; actually, when you read through the legislation, a whole host of responsibilities. It’s clear from the reference to mega-infrastructure and development projects that its framers are fitting up people in other countries with responsibilities, too; thus, the “rights” fail one of the central tests of legitimacy: the ability to meaningfully enforce a corresponding responsibility.
But it gets even more ridiculous. Just what is the Bolivian parliament suggesting is the concomitant responsibility of Mother Gaia towards its human denizens? The responsibility, say, not to do this? Or this? Or this? And is Gaia paying close attention to the Bolivian parliament, taking notes on its new responsibilities?
It’s nonsense. As an entity incapable of assuming responsibilities, or of making moral choices, Gaia, Spaceship Earth, Mother Nature, or whatever you choose to call it, cannot in any meaningful way be said to hold rights.
No folks, this is about politics, pure and simple: an ambit claim by the rent-seekers and main-chancers for a blank cheque. And that’s even before the motivations turn dark. I can’t improve on the summation of this insanity posted on JoNova’s site:
…WWS points at just how useful this law is for tyrants
I think a few people understand what this is really about, from a legal point of view. It’s actually much more dangerous than most realize.
As Chris said, who can speak for the flora and fauna, since they can’t speak for themselves? Well that’s easy – the Government, of course. And who pays for litigation, since they can’t? Why those who are accused, of course, that’s only fair, right? And how much do they pay? Whatever their representative, the Government, says they should.
So this is, in real world terms, a plan to give the Government the power to compel, restrict and impoverish anyone, anywhere, in the name of beings who have no voice of their own. Violations will be crimes against not just humanity, but against Mother Earth herself.
It would have been much more honest to have simply declared Imperial Rule, with death as the punishment for any dissent. That’s what this is about – Absolute, Unchecked Power.
You see, this actually isn’t “crazy” at all – it’s much more Evil than that. Lenin, Stalin, and Mao are kicking themselves in the grave for not thinking of this.
Maybe I should have stuck Vladimir Ilyich in the Private Members’ Bar, too.