Global Ecofeminist Socialism and the Earth Constitution
Glen T. Martin
In my 2018 book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence, I describe the transformative potential that lies in the very structure of our common temporalized humanity. The book elaborates an understanding of the oneness of humanity with all of nature and the deeper sources of being, showing that the divine, the universe, and human existence form an emerging, evolving unity.
From the emergent evolutionary processes of the universe, which all contemporary sciences describe as holistic to their depths, human freedom emerges, making human beings, as Teilhard de Chardin declares, “the vanguard and leading shoot of evolution.” My book describes the many ways in which love unites us and actualizes our unity as it embraces a wondrous diversity of genders, colors, cultures, and uniqueness of persons inhabiting our beautiful planet. Love, as Teilhard also proclaims, both unites and personalizes us.
My book also describes the many ways that the regime of capitalism has colonized the dimension of law, and with it the system of militarized sovereign nation-states, in order to fetishize private property and maximize its power to commodify the labor of human beings required for this planetary system of domination and exploitation. Capitalism not only institutionalizes a regime of perpetual growth, like a cancer, within a finite and delicately balanced planetary ecosystem, thereby inevitably leading to climate disaster. Capitalism is also patriarchal as a manifestation of the male drive to dominate the body of the female. Capital perverts and distorts the domain of law for the purpose of removing human beings from the global commons in which we all share equal rights to the life-support ecosystems of our precious planet. It converts the global commons to private property of the few and the labor-power of the non-owners to an exploitable commodity.
Capital privatizes the commons through the domination of private property and forces the workers of the Earth to labor as commodified agents of exchange value for the perpetual valorization of the wealth and power of the dominant ownership class. Just as patriarchy forces the women to serve as domestic servant for her boss, husband, or boyfriend, performing not only all the menial tasks at his request but making her body available for his pleasure and domination, so capitalism dominates all workers in the same manner, forcing them to perform the menial tasks of production while dominating their bodies in the service of maximizing exchange value for the owners.
For these reasons, the struggle for the liberation of the producers from slavery under capital has clear parallels with the struggle of women for liberation from the domination of patriarchy. The ideal of democratic socialism envisions all of humanity (the associated producers of the goods and services necessary for life and health) as freely joining in solidarity to take responsibility for the processes of production for the equitable benefit of all. Human productivity must no longer work for the benefit of the exploiters and dominators who own the means of production. So too, the ideal of feminism appears to envision a common humanity in which the feminine principle within all of us fosters a loving, sharing, and embracing global community.
A feminist world-community of loving unity in diversity is necessarily a democratic socialist world community of common producers concerned with the embracing well-being of all. Today we understand that our planet is animated within a single biosphere, a complicated and intricate synchronicity of innumerable smaller ecosystems that make up the evolving, flourishing wholeness of our planetary ecological community. Today we understand that economics must become a subset of ecology and that the production of the goods and services necessary for human life must integrate into the ecosystems that intricately make up and sustain the web of life on Earth.
The ecological insight dovetails with the socialist insight and the feminist insight. The future of our planet must become a democratic, global ecofeminist, ecosocialism or we will not have a future at all, since the regime of capital and patriarchy violate the ecological principles of life on Earth and inevitably destroy the life-support systems that make human life possible. Patriarchy, as with its economic manifestation in capitalism, triumphs through separation and exclusion. It requires incommensurable differences: women have a nature inferior to men; ruling classes have a nature superior to the peons who work for them; nation-states have absolute borders to protect the “private property” of their “national sovereignties,” excluding the aliens and foreigners.
Capitalism, patriarchy, and sovereign nation-states have colonized the principles of law to institutionalize their systems of domination, exploitation, and separation. However, the principles of law are themselves inherently democratic and universal. The principle of law manifests our common species being and is neither masculine nor feminine, neither socialist nor capitalist. No complex society can exist for long without laws that lay out the groundwork for people to freely interact and relate to one another in trust and mutual understanding. The law “completes” and institutionalizes our unity in diversity. The law can be a great liberator when not colonized by patriarchy, capital, or militarized nation-states. The law can enshrine universal human rights, provide due process protections for everyone, and empower a multiplicity of human activities.
The law can end exploitation and empower cooperative and communal forms of human association. The law can ensure impartiality within the diverse processes and conflicts that inevitably arise within any complex society. The law can erase militarized borders, ensure demilitarization, and unite all human beings everywhere under a universal democratic world citizenship.
The law can dovetail with spiritual awakening to the fact that the world is one family, as declared by the Vedas (vasudhaiva kutumbakam). The law can make sure that everyone is on the same ecological page as we work to produce goods and services in harmony with our planetary biosphere from every different corner of our planet. If we are to survive the planetary Earth System collapse that is happening everywhere on our planet today, we must unite under the rule of democratic world law. As Ian Angus concludes in his book Facing the Antrhopocene:
Profit must be removed from all consideration; all changes must be made as part of a democratically created and legally binding global plan that governs both the conversion to renewables and the rapid elimination of industries and activities, such as arms production, advertising, and factory farming…. The world our children and grandchildren will inherit will be defined by the way our generation responds to the planetary emergency (p. 191).
Since the very idea of law implies everyone, that is, common rules and principles that apply to everyone equally, it has the potential for overcoming natural differences of strength or intelligence and establish a baseline for our common humanity and global interactions. I have argued in One World Renaissance and elsewhere that the idea of universal law is inherent in our common humanity, as is the ideal of universal democratic socialism. This means that the feminist vision of a loving human community of unity in diversity is also central to our common humanity.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth (as I have argued in many books and articles over the past two decades) is a central and proper expression of our common humanity, for it lays the groundwork for human freedom from class oppression and patriarchy for the first time in history. We, the free people of Earth, can now govern our planet democratically, which means restoring the global commons to its associated producers and empowering everyone to live sustainability on the Earth within a loving global community.
Human self-transcendence occurs when people unite in solidarity to actualize the universal human spirit of cooperative service and production within an embracing global community of unity in diversity. Global democratic government in the form of the Earth Constitution in itself raises us toward self-transcendence, since it overcomes the capitalist and patriarchal separation of the world into absolute classes and militarized sovereign territories. Domination requires separation between sexes, races, nations, and classes. When we have united in solidarity, in true global democracy, the inherent liberating features of universal democratic law will lift us toward both socialism and the actualization of the feminine principle.
In these books (such as One World Renaissance and Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence), I have pointed out the democratic socialist features of the Earth Constitution. This Constitution makes possible the dynamics of a world lifted to global unity in diversity that will inevitably take us beyond the features of law as domination and potential tyranny to law as empowering the positive freedom of people whose higher human potential is now able to emerge in global ecofeminist democratic socialism.
The patriarchal-capitalist system has colonized the domain of law worldwide as an instrument of domination, exploitation, and gendered slavery. It has exacerbated a planetary climate crisis of lethal proportions. We will not be able to establish an effective global ecofeminist socialism unless we liberate the domain of law to the service of our common humanity and human liberation. For law is in essence a potentially liberating and positive feature of all complex societies and hence of our common humanity. It is neither inherently patriarchal, nor capitalist.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the key to this liberation of law. Liberation for all humanity cannot succeed within a fragmented system of militarized nation-states, itself a product of both capital and patriarchy, whose absolute borders foster the psychological, cultural, political, and military separation of our natural planetary human community. The Constitution unites humanity under a universal democratic principle of unity in diversity and reorients law to the service of the common good of all in harmony with our precious planetary biosphere. Ratification of the Earth Constitution is inseparable from the process of human self-transcendence toward planetary ecofeminist democratic socialism.
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