Rearranging nation states

Another issue raised by Bolsonaro’s crimes is how the concept of the Nation State can stop being useful to humans.

Legally the Amazon belongs to Brasil and some other South American countries. But the Amazon is bigger than Brasil – it has global importance and we are all affected by its fate. Does that mean the Brasil owes everyone some duty of care in its management? Who can enforce that duty of care? There seems to be something missing because it is not being enforced.

Now think of a human body. One day you wake up, feeling a bit chesty, and suddenly your lungs say: “We’ve had enough. We’re declaring independence. And we’re taking Sundays off.”

“Whaaaa?” You say – in unison with all the other organs. “You can’t do that. We need you. And you need the rest of us.”

“We’ll see about that,” says the left lung. “Yeah, we will,” adds the right lung. “We are clearly definable independent organs and we have the right to do what we want with ourselves.”

“Hmm,” thinks the heart to itself. “Not a bad idea. I might try that myself some day.”

“Yeah, me, too,” pipes up the appendix which can hear the thoughts of other organs.

“Fuck off,” bark the bowels, “noone needs you. you snively twat.”

And so on.

Perhaps we need to revise how we arrange nation states.

The state should not include ownership of the land and natural resources where it happens to be organised. It sits on top of the land natural resources and holds it in trust for the Living Planet. The natural resources are the interconnected living system of which all people and other life forms are part.

You are welcome to use the natural resources, but you need to put them back in good shape when you are done.

I think this is what indigenous people figured out years ago. It is obviously no longer relevant but might be useful for when life is reestablished on the planet and forms of political organisation get discussed.

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