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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/24/18

Global Ecofeminist Socialism and the Earth Constitution

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Message Dr. Glen T. Martin
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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 is 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 or husband, 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 ecosocialist feminism 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. 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 heritage," 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 inherently democratic and universal. The law itself 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.

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Glen T. Martin is professor of philosophy and chair of the Peace Studies Program at Radford University in Virginia. President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), the Institute on World Problems (IOWP), and International (more...)

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