Rousseau: the earth belongs to all


"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."

For us, this means that while corporations act like they own the commons like air or water, and can pollute it as they choose, they do not.

Property is also the root of much of the good in the world, so I'll not condemn it as Proudhon did (much as I have learned from him) but I will say that the laws of property as they stand, cement inequality, because with money, one can make money. That is the meaning of capitalism. And debt too, is self-perpetuating.

This is why Jubilee is part of Torah, a release of debt and rest for the land and peoples.

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremiah John. I'm a sf/f writer and activist.

I just completed a dystopian science fiction novel. I run a website which I created that connects farms with churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity, as one does, while I was in the clink.