Before the lecture I sat down with some other guests who happened to be attending a three day seminar on Nature’s Rights. This lecture was part of their curriculum. As I sat down, they of course immediately recognized an outsider. When questioned, I explained who I am. At that point Polly came to sit down beside me. So I continued to explain that my interest in her teachings was to find out what she had to say about property rights, individual rights and liberties. I professed to being comfortable with Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Mill and Darwin.
I said that I presumed she was familliar with Locke’s view on property. To my surprise she said no. Good Golly Ms Polly! A British barrister unfamiliar with Locke?
I asked again and clarified that I was referring to John Locke. But she said “no, explain it to me”. It then became clear that she was playing her lawyer’s tricks. Ignorance is bliss and may force your adversary to reveal his cards. This is definitely a domination technique (härskarteknik). She would play that domination game on several occasions during the day. That don’t impress me much!
Polly Higgins begins her lecture by saying she was a succesful barrister in court. But at one point came to the conclusion that she wanted more than just being a good scholar and a successful barrister. Remember the alleged ignorance of John Locke?
So she decided to turn her self into the Earths lawyer, stating that we have a legal duty of care of nature. She then draws a circle on the board saying it represents the Earth and that we can view it with two different perspectives. She draws a vertical straigth red line through the center of the circle, dividing it into two halves. On the left side she gives (writing) the perspective of property, money, value and I (private ownership). On the right side she writes down trustee, heart and we (the collective perspective). Later on she will call the right side intrinsicalism, but not write it on the board. She never mentions the anthropocentric view.
PH says we are, should be, trustees, guardians of nature. My mind hears her saying we should be protectors, maffia strong arms with the right to tax things we deem harmful to nature. Ecocide is the criminally illegal destruction of nature or environment. I listen carefully to hear the definitions of illegal, destruction, nature etc. But the explanations never come.
I comment on the maffia angle. But she replies, ecology and trusteeship is not about economy. It’s about heart, what feels right inside. Later she admits it’s about money. Extracting it where it hurts.
In Sweden we have had a long, to long, experience with socialism. We’ve had socialist governments almost uninterrupted for 60 years. Still it’s about half and half, with the non-socialist governments also being socialist in practice. The former socialist Prime minister Ingvar Carlsson said in a retrospect that “We soon found out that we did not have to socialize ownership (of banks, companies, property) we did fine by just socializing the functions of ownership.” This is the usurpation of the priviligies of ownerhip, leaving the responsibilities of ownership with the owners, and was named “funktionssocialism”, functional socialism, in 1967 by the Swedish socialist Gunnar Adler Karlsson.
When the Stockholm conference was held in 1972, this was already an established practice by Swedish socialists. The conference concluded in a Declaration that Polly Higgins say had three prominent signatories. The socialist leader and Prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, the Chinese delegation representing the Mao Ze Dong communist China, and the Indian delegation representing the corrupt socialist government of Indira Gandhi. Nice company to keep. NOT!
PH often relates back to the importance of the Stockholm conference and what an inspiration that has been to her in her work to draft a law criminalizing change in nature. But guess what? The declaration from Stockholm did not take the perspective of nature. This is how the declaration opens:
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, having met at Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972, having considered the need for a common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment,
Notice the words human environment. This clearly indicates an anthropocentric view of the world, nature and mankind. It does not support the intrinsicalistic view that PH peddles. Please observe that understanding the survival of the fittest leaves no room for intrinsicalism in nature. Notice how the intrinsicalists are ahead in the encyclopedic propaganda battle on internet. They have been successful in planting degrading descriptions of anthropocentrism on the internet. Almost nothing is to found on intrinsicalism. Most of us are anthropocentrics, “by nature”, and therefore more or less oblivious to the propaganda bombardment the intrinsicalists are throwing.
When I spoke to her during intermission I summed up that her message was one, not of Je suis Charlie Hebdo, but We’re all Hamlet! Her face lit up in a smile and she said, “that’s good, he took necessary action”. I had to make the remark that, that was not at all what I meant. Hamlet was a doubt-ridden young man, who when he finally took action, did it against the wrong persons, for the wrong reasons, with the wrong result. “Oh! She said, yes, that’s even more true.”