Green Cross 20th anniversary: 2020 Statement Jonathan Granoff

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Our Choice: Creativity or Destruction

The natural world has value independent of the markets of man and we ignore this fact at our peril.

Corporations and states can no longer operate as if they are independent of the natural world. Nature will not bend beyond limits to fulfill corporate growth. Corporations, states and individuals must conform to the dictates of nature. Isn’t it time we developed a bit of humility? Without the billions of ants the human community cannot survive. Yet, without humans ants will do just fine. An accurate perspective could do us all well.

The extension of human will over the natural world through science, technology and social organization has amplified its capacity for creativity and destruction. The main actors in expressing these two dynamics are limited liability de jure entities, mainly corporations, and states. Both organizational forms, as distinct from individual human beings, lack conscience. One form pursues power and the other wealth.

In the service of protecting a human creation, the state, we continue to use the pinnacle of human genius in the pursuit of destruction by the deployment and readiness to use nuclear arsenals. In the service of expanding markets, we continue to use means of resource extraction, energy consumption, and productivity that is destroying the biological systems upon which our very lives depend.

A duty of any state is to protect its citizens. Without entering into universal regimes to protect the global commons, the living systems upon which all civilization depends such as the rain forests, the climate, and the oceans, states cannot fulfill this basic function. Sovereignty can never be diminished by fulfilling this duty. In fact, only by entering into universal regimes can sovereignty be fulfilled today. Thus universal norms and values based on principles of harmony with nature, identification of shared interests in peace amongst states, and the rule of law are urgently needed. Based on such values cooperation must supplant the pursuit of domination as a means of obtaining security.

States must work together, with a shared sense of urgency and responsibility, to address three critical challenges

  • Making sure the interdependence of financial markets which impact Wall Street and Main Street often causing many to live on No Street become just, equitable, stable and sustainable
  • Protecting the global commons
  • Eliminating nuclear weapons

The duty of limited liability de jure business entities is to provide goods and services. Capital is a means to that end, not an end in itself. Capital must be protected as other property rights, but not in derogation of adverse impacts on the rights of individual living people and living biological systems which have existential value beyond the market.

Life itself must be understood as sacred and revered. Bio-systems are valuable beyond mere market evaluations. Thus, a new bottom line must be established which incorporates the well being of the environment and people as part of the social bargain of functioning as a limited liability entity.

These simple powerful ideas can change the expression of distorted values into a new healing dynamic. An example: a recent article in Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, stated that for about $5 Billion dollars a year the lives of 6 million children, who will expire due to preventable diseases, could be saved. Is the money available for such a venture? Compare the dearth to prevent death with the expenditures of over $1.5 Trillion dollars for militaries which commerce in the pursuit of security by threatening death.

Every political leader must answer:

What are your plans to protect the global commons, address poverty, and eliminate nuclear weapons? Policies that address these global challenges are indeed local and personal concerns for us all.

We have in our hands the choice of further destruction or creativity.

How money is spent reveals our hearts.

When in balance and harmony a circle of service resonates at the heart of culture. Art serves beauty. Law serves justice. Religion serves transcendence. Medicine serves healing. Economics serves well-being. Business serves goods and services. Philosophy serves truth. Man serves God. Husbands serve wives. Wives serve husbands. Everyone must serve children and elders. Senses serve the mind, the mind serves the intellect, the intellect serves wisdom, and wisdom serves the light. Nations serve the people. And everything, whether knowing it or not, is serving the great secret that motivates all life, love.

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