Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
Everyone born on this earth has an equal right to the riches of the planet.The division of the world into different countries of different sizes and with different shares of the earth’s resources is inequitable. It gives an unfair advantage at birth to those who enjoy the lion’s share of what the world has to offer.
Therefore, if a just society is to come about, the different countries of the world must be abolished and the resources of the planet shared out equitably among the population of the world.
Clearly, this would require a world government responsible to the 7 billion inhabitants of the planet.
But bringing about world government would not be the most difficult part of this exercise. The most difficult thing would be to get those who at present possess an excessive proportion of the world’s riches to agree to a massive reduction in their resources. It is difficult to imagine that they would ever agree to this.
However, that does not mean that we cannot still continue to examine this question.
First of all, then, let us consider why an equitable redistribution of the world’s resources is theoretically justifiable.
We suggest that every human being has a right to food, warmth, shelter and a satisfying way of life. What they do not have a right to, however, is to decide where that shelter is located. If the resources of the world are to be equitably redistributed, not everyone can live in the same place. Human habitats will need to be spread around the world in such a way that everyone can live in decent conditions somewhere.
To give an illustration. At present 162 million Bangladeshis live in a country of …..square kilometres which has virtually no natural resources apart from agriculture and even then the land which supports agriculture is subject to regular devastating floods. Clearly, many Bangladeshis need to move to other countries, such as the United States or Australia, where land and resources are more plentiful. Decisions of this kind would be taken by the world government. No one would any longer have the right to say “This my country. I shall continue to live here and I shall keep out any would-be immigrants from poorer regions”. However, that person, like every other inhabitant of the earth, will still be entitled to say: “I am entitled to decent accommodation, good food and an activity which brings me satisfaction”. What that person would not be entitled to say is “I am entitled to live in this particular place”.
Let us now consider how the inequitable distribution of the earth’s resources came about. A good example to illustrate this is the history of the United States.
Columbus discovered the lands of the Western Hemisphere in 1492 and by the early 17th century the colonisation of North America was gathering pace. The Pilgrim Fathers anchored at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 and immediately set about establishing themselves on the land they found there. But wait a minute. This land was already occupied – by native “Indians”. That was of no consequence to the settlers. They simply pushed the Indians out, gradually driving them westwards. By the time of President Andrew Jackson in the nineteenth century the doctrine of Manifest Destiny was invented. It was the “ manifest destiny” of the United States to expand across the whole continent of North America. And so it came to pass. By dint of brute force, the Indians were annihilated or decimated and the vast majority of their land was confiscated by and for the White Man. The Indians became impoverished outsiders in what had been their own country.
This development, which took place to varying degrees, throughout the planet needs to be reversed. Those expropriated by force, the “wretched of the earth”, need to be reunited with the resources that were stolen from them.
Once this has been achieved and the peoples of the world have adequate land in which to live the question of work can be considered. It goes without saying that everyone on the planet would receive the same wage. In addition, they would be entitled to a job which gave them satisfaction. Unpleasant jobs, eg refuse collection, would be carried out by rota by everyone. Of course, we would not need as much work to be done since the amount that needed to be produced would be much less than is the case at present. Prodution would be undertaken to satisfy objective needs, not artificially stimulated desires. Thus, since less production would be required, less work would be needed. The scope for leisure and education would increase exponentially.