Charters for a Smarter World
The latest issue of the highly recommended Rachel’s Precautionary Reporter leads off with an interesting note about the new Bemidji Statement on Seventh Generation Guardianship, which was released on July 6 as part of the proceedings of the Indigenous Environmental Network’s 14th annual Protecting Mother Earth Conference in Bemidji, Minnesota.
The statement is a 21st century take on the same Great Law of the Haudenosaunee that inspired our own name and company philosophy. It’s a good one for sure, but as Rachel’s Peter Montague observes, the really interesting thing here is that with the Bemidji statement, we now have a fairly complete framework of ideas that everybody can coalesce around in the name of a saner future.
In this view, the new Bemidji Statement joins the Precautionary Principle the notion of protecting the commons and and the public trust doctrine to create a new set of philosophies upon which we can construct the future we all can see from here. For his part, Montague also adds the ideas of local economiesand the concept of zero waste, which are also clearly an important part of what we could call the Charters of Restoration. (Charters of Regeneration? Charters of Wisdom? Smarter Charters? )
In the war of ideas, this is pretty potent stuff. You can’t argue these principles with a straight face (if you do it’s pretty much impossible to look yourself in the mirror come morning and even your dog will hate you…) and their logic and common sense are irrefutable. Now I admit that logic and common sense are often strange alien concepts in the media-driven circus of talking heads that passes for public discourse in today’s world. But still… maybe what’s needed to spread the meme beyond the converted is a simple set of positive ideas that are so easy to understand and so impossible to argue that they rise above the static and misdirection to ring loud and clear across the land. If so, these would be them.