The Free Earth Manifesto
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We hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • All persons are created equal, and are endowed at their creation with an equal right of access to the natural commons of the Earth — everything that is neither a person nor in any way a product of persons.
  • Each person must compensate those whose access he impairs when he monopolizes, depletes, pollutes, or congests a natural commons.
  • Each person fully owns himself: his body in space and his labor through time.
  • Each person fully owns the material property he creates or acquires from the unowned natural commons by combining it with his labor or body.
  • No person may use fraud or initiated force against any other person.

To protect these rights, governments are instituted among persons, deriving their protective powers from the consent of the governed. The only legitimate powers of governments are to outlaw force initiation and fraud, and to tax those who monopolize, deplete, pollute, or congest the commons. Whenever any government becomes destructive of these rights or abuses these powers, it is the right of the governed to alter or abolish it, and to institute new governance that protects individuals from each other, not from their own informed choices.

We defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest. While we each work for liberty in our own community and nation, our goal is nothing more nor less than to make Earth free.

Liberty

  • Aggress Not. Peaceful honest adults have the right and responsibility to control their own bodies, actions, property, and use of the commons, so long as they use neither fraud nor initiated force to interfere with the same rights of others.
  • Contract. Peaceful honest adults are free to consent to, or decline to consent to, any voluntary association or contract with any other informed consenting adults, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Property. The owners of material property have the full right to control, use, assign, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy their property without interference, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Expression. Every person has the right of free expression, without any regulation of how media or technology are used for expression, or are withheld by their owners from such use. Every person has the right to engage in any religious activity that does not violate the rights of others. No community may use coercive or monopoly powers to establish, aid, or attack any religion.
  • Risk-Taking. Adults have the freedom and responsibility to decide what media and substances they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and to take any risk to their own health, finances, safety, or life.
  • Sexuality. Consenting adults are free to engage in any amorous or reproductive behavior or relationship, unless or until they violate the rights of others.
  • Self-Defense. Every person has the right to defend himself against aggression, and to aid others or seek their aid for such defense, so long as they use no greater force than necessary to prevent or minimize the harm caused by the aggression. Peacable adults have the right to keep and bear any weapon except those so clearly suited for indiscriminate killing that their mere possession puts the community at risk.
  • Equal Liberty. The rights of individuals may not be denied or abridged based on sex, wealth, ethnicity, nationality, language, beliefs, or sexual orientation.
  • Due Process. Those accused of aggression have the right to 1) be presumed innocent, 2) be free from arbitrary searches and arbitrary incarceration, 3) know and understand the charges against them, 4) have assistance of counsel, 5) examine incriminating evidence and confront incriminating witnesses, 6) subpoena exculpatory witnesses, 7) abstain from self-incrimination, 8) be free from ex post facto charges and double jeopardy, 9) be present at a fair speedy public trial in an impartial court, and 10) be tried by an impartial jury informed of its right to nullify laws they consider unjust.
  • Justice. Persons who suffer material damages have the right to full restitution from those duly convicted of intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing such damages. Persons duly convicted of intentionally, recklessly, or negligently injuring or endangering anyone's body, or who wantonly cause more damages than they can repay, shall also lose bodily autonomy and social contact for a term reasonably proportional to the harm or risk caused. No person shall suffer cruel or unusual punishment, nor be punished for crimes not yet committed, except insofar as planning a crime or creating a risk are themselves reasonably considered crimes.
  • Emancipation. Parents or guardians have the right to raise their children as they see fit unless found by a jury to abuse, neglect, or recklessly endanger their children. Children have the right to petition a court to establish their maturity and become emancipated, with all the rights of an adult.

Nature

  • The Worth of the Earth. The most effective and moral way to protect the Earth is by legally recognizing the environment's economic value to each member of the community.
  • Species and Ecosystems. Verifiable endangerment of a species or ecosystem that is part of the commons of a community is aggression against any non-consenting member of that community.
  • Other Beings. Persons must refrain from inflicting intentional cruelty on sensate beings, and respect their freedom in proportion to the cognitive capacity of their kind.
  • Natural Resources. Natural resources are everything except persons and the wealth that they have produced, and thus include underground minerals, metals, and oil; wildlife, including forests; the genetic variety of life; oceans, lakes, and streams; the atmosphere, wind, precipitation, and sunlight; the electromagnetic spectrum; orbits; and the surface area of the Earth.
  • Resource Severance. Production of property via extraction of natural resources from a community commons should require a fee to the community proportional to the decrease in the ability of that commons to sustainably support such extraction.
  • Green Pricing. Market prices should include the measurable costs that products and actions demonstrably and physically (not psychologically or sociologically) impose on non-consenting third parties.

Land

  • Land is Unique. A spatial natural resource like land (and spectrum and orbits) is a fixed pre-existing supply that cannot be augmented, hidden, or removed through human effort, and so does not support the same moral claim for outright title (as opposed to mere possession) as property that is created by applying effort to natural resources or to other property.
  • Land Rent Sources. The rental value of land derives from 1) the inherent natural productivity of land, combined with the fact that land is limited; 2) the growth of communities; and 3) the provision of public services.
  • Geo-Rent. Geo-rent is the excess production obtained by using a site in its most productive use, compared to the production obtained by applying equivalent inputs of labor and capital at the most productive site where the application doesn't require (additional) payments for use of the site.
  • Nature's Dividend. Each person in a community has an equal claim on the component of land value that derives from its natural productivity.
  • No Deadweight Loss. Because the supply of land (i.e. surface area) is inelastic, the sharing of geo-rent causes no deadweight loss of economic efficiency, in contrast to taxes on income (wages, interest, dividends, profits, gifts, and inheritance), production (including value added), transactions (e.g. the sale, import, or export of goods and services), and wealth (e.g. real estate improvements, capital, or other assets).
  • Land Holding. Persons may exert peaceful honest first control of unowned land and thus acquire the transferable right to possess it as long as there is "as much and as good" for others, or as long as the land's geo-rent is shared with those persons whose access to it is impaired.
  • Landholder Rights. Persons should be free from eminent domain and bureaucratic zoning restrictions, and should be free to use their land (e.g. for sustainable local mixed use) subject only to the common law against nuisance to their neighbors and community.
  • Free Farming. Farming should be free of 1) subsidies, 2) protection from competition, 3) production restrictions motivated by concerns over price or vice, and 4) practices that impose a nuisance on neighbors or the community.
  • Return. When an individual (or his heir) can show that a particular piece of property was unjustly taken from him, he has a right to (his share of) it being returned to him, provided he compensate any innocent possessor(s) of it for any abandoned improvements to it, with such innocent possessor(s) in turn having a claim against the individual(s) who earlier acquired the property through that original unjust taking or by negligently ignoring that injustice.

Community

  • Community Goods. The component of land value that arises from community growth and provision of services is the least objectionable source of revenue for financing community goods that raise the rental value of surrounding land, such as networks of roads, rails, pipes, and wires.
  • Bureaucracy Not Exempt. Community agencies and officials should not be exempt from the rules about land and other natural resources.
  • Decentralism. Because centralization of power leads to undue influence and successful rent-seeking by special interests, community services should be financed and managed at the most local possible level and in the most voluntary possible way, so that community members can have maximum influence on, and maximum choice among, the bundles of services that communities provide.
  • Centripetal Finance. Revenue to finance services enjoyed in a community should flow up from the individuals and sub-communities benefiting from the service, not down from a central bureaucracy with the dangerous power to tax all communities and shift revenues among communities or constituencies.
  • Congestion Pricing. Communities that provide congestible goods (e.g. roads, transit networks, sewers, air and water ports) should when feasible use congestion pricing for them, or else require impact fees when consenting to new or increased access to the goods.
  • Open Networks. Physical utility networks provided by the community should be as open and neutral as is feasible to diverse service and content suppliers, such as green electricity sources, alternative transit cooperatives, local broadcasters, and competing telecommunication service providers.
  • Free Trade. Commerce across borders should be without constraints, except for green pricing of the environmental externalities imposed across those borders by the traded products.
  • Secession. A community may secede from a surrounding community if 1) secession is supported by a majority within the seceding community, 2) the majority does not violate any rights of any minority, 3) the rules of the seceding community are at least as compatible with human freedom as that from which it seceded, and 4) the seceding community agrees to compensate its parent for any continuing impact on the parent's resources or use of the parent's services.
  • Revolution. Community government derives its just powers only from the consent of the governed, so that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.
  • Immigration. Migration of persons should be without constraints, provided that migrants 1) do not trespass, 2) pay for how much they pollute, congest, or deplete the commons, and 3) are sponsored by someone (perhaps themselves) who can afford to assume the same responsibility for their subsistence as parents do for native children.
  • Peace and Defense. Communities should defend themselves and the individual rights of those residing in them, but no community should initiate force against another.

Margins

  • When Personhood Begins. Communities may choose the point, between the first trimester and birth, at which a healthy fetus starts acquiring rights and must if feasible be left unharmed by a termination of pregnancy.
  • When Minority Ends. Communities may choose the age, between 14 and 18 years, at which a person is no longer rebuttably presumed to be a child, and instead is rebuttably presumed to be an adult.
  • When Personhood Ends. Communities may determine the standards and process by which a person is declared to have permanently lost all cognitive attributes of personhood and is thus dead.
  • Patents. Communities may for a limited fixed term grant exclusive rights in their jurisdiction to profit from an invention, in exchange for an annual tax to the community that is a fraction of the inventor's declared value for it, with that fraction increasing linearly to unity by the end of the patent's term. Anyone may buy the patent by paying the current owner more than owner's declared value, as long as the buyer also pays the incremental patent value tax. Patent applicants must publish a precise description of the problem being solved. For that problem anyone may then publicly register prior art, any subsequent use of which is not considered infringing. If other inventors file patents for the same solution before that solution's first patent is issued, then none of them may enforce their patents until they all agree on how to share ownership.
  • Copyright. Communities may recognize intellectual property in expression only to prevent unauthorized reproduction in cases of a) competition that diverts commercial benefit from the owner to the competitor, b) attributed use with unattributed defamatory modification, or c) unattributed use that misleads about who the owner is.
  • Privacy. Private parties are free to negotiate how they use information voluntarily disclosed to each other. The right of privacy protects against intrusion upon a person's body or property, but does not confer ownership of information the person allows to emanate from his body or property.
  • Blackmail. Communities may decide whether the truth of some information is a valid defense against charges of blackmail for threatening to reveal it.
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