Human Rights and World Territory

Garry Davis

Territory has two aspects: relative or partial and absolute or total! World territory rests on the latter while national territory is based on the former.
Human rights by definition rests only on the latter.
Without territory, there is no nation. Thus, to the nationalistic thinking, the national territory is sacrosanct and to be defended at all costs. It means "property," who "owns" what. In the terms of legalistic control, each nation claims absolute ownership over its relative piece of WORLD territory. In short, claiming part of world territory is the name of the nationalistic game
Without world territory, however, there are no human rights as there are no humans!
The question supposes: are nation-states legitimate or is humanity legitimate? In short, which is real?
The concept and legitimacy of "world territory," is the veritable key to a peaceful world. The nation-state system, carried over from past centuries, is today illegitimately appropriating portions of the de facto world territory, not for humans as such, but for the fictional state itself, thus, reducing the humans therein from citizens to mere subjects and indeed victims in a collective suicide pact.
The claim of all nations of absolute sovereignty over a part of the Earth, in the 20th century, is obviously not only false but mortal as evidenced by its so-called "right" to national defense, i.e. wage war. In that nations don't die because they are mere political fictions,-only humans die as only humans are born-the claim of "national defense" is blatantly false as well as illegitimate....illegitimate because the national claim of legitimacy inside its frontiers condones anarchy outside its borders,-the breeding-ground of war-even perpetuating it in order to maintain the fiction of national sovereignty. Given the nuclear weaponry now available to major nations and others frantically coming "on line," the "enemy" obviously becomes humanity itself. NATO is the latest deadly manifestation of unbridled usurpation of world territory, not to mention the proliferating national nuclear "powers."
When an individual deliberately or inadvertendly steps out, as it were, of the nation-state framework, whether classified as stateless, refugee, displaced or simply "alien," he/she finds him/herself in a legal "no man's land," literally, de facto "world territory." It is also a "political vacuum."
Enter fundamental human rights.
In this "no-man's land" between nations-it extends uninterrupted throughout the world ironically defining national borders!-the individual nonetheless still possesses inalienable rights. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let us not quibble that the newborn has no dignity nor reason and certainly cannot at that stage act in any way other than as an absolute dictator. What is indisputable is that the newborn, coming from a human womb, enters the world of fellow humans, all of whom reside on planet Earth. The very act of birth confirms the dynamic fact of world territory. One cannot be born into a political fiction. Indeed the two legal principles which all states use to justify nationality in fact legally deny it: jus soli and jus sanguinis, place of birth and parentage. The principles are universal, not national. World Birth Certtificates alone identify a human birth on Planet Earth..
Then the individual so born and finding himself in a political limbo, can exercise another inalienable right, that of political choice. Lacking any national status or realizing that the national status is no longer valid but in fact deadly, declaring oneself a "world citizen" is to "enter" and "live" in a new legally uncharted but nevertheless real "land," in reality "world (our) territory. (Cyberspace is an apt analogy which comes to mind). It was claiming planet Earth (Gaia) as one's legitimate "home."
Peacemakers have yet to arrive intellectually or practically at this basic and essentially revolutionary realization. They remain fearfully and irrationally "inside" the fictitious national "land" all the while pleading and moaning for a world peace based on world territorial sovereignty. (The stateless person and refugee are ironically closest by circumstance to this reality of world territory).
When the horse and buggy were the fastest means of transportation, this way of thinking made a lop-sided sense in that it grouped lesser territorial units together this eliminating their deadly quarrels. But the confrontation of meaning of territory in our century is nowhere more vividly exposed than in war.
Nation-states fight wars on OUR planet...on OUR territory. "World wars" they are called. But who "owns" the planet Earth? Do nation-states? Obviously not since you do not destroy what you own and which is vital to your existence. Do you not begin to see that the nation-state USURPS ownership of the sovereign Earth? And what is worse, this national "ownership" of world territory not only does NOT protect its citizens but plots their collective annihilation.
World territory just is; nobody and everyone "owns" it.
The final folly would be if nation-states fight World War III on the entire world territory in the name of "national defense" and in so doing destroy the human race.
Amnesty International reports that over 1 million humans are today imprisoned by states for political motives. Women are not excluded from this number. The legal existence of world territory, overtly declared as under the sovereign jurisdiction of WORLD LAW, institutionalized by the World Service Authority, a claim as valid if not more so than that of nations WHICH ADMIT THEIR INABILITY TO PROTECT SUCH TERRITORY BY WORLD CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, creates a prodigious precedent from which individuals can claim succor in terms of political asylum from the nation-state itself. Joined with the legal remedy of WORLD HABEAS CORPUS, incorporated in the Statute of the WORLD COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, Article 27, legal world territory asserts the rightful ownership by the human person of his or her earthly soil. The implications are mind-boggling.
For instance, all mondialized towns-Hiroshima, Tokyo, Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-states, such as Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, holy sites and places of worship-Is not the Deity omnipresent?-institutions of learning-Is not education universal?- etc., all are NOW world territory in concept and actuality.
The next step is legalizing that de facto recognition and status.