Who should inherit the Earth?

Who should inherit the Earth?

photo by james allison - cropped

by Alfred de Grazia

Alfred de Grazia wrote this "Manifesto" for a preparatory session at the United Nations in view of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002. It was presented by Dr Rashmi Mayurfrom India, who had been Special Adviser to the President of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. 

The "Manifesto" is strong and relevant now as then - maybe even more so today. Notice the interesting “operational” definition of “socialist...” 

(photo©James Allison-cropped)

by Alfred de Grazia

Alfred de Grazia

The old regime of the world is senile, while obstructive and destructive. Who should inherit the Earth? Should it be the gardener of the Island of Timor or the Wall Street broker? Should it be the mother’s child from Beijing or the mother’s child from Rio de Janeiro? Every child has an equal interest in the world, therefore an equal right to share in its inheritance.

What should the inheritance be worth? The inheritance should be composed at the least of a sufficient diet, clean water, clothing and a shelter, an education, security of person and property, freedom to move about in an environment well-maintained, a right to honor, power, liberty of cultural and individual expression.

Who should determine the who and what? Dictators? Representative governments? Generals? Priests? The power elite should be reliably a skilled group, aimed at plotting a worthwhile adequate inheritance to everyone in the world.

The mighty machines of war and profit that tear through the delicate fabric of civilization today are not the only globalists.

We are all globalists or should be – in the true sense - because we believe:

All humans potentially deserve respect and development.

Vice, greed, murder, fanaticism, overpopulation, and disease should be stopped at their source from affecting the whole globe.

Every nation’s forces and terrorism should be controlled by a representative coalition of nations, preferably the United Nations, especially when reformed.

The Earth’s resources upon which all depend are dwindling because the technology for exploiting them, controlling them, abusing them and profiting from them is in narrow, national, irresponsible hands.

What is the present situation as regards “Who provides What to Whom?”


Every power elite in the world is inadequate and most are downright misdirected and incompetent.
These elites provide a grotesque assortment of values to a distorted configuration of the population, whether locally or worldwide.

Therefore, the world needs everywhere, and in some places more than others, and over the world as a whole, a reliable improved power elite that can produce and distribute the necessary tangible and intangible goods to everyone.

Is the job impossible, difficult, or simple and easy?
It is simple and easy, as a physical task.

We still have enough earth resources and can find some more. We can run the needed vehicles of the world on non-polluting fuels, and grow and protect all the sea and land animals and plants we need.

We have more and more skills to shape and distribute these resources. We even have a growing command over the plant, animal, and human genomes.

We have the policies, as stated: equal access to the decent diet of physical and mental values.

We have right now the means. By shifts and transfers – to reduce the colossal wastes on weapons and warfare, to reduce population increases everywhere to near zero, to cut back luxury and advertising wastes of many kinds – we can immediately collect the funds to give everyone on Earth a decent minimum standard of living, health services, an excellent ecological infrastructure and an education.

The leading instrument for bringing about this better world should be the United States of America. Unfortunately the American government, the American system of entertainment and news, and the American way of making warfare and settling disputes internationally are defective and frequently downright immoral. The government, the media, and the corporate chiefs do not permit the true mission of which this tremendous nation is capable. They obscure and cripple all groupings in the population that seek a better fate for the world and America itself. They permit only a blind drive to global corporate, financial, and military domination. The top ten thousand politicians and corporate leaders of the nation are permeated by sick motivations.

We need the will to refuse power to persons of greed, ignorance, and violence. We need the ability to accord our confidence and loyalties to the right leaders.

The right leaders share our values for the inheritance of the earth. We must support them by all means, recognizing the real enemies, helping the real friends, and acting ourselves (as can be done on every occasion).

Why do we who constitute the vast majority of humanity stand by and watch the wreckers of our Earth?

Our job of vivifying the world, whether in America or China or India or Europe, or the total complement of nations, is made most difficult because mankind and womankind are paranoid, panicky, and personally preoccupied. They are stupefied by ignorance, religious fundamentalism, and misinformation.

The vast majority of humans are deluded and suppressed. If we resist by voice and act the machines and violence of the garrison state, and claim that the media of press and film support the exploiters and violators of Earth, we are dealt with as anarchists and terrorists. The worldwide coverup of corruption and folly clouds the human mind everywhere.

We must relentlessly expose this coverup. We must claim that the authorities everywhere become legitimate, respected, and freed to work, only when they do all everything possible to bring to their constituencies, without injustice to other peoples, welfare, education, security and respect. Otherwise, we should continue to struggle everywhere to denounce and overthrow the authorities.

We claim also that the hot spots of global disintegration must be treated by the fullness of international cooperation wherever they are and in the disinterested spirit of justice – in Israel-Palestine where fifty years of suppression have marred the world’s admiration for Jews, in the Persian Gulf, in the South Seas, in Kashmir, in Central America, in the Straits of Taiwan and Tibet, in the border nations of Russia, and elsewhere, but not to exclude the functional hot spots of global moral and physical degradation in the board-rooms of many great corporations, and the international piracies of tiny and large nations.

We do not have to call ourselves socialist to be socialist. A socialist is whoever represents in his actions not only himself but the public that is concerned and affected by his actions.

The answer, therefore, to the question of who should inherit the Earth is ourselves and all the rest of ourselves and our descendants around the world.

And by the means stated, and for the goods stated.

Alfred de Grazia 

3 February, 2002

Member of the Board of Trustees, Global Futures Network, Mumbai, India - Princeton, USA.
This manifesto was written and distributed for the world summit II meetings at the United Nations in New York City in the week of 3 February, 2002

Rashmi Mayur

Dr Rashmi Mayur, Mumbai
Rashmi Mayur went to Johannesburg the following August for the Summit, but shortly after arriving there, suffered a massive stroke. He was admirably taken care of at Witwatersrand Hospital there, kept in an artificial coma for several months, then taken to Maryland, to the residence of his sister. He never fully recovered. He asked to be returned to Mumbai and died there on February 4th, 2004.

Rashmi Mayur, who made his PhD under Alfred de Grazia at New York University and ever afterwards called him affectionately his "guru," later founded the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISS) in Mumbai. He was one of the first and most prominent environmentalists in India. He was Vice-President of Earth Day International and Director of the World Summit of Sustainable Development 2002.