Dear Madam or Sir, there is a way for an equitable distribution of resources in and beyond the solar system. Human law has a way to allow you to claim your equal part of it. Below I will allow you to send me a mail in support and to claim your personal right.
From divine law to secular law
Property law is created by man. The law creates fictions. They are called fictions of law. One of those fictions, and necessary for laws to work, is that people are the same under the law. The basis for this basic tenet of the law is disputed. Most scholars however agree that the primary basis was originally found not in secular philosophy, but in religion. We are equal souls in the eyes of God and we all need to behave according to divine law. What this law exactly could or should be, and even the validity of believing it has any divine nature, has been debated throughout human history. Today, in secular law, we still agree that we need to accept the premise of some form of equality between right subjects for laws to function, be reasonable and be acceptable in a modern society. For centuries authoritarianism has no longer been accepted as sufficient or moral.
The law is hoped to be above our individual differences, talents, ideals, health, ability to work and strives to equalize both ruler and the commoner. Within that framework people should flourish and go the path of self-realization with respect for the aspirations of others. Some religions would not except this humanistic view as sufficient. But it is a good secular basis that has a universal and global reach.
Extending this basic underlying equality to property law is possible and to experiment with it, we can use MARS as a test case.
That is why I would like you to claim the following proposed debt free interplanetary and inalienable human property right with a first application in space. If you claim it, we can make it.
HABEAS AREA RIGHT
According to the proposed HABEAS AREA RIGHT (HAR), applied to MARS, you and every person alive would have an equal right to all resources of MARS.
This means that your personal area on Mars extends to all of the surface area of MARS and all resources above and below it, divided by the absolute number of human persons alive today. It implies you have a right to an abstract but equal share of all resources on MARS. Because this is a personal right, you cannot sell it, trade it or give it away. It is uniquely yours from birth to death. It cannot lead to your indebtedness and you do not have to do anything to obtain it, except be alive. You can only put those resources to work with your own accord. You cannot contract it out, it stays within your personal responsibility. Only humans can apply for it, not legal entities, not artificial intelligence (unfortunately it is relevant to state this).
When you die this right goes back to the resources pool of MARS. If one of your children wants to inherit your resources, because you shaped them into a nice house and property or because of emotional value; then they can inherit it without problem, but only if they give up a corresponding amount of (unused) resources to the pool. This means that their absolute volume of resources stays the same.
Using concrete numbers, with a population of 7 billion humans, your property claim on MARS extends to ~20.000 m² and all resources above and below it. This is a huge amount of terrain and resources that you get from birth by the mere fact of being human.
After many years of study, the belief is that having these resources at birth, and debt free, will make you want to try to do as much as possible with them. On MARS this would mean that you would be inclined to turn mere dust into productive land. Using modern knowledge this is quite possible. Otherwise, what sort of person would you be if your do not improve your land? Using this property right everyone has all the resources in the universe to bring life, alone or cooperating, to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Send a mail
So I would like you to claim your HABEAS AREA PROPERTY RIGHT.
You can do it by sending a mail and writing: “I claim my HABEAS AREA property right on MARS”. Leave your
- Name and surname
- Country and city
We will give you a unique international number that you cannot trade with other humans. This number belongs to you regardless of your country of origin. Landless, refugee status or political status is irrelevant. You can only have one AND benefit from one number.
Again, legal persons are not humans, and, because the question has been raised, Artificial Intelligence or Robots are not humans. They are not allowed to obtain a number, ever.
The form of this number will be:
Your NAMES & SURNAMES – MARS-HAR-PA-000.000.000.001-Brth.xx/yy/zzzz.
This means: John/Jane DOE/SMITH – Mars Habeas Area Right, personal Area 000.000.000.001, date of birth. There are about 7billion people alive today. If everyone gets a number, there will be ~7 billion of these numbers.
When you have lived your life and eventually die the number becomes: MARS-HAR-PA-000.000.000.001-Brth.xx/yy/zzzz – Dth.xx/yy/zzzz. This number is necessary so your personal area can be tracked, dissolved, inherited by family if they so desire. If you do not have any, it will be distributed in abstract over all other existing Personal Areas. The dynamic nature of human births and deaths requires the right to be abstract for it to function.
There is no international framework for this so we will have to create it.
At first it will have the value of a petition. If enough people enroll, we will organize international petitions and a more secure database forming an international register of MARS property right claimants. At this later date we will send a mail asking for more data like your birth date; information that in some countries is considered private and cannot be put in a database without further security guarantees. Those requirements will be lived up to before we ask for more data.
The goal is not to get your money because it would become a personal right by birth. You are the beneficiary. Volunteering efforts and private sponsorship can bring the necessary basis for any grass roots campaign and a further deepening of this system into an internationally supported framework.
A more worked out set of rules will accompany this basis HABEAS AREA right in the same spirit of equality and self realization of the mentioned right. We will explore ways to turn this right, starting with a grass roots movement, into a legal title through international political means.
Is this Utopian?
Yes and no. It seems new to us but it has existed in the past.
What I present above is in accordance with the spirit of the Space Treaties. In their texts they promote the idea that the treaty parties want space to be used to the benefit of all mankind. The Space Treaties, written in a time where space colonization was not possible, would always require an update. I think my approach to dividing up planets and solar systems would benefit mankind and individual humans directly. But we have to act now.
And in case you are wondering, countries are already beginning to claim these rights for their citizens with a mixture of state and capitalistic laws. So it is time for you to take this unique historic opportunity seriously for your sake or the sake of your children.
There is a business case to be made for normal capitalism to extend its reach into the cosmos. This is the way that resources are focused on projects today and these personal commercial initiatives are in fact laudable. However, while there is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism per se, we would have an even stronger movement and focused energy if you and all other humans have an equal right and something to look out for in the cosmos. Even if property rights on Earth are different, we can create an equitable frontier on the other planets in the solar system. A more traditional and recognizable services economy could be built on top of that basic equitable layer.
We have a unique chance to prevent the idea that ‘the winner or first one to go should be allowed to take all or most’, while still allowing for and creating the incentive for a very profitable exploration ratio. You could allow others to increase the productivity of your resources. This contrasts with state owned licencing or resource claim systems where you have no direct personal control over resources and the state decides in your place and against your wisdom. “Merit” is not defined by how much money you make. It is defined by how well you succeeded to use your personal resources (under the HAR) for your own vision. With this HAR idea you and everybody else will be a winner and directly benefit. What would it do to your ambition to colonize the universe, if you know that a piece of property is waiting out there? Could it eliminate poverty?
What I propose is not based on any form of Marxism or communism. Instead, it is based on the work of distributionism, ideas of Henry George and even Druidic land management laws that existed in the United Kingdom from 2000 to 3000 years ago. It is an old system and it worked for a very long time until those territories were conquered by the Roman Empire, introducing its own property system. Even on the old Western frontier in the USA, a land claim attribution system existed for a short while. I just want to bring an altered version of it into the 21st century and for this reason we need the language of a property right framed as an inalienable human right, this time in an interplanetary environment.
The devil is in the details?
No. You have an equitable abstract and objective right over your part of ALL the resources. You decide if you want to hand part of your control over to a government of your choosing and leave that system if you so desire. It is your right, your choice.
There are two objective numbers at play: the total amount of resources on Mars and the total number of people who are alive at any given moment. Everything starts from there.
The human-less environment of MARS is an ideal test case because there are no (inter-/intra-)national borders on Mars. To reduce or increase your property size there would have to be a very large swing in population density, so it is not volatile. If you set away a quarter or half of your right (e.g. for nature conservation), you would not be harmed directly nor instantly, while you still notice the population changing. If the population doubles or triples, you can set an upper limit to how many people a planet can carry. On Earth this can easily be triple the current population because all of the deserts, which are larger than the populated areas on Earth, can be put into production with irrigation, terracing and afforestation using basic ancient agricultural technology or modern high tech labor poor robotics. both avenues can be followed.
How to control it
The idea that this would require strict autocratic soviet style governmental oversight would be misguided. There are many powerful administrative tools (commercial and non-commercial, satellite tech and other) that allow you to track resources and goods if it would be needed. Some trust is always required when cooperating with your neighbors, strangers or friends at the other side of a globe. Humanity has built up a whole range of tools to guard the piece and combat corruption without ending up with a dictatorship. This will always be a challenge to balance in every form of society and eternal vigilance is a duty of all. We have other laws to manage that. We merely want to put more resources at your disposal without turning you into a debt slave first.
How does this make Mars habitable, green and productive?
If you want Mars to become habitable, you need to give people an incentive to make their land productive. We already have the tools to do so, but we lack the people to go there. This HAR system creates a very strong incentive to not only take possession of an area corresponding to your personal area, it also allows you to immediately benefit from it without having to work an entire lifetime to be able to buy it. Every last penny can be used to increase the productivity of your land. Not having to buy most of the resources first, would rapidly increase the amount of time, effort and money you can spend on increasing productivity. Also, generations that come after you will directly benefit from your labor. That will be your lasting legacy.
Besides, even if you cannot sell the land or resources, the fact that people have a piece of land of MARS will give it value. It gives it value because people will want to go live there, so you know that if you want to start a commercial business there, more and more people will migrate to it. There are many forms of services that generate money, without requiring the exchange of resources and goods, for this reason HAR is sufficient to rapidly evolve Mars into a habitable world. A positive self-reinforcing productive tendency will be the result.
Further along, this system can be extended to other bodies in the solar system.
People who want more information, or who can bring supportive ideas or lend a hand, can contact me through the contact page on this website
In my world Biblical traditions, equitable secular land management, and science fiction can harmonize.
“Go and be fruitful. Treat others as you would like to treat yourself. Live long and prosper”
-In order: Genesis 1:28, Old Testament
the Golden Rule in all religions (Jesus in Luke 6:31,New Testament)
/ Spock, saying from the planet Vulcan, Star Trek)