The Idea

Biocracy

(Gr. bios, life + kratein, govern, rule) is a hypothetical form of government, in which all living beings have a co-determination function. In other words, the term describes a concept that attributes to the fauna and flora a participating role in the state's leadership and characterizes nature as a regulating force in the physical universe. Thus, biocracy is a form of government that can be seen as an extension of democracy where only humans participate significantly in the rule of state. Three main aspects of biocracy are environmental sciences, (environmental) ethics and environmental law (as well as animal rights).

Background and issues

Against the backdrop of worldwide resource shortages, increasing pollution of the environment as well as endangerment and extinction of species, resulting particularly from the irresponsible behavior of economic players and the lavish lifestyle of industrialized countries, in recent years society and politics have developed an increased awareness regarding sustainable practices and ways of thinking in order to counteract the exploitation of the earth for the sake of future generations. Only sporadic improvements have been achieved so far, however, and efforts to achieve sustainability and sustainable business practices are proceeding sluggishly. This is related to deep-rooted economic liberalism, which still places economic aspects ahead of social and environmental issues, and also to a lack of transparency and a still vague or lacking formulation of laws that deal with (corporate) sustainability. (At both the national and the international level, the majority are merely so-called soft laws.)

Biocracy as a form of government

is an extension of democracy in which not only humans, but all living beings are recognized as citizens, endowed with basic rights and represented in parliament.

The development of forms of government from monarchy to oligarchy and onward to democracy marks a gradual expansion of the circle of individuals involved in the governmental decision-making process. In the light of this historical development, the extension of democracy to biocracy is logical.

Legislation, administration and jurisprudence in a biocracy are organized in such a way that the existential interests and rights not only of humans, but of all living beings - including future generations -  are taken into account and balanced accordingly.

Biocracy as a form of government means: respect human dignity, honor all life in all its diversity, preserve and promote life, mediate value conflicts conscientiously and defend endangered life decisively.

Biocracy as a form of government is more than the implementation of an ethical model in which humanity takes nature as a partner seriously. Biocracy is also part of a survival strategy for humans, who are in the process of threatening their own existence through overexploitation of the biosphere and its biodiversity.

Describing our planet in constitutional terms, the territory is the biosphere - in the water, on land and in the air. The nation is the totality of all living beings. The state power is the evolution of all life.

Evolution is legislative, judicial and executive power by providing all living species with the minimum requirements for survival, recording deficits and violations, and enforcing the extinction of species, even humanity itself.

In this sense, the extension of democracy to biocracy is not some gracious gift from humanity to evolution, but rather humanity’s attempt to save itself by fulfilling the minimum requirements of evolution for its survival, adapting its form of government and its whole legal order sufficiently and in just enough time to avert being extinguished by evolution.

At the international level, the United Nations is called upon to supplement the Declaration of Human Rights with a Declaration of the Rights of Nature. The United Nations must take responsibility not only for all people in all countries, but for all living beings as well.

As a world-wide visible signal, the United Nations should raise, next to the Flag of United Nations, a Flag of United Nature showing humans as one species among many living species with which they must live in harmony.

The Biocracy Award honors achievements that contribute in a particularly effective way to an improved alignment of the legal system with the responsibility towards all lives. In addition to jurisprudence, achievements in science, environmental education and politics are eligible for consideration.

Dr. Georg Winter, HAUS DER ZUKUNFT Hamburg