Adapted from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, 1776
With apologies to Thomas and Dr. Susan Krumdieck’s Transition Declaration of Independence, 2008
Declaration of Independence
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all organisms are endowed by Nature to possess certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the right to live and die as Responsible Members of a Sustainable Community of Living Beings. — That to secure these rights, Organizations are instituted among Human Communities, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Members whose directives are enforced through mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon.
— That whenever any Form of Unsustainable Culture becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new set of Cultural Memes, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Long-term Survival. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Socioeconomic Relationships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces an unintended design to reduce them and their environment to ruin, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Maladaptive Customs, and to provide new Guards for their future security and sustainability.
— Such has been the patient sufferance of Sustainers; and such is now the necessity which constrains us to alter the former Systems of Growth and Exploitation for its own Sake. The history of the present Theory of Economic Growth is a history of repeated disasters, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over communities and the global environment. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake, pursuing only the contingencies of profit, has plundered Earth's seas, ravaged her coasts, felled the forests, polluted the water, and fouled the air.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has encouraged exponential population Growth for its own Sake, in spite of the predictable Overshoot and Collapse to come.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has convinced us to ignore the voice of scientific knowledge and reason in order to continue unsustainable growth powered by the profligate combustion of fossil fuels.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has exploited our talents, put us into debt, degraded our culture, and eroded our relationships with the members of our community and Life on Earth.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has overexploited mineral and energy resources, which by right should be managed for the benefit of humankind and other Creatures in perpetuity, in order to obscenely enrich a few in the short term.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has paved our farms, sprawled our towns, and diminished the quality of life of the people for generations yet to come.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has exploited peoples and environments that have no protection from ill use, and has persecuted those who worked to oppose it.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has assaulted the sensibility of our youth and treated them as a Target Market rather than with the respect of future citizens.
The Growth Culture for its own Sake has corrupted the purpose of our governance and civic institutions, it has usurped the purpose of our curiosity and research efforts, and it has shifted the motivation for the education of our young from development of their intellect and character to exploitation of their labors for further Growth of the Economy.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the Sustainer Movement, Assembled Online, appealing to the Supreme Judge of Reason and Evidence for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this planet, solemnly publish and declare, That our Communities are and of Right ought to be Free to live Sustainably, that we are Absolved from all unsustainable and self-destructive requirements of the Growth Culture for its own Sake, and that all connection between our Intentional Communities and the Growther's Politico-Economic System, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Sustainable Communities, we have full Power to reduce energy and resource consumption, control population growth, recycle our waste, restore our environment, protect our culture, nurture our agricultural assets, set aside our resources, refrain from overexploiting minerals and fossil fuels, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Local Commerce based on our own principles, and to do all other Acts and Things which Sustainable Communities may of right do.
— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the existance of Natural Law, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our children's Future, and our sacred Honor.