Alanna Hartzok’s Earth Rights Democracy Tour overview
Over 12 talks and 450 plus people heard Alanna’s core message –
“We all have an equal right and a birth right to the Earth. The earth has a biological & ecological right to its future too. We are promoting a new form of property rights where what you build with your own hands, what you labour for, is your private property. You shouldn’t be taxed for something productive you are doing. What we are saying is that the gifts of nature, the land & natural resources of the earth belong to we the people. We all deserve a fair share of the profits from these natural gifts. This is a natural form of public finance policy”
Alanna was kind enough to leave a few of her keynote presentations for us to digest:
- Triple Dip Plus – Oz Tour Master File (3MB, powerpoint)
- True Cost Economics(2.2MB, powerpoint)
Such a direct description of this system saw Alanna give presentations to Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and the Victorian Greens State Convention. Radio interviews took place on the ABC, 3CR and RRR’s Long Grass Sessions.
- RRR Interview – MP3, 15.24m, 14.4MB
Visiting Hobart’s Female Factory in ‘the Valley of Death’ (as it was once known), Alanna was shocked to read of the hardships of women sent to Australia for stealing food. She soon joined the dots. “They didn’t tell the real story, they keep suppressing the real issue, the enclosure of the commons, that’s what led to the petty crime”. Back in the days of the commons, poor or unemployed people could always find something productive to do by ‘working the commons’ by planting their own crop or grazing their herd on the unused (typically the least valuable) land. From these ‘common’ lands enough could be earned to barter with others so that a basic existence could be maintained. Sounds like a human right, yeah?”
Asked about the chances for change in today’s conservative environment, Alanna pointed out “look, imagine when there was slavery, did they ever think they’d get out of it? I mean people were actually saying that slave-holders should be compensated for giving up this ‘right’!!! Strong people said NO, there must be justice and we must move beyond this.
Look at women’s suffrage. Women were whipped in jails over raising questions about the right to vote These women must have thought they were in a hopeless position during the depths of those dark nights in jail. But in time they got this policy through, though it’s still not universal.
Now in time people will see that an Earth Rights Democracy is the way for true freedom, a true democracy. Do you think the creator planned for life to be this difficult, for some to get free rides and others to be taxed for all their hard work? For the earth to be easy pickings and polluted at the same time?
“Now you’re not going to fully get this in a one hour lecture, ’cause you all know how hard it is to look outside the square, especially when we’re conditioned to consider things from a capital versus labour analysis, but be patient. As a young woman I too was concerned with poverty, disease and the indigenous. With this new perspective hopefully now embedded in your outlook, you will see how much of a pivotal issue this is.”
Alanna Hartzok CV
Alanna Hartzok is a Co-leader of the Earth Rights Institute and a UN NGO representative. She has worked extensively with the UN HABITAT on local funding issues and has a long list of public speaking engagements including the World Urban Forum, US Institute for Ecological Economics Conference, and the Eastern Economics Association Conference (NY).
Lecturer, legislative reformer and grass roots activist Alanna Hartzok’s vast array of interests sees her moving between villages in Nigeria to the halls of power at the UN. Her central focus is that with greater insight we can orchestrate a tax shift policy that addresses major local and global problems.
Alanna hopes to help show “that there is an alternative economic paradigm which addresses the dis-functions of the current system, rather than simply the symptoms, an approach that is both more efficient and more equitable than the current one. People working for justice need to understand what we mean by the land problem and its place within an ethical and human rights framework.”
In her 2001 E.F. Schumacher Lecture she said “The needs of the people and the needs of the planet are one and the same: protection, care, validation, respect, appreciation, creative expression. Thus, the ethics of the Next Economy will flow out of a profound perception that the rights of human beings and the rights of the planet are one and the same. The Next Economy will be founded on ethics so simple and basic that thoughtful human beings will say, “Yes, this is true.” The force of truth is a liberating force, always has been and always will be. Mahatma Gandhi knew and taught this. Gandhi lived according to sattyagraha, the truth force.”
From 1993 until 1998 she was involved in a very tough political campaign to bring in legislation which made taxes more efficient and fair in her native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She learnt first hand that to change land laws much education of lawmakers is necessary along with an enormous amount of patience and resilience.
However Alanna does more than give lectures and talk to politicians. She is actively involved in bringing about peace and prosperity. This is seen with her involvement with the building of an Eco Village Living and Learning Centre in Odi, Nigeria. This is a region continually in conflict over oil rents, and Alanna and her Team are developing connections in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta, working to develop a Resource Trust similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund.
While in Australia Alanna will address many diverse groups whose interests range from democracy to infrastructure funding, the green tax shift and peace. Upon hearing Alanna’s message you will gain a new policy outlook for which many of the world’s problems would be simplified if only the policy makers respected fundamental economic laws.
Alanna Hartzok CV Highlights:
- Working with the UN HABITAT Agency’s Land Tenure Center to develop worldwide training programs
- Finishing a book – The Earth Belongs to Everyone – A Collection of Articles and Essays by Alanna Hartzok, to be published by the Institute for Economic Democracy
in July 2006.
- Advising associates of United for a Fair Economy to develop populist education on Land Value Taxation methodology in Pennsylvania
- Preparing a presentation for the World Urban Forum, Vancouver 2006
Articles featured in:
- Creating a Sustainable World: Past Experiences, Future Struggles edited by Trent Schroyer and Thomas Golodik (The Apex Press, 2006)
- – article: Land Ethics and Public Finance Policy as if People and Planet Mattered
- A World that Works: Building Blocks for a Just and Sustainable Society, by Trent Schroyer (The Bootstrap Press)
- – article: Pennsylvania’s Success with Local Tax Reform
- Building a More Democratic United Nations, edited by Frank Barnaby (Frank Cass),
- – article: Acting As If the Second Assembly Already Exists.
- Planet Champions: Adventures in Saving the World by Jack Yost (Bridge City Books)
- March 2006 – delivered her 40th major lecture in the last 4 years, a two hour presentation to a group of progressive Federal Democrats in Washington on tax reform.
- 2004 – set up Nigeria’s first Eco-Village in Odi.
- 2001 E.F Schumacher Lecture – Democracy, Earth Rights & the Next Economy. Talk reprinted in light of critical acclaim by the E.F Schumacher Society
- 2001 – represented the Green Party in Pennsylvania State elections.
- 1993 – initiated tax reform legislation and worked with state Senator Terry Punt and his staff to guide it through Pennsylvania legislative hearings to nearly unanimous passage of Senate Bill 211, signed by Governor Thomas Ridge as Act 108 in November of 1998.