From globalisation to planetarisation: the principle of interdependence as a vector for a new law of the earth: the Lex Anthropocenae

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Abstract

Schmitt’s thesis (see in particular The Nomos of the Earth, 1950), according to which the legal order is not merely a social system but also a spatial system, provides the conceptual basis for recognising law as a system for regulating not only inter-human relations but also inter-system relations between society and the earth’s ecosystem, between mankind and habitat. In order to fully develop this conceptual integration, which among other things breaks down traditional legal anthropocentrism, it is however necessary to identify and overcome the reductionism inherent in Schmitt’s formulation, which univocally associates the idea of law as a topological as well as a societal order with the physical dimension of the occupation of space and its rational inscription as property and sovereignty, obscuring the complementary physical dimension of coexistence and its rational inscription as interdependence. This theoretical reductionism is the expression of a tragic historical-political short-circuit, a failure of civilisation. The intersystemic relationship between society and the earth, exercised only in terms of predatory appropriation and domination, has in fact brought us to the threshold of a crisis that threatens the very survival of humanity. The ongoing ecological catastrophe demonstrates that a Nomos reduced to proprietary domination of the earth, articulated as repartition and oriented towards exploitation, is not only unjust but dysfunctional: the space reduced to ‘property’ is rendered uninhabitable and this leads to the self-destruction of the ‘master’. Only by adopting the device of interdependence as the fundamental legal and political regulator of the intersystemic relationship between planet and society and of relations between peoples, we will be able to govern the (ecological, health, social and international) disorder that haunts our lives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalNew Left Review
Publication statusSubmitted - 19 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Nomos of the earth
  • Carl Schmitt
  • Interdependence
  • I property and sovereignty
  • Earth system law
  • Sustainability

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