The Great Jurisprudence

Peter Burdon notes in ‘The Great Jurisprudence’ (which is universal, as opposed to Earth jurisprudence, which is planetary, or human jurisprudence, which is specific to our species, ewl, 59-73) that law ‘is a major articulation of a culture’s self-concept’, yet ‘in the last thirty years [1981-2011] there has been a growing chorus of voices [called critical theory] who contend that their [sic] unique perspective has been excluded or marginalized from orthodox legal theory’ and maintains that society contains social and legal injustice that ‘can be undermined and ultimately eliminated. In some instances … an alternative’ is presented. ‘It contends that Western law and jurisprudence is anthropocentric … [and] no longer has any credibility in modern science and that human beings exist as one equal part of a broader Earth community,  … [part of a] shift to an Earth-centered, or ”ecocentric”, theory of law.’

Anthropocentric law is supposedly amoral; however, it supports humans owning everything, including all of nature. As Elizabeth May writes of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it is based on a philosophy that might makes right. Maybe so (though I think we should consider the role of mutuality) but belief in human supremacy is short-sighted and lacks vision. For ultimately the laws of the universe make right. They will vanquish any and all human laws which disagree with it, just as you can’t circumvent the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Perhaps, too, The Great Jurisprudence ultimately relies on might makes right. But it doesn’t have to be violent. That depends on our response, on us understanding the universe correctly and evolving our self-concept.

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