Isozoocracy (Equal power for all animals)

by Bruce Poon

Derived from a presentation to the Isocracy Network on May 28, 2016

We here are interested in how best to organise society. But society involves not just humans. For better and worse, society also involves non-human animals.

Animal Protection

Although it has been written about for millennia, the rights of animals is, I believe, going to be the great social justice movement of this century.

The arguments that have been rolled out to explain and argue against racism, sexism, and other ‘isms’ are equally useful to argue against species-ism, the automatic discrimination towards an animal because of its species.

Only in a world where humans are made in the image of god, with souls, and animals are automata placed on earth for our survival and use, would speciesism be acceptable. I don’t accept that worldview.

Animal Welfare and Animal Rights: A Philosophical Approach to a Political Issue

On Saturday the Isocracy Network is holding a meeting with the Victorian convener of the Animal Justice Party on the topic 'Animal Welfare Issues and the [Australian 2016] Federal Election' [1]. Even announcing the meeting has generated some useful debate, as the Isocracy Network has animal welfare issues as one of its major objectives [2]. Now one does not don't pretend for a moment to have any great knowledge on the various legislation relating to animal welfare in Australia. But it is possible to at least begin to consider some philosophical principles from which ethical behaviour and legislation could be informed predicated on the motivation of reducing harm towards others.

Evidence-Based Philosophy and Policy

A first ontological principle is the recognition that animals exist and at least some are capable of suffering. This is the sort of evidence-based philosophical underpinnings that is appropriate for a secular and pragmatic outlook. One does not need, for example, to follow the speculations of the ancient Pythagoras that we should respect animals due to transmigration of souls, nor does one need to follow the mechanistic claims of the more modern Father Malebranche, who denied that animals had souls and therefore could "eat without pleasure, cry without pain, grow without knowing it; they desire nothing, fear nothing, know nothing".

Negative Gearing and Capital Gains: Tax Subsidies for the Landlord Class

As the Australian Federal Election approaches, it is clear that negative gearing on property is destined to become a major issue. In February, the opposition Australian Labor Party announced that negative gearing would only be allowed on the construction of new homes, following some push from that party's left faction. With support from the real estate industry announced (following prior warnings), the Liberal-National Party government has opposed the plan. In a recent interview, the Prime Minister claimed to understand supply and demand in the property market - which is why he didn't need empirical evidence for his claims. Recently he has displayed his understanding even further:

"What they're saying is warning that Bill Shorten's reckless and dangerous experiment with the largest asset class in Australia will drive down home values and drive up rents," Mr Turnbull said.

Animal Welfare Issues and the Federal Election

Unlike many other political groups, the Isocracy Network has always held animal welfare issues as a priority (cf.,

Come hear and question our special guest speaker, the Victorian Convener for the Animal Justice Party of Australia, Bruce Poon, discuss animal welfare and rights issues, the AJP, the Federal election and what you can do to give a voice to the voiceless.

Markets for Freedom Rather Than Free Markets

There is a continuing, although increasingly not very persuasive, myth perpetuated by contemporary neoliberals that market relations are the best way to decide allocation of resources in all circumstances. In some cases of course they are correct, and intuitively people see some sense in this. After who, who is the best person to decide what food they should eat, what clothes they should wear, or what music they should listen to? Nearly all people would decide that they are the best person to make such a choice. But it doesn't apply to all markets and all situations.

Submission of the Isocracy Network to the Joint Standing Committee on the Trans Pacific Partnership


A Joint Standing Committee on Treaties be appointed to inquire into and report on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) ("the Treaty") between the Government of Australia and the Governments of: Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam, associated side letters and proposed Australian notification on tobacco control measures. The first chapter of the Treaty provides for parties and definitions.

The following submission is made by The Isocracy Network, an incorporated association in the state of Victoria (A0054881M) ("the Association"). The submission was written by Lev Lafayette with contributions from Dean Edwards, Daye Gang, and Steve Spirgis.

As a matter of general principle, the Association supports the principles of free trade and comparative advantage, supporting the elimination of tariffs, the facilitation of supply trades, enhancing conservation, and raising living standards [1]. At points where conflicts occur, priority must be given to the latter points of raising living standards and enhancing conservation. To do otherwise would to place ideal positions above concrete reality. We urge the committee to expressly acknowledge this.

The Association is also in favour of public debate and transparency, especially in the formulation of public policy of such an enormous importance. The twelve countries involved a collective population of approximately 800 million and is currently responsible for 40% of world trade. The introduction of the Treaty can be in no way described as having satisfied the requirements of the formulation of public opinion. That in itself is sufficient reason for the Treaty to be deferred.

Impediments to Peace in Syria

The US and Russia have agreed to terms in furtherance of a partial ceasefire in Syria. This could be an important step to bring peace to Syria, but it leaves huge gaps which allow for impunity among the actors currently inflaming the conflict.

(Joint Statement)
1. To take part in the cessation of hostilities, armed opposition groups will confirm – to the United States of America or the Russian Federation, who will attest such confirmations to one another as co-chairs of the ISSG by no later than 12:00 (Damascus time) on February 26 2016 – their commitment to and acceptance of the following terms:
To full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, adopted unanimously on December 18, 2015, ‑ including the readiness to participate in the UN-facilitated political negotiation process;

A Syrian Refugee Story: Qassem Al Salamat, in Istanbul

Breaking news has been released that the world powers have declared a "cessation of hostilities", reports of some 11.5% of population have been killed or injured, with over six million displaced persons and refugees.

There are over two and half million refugees in Turkey. Many have become 'stateless persons'. They are unable to renew their Syrian passports which expire as they are seeking asylum.

One such person is Qassem Al Salamat, in Istanbul. This is his story.

Asylum Seekers to Australia : A New National Policy

Outrage has spread in recent days with the High Court decision to send babies born in Australia to the Nauru detention centre.

Paediatricians are facing potential jail sentences for reporting the mental condition of young children being sent to the centre after alleged sexual assaults, with even onshore detention centres creating the worst mental health problems doctors have seen.

Late last year over six hundred asylum seekers in detention in Nauru made a request to the Prime Minister to allow them to commit suicide.

Almost a thousand academics, experts on child psychology, human rights, public policy and the law, from universities across the country have appealed to the government to release children held in detention.

Federal MP Tanya Plibersek has correctly described Australian politics around asylum seekers to be "nothing less than toxic".

There has to be a better way; and there is.

The following proposed national policy has been produced by Damien Kingsbury, Professor of International Politics, Deakin University, with assistance from Daye Gang, Lev Lafayette, and Anthony Leong. It will eventually require political support and the political will from the major parties. But it will begin with the concerted effort of people who are sickened by how asylum seekers have been treated for political gain.

Sedition, Subversion, Sabotage: A Long-War Strategy for the Left

As the viciousness of capitalism engulfs ever more of us, our yearnings for change are approaching desperation. The system's current leader, Barack Obama, has shown us that the only change we can believe in is what we ourselves create.

To do that, we need to know what is possible in our times and what isn't. The bitter probability is that none of us will see a society in which we'd actually want to live. Even the youngest of us will most likely have to endure an increasingly unpleasant form of capitalism. Despite its recurring crises, this system is still too strong, too adaptable, and has too many supporters in all classes for it to be overthrown any time soon. We're probably not going to be the ones to create a new society.

But we can now lay the groundwork for that, first by exposing the hoax that liberal reforms will lead to basic changes. People need to see that the purpose of liberalism is to defuse discontent with promises of the future and thus prevent mass opposition from coalescing. It diverts potentially revolutionary energy into superficial dead ends. Bernie Sanders' "long game" campaign is really only a game similar to that of his reformist predecessor, Dennis Kucinich, designed to keep us in the "big tent" of the Democratic Party. Capitalism, although resilient, is willing to change only in ways that shore it up, so before anything truly different can be built, we have to bring it down.


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