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Politics is not a topic I often explore in my works, as the only images that spring to mind are old, drab buildings, ballot boxes, and overdone slogans. Is this, however, the end of the story? We now have the chance for the future to be more inventive than we previously imagined… Watching the news, it got me thinking, is democracy truly democratic these days? As humans, we exist on this planet along with animals and micro organisms. We make up for the smallest percentage of life on Earth. Still, we are the only ones deciding for everyone’s habitats, without batting an eye.
If democracy is a global decision-making process, we are failing. The moment is coming to consider what it could look like if mankind were to extend thinking outside its own boundaries. Is it possible to include non-human animals and ecosystems in decisions that actually affect them?
The Ganges River in India and the Amazon rainforest in Colombia were both proclaimed legal individuals, in court. Non humans are finally being granted legal personhood to safeguard their rights. Soon, autonomous AI systems may also need new accountability laws.
The time is coming where a political or legal framework dealing with global concerns will have to consider the interests of all people, animals and AI on the planet under equal terms. Thus, whether we like it or not, it may be time to re-define democracy.