the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world











Stewardship is the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world.* As a guiding principle of society*, it serves as an alternative to dominion*, the exercise of control over the world and its inhabitants. Dominion and stewardship are the two poles of civilization, and every policy decision of a governing body takes it closer to one pole or the other. What serves dominion must be opposed by the stewardship.

There is and has always been a stewardship on Earth comprising individuals who have by themselves assumed responsibility for the world. Those individuals are already united by a common cause; the Stewardship Union is proposed to unite them formally. The Union will serve as a network, to allow individuals and groups engaged in the practice of stewardship to find and cooperate with others of similar interests.* It will also serve as a coalition, to allow individuals and groups dedicated to the principle of stewardship to express common cause with others of divergent interests.*

Underlying stewardship is the belief in accountability. Individuals must account for the impact of their decisions. They should be held accountable to universal standards ― universally applied and universally understood. Stewards hold themselves to the highest of standards. But they must also hold others accountable, by word, or by deed if necessary. The nature of a standard must determine the severity of the sanction which may be used to hold individuals to that standard. But in all cases, the least sanction which is effective should be preferred.*

A true steward does not qualify the assumption of responsibility ― it never dismisses a problem as the problem of another. But the steward is an individual of limited powers, and so can have only a limited impact on the welfare of the world. By concentrating on a specific account*, a steward can have a greater impact over a smaller area. By working in concert with the stewards of other accounts, the individual steward can meet its responsibility for the welfare of the entire world.

Goals of the Stewardship Union:
the collaborative practice of stewardship on all scales
the promotion of stewardship as the guiding principle of society*
the organization of resistance to dominion*
the eventual establishment of a single stewardship for the world*

Elements of the practice of stewardship:
aid to those in need
conservation of nature and resources
emergency response and preparedness
examination and dissemination of truth
advocacy of stewardship ideals

The Stewardship Union would be an open association of those who believe in its principles. No person or group can claim to speak for the entire stewardship, or to establish its policies. The nature of the stewardship, and even the Stewardship Union, is thus a matter for internal debate.

For more information on the Stewardship Union, contact




The stewardship

The stewardship is that part of the world ― of the universe ― which is devoted to caring for the whole. It is an eternal institution. We see its actions in the actions of individuals, who act out of personal conviction to take responsibility for the world. It has no permanent structure, as it changes with the coming and going of individuals, with their own personal transformations. As individual stewards improve themselves and better understand their convictions, the stewardship becomes stronger. As they learn to work together for the greater purpose, the stewardship becomes stronger.

The Union as coalition

The believers in stewardship are many, and their views are naturally diverse. Often the stewards of the world focus on one aspect of stewardship. There are many concerns for a steward ― human rights, conservation, economic welfare, education, health care, disaster, animal welfare, mental health, peace. But the stewardship is united by its general belief in caring for the world. It must speak with one voice on that matter at least. If it is to promote stewardship as a guiding principle, it must make clear to society that the individual stewards with their areas of concentration are in fact concerned with all aspects of stewardship. If we make clear our common purpose, our common voice will be stronger. And that strength will lend greater strength to the voices of each of us, in each area, on each lesser concern.

The Union as network

Most smaller stewardship projects, and certainly the stewardship of the entire world, are beyond the abilities or resources of a single individual. Collaboration is necessary to be effective, and effectiveness is necessary to stewardship. It would be possible, for the smaller projects, to form ad hoc gatherings based solely on a common interest in one aspect of stewardship. But if there is a larger coalition based on a larger common interest, that coalition becomes the logical source for stewards seeking help in their own areas. Those who would gather stewards for a given project can find those who have already expressed an interest in such projects, and can even find individuals who, as stewards, would be willing to work on projects outside of their usual areas of interest. And because the Union would be a standing group, it can serve as a network for all such projects.

The concept of the account

Most stewards focus their attention on a specific area of responsibility, which they believe in most strongly or can have the greatest impact on. This can be a geographical area or social group, or it can be a particular concern, such as conservation or civil liberties. An account is any area of responsibility, anything for which a person makes account. Specialization is natural and even necessary; but the general account, the responsibility for the whole, must also be addressed, and the Stewardship Union is meant to establish a collective accountability.

Guiding principles and social structure

Societies are organized along particular lines. The state especially is created with a specific purpose. A state is an institution formed to exercise sovereignty ― impunity de facto. If the society wished to do nothing, it would have no need for organization. Neutrality, then, is never a guiding principle of a state or a society. Organization is a means to strength. That strength can be used for dominion or stewardship. The stewards of the world, as advocates, must encourage the use of collective strength, as of individual strength, to care for and protect the world.

The significance of the dominion

The stewardship believes that the world is an obligation, to be dealt with responsibly. The dominion believes that the world is an entitlement, to be dealt with as it pleases. The attitude of dominion is antithetical to stewardship. The application of that attitude opposes our efforts in all ways. Where we would preserve the earth, they would consume it. Where we would help and protect individuals, they would abuse individuals, physically and mentally. Where we would raise the individual up, they would force the individual down. Their tyranny, destruction, and selfishness directly damage the world. Our stewardship of the world must prevent that damage, and we must therefore oppose the dominion.

A single stewardship for the world

For stewards, the world is a single place. There are no boundaries in the natural world. There is no limit placed by national or ethnic or geographical differences on the compassion of a steward. The problems of the world require a holistic solution. The basic idea of the Stewardship Union is that we will be more effective working together than working apart. This applies to all stewards, throughout the world.


The fundamental unity of the world applies to more than charity alone. All the individuals in the world, by right, are entitled to the same privileges and subject to the same obligations. The universality of human rights should be more than an abstract ideal. Tyranny is unacceptable, regardless of the prevalent culture. The repression of individuals by a state is never an internal matter. The natural resources of the world cannot be squandered by any people, regardless of that people’s proximity to the land. The right of each of us to work toward our own survival, to protect our health and freedom, is not a dispensation from any government, but inherent to us as animals. There are aspects of all cultures, east and west, north and south, which may be part of justice; but there is in the end only one justice. There must be a single standard of justice. There may be disagreements about the nature of that standard, but we must maintain the principle of its universality. We cannot allow the claim that justice should be subject to the whims of the current power, even a majority. We cannot deny justice to an individual merely because it has the misfortune to live under a particular system. Justice can never be denied.



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