The quote “never, never, never give up” by Winston Churchill comes to mind when trying to understand and counter the global regression we are in with re-arming of nuclear weaponry, under-mining of democracy world-wide and a global drift to corporate control. The Atomic Clock, on the possibility of a nuclear exchange, has moved to its closest tomidnight (at two minutes) in its history. Yet, we have been integrated as the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind as never before. Cell phones even in developing nations keep people and families in touch even though separated by the next field or world-wide. We are one human tribe as Obama said in Kenya three years ago. We have explored the solar system's nine planets with NASA's space capsule now responding from interstellar space. We wonder about intelligent life on other exo-planets without analyzing our own current intelligence in world politics.
Fulfilling the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is a forgotten aim of the dysfunctional United Nations with the UN Security Council having the same Five Permanent Members (China, France, Russia, UK and USA), with their veto privilege, as at its founding in 1945. To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war in the UN Charter has been a disaster when the logic of the UN is the nation-state Neanderthal posture of tribal power-mongering. The UN was not a re-make of the League of Nations and a post-UN structure is required as the termites of decay enfeeble the present UN. And still there are images on TV of young children and babies dying in Africa with emaciated limbs and no energy to even cry with the pious warning that it may "disturb" the comfortable.
So then, what of the future if the present reality is stagnant? The mindless carnage of the trenches in WW I was magnified in WW II with massive bombing raids, the nadir of civilization at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It could happen again despite the founding of the International Criminal Court. “We are in a tailspin of lunacy”, wrote former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, Stephen Lewis in 2014.
We need to convey our concerns much more forcibly to our elected officials. Some officials have come to recognize the criminal lunacy of war and conflict and have openly advocated for a world government. One such figure was Winston Churchill who in 1947, speaking at Albert Hall, London, appealed for a world government. He stated that “The creation of an authoritative, all-powerful world order is the ultimate aim towards which we must strive. Unless some effective World Super-Government can be set up and brought quickly into action, the prospects for peace and human progress are dark and doubtful”.
The promotion towards a world government has gone beyond government officials and the political spheres and has reached the religious and spiritual realms. It has been done by such prominent ecumenical figures such as Pope John XXIII who in1963 in his encyclical titled Pacem in Terris: The Insufficiency of Modern States to Ensure the Universal Common Good stated that:
Today the universal common good poses problems of world-wide dimensions, which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authorities endowed with a wideness of powers, structure and means of the same proportions; that is, of public authorities which are in a position to operate in an effective manner on a world-wide basis. The moral order itself, therefore, demands that such a form of public authority be established.
And yet despite ardent support by the world community for centuries for a world of peace and justice, according to the Stockholm Institute SIPRI, world military expenditures in 2016 are estimated at $1.7 Trillion (with a 'T'). This is nothing less than a crime against humanity. And, we must note that most of this spending is done by the permanent members of the UN's Security Council. This is the very institution that was purportedly established to bring about international peace and security which it is has not done and likely will not do as the present system is very advantageous to the military industrial complex system that governs world affairs today. As noted by Saul Mendlovitz, Director of the World Order Models Project, “There is no question there will be world government this century. The questions are will it come about by cataclysm, drift or rational design and will it be totalitarian, benign or participatory democratic. The probabilities being in that order”. Humanity's duty then is to proactively work towards the peaceful establishment of a democratic institution that ensures a world of law and order for all.
As Emery Reves stated in The Anatomy of Peace in 1945, “There is no first step to world government; world government is the first step.” Similarly, Albert Einstein:
Mankind's desire for peace can be realized only by the creation of a
world government. With all my heart, I believe that the world's present
system of sovereign nations can only lead to barbarism, war and
inhumanity, and that only world law can assure progress towards a
civilized peaceful community.
Essentially, World Federalism is not just a laudable vision; in today's world where we are a Global Village, it's a necessity.
The Permanent Gang of Five on the UN Security Council
Our planet is now integrated by electronic communications and economic pathways. We already are a global civilization but our mentality and ethos as one human tribe (especially politically) has not developed in tandem to these other areas.
While we are a rich mosaic of ethnicities, languages and cultures which certainly should be cherished, we must also remember that this diversity is part of the larger whole that is the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind. . . the Nation of Humanity. On that global level we are currently limited in our interactions by the traditional nation-centric system that is espoused by international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) which are based on a divisive 'We the Peoples'. This system is archaic and awaits a creative spark of political intelligence.
Essentially, the political evolution of humanity has been stalled. The United Nations, which was crafted in 1945 to assure international peace and security, has remained structurally stagnant since then. In fact, the victors of WW II, China, France, Russia, UK and USA, remain in the Security Council with their veto power and are responsible for about two-thirds of world military expenditures and world arm sales. In 2003 Dame Helen Mirren, Oxfam ambassador to the UN, referred to this group of nations as Murder Inc. Hence, a structural change to the UN, which might make it more democratic, is simply not enough. What is needed instead is a systemic change based on the cultural change that has already happened as a result of globalization. Current proposals for more permanent members is merely re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic. As Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore ambassador to the UN Security Council in 2000 wrote in his 2013 book The Great Convergence, Asia, the West and the Logic of One World, “The absolute refusal of the P5 to brook even small reforms seems absurd in 2012. I do not know when the Council equivalent of an Arab spring will emerge to sweep away the legitimacy of the P5 in the global system”. This could be done, as a first step towards global democracy, by way of a Uniting for Peace Resolution and Art. 24 of the UN Charter which would have the UN Security Council return power to all 193 members of the UN General Assembly.
It is important to note that the UN and its specialized agencies have played a beneficial role in many progressive actions as an international institution. However, how it addresses global issues like peace and security, economic disparity and climate change is no longer adequate. Innovative and life-saving programs like the UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) and the Right to Protect (R2P), are adopted but not implemented. A democratic World Federal Parliament is required for many of today's global dilemmas that nation-centric institutions like the UN simply cannot and will not address.
With world military expenditures of $1.7 Trillion annually and the re-furbishing of nuclear arsenals we have returned to a 1970s-style scenario of Mutual Assured Destruction. This is a global regression at a time when change towards a better global society is imperative. There is a dangerous complicity and complacency with the status-quo among most of the UN member states. Furthermore, the anti-globalization phase we are increasingly witnessing, reflects the unequal sharing of the world's wealth and decision-making. It is immoral and barbaric that there are still regions of the world where thousands of men, women and children needlessly die on a daily basis due to starvation. If the current political and economic global system that is already showing signs of decay is not re-structured, it will collapse under its own inadequacies.
Saul Mendlovitz, Director, World Order Models Project, Rutgers University, N.J. USA noted that “There is no longer a question of whether or not there will be world government. The questions are how it will come into being – cataclysm, drift or by rational design and whether it will be totalitarian, benign or democratic. The probabilities being in that order”.
In order to shift to the next level in our global evolution we need to first create the institutions that create and foster a global mentality. In1861 Massimo d'Azeglio, a pioneer with Garibaldi of Italian unification noted that “by creating Italy [they] created Italians”. As such, let us create a World Parliament to then enable the next level of government evolution, one that fosters a World Citizenship ethos, to take place.
The dire need to have a global authority to represent the human, universal good and the inadequacy of the present system to do just that is very well exemplified by Pope John XXIII in Part IV of his 1963 encyclical Pacem en Terris titled, “The Insufficiency of Modern States to Ensure the Universal Common Good” in which he analyzes the complex problems and political structural defects facing the human family:
Today the universal common good poses problems of world-wide dimensions, which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authorities endowed with a wideness of powers, structures and means of the same proportions; that is, of public authorities which are in a position to operate in an effective manner on a world-wide basis. The moral order itself demands that such a form of public authority be established.