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EDITOR'S CORNER: BLAGO AND WORLD GOVERNMENT

Surely we can be confident that by now there is not a single one of our readers, regardless of where they may be living, who has not heard at least a little bit about the troubles of the beloved governor of the state of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, affectionately known as "Blago." For those who may not know the story, briefly it is this: The election of Illinois Sen. Barak Obama as President of the United States means that his senate seat is now vacant. By law, Illinois' Governor has the right to appoint someone to take over that seat until the next election.
  
Governor Blagojevich, who has been under investigation for corruption for quite some time, was taped on the telephone offering to "sell" the appointment to the highest bidder--i.e. to whoever could provide him with the biggest contributions to his campaign fund. Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been trying to "get the goods" on Blagojevich throughout his term of office, sent FBI agents to the governor's home to arrest him on corruption charges. The governor now is facing not only a criminal indictment, but impeachment proceedings before the Illinois legislature.  

What possible connection could there be between this mess and democratic world government? The Governor of the State of Illinois is the commander of the Illinois National Guard, a military force of approximately 13,000 troops, armed with artillery, tanks, helicopters and fighter aircraft. In addition he also has at his disposal approximately 3,000 Illinois state troopers, who are specifically empowered to protect the person of the governor. He was the elected head of a government with thousands of employees and multi-billion dollar budgets. And yet, Mr. Fitzgerald and a small group of FBI agents, armed with nothing more than handcuffs and a federal warrant, was able to walk into Governor Blagojevich's home and arrest him. How could that be possible?

The easiest answer is one simple word: law. The governor had broken the law, and by law, the prosecutor had the power to arrest him. Any resistance upon the part of the governor would be illegal. It was respect for the force of law that enabled the arrest to take place.

Perhaps that is too simple an answer. A cynic could point out that, although Mr. Fitzpatrick and his assistants personally represented no great threat of force, they had behind them the considerable power of the United States government. Had the governor used his military assets to resist arrest, then the United States could call upon its far greater military power to utterly crush such resistance.

Yet that also is too simple an answer. People break the law all the time, and people use force to resist far stronger powers even when there is little if any chance of winning. Apparently, in this case no one even contemplated using military force to resist the rule of law. Governor Blagojevich is reputed to be a very arrogant man, yet even he did not feel able to tell the federal prosecutor to go to (expletive deleted)!

Had the governor tried to tell the state police to protect him, or called out the national guard to surround his home, they would have refused, for no other reason that it would have violated the expected social norms. Since 1865, state troops simply do not attack troops of the United States government, nor the troops of other states. In the tribal region of Pakistan, for example, the norms are different, and government troops must tread warily around the prerogatives of the tribal militias. But in the United States, there is an expectation that disputes will be resolved peacefully, using the courts and the legal system.

That is what we are aiming toward. That is our goal. We must establish a global social norm, a culture in which everyone is expected to abide by the rule of law, no matter how rich or powerful they may be. If we can do that, then the world government will not need to have overwhelming military power sufficient to defeat any national army. It will not need to have nuclear weapons, or an air force, or heavy armaments or any military force at all. It will have police, and police do not use those kinds of things.

It is not an easy task. But it is doable, perhaps even inevitable. The day will come when a federal world marshal armed with nothing but an arrest warrant and a pair of handcuffs, can walk into the White House in Washington D.C. and say, "Mr President, you are under arrest." Then he will be able to walk out with the President in tow, and no one will even attempt to stop him. When that day comes, we will know we have succeeded.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Gary,

Happy Thanksgiving! Sorry to be a bit late in getting back to you after your thoughtful messages of Oct. 27 and Nov. 14. We were busy putting together the Autumn 2008 issue of World Federation at the time of your earlier message, and my "IN" box kept piling up.

I realize you are not fond of the term "federal(ist)." Nor is World Citizen Troy Davis. However, I find it difficult to envision a system of governing the world without several levels of polities. The two revolutionary countries at the end of the 18th century were the U.S. and the French Republic. The former changed from a number of separate colonies that because a league of autonomous states and then joined into an American federation. The latter did away with the particularistic duties, marquis-doms, etc., many of which were based on feudal ethnicity. Forming new "departments" of roughly equal size helped break down the sub-national polities and presumably contributed to a more "French" national union in a unitary--rather than a federal--republic.

So how do you visualize your unitary world government to operate over the people in the various continents? In a unitary system, the central government appoints the governments at lesser levels. In a democratic federation, the citizens elect their legislatures at each level and eventually at the world level.

I gather that you feel the nation-state system should be done away with. However, I am not sure of your rationale. If some of the present nation-states are dysfunctional, would you suggest making new districts that would be represented in the global parliament? As you know, in many American states the Congressional districts have been greatly gerrymandered. Fortunately, this year the citizens of California have approved a process whereby more equitable districts can be formed. In a global polity districts from which the citizens would elect members of the global parliament could be formed and re-formed so that all the people of the world would be represented, unlike now where the minorities in many countries do not have the franchise.

I still have some faith in Emery Reves' statement that the people are the basis of sovereignty and they have the ultimate authority to govern themselves by transferring powers to governments at higher and higher levels and ultimately the Earth. The trend is some countries like the U.K. and Indonesia is toward a devolution of powers of government to the provinces, in a somewhat federal system.

But it's getting late. Enclosed is my donation of $50 to help you carry on your fine publication. However, at your convenience I would appreciate learning more of how your unitary state would work.

Sincerely,
John Sutter
100 Thornsdale, Dr. #250
San Rafael, CA 94903-4564

(Editor's Note: Obviously the debate between federal and unitary systems is too big to take up here. However, simply put, the major problem with federalism is that it attempts to maintain the current nation-state system and superimpose a global system on top of it, which is not practical. It is not individual nation-states that are dysfunctional, just as it was not individual slave-owners that were unjust. The entire nation-state system is dysfunctional, just as the entire system of slavery was unjust. The size and shape of nation-states is arbitrary, largely based on past wars. No amount of gerrymandering could come up with districts as disproportionate as the Peoples Republic of China and the island of Nauru. One way to empower minorities, by the way, would be to have a bicameral legislature with one house representing geographic districts, and the other representing ethnic groups, regardless of their location. As far as Emery Reves' quote goes, in that regard we are in complete agreement.)

Dear Gary,

I thought I could offer the following comments for publication in this issue if there is still time:

To Mr. Roberts: I agree that "bitter experiences" are coming, and that they will shift popular opinions. The point for me is to be ready for that shift, by building the political infrastructure necessary to allow for the transformation of that bitter experience, into a rational mass movement for democratic world federalism.

To Mr. Kazdan: World Federalists have lived with incrementalism for a very long time. A physically collapsing world at war with itself, with nothing but a UNPA "symbol" to rely on for its repair, tells me that 60 years of it is enough. We don't need any more symbols, we need action.

Thank you,
Carl Joudrie
[foundationletters at yahoo dot com]

GLOBAL CITIZENS IN A TIME OF TURMOIL NEXT STEPS TO JUSTICE, SUSTAINABILITY AND PEACE

Citizens for Global Solutions will hold its annual meeting on March 19-21, 2009 at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Members, partners and activists, please join us for our annual meeting and conference. We will spend a day training and lobbying on Capitol Hill, another day hearing from prominent speakers on "next steps to justice, sustainability and peace," and a final day conducting Citizens for Global Solutions planning and business. In a time like this, when swelling hope meets the grim reality of today's tumultuous world, you won't want to miss this opportunity to meet many more global citizens and public officials, and to come together and learn how to make a difference on the issues that matter most.

On day two of the conference, you will have the option to attend several break-out sessions of your choice. Likely topics will include:

    "Know your Opposition – identifying roadblocks and how to circumvent them."
    "Energize your Chapter! Ideas to increase activism and recruitment."
    "Fundraising 101: Best practices to Boost membership and donations."
    "Next Steps to Peace: Priorities from nuclear disarmament to effective peacekeeping."
    "Next Steps to Sustainability: Can we cap carbon and sign the next Kyoto?"
    "Next Steps to Justice: Ending Torture and Supporting the ICC."

Day two will also include a forum debating a U.N. Parliamentary Assembly, as well as a chance to meet the 2008 Citizens for Global Solutions Multimedia Contest winners. Official keynote speakers are still being confirmed and will be added to the website as plans are finalized.

To learn more about the schedule, speakers, and other conference details, please visit our annual meeting web page at globalsolutions.org. In order to receive the early bird discount of conference registration and hotel fees, please register by Feb. 16.

We hope you will join us in our work to bring forth a future in which nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone.

GLOBAL DEMOCRACY:  THE CASE FOR WORLD GOVERNMENT
BY TORBJORN TANNSJO

A Review by David Christensen

Torbjorn Tannsjo's 154-page Global Democracy, The Case for a World Government, (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), was written "in relation with a research project and supported by  the Swedish Research Council.....The book has grown out of a short paper on global democracy...(that was) later published in Public Affairs Quarterly, 2006." Tannsjo is Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University and has published several books on conservatism, democracy, utilitarianism and ethics.

The Preface to Tannsjo's Global Democracy reviews briefly writings on world government since World Wars I and II. He mentions H. G. Wells, philosopher A. C. Ewing, Gary Davis, the World Federalist movement and a half dozen others since the year 2000. However, I find it remarkable that Tannsjo, a European, makes no mention of Emery Reves' The Anatomy of Peace, a book that was so influential in the world government movements in the UK and the U.S. after World War II. He also takes no note of recent books about world government by Carl Coon, Jerry Tetalman & Byron Belitsos, Ron Glossop, Ross Smyth, Jim Stark, or my two books.

Tannsjo's book contains eight chapters. Chapter 1 sets the problem which, very simply, is humankind's need for a world government to replace the anarchy among nations. He dismisses proposals for regional groups of nations as being unable to stem rivalries that would remain and lead to war. In response to the fear that a world government that started as a democracy might be manipulated into a tyranny Tannsjo says "...in the final analysis, there are no good reasons to fear a global democracy (shifting to a tyranny) any more than there are good reasons to fear democracy on the national level (doing the same)" (p. 5).

Chapters 2, 3 and 4 consider arguments favoring world government "arising from peace; justice; and the environment." His general line of reasoning is that there are global problems concerning war, injustices and the environment that can be dealt with satisfactorily only if a sovereign world government is established.

Tannsjo believes an opportunity is open in our time to establish a world government by peaceful means. He roughly equates the U.S. position as global leader in our time with that of Rome 2000 years ago, and he believes the U.S. must lead the world's people and nations toward world government.

As a philosopher, Tannsjo examines the writings and theories of philosophers Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham in regard to peace and stability among nations. In the world's quest for peace the abolition of colonies, the establishment of democracy and the formation of UN-like leagues of nations are explored.

In his Chapter 2, "The argument arising from peace," Tannsjo cites at length statistics from the Human Security Report, (Oxford University Press, 2005), that suggest international wars have declined since 1816. Since 1980 (largely through the abandonment of colonies) civil wars also have declined. Further, Tannsjo cites reports that suggest positive results from preventive diplomacy, peacemaking activities, and economic sanctions since the 1990s, but he also acknowledges that these may be ineffectual in dealing with future resource-related conflicts. The bottom line in Tannsjo's chapter on peace is: the causes of conflict between and among nations and injustices to the people cannot be overcome and peace may not be achievable without a world government.

In Chapter 3, "The argument arising from (the need for) global justice," Tannsjo again takes the role of a philosopher and examines the injustice of poverty from three points of view: utilitarianism, egalitarianism and moral. His conclusion is that a world government is needed to overcome the injustice of poverty. But there is a qualification and possible contradiction: At least twice he makes the suggestion that poorer nations must take the initiative for their own economic development. And he repeats that he does not accept as a goal of a world government that it should be involved with a "redistribution" of the world's wealth.

Despite his concern for the injustice of poverty, Tannsjo sees the possibility of the development of world government taking a long time, and he accepts the unequal opportunities and economic advantages among the world 's nations and people (as they are today) as long as there is political stability (p.121). I disagree with him on this because I believe the widening gap between the "haves" and "have-nots" among the world's people and nations is one of the bases of unrest and terrorism.

In Chapter 4, "The environment," Tannsjo focuses on three special topics: Global Warming, Scarce Natural Resources and Endangered Species. In his treatment of global warming (climate change) he goes into some detail about the Montreal (CFC) Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol as positive examples of nations working together to overcome a global issue. He also states (p. 54) that with climate change "Food production will rise in some regions, especially in the high northern latitudes...." I disagree on this point because, even with a longer growing season that is likely to come with climate change, these northern regions have not developed soils that could sustain food production.

Readers of United World may be familiar with my strong beliefs that overpopulation and the world's limited and diminishing endowment of arable land are central to the human family's predicament in our time, but Tannsjo mentions neither. He does mention (p. 121) that by 2050 the world's population should stabilize, but with no explanation or caveat. He does not examine the bases of the world's food supply or the damage that will be done to the world's environments in the next several decades as world population continues to increase. On page 62 he does mention "sustainable environment" but does not take up the critical and current need to establish a sustainable relationship between world population and the Earth's carrying capacity for humans at a reasonable level of living.

Tannsjo's suggestions for establishment of a world government all hinge on reforming the UN, including retention of extra powers by the world's largest nations. He suggests that voting in the "People's Assembly" should be based on population, with smallest nations joining together and being represented in groups. He makes no mention of Hudson's more fair "Binding Triad" mode of voting in a restructured General Assembly, a method of triple-voting that would acknowledge nationhood, population and economic power. Tannsjo makes no particular suggestion for funding a world government, but implies that a world government might have to be supported by the people being willing to pay "heavy taxes" (p. 118), with which I disagree. A world government can be supported by revenue streams that do not compete with those of nations.

He proposes two houses in a People's Parliament (one of nation's and the other representing the world's people) and a "world government," without explaining what the "world government" would be. Would it be the executive branch? A revised Security Council? He does mention a permanent small world government military force but with no explanation about its size, make-up, independence, funding, etc. He does not discuss disarmament of the world's arsenals but acknowledges that (because of its overwhelming size) the U.S.'s military establishment could remain until the U.S. was willing to dismantle it and leave policing the globe to the world government peace force. Tannsjo assumes that English is becoming the functional global language.

Much of Tannsjo's writing and argument is heavy and not easy to follow, especially in chapters 3, 5 ("Democracy") and 6 ("A road map to global democracy"). He frequently sets forth questions and then proceeds to answer them in legalistic and philosophic forays that make one wonder if he is using analyses, arguments and perhaps paragraphs and sections from earlier writings without tying them closely to his purpose in writing this particular book.

A final and very important (and negative) point, in contrast to the many others analyzing and writing about world government and the crises being faced by the human family, Torbjorn Tannsjo's Global Democracy carries no message of real urgency. Although this book includes much interesting information, it is not a book to excite the public to become advocates of some kind of limited world government to deal with crises that are very real, are here or are imminent.

CALL TO THE ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE PROVISIONAL WORLD PARLIAMENT

The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), organizing agent for the Provisional World Parliament, has arranged the Eleventh Session of the Parliament for Nainital, India, July 2 -8, 2009 in conjunction with the International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO) 12th International Conference hosted by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi branch, at Nainital, in the Himalayas north of Delhi.

We issue this call in conformance with Article 19 of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, that grants the people of Earth the legal right to begin Provisional World Government until such time as the Earth Constitution has been fully ratified under the provisions set forth in Article 17.

Both observes t the parliament and delegates are welcome. Both may participate actively in the proceedings. The developing Earth Federation Movement (EFM) is expressed in these historic parliaments held in Brighton, England (1982), New Delhi, India (1985), Miami Beach, USA (1987), Barcelona, Spain (1996), Malta (2001), Bangkok, Thailand (March 2003), Chennai, India (December 2003), Lucknow, India (2004), Tripoli, Libya (2006), and Lome, Togo (2007).  The Eleventh Session in Nainital will be such an historic event; we are building a truly new order within the shell of the old.

Today's world situation calls for a World Parliament to continually build the body of world law, modeling for the rest of the world the way human problems are properly addressed.  It also demands immediate action to establish democratic world government in accordance with the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Global climate change continues to create disaster for peoples everywhere and is getting worse every day.  Global weapons of mass destruction continue to threaten the existence of life on earth. Depleted uranium weapons used massively in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to poison our planetary environment forever. Global tyranny under the world's superpower increases daily. The resources of the Earth (land, forests, fisheries, clean water) disappear at astonishing rates. Pollution and toxic wastes contaminate ever large portions of the Earth. We must act now!

Reserve the dates. Begin planning now! Details of registration will be posted on the www.worldproblems.net and www.wxpa.bix and www.radford.edu/~gmartin websites.

Registration includes the 11th Session of the Provisional World Parliament and the International Philosophers for Peace Conference at the Sri Aurobindo ashram in the Utarakhand Himalayas. Registration fee includes room, vegetarian meals, materials and organization for five days and six nights. Participants will need to cover their own transportation costs to and from Nainital.

Registration will be $400 for hard currency countries (Yen, Euros, Pounds or Dollars), and $63 (3,000 Indian Rupees) for non-hard currency countries. Send checks international money orders, or Western Union payments to Dr. Glen T. Martin, WCPA treasurer, 313 Seventh Ave., Radford VA 24141, USA (e-mail: [gmartin at radford dot edu])

The broad IPPNO conference theme is "Freedom, Harmony, Citizenship, and Peace," 500 word abstracts for IPPNO Conference papers should also be submitted to Dr. Martin. Completed papers are due by June 1.

ACID TESTS FOR FEDERALISM

By Harold Bidmead

Certain professing federalists have the bad habit from time to time of stopping the express train in which we are all riding to enable them to pick daisies along the track.  It is suggested this malaise is due to the inability of federalists to agree on a definition of federalism.

I cannot see why there cannot be a consensus on Prof. K.C. Wheare's definition, as adopted by the British Federal Union Movement, the originator of the World Federalist Movement. I quoted this on page 15 of my book, The Parliament of Man.

In a federal government there is a division of governmental functions between one authority, usually called the Federal Government, which has power to regulate certain matters for the whole territory; and a collection of authorities, usually called State governments, which have power to regulate certain other matters for the component parts of the territory. The allocation of functions between Federal and State Governments cannot be altered either by the Federal Government acting alone, or by the State Governments acting alone, and the exercise by the Federal Government of its allotted functions cannot be controlled by the State Governments, or vice versa.  Federal government means a division of functions between authorities which in no way are subordinate to each other, either in the extent or in the exercise of their allotted functions.

If we cannot agree on a common definition that is not a mere verbose description, we can surely agree on the acid tests  that decide whether an organization is or is not a federation.  For example, it must:

    a. Have a common government for at least some common affairs (essentially defense and foreign policy); a government that is capable of 1) financing itself, 2) reaching decisions in the sphere allotted to it by the constitution, and reaching them so rapidly that no litigant is tempted to resort to violence as a more speedy means of settling the dispute, and 3) enforcing its decision, e.g. through Federal Courts of law, including a supreme court.

    b. Have a parliament that is a true legislature, i.e. a representative body capable, without outside influence, of initiating and enacting laws in the sphere allotted to it.

    c. There must be no hegemony of any Government, either Federal or State, over any of the others. All are colleagues of equal stature and status.

Modern federalists believe that no organization, federal or otherwise, will survive for long unless it is democratic.  The legislature should therefore so far as practicable be popularly elected.  The system would thus be based on the rule of law, in which the law is made stronger than any litigant who might seek to oppose it.

Obviously, the old League of Nations and its mirror image the UN fail to meet these criteria. So does the present European Union, and the British Commonwealth.  Professing "federalists" who (paradoxically) also support the UN type of league of sovereign nations ought to apply these acid tests and modify their arguments, Alternatively, they should cease to call themselves federalists.

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