CDWG NEWS & VIEWS
EDITOR'S CORNER: 20 YEARS OF UNITED WORLD
The next issue of UNITED WORLD will mark the 20th anniversary of our publication. In September of 1988, we published the very first UNITED WORLD. A lot has happened since then. However, one thing that we had hoped at the time has not happened. Subscribers have come and gone, but overall, our base of paid subscribers has remained at about the same level throughout the entire 20 years. This is not good. Our belief had been that, as more and more people found out about our unique publication, it would gradually attract a steadily larger pool of subscribers. Eventually we hoped that we would attract enough to make the magazine pay its own way. So far we have never attained that level.
Luckily, many generous donors have stepped forward over the years to make up the shortfall. We want to thank each and every one of them profusely for making our continued existence possible. Also, the merger with the WGOC (later CDWG) News and Views brought in a pool of funds available from CDWG's member organizations dues. Still, we would like to see the magazine become self-sustaining, so it would no longer require special infusions of cash.
To do that, we need your help, gentle readers. We can not afford to advertise our magazine on our shoe-string budget. Our only real form of advertising is word-of-mouth (or in these modern days, word-of-email). That is why we have included special forms with each copy of the current issue. If you know of someone who might be interested in UNITED WORLD's special mix of news and opinions about the movement to create a politically unified planet, send us their names and addresses, and we will send them a free copy of the 20th Anniversary issue. Send us as many as you can.
We have maintained the subscription rate at $12 per year for all that time. We hope to keep that tradition, even though our costs have risen. So please consider giving us a hand. As always, we thank you for your support.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
You've been sending me complimentary copies of UNITED WORLD. I should pay for them. See enclosed. Do you know of The Federalist Debate (Turin)? See enclosure, with a recent article of mine.
Comments on the Mar-Apr. issue of UW: I would like to see Chuck Woolery's "The Death of WFA." Ed Rawson's rebuttal reminds me of UWF's (United World Federalists) collapse in 1951, and again in 1974. Hal Schaffer of AMWG (American Movement for World Government) is also critical.
On Tad Daley's note (p. 6), it should be "unseasonable truth" the title of Ashmore's biography of R.M. Hutchins. I've heard from Louisa Clark Spencer, the last surviving daughter of Grenville Clark. We are going to have lunch in Dublin, NH, in June. She found my book via Google.
You might be interested in my new website; http://web.mac.com/JosephBaratta.
History and Political Science
Worcester State College.
(Editor's Note: Yes, we exchange copies with the Lucio Levi, the editor of The Federalist Debate, a most impressive publication. We will send you a copy of "The Death of WFA" article. As to Mr. Daley's note, it was our typo, not his, probably resulting from the similarity with Mr. Gore's movie. And of course we thank you for the money. We operate on a pretty thin shoestring here.)
The "tools and tactics" we use to build a One World Democracy are those of building the recommended "protective treaty." The "tools and tactics" we use to get that treaty built and adopted are whatever tools and tactics that were used to successfully create the European Union.
233 SW 43rd Ter.
Cape Coral, FL 33914
The answer to your question at the end of my last letter is easy and straightforward:
1. Personally ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
2. Obtain as many copies of it, in your native language as you can from Glen Martin and distribute them to friends and relatives, urging them to do likewise.
3. If you are a citizen of a "democratic" country, let it be known that you will vote for any representative who advocates World Federation in place of the United Nations.
The reasons for doing this I have set out in detail in half a dozen books and I can see no point in repetition. World Federation will come sooner from popular demand than from any futile attempt to bring about "reform" of the United Nations, or from it advocacy by a conventional political party.
[erolharris at ic24 dot net]
Errol E. Harris
High Wray House
Cumbria LA22 0JQ
(An open response to Chuck Woolery's response)
Thank you for sending me a copy of your "rebuttal" sent to Gary Shepherd. I still believe that the facts speak for themselves. After the name change, our ability to obtain funds from foundations improved dramatically, as did our relations with non-profits and other groups and organizations. For over 50 years, progress had been slow and uncertain and two articles had been published on the irrelevance of World Federalism and its advocates. One I know was in the Atlantic Monthly probably about 25 years ago and the other was, I think, mentioned in an article about Don Quixote organizations in the Post.
With the end of the Cold War, and the rise of China and India, with Brazil, Mexico and other countries not far behind, it was clear that a global village was becoming a reality and that our planet had become an irrevocably, integrated, internet world. With such increasingly serious world problems such as fanatic Islamists, migration and population problems, spread of diseases by international travel, the ever-increasing dangers from nuclear proliferation, and the deteriorating global climate, it was clear that there were serious global problems which needed to be solved before an effective form of global governance could be established.
[WorldFedEd at aol dot com]
(Editor's Note: Yet some say such global problems can not be solved until global "governance" is established; so have we entered a chicken or egg argument?)
(An open response to Carl Joudrie's letter)
I found your comment about "evolutionary psychology" (UW Nov-Dec 2007) regarding the "two common errors of thinking" most useful and helpful. And I fully agree with your belief that we must not concentrate power in any one level of government. I'm sorry my writing didn't state that more clearly.
I must warn you, however, that you will lose credibility referring to me as a "world federalist elite." I may have rubbed shoulders with many WF elites but they are leagues above me in legal, literary and scholarly abilities. I consider myself a scientist that follows the evidence. And I must report, in the living interactions I've studies in animals, plants, pathogens, humans and politicians, I've found NO evidence of "independence" on this planet. Given our dependence on the Sun for our energy, climate and food, I don't believe it exists anywhere in the given universe.
I have found that word, however, in many documents – and have observed the concept in action between individuals and nations – but I've never seen it succeed as an experiment. There is always some outside force making a nasty display of interdependent reality – that almost always buggers up the application of the concept to an irreparable degree. I am quite confident that as sure as the Earth revolves around the sun, there is irrefutable evidence that independence and national sovereignty are nothing more than mental illusions. They may have been useful illusions at some time; like believing in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. Even a broke clock is correct twice a day – but that doesn't mean it is a real time piece.
Trying to maintain one's most basic security and freedom with acknowledging and appropriately interacting globally with those who have the same basic desire is not only insanity, it's homicide and suicide. Given the growing WMD capacity of individuals, the days of government tyranny of any kind are over. Timothy McVeigh, the Anthrax mail bomber and Bin Ladin are not heroes but they did make some notable points. Power is with the people. Security is an illusion. And freedom is all we really have. The freedom to wage world law with one another, or wage war.
I hypothesize that you and many others like you are mirroring a "moralistic fallacy" believing that certain things like "independence" and "national sovereignty" are right and reality. The real world that I study begs to differ. We may allow state's rights and even provincial rights… but human rights are inalienable and must always reign supreme.
If a world federation misses that essential element of law, I'm taking the second amendment.
315 Dean Dr.
Rockville, MD 20851
ABOUT THAT 3 A.M. PHONE CALL
By Garry Davis
--Hello, White House. How may I direct your call?
-- Let me speak to the President.
-- Who's calling please?
-- The Coordinator of the World Government of World Citizens.
-- I'm sorry, sir. The U.S. President is asleep. It's 3 a.m. here in Washington. Can it wait until morning?
-- No. This call is important, vitally important. U.S. national security is involved. And I know it's 3 a.m., dammit.
-- Would the vice president do, sir? He's till playing poker in the West Wing.
-- No way. It's the president or nobody. It concerns an issue of global significance.
-- Oh that. Okay. Hold the line please (Pause)
-- Hello (Yawning) What's up, Garry. This is a helluva time to call.
-- But Madam President, you practically ran on the 3 a.m. call.
-- All right, all right. So what's so important it disturbs my sleep?
-- Well Madame President, I thought you should be the first to know.
-- Know what? This better be good.
-- The World Parliament in Tasmania just passed a resolution outlawing war ten minutes ago.
-- Oh my God! What? No! I don't believe it. That would sabotage our entire nuclear missile strategy along with our Iraq, Afghanistan and maybe Iran planning. The Joint Chiefs will be furious, not to mention Limbaugh.
-- But that's not the worst of it, Madame President. The global parliament has cited Nuremberg, you remember, the '45 trial, and in particular, the "crimes against humanity" wicket and enjoined to ICC to issue indictments against all heads of state possessing nuclear weapons…including the US and Israel. Better prepare yourself. It could get nasty. (Sound of glass breaking) Madame President? Madame President, are you all right? Hey somebody Help! (No answer)
Yep, that 3 a.m. phone call could be a real kick in the teeth. The poobah in the White House who answers it must be well prepared to cope with such a catastrophic event. Will it be Hillary, Barak or John? The Commander-in-Chief's chapeau would be on a stand right beside the bedstead where GWB reluctantly hung it ready to be fastened onto the next eager warrior's head. (The United States have a real problem trying to decide who it will fit best. Dwight Eisenhower, who had already experienced war's glory and shame, had no problem knowing how tight it squeezed a working president's mind, but actually got a little too tight for his and the people's comfort in his waning days. Remember ‘beware the military-industrial complex?)
But wouldn't it be a crying shame for our national presidents if world peace broke out all of a sudden? If we world citizens finally gout our act together, elected some world parliamentarians amongst ourselves, then just went ahead and passed some world laws based on the Golden Rule? Boy, wouldn't that make all those generals, diplomats and border guards mad! Where would they find work? But I bet there'd be dancing in the streets in all the world's cities. Just think of where all that war money ($12 billion per month for the Iraqi occupation alone) could be transferred. Why I bet all those hungry kids could finally have enough to eat and maybe get cured of what ailed them.
All of those Nobel Prize Laureates who gathered in Rome for their 7th World Summit in September 2007 almost got it right when they claimed that, "Nuclear weapons are more of a problem than any problem they seek to solve. In the hands of anyone, the weapons themselves remain an unacceptable, morally reprehensible, impractical and dangerous risk." Given the critical nature of the situation, they then pledged boldly "to challenge, persuade and inspire Heads of State to fulfill the moral and legal obligation they share with every citizen to free us from this threat." (note: no mention of world law or government "to free us from this threat.")
Too bad the Bomb doesn't respect "Heads of State" any more than it respects humanity itself. (An aside: I always thought it must be embarrassing if not downright humiliating to accept the accolade of "Peace Laureate" when the Bomb was still pointing at humanity and war was still "the last resort" of the nationalistic addiction of anarchy while billionaires racked in more ill-gotten loot and kids with the parents hungered by the millions.) I often wondered what Alfred who started the prize-giving to ease his own conscience about inventing dynamite – while making millions from it – would have thought about all that up-scaled "dynamite" playing havoc in today's world. Evelin Linder, in her epical book, Making Enemies, defines humiliation as "enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of subjugation that damages or strips away price, honor or dignity." By singling out one person a year for the Nobel, the committee is actually humiliating every other human equally – or maybe more than equally –deserving of that so-called distinction.
This humiliating "call upon Heads of State" by the Laureates, however, chosen by an elite group of Norwegians, as icons of world peace to save humanity from a "3 a.m. call to the White House" (or the Kremlin) can only be viewed by us average blood-and-sweat mortals as a monumental cop-out of world responsibility. Why call upon the very humans who willfully have their collective thumbs poised on the nuclear trigger to save us from them? The vaunted Laureates somewhat redeemed themselves, however, by at last calling upon "the citizens of the world to join us in this work." (So why don't they as "citizens of the world" also register with our world government?)
And why don't they, the Nobels themselves, call the White House, the Kremlin, the Palais l'Elysee, 10 Downing Street, and all the other presidential domains at 3 a.m. some morning and tell them what's what in our name? Tel them, with no diplomatic gobbledygook, that we, the people, ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE, that we're taking over our world just because it is OUR world. And their national wargamesmanship is terminated, ONCE AND FOR ALL.
Indeed, what other message is worthy of a 3 a.m. call to a national president with 6,000 nuclear warheads at her manicured fingertips? Or maybe his.
PEAK OIL AND THE UNITED WORLD
By L.K. Land
By this time, surely everyone has heard of the phenomenon that has come to be known as "peak oil." An extremely simplified explanation of peak oil goes like this: for all of the past century, annual global production of oil has gradually increased, and so has annual oil consumption. Since crude oil is a finite resource, it stands to reason that there will come a point when petroleum production is going to stop going up, level off for a while, and then begin to slowly decline.
Literally running out of oil isn't the problem. There is still somewhere between 1 and 2 trillion barrels of economically-recoverable oil in the world, enough to last for many decades at the current rate of use. Not surprisingly, all the oil that was easy to find was used up first. As the places where oil is found gets deeper underwater and further out into inhospitable areas, and the oil found is of lower quality, then the price of production inevitably goes up. Thus, there are physical and economic limits on the increase of oil production. Yet there are no such limits on the increase in oil consumption. Industrial economies use more and more oil every year. In 1950, the entire world used about 10 million barrels of oil a day. Fifty years later, the United States consumed twice that much all by itself. Sometime in the next decade the world will pass the 100-million barrel a day threshold. Much of that increase will come from the booming economies of China and India.
In the race between oil production and consumption, consumption is sure to win. When that time comes, when the graph of oil consumption overtakes the graph of oil production, then all the world's people are in for a rude awakening. Petroleum is the fuel of choice for the industrialized world. Seventy five percent of all transportation – just about every car, truck, boat, airplane, or any other kind of motorized vehicle – uses some form of petroleum for fuel. And just about every item we buy in our globalized economy is transported from somewhere else to us. The machinery that plants and harvests our food runs on oil, the fertilizers and insecticides used to grow it is made from oil, and even the plastic that packages it comes from oil. Without oil, our modern industrial society literally grinds to a halt.
It gets worse. When soldiers walked or rode horses into battle, petroleum was of little importance to the military. The modern mechanized military, with its tanks, helicopters and jet fighters, sucks up prodigious amounts of petroleum. During World War II, the American military consumed the equivalent of one gallon of petroleum products per soldier per day. By 1991, that had risen to four gallons per soldier per day. And by the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003, it had quadrupled again, to 16 gallons. Because the American military has been so successful, every other nation-state is following the American model in modernizing their armed forces. Even nuclear weapons need petroleum powered missiles to reach their targets. Oil isn't just important to the civilian economy; it is a vital national security resource.
A lot of people are expecting technology to save us. Methods of finding and producing oil are improving. Oil that would once have been inaccessible can now be fed into the insatiable maw of the world's engines. But you can't get blood from a stone. There comes a point where it is no longer economically feasible to extract the oil. Similarly, while research in alternatives to oil is promising, the current infrastructure is designed around oil, and its going to take many decades of major effort to redesign it – if we're smart enough to undertake the effort before its too late.
We will reach a point when there is not enough oil to go around. No one knows when that will happen. We have just seen the barest beginnings of it in the last decade. A barrel of petroleum, which was selling at historic low prices (adjusted for inflation) just ten years ago, is now selling for more than it ever has. If the world were a classic free-market model, then customers would simply bid the price up until it became too expensive for some people to buy, and they would drop out of the market, decreasing demand. But the world is not a traditional capitalist market. The customers are not just individuals, or even corporations, but nation-states. The leaders of these nation-states are all too aware that their country's economic health (and their own political survival) depend upon access to oil, and they are all going to try their damnedest to make sure their country gets its fair share. And many of the countries that are most desperate for oil, such as the United States, India, and China, possess nuclear weapons.
There is nothing new about nations fighting wars in order to control economic resources. Indeed, some people claim that is the only reason wars are ever fought. However, there is a significant difference between a nation that is fighting to increase its relative share of wealth, and a nation that is fighting for its survival. The stakes are much higher, and the pressure to take risks increases. Given the modern military's dependence on oil, we are faced with the nightmare scenario of nations making war in order to have the oil so that they can make wars.
Michael Klare, in his book, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, says, "The long-term risk of escalation is growing even more potent because major energy importers and exporters regularly appeal to that most dangerous of emotions, nationalism, in making their claims for control over energy flows. Nationalistic appeals, once they have gripped a populace, almost invariable promote fierce emotion and irrationality. Add to this the fact that the leaders of most countries…view the struggle over hydrocarbon assets as a "zero sum" contest – one in which a gain by one country almost always represents a loss for others. A zero sum mentality leads to a loss of flexibility in crisis situations, while the lens of nationalism turns the pursuit of energy assets into a sacred obligation of senior government officials."
It would be nice if we within the movement could claim that the creation of a democratic united world would solve the problem of peak oil. We can't and it won't. There is no magic solution to this problem. However, one thing is very clear. If the world goes into the era of peak oil in its current state of anarchy, with an "every-man-for-himself" attitude ruling the relations between the oil-thirsty nations, then we are certainly inviting disaster. Oil scarcity is a problem for everyone in the world. Even citizens of countries flush with oil know their nations are natural targets for intervention from the oil addicted behemoths like the US and China.
What a democratically united world could do, is to remove the zero-sum mentality, and look at the world's resources as a whole, not something cut up into pie slices, with each country squabbling over the size of its slice. If we can examine the problem not through the distorted lens of nationalism, but directly and clearly, then we can work together to find solutions to avert the long-term crisis.
SHOEMAKER, STICK TO THY LAST
By Harold S. Bidmead
In 1944, Sylvia Pankhurst was the sole survivor of the three famous suffragette sisters who in their time had fought so fiercely for women's rights. I knew her as the editor of the Ethiopian Times, the organ of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Abyssinia. She once asked me if I would take over as editor while she took a short holiday. The result was that for a while the paper took on a slightly more distinct flavor of federalism than usual.
Knowing the difficulties mathematicians encounter in squaring the circle, and the apparently even harder job facing those of us trying to ‘square’ the planet, I began a series of articles under the heading of "Squaring the Globe" and with sub-headings such as "How Green are our Allies"; "Alas! We are UN-done!"; "First Aid, then Cure"; "Frisco Fiasco’; "The Un-tied Nations" and "Why UNO? Because WENO no better."
Once during a conversation at her home I asked Sylvia how she liked having Winston Churchill as her Member of Parliament. The reply was spirited: "He locals elected Churchill to represent them at Westminister, but he seems to take little interest in his constituency. Gallivanting all over the planet, he never seems to be here when needed."
I pointed out that this could probably be said about most prime ministers of repute. They tended always to find some international issue that is too serious to be left to their Foreign Secretaries,. We agreed that the system was more to blame than they were, and that this problem does not arise in federations.
I was reminded of this conversation the other day when listening to a political analyst trying to predict what the historians would say about Tony Blair. They would probably be kind about his efforts and successes as a statesman, but harsh about his relative neglect of his constituents.
We agreed that there is a very valuable aspect of the federal system in that the division of political brains and manpower is so fruitful and labor-saving. The quality of problem solving is improved in both spheres. In a federal union the elections tend to polarize contestants into specialists in international affairs for the federal parliament and for the national legislatures, those specializing in national problems, of which there are more than enough for even the most ambitious politician, each demanding undivided attention.
Not only are federal members of parliament including the prime minister, sheltered from national distractions, they are constitutionally precluded from meddling in national affairs. Thus we see the wisdom of the dictum,. "Shoemaker, stick to your last!" He must not be distracted by problems which a cobbler could solve.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM ALL OVER
Kraus new CEO of CGS
At their June 5 meeting, the national CGS board, and the board of the CGS Education fund elected Don Raus to be the new CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions. He was promoted to the CEO position form his former position as Executive Vice President in charge of external relations. The boards decided to select a CEO from within our organization rather than trying to bring in a new person, as was done on the last two occasions.
From Global Solutions News.