MAY 2004 NEWSLETTER
WORLD BEYOND BORDERS
This is the official newsletter of World
Beyond Borders (www.worldbeyondborders.org).
It reports site news and world events that affect
our quest for a united Earth. To subscribe, go to
Volume 2, Issue 5
May 3, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Quote of the Month
2. What's New at World Beyond Borders
3. Politics Beyond Borders?
4. What You Can Do
1. QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"If you want to be on the leading edge of anything, you have by definition to be a couple of standard deviations away from most people. That makes you an odd-ball. The trick is to learn to accept it, then to like it -- and keep on making lots of noise for what you believe in." --Charles Sheffield, physicist and science fiction author
2. WHAT'S NEW AT WORLD BEYOND BORDERS
This month at World Beyond Borders, thirteen new articles have been posted. They have been taken from the old World Federalist Association website (www.wfa.org) and given a new home here. WFA became Citizens for Global Solutions last fall, and visitors to wfa.org are redirected to www.globalsolutions.org, so their content's days appear numbered. We've made it our duty to try and preserve the best of their essays. They are all listed below by section.
Why Global Government?
*Federalist Paper # 16 by Alexander Hamilton, who presented his argument as to why the states should be transcended and included by a federal government, over 200 years ago.
*"The Law of Nations Ought to be Founded Upon a Federation of Free States" from Perpetual Peace by Immanuel Kant. An argument for binding states with a federal government.
*"Community Making and Peace" from The Different Drum by M. Scott Peck. In this essay, Peck argues that until we make such submission to international government and community, it is inevitable that we continue to believe it proper for the United States to be "the world's policeman", with all that entails.
*"The Birth of the Global Nation" by Strobe Talbott, Time Magazine, July 20, 1992. Strobe Talbott argues that the best mechanism for global democracy is a federation, a union of separate states that allocate certain powers to a central government.
*"From the Anatomy of Peace" by Emery Reves. Reves argues that the only way to find security on the world stage is to institute the same kind of political structures that give us security on the national stage.
What Might It Look Like?
*"Confrontation or Cooperation?" by Bill Clinton The U.S. former president looks at federation as a good idea that could advance our humanity in the smaller world of the 21st century. This is a rare thing -- a lively essay about the idea of federalism.
*"From the Great Rehearsal: The Story of Making and Ratifying the Constitution of the United States by Carl van Doren". Van Doren takes a close look at the most momentous chapter in American history.
How We Might Get There?
*"An Open Letter to the General Assembly of the United Nations" by Albert Einstein lays out the argument that the UN now and world government eventually must serve one single goal--the guarantee of the security, tranquillity, and the welfare of all humankind.
*"Beyond Vietnam" by Martin Luther King, Jr. King's essay looks at the violent struggle in Vietnam and argues for non-violent solutions to global conflicts as the only means for building a livable new world.
*"The American Example" by Clarence Streit looks at the past of the United States as an example for the world in how to unite diverse states into a single common union.
*"African Unity and World Government" by Joseph K. Nyerere gives arguments as to why Africa should be transformed into a United States of Africa.
*Resolutions Adopted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This resolution requesting the U.S. Congress to invite all nations to unite in the formation of a world state was adopted by Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, February 23, 1915, and by its House of Representatives on February 26, 1915, as House Resolution No. 1226.
*Resolution Adopted by the State of North Carolina This joint resolution (H.R. 338 Resolution 24) was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives of North Carolina March 11, 1941, and by a vote of 45 to 5 by the Senate of North Carolina on March 12, 1941. Contains principles and objectives for a Declaration of the Federation of the World.
Please send article ideas or submissions to Jane Shevtsov,
3. POLITICS BEYOND BORDERS?
by Jane Shevtsov
In February, Greens Party members from 32 European countries voted to form the European Greens, a unified political party. The Greens, who will run for seats in the European Parliament, are the first political party to make this move. While European nations retain their own military forces and can't be said to be truly united, this move represents an amazing move. A friend of mine says, "I grew up in a Europe that was between wars, the causes of which had historically been border conflicts. The thought of Germany and France sharing a unified title of "European Union" would have been scoffed at, and I would have been considered of unsound mind to even think of it seriously." To get this far took decades, but it wouldn't have happened at all if visionary minds had not stood up to guide events.
In the meantime, what can those of us outside Europe do to promote transnational democracy and how can any of us be represented at the global level? One idea is discussed by philosopher Peter Singer in his book _One World_. Singer proposes that at least one (up to five are allowed) of a nation's representatives at the UN General Assembly be elected. The transformative potential of this idea is tremendous. How much easier the work many of us do to strengthen the UN will become when people feel a stake in that organization! Furthermore, this change can be undertaken by one country at a time. It can't be obstructed by the powerful.
Another idea, supported by political writer George Monbiot, is the creation of an independent world parliament. In his book _The Age of Consent_ (published in the US as _Manifesto for a New World Order_), Monbiot writes, "Building a world parliament is not the same as building a world government. We would be creating a chamber in which, if it works as it should, the people's representatives will hold debates and argue over resolutions. In the early years at least, it commands no army, no police force, no courts, no departments of government... But what we have created is a body which possesses something no other global or international agency can claim: legitimacy." And there is room for further growth. "The parliament's ability to review the decisions of the General Assembly would reinforce the Assembly's democratic authority. We might anticipate a shift of certain powers from the indirectly elected body to the directly elected one. We could begin, in other words, to see the development of a bicameral parliament for the planet, which starts to exercise some of the key functions of government."
Which, if either, of these ideas will win out is unclear. We don't know when or how global democracy will emerge. But that's just another way of saying that the answer lies in our hands.
For more information:
*European Greens, www.eurogreens.org
*George Monbiot, "Let the People Rule the World", http://www.monbiot.com/dsp_article.cfm?article_id=434
4. WHAT YOU CAN DO
*Forward this newsletter, especially if you know anyone involved with the Green Party.
*Sign up for a World Parliament Meetup at http://worldparliament.meetup.com/
We want your stories! Email Jane Shevtsov at
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