Who Speaks for the Nation?

Glen T. Martin

Humankind is under a gigantic illusion that a nation-state (comprised of a diverse millions of people) can “speak.”  In the U.N. there are votes and we are told that this is the position of South Africa, and this is the position of Brazil, and this the position of Russia. Not one of these positions was likely arrived at through a democratic referendum of the people. Who is it that is speaking?  Not Brazil, but who?

This false assumption goes back in history. G.W.F. Hegel spoke of the sovereignty of nations as the sovereignty of national “wills.” If conflict among different national “wills” cannot be reconciled, he concluded, the result can only be “war” (1991, para. 331-33).  In today’s world there are perhaps two main different kinds of “national wills,” the wills of so-called democracies and the wills of dictatorships. Most countries are a mix of these two. What systems do we call democracies today?  For example, when the United States speaks at the U.N. through President Biden and his U.N. representative, whose view is being expressed? 

So-called democracies really speak for their super-rich ruling classes and industrial-military complexes. The ambassador at the U.N. does not represent you and me, but positions formulated largely in secret as something called “U.S. foreign policy.” These ruling classes are the real power and the source of endless war despite whatever the people of the nation may desire.  On the other hand, dictatorships obviously speak for the ruling persons or groups and their henchmen who help enforce their domination over the nation.  In neither case is the “will of the nation” ever the voice of its people.

Within those nations called “democratic,” the voice of the people sometimes plays a role. There are domestic issues that the people may vote on in a referendum, etc. But on so-called “foreign policy”—almost never. No wonder the world is a mess of warring states, vast migrations, economic crises, hunger and misery, spread of diseases, national security secrecy, multinational corporate domination, and global banking cartel exploitation. There is no such thing as democracy at the international level. The illusion in the powerless U.N. General Assembly that “one nation, one vote” is democracy is a travesty. India has more than a billion people and some tiny island nation-states have barely a million people.

There is no such thing as “global governance,” a deceptive phrase that is favored by the ruling elites—the multinational corporations, the industrial-military complexes, the banking cartels, and their elite “Commissions on Global Governance” with their duplicitous and dishonest language of “democratic global governance.”  Within nations, citizens may debate serious issues and voting may count to a certain extent (almost always manipulated by big money).  But our planet is a total mess and getting worse because at the global level it has no government—only the machinations of the powerful hidden behind their duplicitous “commissions.”

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth, the most obvious and simplest solution, meets resistance everywhere for just this reason. The dominators fear genuine democracy.  Genuine democracy might put people in power who actually care about the planet, human dignity, and the future.  We cannot have this because any genuine democracy will obviously tax the rich, restrain the rampage of the multinational corporations, eliminate the debt-based domination of the banking cartels, and end the insane militarism of the nations of the world.

The Earth Constitution does something never before done on Earth—it brings the possibility of genuine democracy to our planet. Under the nation-state system genuine democracy is impossible both within nations and between nations (between nations it is primarily power relations, never the genuine voice of the people as pointed out above). The world is an interdependent and interrelated place, as Immanual Kant first pointed out in the 18th century (1957). All nations are interdependent through the global economy, through cultural, civilizational, and security issues, and, most importantly, through a planetary ecosystem that allows all life to flourish on the Earth.

The autonomy and independence of sovereign nations is an illusion—as the chaos of our world of endless wars, migrations, terrorism, failed states, sanctions and blockades, endless wars and power struggles reveals. Because the Earth Constitution does not operate under the illusion of a nation-state sovereignty that claims democracy is possible within states in spite of the chaos of our world-system, it can offer genuine democracy for the first time in history.

It is not a small thing that the World Parliament contains not only a House of Nations and a House of Counselors but an even larger House of Peoples representing 1000 electoral districts from around our planet, all substantially equal in population. The people of Earth actually get direct representation on the global level, independently of the states where they happen to have citizenship.  No wonder the present world system fears this.  The people of Earth do not want war, they do not want poverty, they do not want state terrorism, economic blockades, and international chaos.  The vast majority want peace, prosperity, and civil order.

If the people of Earth get to participate directly in the governing of our planet through their 1000 electoral districts independently of their national governments, then the nationalist propaganda of the national governments is likely to be less effective. Even if my national government and its subservient “independent” national media intone a war-mantra like “We must invade before the smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud,” as happened in the United States in 2003, people voting directly through their reps in the House of Peoples can think and choose independently of the propaganda.  They are now world citizens, not reduced simply to be U.S. citizens dependent on the propaganda emanating from their government. They can think and act for themselves. This is what the elites of the world fear. Global democracy can liberate human beings to think for themselves.

The Earth Constitution promises to bring civil order to our planet as a whole and this is precisely what the present “governing” elites fear.  Civil order means they substantially lose their power and privilege and take their proper places as equal citizens with the planetary democracy.  Real democratic law is nonviolently revolutionary.  The Earth Constitution takes its entire framework from the principles of unity in diversity and the equal rights and dignity of all. It integrates the present world system into a larger framework that helps fulfill and complete the inner meaning of our human civilizational project.

To claim that there is a “national will” in the U.N. and other forums like the World Trade Organization (WTO), perpetuates the myth and the lie that Hegel and others promoted throughout modern history. In true global governing we cannot have only the so-called “sovereign” nations speaking as if that were some form of meaningful democratic participation in governing our planet. Their collective voices can never give us democracy, only more militarism, conflict, domination, and exploitation.

Under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, the people of Earth speak—they participate directly in the governing of our planet for the first time ever.  This move to planetary democracy also makes more authentic democracy possible within nations.  People voting within nations no longer need to be told that certain issues (like war and national security) are off limits to their democratic participation and inspection.  Like all secrecy, the national-security secrecy breeds corruption. In the U.S. billions upon billions of dollars go to a military-industrial complex secret from the public and corrupt through and through. Even our so-called representatives in the U.S. Congress do not dare to question this.

By placing our world under the democratic Earth Constitution, and through reducing and then eliminating militarism and national-security ideologies of spying and state sponsored terrorism, that is, by pacifying our world into a planetary democratic civil society, real democracy will also for the first time be possible on the national level as well. There is no downside to ratifying the Earth Constitution. It empowers the people of Earth. It recognizes the rights and dignity of all people to equality, freedom, prosperity, and security. It directly addresses the threats of nuclear holocaust and climate destruction.  It brings humanity to its true selfhood of mutual dignity and respect for the first time in history.

As philosopher of law and spiritual thinker Peter Gabel declared: “law must maintain its connection to justice by following an ethical intuition anchoring the present to the future, an intuition of what we are in our being but are not yet in reality” (2013, 19). Real law, democratic world law, by promoting justice and equality for all, involves the participation of everyone in what the Constitution calls a “new age” of world peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability. It anchors the present to a future in which we actualize our true human destiny. We can become what we are truly meant to be. All the great world’s religions have proclaimed this quest. The Christian scriptures, for example, proclaim “thy will be done, thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

It is in this sense that, as I have proclaimed many times, “democratic world law is the 21st century form of love.”  The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is love embodied within a blueprint for human transformation, survival, and flourishing. We do not want a world run by nation-states under the illusion that each one has a “will” that speaks for its people. We need a world run primarily and most directly by its citizens, actively participating in a World Parliament that represents both present realities and a future in which we actualize our true human destiny.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Constitution Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global

Gabel, Peter (2013). Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture. New Orleans: Quid Pro Books.

Hegel, G.W.F. (1991). Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Alan Wood, Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kant, Immanuel (1957). Perpetual Peace. Louis White Beck, trans. New York: Macmillian.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.