A Beacon of Hope in Dark Times

Glen T. Martin

            We live is very dark times.   Not only in the United States is freedom threatened by a combination of ignorance, arrogance, and stupidity in those who hold power, but worldwide the imperialist nations have used the ideological cover of a “war on terrorism” to continue repression of the aspirations of the poor for a life of prosperity and dignity.  

            The global environment continues to disintegrate with massive deforestation of the planet, widespread loss of agricultural land, extensive destruction caused by militarism and wars around the planet, and continued depletion of the ozone layer.  Human rights world wide are violated with impunity.  First world corporations exploit the natural resources and desperate poor of third world countries with impunity.  The AIDs epidemic and other diseases continue to spread.

            One thinker called our age the time of “noon tide terror,” when the false and arrogant human ego lashes out in the last desperate attempt to dominate, manipulate, and control its world and other people. This human ego, which emerged historically about 2500 years ago, assumes it stands apart from its environment and the holy cosmos in which we participate. Yet this is a false assumption that violates not only what mystics and spiritual teachers of all ages have taught.  It also violates the very structure of the world as this is revealed by twentieth century sciences: relativity theory, quantum physics, ecology, and social theory.  Science has revealed that nothing stands apart from interdependence with its environment and ultimately the whole.

            We need only grow beyond the fragmented and adolescent ego to begin to see this principle clearly.   This ego, with its need to dominate and exploit, is destined to fail as the human species grows into the unity in diversity with the earth, other creatures, and with the sacred cosmos.

            This principle of human maturity (unity in diversity) is embodied in work for global transformation of many worthwhile organizations.  One such organization, the World Constitution and Parliament Association, working recently with the Graduate School of World Problems, has organized four constituent assemblies between 1958 and 1991 to produce the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  World citizens from many nations came together to study, develop, and create a democratic world government for the planet based on the principle of unity in diversity.

            This Constitution has been translated into twenty-two languages and disseminated world-wide.  There are people in many countries around the world working for its ratification by the people and nations of the Earth.   The Constitution creates a democratic world order around a World Parliament that represents both the people of the Earth directly (like the U.S. House of Representatives) and the nations of Earth (like the U.S. Senate).  It is carefully designed to prevent tyranny through a system of checks, balances, and accountability.  And it is carefully designed to deal with the global environmental crisis, global militarism, to protect human rights worldwide, and to ensure enough prosperity to eliminate poverty for all persons on the planet.  The Constitution represents the growing up of the human race beyond the adolescent ego to mature relationships based on the principle of unity in diversity.

            Since the completion of the Constitution, many world citizens have worked tirelessly to promote its adoption and ratification.   We have held five Provisional World Parliaments that have elaborated badly needed legislation for a decent world order.  The Sixth Provisional World Parliament will be in Thailand, March 24-28, 2003.   Between parliaments, citizens meet with government officials, organize into citizen groups, communicate with other world federalist groups, write editorials, and promote this next crucial step out of the fractured and unworkable system of nation-states.  All over the world people are working to institutionalize the new planetary maturity within which all nations are united together with the universal rule of law and justice, rather than the rule of power, military might, and international chaos.

            The Graduate School of World Problems is authorized by the Constitution to train people to understand world problems in depth, as well as their solution through the framework of the Constitution and the coming democratic world government.  We have been holding very successful, regional seminars in various countries around the world (primarily third world), such as Ghana, Sri Lanka, and various locations in India.  We are scheduled to hold a seminar in Togo this June for people from a number of West African countries.  In the seminars, we examine global economics, global politics, global environmental issues, global militarism, and the Constitution itself in detail.  Anyone who has examined these problems closely knows they are interrelated and interdependent.  They cannot be solved piecemeal.

            Global militarism is destroying the environment as well as wasting about one trillion U.S. dollars per year worldwide that could be used to address social problems.  It fosters human rights abuses, destroys the environment, and encourages the rule of force in human affairs rather than the rule of law.  Global economic imperialism (so called “free trade”) enforces exploitation of people and nature in third world countries while transferring billions per year from the poorest segment of humanity to the wealthiest.   The global population explosion further impacts the environment at the same time that arable land and the forests that moderate the climate are disappearing.  Everywhere I have traveled, from Bangladesh in the east to Nicaragua in the west, I have seen these effects for myself.

            The problems of poverty, population, the environment, militarism, and human rights abuses all intersect.  None can be solved without also solving the others.  None can be solved without democratic world government that systematically and carefully reduces militarism, protects the environment, eliminates most poverty, ensures human rights for every citizen on the planet, and provides incentives for population control (among which the elimination of poverty is central).

            This new world order is not far off as some claim.  I believe it is right around the corner since human beings are rapidly growing toward planetary maturity.  I have written about this at length in my forthcoming book, Millennium Dawn – The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation.   As I travel around the world doing this work, everywhere I meet people who see that the present institutions dominating the world are failing on a planetary scale.  Both the nation-state system and global capitalism (in its present form) are understood to be illegitimate.  Nether represents the interests of the people of Earth nor future generations.  And the U.N. is predicated on both and designed to protect both of these illegitimate institutions.

            It will not be long before the people of the world, and many nations, will be ready to initiate a decent world order based on the rule of democratically legislated law.  This order will be protected by the world court system and other institutions carefully designed to promote the principle of unity in diversity for planetary peace with justice.   The “dark times” that we live in are simply the last gasp of those dominated by the twisted and power hungry ego.   We are indeed in a race against time.  We must all work for the rule of law and justice on Earth before nuclear holocaust or global environmental collapse end forever hope on this planet.  

            Our present institutions (unrestrained capitalism and the autonomous nation-state) tend to promote immature fragmented people who deny their unity with, and responsibility for, other people and creatures worldwide. If we create democratic world government under the Constitution, this will significantly help people move toward planetary maturity.  Imagine every schoolchild on Earth reading in class from the Preamble to the Constitution: “Conscious that Humanity is One despite the existence of diverse nations, races, creeds, ideologies and cultures and that the principle of unity in diversity is the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail; when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare; and when basic human rights and responsibilities shall be shared by all without discrimination.”

Glen T. Martin is President of International Philosophers for Peace and Vice-President of the Graduate School of World Problems.  He can be reached at