Opening Speech at the Eighth Session of the Provisional World Parliament
Dr. Glen T. Martin
We are gathered here at the Eighth Session of the Provisional World Parliament, at the generous invitation of our great host, Sri Jagdish Gandhi, and the excellent work of the local CMS organizing committee, to continue our world-historical task of establishing democratic world government under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We have among us international lawyers, philosophers, visionaries, peace activists, social workers, educators, youth organizers, and environmentalists from many countries around the world. The occasion is an historic one as we enter the third millennium of human civilization, for we are all part of an effort to begin a new era in civilization, to begin a new world order in which every person on the planet is included in a reign of justice, freedom, and peace.
We all know that we are gathered at this Parliament not to hold another of many peace conferences, not to endlessly talk about the need for a better world, not to discuss ideals and values of peace, disarmament, or human rights, but rather to help found a new world order. That is why this day is different from all other days and why our movement and these parliaments are different from all other events. We are not just talking. We understand that the time for endless talk is past. We are doing it. We are the vanguard, the advanced front, the visionary leaders in humanity’s effort to become civilized.
For we realize that the world cannot any longer wait for the slow evolution of its forces of power, chaos, greed, and fragmentation to create a decent world order before it is too late. It is already too late. The global environment is already in the process of collapsing! Global poverty and misery are already of gigantic proportions and getting worse daily. Global militarism is already destroying civilized living around the world. The global water supply is shrinking. Global farm lands are disappearing. Global fisheries are collapsing. Tomorrow is too late!
We are here in this hall because the world already has a Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Those of us who are delegates have personally ratified this Constitution recognizing it as the supreme law of the Earth superceding all merely national constitutions. We are not only building on the brilliant work of those predecessors who realized in 1958 that the world needed a constitution and a founded world order more than anything else. We are here to continue the building of that world order under the authority of Article 19 of the Constitution.
The Earth Federation has begun. It was begun at the initial ratification of the Constitution at the Third Constituent Assembly in Columbo, Sri Lanka in 1979, hosted by Dr. Terence Amerasinghe, President of the Provisional World Parliament, who is with us at this Eighth Session.. We are the visionaries and laborers who are building the new world order outlined by the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. But insofar as we have ratified the Constitution, we are also citizens of the Earth Federation who have begun the new world order within the husk of the old decaying and rotten world disorder
As such, at this historic session of Parliament we will continue to elaborate the mission and vision for the real world parliament once the Constitution has been ratified by the people and nations of Earth. And we will continue to develop the body of provisional world law, building on the seven previous sessions of the provisional parliament, which will serve as a model and set of guiding principles for the actual world parliament once the Constitution has been officially ratified under Article 17 of the Earth Constitution. We are not just talking about a new world order, we are actualizing it. We are helping to create it at this parliament.
The new world order is not an evolved world order but a founded world order – founded on the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. This distinction is utterly important. First, in a founded world order, everything begins anew within the framework of universal law premised on a world of equality, justice, and freedom for all. The framework of universal, enforceable law provides the matrix and the principles necessary for a rapid transformation of the present unjust, unequal, and unfree world order.
An evolved world order can do none of this. In an evolved world, beginning in a situation of injustice, inequality, and unfreedom, those who are powerful and wealthy will work to ensure greater advantages for themselves and legal universal equality for all will never be achieved. The forces that influence the evolution of world society are never simply those of justice. The central evolutionary determinants are undemocratic economic, political, and military forces. Evolution must take these distorting forces into account and the plethora of competing interests and forces will never result in a world order based on truly universal principles before it is too late and we witness global environmental collapse, global totalitarianism under one nation, or global military holocaust. An merely evolved world order will never achieve enforceable, truly universal laws. Fragmentation will continue and chaos will result.
Second, a founded society is established upon ethical principles. Democracy is the only ethically legitimate form of government and world democracy is the only from of democracy that gives all human beings their birthright to live in peace, freedom, and equality. A founded society is a moral decision by humanity to live under universal principles and the rule of law. This is the only truly legitimate form of human social and political life — all human beings subject to the same democratically legislated laws and participating in the creation of those laws.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth embodies the ethical principle of the sovereignty of the people of Earth (for this is, and morally can be, the only true sovereignty). It embodies the ethical system of practical, democratic decision-making for human affairs, for there is no other morally legitimate form of human decision-making at the world level. Finally, it embodies the two extensive bills of human rights (Articles 12 and 13) that articulate in detail the ethical principles, rights and duties, that apply to every person on Earth.
An evolved society will always compromise these ethical principles in the face of the “realities” of political and economic power, hegemony, and inequality. Only a society founded on universal ethical principles can create a truly civilized world order. An evolved society will always and forever compromise, always cater to power and influence, will never quite reach its vague ethical ideals. The world can ill afford such a haphazard and ill-conceived method of developing a better world order. Human rights are universal; human dignity is universal; the demand for freedom and justice is universal. No evolved society and even begin to fulfill these ethical demands that are inherent in our human situation from the very beginning.
Third, the optimal situation is already embodied in the basic principles of a founded world society. The principles of justice, prosperity, equality, and freedom are there from the beginning for all to see. This means that citizens of the Earth Federation can work to transform the world rapidly in the direction of freedom, prosperity, justice, and equality using the Constitution and its clearly defined rights as a universal standard and goal. The optimal situation is embodied in the founding principles rather than serving as some vague ideal that people must struggle for into an uncertain future.
An evolved society has no such set of goals or universal standards that serve as a key for transformation to a just and peaceful world order. In an evolved society, the goals themselves are in dispute and there is a chaos of forces moving history in this direction and that. The evolutionary process also includes major forces that are trying to prevent the moving of history toward a decent world society. The powerful and rich (whether nation-states, individuals, or corporations) want to build into the evolutionary goal special advantages for themselves. In a founded society as embodied in the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, the initial premise is equality and justice for all and the social task of transforming the world to conform to this premise is much more coherent, certain, and achievable. The founding principles serve as a standard and a goal that makes a coherent, civilized world order possible for the first time in history.
There are already some examples of founded societies in history, although none are truly universal in scope. The United States was a founded society, a decision of many people to live under a founding constitution according to ethical principles. This was a great step forward in world history. Even though its constitution was never intended to create economic democracy, it created a political democracy in which the abolition of slavery and the political equality of women were implicit and inevitable.
The greatest flaw in the assumptions behind the U.S. Constitution, as with most national constitutions, was that it established political democracy only in one nation, leaving the world in a system of power struggles, economic, and political rivalry among sovereign nation-states. As the U.S. Supreme Court determined in 1931, the U.S. Constitution does not apply to foreign policy. In foreign policy, human rights or human life need not be respected. The result is the monster that we all see today. The Constitution of India with its Article 51 may be unique in this regard, allowing for India to be one day part of a founded democratic world government.
The attempt to evolve the United Nations into a governing body for the world will inevitably also give us some sort of monster. Beginning with a number of absurd (literally absurd) premises, upon which the U.N. system is based, many well-meaning people believe they can evolve that body in the direction of a decent world order. What are these absurd premises? First, the system of sovereign nation-states itself, which the U.N. charter says it is there to protect and preserve, which is a war system, a power-struggle system, a security and espionage system, and a profoundly undemocratic system. This stupid and brutal way of organizing human affairs cannot be reformed or evolved but can only be transcended by genuine world government (with the valuable agencies of the U.N. being absorbed into that government). Second, the global economic system of private monopoly wealth exploiting the land, resources, and poor of the world to make the super-rich ever richer at the expense of the rest of us, the environment, and future generations. The U.N. is up to its ears in neo-liberal global (so-called “free trade”) economics run by vast undemocratic economic and political forces that will forever resist evolution in the direction of a just world order.
Third, the U.N. is founded on the international war system. The U.N. is premised on using military force “to keep the peace” whatever this explicit contradiction can possibly mean. This war system is perhaps the ultimate madness of human beings. In the war system, social organizations, usually nation-states, attempt to systematically exterminate and destroy one another, devoting a large portion of their economies to developing the capacity to perform this slaughter, while systematically researching and manufacturing ever more diabolical technologies to further enhance their ability to destroy.. This fine system, itself integral to the system of nation-states and the present global economic system, is a founding principle of the U.N. Charter in Article 25 and elsewhere.
Finally, the U.N. is profoundly undemocratic. It was never intended to be a democracy or to approximate world democracy since it was founded by the victors in World War Two with the intention of creating their domination in world affairs. It is merely a treaty system of so-called sovereign nation-states controlled, like all such systems, by those that are bigger and more powerful. To try to evolve his nightmare system, starting with these absurd principles, and contending with the immense forces that resist evolution in the direction of a decent world order, is not “practical realism” as those trying to reform the U.N. system claim. It is to be completely out of touch with the deep structures and meanings of our present world order.
At this Eighth Session of the Provisional World Parliament we are not trying vainly to evolve anything! Neither are we talking endlessly about peace or human rights as they do in one peace conference after another worldwide. We are engaged in founding a new world order, not in evolving one. We are taking our stand on the principles of universal enforceable law, universal ethical principles, and universal founding ideals that serve as a standard for the transformation to a decent world order. We are elaborating the principles and laws of that new world order under the authority of Article 19 of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We are also working to get the peoples and nations of Earth to ratify the Constitution. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the founding document of this new world order.
We are the seed, the embryo, the vanguard, of the Earth Federation. I want to welcome you all to the birth the Earth Federation! We are the pioneers of a founded and just world order. This is a time not only of pioneer struggle and work but of great celebration and joy. From the bottom of my heart, I ask you to join me in celebrating the birth of the Federation of Earth!