Education, Values, and a Democratic World Order

Glen T. Martin

19 May 2006

Life is really very beautiful, it is not this ugly thing that we have made of it; and you can appreciate its richness, its depth, its extraordinary loveliness only when you revolt against everything – against organized religion, against tradition, against the present rotten society – so that you as a human being find out for yourself what is true.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

What is a human being?  What does it mean to be rational?  To be free?  To be moral?  To have dignity, integrity, or the capacity for excellence as a human being?  What kind of social, economic, and educational order is necessary for human beings who are rational, free, and moral?  These questions involve the entire meaning of our human project on planet Earth.  

These questions ask about a creature that has emerged out of the cosmic process itself, perhaps twelve billion years in the making, a creature that has emerged out of the “immense journey” of life on this planet, perhaps four billion years in process, a creature who is about two million years old on this planet, who, only yesterday, emerged into self-awareness and developed the ability to ask these questions.  They are questions concerning which twentieth century science has much to say.

Human beings have the capacity, attested by mystics of every century and religion, to live with a direct awareness of the fullness of existence prior to language, ideologies, or conceptual frameworks.  Persons at their highest levels of development, discussed below, often mention moments of such awareness engendering a creative, responsive relationship to all of life.  Such persons also often assert the emergence of universal values in their lives.  These facts indicate a developmental potential that may well exist within all human beings.

Education involves, at its deepest level, an implicit conception of what it means to be human, or at least an intimation that this is a central question to be asked.  Education intuits the centrality of this question to understanding what we need to know about our place in the family, the society, the planet, and the cosmos. It addresses our highest human potentialities. Buried within our humanity itself, within our potential as human beings, lies a general image of what it means to be human, a broad, ideal image traditionally shared by nearly all cultures and religions. This image most often connects us with the very foundations of the universe, to Mother-nature, to the One behind duality, or to God.  Twentieth-century science and scholarship have discovered an empirical grounding for this perennial image.[1]

1.  Philosophical and Social-Scientific Understanding of Human Development

Social-scientific studies and philosophical works by such thinkers as John Dewey, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jürgen Habermas, Erich Fromm, Paulo Freire, and others have borne out the idea that there are a series of developmental stages through which persons have the capacity to grow.  These stages include not only intellectual development but development in understanding universal moral principles.  This trajectory of moral and intellectual development presents us with a conception of human maturity that includes a broad image (capable of a wide diversity of embodiments) of rational, free, moral persons acting as responsible citizens within rational, free, just societies, and living at peace with all other persons with whom we share this planet. 

Aristotle, in the fourth century BCE, had already identified this potential lying within each of us for the development of our specifically human rational qualities towards a phronesis or intellectual and moral virtue that could be shared by most human beings in a diversity of specific forms.[2]  Immanuel Kant, in the 18th century, added to this the idea that rational autonomy is linked to an inherent human dignity that is immeasurable (beyond all price) precisely because each person is a free, moral agent emerging from the matrix of the mysterious and unknowable ultimate reality that encompasses our lives.[3] These two together, the development of our human potential in conjunction with the recognition that each person has intrinsic dignity, form the basis for understanding the connection between education and values.

            In Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation, I linked this ontogenetic development of which each person is capable with the idea of phylogenetic stages through which our species has been growing toward human maturity for at least the past 50,000 years.[4]  Education and values are linked through the stages of intellectual and moral growth common to all human beings, and this growth can easily become a planetary phenomenon raising the rational and moral level of our entire human species.  Education cannot and should not teach “moral rules” but should foster creative thinking about values and ethical principles in relation to the universal problems faced by all human beings, from specific ethical dilemmas to global issues of resource depletion, environmental destruction, war, and systematic violence. It should make possible our highest development as human beings and as a species, a development that includes intellectual and moral maturity, on the one hand, and a direct awareness of the depths of the living moment on the other.

It is only through the development of what I call “planetary maturity” among human beings[5] that a new world of peace and justice can be born.  Education, as Plato pointed out in the Meno, cannot teach values.  However, its primary aim should be to foster human intellectual and moral development.  American philosopher John Dewey writes:

Every one grants that the primary aim of education is the training of the powers of intelligence and will – that the object to be attained is a certain quality of character…. To say this is simply to proclaim that the problem of education is essentially an ethical and psychological problem.  The problem can be solved only as we know the true nature and destination of man as a rational being, and the rational methods by which the perfection of his nature may be realized…. A knowledge of the structure and functions of the human being can alone elevate the school from the position of a mere workshop, a more or less cumbrous, uncertain, and even baneful institution, to that of a vital, certain, and effective instrument in the greatest of all constructions – the building of a free and powerful character.[6]

And philosopher Alfred North Whitehead insists that education must develop the powers of creativity and the imagination that emerge with human intellectual maturity:

The justification for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge and the zest of life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning.  The university imports information, but it imparts it imaginatively.  At least, this is the function which it should perform for society.  A university which fails in this respect has no reason for existence.[7]

            Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg and others have studied the cognitive levels through which children move as they develop.  At each stage there is a direct correlation between the cognitive capacity of the child and the way the child experiences and processes moral ideas.  The process does not automatically extend into adulthood.  Many adults are frozen short of their full potential for cognitive and moral development.  Powerful institutions (that I will consider below) prevent their further growth toward planetary maturity.  Kohlberg summarizes these stages of development:

At each higher stage…the conception of justice is reorganized.  At Stage 1, justice is punishing the bad in terms of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  At Stage 2, it is exchanging favors and goods in an equal manner.  At Stages 3 and 4, it is treating people as they desire in terms of the conventional rules.  At Stage 5, it is recognized that all rules and laws flow from justice, from a social contract between the governors and the governed designed to protect the equal rights of all.  At Stage 6, personally chosen moral principles are also principles of justice, the principles any member of society would choose for that society if he did not know what his position was to be in the society and in which he might be the least advantaged.  Principles chosen from this point of view are, first, the maximum liberty compatible with the like liberty of others and, second, no inequalities of goods and respect which are not to the benefit of all, including the least advantaged.[8]

            Kohlberg, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, and others debate the features of a “highest stage” of human moral and intellectual development that they often refer to as “Stage 7,” a stage that, according to Kohlberg, “culminates in a synthetic, nondualistic sense of participation, and identity with, a cosmic order.”[9]  At the highest stages of development persons begin to become aware of the deep connections between our immense developmental journey out of the womb of the cosmos and the deepest meanings of being human. This phylogenetic trajectory points to a goal that can become a living experience of fully aware persons who experience the holism implicit in our human situation.  Their experience suggests the possibility of a global transformation of human life on planet Earth, as internationalist thinker Richard Falk suggests: “the rediscovery of normative and spiritual ground upon which to find meaning in human existence.”[10]

            However, such a highest stage of human development (often termed Stage 7) is not necessary for the emergence of universal values in socially responsible world citizens.  The development of universal principles of justice reasoning (Stage 6) in a majority of the Earth’s population, principles that are the potential of every normal human being, would be sufficient to transform our brutal world order and solve most of the apparently suicidal global problems that currently portend a very bleak future for humanity. They imply a democratic world order with universal peace and prosperity that I will describe below.  Kohlberg describes the structure of Stage 6 justice reasoning as follows:

The tradition of moral philosophy to which we appeal is the liberal or rational tradition, in particular the “formalistic” or “deontological” tradition running from Immanuel Kant to John Rawls.  Central to this tradition is the claim that an adequate morality is principled, i.e., that it makes judgments in terms of universal principles applicable to all mankind.  Principles are to be distinguished from rules.  Conventional morality is grounded on rules, primarily “thou shalt nots” such as are represented by the Ten Commandments, prescriptions of kinds of actions.  Principles are, rather, universal guides to making a moral decision.  An example is Kant’s “categorical imperative,” formulated two ways.  The first is the maxim of respect for the human personality, “Act always toward the other as an end, not as a means.”  The second is the maximum of universalization, “Choose only as you would be willing to have everyone choose in your situation.”  Principles like that of Kant’s state the formal conditions of a moral choice or action.[11]

Another way of expressing the values inherent in our humanity, arising as Stages 5 and 6 values, is through the discourse of human rights.  Lists of “inalienable human rights” embodied in various documents from the U.S. Declaration of Independence to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth[12] express the dignity understood to inhere in each of us simply in virtue of our being human.  They express Kant’s principle that each person is to be treated as an “end,” never merely as a means.  Each person is understood to have duties owed to them by all others, inviolable protections such as the right to life, liberty, and security of person,[13] simply in virtue of being human.  Human rights are universal values that are recognized in connection with simply being human.  They are articulated, defended, and described most fully by mature persons who have developmentally realized the depth and significance of being a human being.

In a philosophically developed account of human rights, American philosopher Alan Gewirth argues that human rights are identical with the most fundamental of our moral principles:

…Human rights are of supreme importance, and are central to all other moral considerations, because they are rights of every human being to the necessary conditions of human action, i.e., those conditions that must be fulfilled if human action is to be possible either at all or with general chances of success in achieving the purposes for which humans act.  Because they are such rights, they must be respected by every human being, and the primary justification of governments is that they serve to secure these rights.  Thus the Subjects as well as the respondents of human rights are all human beings: the Objects of the rights are the aforesaid necessary conditions of human action and of successful action in general; and the Justifying Basis of the rights is the moral principle which establishes that all humans are equally entitled to have these necessary conditions, to fulfill the general needs of human agency….[14]

            As the necessary conditions for human action (which presuppose the possibility of rational moral action that Kant had identified as the source of our human dignity), human rights are inalienable, Gewirth argues, that is, they are necessary for our functioning as full human beings.  They fall into two broad categories: the rights of freedom and the rights of well-being: “These necessary conditions of his action and successful action are freedom and well-being, where freedom consists in controlling one’s behavior by one’s unforced choice while having knowledge of relevant circumstances, and well-being consists in having the other general abilities and conditions required for agency.”[15]

I will discuss below the kind of democratic world order necessary to ensure both the rights of freedom (political rights) and the rights to well being (economic and social rights).  In education, it is important to show that the entire concept of human rights flows from universal rational principles as Gewirth attempts to do.  Human rights are not a cultural bias of certain cultures as sometimes claimed.  How to itemize a listing of such rights is certainly a topic of debate, and may well have cultural implications, but the idea of universal human rights is itself based on moral principles as these are ever more clearly understood in the course of human cognitive and moral development.

            The implications for law and government with respect to the values implicit in the human potential for planetary maturity are not difficult to discern.  They have been articulated in various ways by many political thinkers from John Locke to Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Immanuel Kant to John Rawls.  Gewirth articulates these implications in the following way:

…Governments are justified insofar as they recognize and help to secure the human rights justified in the direct applications, especially the basic rights.  Because freedom is a basic human right, such governments must use certain democratic procedures and guarantee certain freedoms as well as certain components of well being….  It is in the context of these indirect applications that there emerges the connection between the necessary conditions of action and the political and civil rights, including not only the rights…to a fair trial, emigration, and nationality, but also the rights to the various civil liberties and political participation.  All these human rights are either species of the generic right to freedom or components of the rights that must be guaranteed by governments that fulfill the justificatory requirements of the PGC [Principle of Generic Consistency].[16] 

            Implicit in human moral and cognitive development are the principles of democracy understood as social arrangements that guarantee freedoms and democratic procedures equally for all and provide the conditions for sufficient well-being in the citizens.  These arrangements are logically necessary to ensure that our human capacity for free action is not diminished or destroyed. The Principle of Generic Consistency, “act in accord with the generic rights of your recipients as well as of yourself,” is similar to Kant’s categorical imperative to treat every person as an end in themselves, never merely as a means.  Treating people as ends in themselves, such as acting in accord with their generic rights to freedom and well-being, implies democratic principles on both personal and governmental levels. Authentic education that develops the cognitive and moral potential of students, therefore, is also education for freedom, democracy, and human rights.

            A related central value that emerges out of the higher stages of human maturity is universality in the sense of holism, an orientation to the whole human community and/or a sense of relatedness to the cosmos itself. The ability to act autonomously on self-affirmed universal principles is simultaneously the ability to enter with others into cooperative action and a community of equals.  Social conformity and the fear of violating the values of a culture, nation, or community belong to a lower level of moral maturity.  Autonomous persons, as Habermas points out, are capable of entering into a real discourse with others directed to a goal of mutual understanding in which all participants are changed by the experience.[17]

Such communicative action is entirely different from the fear of violating social norms or community values and requires sufficient moral maturity and independence.  Such a procedural framework (equal rights to speak, to frequency of speech, to disagree with any assertion, etc.[18]) is an essential foundation of democracy and makes possible cooperative action and a community of equals:  “Naturally,” Habermas writes, “this flow of communication requires sensitivity, breaking down barriers, dependency – in short, a cognitive style marked as field-dependent.”[19]  The capacity for community, respect for differences, and mutual appreciation of diversity grows with moral autonomy and independence.

For psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm, the process of living itself produces a new relatedness to the world and to other human beings.  This is one way of characterizing planetary maturity.  It involves a creative aliveness and relatedness to all of life as well as with all other human beings.  It is this potential in all of us that is impeded and destroyed by present day institutions.  These are the values behind an education directed toward real human growth:

Living is a process of continuous birth.  The tragedy in the life of most of us is that we die before we are fully born.  Being born, however, does not only mean to be free from the womb, the lap, the hand, etc., but also to be free to be active and creative.  Just as the infant must breathe once the umbilical cord is cut, so man must be active and creative at every moment of birth.  To the extent that man is fully born, he finds a new kind of rootedness; that life in his creative relatedness to the world, and in the ensuing experience of solidarity with all man and with all nature.  From being passively rooted in nature and in the womb, man becomes one again – but this time actively and creatively with all life.[20] 

The creative and engaged response to life includes, Fromm asserts, an “experience of solidarity” with human beings and with nature.  This solidarity can be articulated in terms of the principle of unity in diversity.

2.  Holism and the Principle of Unity in Diversity

            It is not only in social theory (such as those of Gewirth, Habermas, or Fromm) that the twentieth century has seen the principle of interrelation and interdependency linking whole and parts.  The entire gamut of scientific breakthroughs in both the life-sciences and physical sciences has understood that the fundamental principle of the universe we live in is holism: the parts cannot be understood apart from their interdependence with wholes, whether these be ecosystems, human communities, micro-particle systems, or astro-physical systems.

            Human beings are all one species with a nearly identical potential for developing through the states of moral maturity to where universality and particularity coincide.  Moral principles are valid if they can be universally applied within this particular situation and with respect to these particular human beings who must be treated as ends in themselves.  The principle of unity in diversity, therefore, becomes a fundamental value for planetary maturity.  Psychologist Robert J. Lifton refers to human growth as “evolution of the self”:

This evolution of the self towards its own species can help it overcome dissociative tendencies.  One moves toward becoming what the early Karl Marx called a “species-being,” a fully human being.  Once established, the species identification itself contributes to centering and grounding.  In no way eliminated, prior identifications are, rather, brought into new alignment within a more inclusive sense of self.[21] 

            Holism is also at the heart of environmental biology in the realization that organisms cannot be separated from their environment from the micro level to the planetary level.  Biology now understands that our planet is an encompassing ecosystem that will not support human life if we continue its destruction.  In physics, similar principles hold from the micro to the macro levels.  Physicist Fritjof Capra writes that “modern physics shows us once again – this time at the macroscopic level – that material objects are not distinct entities, but are inseparably linked to their environment; that their properties can only be understood in terms of their interaction with the rest of the world.”[22] 

British born philosopher of science Errol E. Harris has shown the implications of these principles at length in many of his books.[23]  In Apocalypse and Paradigm: Science and Everyday Thinking, he describes the entire process by which the fragmented “Newtonian Paradigm” has been replaced by the twentieth-century Holistic Paradigm.  The implications of a holistic paradigm in which unity in diversity is understood as the fundamental principle of life and the universe are immense.  Explanation becomes “teleological” in the sense that parts can only be understood in terms of the wholes of which they are a part.  Similarly, human growth and development can be understood in terms of the realization of universality: Marx’s “species-being” (the whole of our species), now understood to be the goal of individual and evolutionary development.  Planetary maturity becomes phylogenetic as well as ontogenetic.  Harris writes:

If the implications of this scientific revolution and the new paradigm it introduces are taken seriously, holism should be the dominating concept in all our thinking.  In considering the diverse problems and crises that have arisen out of practices inspired by the Newtonian paradigm, it is now essential to think globally.  Atomism, individualism, separatism, and reductionism have become obsolete, are no longer tolerable, and must be given up…. In short, explanation must be teleological, for the proper import of teleology is the domination and direction of the part by the whole.  Further, the parts discovered are to be treated as provisional wholes in their own right, participant in and contributory to more complex and more highly integrated wholes.  Such holistic thinking would make an incisive and far-reaching difference to both theory and practice in every field of human interest and activity….[24]

            The implications of the pervasive holism of our universe discovered by twentieth-century science bears on every field of human thought and endeavor, including morality and social theory.  Human development must be understood in terms of the telos implicit in our humanity.  In addition, human beings must come together in a political, social, and economic unity that does not exclude their diversity and particularity but enhances it as a necessary factor in planetary maturity.  The intellectual and moral growth of the individual human being leads toward a moral universality that by its very nature respects human individuality.  Authentic education fosters this development leading to persons who embrace the principle of unity in diversity as a fundamental moral principle.  Harris writes:

Morality is an outcome of the development of self-consciousness – the essence of human reason, which has now transpired as the principle of organization that has been at work throughout the scale of natural forms, raised to the level of self-consciousness.  As such, reason is the source and agency of order and unification.  When it manifests itself in the life of human beings as social order, morality arises as a necessary aspect of social conduct….

This is the basis and source of moral obligation, the social equivalent of which in principle translates into political obligation.  Its ultimate aim is a coherence and wholeness of life, the implications of which, when fully unfolded under conditions prevailing today in which common interests include the preservation of the planetary ecology and the maintenance of world peace, disclose the demand for a universal community of mankind and a concomitant universality of moral principle.  Relativity to the group and its culture proves to be merely provisional and finds its proper fulfillment only in the universal standard of common to all human beings.[25]

               Political obligation is now an obligation to all other human beings, not merely to a country or a state in which I happen to have been born.  For Harris, institutions must be created that mirror this universality of political obligation in democratic world government.[26]  We have seen the inseparability of moral development from the development of political institutions (democracy) that reflect the freedom, universality, and dignity implicit in our humanity and progressively explicit in the morally mature human being.  The universality of thought and action in the morally mature person must be mirrored in the universality of democratic institutions that encompass humanity in its species-being.

 Education must educate for wholeness, for a living awareness of the principle of unity in diversity, not through any form of didacticism but through encouraging the processes that lead to authentic growth. Not only are these value principles inherent in the telos of human beings developing phylogentically on this planet over the past two million years.  At this point in the early twenty-first century, they are necessary to the very survival of the human race.  Harris concludes:

If human and other living beings are to survive the coming century, it is essential that we should learn to think holistically.  The twentieth-century scientific paradigm must become intrinsic to the millennial outlook, and the millennial objective ought to be the initiation of unified global organization.  The unity of humanity should be the watchword of the new epoch, inspiring all our thinking and action.  It is essential to stress the unity of the whole in and through difference.  In all local action, the global perspective has to be kept firmly in mind.[27]

            What are the impediments to the realization of this vision and potential within us for planetary maturity?  Why has humankind thus far remained mired in fragmentation and fractured existence?  The broad answer given by Harris is that the twentieth-century scientific paradigm has not yet informed human thinking and acting, which remains mired in the fragmented Newtonian paradigm.  The Newtonian paradigm understood the universe and human life in terms of the fundamental metaphor of the machine rather than using the organic metaphor that became fundamental with twentieth-century biology.  People become locked into fragmented patterns of thought that have been held in place by fragmented institutions.  The result is the impending disaster underlined by Harris. 

In Education, Modernity, and Fractured Meaning: Toward a Process Theory of Teaching and Learning, Donald W. Oliver and Kathleen Waldron Gershman agree that humankind remains locked into self-destructive metaphors:

Our guess is that once our imaginative energies become locked into a narrow range of metaphors, that is to say, as modern people have come to focus on the machine, qualities of reality which would normally extend beyond the convenience of the single dominant metaphor are inappropriately perceived and understood.  Hunger on a worldwide basis, for example, is construed as economic scarcity (we have too small an economic machine) rather than as the result of human greed, exploitation, or thoughtlessness.  Paranoid fears between alien peoples are seen as problems to be solved literally with machines – organized armies, weapons of mass destruction – or through conversations between technically trained diplomats and negotiators.[28] 

The paradigms or metaphors that dominate our thinking have immense destructive consequences.  Nevertheless, as Oliver and Gershman understand, there is much more to the fractured nature of modernity than this fixation on a narrow range of metaphors, true as this may be.  For the problem of fragmentation (and education complicit in fragmentation) has been going on for much longer than the modern era since the Renaissance.  Education historically has nearly always been in the service of special interests.  And phylogenetically, human beings have been in a long process of growing toward this holism that frees us from former partial perspectives.

2.  The Fragmented Modern World and Historical Forces that Impede Human Development

            Oliver and Gershman are very much to the mark in their prescription for how we might frame an educational philosophy that goes deeper than perpetuating the dominant metaphors of this or that historical era.  They recognize that fragmentation must be overcome and that the machine metaphor is not only one that applies to human problems like economic scarcity or fears between people but is a metaphor that informs people’s entire view of the cosmos.  We need to free ourselves from the outdated Newtonian (machine) paradigm and embrace the holism uncovered by twentieth-century science, and we need to foster the development of planetary maturity in all the world’s citizens.

This holism simultaneously connects us to cosmic processes from which we have emerged and to which we are intimately related.  Just as Errol E. Harris refers us to the Cosmic Anthropic Principle which connects the emergence of human life with the fundamental physical parameters of the early universe[29] so Oliver and Gershman connect us with our past that has emerged out of the cosmic process:

We argue here for a reconsideration of this piecemeal way of viewing modern educational change, seeing it not within the limited framework of our progressive functionalist ideology, not simply as part of a machine that is to be analyzed, improved and made more efficient, but rather within the broader framework that emerges when we consider the full evolutionary potential of the human species.  This requires us to take seriously the first million years of human history – as best as can be reconstructed – as we take the last five thousand years of ‘civilized man’ or the last four hundred years of ‘scientific-technological man.’  We would then see the human record as considerably more than an evolutionary climb from savagery to barbarism to feudalism to the modern industrial state.  We might then discover human cultures and systems of belief which suggest creative and positive ways by which the unbalanced and fragmented qualities of modernity can be reconsidered.[30]

Holism has roots both in our distant past and many of its traditions as well as in the emerging scientific present.  Indeed, the account of planetary maturity sketched above resonates with the teachings of a number of philosophical and religious teachers throughout Western and Eastern history.  Many great teachers have reached Stage 7 awareness of the cosmic holism out of which human life emerges and to which we are related.  On the other hand, concrete human beings and their societies have rarely approximated this image in their educational or social practices.  Human history can be understood as a long struggle toward human liberation, toward becoming, so to speak, what we are, or what we are meant to be. 

We have yet to even begin to significantly realize our potential has human beings living on this planet. Our educational, social, and economic institutions have often worked against the development of our full human potential.  The values they have sought to inculcate are not rationally developed universal values but narrow, partial, and parochial values that seek control rather than liberation.  They have not been holistic values but fragmented and fractured values.

Primitive societies evolved into class societies several thousand years ago.  These class societies used law, religion, military forces, and propaganda to exploit and dominate both their own lower classes and other societies through conquest, spheres of hegemony (requiring payment of tribute) or through direct colonial or neo-colonial rule.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins his account of the development of the social contract by stating “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”[31]  The situation is the same today under the global domination of the Neo-liberal agenda promoted by the imperial governments of the world and sponsored by big capital and multinational corporations.[32]

Today, education is not available for hundreds of millions of people whose human potential is being strangled and sacrificed.  Where education is available, it is most often used in the service of a dominant class, power interests, or the owners of capital.  Rarely is the goal the development of freedom, rational autonomy, moral integrity, or independence.  Very often it is in the service of economics, training people to be cogs in an economic machine that they are not expected to critically examine or criticize.  Very often education is in the service of the forces of domination that give themselves false ideological names:  domination is called “freedom,” capitalist economic exploitation is called “democracy,” the propaganda system is called “a free press,” going to war is called “peace keeping,” holding official enemies accountable for misdeeds in mock trials is called “seeking justice,” and the department of war is called “the Department of Defense.”[33]  What would education have to be like if it were put in the service the real development of our human potential as Karl Marx, for example, insisted it should be?[34]  How can education be connected with the values of human liberation?  If on its deepest level education is connected with an understanding of what it means to be human, then the values of freedom, reason, and moral integrity are inherent in our human project.  How can education be directed to this realization of our highest human potential?

Perhaps the two most pervasive global institutions that today promote and perpetuate our fragmented world order are global monopoly capitalism and the system of so-called sovereign nation-states.  Although there has been extensive analysis and commentary on each of these institutions and the havoc they have wrought throughout the modern era since the Renaissance, few have pointed out their substantial interdependencies and interconnections.  It only makes sense that the capitalist ruling class within each country would use its influence over governmental power not only to frame laws that allow its exploitation of the workers and environment but to influence foreign policy in such a way as to maximize their profits in trade and imperial relations with foreign countries.

Even the official “legal” separation between private capital and government in our day makes little substantive difference.  The heads of corporations become key government officials and advisors while generals or former high government administrators retire to lucrative jobs within major corporations.  The history of this intimate relationship between political power and capital is traced by Terry Boswell and Christopher Chase-Dunn in The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism: Toward Global Democracy.[35]

A key concept behind the entire modern system can be termed “plunder by trade.”  This concept is developed and traced historically by J.W. Smith in Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle of the Twenty-First Century.[36]  The key to the global imperial system has not been Adam Smith “free trade” or “fair competition.”  It has been framing the rules and conditions of trade to favor the imperial nations at the expense of their victims. “Plunder by trade” has enriched the powerful nations at the expense of the rest of humankind, aided by military invasion or other forms of outright manipulation and domination.[37]

Both of these most fundamental institutions of the modern world teach and promote fragmentation of our world in thought as well as in practice.  Capitalism teaches a doctrine of global competition that, over the past four centuries, has resulted in a world in which, by 1994, the wealthiest 20 percent of the world’s population had 78 times the income of the poorest 20 percent.  Today, the 225 richest people in the world have a net worth of more than $1.3 trillion. This is equal to the annual incomes of the poorest 2.5 billion people.[38] 

The world, as Oliver and Gershman point out above, is locked into a conceptual straight jacket promoted endlessly by the capitalist media (who frame the agenda and perspective of the majority of media in the world).  This perspective says that the problem of the immense poverty in the world after four centuries of capitalism is not due to exploitation, theft, and systemic greed but to insufficient growth in the capitalist system.  The absurdity of this idea in the face of the realities of today’s world is there for all to see who care to open their eyes.  But as long as the mass media control the frame through which the “facts” are interpreted, “seeing” itself will require the development of a critical consciousness.[39]

Just as mature people develop universal values that concern themselves for the welfare of all others as “ends in themselves” so mature educational institutions promote reflection on economic values.  Such reflection would result in a profound modification of capitalism in the direction of economic democracy and an economics of universal prosperity rather than one of scarcity with absolute winners and losers. However, big capital has immense influence over the politicians who structure educational institutions and over the food, services, books, and materials that are used in classrooms worldwide. This influence keeps the propaganda of competitive capitalism drumming into the minds of each new generation, perpetuating the fragmentation of a world full of starving, desperate, and marginalized people.  It treats a human created institution (capitalism) as if it were a natural law mirroring some Darwinian struggle for survival that is entirely out of place for mature human beings.

Similarly, the drum beat of today’s education focuses on the so-called “sovereign” nation-state as if it were not an historical creation (formalized at the European Treaty of Westphalia in 1648) but the “natural” pattern of human political organization.  The world consequently is divided into approximately 193 autonomous units recognizing no significant law above themselves.  These nations all believe that “security” is a necessary and fundamental objective since (in a fragmented world) no state can fully trust other states and must be ready to defend itself in case of attack.  The result is an educational fiasco where children are taught nationalism and parochialism rather than being encouraged to grow in their thinking and acting into mature adults.

In both cases, deeply intertwined with one another, the educational process is twisted away from its true meaning as the actualizer of human potential into the perpetuator of human immaturity and fragmentation.  Both the holism discovered by twentieth-century science and the unity in diversity recognized by intellectually and morally mature human beings are in direct contradiction with educational practices the world over as these exist today.  The true meaning of education, as it has emerged in thinkers throughout history and as it has been articulated in numerous social-scientific studies throughout the twentieth century, has yet to be realized in any significant way in educational practices worldwide. 

3.  Education for Critical Consciousness

            A proper term for the system of education that is institutionalized on behalf of the nation-states and global capitalism is “brainwashing.”  For both global capitalism and the nation-state systems are so bad, so destructive of the human welfare, the environment, and the possibility of human fulfillment on this planet, that they would not continue to exist if it were not for massive world-wide brainwashing of new generations to accept this madness as “natural,” as inevitable laws of nature.[40]  This is why authentic education must develop critical consciousness along the lines often referred to as “critical social theory,” the tradition (deriving from Karl Marx) understanding that every class society generates a set of ideological self-justifications to cover up an exploitative and ugly reality.  I would add to this the fact that every nation-state does the same thing to cover up its inability to govern democratically.

            It is not that thereis a “conspiracy” going on in any highly defined sense of this word.  Rather, the ruling classes of all nations work together to perpetuate the system.  Many in the ruling classes are themselves brainwashed by their elite educations at Harvard, Yale, or Princeton.  Many have been arrested in their intellectual and moral development by a system of systematic greed and domination that has no use for anything approximating planetary maturity.  Many of the elite intuitively understand that their wealth and power are predicated upon maintaining a high level of immaturity in the general population.  Many of those in government understand that their immense undemocratic powers come to them from the “national-security” and military systems intrinsic to the fragmented system of so-called “sovereign” nation-states.

A critically developed consciousness has the intellectual maturity to discern the framework hidden behind any presentation of “facts.”  It is sophisticated enough to know that there is no such thing as a bare fact, that all facts are interpreted within a framework of assumptions that are usually never mentioned in the presentation. Facts are framed, slanted, emphasized, deemphasized, suppressed, distorted, interpreted, or selected according to some unspoken agenda. Just as intellectual maturity understands this and is alert to the propaganda function of most presentations of “facts” so moral maturity understands that one cannot treat people as ends in themselves unless one is fully aware of situations and their implications.  A person cannot live morally if he or she accepts a skewed ideological picture of the world, of causes and effects, and of the consequences of his or her actions.

Similarly, we have seen that human maturity implies democracy.  However, democracy cannot flourish unless citizens have developed sufficient critical consciousness to see the manipulation of people and ideas that takes place from powerful corporate interests or non-democratic political forces.  Regardless of the rhetoric heard everywhere today, education does not promote mature citizens who take their political responsibility seriously as the central actors within a democracy.  Education is largely controlled by hidden structural forces reinforcing the twisted logics of capitalism and the nation-state system.

Everywhere in today’s world, education is directed toward creating nationalistic sympathies, fearful participants in military and other non-democratic institutions, and passive consumers for corporate generated, ecologically harmful trash.  Education today is largely directed toward fitting people to become cogs in an economic machine that they are not supposed to examine too closely, and its is directed toward brainwashing them in the service of global capitalism and the nationalism of the nation-state system.  The last thing education wants us to ask is: “What does it mean to be a human being?” and “What are the political-social-economic conditions necessary for a fulfilled and fulfilling human life in community with others?”  For asking these questions calls into doubt the fragmented premises of our entire current world order

Simply framing these questions pulls us in the direction of human maturity.  Indian born spiritual philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti raises the issue in this way:

I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves what education means.  Why do we go to school, why do we learn various subjects, why do we pass examinations and compete with each other for better grades?  What does this so-called education mean, and what is it all about?  This is really a very important question, not only for the students, but also for the parents, for the teachers, and for everyone who loves this earth.  Why do we go through the struggle to be educated?  Is it merely in order to pass some examinations and get a job?  Or is the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the whole process of life?  Having a job and earning one’s livelihood is necessary – but is that all?  Are we being educated only for that?  Surely, life is not merely a job, an occupation; life is something extraordinarily wide and profound, it is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings.[41]

            People often fail to realize that education is not simply directed into learning what is necessary for employment but into developing the “social character” necessary to accept absurd forms of employment without question, forms of employment directed to the destruction of people and things (the military), or that destroy the environment, or that exploit the poor in the service of the rich.  It is this “social character” that then willingly and naturally perpetuates the fragmented thinking and institutions that are threatening the very future of humankind. 

There is a vicious circle: perverse institutions (global capitalism and the nation-state system) brainwash new generations into absurd patterns of thinking (a pathological social character), then the majority of citizens demand more of these same institutions since these fit perfectly with the world view embedded in their social character.  Fromm, writes:

The starting point for these reflections is the statement that the character structure of the average individual and the socio-economic structure of society of which he or she is a part are interdependent.  I call the blending of the individual psychical sphere and the socioeconomic structure social character….  The socioeconomic structure of a society molds the social character of its members so that they wish to do what they have to do.  Simultaneously, the social character influences the socioeconomic structure of society, acting either as cement to give further stability to the social structure or, under special circumstances, as dynamite that tends to break up the social structure.[42] 

            Fromm calls the social character inculcated by contemporary society a “Having” mode of existence whereas humankind’s fulfillment and maturity lie in a “Being” mode of existence.  The mode of Being is a condition of mature self-awareness very much in accord with what Krishnamurti is suggesting in the above quotation. Contemporary education inculcates a social character that compulsively strives for possessions, ambition, ego-gratification, and domination over others by individuals who assume they stand apart from life as something to be manipulated and molded in the service of desires. (Or, concomitantly, it inculcates servility, conformity, and adaptation to perverse social conditions.)  People immaturely believe the meaning of life is in having rather than being. They are brainwashed in the service of commercial, economic, and power interests destructive of democracy and mature human freedom.  

Brazilian born liberation philosopher Paulo Freire agrees.  In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, he asserts that “the oppressor classes” are themselves dehumanized by their dehumanization of others (treating them as a means rather than as ends in themselves).  Their consciousness involves a “to have” model of being human: “The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into an object of its domination.  The Earth, property, production, the creations of men, men themselves, time – everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal.”  This is the very negation, he says, “of their ontological vocation to be more fully human.”[43]  In Education for Critical Consciousness, Freire places education into the larger historical context related to a fulfilled and mature mode of human existence:

Men play a crucial role in the fulfillment and in the superseding of epochs.  Whether or not men can perceive the epochal themes and above all, how they act upon the reality within which these themes are generated will largely determine their humanization or dehumanization, their affirmation as Subjects or their reduction as objects.  For only as men grasp the themes can they intervene in reality instead of remaining mere onlookers.  And only by developing a permanently critical attitude can men overcome a posture of adjustment in order to become integrated with the spirit of the time….

But unfortunately, what happens to a greater or lesser degree in the various “worlds” into which the world is divided is that the ordinary person is crushed, diminished, converted into a spectator, maneuvered by myths which powerful social forces have created.  These myths turn against him; they destroy and annihilate him.  Tragically frightened, men fear authentic relationships and even doubt the possibility of their existence.  On the other hand, fearing solitude, they gather in groups lacking in any critical and loving ties which might transform them into a cooperating unity, into a true community….

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of modern man is his domination by the force of these myths and his manipulation by organized advertising, ideological or otherwise.  Gradually, without even realizing the loss, he relinquishes his capacity for choice; he is expelled from the orbit of decisions.  Ordinary men do not perceive the tasks of the time; the latter are interpreted by an “elite” and presented in the forms of recipes, of prescriptions.  And when men try to save themselves by following the prescriptions, they drown in leveling anonymity, without hope and without faith, domesticated and adjusted….[44] 

            The development of a critical consciousness at once activates our creative relationship to life, as Erich Fromm asserts above, and allows us not to be submerged in our culture and its ideology, as Paulo Freire asserts. To have a critical consciousness is to be aware of the contradictions inherent in all class societies that have to spew forth an ideology that justifies the domination of the few “for the greater good of all” while simultaneously exploiting the majority and suppressing their life-potential as human beings. To have a critical consciousness is also fundamental to the human ontological telos to become “more fully human.” 

We are creatures emerging out of a nature twelve billion years in process, with our own two million year history, who need to educate ourselves in the light of this immense evolutionary journey.  As Krishnamurti says, life is very beautiful as we realize the immense potential for living within us, as we realize and begin to experience what it means to be a human being.  Life is not this ugly thing we have made of it.  The “having” mode of existence fostered by capitalism and the nation-state system strangles our higher human possibilities.

            Critical consciousness sees deeper than everyday experience to what philosopher of education, Henry A. Giroux, terms the “structural determinants” that condition and inform everyday existence.  A critical consciousness sees that it is human beings who make history and that the possibilities are truly liberating, since neither capitalism nor the nation-state are inevitable natural phenomena.  Giroux writes:

Radical pedagogy needs an anthropological grounding but one that recognizes the force of structural determinants that do not show up in the most immediate experiences of teachers and students.  The ideological and the concrete cannot be reduced to a mere shadow of the institutional workings of capital, but must be seen as starting points by which to analyze their particular relationship to institutions such as schools, family, and work so that these relationships can be viewed critically and transformed when possible…. The conditions for a new mode of pedagogy as well as a more humane society begin when we as educators can reveal how the self-constituting nature of individuals and classes is not something that can be subsumed within the rationality that legitimizes the existing society.  For at the heart of praxis is that first moment when the human subject truly believes that he or she can begin to make history.[45]

            Human beings who are encouraged to ask real questions in the process of developing their own intellectual and moral autonomy will tend to develop a critical consciousness.  Such a consciousness includes awareness of the way “facts” are manipulated and framed to support the dominant order.  It is “disobedient,” as Fromm asserts, to the extent that it is willing to question power and authority in the service of truth and genuine understanding.  It is “dialectical,” as Freire asserts, in that it sees more deeply into the processes of history and the possibility of progressive and liberating social change.  It is aware that the fullness of life is distorted and diminished by “structural determinants” of capitalism and the nation-state system that block our common “ontological vocation to be more fully human.”

4. Education for a Democratic World Order 

            Reflection concerning the nature and requirements of democracy is fundamental to a liberating education.  So-called “civic education” in many countries assumes that the participants are living in a democracy and simply studies the formal mechanisms by which this is supposed to work.  Such education never develops a critical consciousness that discerns why this does not work and why there is no genuine democracy.

However, the nature of democracy remains a theoretical and existential problem for human beings.  Democracy is not something we know about whose implementation we have solved, except in the propaganda of profoundly undemocratic societies that want the population to believe they live in a democracy. Democracy is implicit in human intellectual and moral development as a future form of cooperative living that still needs to be worked out on planet Earth.  A critical consciousness does not hide from the immense problems involved in creating and maintaining a democratic world order. 

So-called “civic education” does realize that treating every person as an end in themselves means institutionalizing this in the form of universal human rights, universal freedoms, and an economic system predicated on universal prosperity rather than immense wealth for the few and denial of the right to live with well being for the immense majority.  Human beings must realize their potential for planetary maturity and become active participants in the community of humankind rather than passive victims of the system of haves and have-nots.  They must realize their potential for “being” rather than having. As Fromm emphatically asserts: “To achieve a society based on being, all people must actively participate in their economic function and as citizens.  Hence, our liberation from the having mode of existence is possible only through the full realization of industrial and political participatory democracy.”[46]

By distinguishing “industrial” from “political” democracy, Fromm is indicating that formal political democracy alone cannot give genuine life, liberty, or security of person as long as we live under the economic totalitarianism of big capital manipulating and exploiting us in the service of private profit. We have seen Alan Gewirth define human rights as the necessary conditions for meaningful human action.  These necessary conditions fall into two broad categories of “freedom” and “well being.”  Just as people cannot meaningfully act without guaranteed rights to speech, press, assembly, and protection against governmental interference so they cannot act without sufficient well being in the form of food, clothing, housing, tools of communication, transportation, etc.  An economic order premised on universal prosperity must replace the present order of exploitation and scarcity for the majority if there is ever to be democracy or respect for human rights on this planet.[47]

For human beings to realize their intellectual and moral potential, that is, for morality to be possible among human beings, there must be some form of “socialism” in the sense of a society that is concerned with making possible the “good life” for the vast majority of its citizens.  Such socialism or “economic democracy” must be realized within the context of political freedom and cannot be engineered by any totalitarian form of government.  Here we have another issue confronting intellectually and morally mature human beings and another educational issue that can contribute to their growth.  How do we combine economic and political democracy on Earth to create a world in which our higher human potential can be realized for the great majority of persons?

American philosopher Michael Luntley in his book, The Meaning of Socialism, reflects on the conditions for moral maturity and the realization of the good life for human beings:

Socialism is not a moral theory which offers a particular version of the good life, instead it is a theory about how the good life is possible.  It is, in short, a theory about the conditions necessary for creating a society in which our lives are shaped by moral values – we defer to the authority of the good – rather than a society in which our moral traditions have been erased by forces inimical to the moral life.  And part of this theory about the conditions necessary for the good life provides the leading critical aspect of socialism.  That part is the claim that it is capitalism which has been largely responsible for the destruction of the conditions necessary for the good life.[48]

Human beings, treated as ends in themselves and not exploited as a means to someone else’s enrichment, have their rights to “well being” respected.  Society and government must be democratic in the sense of representing the common good of all the citizens and not controlled by oligarchic forces of big capital that manipulate the laws in the service of their own interests.  This alone makes morality possible.  Education for human development implies the values linked to some form of democratic socialism.

            However, just as capitalism is inimical to human moral development so is the autonomous nation-state.  In a world of so-called “sovereign” nation-states, each recognizing no significant law above themselves, there is an explicit contradiction with their demands that we citizens obey their laws.  Citizens are to obey the law, but nations do not even have to recognize the rule of law above themselves in world affairs, since they are “sovereign.”[49]  Citizens are to obey the law, except when their military commanders order them to kill or destroy citizens in other countries.  Citizens are to obey the law, but international intelligence services must lie, manipulate, assassinate, blackmail, and coerce in the interests of their “sovereign” nation outside of any democratically legislated or enforced world law.

            Under the system of nation-states, democracy within nations is also nearly impossible.  Gigantic forces steal sovereignty from the people and place decision-making in the hands of military, security, and economic elites.  For globalized weaponry, communications, economics, and environmental interdependency mean that no nation is any longer in control of its own fate.  The perpetual need for “security” and the threat of war mean that immense resources must be relegated to a non-democratic military system. Global economic conditions force nations into externally determined “structural adjustment” programs or other economic measures outside the control of the people.  Even the most powerful nations are subject to global economic upturns or downturns beyond their control.  In some countries, gigantic multinational corporations operate with impunity outside the regulation of both the host government and the local population.[50]  Environmental breakdown threatens the well being of all nations.[51]

Global problems such as overpopulation, resource depletion, climate change, environmental pollution, destruction of the ozone layer, militarism and wars, terrorism and insecurity, and human rights violations flourish unchecked and impact the destinies of nation-states.  Many forms of international crime are committed by nations, corporations, or private groups (such as the drug trade, the weapons trade, sex-slavery, and terrorism).  These flourish within the anarchic, lawless international system that makes democracy within particular nations a sham and a lie. 

The people of Australia cannot operate a democracy in that country when their physical well being is destroyed by cancer-causing solar radiation due to the destruction of the ozone layer above their country.  Democracy at the very least requires the protection of life, liberty, and security of person.  The peoples of Latin America cannot operate democracies within their countries when the World Bank and IMF, based in Washington, DC, dictate economic policy to their central banks.  Global conditions steal the decision-making power of local peoples and reveal the only viable democracy as world democracy.

Just as we have seen that human intellectual and moral development implies the development of universal moral principles that apply to all human beings in their “species being” so that same development implies democracy on a planetary scale.  It implies the sovereignty of the people of Earth and democratic world government to express and legislate, on behalf of that sovereignty, enforceable world law applying to all individuals, everywhere on the planet.  The ontogenetic development of individuals leading to universal principles that imply the equality and freedom of democracy is mirrored by the phylogenetic development of human beings on the Earth.  Planetary maturity implies democratic world government.  Only democratic world law (dealing with global problems and ensuring global equality among nations and people) can activate and empower democracy at the local level.

Implicit in our development is the holism discovered by twentieth-century science involving every aspect of the universe and the evolutionary process.  The dogma of democracy within isolated nation-states involves a form of fragmentation that is inimical to human development.  Human rights and the value of human beings as ends in themselves do not stop at some arbitrarily manufactured political border where government can say:  “Over this border persons no longer have the rights guaranteed by our constitution.”  The core human value of unity in diversity is violated by this fractured logic.

Human dignity, freedom, and rights must be universally and institutionally guaranteed by democratically legislated enforceable laws.  Yet these laws nowhere exist in today’s world.  The dogma of the “sovereign” nation-state forbids the realization of the planetary maturity of democratic world law that applies equally to all persons.  So-called “international law” under the United Nations system is supposed to regulate nation-states, not persons, and is only enforceable by the bizarre methods of punishing entire populations for the crimes of the few.  It is only “enforceable” through economic sanctions that starve entire populations or by military actions that attack entire nations as if they were individuals who could be held morally responsible through the carnage of war.  The mythology of “sovereign” nation-states currently fracturing our world order must be replaced by a federation of limited political entities whose job is local administration according to the framework supplied by a democratic Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

The World Constitution and Parliament Association has developed the Constitution for the Federation of Earth through a series of four global constituent assemblies over a period of 23 years, from 1968 to 1991.[52]  This Earth Constitution embodies the values of planetary maturity that represent the intellectual and moral development of human beings on planet Earth to date.  Its Preamble premises democratic world law on the principle of “unity in diversity,” and its specific structure is designed to provide and protect freedom and well being for every citizen of Earth, including our right to a decent, healthy planetary environment. 

Democracy is a fundamental value that emerges with human intellectual and moral development.  Like all genuine values, it is inherently universal and understands that every human being is an end in themselves, with inherent dignity and inalienable rights.  It is fundamental to our being human.  Under today’s globalized world order, with its immense global problems intractable at the local level, democracy can no longer function within nation-states.  It can only function in any meaningful way as non-military democratic world government.  The suicidal fragmentation imposed upon the world by global capitalism and the system of “sovereign” nation-states must be overcome through world political unity within the framework of an economics of world prosperity.  Both are embodied within the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.[53]

Education must be education for creativity, for exploration, for genuine questioning and examination.  It must promote the development of our highest human possibilities.  Education cannot teach values, but it can encourage the examination of real, fundamental questions.  Curricula can be designed at various educational levels for examining questions like “What is democracy and how can authentic democracy be organized and activated?”  “What is sustainable living within the framework of a finite, delicately balanced planetary ecosystem?”  “What is world peace and how can this be institutionalized and protected?”  “How can we design an economics of prosperity for all people on Earth?”  “How can human rights and human dignity be protected worldwide?”  However, perhaps the most fundamental issue of all (that must form the basis of all genuine education in relation to values) revolves around the immense question: “What does it mean to be a human being?”


[1] For 20th century scholarship regarding spirituality and mysticism, not addressed in this paper, see my Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation.  Sun City, AZ: Institute for Economic Democracy Publisher, 2005, Chapters 4 and 5.

[2] See Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and Politics.

[3] See Kant, Immanuel, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. H.J. Paton, trans. New York, Harper & Row, 1964.

[4] Millennium Dawn, Chapters 1 and 6.

[5] Ibid. Millennium Dawn.

[6] Dewey, John, John Dewey on Education: Selected Writings. Reginald D. Archambault, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 197-198.

[7]  Whitehead, Alfred North, The Aims of Education and Other Essays.  New York: The Free Press, 1957, p. 93.

[8] Kohlberg, Lawrence, “The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Moral Education” in Harvey F. Clarizio, Robert C. Craig, and William A. Mehrens, Contemporary Issues in Educational Psychology, Third Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1977, p. 57)

[9] Kohlberg, Lawrence, The Psychology of Moral Development, Volume Two: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages.  San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984, p. 249. 

[10] Falk, Richard, Explorations at the Edge of Time. Prospects for World Order.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992, p. 7.

[11] Kohlberg, Psychology of Moral Development, p. 57.

[12] The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is found at a number of places, for example, as the at the end of Errol E. Harris, Earth Federation Now!  Tomorrow is Too Late.  Sun City, AZ: Institute for Economic Democracy Publisher, 2005, as Chapter Four of Glen T. Martin, World Revolution Through World Law: Basic Documents of the Emerging Earth Federation.  Sun City, AZ: Institute for Economic Democracy Publisher, 2005, and on the web sites,, and

[13] This is Article 3 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

[14] Gewirth, Alan, Human Rights: Essays on Justification and Applications. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 1982, p. 3.

[15] Ibid. p. 47.

[16] Ibid. p. 9.

[17] Habermas, Jürgen, Communication and the Evolution of Society.  Thomas McCarthy, trans. Boston: Beacon Press, 1979, Chapter 2, “Moral Development and Ego Identity.”

[18] Habermas, Jürgen, On the Pragmatics of Communication.  Maeve Cooke, ed.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998, Chapter One.

[19] Ibid. pp. 93-94.

[20] Fromm, Erich, On Disobedience and Other Essays. New York: The Seabury Press, 1981, p. 7.

[21] Lifton, Robert J. The Protean Self – Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation. New York: Basic Books, 1993, p. 231.

[22] Capra, Fritjof, The Tao of Physics. Berkeley: Shambala Press, 1975, p. 209.

[23] See, for example, Errrol E. Harris, Cosmos and Anthropos. A Philosophical Interpretation of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle. London: Humanities Press International, 1991.  See also Cosmos and Theos. Ethical and Theological Implications of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle.  London: Humanities Press International, 1992.

[24] Harris, Errol E., Apocalypse and Paradigm: Science and Everyday Thinking.  London: Praeger Publisher, 2000, p. 90.

[25] Ibid. pp. 101-102.

[26] See Harris, Errol E., Earth Federation Now!  Tomorrow is Too Late.  Sun City, AZ: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2005.

[27] Ibid. p. 132.

[28] Oliver, Donald W. with Gershman, Kathleen, Education, Modernity, and Fractured Meaning: Toward a Process Theory of Teaching and Learning. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989, p. 19.

[29] Harris, Apocalypse, pp. 111-112.

[30] Oliver and Gershman, p. 30.

[31] Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, The Social Contract and Discourses, G. D. H. Cole, trans., New York: E. P. Dutton & CO, 1947.

[32] See Korton, David C., When Corporations Rule the World.  Second Edition. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 2001.

[33] See Chomsky, Noam, What Uncle Sam Really Wants.  Berkeley: Odonian Press, 1996, pp. 86-91.

[34] Marx, Karl, Capital, Volume One.  Ben Fowkes, trans.  London: Penguin Books, 1990, p. 739.

[35] Boswell, Terry and Chase-Dunn, Christopher, The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism: Toward Global Democracy.

Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000.

[36] Smith, J. W., Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle of the 21st Century.  Institute for Economic Democracy Publisher, 2003.

[37] See Blum, William, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2000.

[38] Source: Thomson Nelson, Sociology In Our Times, Third Canadian Editionon the web at

[39] See Chomsky, Noam, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies.  Boston: South End Press, 1989.

[40] See my analysis of these institutions in Millennium Dawn.

[41] Krishnamurti, J., Think On These Things.  New York: Harper & Row, 1964, p. 9.

[42] Fromm, Erich, To Have Or To Be.  New York: Continuum, 1996, pp. 133-134.

[43] Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Myra Bergman Ramos, trans. New York: Seabury Press, 1974, pp. 43-44.

[44] Freire, Paulo, Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum, 1990, pp. 5-6.

[45] Giroux, Henry A., Ideology, Culture, and the Process of Schooling.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981, pp. 31-32.

[46] Fromm, To Have Or To Be? p. 181.

[47] See Smith, J. W., Money: Mirror Image of the Economy.  Institute for Economic Democracy Publishers, 2006.

[48] Luntley, Micheal, The Meaning of Socialism. LaSalle, IL: Open Court Publisher,1990, p. 15.

[49] See Martin, World Revolution Through World Law, Chapter One.

[50] See Korton, When Corporations Rule the World.

[51] See Daly, Herman E., Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development.  Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

[52] For a more detailed history, see the Appendix to Martin, World Revolution Through World Law.  Or see the web sites or

[53] For an outline of the economics of the emerging Earth Federation, see Martin, World Revolution Through World Law, pp. 86-94.