Glen T. Martin
PROUT Conference, 24 May 2008
In the wonderful “Declaration of Independence” that some leaders of this conference wrote and placed in our tote bags, we have perfect mirror of the courageous and principled resistance of the left against exploitation, domination, tyranny, injustice, and corruption in today’s world. In the many panels and speakers at this conference we see this same principled resistance and commitment to a world or peace with justice. The Declaration of Independence takes its stand on what it calls the “inalienable rights” of all members of the human family, including economic rights to “adequate food, shelter, clothing, the rights of farmers, rights of social security,” etc.
Using the theoretical framework of the American Declaration of Independence the document expresses the same wonderful spirit of freedom and ethical struggle against injustice and tyranny that characterize the declaration. It gives the justification for dissolving the bonds of tyrannous government and demonstrates clearly how the American presidency has become tyrannical and has lost any moral right to the obedience of the people or the consent of the governed.
But this new Declaration of Independence tragically fails to give us what is necessary if we are to realize a world in which the inalienable rights of the human family are to be protected and in which peace and justice are to be established on the Earth.
In the keynote address for this conference, Lynne Stewart spoke of the rights to self-defense and resistance that all people have to tyranny, and this declaration of independence reaffirms these same rights to self defense and resistance against tyrannical government.
At the same time many speakers at this conference have emphasized that we need a positive vision, a vision of hope as Father Roy Bourgeois put it, a concrete program for creating peace, freedom and sustainability on the Earth, and these thoughts are right on target. What this declaration of independence lacks is precisely what the original American Declaration of Independence lacked: that is, a way forward toward the genuine rule of democratic law protecting inalienable rights, freedom, and peace.
Asserting a right to resistance and self-defense and moral struggle alone is futile in the face of institutionalize forces of repression and tyranny. Those resisting will always be crushed because they lack the immense forces of government and law which have been appropriated by the gigantic institutions of nation-states and the gigantic multinational corporations of our day.
Asserting such a Declaration of Independence will always fail because this declaration can only give us a revolutionary victory or loss — with no where to go beyond that. When the 13 colonies declared their Declaration, and won their revolutionary war, they were stuck under the Articles of Confederation that caused immense suffering and disaster for 12 years until a few visionaries came along with a Constitution that institutionalized inalienable rights, freedom, and peace.
This conferences’ Declaration of Independence similarly can lead nowhere except to likely defeat at the hands of the immense institutionalized forces of imperial government and global corporations because it lacks the theoretical understanding of what must happen after independence has been declared and won. It has little to say beyond resistance, self-defense and building relatively impotent non-governmental organizations. It it calls for non-violent revolution, but gives us no where to go either during the revolutionary process or after the revolution has been won.
Worse than that: its final declaration sinks us right back into the same black hole of militarism and tyranny that it declares independence from. It states “that all political connection between the government and the people is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as interdependent states, we will endeavor to promote economically sovereign and sustainable bioregions.”
Here we come right up against the immense theoretical limitations of the left today. Its theoretical premises assert one thing that is fundamentally correct: the inalienable rights of every member of the human family – the unity of humankind. But its vision of what lies beyond independence from the current system sinks us right back into the misery from which we wish to be liberate ourselves, just like the winning of the revolutionary war for the 13 colonies led right back into economic, military, and social chaos until some visionaries came up with the concept of a federation that united the former colonies under a Constitution with democratically legislated enforceable laws.
To declare that our future after liberation will be “interdependent states,” promoting “economically sovereign and sustainable bioregions” is to use popular slogans without theoretical comprehension of their tragic and reactionary implications.
The history of humanity for 5000 years has consisted of “sovereign” territorial regions rising to power and lusting for empire over weaker or smaller territorial regions: the Babylonian empire, the Assyrian empire, the Greek empire under Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, the Persian empire, the Spanish empire, the French empire, the British empire, the American empire. And our revolutionary friends on the left would give us independence only to sink us into the system of sovereign territorial entities – this time called “sovereign and sustainable bioregions.”
What will happen when one of their sovereign and sustainable bioregions decides to colonize the neighboring bioregions? What will happen if some of their sovereign bioregions militarize themselves and assert economic or political hegemony over other such regions? What will happen if some of them retain their nuclear weapons in position to obliterate others?
Our friends on the left would again begin their rhetoric of the right of resistance, self defense, and justice and again enter the endless struggle that goes on and on throughout history – because they cannot generate any vision that transcends this endless struggle and that creates peace and justice upon the Earth.
They would again issue another Declaration of Independence because they cannot get beyond such declarations and their endless struggles against tyranny to solutions that institutionally establish peace and justice and end the eternal struggle within a system of flawed and fragmented institutions that are inherently war and imperial institutions – that is a system of sovereign, autonomous territories and financial institutions, whether these be termed “sustainable” or not.
The great theoretical tragedy of the left is that they see clearly the most fundamental principle of all – the unity of the human family and the inalienable rights and dignity of each person on Earth. Yet their vision of the future remains trapped in institutions that do not and cannot establish this truth upon the Earth – that is, they continue to divide up the Earth into territorially autonomous sovereign regions.
They claim to have transcended patriotism and nationalism, yet their vision remains parochial and territorial. If we understand the universality of the human family and the inalienable rights of all, then what we need is a set of institutions that embrace and democratically enfranchise this all. The only cogent and rational vision for securing the rights and dignity of the human family is a civilian democratic earth federation embracing and protecting every person on Earth equally. Only such a federation can establish peace with justice upon the Earth.
After 12 years the former colonies had the vision to unite into a democratic federation under a Constitution guaranteeing every person inalienable rights, but today’s leftists lack the vision to unite the world beyond a fragmented system of sovereign territories under a democratic constitution that is the only means by which war and imperialism can be ended on Earth and the inalienable rights of every person on Earth be protected.
The vision of the federalists from those 13 colonies was an 18th century vision of federal unity under a constitution that ultimately encompassed a continent. The vision needed to day must be a 21st century vision encompassing the world. Since the 18th century our situation has changed immensely, for the very future of human survival upon the Earth is threatened today.
1) Global climate change portents vast destructive consequences unless we unite as a human family and work together to preserve and restore our global ecosystem.
2) Global high speed missiles, weapons of mass destruction, and militarism portend wars that could wipe out humanity or ruin our planetary environment forever unless we unite as a human family and work together to disarm the world and institutionalize peace and freedom on Earth.
3) Global resource depletion – the disappearance of fresh water resources and viable agricultural lands and other natural resources threaten massive starvation and wars for scarce resources unless the human family unites and institutionalizes a democratic means for restoring and preserving our resources and protecting every nation and person from the consequences of this rapidly growing scarcity.
4) Global population explosion continues to expand the number of people on the Earth beyond all sustainable proportions leading to total exhaustion of resources, vast teeming slums of misery and disease, and ever-more militarism and struggle over scarcity unless the human family unites and institutionalizes ways that we can control our human population and allow it to reduce to sustainable levels that make possible a decent future for our posterity.
5) Global human rights abuses – rape, murder, torture, political repression, child slavery, disappearances, and oppression rage throughout the Earth and our leftists of this Declaration of Independence from their “sovereign sustainable bioregions” might decry the human rights abuses in other sovereign regions but they could do nothing to protect the rights of people unless the human family unites and institutionalizes the means to protect by democratically legislated enforceable laws the human rights of every person on the Earth.
6) Global poverty and misery continue to grow worldwide as a consequence of all of the above global crises and there is no way to eliminate poverty and misery from the Earth unless corporations and financial institutions are democratically regulated through the human family uniting and creating institutions for economically promoting the sustainable prosperity of all persons on the Earth.
7) The common good of the entire planet today is endangered by fragmentation and perpetual competition of peoples, nations, religions, ethnic groups, economic interests, etc., without any effective planning, coordination, or common vision unless the human family unites under a civilian democratic Earth federation that institutionalizes democratic planning and cooperation for the good of humanity and future generations.
These 7 principles are precisely the broad functions of the Earth Federation under Article One of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. There is no other way to overcome climate change, militarism, resource depletion, population explosion, massive human rights abuses, global poverty and misery or to institutionalize democratic planning for the common good of our planet. There is no future for humanity on this planet and the vision of the left that we are one human family with inalienable economic and political rights involving every person on Earth cannot be realized under any fragmented system of sovereign territories. We can and must unite on the basis of our common humanity and create global non-military democracy for the Earth.
The World Constitution and Parliament Association from its founding in 1958 has worked to unite world citizens in the task of institutionalizing the planetary democracy that alone can create peace, justice, and sustainable prosperity upon the Earth.
It brought together thousands of world citizens and international lawyers in four constituent assemblies that met in 1968 in Wolfach, Germany and Interlaken Switzerland, in 1977 in Innsbruck Austria, in 1979 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and in 1991 in Troia, Portugal to write and give preliminary ratification to the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
The Constitution provides a road map for the people of Earth to overcome their territorial fragmentation and unite together under a civilian earth federation that preserves and protects their differences while institutionalizing the democratic means for actualizing the common good of the entire human family.
It provides for a democratic economics directed toward prosperity and justice for all. It provides for both political and economic rights protected by law for every person on Earth. And it creates a non-military government of checks, balances, and internal protections that ensures freedom from governmental tyranny and authoritarianism.
It provides for it own democratic ratification by the peoples and nations of Earth and provides for provisional Earth Federation to be activated here and now so that we do not have to wait to begin the process of transforming our horrific world order toward one of peace, justice, and sustainable prosperity.
Here is the only effective means to human survival and flourishing upon the Earth in the face of the horrific global crises outlined above. Here is the vision of a transformed world order that the left today is missing and here are the concrete means to realize that vision – to take it from the level of vision to the level of reality.
It is not enough to issue a Declaration of Independence. It is not enough to identify the tyranny and threats to survival from which we must be free. We must promote the vision to the people of Earth of what we are free for. Where are we going and how can we get there? That is what the Constitution for the Federation of Earth provides.
Among all the alternatives that people have suggested today, civilian democratic earth federation under the Earth Constitution is the most practical, the most comprehensive, and the one worked out in the most specific detail. Here is the real hope for the future of humanity. Here is the vision by which we can reach our goals: one humanity, one Earth, one world of peace, justice, and prosperity for all God’s children.