Glen T. Martin
The Fourteenth Session of the Provisional World Parliament (PWP) will take place in Kolkata, India, as part of a large World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet, December 27-31, 2015. Registration information follows this brief article. I want to try to clarify the status of these sessions of the PWP for those readers who may not be fully familiar with our work. I will do so in terms of three sets of ideas: (1) the illegitimacy of the current world system, (2) the full legitimacy of the coming world system under the Earth Constitution, and (3) the transitional period moving us from (1) to (2).
I do not think the first point is very well understood, even though many may pay lip service to it. The current world-system is inherently a war-system. This has been pointed out by many thinkers from Spinoza, to Hobbes, to Kant, to Hegel. So-called “sovereign nation-states” recognize no effective law above themselves (that is what “sovereign” means in this context), resulting in a lawless condition that is inherently a war-system. War is an illegitimate activity in human affairs, and therefore by implication so are today’s nation-states. This same principle applies to states like Costa Rica with no military. To claim itself as a “sovereign” nation, Costa Rica is implicitly affirming lawlessness and hence war.
The current world-system is inherently a domination-system and an exploitation system. Any lawless situation (as Hobbes, Kant and others pointed out) will mean that the more powerful dominate and exploit the less powerful. Under globalized capitalism, many thinkers (from Immanuel Wallerstein to Christopher Chase-Dunn to James Petras) have described the modern world system of the past several centuries as one of domination and exploitation of powerful “center” nations over the weaker “peripheral” nations. Domination and exploitation are illegitimate in human affairs, and therefore by implication so are today’s nation-states.
Third, the traditional foundational idea of the legitimacy of nation-states was the notion that the governments of these nations could serve the common good of the people over whom they ruled. But this foundational idea was conceived long before the “global worldwide crises” of climate collapse, global resource depletion, or threat of nuclear or biological weapons holocaust developed. Today, these crises threated to destroy people everywhere on the globe and there is nothing any individual national government can do about it. Hence, as Errol E. Harris points out in Earth Federation Now, no national government can any longer serve the common good of its people. All have become illegitimate.
If the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is ratified under the democratic criteria set out in Article 17, then most people recognize that the world will have a legitimate planetary federal government. What they sometimes don’t recognize is that this very act will restore the legitimacy to the nation-states, since they all can be perfectly legitimate as territorial subsidiaries within the Earth Federation, as long as they are demilitarized and democratically functioning under the authority of the Earth Constitution. But how do we move from here (illegitimate sovereign nation-states) to there (legitimate global government with nation-states having restored legitimacy)?
This in-between situation, this global limbo and chaos under which the Earth finds itself, poses an insoluble dilemma for all who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of efforts to create world government in the here and now. Such people often support the idea of incremental changes in the U.N. system, incremental improvements in jurisdiction of the world courts (such as the ICC and ICJ), and other forms of incremental progress. But such progress is no progress because what is inherently illegitimate cannot be incrementally reformed without morphing into its opposite: the legitimate. This means that the attempt to incrementally reform the illegitimate can only give us more versions of illegitimacy. The only route to legitimacy is to abolish the illegitimate and establish what is legitimate right now.
Article 19 of the Earth Constitution recognizes this dilemma and gives the people of Earth the right and duty to found the legitimate here and now. They can begin any aspect of the Earth Federation as part of provisional world government. In practice, this has focused on developing the World Parliament by holding sessions of the (Provisional) World Parliament. Rather than trying to incrementally reform the illegitimate system (through the U.N. or development of the present world courts), the founding fathers and mothers understood that it is substantially more legitimate just to start the provisional world government under the pending (and conceptually veridical) legitimacy of the ratified Earth Constitution. Given that the nation-states are in fact illegitimate (as is their interstate organization the U.N.), then the best thing we can do is recognize what legitimacy is and should be, and begin acting under that recognition.
That is why the Provisional World Parliament is not an NGO. It is not simply another “conference” organized by the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA). Conferences, model U.N.s, and model “world parliaments” are a dime a dozen and do not significantly move the world forward toward legitimate government. Instead, really doing it, really actualizing the process of world citizens meeting together and formulating “world legislative acts” for our beleaguered planet, is the most effective action we can take toward establishing fully legitimate government on the Earth. The PWP is governmental. It is world government in its preliminary form. It is not an NGO, not a mere conference or model. It is not the fully legitimate government that will exist under the ratified Earth Constitution, of course, but it is substantially more legitimate than any nation-state or NGO.
If we want legitimate government, the people of Earth have to begin it. We have to begin taking responsibility for governing ourselves and not avoid that responsibility by pretending somehow that national governments are somewhat legitimate. Such pretense evades the moral responsibility on all of us (first pointed out by Immanuel Kant in Perpetual Peace) that to live under the lawless “state of nature” in the sovereign nation-state system is immoral, and we are morally responsible to leave that system and begin legitimate government. We do that by recognizing an Earth Constitution and beginning to act according to it. The upcoming session of Parliament is indeed “provisional.” But it is far more legitimate than any national government. It is truly our bridge to the future and a fully legitimate Earth Federation.
Under the authority of the
Constitution for the Federation of Earth
Sponsored by the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) and the Institute on World Problems (IOWP)
Dr. Eugenia Almand, Secretary-General, email@example.com
Dr. Glen T. Martin, President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Call to the
Fourteenth Session of the
Provisional World Parliament
December 27-29, 2015, Kolkata, India
Hosted by the International Society
for Intercultural Study and Research (ISISAR) within the larger
“World Thinkers & Writers Peace Meet”
December 27-31, 2015
Conference theme: “Religions, Cultural Harmony, and Peace,”
including an International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO) Conference on this same theme within this larger Peace Meet.
Registration for the World Parliament and World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet and
International Philosophers for Peace Conference
The Peace Meet is hosted by ISISAR. Contact Dr. Chattopadhyay at email@example.com. Guests must cover their own transportation costs to and from Kolkata. Registration cost (includes room and board) for the entire World Thinkers and Writers Peace Meet, payable in advance is:
1) $400 for guests from developed countries and $250 for developing countries before September 30, 2015/ and $500/$300 after September 30.
2) Rs 5000 for guests from India and SAARC countries before September 30, 2015/ Rs 7000 after September 30.
The Registration fee should be paid by BANK DRAFT to ISISAR (International Society for Intercultural Studies and Research) or by other legitimate form of prepayment. Please also send to Dr. Chattopadhyay: NAME, ADDRESS, EMAIL, PHONE, PASSPORT NUMBER, NAME OF PAPER. All registrants are welcome to submit a paper within the conference theme.
- Guests arrive normally on Dec.26, and leave on Jan. 1, 2016.
- Registration includes all room and board within this period.
- Dec.27th: Inauguration of Peace Meet and the Parliament.
- Dec. 28th and 29th: full days of the Parliament & ISISAR sessions.
- Dec. 30th and 31st morning: IPPNO sessions.
- Dec. 31st afternoon: valedictory sessions.
- Each evening will include symposia or cultural programs.
Three big events in one:
The World Parliament
World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet
International Philosophers for Peace Conference
Separate registration for the
World Parliament (no additional cost)
and send all information to Dr. Glen T. Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 001-540-639-4320. 313 Seventh Ave., Radford, VA 24141, USA
You may register for the Parliament as either an observer or a delegate. (You may also attend the World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet without attending the Parliament section at all.)
Observers are not required to recognize the Constitution for the Federation of Earth as the supreme law for the Earth. They may speak as part of the Parliament according to parliamentary rules but may not vote on legislation or resolutions.
Delegates have pledged allegiance to the Earth Constitution and may therefore vote on proposed legislation or resolutions under the authority of Article 19 of the Constitution. Both delegates and observers are welcome! Delegates sign and return the pledge below.
Provisional World Legislative Acts
The Provisional World Parliament (PWP) considers proposed legislative acts (bills) and parliamentary resolutions. Any person who is signatory to the Earth Constitution may propose bills for consideration by the Parliament.
Delegates at the session of Parliament will also formulate a resolution expressing the views of that session of the PWP, to be used as a press release for that Parliament session.
Held under the authority of the:
CONSTITUTION FOR THE
FEDERATION OF EARTH
All Register for the World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet
with Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay at email@example.com.
Remit registration information and fee to ISISAR.
Parliament participants also register for the Provisional World Parliamentwith Dr. Glen T. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full name (please print): ______________________________________
Complete street address_______________________________________
Delegate____________ (sign below) (or) Observer_____________
A Pledge of Allegiance to the Federation of Earth
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution for the Federation of Earth,
And to the Republic of free world citizens for which it stands,
One Earth Federation, protecting by law the rich diversity of the Earth’s citizens,
One Earth Federation, protecting the precious ecology of our planet.
I pledge allegiance to the World Parliament representing all nations and peoples,
And to the democratic processes by which it proceeds,
One law for the Earth, with freedom and equality for all,
One standard of justice, with a bill of rights protecting each.
I pledge allegiance to the future generations protected by the Earth Constitution,
And to the unity, integrity, and beauty of humankind, living in harmony on the Earth,
One Earth Federation, conceived in love, truth, and hope, with peace and prosperity for all.
Send to Dr. Glen T. Martin, 313 Seventh Ave., Radford, VA, 24141, USA, email@example.com