A Constitutional World System Is Not a World State: We Falsely Project the Characteristics of “States” onto “World Government”

Glen T. Martin

Why is our world a place of endless war, massive global injustice, and apparently unstoppable ongoing environmental destruction? Why is human history an endless chronical of these evils with no apparent end in sight other than the self-induced extinction of the human species? Another way of addressing these questions is to ask “What is human liberation?  What is moral maturity? Why do we seem unable to overcome these monstrous evils to live with peace, justice, freedom, and ecological harmony on our beautiful Earth?

The answer is not simply psychological. It is not simply that humankind is inherently self-centered and selfish. For we know that we can grow to become loving, selfless, compassionate persons. We know that transformative growth is possible. Nor is the answer simply the Christian one that humankind is “fallen” and invariably lives in sin because we have turned away from God. There can be great profundity in this view, but it is most often given in a simplistic formula that presupposes a fatalism of hopelessness and despair, along with an idolatrous conception of the divine dimension or God.

One aspect of this religious tradition has long been its eschatology. There is something in us (because we are a synthesis of mind, matter, and divine spirit) that will emerge from history as a culmination—as a coming of the Kingdom of God to Earth. But in its more profound versions this emergence depends on us, on something we should be doing that we are not now doing. It depends on a metanoia, a change or transformation that must come from us. It assumes, as liberation theologians and philosophers have long maintained, that we perform what Mahatma Gandhi called tapasya, a self-denial or self-sacrifice that allows the liberating dimension to be released in our lives. (My 2018 book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendenc, investigates these possibilities at some length.)

This tapasya must include the whole of our being, that is, a metanoia or deep transformation. This means that it includes our conceptual lives. We must begin clinging to truth and truthfulness and stop the egocentric process of continually lying to ourselves. The idea that truth is merely a “social construction” and reducible to cultural fads (so prominent in the USA today) is a product of this refusal to cling to truth (see Wilber 2017). We create artificial boundaries and cling to conceptual fantasies that have little or nothing to do with reality and base our entire economies and social orders on these fantasies.

Two of these fantasies that I have long combatted in my books and writings going back 30 years are the idea of the sovereign nation-state and the idea that there is some truth in the economics of capitalism (see, e.g., Martin 2005). The militarized boundaries of these territorial power-centers dictate an economics and social organization based on these gigantic egocentric and ethnocentric falsehoods. We organize our entire lives and social orders around these falsehoods and then wonder why war, injustice, and environmental destruction seem impossible to stop.

If someone proposes something different, as those who support the ascent of human beings to planetary democracy and freedom under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth are proposing, we critique that idea by projecting our conceptual illusions and fantasies onto that idea. We are not able to see that constitutionally-bound democratic world law gives us a qualitatively different world than the present chaos under a world of militarized sovereign nation-states. The eschatological possibilities inherent within our human condition are prevented from emerging because we refuse truth, we refuse to question our egoistic fantasies and allow a deeper understanding to flourish. The tapasya of clinging to truth requires both cognitive and moral maturity.

We need to embrace the cognitive growth that has already taken place and ask ourselves how this can be complemented and empowered by a corresponding moral growth. Humankind is moving toward cognitive if not moral maturity in the 21st century. Cognitively we are beginning to understand that we are one human family, one planetary civilization, and one fragile species inhabiting the entire planet and heading, through continued selfishness and lack of self-awareness, toward self-induced extinction. Cognitive maturity means, in significant measure, the ability to separate fact from fantasy, truth from falsehood, reality from collective illusions, and to see what is truly universal in the particulars. It also requires moral maturity: a tapasya, a change of heart, a non-attachment from egoistic fantasies, a thoughtful willingness to distinguish reality from falsehood.

Our development toward moral maturity lags behind our cognitive development. Perhaps this is inevitably the case. We cognitively developed the knowledge to create nuclear weapons and followed through on that knowledge before we began to realize the utter immorality and criminal nature of having anything to do with nuclear weapons. Indeed, many today work within the nuclear weapons industry without the slightest moral insight into the meaning and significance what they are doing.

Today, cognitively, people study comparative religions. Others study the biological and cultural development of the species homo sapiens.  Others investigate the cosmic development of the Earth and the evolution of the geosphere, biosphere, and noosphere. Still others study the origins and development of language and the structural interconnectivity of all languages (interconnected as these are with the origins and development of the human brain).  The physiology of the human body is the same everywhere as are the dynamics of the human brain.  All this oneness (inclusive of diversity) and all this universality is cognitively understood by many people.

Why are we so afraid to translate this cognitive understanding into a universal process for governing ourselves? We know (cognitively) that all people everywhere need an economic system to provide the goods and services necessary to life. And we know (cognitively) that all people everywhere require a legal system to regulate economics and other spheres of life for the common good of the community. Yet these cognitive understandings have yet to translate into the moral imperative to actualize a universal economic and political system for humanity and for future generations.

In a similar way, we know cognitively about the origins and evolution of the system of militarized, territorially bound, sovereign nation-states. We know cognitively about this system’s perpetual wars, subversions, colonialisms, propaganda lies, and endless imperialisms, but we have yet to adopt the moral maturity to transcend the territorially-bound state toward democratic planetary government. When we think of “global government” we attribute to it some of the characteristics of sovereign states, thereby distorting the idea beyond recognition. We project our present egocentric fantasies onto the proposed solution.

I submit that this misunderstanding of the proper role of government comes about because, in our moral immaturity, we confuse the characteristics of sovereign nation-states with those of a proposed world under universal democratic laws.  People project their present fragmented condition onto the whole. But fragmented thinking is inappropriate to the whole, and, as many thinkers have pointed out, a genuine whole takes on emergent qualities not found in the parts separately. To bring humanity to wholeness under the unity in diversity of the Earth Constitution would inevitably lead us to abandon many of our current illusions and false concepts now encouraged and protected by the system of absolute sovereignty of militarized nation-states.

People ask questions like the following: Will the democratic world government support religion (like Iran) or atheism (like the former Soviet Union)?  Or will it support religion in general?  Will it become generally atheistic and support an oppressive technocracy and materialism?  Will world government need a military force to keep order and put down rebellions?  Will world government be torn apart by opposing political parties vying for power as we now see within sovereign nation-states?  Will it retain the so-called “freedom” of private property, or will it promote some form of socialist unfreedom? I submit that all these questions involve a serious misunderstanding of the function of government at the global level, and they may also reflect the moral immaturity of the questioner.

For example, in his autobiography, philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev calls the idea that Russia should be an Orthodox State under Eastern Orthodox Christianity “an abomination” (2008, 257). This is because he understands that religion is about humankind’s inner life, about our “personal response” to life, the cosmos, and God. Religion organized externally within a “state” cannot but be hypocrisy and falsehood. Berdyaev’s older contemporary, Russian philosopher Leo Tolstoy, said much the same thing (1984, 281). Swami Agnivesh, Distinguished Advisor to the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), repeatedly made this same point (2015).

Article 12 of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth guarantees universal rights to all the people of Earth. Among these rights are “the right to freedom of religion or no religion.” The Constitution understands that it is the duty of government to embrace the freedom of all people everywhere, thereby making possible their self-actualization, which may include “religion or no religion.”  For a “state” to embrace some form of religious expression, whether Buddhism in Thailand, Islam in Iran, or Christianity in the USA, is indicative of the fragmentation of humanity enforced by the system of sovereign nation-states. 

This fragmentation confuses the nation-state with the system of “private property” that has also bedeviled the world for centuries, making people and nations think that they can “own” their portion of the globe and its resources, or that they can “own” ideas and concepts like those of some religion. The current U.N. document putting forth the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for the Year 2030 states in paragraph 18 that: “We affirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity.” With this statement we have the moral immaturity of militarized sovereign nation-states raised to an exponential pitch. States “own” their wealth, just as they “own” their religion, their political ideology, even their citizens. Forget “all,” forget universality, the entire world is nothing more than the private property of its fragmented parts.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth involves a moral paradigm-shift: a shift to moral maturity. As with religion, it guarantees each person “freedom to profess or promote political beliefs or no political beliefs.” Nation-states under the “my property” ideology of absolute sovereign statehood also believe they can own political concepts. If there are “true” concepts like socialism, then a state, like Cuba, can own and implement socialism within its own absolute borders, or the USA can “own” capitalism and promote this idea imperialistically from within the safety of its own borders, or Thailand can “own” Buddhism and prohibit disrespect to the image of Buddha within its own borders. Human freedom lies in ruins for the people of Cuba, of Thailand, of the USA, and for the many victims of US imperialism.

Similarly, the Earth Constitution does not address the question of political parties (it does not prohibit these, but neither does it provide for these) because it understands that the entire idea of what we now mean as “political party” will be transformed once we have ascended to the global level and to planetary maturity.  A true democratic world system like that delineated by the Earth Constitution will have no need of conflicted, warring parties. There will be all kinds of associations of people, whether religious, humanistic, or service oriented, but these associations will no longer be in mortal combat with one another. In the fragmented world of absolutely sovereign nation-states, a party can take over a state and use its military and foreign policy to promote its ideology, whether that party be communist or capitalist, religious or humanist, militarist or dovish. The present chaos of the world system is the obvious consequence.

Proper government provides a legal framework for what philosopher of law Lon Fuller calls a minimum “morality of duty” that allows citizens to live peacefully and fruitfully together so that each citizen may actualize his or her freely chosen “morality of aspiration” (1969).  Proper government is concerned with “service to humanity,” a pledge that all government officials must take throughout the Earth Constitution. It is concerned, in other words, with human dignity and freedom. Hence its concern must be for the equitable economic flourishing of all citizens and the guarantee of “life, liberty, and security of person” for all citizens.

“All” means everybody, not those who happen to be a particular sovereign nation’s property hiding behind its absolute borders. Philosopher Mortimer Adler observes that “all” is the “most radical word” in the political lexicon—because if we really meant “all” when we hypocritically say “all,” then everything would change and many of our most fundamental problems would instantly disappear (1991, 90). Life, liberty, and security of person can only be achieved if there is world peace, and universal disarmament, just as these rights can only be achieved if the planet’s biosphere is protected and restored. If we really meant “all” when we say “all,” then the system of militarized sovereign nation-states would disappear in the blink of an eye. Our eschatological potential for true human liberation can happen overnight. We simply need the moral maturity to mean “all” when we say “all.”

Authentic government can only be universal, because “all” persons require these things and “all” persons have a right to these things, namely life, liberty, and security of person. Authentic government cannot be fragmented into autonomous, nation-states, for this very fragmentation defeats these rights and fools governments into a “private property” mentality that ensures that “all” is never considered, that the freedom and dignity of “all” is never fully respected. The government of Sweden may treat is “own” citizens very well, but its claim to autonomous existence within absolute borders trashes the rights of the rest of humanity, whatever lip service its leaders may claim for this “ideal.”

The Earth Constitution does not define what a “nation” is even though one House in the tricameral World Parliament is called the “House of Nations.” This is because it understands that the very meaning of “nation” will change after the unity in diversity of constitutional world government is achieved.  Nations will no longer think of themselves as inviolable territorially forces opposed to or allied to other such forces around the world and in need of deadly, military “self-defense” arrangements. Once nations are no longer absolute territorial power-centers but become simply governing units within the whole federation, they will be able to flourish culturally, economically, and politically without today’s structurally-induced conflict, animosity, and violence. 

The constitutional world government will have no need of a military for this same reason. A united humanity will have transcended the war-system inherent in the system of absolute nation-state sovereignty and will be truly thinking in different ways, ways consistent with security provided by civilian, law-abiding policing authorities. There is no longer an “implacable” enemy to confront and engage in rivalry with, and therefore no longer a false, ideological justification for a military-industrial complex.  There are only partners within the unity in diversity of the whole. 

The concept of “security” will also change, just as the concept of the “political” will change, and the concept of “religion” will change. The current distorted definitions of all three of these concepts will no longer fragment humanity. Then real security in the form of world peace, real politics in the form of service of humanity, and real religion as the self-actualization of our relation to the divine dimension will rapidly emerge.

The civilian world police will not resemble today’s armed, quasi-military forces directed to repression of the poor. Under the nation-state system, the police (and to some extent the military) are tasked to protect the class-system of privilege of the rich over the poor, the haves over the have nots.  That is why, in the USA for example, the police criminalize and oppress the poor for every tiny infraction but largely ignore the criminal activities of the rich who get away with the most outrageous crimes unscathed.  Government under the Earth Constitution is predicated on the common good of the whole and all people equally, and once humanity sees this, policing will take on an entirely different significance. Social differences will be drastically diminished, and everyone equally will be subject to the embrace of the laws. 

Constitutionally defined democratic world law will have no need to promote any form of sectarian religion or sectarian (regional) interests. All followers of religions who endorse peace with justice can be embraced impartially in their right to freely practice, just as all diverse secular humanist forces that affirm peace with justice can easily be protected by law.  Religions today may gravitate toward protection by militarized sovereign states (like those who say Iran is an Islamic country or that the USA is a Christian country) because neither governments nor religions have yet embraced a mature moral wholeness of humanity that obviates the need for religions to defend themselves against attack or align themselves with power centers.

The anarchist movement from William Godwin and Pierre Joseph Proudhon in the 19th century to such thinkers as Howard Zinn (1990) or Noam Chomsky (1988) in the 20th century makes this same mistake. It has long maintained that government itself is the problem, that government is inherently repressive or imperialistic or corrupt. But these thinkers are conceptualizing “governments” within the system of sovereign nation-states first formulated in the West at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.  Indeed, they are correct that the state and its various forms of government under this system tend to be corrupt and repressive, but that is not due to the inherent nature of governing and government but rather to the fragmentation of humanity and its corresponding cognitive and moral immaturity. 

At the global level, under the Earth Constitution, the concept of “government” itself is liberated from these corrupting influences and can now be understood as universal civil regulation and coordination premised on the inherent freedom and dignity of all people. When we move to the global level, a paradigm-shift takes place that we all must embrace if we expect to have a future for our planet and our children. Cognitive maturity is not enough. We must also ascend to moral maturity as represented by the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  The entire conceptual framework changes when we truly mean “all” when we say “all.”

Works Cited

Adler, Mortimer (1991). Haves Without Have Nots: Essays for the 21st Century. New York: Macmillan.

Agnivesh, Swami (2015). Applied Spirituality. New York: Harper-Collins.

Berdyaev, Nicholas (2008, first pub. 1950). Self-Knowledge: An Essay in Autobiography. San Rafael, CA: Semantron Press.

Chomsky, Noam (1988). The Culture of Terrorism. Boston: South End Press.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found on-line at www.wcpa.global and www.earthconstitution.world.

Fuller, Lon L. (1969). The Morality of Law. Revised Edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2005). Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence. London: Cambridge Scholars.

Tolstoy, Leo (1984, orig.pub. 1894). The Kingdom of God is Within You. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press.

Wilber, Ken (2017). Trump and a Post-Truth World. Boulder CO: Shambala Publishers.

Zinn, Howard (1990). A People’s History of the United States. New York: Harper-Collins.


 

The Personalism of Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Earth Constitution

Glen T. Martin

Leo Tolstoy was one of the great Russian writers and thinkers of the late 19th century. His book, written later in his life, called The Kingdom of God Is Within You arrived in South Africa in English translation in the year of its publication, 1894. Its intended recipient was Mohandas K. Gandhi, a young lawyer struggling to defend the Indian community of South Africa (who were considered “non-white” by the apartheid government of that country). The book’s revolutionary impact on Gandhi is well-known. It effected a major change in Gandhi’s life and was a key influence that made him into a Mahatma (a “great souled” one).

In his Autobiography, Gandhi declares that Europe and Western civilization has “disapproved of Christ” (Sterba, 1998, 303) for the obvious reason that so-called “Christian civilization” has continuously embraced war and war-making throughout its history, in spite of the undisputed fact that both the Hebrew scriptures and Jesus in the New Testament say clearly: “Thou shall not kill.” Gandhi recognizes this command as at the heart of all the world’s great religions. It was the same for Tolstoy. The authoritarian nation-state, exploitative capitalism, and militarism all have nothing to do with Christianity for Tolstoy (or with the truth of the universal moral law that is “written on men’s hearts”: Romans 2:14). It is simply this truth, exemplified by the Golden Rule, that is present within the subjective consciousness of all people.

For Tolstoy, all men know in their hearts the truth that is within us, the truth embodied in the Golden Rule. Hence, all men already know the revealed truth that was taught by Christ that “the kingdom of God is within you.”  This seemingly cryptic statement is understood by Tolstoy as the simple realization that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This imperative is already a glaring truth within all human beings. The kingdom of God will appear among us when we live from this simple, universal truth. The kingdom is already there within each of us, ready to burst forth in human relationships and communities.

The state, however, (and the economic and political organization of humankind behind the state that is so alien to these simple, universal truths) can only exist through hypocrisy: government, the capitalist economic system, militarism, and war all directly contradict these simple truths that we all know. Tolstoy declares that layers of custom, brutalization by governments, militarism, class societies, social privileges, and systems of domination have established society and civilization as quite the opposite of the truths that all men know—as expressed in the Golden Rule and the command to love your neighbor as yourself.

At bottom this world of injustice is most fundamentally one of hypocrisy, for we all know that these brutal systems of domination, exploitation, and violence should not exist. Tolstoy compares our situation to hypnosis (1984, 279); the upper classes (the few) who exploit, brutalize, and dominate the many, have hypnotized the many to think that this hell into which they have been born is the only way that human beings might organize themselves and relate to one another. “All that is needed is to make an end of lying and hypocrisy,” he declares (281).  Yet all this falsehood, with its’ endless lies, is called “Christian civilization” and is perpetuated by the hypocrisy of the rulers: supported by the rich, the military, and the clergy. The clergy, he says, play an absolutely essential role in this big lie (336).

The big lie also covers up personal responsibility for these perpetual crimes of violence, exploitation, and injustice that constitute the fabric of so-called civilization:

So many instigate, assist, or sanction the commission of every one of these actions that no one who has a hand in them feels himself morally responsible for it…. Just as in a wicker basket all the ends are so hidden away that is hard to find them, in the state organization the responsibility for the crimes committed is so hidden away that men will commit the most atrocious acts without seeing their responsibility for them. (318-19)

This social obfuscation of individual responsibility is part of the big lie and in their heart of hearts people know this: “In the depth of their hearts they all know that what they are doing is shameful” (331).  Perhaps it is the same today, as people claim that the dominant society is based on principles such as “human rights,” while, in reality, these same people maintain a horrific system of domination, exploitation, violence, and war in which human rights becomes an “ideal” that never seems to be attained for everyone, certainly not for “foreign enemies.”  There is a dimension of personhood, a reality within our inner life, that needs to be recognized and heeded. Tolstoy declares:

The only object of life is to learn the Truth and to act on it—acceptance of position and of State action deprives life of all object—If it is God’s will that we should serve Him in our life, that is, that we should bring about the greatest Unity of all that has Life, a Unity only possible in Truth. (281)

The imperative is “to bring about the greatest unity of all that has Life.”  Tolstoy has an understanding that has perhaps spread more widely in our own day: that the world is alive, that all life is united in what we today call “Gaia,” that the very existence of life is miraculous and divinely inspired, and that our obligation is to enhance life and to fully live the life that is given to us. Tolstoy may well have rejected any biological implications that the concept of Gaia might today include. Nevertheless, he recognized the great imperative that we must live the life that is given to us within a larger community of life.

Life, in spite of the fact that it has evolved over billions of years, remains a cosmic miracle, just as every second of the existence of our cosmos remains a miracle. (As philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, affirms (1965), we need to see existence as “ex nihilo”, or as what Buddhism calls its astonishing “thisness”: tathata, see Martin 1991.)  Indeed, to be a particular human being is to be a living, walking, cosmic miracle. As philosopher Eric Gutkind declared: “The world has an origin and a goal and is suspended between the two. Each moment in its process represents the whole in ever new forms, totality and singularity united” (1969, 57).

The philosophical Personalism that Tolstoy represents means that each human being must activate his or her subjective realization of the truth that is within us all. “Subjective” here, of course, does not mean that what is within us is “merely subjective,” merely “personal opinion” that has no significance in the face of the “objective” external world where science, sociology, economics, and nation-states rule. Just the opposite: there is a truth within human beings that cannot be discerned by the so-called “objective” external world.  This is what Tolstoy means by “the kingdom of God is within you.” The “totality and singularity united” that Gutkind declares means that a real transformation is possible for human beings any time that we wake up to the significance of our consciousness, of our subjectivity, and the truths embodied within it.

Today we call those truths “human dignity” and specify them as “human rights” (as the Prologue to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights correctly declares), but as I have shown in all my books and articles over the past 20 years (including this past year’s The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet),the present world disorder systematically defeats respect for human dignity and subordinates the infinite “inwardness” where dignity lies to so-called “objective” economic, political, and military imperatives.

Tolstoy does not conceive of this inwardness as a “mystical” withdrawal into some subjective peace of mind that remains quiescent and complicit within an “objective” world of domination, exploitation, violence, and injustice. So many of today’s “New Age” spiritual dilettantes operate in just this way: “my self-indulgence and my spiritual peace of mind are what counts, and just let the world go on with its own rotten ways.” For Tolstoy, it is just the opposite. If we affirm life (that is, the value, reality, and Truth of human self-awareness, i.e., human subjectivity), then the outward chaos, violence, and misery will be simultaneously transformed. Realizing “the kingdom of God” that is within us will simultaneously be fulfilling Christ’s command to bring the kingdom of God to Earth. It is the only way to bring about “the greatest unity of all that has Life,” the way of truth.

Those who approach through meditation the unity and oneness with all that is should not conclude from this that the world is simply an illusion, merely the play of maya, a dream of Brahman.  That is why I argued in my 2005 book Millennium Dawn that “integrative mysticism” involves a higher realization than “unitive mysticism,” just the opposite of what classical interpreters of mysticism like Walter Stace (1960) had assumed. Integrative mysticism unites singularity and totality. 

Singularity is utterly important. Personhood is utterly important. Human dignity lies in personality, in personhood. We are not merely merged in an ocean of unity. We are not just similar biological units of the species homo sapiens. This is what Mahatma Gandhi realized when he declared love for every person, for each individual, no matter how threatening or unjust they might be; he refused to use violence against them.

Tolstoy correctly argues that we need to actualize our singularity, our true personhood that carries the truth of human dignity and the Golden Rule. This is what it means to truly affirm life. He declares: “The sole means of uniting men is their union in the truth. And, therefore, the more sincerely men strive toward the truth, the nearer they get to unity” (1984, 349). Satyagraha, Gandhi’s social praxis and way of life, literally means “clinging to truth.”

What sort of social and economic order might arise if people begin to take personality and the inner dimension with its participation in cosmic truth seriously? And what good will it do if you and I cling to truth while society in general ignores this?  How can the kingdom of God arrive on Earth in the face of the overwhelming power of multinational corporations, nation-states possessing nuclear weapons, and false news organizations promoting and protecting this massive hypocrisy concerning the ‘big lie’?  For Tolstoy, there is an eschatological potential in history that is seething to come out, seething to burst forth out of human consciousness into our common human world:

Just as a single shock may be sufficient, when a liquid is saturated with some salt, to precipitate it at once in crystals, a slight effort may perhaps be all that is needed now that the truth is already revealed to men may gain a mastery over hundreds, thousands, or millions of men, that a public opinion consistent with conscience may be established, and through this change of public opinion the whole order of life may be transformed. And it depends on us to make this effort. (Ibid., 357)

Mahatma Gandhi also thought about the organization of society through his revolutionary concepts of satyagraha (clinging to truth), swaraj (self-determination) and Sarvodaya (the welfare of all). He also thought beyond India to the organization of the world which had shown itself (during his lifetime that spanned two world wars) as a hellish failure.  “True economics,” he declares, “never militates against the highest ethical standard, just as true ethics to be worth the name must, at the same time, be also good economics” (1972, 144). Ethical economics means “socialism,” he affirms, a socialism that must come about through a non-violent revolution. Gandhi writes:

By the nonviolent method, we seek not to destroy the capitalist, we seek to destroy capitalism. We invite the capitalist to regard himself as a trustee for those on whom he depends for the making, the retention, and the increase of his capital. Nor need the worker wait for his conversion. If capital is power, so is work. Either power can be used destructively or creatively. Immediately the worker realizes his strength, he is in a position to become a co-sharer with the capitalist instead of remaining his slave.

(Ibid., 123-24).

With regard to weapons and militarism, he makes essentially the same point as Tolstoy: that the real purpose of these is not “security,” self-defense, or social stability; the real purpose is to protect the system of domination: “Immediately as the spirit of exploitation is gone, armaments will be felt as a positive unbearable burden. Real disarmament cannot come unless the nations of the world cease to exploit one another” (Ibid., 112). War can only be ended through a global system. Nonviolence is not merely a method of resistance against oppressors. Satyagraha, as Gandhi understands it, involves an entire ethical world view that points toward a transformed world order.

In 1942, for example, he introduced a resolution to the Indian National Congress that read:

While the Indian National Congress must primarily be concerned with independence and defense of India in this hour of danger, the Committee is of the opinion that the future peace, security, and ordered progress of the world demand a world federation of free nations, and on no other basis can the problems of the modern world be solved. Such a world federation would ensure the freedom of its constituent nations, the prevention of aggression and exploitation by one nation over another, the protection of national ministries, the advancement of all backward areas and peoples, and the pooling of the world’s resources for the common good of all. (in Hudgens, 1986, 14)

The Earth Constitution, the writing of which began only 26 years after Gandhi introduced this resolution, fulfills the insights of both Tolstoy and Gandhi.  It represents that break in the slow historical evolution of the system of exploitation and domination that so many so-called “world federalists” appear to affirm. This is because it is the first constitution to place the social-political-economic organization of the world squarely within the basis of universal human rights and human dignity. The militarized nation-states of today’s world all see the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as “merely symbolic,” and their economic-political-military decisions often violate such rights, especially for those outside their territorial portion of the globe (Donnelly 2003).

The “broad functions” of the Earth Constitution enumerated in Article One begin with ending war and disarming the nations. Secondly, the function is to “protect universal human rights,” the third is to “diminish social differences,” and the fifth is to “protect our planetary environment.” These functions are not merely empty ideals for, unlike all previous systems or constitutions, this government is not established to protect capitalism, nor to protect the class system, nor to protect the industrial-military complex.  It can end war and protect the environment precisely because it is based on personalism: the protection of universal human rights and dignity.

Tolstoy declares that “it is not possible that we modern men, with the Christian sense of human dignity and equality permeating us soul and body…should really go on living…that we should be every instant within a hair’s-breadth of falling on one another, nation against nation, like wild beasts” (1984, 349). When we wake up to the truth of our human situation, which includes our consciousness of the Golden Rule based on our universal human rights and dignity, then everything will change. The Earth Constitution embodies that change. Tolstoy writes:

At the bottom of your heart you know yourself that it is not true, that the existing organization has outlived its time, and must inevitably be reconstructed on new principles, and that consequently there is no obligation upon you to sacrifice your sentiments of humanity to support it. (Ibid., 363)

The present world chaos of militarism, domination, and exploitation requires that we “sacrifice our sentiments of humanity” to support its so-called “realism,” its deep hypocrisy (because despite paying lip service to universal human rights, it really supports power, domination, and exploitation). The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is an idea whose time has come. It constructs a world system based on universal human dignity, with the resulting consequences that it really ends war, really diminishes social differences, really protects unity in diversity, and really restores and protects our planetary ecosystem.  Both Tolstoy and Gandhi would agree.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Found on-line at www.wcpa.global, www.earthconstitution.world and many other locations.

Donnelly, Jack (2003). Human Rights in Theory and Practice. Second Edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Gutkind, Eric (1969). The Body of God: First Steps Toward an Anti-Theology. New York: Horizon Press.

Gandhi, Mahatma (1972). All Men are Brothers. Ed. Krishna Kripalani. New York: Columbia University Press and UNESCO.

Hudgens, Tom A. (1986). Let’s Abolish War. Denver: BILR Corporation.

Martin, Glen T. (1991). “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nārgārjuna” in Graham Parkes, ED. Nietzsche and Asian Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 91-111.

Martin, Glen T. (2005). Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Tolstoy, Leo (1984, orig.pub. 1894). The Kingdom of God is Within You. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press.

Stace, Walter (1960). The Teachings of the Mystics. New York: Mentor Books.

Sterba, James P. (1998). Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives. Second Edition. New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1965). “Lecture on Ethics.”  Philosophical Review, Jan. 1965, pp. 3-17.

Authentic Planetary Community and Human Freedom A Central Role for The Earth Constitution

Glen T. Martin

The process of human liberation only begins when people come together to solve the most fundamental problems of their collective, physical existence.  Human beings are not likely to grow toward the higher dimensions of self-realization when they are trapped in the structure of heartless scarcity and brutal competition for the crumbs that fall from the tables of the rich. Nor are they likely to grow toward higher dimensions of maturity when they are trapped within a system of militarized sovereign nation-states telling their citizens that the true patriotic “community” spirit is one that hates, fears, and militarizes against its “enemies” around the globe.

Capitalism is a very stupid societal economic system because it presupposes human beings as greedy adolescents, as “homo economicus,” a stereotype conception of humans reduced to egoism, a very low form of human consciousness. It presents a picture of human beings exclusively concerned with self-interest and maximizing profits. Capitalist dogma cultivates the consciousness of an egoistic adolescent wearing a grown-man’s expensive suit and tie. It’s ideal approximates that of a moral-moron, somewhat like the image of a Donald Trump.

If you think my last statement was hyperbole, read Bill McKibben’s description of the ideology of the superrich in Silicon Valley, USA, who follow the truly puerile thought of novelist Ayn Rand (2019, Part Two). Under capitalism resources are scarce because they are privately owned by people who egoistically profit from perpetuating that scarcity—if everyone had the necessary resources for life, then they would not be compelled to pay the owners for all those things necessary to survive and flourish, and the poor would not be compelled to work at poverty-level wages in order to make the rich richer.

We are told that “free enterprise” is a fundamental part of a free society, and, indeed, if we compare “free enterprise” with the nightmare of Soviet totalitarianism this appears to make some sense. But that is a false comparison promoted by the western ruling classes at humanity’s expense. The opposite of a society where everyone is egoistically “free” to grab as much private wealth as possible and as much private property as possible is not Soviet Communism.

The opposite of the society of egoistic competition and greed is the cooperative society of love and justice where people come together to solve the most fundamental problems of their collective, physical, and social existence. A cooperative society is never a totalitarian society. Both communism and capitalism are forms of totalitarianism, that is, systems of domination. We need, instead, global community—people freely cooperating with others. In today’s world, “people coming together” can only mean coming together at all levels, from the local to the global.

The fragmentation of capitalism in which individuals and corporations compete with one another for scarce resources (in order to control these resources and use the scarcity to their own advantage by exploiting those who lack the basic necessities) is complemented by the fragmentation of militarized, sovereign nation-states. Militarized sovereign nation-states do the same thing as capitalists—they compete to control resources for themselves. Built into their “sovereignty” is the imperative to dominate, to create around themselves a “sphere of influence.”

In a world of lawless rival power centers competing with one another, the “security” of each one is perceived as increased when it is able to control or dominate others: economically, militarily, and often politically.  Where there exists no enforceable law, immature egoism (now called “nationalism” and “patriotism”) takes over. The strongest thug on the block controls the block. Those loyal to the thug are called “patriots.”

The United Nations, which serves as the ideological framework for this system of fragmentation and destruction of true community, states in its Sustainable Development Goals Document: “We affirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity.”  With this statement we have the U.N.’s bottom line: the resources that human beings need to live and that are essential to planetary ecological health are declared the private property of militarized sovereign states. The ability of our world to become a community addressing the needs of all human beings is cut off at its roots.

The broadest functions of any and all legitimate government are to protect the universal human rights (freedom and dignity) of individual persons while at the same time promoting and protecting the common good of all. Under capitalism these two functions are in conflict with one another.  Capitalism claims that an essential component of “freedom” is the right to unlimited accumulation of private wealth and the right to use accumulated private wealth to exploit others to continually increase this process of unlimited accumulation. It perpetuates the absurd myth that this greedy competition empowers an unseen “invisible hand” that is secretly promoting the common good behind the scenes.

The result we see all around us—extreme and unconscionable wealth for a few with the majority just scraping by, always in danger of falling into homeless and destitution.  Can anyone seriously believe that this system supports genuine freedom?  It is a system of domination and exploitation ravaging society under the ideological cover of “freedom” and the absurd notion of an “invisible hand.”  There is no authentic freedom in this system.

The government that is supposed to protect the freedom and rights of individuals within the framework of the common good, under this system, becomes the wholly-owned subsidiary of the rich, who buy, lobby, and exploit politicians and their law-making powers for the good of the few, certainly not for the freedom and dignity of the many. Similarly, under the U.N. system of militarized sovereign nation-states, the resources of our planet necessary to its ecological health and to satisfying the basic needs of all human beings become the wholly-owned subsidiary of these fragmented, “sovereign” units of greed, selfishness, and militarized “national pride.”

The solution is not for the vast majority of people to take over government and impose some totalitarian “planned” society in place of the domination and exploitation by the rich, or in place of the fragmentation of militarized governments.  The function of good government to protect the “common good” of society is not served by totalitarianism and slavery at any level.  Nor is it served though the false freedom of unlimited accumulation of private wealth with its attendant powers to exploit the poor and corrupt the government. Authentic freedom is not “freedom from” interference by “big government” as the ideologues of capitalism and wealth-elitism advocate.

Authentic freedom comes about when this ideology is transcended by the conception of an authentic human community. A community, as this relates to freedom, is more than just a social grouping like “the black community” or the “white-supremacist community.”  An authentic community aspires to the ideal of “one for all and all for one.”  Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned “the beloved community” in just this way.  An authentic community is one of nonviolence, freedom, love, and justice. Government and law can be designed to empower and protect authentic community.

In an authentic community, people are free from fear and competition against those who would dominate or exploit them. People work together for the freedom and the well-being of all. Since people are no longer wracked by fear and anxiety of failure (since they know their well-being is supported by the community), they can now ascend to what has been called “positive freedom,” what philosopher of law Lon Fuller (1969) calls “the morality of aspiration.” They can follow their dreams and actualize their life-potential since they are no longer struggling within a system of scarcity, self-defense, and needless risk. (Article 13.12 of the Earth Constitution assures to every child “the right to the full realization of his or her potential”.)

This concept of authentic “positive freedom” in relation to government goes back several centuries in western thought. It includes such advanced thinkers as Baruch Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, GWF Hegel, T.H. Green, Ernst Barker, Errol E. Harris (2008), James L. Marsh (1995) and Joel Kovel (2007).  I have reviewed much of this history in my books Ascent to Freedom (2008) and One World Renaissance (2016). These thinkers show that government (in its proper role and functioning) can both reflect community and promote community in a variety of ways that increase both freedom and the common good of all.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth establishes just such a community. It is explicitly designed to foster both authentic freedom and a universal common good for humanity.  It is premised on the understanding that these two dimensions go together—authentic freedom includes both freedom from want for basic necessities and freedom to grow within a nonviolent and supportive community (cf. Gewirth 1996). The authentic common good means not only that universal human rights are protected but that war is ended, the ecological fabric of life is restored and safeguarded, and wealth differences are diminished to the point where they no longer subvert democratic processes.

The force of law can be used, of course, for purposes of domination and exploitation (which always go together). But the force of law can also be used to provide the rules and framework by which persons foster community and solidarity. Philosopher Peter Gabel (2013), for example, makes this connection very clear, as I also attempt to do in my book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence (2018).

The Earth Constitution imposes nothing alien on humanity but provides a concrete framework for the emergence of an authentic global community premised on the ideal of “one for all and all for one.” A complete community requires more than simply cultural unity; it is only really completed through political unity (Finnis 1980, Chap. VI). This is an ideal, to be sure, but no such ideal can be progressively actualized in history without a constitutional framework that both empowers the ideal and provides the rules and mechanisms for its concrete embodiment.

Similarly, no ideal of an authentic human community of freedom, justice, and love can be actualized in history while human beings remain both structurally and psychologically fragmented by capitalist and militarized nation-state stupidity. The Earth Constitution understands this profoundly, outlining a process by which the World Disarmament Agency can eventually lead (through careful, cooperative, collaboration among nations) to eliminate weapons of war, making possible a world that has no need of the institutions of war since humanity will be in the process of becoming a global, planetary community rather than a nightmare of fragmentation and conflict.

As I show in my recent book, The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet, the same conversion to a planetary community is necessary if we are to survive climate collapse and salvage a decent ecological biosphere for future generations.  Replacing the hopelessly antiquated U.N. Charter by the Earth Constitution is not a small or cosmetic change. It constitutes the structural paradigm-shift necessary for establishing an authentic global community of freedom, justice, and love. 

To summarize my points: we must (1) replace so-called “free market” capitalism with a “fair market” system designed to provide reasonable economic equality and prosperity to all persons on Earth (see Raworth 2017). (2) We must end the war-system in the world and replace it with a civilian planetary law enforcement within a democratic Constitution for the Federation of Earth. (3) We must cooperate everywhere on Earth with a common, planetary community-spirit to convert to sustainable, regenerative, and ecologically sound processes for producing and consuming the goods and services necessary for life. These three represent concrete steps in a movement from egoism and fragmentation to planetary community and maturity.

The Earth Constitution alone makes all this possible. It elevates these steps from being a mere cultural ideal to concrete actions that we can take to make it happen. It also, by these very means, makes possible moral and psychological growth to a new human maturity.  The Earth Constitution alone is the foundation for a future planetary community of freedom, justice, and love.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth (1991). Found on-line at www.wcpa.global, and other locations such as www.earthconstitution.world.

Finnis, John (1980). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fuller, Lon (1969). The Morality of Law. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Gebel, Peter (2013). Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture. New Orleans: Quid Pro Books.

Gewirth, Alan (1996). The Community of Rights. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Harris, Errol E. (2008). Twenty-first Century Democratic Renaissance: From Plato to Neoliberalism to Planetary Democracy. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Kovel, Joel (2007). The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World. London: Zed Books.

Marsh, James L. (1995). Critique, Action, and Liberation. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2008). Ascent to Freedom: Practical and Philosophical Foundations of Democratic World Law. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2016). One World Renaissance: Holistic Planetary Transformation Through a Global Social Contract. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Raworth, Kate (2017). Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Available at:
https://theoracleinstitute.org/earth-constitution-solution
https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Constitution-Solution

Universal Human Rights and the Sovereignty of Humanity:How the Earth Constitution embodies the true foundations of both human rights and legitimate law protecting them.

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Conference on World Constitution and Human Rights, January 7-9, 2022

Government Law College, Mumbai, India

The broadest function of legitimate law is to protect individual human rights (freedom and dignity) within the framework of the common good of the whole.  Human beings are both an “I” and a “WE.”  We are not only individuals who have infinite dignity that must be protected and respected by government, but all of us necessarily and integrally embody the WE of humanity. The holistic vision that the world has only begun to comprehend since the late 20th century, distinguishes the I from the WE, but does not separate them.

We are all human beings and bound to one another and our surrounding planet as such. The primary legitimate function of law is to protect the “I” within the framework of the common good of the WE. I will show in this paper why both dimensions of this function require ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth (2010). I will show why neither of these dimensions can be effectively realized under the present system of sovereign, militarized nation-states.

So-called “natural law theorists” from the time of Aristotle through St. Thomas Aquinas to contemporary philosophers such as Lon Fuller (1969) and John Finnis (1980) emphasized that law overlaps with moral obligation. These thinkers argued that law reflects the moral dimension in various ways and forms a necessary feature in the actualization of that dimension. Human rights themselves are rationally recognizable moral principles—and the fact that each person has rights means that all others have duties toward that person. If I have the right to life, then your duty is to respect and honor my right to life (cf. Nelson 1956).

Still other thinkers, such as those linked with Russian philosophy deriving from Eastern Orthodox religious thought, or Indian philosophers like Sri Aurobindo, or western evolutionary thinkers like Teilhard de Chardin, attempted to show that the moral dimension, valid as it may be, arises from the deep mystery of the divine Oneness, imminent within the multiplicities of the cosmos. The existential realization of this Oneness reveals an infinite depth to human life, and an emergent evolutionary imperative within human life that must be recognized if we are to organize ourselves under law for a true flourishing and fullness in human existence.

Three generations of human rights been developed as humanity has better come to understand their meaning. The first generation articulated political rights such as freedom to participate in government, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. The second generation involved social-economic rights, such as the rights to a living wage, to social security, and to health care.  The third generation, that has come to broad awareness only during the last half of the 20th century, involves planetary rights such as the rights to world peace and a protected planetary environment (Wacks 2008, 149-50).

These planetary rights are integrally related to the emerging consciousness of our situation as beings who are inherently communally constituted (arising together from the evolutionary process as a common human phenomenon). The vast paradigm shift that has taken place in all the sciences throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has revealed the integral interdependence of wholes and parts throughout the scale of nature. Human beings are part of the living Earth System (Lenton 2016; Martin 2021), and we are all one as an emergent species aware of the divine telos directing us to ever-greater self-realization (Teilhard de Chardin 1959).

The ancients of all traditions had already recognized that each person is a microcosm of the macrocosm. The dimensions of the universe and the divine live in each of us. Each of us is an integral synthesis of body, mind, and spirit (cf. Panikkar 2008). For this reason, human beings everywhere are not simply a collection of innumerable “Is.” We are not simply a collection of nearly eight billion individuals. We are at the same time one “We,” made in the image and likeness of the integral Life of the Cosmos. The “I” carries universal human rights precisely because at the same time it is a living “WE” (cf. Martin 2021). How has this understanding become embodied within human history?

Russian philosopher Valdimir Solovyov observes that a great step forward in human self-realization took place in the 18th century with the French Revolution and its declaration of the rights of man. He writes that: “The principle of human rights was extremely important and new for the whole world at that time” (1950, 51).  However, he observes that the universality of this principle was compromised when the French revolutionary forces framed this idea as the “rights of man and the citizen.” 

Because “citizen” is a limited category that excludes those who are not citizens.  Universal human rights are immediately compromised as soon as they are limited to being citizens of this or that republic, excluding others who are foreigners, who are not so protected by laws applying only to citizens. Since that time, because of this compromising of the universality of the principle of human rights, those who are considered not citizens (both within nations and worldwide) have often been subject to terrible abuses of their universal human rights.

Can law protect universal human rights?  Where does the constituent power to make law come from?  And where does the proper power of the law to truly protect universal human rights lie?   Both lie with our universal humanity, with the people of Earth as an integral whole, with the WE of human existence. This issue was also dramatized by the French Revolution.

Before that time, tradition going back many centuries held that the King, divinely appointed by God and sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, held the right to make and enforce laws, and these ideas were widely held throughout Europe at the time. However, some 17th century thinkers such as Althusius and Spinoza in the Netherlands, held that the constituent power to make legitimate laws came from the people themselves, not from the divine right of kings. The monarchies called such ideas “traitorous,” but the French Revolution was based on just such ideas: the constituent power to make laws came from the people as a whole, not from some divinely sanctioned inheritance of royalty.

The French revolutionary ideal, like the American revolutionary ideal that took place in this same era, involved the understanding that the people are sovereign and the true source of legitimate law and governmental authority—the authority that binds any authentic community into a common WE under universal laws ideally directed to the common good of the whole.  The “common good” means that the WE are a collective reality that supersedes the I if that I egoistically wishes to assert itself in violation of the good of the whole or of other members of the community.

But who is this “WE”?  Why do we assume that this WE must suddenly end just one inch over some artificial boundary line, excluding those across this boundary from being part of the constituent power?  In his famous book The Anatomy of Peace, Emery Reeves wrote, “A picture of the world pieced together like a mosaic from its various national components is a picture that never and under no circumstances can have any relation to reality, unless we deny that such a thing as reality exists” (1946, 22).  The reality is that we are all part of one human community living on one, precious planetary home. The WE that is the sovereign source of legitimate law is all of us. Yet historically human beings have sliced the WE up and militarized it to the point where we are in danger of making our very existence extinct.

The essential ideas of democracy, of the democratic revolutions of the 18th century, were two-fold—the universal human rights of all people and the inherent sovereignty of all people to generate the laws and government under which they must live.  But the qualifier added to rights during the French revolution (because it mistakenly limited the concept of “citizen”) continues to this day to interfere with the divinely inspired self-realization of humanity. The French revolutionaries declared the universal rights of man and the citizen, and yet from that day to the present there has never been any significant recognition of universal citizenship.

From the 18th century recognition of the people as the true, legitimate constituent power, to the crises of the 21st century involves a two hundred year long, complex development. But one thing is clear—the 18th century recognition of the people as sovereign was framed within a parochial view of the world as divided into races (along with slavery), nation-state power centers with absolute boundaries, male domination of women, the genocide of indigenous peoples, and pervasive religious discrimination.  When Thomas Jefferson penned the great words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” he was expressing the foundations of the constituent (and revolutionary) power in an ideal form. The reality on the ground was fragmentation and extreme inequality, including the division of “all men” into antagonistic, militarized, national entities.

The constituent power to make and enforce laws in the early United States was formed by wealthy, white, property-owning males (hardly “we the people”). Women, blacks, the poor, indigenous people, and other excluded groups had to fight for the next two centuries to have their share in the constituent power recognized through voting rights. But why did this fight arbitrarily stop at national boundaries?  The constituent power properly resides with all the people of Earth.

The legitimate authority of government derives from this fact of the global community. The “I” that bears universal human rights is inseparable from the “WE” that underlies the legitimate constituent power of government. Each of us embodies the whole. We are not only incarnations of personal dignity; we are mirrors, incarnations of the whole of humanity and the divine ground of Being.

Authentic citizenship can only be global, and therefore coextensive with universal human rights. The constituent power of the sovereign WE must then be delegated to a world authority, under a world constitution, and from there to national authorities, then to regional and local authorities. This is the only legitimate hierarchy of democratic laws. Legitimate law-making power arises from the people, from the sovereignty of the people of Earth, and only from there can it be delegated to local and national authorities.

The Preamble to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights correctly states that: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”  But what does the word “recognition” mean here?  Is it merely lip service?  Or must this recognition be institutionalized by an Earth Constitution? The institutions of militarized sovereign nation-states, like unregulated capitalism, destroy the protection of human rights at every turn (cf. Donnelly 2003). Imperial nations like the United States declare that the UN Universal Declaration is “merely symbolic” and carries no force of law, allowing them to invade, overthrow, assassinate, or blockade other nations at will.

Today, governmental authority worldwide continues to exist in practice with so-called “sovereign nation-states.”  Each state is ruled by a small group dominated by the wealth and power of a few. Each state claims a separate constituent power for itself (nearly 200 separate constituent powers), independent of the rest of humanity.  The result is chaos, ceaseless war, internecine struggle, pervasive suspicion, unbridled competition, environmental destruction, hate, fear, and endless human rights violations. As human rights scholars have pointed out, under this situation there can be no single set of enforceable laws protecting universal human rights. It is up to each nation to protect (or not) universal human rights, and the facts on the ground show that security concerns, as well as the economic priorities of nations, routinely trump the idea of universal human rights (ibid. Donnelly 2003).

The chaos and violation of human rights worldwide today is most fundamentally a consequence of the failure of the people of Earth to clearly recognize the second universality that emerged from the revolutionary struggles of 18th century Europe: that the people are sovereign. To truly recognize this as the correct universal principle of law would be to make perfect sense of the French Declaration of the “Rights of Man and the Citizen.”  Just as human rights are universal, so is the constituent power to make and enforce laws. The only legitimate sovereignty is that of the people of Earth.

For militarized sovereign nation-states, the universal declaration of rights is necessarily “merely symbolic,” since the institutional reality requires that they exploit one another economically and threaten one another militarily, both of which systematically violate human rights. This false idea that sovereignty of the people can be endlessly divided into some 200 sovereign nation-states recognizing no enforceable laws over themselves, is not only wrong.

It is a product of madness. It has hopelessly fragmented 20th and 21st century humanity into an omnicidal race toward Armageddon through nuclear or biological weapons as well as climate destruction.  The plain reason for this madness is that a humanity fragmented into some 200 competing slices can in no way represent the true constituent power.

If my government has missiles ready and aimed at some rival national entity, then it is already denying their right to life, liberty, and security of person.  If my government taxes its own citizens to build and deploy these “defensive” missiles (money that could be spent on ending poverty or protecting the environment), then it is also denying its own citizens the right to life, liberty, and security of person. To protect or promote the war-system in any way violates not only universal human rights but the principle of the sovereignty of the whole, the community of Earth.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the instrument or vehicle for activating the sovereignty of the people of Earth to exercise their law-making authority. It is founded on the principle of unity in diversity (embracing all human diversities, genders, nations, cultures, and races). It embraces the principle of universal dignity (cf. Kirchhoffer 2013) as well as the principle of the common good interfaced with the individual good.

Law is only fully legitimate as world law, and law at regional and local levels is fully legitimate when it is understood as authority delegated from the world law level to the local constituencies everywhere on Earth. Proper government is always both top-down and bottom-up. The people as sovereign elect governors (from the bottom up) to operate within a constitutional framework (as a top-down unifying principle embracing and protecting the diversity of all). They establish government to represent them in its dual function of protecting both the I and the WE: the universal rights of each within the common good of all.

Legitimate law cannot be constructed from a bottom-up law-making process that refuses to recognize the sovereignty of the whole.  This piecemeal approach was that of the League of Nations and now the United Nations, both utter failures in keeping the peace or protecting human rights.  This is why so-called international law is unworkable and unenforceable. The parts cannot create legitimate law through treaties or voluntary agreements, for this path refuses to recognize the true a priori legitimacy and priority of the whole. 

You do not add up the collection of single human beings to get universal human rights. Rather, you recognize the a priori dignity and infinite worth of all human persons as such.  Similarly, you do not add up a collection of claimed individual sovereignties to get a legitimate constituent authority. Rather, you recognize the priority to the whole (the all-embracing WE of unity in diversity) in relation to its parts.

This is precisely the significance of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and its active manifestation in sessions of the Provisional World Parliament.  Supporters of the Earth Constitution today represent the sovereignty of the people of Earth who form the true constituent power for all law and governmental authority. Even though today the power to make and enforce laws remains with the elite-dominated, militarized nation-states, the Provisional World Parliament meets and votes and makes provisional world laws under the understanding that it truly represents the sovereignty of humanity. It represents the true constituent power, which lies with the people of Earth, a power that is rationally organized and manifested through the Earth Constitution.

That is why the Constitution for the Federation of Earth makes possible both authentic democracy for the Earth and the protection of universal human rights. Democracy means the sovereignty of the people as a WE and the protection of the universal human rights of each “I”. In other words, we cannot protect universal human rights unless there is also universal citizenship with its planetary constituent power. We need to make this happen rapidly because human beings, under the deranged, militarized system of national sovereign entities, are in real danger of making themselves extinct. Making ourselves extinct would mean, I submit, the ultimate violation of our universal human rights.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth: With Historical Introduction, Commentary, and Conclusion  (2010). Edited with commentary by Glen T. Martin. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Donnelly, Jack (2003). Human Rights in Theory and Practice. Second Edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Finnis, John (1980). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Fuller, Lon (1969). The Morality of Law. Revised Edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kirchhoffer, David G. (2013). Human Dignity in Contemporary Ethics. Amherst, NY: Teneo Press.

Lenton, Tim (2016). Earth System Science: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). “The I, the WE, the IT, and the Third Estate.” Article in Academia Letters at Academia.edu | Search | The I, the We.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Nelson, Leonard (1956). System of Ethics. Trans. Norbert Guterman. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Panikkar, Raimon (2008). Opera Omnia, Volume I: Mysticism and Spirituality. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Reves, Emery (1946). The Anatomy of Peace. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Solovyov, Valdimir (1950, reprinted 2013). “The Idea of Humanity,” in A Solovyov Anthology, S.L. Frank, ED. Literary Licensing, LLC.

Teilhard de Chardin (1959). The Phenomenon of Man. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Wacks, Raymond (2008). Law: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Report on the 15th Session of the Provisional World Parliament

New Delhi, India, December 10-12, 2021

Glen T. Martin

The 15th session of the PWP was a resounding success. This success took place in the face of severe impediments posed by the COVID pandemic. The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), sponsor and organizer for the Parliament, had reserved the facilities at the United Services Institute (USI) of India, located not far from the New Delhi International Airport.  We had reserved the 300 person auditorium at USI for the opening plenary and closing legislative sessions, along with its ample break out facilities for smaller panel discussions on the second day. We had also reserved a number of USI apartments that included separate bedrooms within which we could house international guests and eminent out of town persons attending the Parliament.

All of this had to be cancelled within just one week’s notice because the government of New Delhi cancelled all in-person meetings until December 15th because of the pandemic.  International plane tickets had to be cancelled (with losses of prepaid air tickets) along with those of domestic Parliament delegates who had booked flights to New Delhi from other cities within India. Among the international flights that had to be cancelled were those of our Vice-President for Latin America, coming from Venezuela, our Vice-President for Eastern Europe, coming from Macedonia, and our key representative from Africa, coming from Kenya.

Nevertheless, due to the amazing efforts of our India organizing team headed by Major Sushil Goel, Col. T.P. Tyagi, Prof. Narasimha Murthy, and Sri Rakesh Chhokar, we succeeded in holding the first-ever entirely on-line session of the PWP.  This session was replete with an extensive on-line audience participating from over 20 countries, a galaxy of very prominent persons speaking at the opening ceremonies on December 10, and the legislative session in December 12th  televised and broadcast live with advanced tech-support from a studio in New Delhi provided by Major Goel’s PTCI Company. The team also produced a beautiful Souvenir booklet that includes the many endorsements for the Parliament from world figures and a collection of powerful essays reflecting on the significance of this session of Parliament for the future of humankind.

In this report, I want to focus on the importance of the amazing legislative session that took place on December 12 between 3:30 and 8:30 pm, New Delhi Time. The session was conducted from the PTCI studios in New Delhi with myself and Ms. Neelam Gupta at a desk in front of the Parliament banner and facing several cameras and a large screen on which the names and faces of many of the delegates could be seen. Neelam was our on-site Parliamentary Secretary assisting myself as Chairperson and Dr. Eugenia Almand, who is the official Parliament Secretary, who connected to us from Georgia in the USA. Dr. Almand also served in the demanding task of translating for our Spanish speaking Latin American participants.

Here is our framework. The existing World Legislative Acts found on the www.oneworldrenaissance.com site function as Provisional World Law until such time as the final World Parliament is activated upon ratification of the Earth Constitution in its first operative stage. This is an important point for understanding the immense significance of our work. Existing provisional World Legislation will not be binding on the final World Parliament that commences with the first operative stage. However, it is binding now upon all who are global citizens loyal to the Earth Constitution and the system of democratic world law that it embodies. Under Article 19, we are creating real provisional World Law.  This is not just a model or an exercise in imagination. It is establishing a functioning Provisional World Government, binding until the activation of the final World Parliament.

In the light of this framework, this legislative session of the Provisional World Parliament took seriously its obligation within four dimensions: it updated and refined already existing World Legislation to conform to present conditions. It passed new World Legislative Acts not previously covered by earlier legislation enacted at the first 14 sessions of the Parliament. Third, it made significant progress in elaborating the administrative and operative framework for the provisional World Government in force until the final World Parliament commences with its first operative stage. Finally, it passed a memorial to the government of India and a powerful Parliamentary Declaration about the present state of the world and our endangered human future.

First, as just noted, the Parliament modified existing world legislation. It created a postgraduate program in Global Affairs and World Law to supplement earlier legislation. It changed the name of an earlier legislative act to rename the department dealing with clean energy to “Regenerative World Energy System Authority.” It also amended World Legislative Act 13 (that makes many transactions regarding the development, transport, or possession of nuclear weapons illegal) to further specify the crimes associated with intellectual property rights and illegal royalties under this act.

The second category of accomplishment for this session of the Parliament passed new World Legislation not covered or not fully covered by existing legislation. It passed enabling legislation for the Department of Democratic Procedures called for in the Constitution in Article 7.3.27. The Parliament also passed a sweeping Civil Forfeiture Act, proposed by WCPA Distinguished Advisor High Court Justice David Quispe from Peru, that elaborates the right of the Earth Federation Government to encumber the property of any persons convicted of investing in or being associated with development, transport, or deployment of nuclear weapons in any way. Finally, the Parliament passed a comprehensive statute on the rights of women everywhere on Earth.  With these bills the body of Provisional World Law took a great step forward.

The third category in which the Parliament accomplished a true tour de force was in the elaboration of the concrete infrastructure of Provisional World Government. Under Article 19 the people of Earth are empowered and mandated to start world government now. We cannot afford to wait for the sociopaths who today run most of the nation-states to act to prevent pending human extinction and the environmental destruction of our planetary home. The electoral and administrative structure of the Earth Federation government rests on some 1000 local districts. Delineation of the boundaries of these districts worldwide is nearly complete and secure voting IDs will soon be available to global citizens living within each of these districts.

This session of Parliament passed several World Legislative Acts that further elaborate and define the functioning of these World Electoral and Administrative Districts (WEADs).  One bill facilitates and enables the training and regulation of world law professionals who will serve in the judiciary, the enforcement system, and the civil legal system of each district. Another bill further defined the roles of Elected District Ombudsan and Deputy District Ombudsan who function as public protectors and advocates. Another bill defined the work of Elected World District Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. Yet another bill defined a number of standard structures and protocols for the world districts.

Finally, with respect to the WEADs, there was a comprehensive grassroots regeneration and environmental restoration bill that established Commissions within each of the WEADs to work with local populations to transform both urban and rural districts into vibrant, sustainable, and flourishing communities. This bill also initiated the process called for by the Earth Constitution of mobilizing the people of Earth to voluntarily limit and reduce the planetary population to sustainable levels. These levels are often estimated at something like 5 billion persons, which means that today’s world population exceeds the carrying capacity of the Earth by some 3 billion people.

The fourth and final category in which this session of the Provisional World Parliament was a stunning success involved its formal Memorial to the Government of India and its comprehensive New Delhi Declaration. India, of course, is the world’s largest democracy, and one of the world’s most vibrant economies and leading nation-states. Yet in the UN this nearly one seventh of the world’s population is represented by merely a single vote out of nearly 200 within the General Assembly. The Parliament Memorial asks the Government of India to assume leadership in creating a democratic framework for the UN by pressing for an Article 109 review conference in which the UN Charter is replaced by the democratic Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

The New Delhi Declaration of the Parliament is entitled “A Transformed Future Emerging from Planetary Disaster.” It describes in some detail the chaos, fragmentation, and criminality of the dysfunctional world system that the pandemic has merely highlighted and revealed. It calls for a transformed world system based on human and planetary well-being, not on nation-state competition, not on undemocratic extremes of wealth and power, but on universal human rights and dignity within the context of ecological integrity and sustainability. The document concludes with these ringing words:

The tragedy of the pandemic is also a hidden ground for hope. People everywhere are waking up to the criminalized war and exploitation system now dominating our planet. They are demanding real change, real transformation to a world system that produces genuine peace, justice, and sustainability rather than endless war, injustice, and on-going climate collapse. We members of the 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament endorse rapid ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

In sum, this session of the Provisional World Parliament brought the emerging Earth Federation significantly closer to reality and the people of Earth significantly closer to a flourishing civilization of peace, justice, and sustainability. We will soon be posting the newly passed World Legislation on our www.oneworldrenaissance.com website. Thank you so much to all who participated around the world in this historic occasion and thank you so much to the dedicated India team that made all this possible.

The I, the WE, the IT, and the Third Estate

Glen T. Martin

www.oneworldrenaissance.com

The objective world frames the actions of our subjective lives and the life of human civilization. The objective world is investigated by science and is elucidated by historians, sociologists, and those who study the emergent evolutionary ascent of our cosmos. Today we know that the objective world goes back some 13.8 billion years to the Big Bang, to the origins of our cosmos. Today we can trace the astonishing astronomical and geological history that chronicles the emergence of complexity and order over aeons of time up to and including the sudden flash of illumination that constitutes human consciousness. This is the world of the IT.

There is also the subjective world of the “I,” the immediate self-awareness of each person that is invisible to the objective world and from which emerges reason, aspiration, insight, meaning, and value. If there is value in some aspects of the objective world (for example, in its astonishing beauty, its life-forms, or its sheer existence), this value appears to be only recognized by the human subjective dimension. Even the higher animals do not appear to recognize value, whether in the subjective or objective dimensions.

Yet the “I” not only orients itself naturally to the objective world (which is necessary for the survival of the body, and the species, and all living things). It also has the awesome capacity to turn “inward,” to look within and find unfathomable depths within itself as described by mystics of every culture and every age in recorded history. It has the astonishing power of self-transcendence. It can rise above itself, transform itself, liberate itself, and illuminate itself evermore deeply.

The third mysterious dimension of existence is the WE dimension. When the I swings outward beyond itself it finds not only the objective world of “things” but it encounters other “Is”.  It recognizes immediately and intuitively their existence yet it sees only bodies, never subjectivities; it never sees other “Is.” Yet the encounter with the “thou” is entirely real and fundamentally different from the encounter with the IT. We are always in a community with others, and the universal translatability of all languages into one another places us in community with all others. All persons share in this astonishing mystery and dignity.

Every I knows that it is part of a WE, and that the WE is in some sense primary and constituitive of the I.  Today, a number of philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual thinkers have revealed this inseparability of the I and the WE in compelling detail. We are born genetically predisposed to langauge and our langauge ability is evoked in children only through interaction with other “Is.”  WE are born into community and live our lives in relation to community, even when we choose to be a hermit or become lost on an island like Robinson Crusoe.

The objective world of the IT has been evolving for 13.8 billion years.  The subjective world of the I has emerged out of the process of the evolution of life very slowly, perhaps out of the 3.6 billion years of the evolution of life on Earth, but has blossomed only yesterday and today in human self-awareness. The community (our common human reality) of the WE has been emerging along with the I only throughout human history of the past 40-50,000 years (but, of course, like the I, the entire history of the Cosmos appears to be the precondition for its emergence).

The community of the WE is being more and more recognized today as awareness has inceased that human beings are in the process of engineering their own extinction.  People around the world are beginning to recognize themselves as human beings first, as members of one human community, prior to all secondary identifications like race, gender, nationality, religion, or culture. Just as the objective world is a real component of Being, and the human “I” is a recent, emergent genuine component of Being, so the WE is an emergent component of Being—emerging but not completed.

In human history, the WE has had idealized images of its more complete realization, for example, in Orthodox Christianty, there is the Sobornost, the harmony and unity of the entire community in Christ. In Islam there is the Ummah, the unity of the entire community of believers before God. These images can give us guidance and inspiration as we look forward to a genuine human community living with peace, justice and freedom on our beautiful planet Earth.

A number of thinkers have articulated the notion that law is one ultimate expression of community, of the reality of the WE.  The Ummah is under the laws of God.  The Sobornost is under the trinitarian laws symbolized in the Eucharist. In terms of enforceable governmental authorities, in medieval and early modern times the King was thought ordained by God to be the expression of the complete community. The King held the constituent power that was supposed to symbollically embody the authority and reality of the community under his protection as sanctioned by God and God’s natural moral laws.

Where in real life does the constituent power come from? This is the power to make enforceable laws, the power to claim legitimate authority of government over the governed.  In many ancient and medieval societies this was said to come from God and be embodied in the authority of the monarchy. But gradually the democratic idea continued to emerge within human history. In the West this idea began to find a clear articulation in 17th century thinkers such as Althusius and Spinoza, both from the Netherlands in Western Europe.

Nevertheless, in 18th century France the idea of the constituent power was still centered on the monarchy and the nobility (known as the Second Estate) but this power derived some of its authority from the holy church that sanctioned the constitutent power of the monarchy through conferring a divine blessing on the power of the King to make and enforce the laws of the realm (the clergy were known as the First Estate).  The Third Estate was comprised of the vast majority of the people who, in the assembly of the Three Estates, were represented by one vote. One vote for the nobility dominated by the King, one vote for the clergy, and one vote for the vast majority of the people.

Drawing on the preparatory work of thinkers like Spinoza and Althusius, who claimed that the governing authorities ruled on behalf of the people who represented the true constituent power in any society, the French democratic revolutionary forces began to recognize the people, the Third Estate, as the true constituent power, even though the king and the clergy continued to make and enforce the laws. The king and the clergy called this notion that the people are the true constituent power “treason,” an illegitimate rebellion against the true, divinely gifted, source of the constituent power.

The French revolutionary idea, like the American revolutionary ideal that took place in this same era, was the understanding that the people are sovereign and the true souce of legitimate law and governmental authority—the authority that binds any authentic community into a common WE under universal laws ideally directed to the common good of the whole.  The “common good” means that the WE are a collective reality that supercedes the I if that I egoistically wishes to assert itself in violation of the good of the whole.

Yet, as we have seen above, the I is a genuine reality within being, like the IT and the WE.  Hence, the constituent power, as understood in authentic democratic theory, protects the I, with its innate, universal human rights and dignity, at the same time that it protects the reality and common good of the WE.  These two dimensions of existence, of couse, must be protected and harmonized within the framework of an objective world that requires producing food, clothing, shelter, protecting the health of the enironment, and providing other objective necessities that help ensure the life and well-being of both the I and the WE.

From the 18th century recognition of the Third Estate as the true, legitimate consituent power, to the crises of the 21st century is a two-century long, complex development. But one thing is clear—the 18th century recognition of the Third Estate was framed within a parochial view of the world as divided into races (along with slavery), nation-state power centers with absolute boundaries, male domination of women, and religious discrimination.  When Thomas Jefferson penned the great words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” he was expressing the foundations of the constituent (and revolutionary) power in an ideal form (like the Sobornost or the Ummah). The reality on the ground was horrific slavery, male domination of women, class divisions, religious fragmentation, and the on-going genocide of indigenous peoples.

Since that time women have struggled to be effectively recognzied as part of the Third Estate, and oppressed races have struggled to be recognized as part of “all men are created equal” (with the voting rights that this entails), and religions have continued to interact toward global mutual recognition.  Humanity is struggling to become the WE that we know we are and should be. That WE is the Third Estate, the true constituent power.

Today, governmental authority worldwide lies with so-called “sovereign nation-states.”  Each state is ruled by a small group dominated by the wealth and power of a few. Each state claims a separate constituent power for itself (nearly 200 separate constituent powers), independently of the rest of humanity.  The result is chaos, endless war, internecene struggle, pervasive suspicion, unbridled competition, environmental destruction, hate, and fear.  This false, so-called “Third Estate” is hopelessly fragmented in a suicidal race toward armageddon.

This is precisely the signficance of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and its active manifestation in sessions of the Provisional World Parliament.  Supporters of the Earth Constitution today represent the Third Estate of the people of Earth who are truly sovereign and represent the true constituent power for all law and governmental authority. Even though the power to make and enforce laws today still lies with the elite-dominated, militarized nation-states, the Provisional World Parliament meets and votes and makes “provisional world laws” under the understanding that it truly represents the Third Estate. It represents the true constituent power, which lies with the people of Earth, a power that is rationally organized and manifested in the Earth Constitution.

As philosopher Errol E. Harris reasons, the authority of the nation-states to make and enforce laws has today become “illegitimate.”  They cannot and do not represent the constitutent power of the people, for the Third Estate is precisely all the people who live on Earth. The constituent power lies with the Provisional World Parliament. Today, with this profound realization, we are in a position to unite the IT of our objective situation on Earth, with the I of infinite dignity and value, together with the WE of the universal human community. 

Peace, justice, and freedom, as well as human survival, can only happen when these three dimensions of Being have become integrated in a profound unity in diversity, recognizing and respecting each within the communion and coherence of them all.  This is the unity in diversity on which the Earth Consitution is founded.  This is the truth of the IT, the I, and the WE.  The people of Earth are the true Third Estate. The people of Earth are the true constituent power.

Citation Notes: The analogy between the Provisional World Parliament and the French Third Estate was first explicitly raised by World Constitution and Parliament Association’s Distinguished Advisor, Peruvian High Court Justice David Percy Quispe Salsavilca, in his essay on behalf of the upcoming 15th Session of the Provisional World Parliament, December 10-12, 2021.  For the history regarding Althusius and Spinoza, see my Ascent to Freedom (2008, section 4.8).  For Errol E. Harris on the illegitimacy of nation-states, see his Twenty-first Century Democratic Renaissance (2008, Chapter 7).

The Great Transition Initiative Forum on an earth constitution/the EC is now live: https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/an-earth-constitution-has-its-time-come.

Available directly from publisher at https://theoracleinstitute.org/bookstore or from Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Constitution-Solution-Design-Living/dp/1937465284

Universal Features of Our Common Humanity

Foundations for Democratic World Law

Glen T. Martin

www.oneworldrenaissance.com

All around the world today people are claiming to be “world citizens,” or “world patriots.” They are ascending to a worldcentric point of view. A fundamental impetus behind this transformation of human consciousness is undoubtedly the growing awareness of our climate crisis and the fact that we might make ourselves extinct through setting in motion an unstoppable climate change process that may soon make our planet uninhabitable for higher forms of life.[i] Global thinkers about our planetary crisis such as Ervin Laszlo, Jeremy Rifkin, or Thomas Berry emphasize the need, respectively, to actualize a “planetary consciousness,” a “biospheric consciousness,” or an “ecozoic consciousness.”[ii]

In this essay I argue that there are at least seven generic features of human consciousness that coalesce with the need for democratic world laws. Thinkers like Paul Raskin emphasize the imperative for “a great transition” to a new set of values that include a focus on the quality of life, human solidarity, and love of nature.[iii] Yet there are some others who hesitate in the face of these calls for transformation, questioning whether “western neo-colonial and imperialist values,” or falsely claimed “universalistic” values may be hidden beneath these movements that claim legitimate universality everywhere on Earth.

Indeed, one of the benefits of so-called “postmodern” thought has been to emphasize the relativity of perspectives and cultures and the difficulty of making broad generalizations that purportedly embrace all humanity. These thinkers shrink back from universal ideas in which “one size fits all” and in turn emphasize the vast cultural diversity on our planet. They engage in a deconstruction of claims to universality; they emphasize relativity and skepticism concerning all broad generalizations.[iv]

However, there are generic features of our human condition that have to do with homo sapiens themselves. These features may be mediated by culture and language, to be sure, but are not reducible to culture and language. Rather, they are what make culture, language, and civilization possible. Each feature might require a full volume to explain it in depth.

In this short essay I will simply point out some basic ones with a brief commentary. (1) The translatability of all languages into one another and the consequent possibility of genuine dialogue directed toward mutual understanding among all persons. (2) The inner process of self-transcendence at the heart of human consciousness. (3) Human temporality with its utopian horizon that complements this process of self-transcendence. (4) The widely recognized process of growth of consciousness through objective stages reflecting a universal human phenomenon. (5) The emergent evolutionism of the cosmic-human story as founded in contemporary science. (6) A perennial human capacity for transpersonal “cosmic consciousness” found in all world traditions. And (7) the nisus for universal laws solidifying and completing the human community that I have described in my earlier books such as Ascent to Freedom (2008), One World Renaissance (2016), and Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence (2018).

First, the discovery of the “deep grammar” of language, as shown by thinkers such as Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, and Jürgen Habermas,[v] has revolutionized our view of the human situation and engendered the movement fostering universal dialogue among cultures and religions. It opens for us the insight, Habermas concludes, that “a universalistic understanding of law and morality rests on the assumption that there is no definite obstacle to egalitarian interpersonal relations.” All human relationships are open to dealing with one another “in mutual and symmetrical recognition.”[vi] Great religious traditions around the world have already long understood this as our universal human capacity for “I-Thou” relationships. Movements such as the World Parliament of Religions in which religious leaders and thinkers from around the world come together in open dialogue directed toward mutual understanding illustrate this universality inherent in our common humanity.

Second, human self-awareness opens us to a process of perpetual self-transcendence as described by thinkers such as S.L. Frank and Errol E. Harris.[vii] During the 17th century, in his Pensées, Blasé Pascal famously pointed to human finitude, limitation, weakness, and contingency. However, he saw in this condition an indication of human greatness and dignity—for we are aware of these limitations and in this very awareness we transcend them. In the 18th century Immanuel Kant transformed this consciousness of limitation into a transcendental method inquiring after the a priori presuppositions of whatever we perceive or experience. Frank describes this method as “transcendental thinking, which investigates the essence of the logical-categorial connections themselves and therefore surpasses them.”[viii] Expressions of this process of self-transcendence are found in all cultures and literatures.

Some 20th century thinkers reached a clear understanding of our human situation in this respect. Errol E. Harris declares: “To be aware of finitude whether in oneself or another, is ipso facto to be, at least implicitly, aware of a standard by which one judges finitude. In the very act of judging, the finite is transcended.”[ix] The greatness and dignity of a human being is that we are self-aware, and in this very awareness we transcend our limitations. In the great world religions, this capacity leads us ultimately to the primordial ground of being (beyond thought and language). We are not entirely bound by culture or language or upbringing because to be human means to be able to see these limitations and hence transcend them.

Third, linked to our self-awareness of our limitations, we recognize the dynamic, self-transcending quality of human temporality, animated through what I have termed our “utopian horizon.” Thinkers such as Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger pointed out in the early 20th century that human beings are constituted as temporality.[x]  Our entire lives are lived within a dynamic present in which we critically appropriate a remembered past and project our lives into an anticipated future that we want to be better than that past, a process that does not have to be exclusively linear but can embrace awareness of transtemporal dimensions.

Our anticipated future includes a utopian horizon of ideal human values such as truth, beauty, peace, justice, freedom, harmony, and self-fulfillment.[xi] No matter what our culture or background this dynamic is operational in all normal human beings. It includes the dynamic of human self-transcendence widely known as “freedom”—universal, and beyond culture and upbringing. Through a genuine dialogue directed toward mutual understanding we can come to mutual understanding with one another regarding all these values. Human beings as a species live within a utopian horizon calling them to actualize a redeemed and transformed self and world.

Fourth, a universal human process of growth and transformation of consciousness has been recognized for the past century by many thinkers, philosophers, and psychologists from Eric Fromm to Carol Gilligan to Ken Wilber.[xii] Even through the process of growth has been articulated in quite sophisticated forms, it can be summarized in simple stages: we grow from immature egoism to an ethnocentric consciousness in which we have internalized the values of our culture and community to a worldcentric consciousness in which we begin to think in terms of what Karl Marx called our “species-being.” Again, such a process of growth (connected with the above-described human capacities for dialogue, self-transcendence, and the envisioning of utopian transformation) appears universal, found in all cultures and literatures.

Fifth, the revolutionary paradigm-shift in 20th and 21st century sciences integrates our evolution as homo sapiens into the context of the cosmic emergent evolutionary upsurge from the first primal flaring forth some 13.8 billion years ago to the present. Mind, higher forms of life, and consciousness have emerged from the process and were implicit in the process from the very beginning. Science has given us this “universe story” showing the undeniable sameness of all human beings within the context of cosmic evolution.[xiii]

Sixth, these insights are not only conceptual conclusions from the sciences, they also can be found universally in forms of “cosmic consciousness” as this has been expressed by mystics worldwide throughout history and around the world today. Cosmic consciousness may be cultivated and expressed through different cultural forms. For example, an awakened Buddhist may express this awareness differently from an awakened Christian or Muslim. At this level, consciousness becomes ever more “transpersonal,” beyond culture, language, and personality. Many scholars have pointed out the universality of this level of maturity among all cultures and literatures.[xiv]

Seventh, there is a growing recognition that legitimate, universal laws are necessary to organize and regulate complex societies everywhere on Earth, and that thinking in terms of “laws,” is an a priori modality of human consciousness. Ancient kingdoms everywhere saw the need to issue “laws,” regulations, codes, such as the Indian Code of Manu or the regime of universal Roman Law. As philosopher Errol E. Harris observes: “Every organized society involves the regulation of the conduct of its members so as to make ordered cooperation possible.”[xv] The drive to coherence in complex societies has been fundamental throughout history and today is widely recognized as the need for universal world law.

In the 18th century Immanuel Kant showed that moral principles take the form of universal laws that we legislate for ourselves. Reason recognizes that “it is right” to do this or “it is wrong” to do that and takes the form of universal laws that we recognize as applying to all rational beings. (Similarly, mathematics and logic are constituted as laws recognized by the human mind regardless of culture or language.) Today, documents such as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are formulated in just this way, for example: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”

According to the Universal Declaration, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Personhood and dignity are universal, beyond culture and language. Lawmaking in government, Kant argued, follows this same principle: lawmakers formulate universal principles of right and wrong, as sanctioned by government, to provide a framework for flourishing for all citizens.

Universal laws derive from our universal moral relationship with all other persons, as Kant had discerned, providing the framework for the flourishing of each within the bounds of the common good of all, ultimately assuming that the rights and freedoms of all human beings should be protected equally and justly. Human beings are not isolated atoms independent from society. We are deeply interdependent and require good laws to allow each person to flourish within the framework of a coherent and comprehensive whole. However, lawmaking is not yet universal to humankind.

Philosopher of law John Finnis sees national laws today as a becoming a “legal fiction” since planetary society has moved in so many ways to the global level. Errol E. Harris affirms with Finnis that authentic law is about the “common good” of society. He points out that no national laws can any longer promote the common good of their citizens since the common good is now at the global level of ending war, protecting universal human rights, and creating environmental sustainability. National laws, he says, are no longer legitimate law. Their legitimacy can be restored, he argues, only as part of a larger Earth Federation. Jürgen Habermas concludes that the phenomenon of globalization has called the entire system of nation-states into question.[xvi]

In today’s world, Ervin Laszlo observes, “we are no longer coherent with either each other or with the world around us.”[xvii] Part of the reason why we are not coherent with other human beings is that we have divided the world into nearly 200 autonomous regions recognizing no effective laws above themselves, each with the “right” to militarize itself to the teeth, each with the “right” to decide when and where to go to war, all of them spying on, and suspicious of one another.

Human beings, as free rational creatures, require law to enhance and solidify their coherence with one another. To think in terms of universal laws appears as an a priori structure of human consciousness at least since the Axial Period in human history some 2500 years ago. These seven generic features that have emerged during the past 2500 years constitute the theoretical basis as well as the moral demand for democratic world law.

Ratification of an Earth Constitution would make possible a further actualization of them all: from dialogue among all peoples, to enhanced self-transcendence, to recognition and actualization of our utopian horizon, to continued moral and intellectual growth, to emergent evolutionary possibilities, to a universal cosmic consciousness, to a coherent universal civilization under democratic world governing. These seven features, universal to homo sapiens, form the theoretical and moral demand for a united world, that is, for ratification of a Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

Endnotes


[i] See my book The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet (2021) for a review of this literature.

[ii] See James Gustav Speth, The Bridge at the End of the World (2008), Chap. 10, for an overview.

[iii] Paul Raskin, et. al., Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of Times Ahead (2002).

[iv] See, for example,  Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (1972). For a critique of postmodernism, see James L. Marsh, Critique, Action, and Liberation (1995).

[v] See Noam Chomsky, On Language (1998). Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (1995). Jürgen Habermas, Communication and the Evolution of Society (1979).

[vi] Habermas, The Future of Human Nature, (2003), 63.

[vii] S.L. Frank, The Unknowable. Boris Jakim, Trans.(2020).  Errol E. Harris, Atheism and Theism (1977), Chap. 3.

[viii] Ibid., 219.

[ix] Harris, Atheism and Theism, p. 52.

[x] Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind (1975). Martin Heidegger, Being and Time. Macquarrie and Robinson, Trans, (1962).

[xi] Glen T. Martin, “Utopian Horizon Value Theory” (2020) in American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science: http://www.aijhss.cgrd.org/images/Vol7No1/1.pdf

[xii] Eric Fromm, Man for Himself (1947). Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (1982). Ken Wilber, The Integral Vision (2007).

[xiii] Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story (1992). Errol E. Harris, Cosmos and Anthropos (1991) and Cosmos and Theos (1992).

[xiv] Rudolf Otto, Mysticism East and West (1932).  Richard Maurice Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness (1974). John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion (2004).

[xv] Harris, Earth Federation Now: Tomorrow is Too Late (2005), 83.

[xvi] John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980), 150. Harris, Twenty-first Century Democratic Renaissance (2008), 134-35, Jürgen Habermas, The Postnational Constellation (2001), 60.

[xvii] Ervin Laszlo, The Self-Actualizing Cosmos (2014), 78.

Please note: The Great Transition Initiative Forum on the Earth Constitution is now live at:

https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/an-earth-constitution-has-its-time-come.

Available directly from publisher at https://theoracleinstitute.org/bookstore or from Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Constitution-Solution-Design-Living/dp/1937465284

[1] See my book The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet (2021) for a review of this literature.

[1] See James Gustav Speth, The Bridge at the End of the World (2008), Chap. 10, for an overview.

[1] Paul Raskin, et. al., Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of Times Ahead (2002).

[1] See, for example,  Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (1972). For a critique of postmodernism, see James L. Marsh, Critique, Action, and Liberation (1995).

[1] See Noam Chomsky, On Language (1998). Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (1995). Jürgen Habermas, Communication and the Evolution of Society (1979).

[1] Habermas, The Future of Human Nature, (2003), 63.

[1] S.L. Frank, The Unknowable. Boris Jakim, Trans.(2020).  Errol E. Harris, Atheism and Theism (1977), Chap. 3.

[1] Ibid., 219.

[1] Harris, Atheism and Theism, p. 52.

[1] Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind (1975). Martin Heidegger, Being and Time. Macquarrie and Robinson, Trans, (1962).

[1] Glen T. Martin, “Utopian Horizon Value Theory” (2020) in American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science: http://www.aijhss.cgrd.org/images/Vol7No1/1.pdf

[1] Eric Fromm, Man for Himself (1947). Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (1982). Ken Wilber, The Integral Vision (2007).

[1] Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story (1992). Errol E. Harris, Cosmos and Anthropos (1991) and Cosmos and Theos (1992).

[1] Rudolf Otto, Mysticism East and West (1932).  Richard Maurice Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness (1974). John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion (2004).

[1] Harris, Earth Federation Now: Tomorrow is Too Late (2005), 83.

[1] John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights (1980), 150. Harris, Twenty-first Century Democratic Renaissance (2008), 134-35, Jürgen Habermas, The Postnational Constellation (2001), 60.

[1] Ervin Laszlo, The Self-Actualizing Cosmos (2014), 78.

Please note: The Great Transition Initiative Forum on the Earth Constitution is now live at:

https://greattransition.org/gti-forum/an-earth-constitution-has-its-time-come.

The Unity in Diversity of Our Human Civilizational Project:

The Only Way to Save the World is to Unite the World

Glen T. Martin

www.oneworldrenaissance.com

Around the world, some popular movements are looking for authoritarian solutions to the immense problems facing humanity. In Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia, movements have arisen that emphasize racial, religious, or sectarian discrimination of one group against another and that appeal to authoritarian leaders to address fundamental problems. In the United States, the mantra of one major group appealing to authoritarian leadership under Donald Trump is “Make America Great Again (MAGA).”

However, you make one nation “great” only at the expense of others. You make that nation more powerful, more wealthy, more feared or respected internationally than others. These initiatives violate the very essence of human civilizational life on planet Earth in which the goal is genuine unity in diversity. The goal, articulated in one way or another by each of the great world religions, is coherence, harmony, with one’s neighbors and with humankind.

Many thinkers in the modern world, from Hegel to Habermas, have pointed out that the sense of “I”, the sense of being a separate unique, integral human consciousness, only arises through our encounter with the “thou,” that is, with others. The society of human beings and the individuality of each of us form an inseparable reality and bond. Mystics of all ages have spoken of the paradoxical inter-penetration of the one and the many: the world is composed of many individual things that are simultaneously one. Buddhism speaks of pratītya-samutpāda, the interdependent co-origination of all things.

Philosopher S.L. Frank writes that the “all-embracing unity of humankind” that “is present as a whole in all its parts, is revealed to us….in the fact that singular being as self-being is not a closed, isolated, lonely being but—as “I” –is linked to “thou” and is a being that realizes itself as “I—thou” being” (2020, 144). Ultimately, he writes, “the forms of being “I am” and “thou art” (even if we take [these] in their mutual interconnectedness, their inseparableness from one another) there exists a more deeply rooted form of being: namely the being of “we” (ibid., 149).

Phenomenologically, I understand myself as a unique center of being in which the ultimate mystery of the ground of Being reveals itself in direct primordial experience as the “I am” awareness of immediate consciousness. But I realize that the world is a multiplicity of immediate consciousnesses experiencing this “I am.”  I realize that my own awareness emerged only through the community, through the encounter with others in which the simple awareness of the infant grows through this encounter into the sense of “I am” that becomes inseparable from the realization that “thou art.” “I and thou” becomes the reality within which we live.

The world is a vast multiplicity of “I am” awareness centers that could not exist as their unique “I am” without the community of humanity. The unity of the human community and the multiplicity of “I am” centers arise in mutual interdependence and coherence, in interdependent co-origination. When we understand the depths of a human being that go beyond being a mere physical “thing” that is part of the objective world of things, then we begin to think in terms of human rights and duties (that is, in terms of the moral dimension). There is something unique about being human possessed by no other creature that we know of. A tree is a living unique object in the world around us, yet the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to trees. This is the meaning of our unique human dignity.

It has been shown repeatedly that all the great world religions have some form of the golden rule that gives a basic account of the “I-thou” relation: do unto others what you would have them do unto you and don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you. The “I-thou” relation is primordial in this way. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins with the ringing words: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”  With every right there arises corresponding duties of the moral dimension. We are all morally responsible to one another. Every “I” is responsible to every “thou.”  Universal recognition of this reality is the foundation of good law.

Human beings comprise a multiplicity of “I am” centers of awareness living within a planetary community in which each center has rights and duties with respect to all the rest. Unity in diversity, universal coherence and harmony, form the most fundamental imperatives of our human situation. But all the great religions in one way or another go beyond this to a relation of love or compassion (agape in Christianity, karuna in Buddhism). The agape of God, according to the Gospel of Matthew, is “like the sun and the rain” it falls equally on the just and the unjust. With this non-discriminatory love we have moved beyond rights and duties to the deeper being of “we.” The imperative is that we love one another in this indiscriminate way just as God’s love flows on humanity equally “like the sun and the rain.”

World renowned evolutionary thinker Teilhard de Chardin expresses this as follows:

Only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion, as individuals, by uniting them with one another, because only love takes possession of them and unites them by what lies deepest within them…. Humanity, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, of the one with the many…what more need we do than imagine our power of love growing and broadening till it can embrace the totality of men and the earth? (1969, 145).

The imperative of human existence is to affirm and to live in terms of the “we,” and the “we” is everyone, all the “I am” centers that make up human existence within our planetary home. We can only bring ourselves and our human community to “complete perfection” in this way. The reality of our situation is the “we,” the paradoxical reality of unity in diversity fully and simultaneously. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth recognizes this reality of the “we” and its profound implications in its Preamble:

Conscious that Humanity is One despite the existence of diverse nations, races, creeds, ideologies and cultures and that the principle of unity in diversity is the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail; when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare; and when basic human rights and responsibilities shall be shared by all without discrimination.

The Earth Constitution is the “basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail.”  Those who drafted the Constitution understood the reality of the “we” and the implications of living according to that reality: “war shall be outlawed and peace prevail.”  The next paragraph of the Preamble speaks of the “inescapable reality that the greatest hope for the survival of life on earth is the establishment of democratic world government.” We will not likely survive under the present system, and our greatest hope is to become a genuine “we,” ascending to our true unity under the Earth Constitution. Without the Earth Constitution we have little hope. Why is this so?

Perhaps all nations in history have been founded on the principle of territory: “This is my territory, and these are my boundaries.”  Nearly all economic systems in history are founded on absolute ownership: “This is my land, my wealth, my property.” Such systems of exclusivity militate against the oneness of humanity, against the unity in diversity that animates the profound reality of “we.” These systems of exclusivity drag human consciousness down into the awful chaos of war, violence, hate, fear, and hunger.

These systems cannot but violate human dignity because they are founded on inflexible exclusivity. If protecting my territory comes first, then your dignity and human rights come second. If protecting my wealth comes first than your hunger and misery come second (see Donnally 2003). Only planetary unity in diversity can give us the peace, justice, and sustainability for which we long.

The Earth Constitution founds democratic planetary governance on universal unity of the “I” and the “thou,” on the dignity of humanity and the sacred holism of the natural world. If you begin with absolute national territories, you cannot but lose the whole. If you begin with absolute private property, you will lose not only the whole but also your own humanity. All the world’s great religions have affirmed human dignity. All the world’s great secular humanist teachers have also affirmed human dignity and natural human rights. But neither the nation-states nor the regime of private wealth accumulation can put human dignity first.

For human beings to come into an era of their dignity and fulfilment, in harmony with the cosmic ground of unity in diversity, they must place territory and property second to a true universal community based on human dignity, on universal human rights and responsibilities. That is the significance of the Earth Constitution: we come together to further the regime of human dignity. We do not abolish the nations or the regime of fair trade and wealth but, with the Earth Constitution, we place these second to human dignity—to our universal human rights to peace, security, and environmental integrity.

That is why the Earth Constitution is not more of the same. It is a truly revolutionary actualization of our fundamental humanity, the being of the “we.”  It does not abolish the nations but makes their sovereignty relative to their territory (as defined for the Earth Federation under world laws) and retains the sovereignty of the whole for the people of Earth. It does not abolish private property but makes its legal status subsidiary to the common good of the people of Earth. In my recent podcast with Professor Rashid Shaz, a major voice in contemporary Islam, Professor Shaz affirmed that the Quran was about the “common good” for all humanity, and the movement to democratic world government under the Earth Constitution was fully consistent with the Quran (https://sacredstories.com/islam-global-crisis-and-the-earth-constitution-with-dr-rashid-shaz/)

As I have often said: “Democratic world law is the 21st century form of love.”  The unity and diversity of the whole of humanity on which the Earth Constitution is founded is the application of love governing everywhere on Earth. Today, nearly all governing is about power and wealth. Our WCPA Distinguished Advisor Swami Agnivesh declared rightly that “the love of power must be replaced by the power of love.” The Earth Constitution gives power to the “we.” It recognizes the sovereignty of humanity and bases democratic world law on the common good of the whole. As Teilhard de Chardin affirms above: “only love can bring individual beings to their perfect completion, as individuals, by uniting them with one another.” Our own inner perfection and that of humanity arise together through love and through democratic world law based on the complete human community.

Ratification of the Earth Constitution is a work of love and the Constitution itself is an embodiment of love. It recognizes the reality of the “we,” more fundamental than the so-called absolute sovereignty of nation-states and the absolute right to unlimited accumulation of private wealth. This December 10-12, 2021, we are holding the 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament under the authority of Article 19 of the Earth Constitution. Anyone who has signed the Earth Constitution can register as a delegate, either on-line or in person. You can register at www.wcpa.global and sign the Earth Constitution at www.earthconstitution.world.   To participate in the Provisional World Parliament and the work to ratify the Earth Constitution is indeed a major work of love.

Works Cited

Donnelly, Jack (2003). Human Rights in Theory and Practice. Second Edition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Frank, S.L. (2020). The Unknowable: An Ontological Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Trans. Boris Jakim. Brooklyn: Angelico Press.

Teilhard de Charin, Pierre (1969). Hymn of the Universe. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Significance of the Provisional World Parliament

Session 15:  December 10 – 12, 2021, New Delhi, India

The Parliament will be hybrid—both on-line and in person: you can register at www.wcpa.global

Glen T. Martin, President

Human beings are facing possible extinction through climate collapse and/or nuclear holocaust.  Understanding this, hundreds of world citizens worked together from 1968 to 1991 to write a Constitution for the Federation of Earth that provides a coherent means by which we can avoid extinction and establish a flourishing planetary civilization. Today, the Earth Constitution has a worldwide movement behind it of world citizens working to establish a decent planetary civilization under its authority.

Because the threats to our human and planetary future are so great, the framers of the Earth Constitution created Article 19 that establishes our right and duty to activate Provisional World Government, the essence of which is the Provisional World Parliament (PWP).  People of vision, who understand of these threats to human existence and our path to overcoming them, have organized and participated in 14 sessions of the PWP to date, and the 15th session is now organized for December 10-12, 2021 in New Delhi.

What these sessions of the PWP amount to is world citizens and advanced thinkers coming together to (1) model for the world what it should be doing and (2) actually jump-start the democratic Earth Federation in the here and now.  What we are doing, therefore, has immense world-historical significance. This is not just another conference, one of a million other conferences.  This is a defining moment when the new world is being born and all participants are both part of this historic moment and witnesses to history being made.

This is the significance of participation, whether we are students, professors, or world citizens from any walk of life.  We are at the threshold, the turning point, from militarized nation-state chaos and likely human extinction to world unity in diversity and democratic world law. Participants at this threshold moment of transition are witnesses to history being made. This session of the PWP will be one of the defining moments in the history of human civilization.

One can register either as an observer or as a delegate. Delegates must be personal signatories of the Earth Constitution, which can be done at www.earthconstitution.world.  Delegates may vote on proposed world legislative acts.   Observers are welcome but may not vote on these proposed acts for the obvious reason that the acts are emerging world governmental acts passed under the authority of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It is this planetary moral authority under which the PWP meets and that lends legitimacy to our work.

The first day of the Parliament will involve grand opening ceremonies with brief speeches by a number of prominent thinkers and leaders both from India and abroad concerning the immense significance of our project and its prospects for the future of humanity.  Later in the day we will have selections of the Commissions being set up for the on-going transformative work of the Provisional World Parliament, which will be open to all delegates to the PWP.

The second day of the Parliament will require the active participation of all delegates who will be considering proposed World Legislative Acts (WLAs), discussing them, and voting on them.  There are some powerful and important WLAs being prepared that will be distributed ahead of time to all participants.

The third day of the Parliament will involve open discussion by delegates and observers of what went on and where to we go from here?   How to we move forward to create a world of peace, justice and sustainability for all persons and our endangered planet Earth?

The experience of participation in the PWP can and should be one of those “peak experiences” of our lives in which we grow immensely, expand our vision, and begin the grasp the significance of world citizens working together on behalf of a transformed future for all humanity.

A fundamental aspect of the work of the Provisional World Parliament is laying the groundwork for ratification of the Earth Constitution under the criteria set out in Article 17The Commissions formed at this session of the PWP will serve as the vanguard for this on-going work—the development of World Electoral and Administrative Districts for the Earth, the development of mechanisms for direct voting by the people of Earth, extending initiatives for protecting and saving the environment, for ending war, for protecting universal human rights, and for ending extreme poverty everywhere on Earth.

We thank the government of India and the great traditions of Indian culture that see the entire world has one human family for providing the setting and the occasion for these momentous events. From the Vedic tradition that proclaimed all human beings as “one family,” to Rabindranath Tagore who articulated a vision of a “universal man” beyond all divisions and national identities, to Swami Vivekananda who invited all human beings at the first World Parliament of Religions to act as “bothers and sisters,” to Sri Aurobindo who founded the World Union organization working for democratic world government, Indian culture has supported this vision.  And Indian governmental leaders from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to President Zail Singh to parliamentarians Bal Ram Jakkar and Dr. Karan Singh have supported Nehru’s declaration that “the only way peace can be achieved is through world government.”

The PWP represents a center and focal point for the great transition of human civilization from one of competition, war, and fragmentation for one of coherence, peace, justice, love, and sustainability.  All our ideals and our vision of a better world can and should be focused here. The Provisional World Parliament is the vanguard for integral human liberation.