Earth Federation Movement Fundamental Principles

(These principles were published in The Earth Federation Movement: Founding a

 Social Contract for the People of Earth. History, Documents, Philosophical Foundations

by Glen T. Martin, Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010.

They have been translated into several different languages)

 

Prologue. The Earth Federation Movement (EFM) is an interactive network of world citizens, non-governmental organizations, concerned governments, and peace thinkers dedicated to promoting planetary awareness of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Together, we also work tirelessly to secure ratification the Constitution by the people and nations of Earth. The seven principles expressed here comprise the creed by which we live and the goal to which we give our lives, energy, and resources. These principles are summed up in the following concepts: (1) a free republic, (2) universality applying to all human beings, (3) a regime founded on the highest principles, (4) creation of living systems, (5) an in-depth principle of peace, (6) deep sustainability, and (7) integrity of the whole. These principles form the conceptual foundation of the new paradigm of universal civilization embodied in the Earth Constitution. Together, they guide us toward a transformed future of human beings and our precious planet Earth.

1) The concept of a universal free republic. The very first principle of our movement involves the culmination of the history of political thought in the concept of a free republic embracing all the peoples and citizens of Earth. The idea of freedom, emerging from the deepest levels of the human spirit and the farthest reaches of recorded history, has culminated in the concept of a free, universal planetary republic under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Our present world of fragmentation and divisiveness defeats human freedom at every turn, replacing our deepest aspirations with violence, hatred, surveillance, systems of domination, and war.

A universal free republic places the emerging Earth Federation at a higher level than a planetary order that merely protects civil liberties for all persons. There exists a vast difference between political and economic thought predicated on the satisfaction of private desires through civil liberties and the political foundations of human freedom centered in a universal republic of free citizens. An authentic republic constitutes a regime of genuine public space for dialogue and debate among all persons and provides for the participation of citizens in all aspects of government.

It provides, therefore, a “public freedom,” far transcending mere “private freedom,” that brings the historical human quest for freedom to fulfillment within carefully designed planetary institutions. While civil liberties are necessary to a free republic, they are not sufficient – a level of “public freedom” must emerge in which citizens themselves engage directly in governing. The thousands of world citizens involved in the development of the Earth Constitution over the space of 33 years from 1958 to 1991 designed a brilliant framework for planetary public freedom, providing for the citizens of Earth to participate in self-government in the multiplicity of ways detailed within the Constitution.

2) The principle of universality. The concept of a free republic for the Earth necessarily includes the concept of “all.” From the ancient Stoic affirmation of all human beings as creatures of rationality with common moral principles deriving from that rationality to the ringing words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” philosophers and sages have used the word “all” throughout history. But only with the Earth Federation Movement, and some related contemporary global movements, have we begun to really mean “all” when this word is used.

The Stoics excluded “barbarians” from their “all,” and the Declaration of Independence excluded women and slaves. However, unlike other contemporary movements that use the word “all,” with the intent of true universality, the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is not only premised on the concept of “all,” it embodies that concept in a set of institutions that brings a mere ideal down into the concrete world of legal, political, and economic arrangements that make this universality a living reality. Like the concept of a “free republic,” universality remains a mere ideal until it us embodied in concrete institutions and institutional protections that make it a living reality. The Earth Federation Movement has pledged itself to actualizing this living reality for “all.”

3) The principle of a founded public regime. The concept of a truly new beginning, of an origin that at the same time raises human life to a higher level of existence, is a principle of utmost importance for the Earth Federation Movement. For the founding principles in such a regime are public and there for all to see, shining through the concrete institutions and arrangements of the emergent Earth Federation. Those organizations of world citizens who are attempting to evolve the U.N., to affect small, incremental changes in the unjust and violent disorder of things, fail to understand that the compromises inherent in the evolutionary model of human affairs will forever prostitute the ideals one wishes to achieve. Perpetual compromises with immense systems of economic exploitation and imperial sovereign nation-states have led to disaster after disaster for the people of Earth.

In the ratification of the Earth Constitution as an integral, completed, and foundational document lies the assent of humanity to true freedom and dignity. An integral legal system, founded on explicit principles of freedom, justice, prosperity, and peace from the very beginning, avoids the prostitution of deeply held ideals involved in all merely evolutionary models by the forces of unfreedom, injustice, poverty, and war. The Constitution embodies its highest ideals within an integrated, holistic, legal system that can substantially actualize these ideals in the daily lives of the people of Earth.

The campaign for ratification of an already completed Constitution since 1991 indicates, therefore, a disciplined refusal to offer the Constitution as a mere draft that can be forever tinkered with by querulous academic pedants and duplicitous forces that would subvert human progress. The campaign for ratification understands that only a founded system, only ratification of a completed document of surpassing brilliance (whatever minor flaws might remain), can establish human freedom upon the Earth. The flourishing (and indeed survival) of human life on our planet can only be accomplished through a founding ratification convention bringing the peoples and nations of the world to a truly higher level of human and political existence.

4) The principle of living systems for human economic and political life. A logical implication of the principle of a founded free republic involves the principle that living systems establish freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity. A widely held assumption today looks at these ideals as reflections of the subjective attitude of people, nations, or economic managers. If the people in government or business are moral, peaceful, and just, it is believed, then this may lead to a world of peace with justice.

This attitude fails to examine the fragmented and distorted institutionalized systems that block morality, peace, and justice no matter who makes-up their institutional participants. If economic institutions are flawed and inherently destructive of people and the environment, it matters little whether the captains of banking and industry are moral or immoral. If the system of sovereign nation-states is inherently a war system and a system of power politics, it matters little who is president or prime minister of various countries.

The Earth Federation Movement understands that freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity primarily arise from properly designed institutions. If we live under such institutions, democratically and transparently governed, then the flawed human beings who staff these institutions are much more likely to embrace freedom, peace, justice, and universal prosperity. People who staff today’s dysfunctional and unjust economic and nation-state institutions are, for that very reason, more likely to embrace unfreedom, war, injustice, and vast poverty in a world of obscene power and riches for the few. The Earth Constitution establishes these ideals in an integrated and universal world legal system. It constitutes a freedom system, a peace system, a justice system, and a prosperity system for the people of Earth.

5) Multiple elements within the in-depth principle of peace. All seven principles expressed in this document imply one another, including the concept of peace. The condition of peace has remained an illusory ideal throughout recorded human history. The tragic history of war and violence has created a nightmare for a large portion of the Earth’s citizens over the centuries, including today. Pursuit of the ideal of world peace in today’s world has resulted in a number significant movements. Among the most prominent of these are movements for peace education and groups devoted to the quest for inner peace.

Both inner peace and peace education are important elements in the quest for a peaceful world order (which would necessarily also be a free, just, and prosperous world order). But inner peace and peace education can never be sufficient, for the most fundamental dimension of peace is yet missing: the institutionalization of a peace system for the Earth. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth, along with its principles developed by the Provisional World Parliament under the authority of Article 19, establishes a dynamic peace system for the Earth.

Among the Constitution’s institutionalized elements of an in-depth peace system include (1) universal, transparent democracy for all nations and peoples, (2) enforceable, democratically legislated laws ensuring that no one is above the law, (3) systematic and carefully designed demilitarization for all the nations and organizations of the Earth, (4) mechanisms preventing remilitarization or reestablishing of institutions or organizations predicated upon violence, (5) prohibition of all military for the Earth Federation government itself, (6) judicial institutions for the peaceful settlement of disputes among all people and nations, (7) institutionalized protections of human rights and freedoms for all people on Earth, along with their right to participate in governing themselves on multiple levels from local to planetary, (8) the substantial elimination of poverty, misery, and disease from the Earth and creation of an infrastructure for keeping the people of Earth healthy and economically secure, (9) the development of worldwide institutions for mediation and conflict resolution designed to promote peace and mutual understanding among people, obviating in most cases the need to call upon the judicial system, and (10) worldwide peace education for all children in Earth Federation supported schools, and, through public radio, TV, and Internet, for all adults within the Earth Federation.

The principle of living systems is here briefly illustrated in the principle of an in-depth peace system for the Earth. All successful living systems must include a free republic, must be universal, must be founded, and must embody multiple, integrated elements, under the rule of enforceable law, as illustrated in this example of an in-depth peace system. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the only living document today that includes all of these elements necessary for moving the human project to the next higher level of planetary existence.

6) The principle of universal sustainability. The concept of sustainability developed from the ecological sciences has become a fundamental principle for understanding the relationship between human economic, political, and social activity and the carrying capacity and ecological integrity of the ecosystem of our planet. We live today, as in the past, in an unsustainable manner that destroys the ecological integrity of our planet’s life-support system.

Today’s unsustainable world disorder includes far more than a life-style carrying an “ecological footprint” greater than the planet will bear. It also includes vast poverty in the world’s population forcing desperate people to deforest the world, to produce very large families, and to over-cultivate land and over-exploit resources. It includes the vast military apparatus of the world that is deadly for the environment not only in the production of horrid bombs and chemicals but even more deadly when these technologies of death and destruction are used around the world. It includes an economic system predicated on private profit without regard to any human values, including sustainability, that systematically externalizes the costs of production into the environment and onto society in a process that amounts to eating our planetary biosphere alive.

Sustainability, therefore, like peace, is a comprehensive principle requiring transformation of our entire planetary system as envisaged by the Earth Constitution. Sustainability applies not only to the ecological footprint of consumers. Rather, it is universal, as it applies to all the central institutions that structure our lives at every level. The present global economic system is unsustainable. The present system of sovereign nation-states is unsustainable. The present cultural patterns of consumption and personal gratification are unsustainable. Global poverty signifies unsustainability for our entire planet as does global militarism.

The Earth Constitution provides the foundation for political, social, ecological, and economic sustainability for our endangered planet Earth. Sustainability can only be achieved through democratic world law within a transparent, institutionally sound, democratic world system. Sustainability is a comprehensive financial, social and ecological concept that cannot be achieved without ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

7) The principle of integrity of the whole. The integrity of the whole arises from the systemic and integrated wholeness of the system articulated in the Constitution and the understanding that wholeness itself is the most fundamental principle discovered by virtually every science of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Human life on Earth is a whole. Our personal individuality in relation to our “species-nature” as language using creatures is a whole. The biosphere of our planet is a whole; our solar system is a whole – our galaxy and, ultimately, our universe are integral wholes. In religious language, God is the principle of integrity and wholeness in all things, “through whom all things were made.”

The Earth Constitution embodies this principle in human economic, political, and social life at the planetary level. It is wholeness that carries natural, spiritual, and moral integrity, not division, violence, or fragmentation. The integrity of the Earth Constitution lives in its wholeness, and in the wholeness of the Earth Federation that it establishes for the Earth. That is why freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity are the substantial consequences of its ratification and implication. It is the whole that has integrity, and the Constitution institutionalizes that integrity for human society for the first time in history.

This wholeness and its integrity can only be protected and concretely established through ratification of the Earth Constitution. The whole of our world system, a system of freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity, will then ascend to an inviolable integrity. These are the principles to which we pledge ourselves, and which we pledge to one another – to all humanity, and to future generations living upon the Earth. It is the institutionalized integrity of the whole that will lead future human beings to live lives of dignity, reverence, and honor upon our precious planet Earth.

Epilogue. The principles at the heart of the Earth Federation Movement are the most fundamental principles of ethical and political thought. Our thought and action are directed toward the primacy of human freedom for every person and community on Earth. The conceptual foundations of the Earth Constitution, upon which our work is based, involve only the most fundamental and universal of principles, principles necessary for coherent, integrated, and consistent thought regarding the human condition at the dawn of the 21st century.

Our movement refuses to adulterate its conceptual foundations with the cynicism, skepticism, relativism, and superficiality that today dominate thought within both nation-states and the United Nations. We have not watered down our work with ideas of limited and secondary value, ideas that clandestinely import fragmentation, division, and violence into human affairs. Such limited and secondary ideas include the sovereignty of nation-states as well as false notions of unbridgeable divisions among religions, races, cultures, ethnicities, or creeds. Such adulterating ideas also include the necessity of compromise with the corrupt regimes and prostituted principles that we find everywhere prevalent within our current world of fragmentation, chaos, and disorder.

Our personal integrity resides in the rigorous honesty with which we critique the present world of injustice, violence, and unsustainability. It resides in our unfailing commitment to remain loyal to the highest principles arising from the human mind and human history, and from our determination to institute these principles within a transformed world order predicated on freedom, justice, prosperity, and peace for all human beings everywhere. Our integrity lies in our word, in the sanctity and faithfulness of our word in relation to the principles to which we have pledged ourselves. It also lies in the quality of thought and action arising from our principles, thought and action vigilant against a pragmatism that forever compromises with a corrupt status quo.

This rigorous honesty and sanctity of our words and pledges themselves arise from a yet deeper level of insight. We pledge not only to the highest principles of human thought that constitute the foundations of our movement, but we pledge to one another to engage the future and our commitments through mutual dialogue, respect, understanding, and shared vision. Our pledges, therefore, maintain an unfailing commitment while avoiding dogmatism and closed-mindedness. For we commit to the highest principles of dialogue, discussion, and communication with all willing persons. This communicative foundation constitutes the living, phenomenological dynamic from which our highest principles and concepts emerge. Our integrity flows from this communicative foundation and from our commitment to these highest principles of human and planetary life.

 

 

Critical Social-Spiritual Theory for Human Liberation

 

 

Glen T. Martin

Human liberation has been an idea that has inspired philosophers and thinkers around the world for many centuries. People have always dreamed of a world of peace, justice, and freedom. This vision is present in some of the great religious texts of the world.  However, as scholar of religions John Hick (2004) points out, it was not until the 19th century rise of a social scientific understanding of society (with its class divisions and power relationships) that human beings became capable of more correctly diagnosing the problems of lack of peace, injustice, and unfreedom. Hence, it was only by the 19th century that we have been capable of taking real social, economic, and political steps to address these problems.

 

The first tier in articulating a credible process of human liberation involved the powerful 19th century analysis of capitalist society developed by Karl Marx (1972) showing that human poverty and misery were not the inscrutable “will of God” but were the result of specific social-economic relationships. We now understand, as the young Marx put it, that true human emancipation only begins when “all the conditions are overturned in which human beings are humiliated, enslaved, forsaken, and distained.” We need planetary economic and social conditions in which every person can live with dignity, freedom, peace, and personal security.

 

This analysis was creatively deepened and carried forward by many other thinkers concerned to clarify the dimensions of political and economic liberation. This tradition includes far too many thinkers to identify here, but I will mention a few more familiar names in order to help delineate the subject matter under discussion. Georg Lukács, Antonio Gramsci, Jean-Paul Sartre, Herbert Marcuse, Ernst Bloch, and Jürgen Habermas were all influenced by Marx and all attempted to go deeply into our human situation to identify the central features of our domination and unfreedom and to articulate the nature and direction we must take to further human liberation.

 

The second tier that developed for articulating the process of human liberation belongs to world systems theory. Thinkers began to apply the critical-social insight not only within societies, but to the world system of nation-states as a whole. This analysis revealed systems of domination and exploitation that linked global capitalism with a set of dominant nation-states who used military violence and social-economic hegemony to exploit peripheral nations and peoples for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful elites in the world’s center nations.

 

This system began, of course, as colonial conquests. It has continued to the present as neocolonial imperialism, domination, and economic exploitation. Today, we need a new world system that transcends these evils. As Boswell and Chase-Dunn put this: “Fundamental change in the system happens only at the global level. For socialism to replace capitalism, it too must be a global system that embraces a democratic world polity” (2000, p. 11).

 

Some thinkers in this tradition, or influenced by it, are Immanuel Wallerstein, Terry Boswell, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Samir Amin, Thomas Shannon, Michael Parenti, and James Petras. These thinkers add to the classical Marxist analysis described above the insight that human liberation must not only take into account economic relationships but the political organization of the world system as well. A system of militarized sovereign nation-states with absolute borders, recognizing no enforceable laws above themselves, is a disaster for the well-being of humankind and future generations. The unity of humankind is the only possible way to overcome the threats to human existence such as possible nuclear holocaust or global climate collapse.

 

The third tier in understanding the process of human liberation involves the ethical-spiritual dimension. Human liberation cannot be reduced to economic relationships, nor to political and nation-state relationships. It also requires spiritual growth and development to higher modes of awareness and consciousness, freeing people from egoism, ethnocentrism, materialism and immaturity and opening up the process of awakening and inner self-realization that is described within the great religious traditions of the world as well as by many psychologists and spiritual thinkers.

 

In this tradition, I would include Christian liberation thinkers such as Gustavo Gutierrez and Jürgen Moltmann, Buddhist thinkers such as Nolan Pliny Jacobson and Abe Masao, Vedic-based thinkers such as Swami Agnivesh and Mahatma Gandhi, Moslem thinkers in the Sufi tradition going back to Jalaladdin Rumi, contemporary scholars of spirituality and religion such as John Hick and Ken Wilber, and humanist psychologists such as Abraham Maslow and Erich Fromm (1947). Whether they be secular psychologists or spiritual visionaries, there is a consensus that spiritual and moral growth is a necessity if we are to create a decent world where people can live with peace, justice, and sustainability.

 

Critical social-spiritual theory (CSST) as I am describing it, therefore, involves a collection of social perspectives and analyses on capitalism and class societies in general, along with reflection on the political structure of the world system. These investigations have advanced to the point of seeing through the deceptive ideological justifications of capitalism and sovereign nation-states that have been promulgated by the ruling classes of the world. Secondly, these perspectives and analyses arise from an awareness of a set of ethical-spiritual values or fundamental truths that allow thinkers to identify the system of class domination as wrong, distorted, exploitative, or spiritually corrupt in various ways. If there were no objective values, there would be no grounds for critically evaluating unjust economic, social, and political arrangements and advocating fundamental change.

 

We need to discern and actualize ethical-spiritual values in our own lives and create the social-economic conditions leading to their broad actualization for all of humanity. Those who claim that “the human heart must change” before the world system changes express only a “half-truth.” As Christian liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez elaborates: “And this was a half-truth because it ignored the fact that ‘hearts’ can only be transformed by altering socio-cultural structures” (in Leonard p. 183). In other words, human ethical and spiritual awakening is dialectically related to social-political-economic transformation. Transformed hearts promote transformation of the world system and a transformed world system in turn transforms human hearts. We must work for both these dimensions simultaneously.

 

For Marx, the dynamics of capitalism have little to do with promoting human welfare and everything to do with the growth and maintenance of ruling class power, domination, and exploitation. Marx himself embraced the objective values of freedom, democracy, and justice (see Miranda 1986). Marx showed that the capitalist system included an inherent tendency to break down periodically, throwing society into economic chaos, and that it was directed to “exchange value” and the maximizing of profit, not toward “use values” and the satisfaction of human needs.

 

In addition, Marx saw that the daily operation of the system appropriates the surplus wealth created by workers for the private enrichment and use of the owners of capital, a fact that amounts to institutionalized theft of the life energy and productive efforts of those who produced the goods and services upon which society is built. This fact also accounts for the massive poverty and misery we see all around us today (as well as in Marx’s day), and it results in the vast militarized violence designed to protect and promote this status quo.

 

Mahatma Gandhi declared that under capitalism, “the few ride on the backs of the millions.” But “socialism,” he declared, must be “pure hearted.” In other words, without spiritual awakening to truth and love (the core of Satyagraha), there can be no legitimate socialism (1972). Human liberation must be both spiritual and socio-economic, and it must be worldwide.

 

Jürgen Habermas (1998) also contributed to critical social-spiritual theory through revealing the communicative core of language. The presuppositions of the very possibility of language involve the claims (within every utterance) to truth, truthfulness, and normative rightness.  These claims are present in all uses of language and can be distilled out of our complex and multiple uses of language to isolate the “ideal speech situation” that serves as the presupposition for the possibility of all uses of language. The ideal speech situation also presupposes the equality and democratic right of each speaking participant to participate equally in the dialogical effort of arriving at general principles that serve everyone’s interests and exclude none.

 

Hence, Habermas shows that instrumental or strategic uses of language are parasitic upon the communicative core of language. Social, political, and economic arrangements use language strategically to cover up and veil the equality at the heart of our common humanity. Equality is defined in terms of our common ability to use language. Strategic uses of language justifying inequality, therefore, often violate of the very nature of language itself and our common human right to participate in the formulation of the principles by which we all live. Therefore, analysis of language itself generates a critical social theory exposing class domination, deception, and distortion of our common human project.

 

Habermas (1998) affirmed the model of growth put forward by prominent psychologists from egoism through ethnocentrism to worldcentric and kosmocentric modes of awareness. We can only actualize real “dialogue directed toward mutual understanding” if we have grown out of egoism into a worldcentric perspective that makes it possible to recognize others as my equal and as deserving of my respect. For him, therefore, spiritual and social liberation must go together.

 

For Swami Agnivesh (2015), spirituality involves an awakening beyond the ego of self-interest and the collective identification with this or that party or religion to the point at which the spiritual awakening of the individual becomes identical with the transformation of society through love and compassionate action. This involves seeing the “unimaginable powers of coercion” that have accumulated in the hands of the dominant classes of the world and the imperative for taking action to address this coercion. It involves enunciating a spiritual vision for the world community that sees our planet as one family in which all persons have equal rights to decent, secure, and peaceful lives, liberated from poverty, domination, and exploitation. The holism of God, acting in and through our personal lives, empathically embraces the holism of the human family and acts on behalf of integral human liberation.

 

My own work has emphasized a fourth tier to Critical Social-Spiritual Theory, a tier that has always been part of CSST but has not, to my knowledge, been fully recognized nor emphasized. My writings focus on the objective feature of human self-transcendence as necessary to the matrix of concepts making up CSST. In my recent book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence (2018), every human being lives as a temporalized project moving from a past through a dynamic present into an imagined future.

 

This temporalized process generates in the present a “utopian horizon,” which includes a broad understanding that things could always be better, that needs could be better satisfied, and social relations could be improved. The future, and the call of the future to create a harmonious, just, and peaceful human community, takes on an ontological priority over the present and past. The process allows us to envision a transformation from present conflict to kindness and love, from injustice to justice, from overt and institutionalized violence to nonviolence, and from systems of exploitation and domination to systems of prosperity and freedom.

 

“Utopia,” as a word indicating our common human ability to realize that things could be fundamentally different (that we could live in a world of peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability) is central to Critical Social-Spiritual Theory. As Gutierrez points out, this is not the same as “ideology” (1988, p. 137). Ideology often covers up and justifies the violence, domination, and exploitation of the established order. Utopia represents the clear-sighted vision inherent in our capacity for self-transcendence. We see that things could really be different, and that transformation of the world system can really lead to transformation of the human heart.

 

In addition to living within our utopian horizon, human reason can discern objective values implicit within that horizon that should be pursued and actualized in life. These objective values can be articulated in terms of at least 10 distinct, yet interrelated goals inherent in our temporalized human situation: dialogue directed toward mutual understanding, nonviolence, human rights, political and economic democracy, compassion and kindness, unity in diversity, justice-making, sustainability, global education, and Earth Constitution (Martin, Chap. 8).

 

Since each item on this list of objective values articulates a part of the holism that is integral to human life, and is itself part of the nexus of ideals inherent in the human utopian horizon, analysis of each one can reveal the others as implicit within it.  For example, an elaboration of “justice” would reveal communicative dialogue, nonviolence, human rights, political and economic democracy within the concept of justice.  An analysis of compassion and kindness would reveal the same nexus of ten values within our utopian horizon, including justice, nonviolence, etc.  This means that a critical social-spiritual theory (CSST) is inherent in the very structure of human existence.

 

For Critical Social-Spiritual Theory to actualize itself in individual persons or social groups requires a growing sophistication into the processes by which class societies systematically generate a deceptive ideology to justify and legitimate their class divisions and unjust political and social arrangements. For example, who owns the mass media and why?  How does the mass media select and privilege certain topics and issues while excluding others as outside the range of acceptable discourse?  How does the electoral system encourage politicians to lie and to serve wealth and power rather than the people?  Who does the government really represent and why? How do the laws institutionalize injustice and class divisions?

 

The temporalized development of a critical theory within persons and groups requires the growth of persons through the objective stages of development articulated by critical thinkers and psychologists: from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to kosmocentric levels (see Wilber 2007). In other words, just as class structures impede human liberation by setting up distorted communication systems designed to privilege certain groups in relation to the majority, so individual egoism and self-interest distort communication and clear vision in ways that privilege the immature persons (who may well be rich and powerful adults) over and against all others (see Wilber 2007; Leonard 1990).

 

Nevertheless, critical social-spiritual theory is implicit in our human condition and provides a revolutionary “voice” that calls to us from the future to actualize our practical utopian potential through continuing intellectual, moral, and emotional growth. This call from the future includes the Earth Constitution.  Of course, insofar as world democracy is implicit within our common human utopian horizon, this value is not dependent on a specific document like the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. (I have argued in Martin 2018 and elsewhere why it is to our great advantage to focus on this particular document.) Nevertheless, our common utopian horizons directly imply globalized democracy.

 

Implicit in the Earth Constitution are all the other values on the list: creating the Earth Federation under this Constitution will help maximize dialogue directed toward mutual understanding on the Earth. It also outlines social and economic arrangements of humanity that significantly maximize nonviolence, protection of human rights, economic and political democracy, unity in diversity, compassion and kindness, justice-making, sustainability and global education. This makes the Constitution for the Federation of Earth a key tool for critical social theoretical analysis of oppression, domination, and exploitation and a key document for envisioning a liberated and liberating global society.

 

Although the Earth Constitution, like these other values, is implicit in our utopian horizon as a general concept of a democratic (peaceful, just, and sustainable) world system, it is important to understand that it is not a blueprint for a detailed utopian society in the sense of identifying the specifics of some such future “perfect” society.  Thinkers such as Hannah Arendt (1958) have pointed out that the use of state power to impose upon people in the present some vision of a detailed perfect society in the future is one of the roots of totalitarianism.  Stalinism violently imposed collective farming on the peasants of Russia, Maoism, through its Red Guards, violently imposed a cultural ideology on the people of China, Hitlerism imposed the vision of a “pure Aryan” society on the people of Germany. Mussolini violently imposed the theory of fascism on the people of Italy.

 

The Earth Constitution, by contrast, sets up democratic procedures by which the people of Earth can move with reason and common sense into a better future for humanity. It gives us the necessary means to creating a decent future. It articulates a “practical utopia,” a way to move legitimately into a better future. Means and ends must be in harmony. The means, like the ends, must be nonviolent, democratic, and just. This understanding itself is integral to our utopian horizon.

 

The Earth Constitution does not impose a specific vision on that future using the false utilitarian reasoning that these violent means can be justified by some “utopian” end called “the greater good” (see Finnis 1983). Our utopian horizon cannot be legitimately coopted by utilitarianism to allow for any means that might violate human freedom, rights, and dignity in the present for some future goals. The Constitution is about creating a reasonably just, peaceful, equitable, and free society in the present that will allow human beings the means to have a future at all.  In this sense, it is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for human liberation. It is the necessary means. It alone, through global democracy, gives the people of Earth the means to achieve everything sufficient to complete a world of peace, justice, and sustainability.

 

Critical Social-Spiritual Theory (CSST) must include four tiers: first, economic analysis of class domination and exploitation; second, global political analysis of the world system of nation-state violence, domination and exploitation; third, description of an objective process of human spiritual growth and liberation from ego-centric existence to kosmocentric existence, from self-centeredness to compassion, from hate and fear to love and justice. The latter in each case provides the values through which the current systems of domination and exploitation can be judged, as well as the direction we must move to progressively actualize human liberation on planet Earth.

 

The fourth tier involves the recognition that human liberation is built into the very structure of our temporalized human consciousness. A utopian critique of today’s unjust world system is not a product of some idle imagination. Rather, such a critique, and the praxis necessary for actualizing the utopian vision, are fundamental to our very nature as human beings. We were born for liberation, for a world of love, peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability. Critical Social-Spiritual Theory analyzes the economic, political, and spiritual reasons why we have not achieved our true human potential. It shows how economic systems impede liberation, how the system of militarized sovereign nations impedes liberation, and how spiritual immaturity impedes our liberation.

 

What were the great documents directed toward human liberation in the 19th century?  Perhaps Marx’s Das Kapital?  What were the great documents in the 20th century? Perhaps the UN Declaration of Human Rights or the Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi? (Certainly not the UN Charter, which solidifies the system of militarized nation-states.)  But Das Kapital, the UN Universal Declaration, and Gandhi’s Autobiography point forward toward global democracy. For Gandhi, “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” (see Martin 2017).

 

The Earth Constitution extends a concrete vision beyond these 19th and 20th century documents to offer a more complete 21st century critical theory for human liberation. It ends economic exploitation, establishes a global democratic community, encourages a change in the human heart, and actualizes the practical utopian dimensions of human life. Today, it constitutes a necessary component within any credible theory of planetary peace, justice, and sustainability.

 

 

Brief Bibliography

 

Agnivesh, Swami (2015). Applied Spirituality.

Arendt, Hannah (1958). The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Boswell, Terry and Christopher Chase-Dunn (2000). The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism: Toward Global Democracy.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher (1998). Global Formation: Structures of World Economy. Updated Edition.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth: Compact Edition (2016). Edited, with an Introduction by Glen T. Martin. On-line at www.earth-constitution.org.

Finnis, John (1983). Fundamentals of Ethics.

Fromm, Erich (1947). Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics.

Habermas, Jürgen (1998). On the Pragmatics of Communication.

Hick, John (2004). An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent.

Gandhi, Mahatma (1972). All Men are Brothers. Compiled by Krishna Kripalani. UNESCO Publications.

Gutierrez, Gustavo (1988). A Theology of Liberation. Trans. Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson.

Leonard, Stephen T. (1990). Critical Theory in Political Practice.

Martin, Glen T. (2017). “Gandhi’s Satyagraha and the Earth Constitution,” in Cook, ed. Examining Global Peacemaking in the Digital Age: A Research Handbook.

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

Marx, Karl (1972). The Essential Writings. Frederic L. Bender, ed.

Miranda, Jose Porfirio (1986). Marx Against the Marxists: The Christian Humanism of Karl Marx.

Wilber, Ken (2007). The Int

Limits to Growth? A Critique of the book Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Meadows, Randers, and Meadows

This book is excellent in that it shows how and why our planet is in “overshoot” and therefore how and why we are headed for imminent collapse. The book is a 30-year update on their original book Limits to Growth that first appeared in 1972. It has been through numerous printings. It chronicles the input and output for 11 different computer models for our planetary future (chosen from hundreds they have run) that powerfully show the options available to us and the ways that most of our possible choices will lead to planetary disaster. The options of what we need to do to avoid disaster are fairly narrow and clear.

Computerized modelling of possible planetary futures in relation to human activity has become a fundamental feature of contemporary Earth System Science (Lenton 2016). Many factors are introduced into the model such as economic and population growth along with a corresponding growth of extraction (taking from the Earth the substances we need to support human life) and sinks (discharging our heat and material wastes back into the ecosystem of the planet). Variations on many models are run, and the computer is able to generate possible futures depending on the variables programed into each model. The broad consensus of the thousands of variant models that have been run is that we are currently in overshoot, and that without major changes in the ways we do things (that can also be modelled), we are rapidly heading toward planetary collapse and major civilizational disaster.

Meadows, Rander, and Meadows correctly outline what is necessary for a sustainable world system:

(1) Extend the planning horizon for the world. This would have to include pollution reduction planning for soils, water, and atmosphere, planning for technology use and production goals, planning regarding extraction practices and loss of nonrenewable resources, and planning for the future health and maintenance of our entire planetary ecosystem.

(2) We must improve the signals for monitoring the real impact of human activity on our planetary ecosystem across all these dimensions. In response to monitoring, we must be able to take action.

(3) We must speed up response times so that we can keep resource extraction, production, and waste disposal to sustainable levels. We must be able to respond effectively on both local and planetary levels.

(4) We must prevent the erosion of renewable resources (such as soils and forests) and minimize the use of non-renewable resources (such as minerals and fossil fuels), and do these things consistently worldwide.

(5) We must use all resources with maximum efficiency (including repair, recycling, and innovating), with massive technology transfer to the third world to make this possible, and, finally,
(6) We must slow down and eventually stop the exponential expansion of population and

physical capital (pp. 259-60). Limitless growth on a finite planet is impossible.
Nevertheless, the entire framework of the book elicits a living contradiction between these authors’ acceptance of the present world political and economic system and their vision of a necessary paradigm-shift to a sustainable world system. This paradox vitiates the power of their message and leaves the reader with the impression that their vision of sustainability is hopelessly utopian.

They say “it takes clarity and courage to challenge an established system,” but their book constitutes an implicit defense of the world’s established economic and political system and neglects to rethink that system. It does not evidence a great deal of clarity and courage. To promote the massive changes required for planetary sustainability, they can offer us no better options than what they call “soft-tools” of “vision, networking, truth-telling, learning, and loving.”

Everyone knows that the millions of people who have engaged reasonably well in these five “soft tools” over the past half century have not made a significant difference in changing the omnicidal trajectory of the world system. Since Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring launched the modern environmental movement in the early 1960s, more than half a century has passed and nothing substantial has changed with regard to overshoot. It has only gotten worse.

Such an inept solution as these authors propose to a monstrous global problem can only breed hopelessness and despair. The world political and economic systems do not constitute a political peace system (rather they manifest an institutionalized war system). Nor do they include a justice system (rather our world system exhibits an institutionalized system of poverty, injustice, exploitation, and domination), nor, of course, is our world system a sustainability system.

These authors promote a “revolutionary” change toward a sustainability system without seriously advocating fundamental change in the war-system or the injustice-system. One would think that “systems theorists” like themselves would know better.  They have written a good book that shows the nature of our present overshoot and the inevitability of collapse. However, at the same time, this book is fundamentally flawed.

Like the rest of the book, their description of these tools brings forward their limited model and vision of our human reality. They say: “All models, including those in our heads, are a little right, much too simple, and mostly wrong.” Indeed, their arguments that their 9th version of a modeled computer projection (leading to sustainability) will not get us there. This is because it includes their flawed assumptions about both political and economic realities. They explicitly state that their computerized model “has no war, no labor strikes, no corruption, no drug addiction, no crime, no terrorism” (p. 150). This utopian computerized model looks at the world as a whole and ignores the fragmentation of present world realities.

In their final chapter, these authors quote Buckminster Fuller regarding truth-telling. But the truth about Buckminster Fuller is that he advocated world government, a fact that they omit. Instead their “vision” includes dangerously vague and barely comprehensible recommendations for “decentralizations of economic power, political influence, and scientific expertise” and “political structures that permit a balance between short-term and long term considerations.”

It is difficult to imagine what these vague generalizations could possibly mean. Would they be global? Would they separately exist within each nation-state?  How would they be organized and funded?  What could these suggestions possibly mean with respect to our present world of some 193 militarized sovereign nation-states with absolute borders and murderous political, military, and economic competition?  Their vague ideas are incommensurate with present realities and show no way to get us from here to there.

Everywhere, these authors tout diversity and decentralization but then talk as if the world were a unity that could adopt their recommended new paradigm: they speak in terms of “the sustainable society” that must take these actions; or we must have a world that benefits “everyone;” or “a sustainable world” would not be this or that. They are recommending, they say, “a formidable twenty-first century program” for sustainability. A program for whom?  Of course, for humanity as a whole. Everywhere they fudge the realities of political and economic fragmentation. Humanity as a whole must do this or that, but they unveil no mechanism for humanity as a whole to do these things, certainly not the UN, which is helpless before the militarized autonomy of the big sovereign nation-states and has no global authority to make things happen on a planetary scale.

These authors promote a unified paradigm-shift and system transformation to a sustainable world-system as a whole and then declare (unbelieveably) that “world government is not needed to deal with global problems” (p. 201).  They say they “believe” in markets as feedback indicators, and they have built “perfectly responsive markets” into their computer models.  Then they go on to show all the ways that markets are inefficient, poor indicators, and flawed, and declare that we need vastly improved ways of monitoring and planning. Such cognitive dissonance is glaring in this apparently well-meaning book. Whether this omission is intentional or due to ignorance, it is inexcusable in people who claim to care so much about the future of humanity.

They seem to favor democracy, along with plurality, diversity, and decentralization, but these prominent systems theorists do not appear to comprehend that democracy itself is a system—a system designed so that government can represent the common good and interests of the people and take steps, through planning, dialoguing, and drawing upon scientific information, to implement that common good over planned shorter or longer periods of time. Their entire perspective coalesces around the planetary “we,” around the idea of “humanity’s long-term future” (p. 250). Yet they present no clear idea how “humanity” can achieve these things in the face of the Westphalian system of some 193, militarized, fragmented political-economic entities. They seem to assume that any truly unified global planning, monitoring, and economic guidelines would have to take the some form of a totalitarian system like the former Soviet Union (p. 257).
However, democratic theorists have for three centuries articulated the dynamics of the only system human beings have ever invented for embodying the common good of human beings combined with planning and action to further actualize that common good as we move into the future (Harris 2008, Chap. 7).  That system is called “democracy.” Hence, Thomas Jefferson declared that “all men are created equal” at the same time he and his society excluded slaves and women from human rights. But these values (that embody our universal human common good) became enshrined in the U.S. Constitution of 1787 and led to a progressive movement that ended slavery and enfranchised women.

So too, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 says that all people everywhere have the entire list of inalienable rights, including the right to democracy. Yet, then as now, it is far from the case that the people of Earth enjoy these rights. However, Article 28 declares: “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.” The UN Declaration points forward to a democratic world system.

By 1991, hundreds of world citizens from dozens of countries had collaborated to write the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, laying the foundations for such a democratic world system and articulating the procedures and methods by which the common good of the people of Earth could be embodied, planned for, and progressively actualized into the future (see Article 13). The Constitution recognizes the rights to peace, justice, and to a protected, sustainable planetary environment, and it structures a democratic world system to actualize these.

It designs a democratic system that is deeply pluralistic and diverse, but at the same time is united and representing the whole of humanity. This is precisely what all honest democracy does: it establishes unity in diversity. TheConstitution protects human diversity while it embodies and sets up the procedures and agencies necessary to actualize our planetary common good of peace, justice, and environmental sustainability.

Meadows, et.al. appear to have no clue that “peace” is not merely an interim between endless wars of the war-system but rather authentic peace is necessarily a product of a peace system. They recommend a more equal world system in the future that addresses poverty, quoting J.S. Mill, Lewis Mumford, and others that we need to be more compassionate and human. Yet they appear not to understand that injustice is a product of a world system founded on domination and exploitation, and that justice is necessarily a consequence of a justice system, founded and designed differentlyThey surmise that we need to have peace, justice, and sustainability together, but they have no clear idea how to make this happen—because they ignore the one possible system in which these three are united and integrated for success: global democracy.

All of the six principles necessary for sustainability found in Limits to Growth(and listed in the third paragraph above) are built into global democracy under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. The Constitution sets up worldwide, participatory agencies for planning. It sets up worldwide participatory agencies for monitoring. It mandates the democratic government to find ways to reduce response times, to prevent erosion of renewables (such as soil, water, and forests) and minimize the use of non-renewables (such as oil or mineral deposits). It mandates efforts for maximum efficiency and charges the world parliament to find ways to reduce population explosion through nonviolent, non-authoritarian means. It is designed to do all these things with a clarity and efficiency far beyond anything the UN or any other agencies can now accomplish.

The Earth Constitution is explicitly and consciously designed as a sustainability system for the Earth (see Harris 2014). Because it is holistic (mirroring the fact that humanity is a whole and the planetary ecosystem is a whole), it also is designed as a justice system and a peace system. It progressively and carefully ends poverty and war. It does not abolish markets, but it takes markets out of the war, weapons, and industrial military complex business. It is difficult to fathom why this is not obvious to systems theorists.

Intelligent creatures are not limited to the virtues of “vision, networking, truth-telling, learning, and loving” embodied within civil society independently of political and economic arrangements. Intelligent creatures are also capable of designing systems that cultivate these values. Democracy, properly designed and operated, embodies these virtues as well. However, the potential for democracy everywhere on our planet is limited and, indeed, destroyed by the global Westphalian political (war) system and a global economic (exploitation) system run by and for the rich at the expense of the poor and our planetary environment (see Held 1995).

The Earth Constitution is the key to a sustainable, just, and peaceful world system. The Limits to Growth: the 30-Year Update shows us the interdependent dimensions of sustainability and where we need to go. It completely obfuscates how we might get there. To get there we need to draw upon the systems-theoretical concept called “democracy” and understand that a truly planetary crisis can only be addressed by planetary democracy.

Under the Earth Constitution, freedom is enhanced everywhere on Earth, and local communities are empowered and protected, at the same time that the world is united to wisely and carefully actualize the requirements to avoid collapse and establish global sustainability. To address the environmental crisis, our first and foremost task must be to ratify the Earth Constitution.

Brief Bibliography
Constitution for the Federation of Earth (2014). Pocket Edition, with an Introduction by Glen T. Martin. Also on-line at www.earth-federation.org.
Daly, Herman E. (1996). Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development.
Harris, Errol E. (2008). Twenty-First Century Democratic Renaissance: From Plato to Neoliberalism to Planetary Democracy.
Harris, Errol E. (2014).  Earth Federation Now! Tomorrow is Too Late.
Held, David (1995). Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan Governance.
Lenton, Tim (2016). Earth System Science: A Very Short Introduction.
Martin, Glen T. (2013). The Anatomy of a Sustainable World: Our Choice between Climate Change or System Change.
Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation.
Meadows, Donna, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows (2004). Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. 
Romm, Jospeh (2018). Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know. Second Edition.

The U.S. Imperialist Attack on Venezuela

venezuela 2019

The U.S. Imperialist Attack on Venezuela

Glen T. Martin

I have visited Venezuela three times.  The photo above was taken during the first visit of my wife and myself in 2016. We were part of a big rally in Caracas in support of the Bolivarian Revolution.  We were in the audience listening to President Maduro, not 50 feet from him, with very little “security” separating him from the crowd.  He was clearly a leader who was not concerned that he might be attacked by the people.  He was right there with the people, and his “security detail” was made up entirely of young women proudly wearing their red berets and the Venezuelan state colors, a “security detail” that was more symbolic than threatening.

WCPA has an active chapter in Venezuela, headed by Leopoldo Alberto Cook Antonorsi, who is also our Vice-President for Latin America.  The people in our chapter, including Leopoldo, support the Bolivarian Revolution. On our first visit, they gave me a book of writings by their former President, Huge Chavez. Our friends there also understand that the Constitution for the Federation of Earth intends something like a Bolivarian Revolution for all the people of Earth.  WCPA also has many sympathizers among the PROUT cooperatives there.  PROUT has many cooperatives in Venezuela, run by PROUT priests and nuns, because that country has a social environment sympathetic to cooperative and communitarian organizations and movements. It is a country oriented toward its people instead of big capital.

Three decades ago, Venezuela was very different. It was a typical third-world country run by the wealthy 1%, in partnership with U.S. multinational corporations and with the support of U.S. military “aid.”  The people were very poor, without education, housing, medical care, hospitals, or schools. Its vast reserves of oil and other natural resources were owned by multinational investors, and the profits were shipped out of the country to the first world bank accounts of the wealthy. Hugo Chavez led a popular revolution to change all that.  He spoke in the name of the vast numbers of poor people in Venezuela and they responded in turn and placed him in power.  The U.S. attempted a coup against him in 2002 but the people rallied and placed him back into power within 48 hours.

This horrific situation in Venezuela three decades ago was the result of the US sponsored “free market” system.  “Free markets” mean that the rich are “free” to exploit natural resources and the poor by paying as little as possible.  “Free markets” mean there are no effective environmental laws, social-protection laws, or minimum wage laws. “Free markets” mean that governments are supposed to benefit their wealthy classes and not direct funds into services for the poor.  The U.S. imperial system has militarily enforced “free markets” around the world by attacking countries that redirected their natural resources and social programs for the benefit of their ordinary citizens.  Hence, in Iran in 1953, the US overthrew the democratically elected President Mossadegh and installed the brutal dictator, the Shah, in order to keep the oil monies in the hands of Western corporations and out of the hands of the people of Iran.

In Guatemala at the same time, the democratically elected President Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown by the U.S., and a brutal military dictatorship installed, because Arbenz was engaged in “land reform” by buying unused corporate land and giving it to starving peasants.  In Chile, in 1970, the people democratically elected socialist Salvador Allende as their President.  He began a program of providing state support to the poor: education, medical care, and housing.  He was very popular with the poor, as is Venezuela’s President Maduro.  After three years of bringing the poor into a much better life, Allende was overthrown by a US sponsored coup de etat that installed a murderous general, Augusto Pinochet, as dictator.  Pinochet tortured and “disappeared” socialists and opposition citizens and opened up Chile to exploitation by multinational corporations, all supported by the U.S.

In 1979, the people of Nicaragua threw out a homicidal U.S. supported dictator named Somoza, whose family had robbed the people blind for three generations.  They instituted a new, democratic government serving the people, and began programs of education, literacy, health care, and housing.  Immediately the U.S. attempted to destroy this revolution by mining the harbor of the capital city Managua and other violent measures.  When they failed in this, they set up terrorist camps in Honduras just north of the Nicaragua border and sent terror gangs into northern Nicaragua to gang rape, pillage, destroy schools, bomb health care centers, and terrorize the people. The famous “Iran-Contra” scandal in the U.S., that helped finance this terrorism, remains as evidence of the corruption that infects the U.S. government. By 1990, they had ruined the democratic socialist government in Nicaragua and a new president was put in power who invited the transnational corporations back into the country and allowed the people to sink back into extreme poverty.

I could go on with this history of imperial interventions, and write about literally dozens of nations that have felt the bitter pain of U.S. wars of aggression and destabilization. These include much more than the famous wars in places like Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and the like. It is time we got the picture and repudiated the absurdity that the U.S. ever cares about “humanitarian” issues or gives “humanitarian” aid.

Venezuela is in a very difficult economic situation today primarily because of the decade-long economic sanctions from the U.S. that have frozen the government’s assets abroad, have blocked the government’s ability to purchase medicines or foodstuffs for its people, and attempted to strangle Venezuela’s ability to serve its people. The cynical ploy of now offering “humanitarian aid” is unbelievably corrupt, since the humanitarian crisis was clearly caused by the economic blockade of the country. Of course, this blockade, like attempts to arrange a coup, and like any form of military intervention for humanitarian or other reasons, is in direct violation of international law.  “International law,” like the word “humanitarian,” carries no meaning for imperialists like Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, or Mike Pompeo, who, like their boss Donald Trump, are lacking even the barest modicum of human decency.

I have seen for myself what is going on in Venezuela.  I have spoken with ordinary people, government officials, and high court judges.  The degree of support for the government among average citizens is very widespread.  How long are we the people of Earth going to put up with an imperial system that rapes and pillages the people of Earth in the service of first world nations and the 1% who own the transnational corporations?  Without placing a global public authority above the corporations and the imperial nations, there will never be an end to this madness.  We need to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  And we need, while we are working for its ratification, to simultaneously defend all the victims of imperialism, including Venezuela, against the horrors of this global system of domination and exploitation.

 

The US Attack on Venezuela

venezuela 2019

Correction and Addendum to
The US Attack on Venezuela

In my recent article on “The US Attack on Venezuela,” I incorrectly named the president of Guatemala who was overthrown by the US in 1954 as Jacobo Timmerman.  His name actually was Jacobo Arbenz.  It was Arbenz who was then President of Guatemala and led the program for redistributing land to starving peasants in his country, a policy just as unacceptable to the overlords in Washington, DC, then as it is now.

Timmerman was a Jewish-Russian born intellectual in Argentina who lived from 1923 to 1999.  He was a journalist and publisher who wrote about the Argentine’s “Dirty War” of repression in which thousands of people were “disappeared,” tortured, and often executed (los desaparecidos). Timmerman himself was arrested and wrote a well-known book called Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number about his experience of being imprisoned and tortured by the military junta. He survived the ordeal and was exiled in 1979 to Israel. His book was published in 1981.

My wife and I were in Buenos Aires last year and made a point of visiting the “Plaza de Mayo” where the offices of the “Mothers of the Disappeared” are located. The Mothers remain organized to this date and continue to protest and demand accountability for the disappearance of their sons and daughters. It is said that the subsequent Argentine governments have long resisted thorough investigations or transparency. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people were disappeared. Many of the cases remain unsolved and the perpetrators have not been held accountable. The military junta took power from 1976 to 1983, claiming that it had to save the state from the leftist guerrillas who had been operating in Argentina since the 1960s. They closed the Argentine Congress, imposed strict curfews, media censorship, and took military control of state and municipal governments.

Declassified documents testify to the significant U.S. role in the Dirty War. They detail U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s support and applause for the carnage. At the time, the U.S. was conducting “Operation Condor,” a program that coordinated attacks on the left among many Latin American countries. It was a continent-wide program to eliminate leftist opposition to the many U.S. supported dictatorships in Latin America. The U.S. used its intelligence capabilities to track outspoken leftists between countries so that they could not escape from one country to another. Many were arrested, tortured, and killed.

Many of these torturers and assassins working for the dictatorships were trained in the training programs run by the U.S. Army’s “School of the Americas,” first located in Panama, but then moved to a top secret setting at Fort Benning, Georgia.  It is said that the people of Panama demanded that the school be moved when they noticed the regular disappearances of homeless people from the streets of Panama City.  It was suspected that these homeless people were being disappeared and used as living specimens to teach techniques of torture to the Latin American students of the school.

We should reject the notion that the U.S. is, or was ever, the “leader of the free world.”  There never has been a free world. The only world that has ever been is one of domination, exploitation, and violence.  The 16th century was dominated by the Spanish Empire, the subsequent centuries by the race for spoils and slaves between the French, Dutch, Spanish, British and Portuguese (and some other European nations), the 19th and early 20th centuries were dominated by a British Empire of vast violence, and by an American Empire over Latin America. And the 20th century (since World War II) has witnessed the globalized American Empire of immense violence, torture, and murder.

Jacobo Arbenz and Jacobo Timmerman have this much in common. Both were victims of the empire and its murderous minions: the drive of the rich and powerful of the Earth to dominate, exploit, and coerce obedience in their quest for ever-greater accumulation and power. This is a fundamental reason why we need to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  There can be no democracy or freedom on the Earth until the planet is in the hands of the truly democratic representatives of the people of Earth.  The Earth Constitution represents the quest to establish global freedom and democracy for the first time in human history. If we want a decent future for the Earth, we need to love it, support it, and promote it.

 

 

Creating Global Community

A Critique of Economist Herman E. Daly

Glen T. Martin

There are many books, websites, and blogs today that talk about “global citizenship” or membership in our planetary global community. At the same time, there are thinkers who believe that such talk is substantially empty and superficial. Herman E. Daly, for example, argues that a community is necessarily local and that the best we can hope for is a “federation of national communities” (2014, 159-60).  He fails to affirm that we must unite humanity within the holistic embrace of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth (Martin 2016) or some other sort of unifying plan for democratically governing our planet.

Daly is an important economist of sustainability who makes many excellent arguments concerning the need for our planet to move beyond the growth model to a model of development that focuses on qualitative improvement rather than quantitative growth.  In this respect, his thinking is significant, which is all the more reason why we must address his misconceptions regarding the possibility of a “world community.” If the economic system is to really become a subset of the ecological system, Daly says is necessary, then our extraction, production, consumption, and disposal must become a carefully monitored and modulated planetary project requiring a truly integrated human unity.

In the book that Daly co-authored with John Cobb, called For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future, they point out that human identity and many interactions are fundamentally characterized by “internal relations,” rather than merely “external relations.” To be characterized by internal relations means that the members so related are part of a larger whole in which each has a unique role that is significantly defined in terms of the others.  Hence, a change in any one of the members of such a whole is simultaneously a change in other members as well. The relations are internal and hence constitutive of the whole and the parts.  In their book, they apply this insight specifically to the fact that each human being exists as a “person-in-community” and hence, we are internally related to the others. This insight is excellent as far as it goes.

However, Daly apparently does not sufficiently realize the import of the universal cosmic and planetary holism that has emerged throughout the 20th century and continues to the present.  Scientists have realized that the universe is a single, integrated whole, the planetary biosphere is a single, integrated whole, and that human beings are a single species, each fundamentally related to all the others genetically, linguistically, and civilizationally.  As Daly knows well, the logic of wholes was first effectively articulated by G.W.F. Hegel in terms of the dialectical relationship that obtains among the members within every whole. A correct logic, and correct articulation of the structure of every whole, specifies internal relations among the members. External relations may also be used for analysis to a certain reduced extent but are limited in a variety of ways and can never exhaust the description of the parts and their relationships.

The pervasive emergent holism discovered by the natural and human sciences directly implies the universality of internal relations throughout all dimensions of the universe. Daly correctly asserts that the one major area that has refused to incorporate internal relations into its dogmas is contemporary economics.  Most economists today continue to work with the presupposition that human beings form a collection of atoms of “rational self-interest,” thereby giving us a dominant economic paradigm that is fragmented, atomistic, and intrinsically destructive of the internal relationships that constitute the web of life and the biosphere of our planet (see also Kovel, 2007). Their “infinite growth” model is founded on the idea that economic growth is irrelevant to the limitations and interdependencies of our planetary biosphere.

Philosopher Errol E. Harris describes the logic of any holistic system with its internal relationships:

What is self-contradictory is what disrupts the system—what at one and the same time posits the system (implicitly affirming and exemplifying its principle of organization) and conflicts with that principle so that implicitly the structure is wrecked. A is what it is in virtue of its relationships with B, C, and D. It is not self-subsistent but depends for its being and character on its place in the prevailing order. Affirm A in isolation, as self-maintaining and independent, and, while implicitly invoking the structure that gives it meaning, you explicitly deny or suppress the principle of order giving the system structure. (2000b, 217)

Affirm endless economic growth in isolation and you “explicitly deny or suppress the principle of order” giving our planetary ecosystem structure. Similarly, at the moment, the United Nations recognizes some 193 “sovereign nations,” all loosely related to one another through economic competition, external (“foreign”) relations, and unenforceable international laws. Daly argues that these nations can never become parts of a genuine human community but that we need to more loosely “federate” them in order to coordinate their attempts to deal with climate crises. They must primarily deal with the climate crises on the local level he claims. Here he seriously goes astray and presents us with recommendations that can only mean the failure to achieve a sustainable global economy and therefore a more or less rapid destruction of the planetary biosphere that supports human life.

Among these 193 entities, some are tiny island nations and others are gigantic economic and military powerhouses.  Most of the larger ones are extremely diverse internally and could never qualify for the “national community” status that Daly recommends. In addition, Daly ignores the credible insights put forward in Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, which demonstrate that many of the historically arbitrary and contingent collection of “sovereign” nation-states now exiting form simply “imaginary” communities and have no possibility of becoming something different.

We live in a globalized world in which we are economically interdependent, technologically, interdependent, culturally interrelated, and linguistically significantly globalized.  We are rapidly moving toward civilizational unification yet Daly, like most of the economists that he criticizes, continues to cling to the atomistic fantasy of sovereign nation-states as if they were or could be genuine communities related to one another in a beneficent way. This system of sovereign states is an active impediment to integrating economics into our larger planetary ecosystem.

To apply the example above from Errol E. Harris: suppose nation A (the USA, with the verbal support of some lackey nations in Europe) attempts to overthrow the government of nation B (Venezuela, thereby dividing Latin American nations over this issue), and nation C (Russia) protests that attempt and establishes an air force base on one of Venezuela’s islands, while nation D (China) increases trade with Venezuela to offset the US embargo. How are we ever going to convince these “sovereign” nations to give up this illusion of external relations and embrace the ecological paradigm of internal relations conforming to our planetary biosphere? How are we ever going to imagine that each of these nations is a “community” that can activate sustainability internally and voluntarily federate with other nations who have similarly activated internal sustainability?

Will they not still be tempted to compete with one another economically?  Will they not be tempted to compete with one another militarily?  Will their “diplomacy” not continue to be based on the presumption of external relations rather than the authentic dialogue directed toward mutual understanding characteristic of internal relations?  Who is going to ensure that they demilitarize, since militarism alone defeats sustainability? The Maha Upanishad of India’s sacred literature declares, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world is one family. Both anthropology and biology confirm that the world is one family. Sovereign nation-states contradict this fact.

Another example is the tragedy of our planet’s oceans, which are now treated as an open-access resource for whomever wishes to fish or mine in international waters. The oceans are being overfished, and even the ecological environments that nourish new fish are being degraded. This resource that contributes to feeding one third of humanity is rapidly being destroyed. Environmental sustainability means that these oceans need to belong to the people of Earth, ecologically managed by the united people of Earth, and their natural resources (including fish) equitably cultivated and distributed to the people of Earth. The same needs to be done for the air, forests, and other essential elements of our planet’s ecosystem necessary for feeding and protecting the people of Earth and future generations. This can only be done through a democratically united world system.

This holism, pervasive throughout contemporary science and ignored by the pseudo-science of mainstream economics, leads us logically and morally to conclude that we must establish planetary economic, political, and cultural structures that mirror our unity in diversity.  The illusion that nation-states are, or could be, genuine communities is just as dangerous as the economic illusion that individuals and businesses must compete in external relations with one another under a model of perpetual growth. Both illusory assumptions are disastrous for humanity. Both the nation-state system and global mainstream economics fragment humanity into external relationships. Both derive from an outdated paradigm centuries old when science knew nothing about holism.

It is true, of course, that we need local communities to deal with developing local sustainable economic systems that conform with the ability of the Earth to supply the input that feeds, clothes, and shelters us, and are capable of absorbing the wastes that this throughput inevitably generates. However, the uniting of humanity under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth does not inhibit or defeat these local initiatives: it can only empower them, coordinate them, and integrate them into the planetary holism necessary for a sustainable world.  In doing so, the very act of ratifying the Earth Constitution and recognizing every human being as a world citizen with universal rights, including the rights to a sustainable planetary environment and the right to a demilitarized peaceful world, will help establish a planetary community consciousness.

Daly correctly claims that we need to focus on values: we need to pursue truly valuable ends to which we direct our economic and technical means. Without meaningful objective values, the result will be more of today’s value nihilism in which no effective counter arguments can be mounted against a maelstrom of endless growth possibly leading to human extinction. Why not “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”?  Why not “après nous, le deluge”?  Daly correctly affirms the principle that ethics in the present is the lure of objective value from the future (2014, 128). However, he cannot bring himself to envision our true human destiny in a fulfilled human community. What calls to us from the future is a fulfilled human community of love, justice, truth, and ecological sustainability: vasudhaiva kutumbakam.

In the dialectic of wholes, the economic, political, and cultural structures that human beings create for themselves simultaneously foster or impede their intrinsic holism. The Earth Constitution fosters our planetary community in a huge way, bringing economics, politics, and culture more in line with what we truly are, in line with the holism that characterizes everything in the universe, including human beings.  Herman E. Daly and others, who do such a great job of articulating sustainable economics, need to more consistently and honestly draw on the new holistic paradigm that is absolutely necessary across the board if human beings are going to have a future on this planet.  The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is necessary condition for establishing human beings as a true global planetary community. Only a truly global community can give us a sustainable world system.

 

Works Cited

Anderson, Benedict. 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.

Daly, Herman E. and John B. Cobb, Jr. 1994. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future.

Daly, Herman E. 2014. From Uneconomic Growth to a Steady-State Economy.

Harris, Errol E. 2000. The Restitution of Metaphysics.

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

Martin, Glen T., ed. 2016. Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  On-line at www.earth-constitution.org.

Martin, Glen T. 2018.  Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation.

Holistic Planetary Sustainable Development

 

Neither “top-down” nor “bottom-up”

Glen T. Martin

January 2019

All human beings require freedom, the freedom to reasonably determine and develop their lives. All human beings have the right and duty to democratically participate in the economic and political decisions that affect their lives.  All human beings deserve to have the entire range of their human rights respected, including political rights, social-economic rights, and their “third generation” rights to world peace (without war), and a sustainable, healthy environment.

None of these rights can be fulfilled without a global framework of world law placed above the corporations, the banks, and the national governments, a framework explicitly dedicated to actualizing these rights and freedoms. Today’s world system of militarized sovereign nation-states interfaced with globalized transnational corporate banking and commercial enterprises structurally denies this entire set of rights for the majority of human beings.  That is why our planet needs to be organized around the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, a document that creates a democratic world government with the authority to modify both national and corporate priorities in the direction of the common good of the Earth and future generations, thereby including and protecting universal human rights.

As stated, true democratic freedom for human beings requires their direct participation in political and economic decisions that affect their lives. Democratic world law can and should represent people’s interests in being free and creative participants in their local communities in ways that solve local problems, deal with local conflicts, and create ever- renewed local solutions.  The World Parliament can establish legal worldwide protections for human rights. It can also establish a range of economic and ownership solutions that become available on the local level in ways that can be adapted to local conditions and needs.  There is no “one size fits all” solution to local problems around the world that necessarily involve a range of local customs, resources, cultures, and needs.

The role of the World Parliament is defined in Article 1 of the Earth Constitution as dealing with all those issues that are beyond the scope of the nations.  The first of these is ending war and disarming the nations. This will be accomplished during the second stage of implementation of the Earth Federation as defined in Article 17. The second “broad function” of the Earth Federation in Article 1 is to protect universal human rights.  There are many ways this can and must be done, including promoting global solidarity among human beings, promoting global education for human rights, conflict resolution programs at the local and aggregate levels, and articulating the meaning of human rights to include democratic economic and political freedom at the local levels worldwide. An entire world agency, the Ombudsmus, will be dedicated to this task, and the fundamental design of the Constitution fosters this result.

Another essential “broad function” of the Earth Federation government, given in Article 1.5, is “to protect the environment and the ecological fabric of life from all sources of damage, and to control technological innovations whose effects transcend national boundaries, for the purpose of keeping Earth a safe, healthy and happy home for humanity.”  In the past half century, Earth System Science as developed on the scientific understanding that our planetary biosphere is one integrated, interdependent whole, and that human beings are inescapably part of that whole.  Without planetary coordination, monitoring, and communications with every locality on Earth, this goal of protecting the environment cannot be reached and the already damaged biosphere cannot be restored (to the extent that this is still possible).  Again, environmental sustainability cannot be top-down, nor exclusively “bottom-up,” but must be holistic and integrated through and through.

Some aspects of our planet’s geology must be under the control of the global public authority. For example, the oceans, now being desecrated by the nations of Earth because there is no enforceable global control over what the nations or private corporations do to the oceans.  The Constitution brings the rule of public law to protection of the Earth’s oceans. On the other hand, local communities need to find creative ways to employ local resources sustainably to address their unique problems. The holistic approach of the Constitution brings in both dimensions. Protecting our planetary home has to involve both the global public authority with its knowledge base, funding, and capacity to really empower sustainable efforts worldwide, but this very funding and capacity needs to empower local communities to address their unique problems of water, pollution, ownership, cultural disparities, waste disposal, disease control, etc. Holism involves both dimensions working together.

The third broad function of the Earth Federation reads: “To obtain for all people on earth the conditions required for equitable economic and social development and for diminishing social differences.”  This goal is carefully detailed in Article 13 in terms of human rights. Everyone has a right to a decent standard of living, to social security, medical care, education, clean air and water, and the other conditions by which to “assure each child the right to the full realization of his or her potential” (13.12).  This is one of the explicit functions of the World Ombudsmus agency—to promote this result as rapidly as possible through transformation of the world system in all the ways necessary to make this happen.

The World Financial Administration is structured to empower economic and political democracy at the local levels through the creation of its global public banking system, with a “Planetary Monetary and Credit System based upon useful productive capacity and performance….without requiring the payment of interest on bonds, investments or other claims of financial ownership or debt” (8.7.1.6). Furthermore, it will “establish criteria for the extension of financial credit based upon such considerations as people available to work, usefulness, cost/benefit accounting, human and social values, environmental health and esthetics, minimizing disparities, integrity, competent management, appropriate technology, potential production and performance” (8.7.1.7).  This means that the monetary and financial system will be used in the service of human flourishing rather than the accumulation of private profit for the few.

The legislation passed by the Provisional World Parliament is not binding on the final World Parliament that is established once the Constitution is ratified by the people and nations of Earth under Article 17.  Nevertheless, these World Legislative Acts reveal the inclusive spirit and letter of the Earth Constitution and elaborate the kinds of global local empowerment that can and will derive from the World Parliament once it is constituted.  There is the “Global Equity Act,” for example, limiting the presently immense disparity between the rich and poor.  There is the Bureaucracy Reduction Act, ensuring that people at the local level are not bound up and constricted by unnecessary bureaucracy.

There is also the Global People’s Assembly Act, that actively encourages direct political participation from the grassroots into the World Parliament. There is the Cooperative Communities Empowerment Act that enhances the conditions for local communities to form cooperatives and to establish common forms of ownership. There is the Conflict Resolution Act requiring that Earth Federation officials address local conflicts by actively involving the local parties to these conflicts in working out solutions.  All these and more reflect the holism of the Earth Constitution directed to empowering participation and synergy between the Earth Federation and local communities.

The Earth Federation government can delineate a legal variety of forms of property and ownership. Personal ownership can be “private property” and limits may be placed on the amount of this any individual can possess. But there can be a variety of other forms of ownership: cooperatives (of different kinds), collectives (of different kinds), social ownership of schools, roads, parks, farms, factories, etc., protections for small businesses, and legally defined ways for larger businesses to involve their employees in decision-making processes.  One such possible way is described by Professor Richard Wolfe:

“The surplus-producing workers themselves would make the basic decisions about production and distribution. They would become, collectively and democratically, their own board of directors….. Capitalist enterprises would thereby be transformed into workers’ self-directed enterprises (WSDEs)”.

The  non-binding work of the Provisional World Parliament continues to make provisional world laws regarding the many issues confronting humankind, most of which are misrepresented by the UN and sovereign nations who do not wish to deal with them—since dealing with them requires changing the system to holism. Under the Earth Constitution, the World Parliament will also likely delineate and promote different kinds of rewards that are not limited simply to monetary rewards, although some monetary incentives should remain at least into the foreseeable future. It should be clear that the Constitution’s system of credit for productive or useful enterprises, quoted above, converts the credit system from a profit oriented debt system directed to profit for the lenders to a system premised on human flourishing and well-being. Good laws can be easily designed, following the model pioneered by democratic socialists in Sweden, to allow for “collective capital formation” in which many workers together create investment capital in order to extend and empower their sustainable development initiatives.

As American socialist thinker Michael Harrington asserts, in agreement with environmental economist Herman E. Daly, the presently disastrous GDP (Gross Domestic Product) measure of economic success can be transformed into a QDP or a QIP.  Instead of measuring economic success on a gross quantitative scale that includes pollution, environmental degradation, creation of self-made disasters, war profiteering, wasteful packaging, and mind-numbing advertising, a “Qualitative Domestic Product” or a “Qualitative International Product” could easily be devised to accurately measure the increase in human and environmental happiness and well-being. The UNDP (United Nations Development Program) has already done considerable work in this direction. However, the UNDP has no legal authority, nor resources, to make the QIP a global standard.  This is exactly one of the broad functions of the Earth Constitution: “to keep the Earth a safe, healthy and happy home for humanity.”

Under the Earth Constitution system, so-called “top down” and “bottom-up” come together in a holistic synergy that mirrors the holism of the human species and our planetary biosphere. The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), creator and sponsor of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, today encourages progressive grass-roots organizations of all sorts to adopt its logo and operate as members and participants in the Earth Federation Movement (EFM).  The Constitution can only bring the World Parliament to legitimate authority when ratified by the votes of the majority of people on Earth. As much as we also want the support of leaders and politicians in all countries, a global grass-roots movement is absolutely necessary for ratification.

WCPA and its Earth Federation Movement is the worldwide movement of organizations and persons who support ratification of the Earth Constitution and the initiation of a founded, intentional, holistic world system to supersede the present world fragmentation and chaos.  Whatever “world order” exists now is designed by the big banks, transnational corporations, and imperial nation-states to serve only elite interests. It is therefore illegitimate and must be replaced by a holistic world system that represents the flourishing of all and the protection of the biosphere for the benefit of future generations. The chart at the end of this article attempts to show something of this holistic synergy as WCPA includes more and more grass-roots organizations within the Earth Federation Movement.

A version of this chart was published by one of the grass-roots development organizations that participates in the EFM: the Development Organization for the Rural Poor (DORP) in Bangladesh, founded by Mr. AHM Nouman. Voters Party International (VPI), a huge grass roots movement within India, founded by Mr. Bharat Gandhi, also supports the Earth Constitution.  As British Professor Errol E. Harris points out in his 2008 book Earth Federation Now! Tomorrow is too Late, “a vigorous and determined global campaign such as we have described above must be conducted without delay for the ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth—a concerted campaign, in which all the appropriate organizations and societies must join—to inform and educate the peoples of the world of the enormity of the dangers and the indispensability of the required world order.”

The World Parliament, once constituted, will be tasked to address all of the above broad functions. It will also need to take into account the growing transformation of the world by technology and automation, and the fact that many of today’s jobs will be performed by machines tomorrow. In the light of this transformation and the accelerating climate crisis, the people of Earth may, on the one hand, end up under the domination of a tiny elite of corporations, super-power nations, and banking cartels. On the other hand, they may join together to democratize the world through ratification of the Earth Constitution and begin the creation of enforceable world laws that use technology to fulfill its implicit promise of a better life for all.  It is not inconceivable that the work-week can be reduced at the same time that our planet’s shameful absolute poverty is eliminated. It is not inconceivable that a civilization could be constructed that will include art centers everywhere, hobby and craft centers everywhere, non-denominational spiritual centers everywhere, libraries everywhere, and recreational sports centers everywhere. If we can pacify the current war-system of the world and redirect technology from weapons and war to human flourishing, the possibilities for a practical utopia may well be within reach.

Our choice, in easily conceivable ways, may be between dystopia and a very realistic practical utopia. The on-going technological revolution means that major transformations are on their way to humankind, whether we like it or not. Are the people of Earth going to take advantage of those transformations through creating an effective World Parliament that represents all of us?  Can we “decommodify” the market to the extent that it serves genuine human needs rather than exclusive private profit?

Can we “decommodify” the labor market so that workers are treated as human beings, yet still take note of the responses of the market in relation to supply and demand?  Under the Earth Constitution, the main agencies of the Integrative Complex will gather detailed scientific data on the environment, on the health of the population of Earth, and the social and technical options available. They will be able to submit proposals and cost/benefit analyses to the World Parliament for debate and consideration. In this way, humane and democratic “planning” for the optimum common good will integrate with market demands and free entrepreneurial activity at the grassroots level to allow for the simultaneous well-being and flourishing in freedom of the human population. (And this most certainly will include a dimension of care and compassion for our fellow living creatures on the Earth.)

These agencies are also necessary at the global level for three fundamental purposes: to ensure efficient market interactions worldwide, to ensure reasonable economic equity worldwide, and to ensure a sustainable total scale for the throughput of matter and energy that constitutes the global economy. They must monitor this scale carefully to keep it within the carrying capacity of the ecological system of our planet. A holistic sustainable development model joins global government with the grassroots in complementary ways that mirror the holism of our planetary ecosystem.

To do these things, the people of Earth must take charge of our planet in their own interest, as well as on behalf of the common good and future generations. Are we going to passively allow the present elites of the world to colonize these technological revolutions to make themselves even more powerful, and to perhaps extinguish our hopes for a peaceful, just, prosperous, and sustainable world system altogether?  Or are we going to create a holistic world system that creatively unites humanity at all levels? The Constitution for the Federation of Earth holds the key to making this choice, a choice that must be made now, before it is too late.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. On-line at www.earth-constitution.org

Daly, Herman E. (1995). Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development.

Daly, Herman E. (2014). From Uneconomic Growth to a Steady-state Economy.

Harrington, Michael (1989). Socialism Past and Future.

Harris, Errol E. (2014). Earth Federation Now!  Tomorrow is Too Late: Second Edition.

Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence.

Wolff, Richard. (2012). Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism.

World Legislative Acts of the Provisional World Parliament.  On-line at www.earth-constitution.org