“Man Is Greater than He Thinks”

Transcending Limitations of the “Human All-Too Human”

Glen T. Martin

21 May 2022

Human beings flourish in idealism, in symbolism, and imagination.  This astonishing ability, bequeathed to us by the ground of Being through the process of cosmic evolution, could almost entirely serve to distinguish human beings as qualitatively different from even the highest animals.  Our minds are not only not limited to our bodies and our immediately perceptual environment; our minds overflow the immediate perceptual environment on every side, in terms of a memory that itself draws on symbolism and imagination, a present rippling with possibilities and alternatives on every side, and a future that can even transcend the Cosmos and envision alternative kingdoms beyond this world, whether the Pure Land of the Buddhists or the Heaven of the Christians. In every case our human imaginations are bursting this world of present actuality wide open and envisioning a plethora of rich possibilities.

I have previously argued on several occasions that our “utopian” imagination gives us real and objective possibilities, because we are constituted as temporalized creatures who embrace the future under a horizon of imaginative possibilities that are necessarily transformative and can be experienced as morally imperative. The utopian imagination animates our lives far beyond our mere physical and empirical existence (see Martin 2018 and 2021).

Since the famous Axial Period in human history (approximately 800 to 200 BCE) when humans first achieved sufficient self-awareness to pursue objective knowledge and understanding of the whole Earth and Cosmos, we have been able to think in terms of the whole and our integral relation to the whole.  This was clearly done by the great thinkers of the Western tradition, from Plato and Aristotle through Aquinas and Eckhart to the rise of science in the 17th century.

Through the use of the symbolic imagination in the form of advanced mathematics, Galileo and the other 17th century scientists and philosophers began to discover the mechanics of the cosmic order. They used abstract mathematical equations in conjunction with a hypothetical method (called an experiment) that imagined the way the world might be and then devised models and experimental situations to confirm their hypotheses. Neither knowledge nor the progress of knowledge would be possible without this symbolic imagination.

This immense breakthrough in our human ability to understand the Cosmos clearly required tremendous symbolic and imaginative power, and it is no accident that the major 17th century thinkers, from Descartes to Leibniz to Spinoza to Kepler and Galileo were all mathematicians. Yet the great paradox of that century and the next was that they discovered no place for “mind” in the universe that they were unveiling. The universe appeared to be a gigantic mechanism of “bodies in motion” governed by inexorable mechanical laws (such as inertia, momentum, and gravitation) that was strictly “physical” in its composition. Descartes had said that mind was a different kind of substance from matter, but the early-modern cosmologists did not discover it in their experiments. In his book Leviathan that appeared in 1651, Thomas Hobbes concluded that only matter exists. The mind, he said, is nothing but the brain, and the brain can be explained as merely the motion of extremely tiny atoms within the human head.

As science continued to progress through the 18th and 19th centuries, with Charles Darwin reporting discovery of the principle of evolution in 1859, human beings appeared to shrink in significance from a creature once thought to be “made in the image of God” to a tiny, merely physical creature within a vast universe, a creature whose existence was not significantly different from innumerable planets and animals coming and going over many millions of years within “the immense journey” of evolution. We appeared so cosmically insignificant, no wonder we clung to what was familiar: family, nation, race, etc.

It ultimately took the 20th and 21st century revolutions in scientific theory to restore mind to the Cosmos where it belongs. Max Planck in 1900 and Albert Einstein in 1905 launched paradigm revolutions in quantum physics and relativity physics that have entirely altered our conception of the Cosmos.  It is now clear to most scientific cosmologists that mind is an integral feature of all that exists, and, for many cosmologists, it is the primary category for characterizing reality—all energy forms are ultimately mind, and “matter” is simply the way the energy of mind appears to us in our everyday lives (see, e.g., Kafatos and Nadeau 1990 or Laszlo 2017). It is not our physical bodies that are now primary, but mind, integral to the entire Cosmos, within which we participate, and to which we are responsible.

What we mean by “mind” includes that central capacity to transcend immediate perceptual existence with the symbolic imagination. As we have seen, this imagination is not simply reducible to loose ramblings of consciousness when dreaming or sleeping, but rather fundamental to scientific methodology and every other sphere of human existence, from religion, art, culture, politics, investigation, love, and justice to the very idea of progress. Ernst Cassirer, in his Essay on Man (1944) develops these ideas in some depth.

Yet, despite all this tremendous progress that human beings have made in understanding ourselves and our Cosmos in the past 125 years, for most people, the utopian symbolism of mind links to some fragment, some ethnocentric division of humanity—my family, my nation, my religion, my race, my culture, my language, etc.  Here lies the great potentially omnicidal failure of the 21st century. Despite the many thinkers who have underlined the universality of the human project—that we are one species, within one planetary ecosystem, within one universal civilization, within one absolutely holistic Cosmos—neither the mass media nor the ordinary citizen anywhere on Earth has internalized this universality.

I have often argued that the system of militarized “sovereign” nation-states and the system of privatized greed called capitalism serve as structural impediments to this identification. Yet most basically the problem is us—it is our “unholy” imaginative limitations, our refusal to look inside to discern the utopian call that is always present there. We need to see our planet as a whole, humanity as a whole, and civilization as a whole if we are to properly exercise our utopian imagination for life and goodness and future generations rather than for pathology, evil, and death. The utopian imagination is a generic feature of humanity that operates at any and all levels of abstraction.

I can have personal utopian ambitions for myself, family, church, and country or other identifications (like my race). But none of these will redeem and save humanity and future generations. And insofar as these limited identifications are not transcended, they create only more evil and destructive consequences. My particular utopian projections for my life, family, church, or nation will not disappear when we ascend to a universalized understanding. But they must be integrated into a utopian vision for the whole. It is the greatness and the destiny of humanity to integrate with the holism of the universe and actualize that holism in our concrete lives and institutions.

Otherwise, our lives and institutions fragment and distort. They set nations, families, and religions against one another. Only integrating the particular into the whole of humanity will liberate and redeem all particular ideals. Ultimately, we may move to the wholeness of the Cosmos itself, and to the wholeness of the ground of Being or God. How do my particular utopian ideals integrate with the whole of existence? The universe and its foundations are one. Humanity is one and is integral to the oneness of our planetary life and the oneness of the Cosmos. We can grow to this insight slowly and deliberately, or it can come as a flash, but it must come. 19th century thinker Friedrich Nietzsche declared that our common human task was to transcend what was “human all too human” about us, our institutions, and our visions.

The utopian imagination is ultimately a product of the Cosmos become conscious of itself in us. Thinkers as diverse as Sri Aurobindo (1973, 49) and Errol E. Haris (1988, 104-5) have drawn this conclusion. We are living incarnations of the divine ground of Being. Holism and the utopian imagination go together. Only the holistic vision of a liberated unity in diversity can redeem us. We do not need to experience a “mystical union” with the whole in order to appropriate this universality. We simply need to make the kind of actions that lead to personal growth. For authentic personal growth inevitably leads to this universality. Educators as well as governments worldwide need to encourage personal growth to universality.

For those few who are privileged enough to experience mystical union with the whole, this experience must eventuate in utopian ideals and actions in the concrete world. To remain in a kind of Buddhistic non-action and non-attachment is not enough. The integrated relational whole must become actualized in human reality on planet Earth through utopian-oriented actions, systems, and organizations. No nation on Earth today operates from this universality. Ultimately, the only avenue for authentic realization of the utopian imperative is world federation.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth concretizes our utopian imagination relating to peace, human rights, justice, and environmental sustainability. It embodies these symbolic dimensions of our fragmented human selfhood and focuses these values like a laser beam on to a world system that persons can realize here and now. It gives humanity a World Parliament in which every member has taken a pledge in the service of humanity and within which most of its members will have accomplished that transcendence and personal growth that can make this service a reality. It gives us a judiciary, administration, enforcement system, and human protection system second to none among the various visions that have been proposed for a new world system.

The Earth Constitution is based explicitly on the principle of unity in diversity, which is the principle of integral wholeness in both the Cosmos and in human affairs. It does not abolish the nations, races, cultures, or religions but embraces them all in a unity that in its very nature transcends them all. Despite the carefully designed features of the Constitution directed toward preventing abuse and perversion of its democratic processes, the essential insight here is that it is unlikely that these features will be necessary. For in ascending to affirmation of the Earth Constitution, human beings are embracing their cosmic destiny. They are truly uniting in mutual respect and dignity. Our pettiness, hate, and fear will be replaced by expansiveness, love, and courage.

Now in the early 21st century, we are at the cusp, at the turning point between immanent self-destruction and a redeeming human liberation. What is demanded of us is ascent to universality, to harmony with the holistic structure of the Cosmos and everything within it. This ascent, in concrete terms, lies with ratification of the Earth Constitution. However, the tragedy worldwide today is that people lack the courage, insight, and understanding to make the step to wholeness.

There is a reactionary sickness worldwide, an irrational escape into arbitrary embrace of fragments such as my possessions, my race, my nation, or my religion. Rather than expanding and uniting within the embrace of our common humanity and divinely inspired destiny, people are running away, clinging ever more fanatically to localized identifications and systems. This is the great terror (and sin) of our times—that people lack the courage and vision to lift themselves into the redeeming embrace of the holism of humanity, the Earth, and the Cosmos, the first step of which would be to ratify the Earth Constitution.

In conclusion to this essay, allow me to quote 20th century philosopher Eric Gutkind summarizing the challenge we face:

Our main sin today is that we do not ultimately accept our human destiny…. We are the “principle of ascending” in the universe. We ourselves are such an envelop that surrounds nature…. Man’s destiny is paradoxical, and that means—in religious terms—that something extremely great is being delegated to us, not something that is “reasonable.” The demand made on Man seems to be superhuman, and yet it must be accepted. It is what the great philosopher Kant called: the dignity of Man. We are looking for something petty, something practical, something to give us shelter. We must realize that our present situation is by no means petty. It brings us to the awareness that Man is greater than he thinks. (1969, 94).

Works Cited

Aurobindo, Sri (1973). The Essential Aurobindo. Ed. Robert McDermott. New York: Schocken Books.

Cassirer, Ernst (1944). An Essay on Man: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Human Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Online at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global. In print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA, 2010 and 2014.

Gutkind, Eric (1969). The Body of God: First Steps Toward an Anti-Theology. Eds. Lucie B. Gutkind and Henry LeRoy Finch. New York: Horizon Press.

Harris, Errol E. (1988). The Reality of Time. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Kafatos, Means and Robert Nadeau (1990). The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Laszlo, Ervin (2014). The Self-Actualizing Cosmos: The Akasha Revolution in Science and Human Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

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

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

Human Spirituality and the Earth Constitution

Glen T. Martin

May 2022

This essay attempts to show the key role of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth in the actualization of human spirituality and the grounding of our physical existence within the depths of our sacred Cosmos. Out of a wealth of literature regarding spiritual growth that might be drawn upon, it uses the seven chakras of ancient Indian spirituality as a template for its argument. The Earth Constitution is not only a political and economic tool for enhancing human liberation. It also makes possible spiritual realization.

Scholars of mysticism and spirituality such as Ken Wilber have correlated stages of human spiritual development and growth among the many thinkers who have attempted to map out these stages. Wilber himself draws a correlation between the work of Western psychologists Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan and the stages of self-realization depicted by the ancient Eastern wisdom of the seven chakras (2006). An entire discipline studying the higher stages of consciousness has developed called “transpersonal psychology.”

All the world’s great traditional religions cultivated spirituality and the process of growth and awakening to the ground of Being (God, Brahman, Allah, Tao, Dharmakaya, etc.). There have been many different practices and kinds of meditation developed to aid the process of growth and awakening. The chakras are one set of metaphors, one model among many—all of which have broad similarities and resonances with one another. There are many paths up the mountain—many ways to God.

In the imagery of the seven chakras there is a purpose built into the fundamental energy of the cosmos and its manifestation in human physical, mental, and spiritual existence. That purpose involves a self-aware creature who can harmonize with the whole and express the deep consciousness of the whole through its rhythmic and harmonic living. This is the goal of human development and human history.

Spiritual teacher Anodea Judith, for example, links the developmental psychology of Abraham Mazlow with the seven chakras of Eastern thought (2004). She finds that the Root Chakra (physiologically located as the human tailbone or tip of the spine and hence the physical energy that connects us with the sacred Earth upon which we walk and live) connects with Maslow’s lowest level of human physiological needs. The second chakra, called the Sacral Chakra, includes the human sexual organs and stomach, which she links with Maslow’s “safety needs” (that is we need not only food, water, etc., but security and immediate physical well-being, including pleasure and physical satisfactions).

Our third, “Solar Plexus Chakra,” centers on the solar plexus associated with Maslow’s “belonging needs.” We need to be accepted as part of a community where we belong and are respected and recognized. The center of our body corresponds to our need for centeredness in the community and the connection between ourselves and the energies of the Cosmos. The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra, which Judith links to Maslow’s level of self-esteem needs. The heart is connected with love, compassion, and forgiveness and with our ability to love not only others but ourselves, to emerge from selfish and isolated egoism into compassionate relations with ourselves and the world.

The fifth chakra is the Throat Chakra, normally associated with language, self-expression, and communication. Judith relates this to Maslow’s next higher level of “self-actualization.”  We actualize ourselves through our communication, our speech and actions within our human, planetary, and cosmic worlds. Above the throat chakra is the Third Eye Chakra, the eye in the center of the forehead that opens to the depths and mystery of the cosmos that gave birth to us and to which we return. 

The seventh chakra is the Crown Chakra at the top of the head. Here is where the brain and the nervous system open to the cosmic intelligence and the divine Atman (the deep self that is identical with Brahman, God, the deep, unsayable oneness and selfhood of the cosmos).  Judith links these two highest chakras with Maslow’s highest need that is called “self-transcendence.” We transcend beyond ego to a transpersonal harmony with all of existence and the ground of Being.

The purpose of living is not to leave the lower chakras behind, since we are microcosms of the macrocosm, as many ancient Greek philosophers also affirmed. The purpose is to link the earth harmoniously with the depths of spirit and the cosmos.  The purpose is live fully in this incredibly wonderful body that has been gifted to us upon this marvelously wonderful Earth that is our planetary home, a home inseparable from the cosmic energy of the evolving whole.

For most of human history social and ethical thinkers focused on the individual person in his or her quest for spiritual growth and inner illumination. There was very little critical analysis of society, its assumptions and power dynamics, until about the 19th century when critical thinkers began to realize that the self-justifying rhetoric of those who governed societies could be seen as covering up social realities very different from what appeared on the surface. Today, it is taken for granted by serious thinkers that critical social analysis is fundamental to our attempts to seek truth, justice, peace, protection of human rights, or any other ethical goals.  Despite the efforts of many reformers and good people, societies seem to elude the good and mire in corruption, greed, and injustice.

Yet even today many spiritual traditions of the world operate in a sort of vacuum, oblivious of the hidden structures of societies that foster injustice and corruption. There are thousands of books, websites, and videos directed toward self-realization, meditation, harmony of living, and spiritual self-help. There are exceptions, of course, such as liberation theology inspired by such books as Ethics and Community by Christian thinker Enrique Dussel (1988) or Gustavo Gutierez’s A Theology of Liberation (1988). Yet today, as the world careens toward complete climate collapse and/or terminal nuclear war, the forces that would transform this system of corruption and injustice are few and far between.

Many top climate scientists, such as James Gustav Speth (2008), social thinkers such as Naomi Klein (2014), or philosophers such as Joel Kovel (2007), have identified capitalism as a key component in the on-going destruction of our planetary environment, but mainstream thought remains oblivious, still talking about endless growth on a finite planet.  Nation after nation becomes mired in violence and war, and the world as a whole spends nearly two trillion US dollars annually on these horrific initiatives and those who teach about spiritual development claim to be “non-political,” perhaps assuming that the world will save itself if everyone can ascend the holarchies of chakras toward enlightenment.

They fail to realize that the world system itself defeats spiritual development and breeds violence, corruption, and environmental destruction. We need a world system beyond capitalism and beyond the militarized nation-states if we want to promote the spiritual growth of humanity. Social, economic, and international relations can foster harmony and growth or they can defeat them, and today’s chaos clearly defeats spiritual development for most of humanity.

Using Anodea Judith’s correlations above, at the most basic level people must satisfy their physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter.  Does our world-system provide this for the human population?  Not even close. The system cultivates greed, competition, corruption to the point at which 1% of the planet’s population owns 50% of its wealth while at least one billion people have no way to satisfy their basic needs.  Considering the ascending levels of chakras as correlated with satisfaction of our human needs we find that the world system, and the social systems within most nations, do not provide a framework for self-realization. 

Do global capitalism or the nation-state war-system cultivate the fourth Chakra of love, compassion, and forgiveness? Not even close. Capitalism often involves vicious competition and cultivates egoism and lack of compassion in the rich, in those successful within the “rat-race” to the top. Militarized nation-states cultivate hate, fear, paranoia of official “enemies,” and obsession with “security.” How are human beings going to reach the heart chakra level when their basic needs such as food and security are not even satisfied by this system?

In the chakra system, the Heart Chakra is the center (of ourselves and of the cosmos of which we are microcosms) with three levels above and three below. It is the fulcrum, the turning point, the key level for opening us to connection with the higher levels of being and the fullness of cosmic existence. Love, as all the great religions have taught, provides the connecting link between heaven and earth, between the ground of Being and our physical existence on Earth.

Yet our dominant world-system defeats love at every turn. It divides humanity into some 193 militarized entities in competition economically and militarily, which is intrinsically a war-relation. Human beings need a unified world-system based on our common human and planetary welfare, not a fragmented chaos of waring nation-states. This is why we need the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  This Constitution, written by hundreds of world-citizens and some of the world’s best legal minds over a period of 23 years and completed in 1991, unites humanity under the principle of unity in diversity (see Martin 2021).

The Constitution elaborates a democratic world system of agencies and governmental organs premised on human well-being, satisfying everyone’s basic needs through a market-system regulated for the common good of all and through protecting everyone’s universal human rights. These rights include not only the right to have one’s basic needs protected, but the rights to health-care, social security, education, environmental quality, world peace and freedom from violence, as well as governmental respect and concern. Here is clearly a major key to human liberation.

Under the present world system that actively prevents spiritual growth and development for the majority of human beings we will likely destroy themselves and become extinct long before reaching spiritual illumination. Yet according to all the great religious traditions, an illumination connecting heaven and Earth is our cosmic destiny: for example, Jesus commands us to “bring the kingdom of God to Earth.” The Constitution for the Federation of Earth creates democratic world government and institutionalizes the mandate of government to care for the good of the whole within the framework of inalienable rights for each.

The Constitution therefore establishes something truly unique in human history—it unites humanity for the common good of all and future generations. Yet at the same time it brings forward something as ancient as the Greeks of the 5th century BCE—democratic theory basing society on a community of respect and concern for each within the unity in diversity of all. Here lies one fundamental key to human liberation.  We must work to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth if we have any concern at all for the spiritual growth of humanity or the welfare of future generations.

As the chakra system tells us, human beings are a link between heaven and earth, a microcosm of the macrocosm, a keystone in the scheme of things. The Earth Constitution makes possible the actualizing of that linkage by restoring heart to our world system. Neither capitalism as we know it, nor militarized nation-states, have heart. They know only power, blind economic growth, greed, fear, and possible aggression. Once we have a world-system based on serving human needs, protecting human and environmental rights, and working for the good of future generations, the heart will more easily open to love, compassion, and forgiveness and lead humanity to the higher chakra realizations: genuine communication from the Throat Chakra, the opening of the Third Eye to the awesome mystery of existence, and the awakening of the Crown Chakra into our connection with the ground of Being.

The Constitution addresses satisfaction of the three lower chakras precisely because it embraces unity in diversity, the whole of humanity. This is clearly a form of love.  To a very real extent love can be institutionalized.  The heart chakra, the turning point and connecting point between the higher dimensions of energy and the physically apparent dimensions of energy must be there if we are ever to realize our cosmic destiny. The Earth Constitution is one vital key to that destiny. We need to work together now to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

Works Cited

Boswell, Terry and Christopher Chase-Dunn (2000). The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publisher.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth: with Historical Introduction, Commentary, and Conclusion by Glen T. Martin. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010. Also found on-line at www.earthconstitution.word and www.wcpa.global.

Dussel, Enrique (1988) Ethics and Community. Trans. Robert R. Barr. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Gilligan, Carol  (1982). In a Different Voice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Gutierrez, Gustav (1988). A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation. Trans. Robert A. Krieg and James B. Nickeloff.Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Judith, Anodea (2004). Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self. Berkeley: Celestial Arts Publisher.

Klein, Naomi (2014). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kohlberg, Lawrence (1984). The Psychology of Moral Development: Volume Two: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers.

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

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

Maslow, Abraham (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. Floyd, VA: Sublime Books.

Speth, James Gustav (2008). The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wilber, Ken (2006). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Integral Books.

The False Dilemma of Unipolar vs Multipolar World Systems

Glen T. Martin

www.oneworldrenaissance.com    16 April 2022 

A common distinction in today’s mainstream debate concerning our world-system is between the idea of a “unipolar” world system versus a “multipolar” world system.  It is common for those who study international relations to characterize the USA as having been at the center of a unipolar world system for some decades. During the Cold War it was also said that the world system was “bipolar,” divided between two superpowers.

However, in the first decades of the 21st century, countries such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil have been growing in power while the economic and military domination of the USA has been diminishing. There is much talk about an emerging “multipolar” world and what this might mean for the future. What is the relation of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth to these mainstream discussions?

Mainstream scholars debate this issue within the context of their unspoken assumption that our world has no other options than unipolarity, bipolarity or multipolarity. The following quote from a recent paper exemplifies this assumption: “A return to a multi-polar world characterized by great powers rivalry is therefore more than a fable vagary or a theoretical hypothesis advanced by IR [International Relations] scholars, but it looms as a feasible and concrete scenario and a possible outcome for the near future. This shifting from unipolarity to multi-polarity could affect the stability of the future world order” (Varisco 2013).

This academic paper goes on to argue that with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the on-going rivalry of the great powers, a multipolar world would not be any more stable or peaceful than previously. Ignored, within these discussions, is the fact our world is not merely facing the prospects of continued wars, and possible nuclear wars, as well as deep nation-state linked structural violence (Leech 2012), our world is facing planetary climate-collapse leading to possible human extinction within a planetary ecosystem that may not support higher forms of life within the next 100 years (Martin 2021).

These scholars of “international relations” limp along with assumptions about the “sovereign nation-state” system that originated at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, some three and a half centuries ago. During the 17th century the newly arising scientific world view assumed that the world was a vast machine composed of innumerable parts called “atoms.” The representatives at the Peace of Westphalia were atomists and believed it made sense to divide the political world into a system of territorially-bound, independent sovereign nation-states.

It was not until the 20th century that the entire paradigm for understanding our universe began to dramatically change. Since then, it has been understood that atomism is simply false. It has no basis in reality. The world is a whole, and is composed of fields within fields of interdependent energy-centers. The new paradigm is holistic: everything is interrelated with everything else. The concept of an independent sovereign nation-state is a conceptual illusion colonizing the minds of today’s “scholars of international relations.” No wonder the climate is collapsing, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons threatens all humanity. The world is constructed on false premises, on an illusion. Unless we can convert our thinking to conform to the holistic reality, we are truly doomed.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth constructs a world system premised on the truth of holism. Its preamble declares that the principle of unity in diversity “is the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail; when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare.” The entire history of humanity is contradicted in this statement. The history of humanity is continuous wars in which the “earth’s total resources” have been wasted by territorial power-blocks on armies, weapons, and perpetual war-making. How can the Constitution so blatantly contradict human history?

The answer is in the paradigm-shift to holism. The Constitution constructs the political and economic institutions of the world on reality, on holism, on the fact of unity in diversity. If human beings ever decide to wake up and get real, then we can end war and use the resources of the Earth for human welfare. As long as we insist on perpetuating our fantasies of “multipolar” or “unipolar” worlds, we will continue headed toward self-destruction and extinction as a species.

The reality on which the Constitution is based is the “unity in diversity” of holism. The world is made-up of innumerable diversities of nations, races, religions, cultures, ethnicities, and individual persons. But science has also revealed that humanity is a whole, and the ecosystem of our planet is a whole, and the entire universe is a whole (Martin 2016). If we base our institutions on the truth of holism, then the consequences will be entirely different—truly ending war, truly sharing the resources of Earth for the common good of all.

The Constitution declares that sovereignty belongs to humankind, and it declares that the world government “shall be democratic in its own structure” (Article 2). Unity here is the people of Earth and their collective right to establish a world system that works for their common welfare, and diversity here is the democratic structure. Democracy means that the diversity of each is protected (universal human rights) through the unity of the whole. The “federation” created by the Earth Constitution is democratic, not “multipolar.”

The Earth Constitution places the legitimate power of government with the whole of humanity. It is not “shared” among some arrangements of semi-sovereign nation-states. Those world federalists who believe we must begin with a weak world confederation by “strengthening the UN,” etc., are still living under the atomistic delusions long abandoned by science.  When the whole of humanity is empowered democratically their government will have great legitimate power—the power to really promote the good of the whole over the contrary tendencies of multinational corporations and waring nation-states.

Political philosopher Hannah Arendt writes that “power needs no justification, being inherent in the very existence of political communities.” What needs justification, she says, is violence, and the less democratic power any government has the more it will require illigitimate violence to rule (1969, 52-55). Power under an ecologically and humanly based world system will be qualitatively different from today’s power that is always enforced through overt, clandestine, or structural forms of violence. The world government will be powerful because it represents the whole, but it will be strictly limited because it is set up (with all sorts of limits, checks, and balances) to protect diversity, that is universal human rights (Martin 2016, Chap. 7).

Under the current fragmented world system, it is impossible to end war and it is impossible to protect our planetary ecosystem from collapse. The UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example, declare in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) document, item 16: “we affirm that every State has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources, and economic activity.” Here we have the illusory foundations of the multipolar world system. Within the UN system, the Earth’s total resources do not belong to humanity, for the common good of all and future generations, they are divided among absolute territorial entities, and often parceled out as the private property of multinational corporations. Humanity is not united, and the world is doomed to self-destruction (Martin 2021, Chap. 6).

Under this SDG document, for example, Brazil is free to continue destroying “the Lungs of the Earth.” Contrast this with Article 4 of the Earth Constitution. The fundamental resources of the Earth belong to the people of Earth. The Oceans, the atmosphere, the geological features essential to our planetary ecosystem (such as the Lungs of the Earth) all belong to the people, because humanity is a whole and the planetary ecosystem is a whole and the authority of government needs to be based on these realities, not on the illusion of some “multipolar” world system.

As deep thinkers such as Buckminster Fuller (1972) and Errol E. Harris (2000) declared: the logic of a holistic system moves the parts toward synergy and harmony, whereas the logic of a fragmented system moves the parts toward disharmony and conflict. The Earth Constitution creates a world system that is neither unipolar, nor bipolar, nor multipolar. It does not eliminate nations states but includes them within a much greater holism called the people of Earth. Our unity is our common humanity, and our diversity includes not only nations but races, religions, cultures, and billions of individual persons.

The Constitution is not pasting nations together in a strengthened UN system under the illusion that their “sovereign” status makes them somehow a primary reality determining the structure of some future federation. The Constitution creates the House of Nations to represent them as a component of human diversity that complements the all-embracing unity of a World Parliament with three houses representing the unity in diversity of the whole. “Federation,” under the Constitution means real union. The “logic of holism” is the logic of reality itself, and unless we begin governing ourselves based on realities rather than illusions, we do not have much hope for survival and flourishing.

The Earth Constitution can truly declare that under its principle of “unity in diversity” it will be able to disarm the nations and establish world peace, and it will be able to use the world’s resources for the good of all, not for the few as now—not for the good of individual nations nor the good of super-wealthy corporations and individuals. The Constitution gives us a nonviolent revolution, a paradigm-shift, that truly changes things—truly making possible a synergy and harmony that are impossible under the present dysfunctional world system.  For the sake of ourselves, our children, and the sacred divine mission bequeathed to humanity by the ground of Being, we need to ratify this Earth Constitution.

Works Cited

Arendt, Hannah (1969). On Violence. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. On-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global. In print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, Virginia, USA.

Fuller, Buckminster (1972). Operating Manuel for Spaceship Earth. New York: Pocket Books.

Harris, Errol E. (2000). Apocalypse and Paradigm: Science and Everyday Thinking. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Leech, Garry (2012). Capitalism: A Structural Genocide. London: Zed Books.

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

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

Varisco, Andrea Edoardo (2013). “Towards a Multi-Polar International System: Which Prospects for Global Peace?” On-line at E-International Relations website: https://www.e-ir.info/2013/06/03/towards-a-multi-polar-international-system-which-prospects-for-global-peace/.

Ukraine, Global War, Empire

Glen T. Martin

9 April 2022

I find it bizarre that I should feel the need to write about this subject—yet again. Over and over, I have pointed out the nature of the integrated global war, domination, and exploitation planetary system. I have been doing this since the 1980s—during my entire career—and still most people do not get it. It does not sink in. Yet this global system impacts everything—right down to our daily lives struggling with scarcity of resources—from healthcare to housing to education to food—that is built into our system.

It is precisely for this reason that my 2021 book on our planetary climate crisis called The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet had to analyze and reveal the system yet again. One cannot understand the cascading destruction of the environment and the impotence of the so-called “UN Sustainable Development Goals” without discerning the dynamics of the world system.  We have to design a world-system in harmony with the planet’s biosphere, which the present system is not. Ukraine, and the war-system, are not separate from climate collapse or human starvation around the world. To be a “world system” is to be just that—everything that happens on Earth is interrelated and interdependent with everything else.

Hence, my book on climate collapse and its solution describes not only the seriousness and dynamics of what is happening (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Collapse, IPCC, already does this and they do not need me to repeat their findings). My book explains why it is happening in terms of the dynamics of our world system. It should be self-evident that we cannot solve any major problem unless we understand  what has generated the problem.

 The global system is inherently a scarcity system (50% of humanity lives on the border of starvation), a war-system (99% of all nations are militarized and linked into networks of military alliances), a climate-collapse system (the ecosystem of our entire planet is rapidly descending into chaos as a consequence of this system), and a system of successive global empires (since 1945 it has suffered under the brutal empire orchestrated from Washington, DC).

Those who call themselves “evolutionary leaders,” ensconced in the UN and elsewhere, who are complicit in this system and believe that one can work within this system to somehow make things better, might balk at my characterization of the empire as “brutal.” This article will not attempt to document this brutal legacy that included, early-on, mass slaughter during the Korean War and continues unabaited to the present, but rather simply point out that the facts are there in the scholarly literature, so that those who care to see could certainly see if they cared to.

Near the beginning of the “brutal” empire, due to the work of Allied forces: “Almost every major city in North Korea was burned to the ground. Survivors sought shelter in caves….approximately 3 to 4 million Korans died, out of a population of 30 million, as did more than a million Chinese” (Stone 2012, 244). The onslaught of empire continued through the savage bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos (wiping out another 3 to 4 million people, 95% of them civilians), the overthrow of innumerable governments deemed hostile to the empire, the destruction of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and innumerable smaller places. The savagery has not abated since 9/11 and the new Global War on Terror (GWOT)—as documented, for example, by Jeremy Scahill’s monumental book Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (2013).

A few do get it, of course, and my writings are not the only ones describing the world system. I also had to learn from penetrating and thoughtful predecessors as we all do.  With respect to Ukraine, a few voices grasp the situation clearly, such as Dr. Roger Kotila in his recent article titled “The Curse of NATO” (March 2022).

He speaks of NATO as a “curse” because it is an imperialist organization, dominated by the USA, that serves an instrument of US imperial aggression and hegemony worldwide, for example, against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. It is a “coalition of the willing,” that is, those who are willing to serve as lapdogs for empire. Once we understand in what ways NATO is part of the world system and its global empire, we are on the way to understanding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

War and militarism are merely adjuncts and supports for the power of global economic domination and exploitation, a system well documented in such books as Empire with Imperialism: The Globalizing Dynamics of Neo-liberal Capitalism by Petras and Veltmeyer (2005), Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalism, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis by John Smith (2016), and Global Imperialism and the Great Crisis: The Uncertain Future of Capitalism by Ernesto Screpanti (2014).

Some theorists and proponents of the Empire, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives (1998), openly followed the wisdom of empire first articulated by British economic-military strategist Sir Halford Mackinder in 1904 who declared: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; Who rules the World-Island commands the world” (in McCoy 2017, 213). The “World-Island” is Eurasia and the aim of the US Empire since its inception in 1945 has been to rule what happens on the World-Island. (Prior to that time the US empire was hemispheric, not planetary, as Greg Grandin documents in his book Empire’s Workshop, 2007.)

With regard to Brzezinski’s policies in action, for example in Afghanistan, historian Alfred W. McCoy writes: “he understood and rationalized the untold misery and unimaginable human suffering his strategy inflicted through ravaged landscapes, millions of refugees uprooted from ancestral villages, and countless Afghan dead and wounded” (2017, 213).  Afghanistan was only a move on the grand chessboard. Iraq was only a move on the grand chessboard. The immense suffering, the saturation bombing of peasant villages in Vietnam, amount to nothing, mere moves on the grand chessboard.

Are we getting closer to understanding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the outraged western propaganda system reacting to this terrible “illegal invasion” with its attendant “war-crimes”?  Or do our “evolutionary leaders” still draw a blank? On April 7, 2022, Asia Times investigative reporter Pepe Escobar tweeted:

And here’s the Wall of Shame. The Empire of Resentful Cowards and Liars, who’s starving millions of Afghans to death and weaponizing the genocide in Yemen, got the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

The United Nations, dominated and colonized by the ruthless empire, dutifully suspends Russia from the Human Rights Council to the applause of supposedly progressive groups throughout the West. Saudi Arabia, which systematically violates the rights of 50% of its population on a daily basis, served two terms on this council without significant protest. Military dominance is only an adjunct to the Empire’s dominance over thought. Orwell’s book, 1984, hit the nail on the head. The Western strategists of empire have learned from Nazi propaganda chief Joesph Goebbels that if the lie is big enough, and repeated often enough, it will be accepted as truth by the majority.

Ukraine has long been understood by those who follow the foibles of empire to play a key role in the grand scheme of things. In this 2009 book Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, F. William Engdahl opens the book by reviewing the Mackinder prescription for world domination and Brzezinski’s adaption of this to the US empire (15). He goes on to quote Vladimir Putin’s well-known remarks at the 2007 Munich European Security Conference showing that Putin clearly understood the Mackinder-Brzezinski-Bush-Obama global strategy (ibid., 19-25).

So does China’s President Xi Jinping. Concerning Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” (engineered by the CIA) and the significance of Western control of its government, Engdahl writes: “Most of Russia’s natural gas pipelines from West Siberia flowed through Ukraine on their way to Germany, France and other West European states. In military strategic terms, a non-neutral Ukraine in NATO would pose a fatal security blow to Russia” (ibid., 43).

In his subsequent 2016 book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the Gods Would Destroy, Engdahl describes the way the CIA and State Department turned their attention to Ukraine in 2003 with the intention of installing a pro-NATO president in that country. He describes the overall strategy for the CIA and State Department: “The CIA ‘Color Revolutions’ to install pro-NATO regimes along Russia’s immediate borders, coupled with the use of Mujahideen and of Chechen Islamic Jihadists, created a strategic crisis for…chaotic Russia” [and along with other tactics] were only one, albeit major part, of a geopolitical Grand Chessboard, as Brzezinski termed it in his 1997 book by the same name” (214).

In 2014 the US helped implement a coup in Ukraine in which pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by far-right Neo-Nazi forces and pro-NATO lackies were installed who insisted, supported by US foreign policy, that Ukraine as a sovereign nation had to right to join NATO and place “defensive” missiles in its territory.  The US has long known that this would be absolutely unacceptable to Moscow, since nuclear armed warheads in Ukraine could reach Moscow in 3 to 4 minutes and would be nearly impossible to defend against.

But the strategy, like all local tactics in hundreds of locations around the world where the CIA is working to overthrow forces perceived hostile to the empire (this is called GWOT—the Global War on Terror), the highest level of strategy is economic. The US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and its strategic promotion out of Washington, DC, is the key. The empire is most fundamentally one of economic domination.

As Petras and Veltmeyer point out: “military and political power…create the conditions for home-based multinational corporations to take advantage….The US imperial state, both directly (via the departments of state and defense) and indirectly (via control over financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund), constitutes a directorate to manage the global system” (2005, 25-26).

Nevertheless, from within the “World-Island” both China and Russia have been emerging as major economic players (along with Iran and India).  China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and Russia’s support for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany both foster Eurasian economic integration and progressively marginalize the US economic role. If Nord Stream 2 (already completed) were to begin operations, this would constitute another major economic integration of Russia and Europe, supplying large quantities of cheap energy to Europe in ways that US energy exports could not possibly match. This had to be stopped.

The Ukraine war now begins to become clear. The Empire’s strategy was to force Russia into this war. Knowing full well that NATO weapons on Russia’s borders would be intolerable to Moscow’s security interests, the US insisted to the point of triggering a Russian invasion (having refused to consider Moscow’s repeated European, mutual security peace proposals going back to 2007). The immediate consequences are a clear victory for the empire. Europe has turned away from energy dependence on Russia and is willing to pay much higher prices for US supplied energy resources, and Nord Stream 2 has been cancelled.

The propaganda war has also been won (at least in the Western world). Russia is demonized as an ”aggressor” nation and even organizations that should know better decry its “illegal” invasion (while ignoring the fact that nearly everything “the exceptional nation” does on the world stage is illegal according to international law). The UN, colonized as ever since its inception by its main donor-nation, votes to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council.

Pepe Escobar concludes his book Empire of Chaos (2014) by drawing together the empire’s strategy for both Russia and China. “From Beijing’s point of view,” he writes, “the Ukraine crisis was a case of Washington crossing every red line to harass and isolate Russia” (601). The conflict with China over the South China Sea is another component of this “crossing every red line” tactic in order to “keep the Pacific Ocean as a classic ‘American lake’” (600). Surrounding and undermining the two main rivals to control of the World Island defines much of the strategic plan. Human rights and massive death mean nothing to this system.

Again, it is not only my own books and articles that have been exposing this world system for many decades. There is a large scholarly literature doing the same, only a few books of which are cited below. As my book The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet shows, we cannot deal with the climate crisis without understanding this same world system that results in endless wars and threatens to exterminate the human species in thermonuclear holocaust.

What force on Earth makes us so incapable of understanding that the Constitution for the Federation of Earth offers the only true, practical alternative to the present world system? Only such an alternative could be achieved in time to prevent human extinction, and only if we act now, with integrity and vision, to make it happen, to ratify this Earth Constitution. Our choice is not a “multi-polar world system” in which sovereign nations respect one another and live together under international law. This is an impossibility.

This option of a “multi-polar” world, supposedly respecting international law, changes neither the structure of the war-system nor the global economics of domination and exploitation. The Earth Constitution truly remains our only credible option. Ukraine, and the immense suffering of millions of its people, means very little to the empire.  This war is merely another move on “the grand chessboard.”

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.  In print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA, 2010 and 2014.

Engdahl, F. William (2009). Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. Wiesbaden, Germany: Mine.Books.

Engdahl, F. William (2016). The Lost Hegemon: Whom the Gods Would Destroy. Wiesbaden, Germany: Mine.Books.

Escobar, Pepe (2014). Empire of Chaos. Ann Arbor, MI: Nimble Books.

Grandin, Greg (2007). Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Kotila, Roger (2022). “The Curse of NATO.” United World: CDWG News & Views, Mar-Apr 2022, Vol. 35, No.2, pp. 10-12.

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

McCoy, Alfred W. (2017). In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Petras, James and Henry Veltmeyer (2005). Empire with Imperialism: The Globalizing Dynamics of Neo-liberal Capitalism. Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.

Scahill, Jeremy (2013). Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield. New York: Nation Books.

Screpanti, Ernesto (2014). Global Imperialism and the Great Crisis: The Uncertain Future of Capitalism. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Smith, John (2016). Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Stone, Oliver and Peter Kuznick (2012). The Untold History of the United States. New York: Simon & Schuster.

What’s in it for Me?   Why should I support the Earth Constitution?

Glen T. Martin

March 2022

Ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth often appears “utopian” when people are first exposed to the idea. Why is it that so many people have not yet heard of the idea?  Why is this a new thought to many people, even though it has been around for a very long time? Why does it seem unrealistic? This is because the media of the world, and the media gate-keepers, benefit from the current unjust and fragmented world disorder and want to keep it that way. Like the rich and powerful, and like the giant, imperial nation-states, the media do not want us to know about the “Earth Constitution Solution.”

Let us examine why the idea appears utopian to most people. We live in a world in which 1% own 45 % of the world’s wealth, and when the richest 10% of the world own 85% of its wealth. A consequence of this is that the bottom half of the world’s population live in scarcity, deprivation, and misery, owning barely 1% of the world’s household wealth [1]. We live in a world utterly corrupted by this wealth and power so that a good number of those in the bottom 80% are bribed, employed (including the media), or paid-off to serve as mercenaries, as domination-serving bosses, or as ideological lackies of the top 10-20%. 

We live in a world that in recent years is spending 1.9 trillion US dollars per year on militarism and war, that special op forces or militarized drones patrolling much of the world to assassinate, capture, torture, murder, and brutalize anyone or any group who attempt to mount a resistance to their system of domination and exploitation [2].

We live in a world in which the dominant global empire has infiltrated the United Nations System with its economic ideology of endless capitalist growth, an economic system that requires institutionalized exploitation of both people and nature, falsely justified by an ideology claiming this corrupt system contains a “hidden hand” that in the end promotes the greatest good of the greatest number of people. (I have described this colonization in more detail in Chapter 6 of The Earth Constitution Solution [3].)

The consequences of this colonization of the UN are everywhere visible in the resultant division of the world’s wealth described above.  But this ideology of endless growth (as the “only possible way” of organizing human economic life) has an additional consequence: it is destroying the ecosystem of planet Earth. It is destroying our own possible future and most certainly the future of our children [4].

The temperature of our planetary ecosystem is rising dramatically each year. And with it the oceans are rising and will soon be flooding coastlines around the planet, displacing hundreds of millions of people and flooding vast areas of fertile crop land.  For decades now many regions of the Earth have experienced major droughts, making growing crops impossible. They have experienced major floods, unstoppable superstorms in the form of hurricanes, super-monsoons, tornadoes, as well as out of control wildfires.  Life on Earth is becoming chaos due to rapid climate change, while the dominant ideology of growth does its best to ignore the problem or falsely solve it through redirected forms of growth into so-called “green capitalism.” (As if a system founded on the institutionalized exploitation of people and nature could ever save the planet [5].)

What’s in it for me?  Why should I support ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth?  On the level of the current self-destructive world disorder, I can, of course, answer that I do not want to leave future generations to ever-increasing misery even to the point of possible extinction of our species. There is something truly horrifying in the thought that our present world disorder is carrying us, like a raging river, toward extinction.

To answer this question at a deeper and perhaps more fundamental level, we need to ask who or what this “me” is.  Who am I?  What is the meaning of my existing as a human being living at this time and place and in these circumstances on this planet called “Earth”? Can we answer the question of who or what this “me” is in ways that connect my identity with supporting the Earth Constitution?  I believe this is necessarily the case. What I am as a human being is inseparable from the vision and ideals embodied in the Earth Constitution.

Traditional religions and cultures all declared that to be a human being was to be directly connected with the divine ground or source of Being.  For Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we are “made in the image of God.”  For Hinduism and Buddhism, we are identical with the divine Atman (that is Brahman) or with the Buddha-nature in all things (Dharmakaya). Later philosophers, such has Immanuel Kant in the 18th century, articulated this intuition in the form of the ethical demand to recognize the dignity of ourselves and others. Kant states the universal ethical principle: Always treat every person as an end in themselves (as having immeasurable dignity), rather than merely as a means [6].

This insight concerning our connection with the divine ground and our inviolable human dignity developed into the understanding (maturing from the 18th century to the present) that every person has inviolable human rights. The basis for these universal rights is our immeasurable dignity, which in turn derives from our inalienable connection with the ground of Being or God.  This was brilliantly expressed in the Preamble to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”

Many thinkers in today’s world have added a profound idea to the understanding of our inherent dignity—we are evolving beings, we are growing beings—a human being is a perpetual process of growth and change all the while retaining our universal quality as being human. The entire universe constitutes a divine, creative, evolutionary upsurge as many contemporary thinkers have affirmed [7].  This means that even while we retain our inalienable rights as we grow, we can also grow in dignity, in the infinite depths of our inviolable human reality [8].  What am I as a human being?  I am a growing, evolving child of God, a living embodiment of the divine source of Being.

Renowned spiritual thinker, Raimon Panikkar declares that “Becoming belongs to the very essence of Being.” This, of course, is also true of our human “Being-in-the-world.” We are all constituted as time and live in a dynamic present moment between a remembered past and an anticipated future [9].  “Were an entity not to become what it is at each moment that it is,” Panikkar writes, “it would cease to be. The entity exists and this existence is its becoming.” Our own becoming, Panikkar affirms, is linked to the destiny of the universe. What is the “omega point,” the destiny of being? “This destiny also, to a certain extent depends upon us. This is our human dignity, and our responsibility” [10].

Who I am is directly connected to what I can and should become.  I can be a better person—more honest, more attentive, more loving, more just, more compassionate—and what I can and should become actualizes and increases the depths of my human dignity.  In Panikkar’s statement, “our human dignity” means our collective responsibly as human beings. As human beings we are linked to the destiny of the universe.

Here is our true selfhood; our true self is embodied deep within our self-awareness. As Zen teacher Rubin Habito expresses this: “we hear an invitation from within, to launch into a search for our true self that underlies this delusive ego” [11]. My selfish egoistic desires cover up and obscure my deeper true self. When Mahatma Gandhi asked why he should support the cause of all humanity, his answer was that his true self was the self of all humanity as well as the divine source of all Being.

My true self participates in the deep dignity of our common humanity and in the deep divinity at the heart of the universe. If my individuality were separable from this divine deep dignity, then I would have no inalienable human rights. Without this dignity, there would be no reason why human beings should not rape, pillage, murder, and exploit one another without end.

Since we are always part of a social community that is intimately connected with our individuality and common human dignity, we understand that the community must be organized in such a way that our dignity and inviolable rights are respected and honored.  Love and justice are not just personal qualities, they must be and should be community qualities as well. As Mahatma Gandhi understood, they must be actualized in the human community as a whole.

We each know that we do have rights, that no one has a right to torture, violate, or exploit us indiscriminately. We each know that we are directly connected to the human community that gives us our common humanity and universal dignity. Our selfhood is inseparable from society and the human community. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth establishes a world system of respect for universal human dignity, a respect that is implicit in the selfhood of each person.

The Constitution is not founded on absolute territorial divisions like today’s sovereign nation-states. It is not founded on wealth and power like today’s world system of giant military powers and multinational corporations. It is founded on our common human dignity, the same dignity that forms the true selfhood of each person on the planet. That is precisely why it alone can establish peace and disarm the nations, protect universal human rights, diminish social differences, and protect the ecological balance of the Earth. These functions are all expressed in Article 1.

Why should I support ratification of the Earth Constitution?  Because it represents my true self—embodied and envisioned—in a world system that is identical with the growth and realization of my deep human dignity.  The UN Declaration of human rights, premised as we have seen on this dignity, makes explicit in Article 28 that our dignity requires a world system that embodies and reflects this dignity: “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.”  In other words, “recognition of our inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” requires a world system based on that dignity (which the UN Charter and UN system definitely are not).

What I am in my deepest reality, what I am as a human being with dignity and inalienable rights, is reflected and represented in the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Why should I support ratification of the Earth Constitution?  Because it represents my true self, my true self that embodies not only my personal growth in dignity but corresponding civilizational growth in community in which my personal dignity participates and from which it is inseparable. The Earth Constitution embodies my true self and the trajectory of my growth in dignity and community. In supporting its ratification, I am supporting my own growth and self-realization. The two dimensions are inseparable.

What’s in it for me if I support the Earth Constitution?  Self-realization, self-actualization, and self-fulfillment.  We are one human community, and our selfhood fundamentally participates in that community. Today the human community is broken, fragmented, violent, and unjust [12].  My true selfhood represents wholeness, harmony, compassion, and justice. Just as the human community today violates my deeper human selfhood, so the Earth Constitution embodies and restores my deeper human selfhood. In working to ratify the Earth Constitution, I am working to actualize my true self-interest, my deeper human dignity, my fulfilled human selfhood.  This tells us precisely “what is in it for me”?


[1]  See https://www.visualcapitalist.com/distribution-of-global-wealth-chart/ and https://www.wider.unu.edu/publication/global-distribution-household-wealth#:~:text=While%20the%20richest%2010%25%20of,person%20in%20the%20bottom%2010%25.

[2] For a detailed account of this see Alfred W. McCoy, In the Shadows of the American Century. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017.

[3] Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press. The Earth Constitution can be found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.

[4] Heinberg, Richard (2011).  The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

[5]  See my critique of Jeremy Rifkin’s works in Chapter 5 of The Earth Constitution Solution.

[6]  Kant, Immanuel (1964).  Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. H.J. Paton. New York: Harper & Row.

[7]  Thinkers such as Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Sri Aurobindo.

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

[9]  Martin, Glen T. (2021). “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity,” article in the American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 7, No. 1, February, 2021: aijhss.cgrd.org/index.php/54-contact/115-vol-7-no-1-february-2021

[10]  Panikkar, Raimon (2013), The Rhythm of Being: The Unbroken Trinity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, pp. 98 & 104

[11] Habito, Ruben (1993).  Healing Breath: Zen Spirituality for a Wounded Earth. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, p. 15

[12] See, again, McCoy’s, In the Shadows of the American Century for a well-documented overview of today’s broken world-system.

The Earth Constitution and Human Liberation

Glen T. Martin

27 March 2022

The authors of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth were clearly interested in human liberation. I knew some of these authors personally and can testify to their passion to “serve humanity” in this way. The focus on human liberation is quite obviously the conceptual energy behind the Earth Constitution for the entire document presents a systematic design for achieving the objectives outlined in its opening article: ending war and securing disarmament, protecting universal human rights, diminishing social disparities, and protecting our planetary ecosystem.

In my books and articles to date I have often argued that the twin dominant institutions of today’s world—global capitalism and the system of militarized sovereign nation-states—systematically block and derail all efforts at human liberation, including those embodied within the Earth Constitution.  The Constitution transcends both these institutions, the first by placing global economics in the hands of the democratically elected representatives of the people of Earth in the World Parliament who are constitutionally required to frame economics to serve the common good.   It also transcends the second—militarized sovereign nation-states—by placing them all under a federated government with a democratic World Parliament dedicated to actualizing all the fundamental ideals summarized in Article 1 of the Constitution. The Earth Federation government emerges in charge of establishing and maintaining a liberated regime that is beyond the reach of any and all sovereign nations: peace, planetary prosperity, universal human rights, and a protected planetary environment.

One of the greatest contemporary philosophers, Jürgen Habermas, in his inaugural address of 1965, published in his seminal book Knowledge and Human Interests (1971), shows that the human quest for knowledge presupposes a human quest for liberation. One of our inescapable human interests in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding is transformation of our problematic condition of ignorance, violence, hate, fear, fragmentation, injustice, and systematic distortion to a condition of happiness, goodness, truth, and deep mutual understanding. Habermas writes:

Society is not only a system of self-preservation. An enticing natural force, present in the individual as libido, has detached itself from the behavioral system of self-preservation and urges toward utopian fulfillment…. Only in an emancipated society, whose members’ autonomy and responsibility had been realized, would communication have developed into the non-authoritarian and universally practiced dialogue from which both our model of reciprocally constituted ego identity and our idea of true consensus are always directly derived. (1971, 313-14)

Any theory of the evolution of civilization or of the emergent evolution of human consciousness is likely to be a theory of human liberation. What components or our human situation need liberation?  What components of our situation need to change if we are to achieve planetary peace, disarmament, human rights protection, diminished social differences and global ecological preservation?  Habermas traces the analysis back to language. It is language that constitutes our human ego (our individual self-conscious awareness) and it is also language that joins us to others in the human community, ideally making possible “true consensus” and mutual understanding. Our highest human interest in the pursuit of knowledge is simultaneously an interest in human liberation. A true liberation would necessarily entail worldwide “non-authoritarian and universally practiced dialogue.” 

The persons who have achieved this capacity for “dialogue directed toward mutual understanding” have substantially realized the “idealized speech situation” that functions as the a priori presupposition of all possible language. Habermas reveals this ideal condition as presupposing “truth, truthfulness, and normative rightness” (1998).  Without going into the details of this trinity, suffice it to say that language would not be possible unless the basic presupposition of every linguistic utterance were not “truth, truthfulness, and normative rightness.”  Hence, Habermas shows that the capacity for truth and goodness are built into our human situation from very beginning.

What are the impediments to actualizing the ideal speech situation among human beings?  What are the impediments to a world civilization animated by mutual understanding among the majority of human beings from every culture, nation, and religion?  Those who think in terms of so-called “spiritual liberation,” such as Ken Wiber, speak of the emergence in human beings of higher levels of spiritual resonance with the ground of Being, with Buddha-nature, God, or the Tao. And it may be that just as there is an a priori dimension in language that “urges toward utopian fulfillment” so there is an emergent evolutionary nisis or impulse that urges toward spiritual growth.  Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo are both famous for their conceptualizations of this nisis.

In either case we can ask what are the impediments to such growth in our ability for dialogue directed toward mutual understanding, on the one hand, and our meditative processes leading to spiritual awakening, on the other?  The impediments are at least threefold: structural, psychological, and cultural.  On the psychological level, human beings, as Habermas notes, have ego-identities formed by linguistic interaction with their environment, beginning with the family and extending to the regional culture and its institutions, and eventually to the world.

Human egos can grow and move toward “autonomy and responsibility.” This process has been described by many prominent psychologists and thinkers such as Lawrence Kohlberg (1984), Carol Gilligan (1982), and Habermas himself (1979). At mature levels persons develop what Habermas calls a “universal ethical-principle orientation” in which “there are universal principles of justice, of reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons” (1979, 77).

At more immature levels, human beings tend to promote their own self-images in their interactions, promoting their own prejudices, hopes, fears, loves and hatreds, into their immediate relations with others as well as their culture at large. However, dialogue directed toward mutual understanding requires a self-transcendence of this egoism to the point where one can begin to fully “hear” what the other is saying and one can deeply understand the point of view of the other, something the egoistic-orientation makes progressively impossible. Marshall Rosenberg has written a very good book about such communication (2015). Genuine respect for the equality and dignity of human beings as individual persons requires cognitive, moral, and spiritual maturity.

Similarly, a fundamental distortion of proper ego development toward autonomy and rationality is affected by the capitalist system in which the making of money and the possession of money is considered of central importance. This system premises society and human relationships on what Habermas calls “strategic action” rather than on “communicative action” directed toward mutual understanding (1979, 117-19). Children brought up in such a system, whether they are rich or poor, link their ego-orientation and their social status to money (as well as with the power that goes with the possession of money).  The extent to which they internalize this link is the extent to which they become incapable of dialogue directed toward mutual understanding and the empathic identification with the other that this entails. Hence, the capitalist system encourages a culture and psychology of egoism, competition, striving to be on top economically, and egoistic arrogance (often very refined and courteous at superficial levels).

Something similar is true of the sovereign nation-state system.  Each nation demands loyalty from its citizens and treats disloyalty as “treason.” Each nation cultivates a “team spirit” among its citizens vis-à-vis other nations.  (Often religions do something similar and religious identification is frequently connected with nationalism.) So nations create more than mere territorial boundaries between themselves. They cultivate collective, national egoism in their populations.  “My country is special.  My country has such and such ideals.  My country has such and such unique features that no other country has.” This leads not only to nationalist propaganda on the part of governments but nationalist propaganda by the dominant media outlets in each nation and nationalist spirit among the citizens.  But collective egoism, like personal egoism, inhibits dialogue directed toward mutual understanding, just as it inhibits spiritual growth toward ego-transcendence, that is, oneness with humanity, oneness with the Cosmos, or oneness with the divine ground of Being.

Like the capitalist system, which cultivates an egoism based on money and economic status, the nation-state system cultivates an egoism based on the competition between territorial states with respect to economics, militarism, cultural mores, natural resources, and international status.  Nations engage in vast propaganda undertakings promoting themselves on the international stage and disparaging official “enemies.”  The ruling classes of smaller nations emphasize their loyalty and cultural identification with their imperial masters; they form what Alfred W. McCoy calls “loyal subordinate elites” (2017, 225). The result makes growth toward dialogue directed toward mutual understanding nearly impossible just as it makes spiritual growth toward holistic harmony with the cosmos or God also nearly impossible.

Any time there is violence or the threat of violence behind the communicative process (which would include ostracism or shamming within any group), we have what Habermas terms “systematically distorted communication” (1979, xii, 168). As mentioned above, entire institutionalized communications systems can be distorted as well. And I submit that the capitalist system along with the sovereign nation-state system together create a world order based on systematically distorted communication that blocks our ascent to undistorted communicative dialogue directed toward mutual understanding.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth helps fulfill both the “urge toward utopian fulfillment” that serves as the a priori dimension of the very possibility of language and the “divine nisis” toward holistic unity articulated by thinkers such as Teilhard de Chardin, Ken Wilber, and Sri Aurobindo. Human liberation will necessarily require not only structural transformation away from capitalism and the militarized nation-state system to a market-system that gives reasonable economic equity to all and to a nation-state system that protects the good of the whole while taking the fulcrum of world affairs out of the hands of the ruling oligarchies of the great imperial powers. It will also require psychological and cultural transformations.

It should be clear, however, that the structural movement away from egoistic, competitive capitalism and away from competitive nation-state egoisms will also facilitate transformation in both the psychological and cultural dimensions.  More than this, I have long argued (e.g., 2021) that this structural transformation (ratification of the Earth Constitution) is a necessary prerequisite for the other two transformative movements. Because the present institutionalized structure of the world (as a private wealth-system and a competitive war-system), with its systematically distorted communication regime, actively defeats growth in the other two dimensions.

By uniting all the nations into a Federation of Earth, the Constitution ends the war-system and makes possible a sense of global community in which the nations can, for the first time, work together to solve the global problems that threaten human extinction and the destruction of our planetary biosphere. By eliminating the competitive war-system not only are trillions of dollars saved that could be used for the common good, but the felt need to cultivate nationalism and thoughtless loyalty are dramatically reduced.  Similarly, by putting the Earth Financial Administration (under supervision of the World Parliament) in charge of creating a global economy that works for everyone in a roughly equitable way, the egoism of money and its concomitant power are dramatically reduced.

These structural changes do not constitute human liberation. But they go a long way toward making it possible, that is, toward making possible a planetary population in which egoism is reduced sufficiently to make real dialogue directed toward mutual understanding possible.  Human growth toward spiritual awareness that transcends egoism for a more universal or cosmic awareness would surely be rapidly enhanced by this structural transformation.  And human growth toward the capacity for genuine dialogue directed toward mutual understanding would be similarly enhanced. The 1500 or so persons in the World Parliament may be dialoging with one another with a degree of mutual understanding virtually unknown by all previous international forums.

Human beings can only solve their fundamental problems through achieving human liberation. And human liberation necessarily involves transformation in the structural, psychological, and cultural spheres of planetary civilization. The structural transformation involves a practical expansion of democratic decision-making so that it embraces our planet as a whole. Ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is a necessary practical step required for a fuller and more complete transformation that is likely to follow. This needs to be the basis of our immediate, practical action. Ratifying this Constitution is, therefore, transformative praxis for human liberation par excellence.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global. Also in print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA.

Gilligan, Carol (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Habermas, Jürgen (1971). Knowledge and Human Interests. Trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press.

Habermas, Jürgen (1979). Communication and the Evolution of Society. Trans. Thomas McCarthy. Boston: Beacon Press.

Habermas, Jürgen (1988). On the Pragmatics of Communication. Ed. Maeve Cooke. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Kohlberg, Lawrence (1984). The Psychology of Moral Development: Volume Two, The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

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

McCoy, Alfred W. (2017). In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Rosenberg, Marshall (2015). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, CA: Puddle Dancer Press.

Wilber, Ken (2007). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Post-Modern World. Boston: Integral Books.

The Absolute Moral Demands of Our Utopian Horizon

Glen T. Martin

www.oneworldrenaissance.com,  March 2022

There is no definite and valid ideal model of a world, there is only a general abstract principle of harmony and diversity, and the principle can be realized in all sorts of widely divergent ways. The same is true of human life. There is an ideal of harmony and intensity of experiencing, harmony both within each individual and among individuals, but there is no definite code of manners that is the uniquely right way of realizing this ideal. On the contrary, no ideal can be applied without creative particularization….

Charles Hartshorne [1]

This quotation from a well-known 20th century thinker correctly identifies the relation between the ideal and the real. My contention in this short paper is that the fundamental structures of our human existential situation place absolute moral demands on us for transcendence and transformation in the direction of harmony, integration, and ever-greater unity in diversity. For many years now I have been naming these demands “practical-utopian.” This same insight into the relation between the ideal and the concrete particulars of our lives identified here by Hartshorne also comes from many other 20th century thinkers, such as Errol E. Harris [2], Ken Wilber [3], or Erich Fromm.[4] In this article I want to review the structural features of our human situation that give rise to this demand and focus on the Earth Constitution [5] as a key modality for satisfying the imperative for unity and transcendence.

I have written previously, in a number of places, about our human temporality bounded by our future-oriented “utopian horizon.”[6] This is a horizon characterizing every normal (non-schizophrenic) person that forms a structural feature of the unity of human consciousness in conjunction with our pervasive temporality. Human beings live not only within time but as temporality. Every normal human being exists as a unity of consciousness living within a dynamic present that appropriates a remembered past and projects a future transcending that past. In short, we live within an ecstatic present moving between past and future, an existential situation that inherently demands action from us.

These absolute moral imperatives are not demands for our personal psychological selves (although of course they encompass our personal lives and actions). They are structural demands arising from the way the cosmos has evolved us. This is expressed in one way by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who describes the evolutionary convergence of the cosmic process in us—we are destined to actualize “Omega,” a “totalization” or unification embracing and preserving all diversity. However, he declares, evolution will not automatically produce this: “it must be a consciously and passionately willed deliberate act…It looks to us for an active and immediate collaboration, for a vigorous drive, based on conviction and hope. For evolution will not mark time.”[7] The temporal structure of human existence demands of us transcendence of our fragmentation, disharmony, egoism, and greed. It demands “consciously and passionately willed” unification, a unification for which the Earth Constitution supplies the necessary template.

Immanuel Kant was perhaps the first to discern clearly that each normal person exists as a unity of consciousness that is independent of that person’s personal psychological self. He discerned the immense significance of this for our understanding of the world. He explains that the unity of consciousness could not exist without, and necessarily implies, a corresponding unity of the world.  Subject and object imply one another. They are not two independent “substances” called “mind” versus “matter” as Descartes had surmised, but rather form two necessarily interrelated aspects of a single unified world order, a world order structurally informed, like human consciousness, by temporality: within the unity of consciousness there is perpetual movement from the past through the dynamic present toward an imagined future.[8]

The unity of consciousness persists throughout our temporalized existence. As Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger emphasized, human beings are thoroughly temporal creatures.[9]  We live within an ever-changing present moment within which we appropriate the past through memory and anticipate a future through imagination. Our imagination anticipating the future is “utopian” in character because it critically evaluates the past as not fully satisfactory and anticipates how the future might be (and should be) better. Morals, values, derive from the utopian structure of human consciousness. As Jürgen Habermas points out, we would not be scandalized by present conditions if we could not imagine that “these shameful conditions” do not have to be this way, that things could be better.[10]

As I have pointed out previously, we can conclude that there are certain general values that well-known psychologist, Abraham Maslow, calls “the deepest tendencies of the human species.”  He names these “B-values” or “Being Values” because they become more transpersonal as we grow to greater levels of maturity. It is Being itself (the Cosmos, God) that produces these values; they are not relativistic, merely individual or “personal” values as they appear to those at lower levels of human maturity and development. These objective transpersonal values include wholeness, perfection, completion (fulfillment), justice, beauty, goodness, truth, and self-sufficiency (autonomy).[11]

As Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo concludes—in us, the universe “creates in itself a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire.”[12]  We exist as the concrete and particular aspirations of the universe itself. The structure of things has become self-conscious in human temporality. Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead concludes that, “An actual entity is concrete because it is such a particular concrescence of the universe.”[13] Each human being exists as a moving, temporalized, concretized aspiration of the universe. The past is completed, but the future is alive and open with transformative possibilities.

Our present is a synthesis of the past dynamically projected toward an idealized future. This is true of the entire cosmos in the view of Whitehead, but it is also a truth crystalized in us because in us the idealized cosmic future has become aware of itself. Philosopher John Dewey writes: “It is this active relation between the ideal and actual to which I would give the name “God.”[14] Dewey was particularly concerned with bringing the concept of “God” down from an abstract metaphysical alternative to this world and showing that the nexus of human-cosmic ideals at our utopian horizon is all that is necessary for the fullness of a meaningful religious life.

To live in terms of this divinely-inspired human mission requires that we take our utopian horizon with utter seriousness. As Hartshorne observes in the quotation at the head of this article, “there is no definite and valid ideal model of the world” but rather there is a “general abstract principle of harmony and diversity” that can be actualized in any number of concrete ways. This general, temporalized idealization can apply to all the “Being values” recognized by Maslow: wholeness, perfection, completion (fulfillment), justice, beauty, goodness, truth, and self-sufficiency (autonomy). These ideals “call to us” from our utopian horizon.[15] The call demands that we particularize them (actualize them) within the diversity of the concrete world within which we all live.

The practical-utopian ideals of wholeness, harmony and perfection, inseparable from the wonderful diversity of the world, therefore, apply to all such values. Beauty, for example, as Plato insightfully describes in his Symposium, constitutes a transcendent ideal that is only manifest in this world within the concrete particulars: this sunset, this flower, this human face, this person of virtue, this peaceful and loving human community, etc.[16]

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth presents one of these concrete particulars as a gift to the world-community. It is a particular document outlining a specific political-economic arrangement for our planet that ushers in an era of peace, universal human rights protections, diminishing social differences, and ecological, regenerative sustainability.[17] As Hartshorne declares above “no ideal can be applied without creative particularization.” Our ideals of peace, universal human rights, etc., necessarily must be concretized within real institutions, otherwise they remain mere empty abstractions. 

This is perhaps the failure of many who profess an ideal of the federated unity of humankind but lack the courage and insight to act on Hartshorne’s truth that “no ideal can be applied without creative particularization.” This concrete document, the Earth Constitution, like any and all such documents, cannot give us ideal perfection in some future world democratic order. No specific set of arrangements could do this. However, it can make things qualitatively better and serve as a bridge to human survival and flourishing, both now in question.

No concrete, beautiful particular, whether a sunset or a human face, can give us the fullness of Plato’s transcendent ideal of perfect beauty, toward which, he says, we are brought ever closer through “love” (eros). Once we contemplate true beauty, Plato writes, such a person “gives birth not to likenesses of virtue…but to realities, since he touches reality.”[18] Our concrete particulars are never perfect, but when we take the ideals on our utopian horizon seriously (through love) as the expressions of the objective human-cosmic reality that they are, then our concrete embodiments bring the world ever-closer to true fulfilment. There is no need to ontologize “perfect beauty,” as Plato did, in order to recognize our utopian horizon as a living, existential reality within our common human consciousness and civilization.

This is one reason why the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is a key to the next step in conscious human evolution. It is grounded in the practical-utopian ideals of universal dignity of all human beings, in true unity and diversity of all, and in a deep understanding of the interdependence of humans with our planetary ecosystem.[19] As Hartshorne declares: “There is an ideal of harmony and intensity of experiencing, harmony both within each individual and among individuals.” This ideal of harmony between and among all the individuals who live upon our precious planet, this demand, is concretized in the Earth Constitution. To see that these values are integral to our emergent, cosmic-human reality is entirely sufficient.

One of the reasons why the ideals populated at the horizon of our temporality should be called “practical-utopian” (or “creative” in Hartshorne’s terminology) is because they often include not just some incremental step by step progress into a better future, but rather paradigm-shift. To recognize the validity of the practical-utopian dimension is already a paradigm-shift from our false and perverse “historical realism” that incrementally crawls from one tired U.N. resolution to the next without ever accomplishing significant change. In addition, however, to recognize the need for the Earth Constitution that establishes worldwide political and economic reality not on wealth, territory, and power but on universal human dignity and flourishing, is to truly make the necessary paradigm-shift into the deeper reality of our human situation. It is to accomplish a fully “creative” particularization.

The Constitution particularizes these ideals and militates for paradigm-shift, and in doing so constitutes a great leap forward toward a fulfilled and emergent divine-human future. Its Preamble declares that “the principle of unity in diversity is the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail; when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare; and when basic human rights and responsibilities shall be shared by all without discrimination.” The authentic demand calling from our utopian horizon is expressed in this Preamble.

No territorial, “sovereign nation-state” constitution can truly affirm these values because they are all, by nature, fragmenting of humanity and structurally denying each of these values. No matter what they may profess (such as universal human rights), they structurally and institutionally deny these rights that must apply to everyone, not just their own citizens. Every human being has these rights and duties, and only enforceable democratic world law can actualize this ideal. The moral demand is unity in diversity—the whole embracing the many.

Ratification and implementation of the Earth Constitution is the next great step in the emergent-evolutionary process of our cosmos, of human moral and spiritual growth. The time and place to make it happen can only be now, since we forever live only in this wondrous, dynamic present moment. These ideals exist only at the horizon of this supremely present now; they need not exist anywhere else. They demand to be actualized within this very same present now.


[1]  Charles Hartshorne. Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983, p. 34.

[2] Errol E. Harris. The Reality of Time. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988. See especially Chapter VIII, “Evolution and Omega.”

[3] Ken Wilber. Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Integral Books, 2007. This book provides a comprehensive overview of the growth model of human consciousness as integrated into the “evolutionary” growth-structures of the cosmos.

[4] Erich Fromm. On Disobedience and Other Essays. New York: Seabury Press, 1988. In Chapter 1, “Values, Psychology, and Human Existence,” Fromm articulates the role of love in human transcendence toward harmony and integration with the human evolutionary process and the cosmos.

[5] See Glen T. Martin. Constitution for the Federation of Earth: With Historical Introduction, Commentary and Conclusion. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010. See especially the Conclusion that discusses the loss of legitimacy of the sovereign nation-states precisely because they fail to transcend toward harmony, integration, and unity in diversity.

[6]  For a short summary see: “The Utopian Horizon of Objective Human Values,“ Academia.edu/letters, DOI: 10.20935/AL107 Publication Date: 2021, Publication Name: Academia Letters. For a fuller scholarly account see: “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity,” article in the American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 7, No. 1, February, 2021: aijhss.cgrd.org/index.php/54-contact/115-vol-7-no-1-february-2021.

[7] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Activation of Energy. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971, p. 292.

[8] Immanuel Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Norman Kemp Smith. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1965, (orig. pub. 1781), pp. 534-538 (sections A645-A652/B673-B680).

[9]  Henri Bergson. An Introduction to Metaphysics: The Creative Mind. Trans. Marbelle L. Andison. Totawa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams, & Co., 1975.   Martin Heidegger. Being and Time. Trans. Macquarie and Robinson. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1962.

[10] Jürgen Habermas. The Future of Human Nature. Trans. Wiliam Rehg. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003, p. 63.

[11] Abraham Maslow. Toward a Psychology of Being. Floyd, VA: Sublime Books, 2014, pp. 75-76.

[12] Sri Aurobindo. The Essential Aurobindo. Ed. Robert McDermott. New York, Schocken Books, 1973, p. 49.

[13] Alfred North Whitehead. Process and Reality: Corrected Edition. Eds. David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne. New York: The Free Press, 1978, p. 51.

[14] John Dewey. A Common Faith. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934, p. 51.

[15] For an excellent depiction of the “call” see Paul Tillich. The Essential Tillich. Ed. F. Forrester Church. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987, p. 143.

[16] Plato. Great Dialogues of Plato. Trans. W.H.D. Rouse. New York: Mentor Classics, 1956, pp. 69-117.

[17] Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Written by hundreds of world citizens and completed at Troia, Portugal in 1991, this is available both on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.oneworldrenaissance.com as well as through Institute for Economic Democracy Press and Amazon.com.

[18] Ibid., Great Dialogues of Plato, p. 106.

[19] See Glen T. Martin. The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press, 2021.

You Have to Name the System

Glen T. Martin

12 March 2022      www.oneworldrenaissance.com

Well-known critical thinker of late capitalism, Frederick Jameson, ends his powerful book, Postmodernism: Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, with this imperative that derives, he says, from the positive “utopian” insights of the late 1960s: “You have to name the system.” I take this to mean that the postmodern deconstructionism claiming “There is no Truth” crushes thought and obliterates our ability to conceptualize our human situation in ways that might lead to our survival and flourishing on our precious planet Earth.

By naming the system, by bringing its horrific implications and consequences to consciousness, we make possible a revival of our utopian capacity to envision true human liberation. Jameson writes:

Utopian representations knew an extraordinary revival in the 1960s; if postmodernism is the substitute for the sixties and the compensation for their political failure, the question of Utopia would seem to be a crucial test of what is left of our capacity to imagine change at all. (1991, xiv)

Do we world federalists still have the capacity to imagine real change at all?   In her book on the thought of Karl Marx called Dialectical Phenomenology (1979), Roslyn Wallach Bollogh articulates Marx’s thought that capitalism is a mode of production that involves a “repressed community”—energetically and naively exploiting nature and human beings in self-destructive ways that ultimately destroy both nature and the dignity of human life. Marx’s socialism envisioned human beings becoming a “self-conscious community” that includes awareness of how we produce our necessary goods and services and how our “mode of production” impacts others and the human community as a whole (1979, 237).

In a somewhat similar way, contemporary thinker Ken Wilber, in his book Trump and the Post-Trump World (2017), blames the phenomenon of throwing out science and facts that characterizes much of the culture in today’s United States on the “postmodern destruction of truth” that came out of European and USA universities during the past several decades. The culture of lies and the total abandonment of the distinction between truth, mere belief, and propaganda that characterized the Trump presidency is simply a consequence of this postmodern phenomenon that, according to Wilber, represents the psychological stage of maturity that embraces tolerance and relativism to the point of not being able to stand courageously and consciously for what is right as discerned by a greater human maturity. In this lower stage of maturity, “diversity” is epitomized and tolerated to the point where all discrimination between truth and falsity, better or worse, more mature or less mature, is abandoned.

Nevertheless, over the past few decades in the West there has emerged a host of excellent scholarly works dealing with our planetary climate crisis and the utter need for human beings to transform both their production and their psychology as rapidly as possible to stave off engineering their own likely extinction and with it the demise of the human project altogether.  My own recent book, The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet (2021) summarizes much of this climate crisis literature.

Yet today, in the year 2022, suddenly, there is a sea-change: the USA is at war, leading a host of lackey nations in a great struggle with an enemy country that has invaded Ukraine. War propaganda is everywhere. The enemy is demonized while the virtues of “our side” are exalted.  Even many world federalists, who should know better, succumb to the war propaganda of demonizing the enemy and defending the “homeland” (a “homeland” that now largely comprises North America and much of Europe, including Ukraine).  War simplifies things.

The quandary of truth or the struggle for greater spiritual maturity are happily abandoned. Psychologically, it is like the sexual encounter, when for a few minutes the entire problems of the world are suspended and forgotten in the intensity of an embrace. World federalists have embraced a war fever and slipped back into a repressed consciousness, covering up of the deeper truths of our human situation.

Many world federalists have welcomed the intensity of the war passion and the war propaganda. Russia is the enemy of the UN system, they say, the “aggressor” nation that wants to restore the Soviet empire. Forgotten is the North American and European genocidal obliteration of North Korea; forgotten are the genocidal mass exterminations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; forgotten is the destruction of the former Yugoslavia by NATO forces, forgotten is the “coalition of the willing” who destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and who attempted to destroy Syria except for Russian intervention and protection of the Syrian people. Forgotten is the imperial support for the crushing of the Palestinian people, or the suffering of the people of Cuba and Venezuela. The repressed, imperialist, self-justifying consciousness has not been abandoned by global world federalism.

It is so much easier to indulge the emotions generated by war than it is to struggle with the transformations necessary to save the environment, or to “name the system” for what it is, or to lift ourselves to a higher psychological stage of maturity. To “name the system,” to bring it to fuller self-awareness requires seeing the deluded capitalist madness for what it is (the repressed rape of both nature and the vulnerable majority of human beings).  It requires seeing the system of militarized sovereign nation-states for what it is (the utter self-destructive fragmentation of human beings in a technological and psychological rush toward mutual annihilation).  It requires seeing our condition of maturity for what it is (so distant from embracing the love and affirmation of human beings and human civilization as a whole).

The terrible suffering and destruction of the people of Ukraine is not the fault of Russia alone. Many astute critical thinkers have pointed to the West’s (led by the USA) intentional provocation of the war with the strategic aim of preventing the completion of Nord Stream 2 and cutting Europe away from closer economic integration with Russia. (At the same time, the market value of the US weapons industry as soared, just as has the value of its gas and oil industry, the two industries that practically run the country and its foreign policy.)

World federalists lack the courage and insight to say “enough!”  Enough of capitalist destruction of the environment!  Enough of militarism and absolutely sovereign territorial nation-states!  Enough of the childishness, partisanship, and deceptions of popular politics!

We must take our stand on something that transcends all this current human quandary.  We must honestly name the capitalist system for what it is, name the ugly nation-state system for what it is, and call out the immaturity of these popular movements and politicians for what they are.  Biden is not substantially different from Putin. Both are nation-state and war-system ideologues. Neither is a mature human being embracing the dignity of humanity and the holism of human civilization and our precious cosmos.

And yet we World Federalists have a tool, a blueprint, a map into the future that can serve as a rallying point for moving into a transformative and liberated future—the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  It appeals to our utopian imagination, which is precisely our human capacity for transformation and transcendence (Martin 2018). At the same time, it gives us a concrete plan for how things can be truly different.  It retains the highest values of civilization—basic human law founded on universal human dignity rather than on wealth and power. It lays out a truly democratic path for transcending the fragmentation and corruption of both capitalism and the system of militarized nation states, and it shows us the way to an environmentally sustainable and restorative planetary ecosystem.

American philosopher John Dewey defines the function of our utopian imagination. He states: “Imagination of ideal ends pertinent to actual conditions represents the fruition of a disciplined mind” (1934, 32, emphasis added). It requires a disciplined mind to name the system for what it is, to realize that growth is required and that our utopian imagination is essential to the process of growth, and to relate “actual conditions” as pertinent to these “ideal ends.” The Earth Constitution embodies precisely those ideal ends and concrete means that a disciplined mind sees as required for ending war, protecting universal human rights, and restoring our planetary ecosystem.

Both truly naming the system and striving toward a fuller maturity require courage and decision. History will not passively make these things happen. It is up to us. Both nuclear war and destruction of our planetary environment are real and present dangers. Now is the time to ratify the Earth Constitution, to have the courage to act.  There is no other time.

Works Cited

Bologh, Evelyn Roslyn (1979). Dialectical Phenomenology: Marx’s Method. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found On-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global. Paperback version from Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA or Amazon.com

Dewey, John (1934). A Common Faith. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Jameson, Friedrich (1991). Postmodernism: Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

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

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

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

The Nation-State as a Legal “Cage”

Glen T. Martin

February 2022           www.oneworldrenaissance.com 

As long as it is armed with the ultimate sanction of exemption the sovereign power turns its law into a cage, making the exit from the cage into a fate feared, shunned and far too horrifying to be contemplated as an acceptable price of freedom, and the entry to the cage into a privilege that needs to be earned, and, once earned, cherished. The captives have every reason to view the cage as shelter (uncomfortable maybe, yet secure). This is a cage to which most would-be internees clamour to be admitted, and which those refused entry dream of as the ultimate redemption.

Zygmunt Bauman (2002, p. 225)

In his well-known book Society Under Siege, Zygmunt Bauman described the process of globalization and the pervasive condition of humanity as we entered the 21st century.  In the opening quote above, he calls the nation-state a “cage,” a cage that people long to be interned within, a cage that people want to protect, and one that people need to “earn” the right to enter if they are outside the cage.

This metaphor of the cage clearly serves to illuminate our situation as Bauman understands it.  The globalized world has become “fluid.”  It is a world in which traditional cultures and practices have broken down and in which many accepted boundaries and limitations have been transgressed.  It is a world of uncertainty, that, in Albert Camus’ words, has been “cut off from the future” (Camus 1980). 

Bauman (pp. 13-15) cites Immanuel Kant’s famous observation from Perpetual Peace (1983) that the world being spherical means that people cannot “infinitely disperse.”  We all affect one another and are more than ever a part of one another, but, in a “spherical” world, the attempt to move apart only ends up in the long run moving us closer. Since we just have one planet to live on, Bauman observes, we have the choice of either living together or destroying one another (pp. 15-16).

If we choose living together it means talking to one another rather than going to war. Our relation to one another is universal, mutual moral solidarity. Bauman cites two very different 20th century philosophers, Karl Jaspers and Emmanuel Levinas, as affirming the same thing—universal human moral solidarity—in spite of their very different philosophical approaches (p. 207).  We are all morally responsible for, and related to, one another, and a globalized world calls insistently for us to complement our universal moral solidarity with universal governance institutions that protect our solidarity as well as individual rights.

But there is one giant impediment—the cages.  Human beings still live in cages that are, as an institution, at least two centuries old, Bauman observes. These territorial, sovereign nation-state cages prevent our legal solidarity from mirroring and complementing our moral solidarity. These cages offer us recognition as legal persons in ways that internally complement the reality that we are moral persons.  But on the planetary scale, externally, there are no such protections, even though the stark choice we are facing as human beings is between living in solidarity under universal laws or destroying one another with our ever more destructive weapons. Those outside some cage, he says, are like “bared bodies” only “that can be destroyed with impunity” (p. 226). Their legal humanity is not recognized.  Hence, people everywhere struggle to get inside of some one of the cages, even if life is difficult there.

Toward the end of his book Bauman discusses the value of the “utopian imagination” in human affairs (pp. 233-34).  Human beings are capable of imagining a different and better state of affairs than what currently exists.  Historically this capability has resulted in many utopian ideas and an extensive utopian literature.  Today, our utopian imaginations tell us that this world system of sovereign “cages” is utterly out of step with both globalization and the moral solidarity of humanity.  Our ever more powerful weapons systems portend self-destruction if we cannot find a way out of this paradox by establishing a legal solidarity for humanity that mirrors our moral solidarity.

In other words, we must transcend the system of cages that is opposed both to globalization and the moral realities of our common humanity.  But how to do this?  Bauman points out that two features of traditional utopian visions are inapplicable today. Utopias, he says, always connoted both “finality” and “place” (territoriality) (p. 223).  “Topia” means place and “utopia” means “no place,” since these thinkers were offering alternatives that did not yet exist, yet classical utopian literature insisted on giving a place to their future utopias.

Similarly, these classical utopias envisioned “finality.”  They envisioned concrete arrangements that were expected to be permanent and to endure.  Utopian literature envisioned arrangements that solved human historical problems in a once and for all, definitive manner. Neither of these features are relevant today, Bauman argues, since globalization has abolished all localized places that might flourish apart from the whole and because globalization has made historical movement “liquid” (p. 22), making us realize that there is no single concrete pattern that we can expect to solve our situation permanently.

However, I have shown in Chapter 8 of One World Renaissance (2016) and in my article titled “Utopian Horizon Value Theory” (2021), the utopian dimension is intimately connected with human temporality and carries universal import irrespective of incidental features such as “finality” or “place.” Bauman is right that our utopian imaginations are fundamental to our human capacity for transcendence, that is, our capacity to solve our problems and move to higher levels of existence. He points out correctly that our fundamental problems today include globalization itself, which contradicts our outdated worldwide institutionalization of “legal cages,” in conjunction with weapons systems of immense destructive capacity. But, ultimately, he offers no solution to our misery: society is “under siege” and he appears to see no credible way out.

Bauman does not appear to be familiar with the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, although it appears to me that the Earth Constitution is tailor-made to address his assessment of our situation in the globalized 21st century. The Earth Constitution does not provide a pattern that concretely determines how people will live their lives.  It provides for vast cultural differences in the ways people live and think. However, it does provide a framework that solves the great contradiction between the legal cages and the moral solidarity of all humans by globalizing legal citizenship.

It does this not by abolishing the nation-states but only their character as absolute cages. The nations remain, but the Constitution provides a universal legal solidarity to match our human moral solidarity. Immediately as this happens, the nations are no longer territorially bound cages. They retain their own internal law-making capabilities, but legal personhood is now universal, and nations are freed from the need for obsessive protection of their respective cages.

Bauman says that in our globalized world, we have only two choices: to talk with each other or to destroy each other.  The Constitution makes the first choice possible and its success very likely. It gives us a “utopia” in the sense that it ends the horrific war-system that the world has endured ever since the system of legal cages was first devised. 

This “utopian” framework clearly transcends place as it embraces all humanity by matching up legal universality with moral universality. It also transcends the traditional utopian flaw of “finality.” The Constitution opens up a process, a way of talking with one another and making decisions non-violently that moves us into the future without dictating specific arrangements about how we should be living our lives. It protects freedom as the core of all our universal human rights. And the Constitution itself, under Article 18, is required to be reexamined regularly so that it can evolve with humanity and with conditions on planet Earth. It does not give us finality, but a workable process.

It is high time that human beings moved into the globalized 21st century and faced up to the dilemma that we either talk to each other under the laws of legal citizenship or destroy each other. It is clear that we can only effectively talk if we have institutions that allow talk to take place and democratic decisions to be made.  This cannot happen from inside the cages. Cages cannot effectively talk to one another because they have a structural incentive to protect themselves, to lie, and to militarize themselves.  The horrific war now going on in Ukraine, threatening the world once again with possible escalation to nuclear war, is certainly all the grounds we need for seeing these truths.

It is world citizens, protected and made equal by law, that can and must talk with one another and bring human beings out of the war-system of legal cages into a peace system in which law and morality mirror one another. This is why we must ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It is our only truly functional option other than destroying one another.

Works Cited

Bauman, Zygmunt (2002). Society Under Siege. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Camus, Albert (1980). Neither Victims nor Executioners. Trans. Dwight McDonald. New York: Continuum.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. On-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global. Available in paperback from Institute for Economic Democracy Press in Appomattox, VA.

Kant, Immanuel (1983).  Perpetual Peace and Other Essays. Trans. Ted Humphreys. Indianapolis: Hackett

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

Martin, Glen T. (2020). “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity,” in the American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 7, No. 1, February, 2021: aijhss.cgrd.org/index.php/54-contact/115-vol-7-no-1-february-2021


Youth Leadership and Climate Action

Please note:  The following Charter is the product of a climate symposium sponsored by Children Now of Quebec and is being widely distributed.  Glen Martin was a member of the committee that developed the Charter. It presents guidelines for all sectors of society to deal with our global climate crisis. February 2022.

Link to the original Charter on the Children Now website.


Children Now believes that the blunt undeniable truth lies now unmistakably before us. From an ecological and environmental perspective we have failed our children. We collectively, combined with past generations, have done the current generation and potentially future generations a disservice.

We have failed individually and collectively in our obligations as stewards of the environment. We have repeatedly and with willful disregard treated the finite planetary ecosystem as the infinite. We have at our own peril chosen to pursue non-sustainable social and economic behaviours. We have neglected our individual social responsibility, our community responsibility, and our corporate, national and international responsibility.

The positive news, however, is that Children Now believes that we have a time sensitive opportunity to embrace a whole society approach to respond to the reality of climate change and adaptation and make a material difference. It is an unprecedented time in our humanity and the consequences of failing to ACT NOW will be a non-reversible self-imposed spiral of self-destruction. Individuals, corporations, communities, nation states and international organizations must demonstrate unparalleled cooperation and commitment to a common and singular purpose which is protecting the inherent environmental rights of our Children.

This generation needs to accept responsibility and with transparency empower our youth to be Leaders Now, and to make a difference NOW. Recognizing this moral imperative to act Now, Children Now has developed this “Charter of Global Ecological Responsibilities and Commitment to Youth Leadership and Climate Action.”


We stand at a critical moment in our earth’s history, a time when every adult, every family, every society and every government has a moral imperative to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the skills, resources and opportunity to successfully meet and overcome the legacy issues which previous successive generations have unfortunately bequeathed to them. All these responsibilities derive from the fundamental right that all persons and other living creatures have to live within a healthy and ecologically sound planetary environment.

As the world becomes increasingly fragile and interdependent, the future holds concurrently both a great peril and great opportunity. We are confronted with a leadership challenge of rectifying critical issues of climate change. Humanity is afforded with a timely opportunity through empowerment of our youth to help remedy the environmental and climate change issues that have been thrust upon them. As a global society that should be founded on respect for nature, concern for present and future generations, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace, it is imperative that we declare our responsibility to one another, to our planet as a living whole, and to the future generations.


 The general purpose of this Charter of Global Ecological Responsibilities is to:

  • Safeguard the rights of all present and future generations to a healthy and ecologically balanced global environment by supporting and promoting the protection, enhancement and prudent care of the environment everywhere on Earth;
  • Affirm the duty to protect preserve and, where possible, restore the integrity of the environment and
  • Empower our youth as future environmental leaders to think holistically and envision truly creative solutions to ecological problems.

The procedural purpose of this Charter of Global Ecological Responsibilities is to:

  • Foster transparency, inclusiveness and accountability, and provide individuals with tools to enable them to protect the environment;
  • Ensure that individuals have access to credible information about decisions that affect the health and integrity of the environment;
  • Hold governments, local communities and international businesses accountable to climate change mitigation commitments
  • Enable and empower youth to participate in environmental governance and decision-making.

The substantive purpose of this Charter of Global Ecological Responsibilities is to

  • Establish principles of greenhouse gas reduction in all sectors and achieve net zero balance;
  • Protect and preserve sinks that absorb carbon (forests, oceans, permafrost) through innovative technologies and coordinated human actions
  • Establish principles of environmental stewardship;
  • Articulate the responsibilities of individuals, corporations and the Government with respect to the environment and adapting to the carrying capacity of our precious planet Earth.


WHEREAS Children Now recognizes:

  • That the very existence of mankind is inextricably linked with its environment, which is now under threat as a result of climate change factors, associated with human actions and behavior,
  • That any threat to the environment is a threat to human existence and threats can be mitigated and minimized,
  • That Children and Youth must be mentored and be included in all climate change mitigation activities.
  • That we have a responsibility to empower our youth as future leaders to protect, preserve and restore the environment;
  • The need to safeguard against the negative effects of climate change, and accept responsibility,
  • The international character of climate change mitigation efforts and the interdependence of communities, regions and nations,
  • The need for global co-operation and the fact that both the developed and developing countries are affected by climate change differently,

Children Now solemnly proclaims the present Charter of Global Ecological Responsibilities with the whole-hearted expectation that Governments, International Organizations, the international business community and civil society will promote and strengthen values that safeguard and sustain climate change mitigation.


ARTICLE 1: Responsibility of Businesses

Businesses and Corporations should;

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle natural resources, and minimize the demand for new materials by embracing circular economy principles;
  • Adopt best practices in all operations, manage natural resources efficiently, embrace best practices for the protection of the environment and a sustainable future;
  • Prioritize the well-being of people and the planet while creating sustainable prosperity;
  • Strive to move towards a green economy for the well-being of all within the carrying capacity of the earth;
  • Engage in local sourcing to reduce their carbon footprint while supporting local economies as well as pesticide-free and regenerative agriculture
  • Support Youth as custodians of our environment, thought leaders and ambassadors of change;
  • Conduct operations in a manner that supports a healthy and ecologically balanced environment;
  • Restore carbon sinks by switching to sustainable forestry and agriculture, planting trees, restoring ecosystems that have been damaged, and protecting wild places that are still intact.

ARTICLE 2: Responsibility of Governments

Governments should:

  • Enhance and enforce legislation and policies that protect the environment from industrial and consumer pollution, while committing to a low carbon economy;
  • Strengthen legislation that protects society and individuals from exposure to harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and others;
  • Design and plan cities and dwellings in a sustainable, regenerative, and environmentally responsible manner;
  • Invest in initiatives to adapt to the impacts of climate change such as floods, storm surges, droughts and heat waves;
  • Take measures to protect and preserve natural carbon sinks that absorb carbon, such as oceans and forests, through innovative technologies and coordinated human actions;
  • Establish principles of environmental stewardship for international and domestic businesses, and communities;
  • Actively encourage, train and equip our youth to become socially responsible leaders with respect to climate action;
  • Protect the right of every individual to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment;
  • Promote governance forms fostering global cooperation and coordination;
  • Fund projects that will remediate environmental pollutants and restore carbon sinks;
  • Foster transparency, inclusiveness and accountability, and provide individuals with tools to enable them to protect the environment;
  • Hold local communities and international businesses accountable to climate change mitigation commitments;
  • Establish principles of greenhouse gas reduction in all sectors and achieve net zero balance;
  • Take steps to ensure universally accessible education to all young males and females with respect to issues of personal growth, empowerment, leadership and local and global environmental sustainability.

ARTICLE 3: Responsibility of Parents and Educators

Parents and Educators should:

  • Foster key attributes of leadership including respect, diversity, inclusiveness, and empathy;  
  • Strongly support self-development and life-long learning;
  • Ensure that our youth understand climate change causes and mitigation measures;  
  • Adopt and promote sustainable consumption behaviors;
  • Prepare youth to be custodians of the environment and critical thought leaders;
  • Promote global citizenship and the sense of planetary responsibility;
  • Instill real understanding of the limits to economic growth as well as planetary population growth; 
  • Instill the incentive to seek the meaning of life through ways of living not based on consumption or the accumulation of possessions;
  • Teach the interdependence of human actions with all-natural processes.

ARTICLE 4: Responsibility of Individuals

Individuals should:

  • Emphasize our collective right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment and the right to be protected from further impacts of climate change;
  • Urge governments to take immediate action by converting to an environmental-friendly economy and regenerative ecological initiatives for the well-being of all future generations;
  • Hold governments, local communities and international businesses accountable to climate change mitigation commitments;
  • Make every effort to conserve energy and utilize renewable energy;
  • Adopt sustainable consumption practices such as shifting to a more plant-based organic diet and reducing waste;
  • Divest fossil-fuel investments and increase investments in green and renewable technologies;
  • Implement lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions such as using public transportation, riding a bicycle and using electric vehicles;
  • Think and act holistically as global citizens within a sustainable world civilization;
  • Take moral responsibility for the welfare of future generations.

ARTICLE 5: Responsibility of Media

Media should:

  • Act responsibly with their influence and be held accountable for the ideas and concepts that they present and distribute through traditional and social media;
  • Make a commitment to climate change reporting that is truth and evidence-based;
  • Promote scientific perspectives that do not mislead or manipulate the general population but create awareness of the solutions for climate change;
  • Dedicate more time to the issues related to climate change in easily comprehensible language;
  • Cover both global and local environmental issues in depth. Examples of global issues are climate change, destruction of tropical rainforests, modification of costal ecosystems, reduced availability and quality of drinking water, over-exploitation of fisheries, food shortages, species extinction and loss of biodiversity, and ozone depletion. Examples of local issues are air and water pollution from urban wastes, untreated sewage, famines, soil erosion and degradation, industrial contaminants, forest loss, and destruction of wetlands;
  • Foster planetary perspectives and global consciousness.


Our responsibility for protecting and restoring our planetary environment is both fundamental and universal. It begins with all sectors of society, from business, to government, to education, to media, to individuals. All these sectors need to instill in young people a vision and commitment that are holistic, planetary, and action-oriented.  Young people must be inspired to see that engagement is always both local and global, for it is only as a global community acting in concert that we can protect and restore our precious planet for the dignity of all persons and the flourishing of future generations.