International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO) is an interdisciplinary organization of concerned thinkers who work together to achieve enduring peace through scholarly reflection, peace education and activist commitment.
Some participants from IPPNO’s Seventh International Conference at Radford University, May 2004. Holding the right corner of the sign is Howard Freidman, Executive Director. In the center behind the sign is Patricia Anne Murphy, Chair of IPPNO’s International Advisory Board.
We promote the elimination of nuclear and other threats to global existence as well as the transformation of values and attitudes. IPPNO has world-wide interests and encourages membership from all countries, all disciplines and all walks of life.
We believe that a recourse to war, or the threat of war, in age of chemical, biological, nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction places the continuing existence of the human project at risk and that war itself is rapidly becoming obsolete as a rational instrument of national policy. Consequently the world must ultimately be demilitarized or be ever further degraded by hate, fear, violence, instability, and destruction.
With Plato, we further believe that there can be no enduring peace without justice, and in the present case this means equal social, economic and political opportunity for all persons, nations and peoples.
We equally hold that the violence against man and nature endemic in western civilization, and thereby in contemporary society, must be channeled and the associated attitudes, institutions and values — that have contributed to the making of this bloodiest of centuries — must be transformed. To do otherwise is to invite brutal and possibly cataclysmic consequences.
With this perspective IPPNO is committed to eliminate militarism, environmental degradation, and unsustainable development in all their aspects. And in their stead to create an enduring world peace based upon social, economic and political justice within and between nations, and to replace a reliance upon violent solutions–and the institutions and attitudes that embody this–with a global society and way of life tempered by a respect for others and for nature.
History of IPPNO
IPPNO, a member of the International Federation of Philosophy (FISP), was founded in 1983 by John Somerville and other concerned thinkers as: “International Philosophers for the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide.” For its achievements in this field, IPPNO was awarded Peace Messenger status by the United Nations and IPPNO’s founder received the Gandhi-King award.
A member of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), IPPNO to develop worldwide support for the World Court Project, a project which resulted in a July 1996 International Court of Justice ruling that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, in all but the most exceptional case, is without question contrary to international law and thereby illegal.
We also participated in IPB’s successful campaign to curb French nuclear tests, in the Abolition 2000 Caucus for the total abolition of nuclear weapons, and in the 1996 Provisional World Parliament in Barcelona, Spain. In 1997, IPPNO assisted in the development of a model convention for the elimination of nuclear weapons–a document which helped pass the UN resolution that a treaty be prepared banning all aspects of the research, development, use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons.
IPPNO has held world conferences on peace and peace-related environmental issues in St. Louis (USA), Brighton (England), Moscow (Russia), San Jose (Costa Rica) and Boston (USA). Our Sixth World Congress, “Paths to Peace in a Violent World” was held in Kolkata (India) in December-January, 2000-2001. We also hold regional and national meetings and actively network with like minded individuals and organizations.
We have also regularly co-sponsored conferences in Kolkata, India, from 2000 to the present. We have held conferences in cooperation with WCPA at Pune (2016) and Sonipat, India (2017 and 2018). In 2019, IPPNO is co-sponsoring the “Building the World Parliament” Conference at O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, India, December 10-12, and the “World Peace Thinkers and Writers Meet” in Kolkata, India, December 27-31.
We regularly published the IPPNO Newsletter as an alternative voice for peace (until 2008), and prepared an interdisciplinary volume: Ways to Peace in a Violent World. We have developed the IPPNO Document on World Peace (below) as a general statement on the way to survival, peace, and justice for all humankind. We welcome your ideas and papers on these subjects. The IPPNO Document on World Peace is a major statement that remains every bit as relevant today as when it was completed.
In 1994 the IPPNO Constitution was amended to enlarge the organization’s goals to embody a holistic approach to world peace, thereby expanding IPPNO’s concerns to include all threats to global existence as well as to creating positive social, economic and political conditions for enduring peace.
To become a member: All concerned persons are welcome to join IPPNO and to participate in its activities. To join, please send the information below with a check or money order in US dollars to:
Dr. Mar Peter-Raoul, PO Box 883, Binghamton, NY, 13902, USA. email@example.com
Your membership information:
Name, address, city, state/province, country, zip, affiliation (institution or organization), phone, email, fax and best times to call. Special interests: writing, editing, research, video work, networking, other.
IPPNO dues: $30 / year US currency. ($10 / year for students or for members from developing countries.) In the case of hardship or special circumstances, please contact the Treasurer. (IPPNO is a 501-c3 non- profit organization. Contributions and dues are tax-deductible under US law.)
For further information contact IPPNO Executive Director: Prof. Howard Friedman (in memoriam)
IPPNO President: Dr. Glen T. Martin, Radford University, Radford VA, 24142, USA. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of the International Advisory Board: Dr. Patricia A. Murphy, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA. E-Mail: email@example.com
IPPNO Document on World Peace
This IPPNO Document on World Peace is the result of the cooperative efforts and hard work of many IPPNO members. Some of these contributors were from the original Document on World Peace Committee that I constituted more than three years ago, some were from the International Advisory Board of IPPNO, and some were IPPNO Officers. These committed workers for peace cannot be named here because this document is intended to represent IPPNO as an organization and not the point of view of a group or individuals within IPPNO. Yet many, as well as myself, know who they are, and they have our deepest gratitude. If peace is to come, it will be from the anonymous work of millions of concerned persons and not from a few leaders, whether they be philosophical or political leaders.
It is a slow and difficult process for a group to write by consensus and dialogue, especially a group of philosophers and concerned thinkers who care about the precise meaning every word and paragraph, as well as the content, style and effectiveness of the whole. Yet I am extremely pleased at the powerful and insightful document that has resulted. I believe it will make a major contribution to the movement towards sustainable world peace with justice in the twenty-first century. It is likely that no one of the authors would fully agree with every statement or analysis made here. Similarly, if I were the author, this would be a different document. But we have successfully worked together for the good of peace with justice; we have learned from one another and we have learned much from those few valuable critics who still feel they cannot affirm aspects of the document in its well neigh completed form presented here.
I am pleased to announce that Parts I through III of the document were reviewed and approved at the January 6th meeting of IPPNO members, Advisory Board members and officers during the IPPNO’s Sixth World Conference, held in cooperation with International Society for Intercultural Study and Research (ISISAR) and other peace organizations in Calcutta, India January 3-7, 2001. The consensus of those involved is that Part IV of the document, yet to be completed and printed separately, should consist of contributions from the entire IPPNO membership in terms of their own multifarious forms of work for peace with justice in today’s world. In this way, not only will all members have a chance to contribute to this extremely important document, but Part IV will be able to serve as a dynamic compendium of the many diverse ways that individuals in all walks of life can contribute to the movement for world peace in the twenty-first century.
I urge all IPPNO members and others concerned with peace to study this document, discuss it copy it, and promote it in every way possible. It is meant to be distributed and is not for sale. In quotations or distribution, please give credit to International Philosopher for Peace (IPPNO), since the document is copyrighted by IPPNO. It is in the interest of every citizen of our precious, fragile, war torn planet to dedicate his or her life to the quest for peace with justice. Without such a collective, democratic struggle for authentic world peace, our children simply may not have a planet or a civilization to inherit. Parts one through three of this document printed here, express IPPNO’s vision of the essential requirements for any sustainable and just world peace.
Dr. Glen T. Martin
21 January 2001
IPPNO Document of World Peace
The dawning of the twenty-first century demands the dawning of a planetary vision for human beings. Every sphere of life, including the global, demands a new understanding of peace.
- What is peace?
1.1. We, the members of International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO), understand peace to be whole and indivisible, encompassing many aspects of life on planet Earth. Peace comprises many interrelated dimensions such as social and mental peace and freedom from violence of all kinds. It includes not only just and equitable relations between nation states, but also between males and females, social classes, racial, ethnic and religious communities. Nothing less is demanded by our age, and by our rational hope for a decent, humane and sustainable future.
1.2. Arising out of the scientific and philosophical revolutions of the twentieth century is a new conceptual paradigm which understands that in nature, as in human social life, individuals and wholes are mutually sustaining and inevitably intertwined. The principle of unity in diversity, interdependence enlivening both individuals and the wholes of which they are a necessary part, is an essential foundation for comprehending the possibility of planetary peace.
1.3. Our aim must be a global peace encompassing all the fundamental aspects of human life – from the elimination of militarism, to social justice, fairness and equality within families and social institutions, to economic freedom from want and misery for all persons on Earth.
1.4. Global peace is required not only for a decent and healthy future of humankind, but possibly for its very survival, and for the preservation of the environment that sustains us and the many diverse life-forms on Earth. An understanding of world peace is of greatest importance for the future of human beings and planet Earth.
1.5. We believe that any comprehensive system of peace must occur at both the societal and interpersonal levels. Such a system must be grounded in equality between men and women, between racial and ethnic communities, and must respect diverse talents, qualities and spiritual dimensions of individuals and their communities. The present world order is in many ways the antithesis of this and demands fundamental change.
1.6. Because some traditions and the relationships and practices that grow out of diverse communities have not been based on equality and acceptance for those of different genders, ethnicities, ages and social standing, we recognize the need for a process of transformation through which human beings will engage in self reflection, attentive listening, critical questioning, educating, and arriving at new understandings and practices.
1.7. We recognize that the prevailing tendency to define “peace” as the cessation or absence of armed hostilities must also be changed. Such a negative definition of “peace” is actually a moral tragedy of war. It amounts to an avoidance and renunciation of the need for a deep transformation of the global system that defeats all genuine social discourse. World peace is not merely a political condition. Even less is it a tense readiness for war, with armies deterring one another across national borders or from space. The institutions of militarism, the sovereign nation state, and global competition must be challenged and replaced by genuine institutions of peace.
1.8. Peace can only be accomplished by a reaffirmation of each person as inherently valuable, without regard to race, gender, age, creed economic status, social position, political or national identity or spiritual or religious affiliation. As passionate as we may feel about the land we love or the beliefs we cherish, we must open ourselves both to our differences and to the unity of the human family living sustainably on planet Earth.
1.9. We have seen, from the continuous state of warfare that the twentieth century has wrought, that it is in the long-term self-interest of each and every human being to work toward peace. But the call for world peace is not only pragmatic. We believe it is the moral responsibility of each of us – a moral duty to which we are bound – to foster a peaceful, sustainable global society for future generations. We are accountable to each other to our ancestors, to future inhabitants of the Earth and to the sacred foundations of existence for the contributions we make to today’s world.
1.10. The obstacles to such a fundamental and lasting peace may seem overwhelming: global militarism, imperialism, violations of human rights, oppression of the weak, the existence of weapons of mass destruction, economic disparity, monopolistic tendencies, unemployment, poverty, starvation and injustice, inadequate health care and education for a large portion of the Earth’s population, the population explosion, exploitation of people and the environment and the consequent multifaceted destruction of our planetary environment.
1.11. The destruction of the planetary eco-structure alone portends the suicidal course of contemporary civilization unless we can accomplish the deep paradigm shift outlined here in the very near future. Scientists tell us the population of the Earth is increasing geometrically, with the likelihood of nine to twelve billion people by the year 2025. Simultaneously, the rainforests of the Earth that produce the oxygen we breathe and bind the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels and other processes are disappearing at the rate of an area approximately half the size of California every year. Global warming is scientific fact. Glaciers are melting at both planetary poles at an unprecedented rate. Ocean levels are rising, and deserts are growing world wide with the consequent loss of fertile land. Fisheries are being exhausted in many areas of the world. Fresh water aquifers necessary to sustain human life are rapidly disappearing or becoming polluted worldwide. The ozone layer that protects us from deadly ultraviolet solar radiation is disappearing, producing massive holes in the Earth’s protective atmosphere. All of these crises and others intertwine, portending a possible collapse of the delicately balanced planetary that evolved over several billion years and that supports life on this planet.
1.12. These global crises are exacerbated and compounded by worldwide interpersonal attitudes of intolerance such as racism, sexism, vanity of cultural superiority, ideological fanaticism, religious dogmatism, chauvinistic patriotism and materialist-consumerist self-indulgence. These are problems which bespeak the extent to which individuals, organizations, and governments have relinquished responsibility and gradually distanced themselves from peace and a just and well ordered global society and a sustainable future for those generations who will inherit the planet from us.
1.13. We affirm that human reason, reflection, organized struggle and intelligent action can transform our chaotic and irresponsible world disorder in the direction of a truly positive and sustainable condition of global peace. We are at a turning point in world history: either we find immediate and practical paths to world peace, or our planet faces cataclysms, wars, and destruction on an ever more vitriolic scale, leading ultimately to the serious diminishment or extinction of life on Earth. We therefore urge organizations, governments, and every citizen of Earth to study the causes of violence, war, and injustice as well as the recommendations and reflections set forth in this document. We call on official global organizations, governments, NGOs, and every individual citizen of the world to attend to the multifaceted crises from which humankind, the Earth’s other life forms and our planetary environment are suffering and which are the result of the destructive practices and behavior of human beings.
II. The fundamental causes of war, violence and injustice.
A. Undemocratic forms of economic organization.
2.1. Throughout history the economic forms by which people have provided basic necessities for themselves have been characterized by scarcity – there has not been enough for everyone. In every era, a few have amassed extravagant wealth while many others have lived in poverty, misery and starvation. In ever era the few have created for themselves legal and military domination of the many, both within and between nations or peoples, through which they have monopolized for themselves control over the basic necessities of life and left the many in a condition of deprivation and scarcity. These institutionalized relationships of vast disparity between rich and poor are forms of covert institutionalized violence that also require the threat or use of overt violence for their continuation.
2.2. Similarly, economic forms throughout most of history have led to a struggle over the Earth’s basic resources as people, business institutions and governments have attempted to control or appropriate scarce resources for themselves. This struggle over resources and wealth has led to innumerable wars, invasions, genocides, conquests and conflicts both between and within nations and groups. The struggle has also involved a variety of forms of cultural and economic imperialism where militarily or economically stronger peoples have forced trade relations, loan arrangements or other forms of subordination on weaker peoples.
2.3. Today’s economic world is no different. We continue in the violent and destructive patterns of snuggle for wealth and resources in an orgy of thoughtlessness, violence, and greed. We have invented legal entities called “corporations” which are outside of most democratic oversight and control. They are granted the same rights that individual human beings are accorded, even though (as legal entities) they cannot die, nor be incarcerated for wrongdoing. These entities today often have assets larger than some nation states, assets that are used to scour the world for resources and propagandize the citizens of the world to accept their hegemony. In doing so, they subvert local cultures and convert traditional economic forms and property relations into ones that foster the amassing of wealth by the corporations. Overt and covert use of violence and military force protects and promotes this institutionalized system of destruction and greed, sometimes dignified under the misleading rubric of free trade.
2.4. Democracy holds as its highest values liberty and equality for all. It is clear, then, that democracy is fundamentally imperiled by grossly unequal economic relations and the exploitation of the masses. Economic institutions today are among the causes that prevent the development of the democratic forethought and planning required to deal with our multifaceted planetary crisis that includes global destruction of the environment, worldwide militarism and arms trading, the population explosion and increasing poverty, starvation, and unemployment. Today’s global economic system sustains a multitude of forms of institutionalized violence, and fosters a world of militarism and overt violence. It is hierarchical, elitist, monopolistic and undemocratic to its very core.
B. Undemocratic forms of social organization
2.5. We recognize that inequality and injustice also arise through familial and institutional organization in which men hold authority over women and those of certain races and ethnic groups greater authority over those of others. Such inequalities and injustices are experienced in multiple ways in daily life, through exploited labor in households and factories, through marginalization in politics and other civic forums, and in cultural representations in the mass communication media and in educational settings. These inequalities and injustices are undemocratic because they place a disproportionate amount of the burdens of society on some groups while affording greater benefits to other groups with no justification for such unequal distribution of benefits and burdens. While gender, racial and ethnic inequality have motivated organized resistance and movements for social change both within and across nations for centuries, such inequalities remain causes of conflict.
2.6. Historically, women and children of all colors and non-white men and women have often specific and disproportionate suffering during times of war. Male soldiers rape and torture women as a tactic of war, and women often inherit the responsibilities for maintaining families and some aspects of civil society when men are taken up in fighting. European expansion through economic and religious imperialism over several centuries resulted in the subjugation of indigenous populations living in the modem-day Americas, Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands. The process of imperialism has been long lasting and profound obliterating national boundaries and whole communities of people, causing the displacement of indigenous persons and the phenomenon of diasporas, and, in some cases, war and genocide. Women today disproportionately bear the burdens of poverty and providing for their children. Injustice based on gender and race is also seen in the emerging phenomenon of vast urban centers. Large metropolitan areas are inhabited by immigrants from the southern hemisphere who have little or no literacy and training and are forced to assume jobs for multinational corporate factories that pay less than a living wage and that have unsafe working conditions.
2.7. Gender, racial and ethnic inequality often result in such forms of covert institutionalized violence. And evidence is plentiful that such unjust forms of social organization are difficult to maintain without the threat and use of overt violence.
C. Undemocratic forms of governmental organization
2.8. The only legitimate forms of government, law, and police authority are those that foster the common good, including the protection of minorities and diversity within society. There are many illegitimate forms of government from the rule of one person, for example a king, dictator or popular leader, to an oligarchy in which a small group rules, to forms of government in which a certain class, race, gender, ethnicity, or religious group enjoys institutionalized predominance. Authentic democracy is dynamic and responsive, not static and rigidly hierarchical. Democracy means institutional forms that empower the entire people and promote the common good not the advantage of a certain class, race, gender or ethnicity within society.
2.9. Historically there has been an evolution in the understanding of democracy, from the ideas of some ancient philosophical and religious writings assuming the sanctity of each person, to the emergence of the idea of human rights and the great political democracies in the 18th century, to the elaboration of “second generation” human rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today it is no longer sufficient for a society to call itself a democracy when it protects only a narrow range of political rights and tramples economic and social rights under foot. Such societies inevitably are class societies in which those who have economic or social advantages predominate, resulting in laws that do not foster the common good and undermine genuine democratic participation by the majority of the people. Yet planetary democracy requires more than this. For in this document we are identifying an encompassing “third generation right,” the right to global peace with all that this entails. Genuine democracy for human kind is impossible without a sustainable and institutionalized world peace.
2.10. At the international level, there has never been either democracy, the rule or law, or a modicum of justice. Economically and militarily powerful nations or no authority whatsoever groups force their will on those that are weaker through threat or use of force, economic blackmail, hegemony, spheres of influence, international debt, counter-insurgency warfare, intrigue, or internal interference in the affairs of others. This relationship of power politics and imperialism makes militarism and a largely secret government necessary in both the victim countries and the predator countries, making authentic democracy everywhere impossible. This international system of violence and injustice continues today in spite of the fact that the United Nations has been operating for more than half a century.
2.11. The United Nations has done much good and it is important to recognize here the excellent work carried on by many of the UN agencies. There is an impressive list of programs, publications, meetings, and so forth, that both women and impoverished peoples have found essential to survival and advancement over the decades. The UN Decade for Women meetings (and the 5 and 10 year follow-up meetings) have moved the work of world peace measurably forward. The UN meeting on Population held in Cairo, advanced the debate about women’s rights and fertility and underlined the seriousness of the population crisis. UN meetings concerning the global environment have had a similar impact. The work of theWorld Health Organization (to name just one agency) to provide sustainable sanitation systems for the third worid, to end genital mutiliation, to contol the AIDS crisis, etc., has been extremely important, despite a significant lack of the resources necessary to adequaiely address these problems. Any future world peace systern would need to preserve and enhance all these beneficial agencies or programs and provide them with resources necessaryto deal with the entire series of global crises.
2.12. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that a number of specialized agencies of the UN have done a great deal of good, the UN itself has no authority to legislate world law and is the antithesis of a democratic body. Not only is representation in the General Assembly wildly disproportionate to population, but most of the member nations of the General Assembly are not themselves authentic democracies and the ambassadors do not represent the people, only the ruling class or powers within their countries. Any resolutions passed by the General Assembly and approved by the Security Council have no force of law (the phrase “international law” being a misnomer) but are only voluntary agreements by member nations, all of whom consider themselves “sovereign” and free to break any agreements should self-interest so dictate. Finally, even unanimous resolutions of the General Assembly have no authority whatsoever if they are vetoed by one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The present UN Charter, therefore, cannot serve as a vehicle for world peace. It preserves the violent and unjust system of “sovereign” nation states intact.
2.13. “National sovereignty” is the idea that nation states recognize no legislative, judicial, or central executive authority above themselves. This definition is borne out by the practice of states and is accepted by what is called today “international law.” It follows that in international relations the genuine rule of law cannot be maintained and the observance of treaties can never be assured, because any state may interpret a treaty to serve its own interests, and at any time can renounce or ignore it. Nations cannot be forced to observe treaties except by the threat or the actual waging of war, and disarmament treaties are therefore self-defeating.
2.14. Other sovereign states are always regarded as potential enemies, except when security needs dictate that they should join in military alliances. The inevitable result is the formation of opposing blocks, perpetual international tensions, and periods of precarious peace at best in the face of perpetual militarism, arms races, trade in weapons, guerrilla movements in struggle with counter insurgency movements, numerous small wars and periodic large wars. This has been the pattern of modern history ever since the late eighteenth century and it persists to this day. There will never be global peace without authentic planetary democracy and the rule of law, maintained by a world government constituted on federal principles, with a legislature that can enact laws to protect its citizens, from the local to the global levels, laws that can be enforced on individuals (not sovereign states).
2.15. The planetary paradigm emerging from the scientific and philosophical revolutions of the twentieth century emphasizes the need to overcome the fractured and disparate social and personal individualism raging on our planet. This paradigm includes the new social theory that emphasizes the interdependence of the individual and the community, the science of ecology that emphasizes the interdependence of organisms with their environment, and relativity physics and quantum mechanics that see the universe as a unified whole, a series of “fields” within integrated fields. The universe is no longer understood as a collection of bodies coordinated by merely external relations, but as a series of wholes within wholes in which both whole and part are inseparable and mutually defining. Similarly, human beings must come to see their multifaceted individuality and diversity as emerging out of, and inseparable from, the unity of humankind living on our tiny planetary home. A new holism in which unity and diversity are understood to be inseparable is our only hope for a decent future for humanity.
2.16. At the planetary level today we have a chaos of economic, political, social and military forces in which the more than 185 autonomous units called “nation-states” vie with one another for resources, economic advantage, military superiority, or other forms of dominance. The result, during the life-time of the UN alone, has been approximately 150 wars, numerous armed rebellions, invasions, multitudes of refugees and displaced persons, horrible genocides, brutal economic blockades, continued militarization of the world, continued development of weapons of mass destruction, an increase in poverty and starvation worldwide, an unchecked population explosion and continued destruction of the planetary environment. At the planetary level there is no democracy, no legally enforceable legislation directed to the common good of humankind and no way to protect the human rights of all the Earth’s citizens. This condition continues to be a major cause of war, violence and injustice across the Earth. Without authentic planetary democracy and the rule of law in the form of a federation that empowers and protects citizens from the local to the planetary level, there will never be global peace.
III. A framework for lasting peace.
3.1. The emerging planetary paradigm. The scientific and social revolutions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries initiated an age that understood the world mechanistically, as bodies in motion, that looked at nature as inexhaustible and infinitely exploitable, and that emphasized individual rights of persons prior to and regardless of the social wholes to which they belonged. The new scientific and philosophical paradigm that has emerged in the twentieth century has shown the inseparability of parts and wholes in all dimensions of knowledge: in astrophysics and microphysics, in ecology and biology, in sociology, psychology and systems theory. The world cannot be understood mechanistically. Nature is not inexhaustible and infinitely exploitable. And persons are necessarily linked to the social wholes that form and sustain them. Today, it is being understood that unity in diversity is the fundamental organizing principle both of nature and society, and that we must move our thinking from its current fragmented, disparate, and atomistic mode to a holistic and integrative mode that alone will make possible genuine global peace with justice.
3.2. Citizen participation. Peace is a dynamic process. It is not a final condition descending from governmental authorities and institutions alone. Active citizen participation is necessary if the process of peace is to be realized and maintained. Citizens must recognize and challenge undemocratic institutions and practices, often at personal risk. Participation can be accomplished through a variety of nonviolent strategies such as attending public forums, voting, contributing money, signing petitions, protesting, disobeying unjust laws, ,writing articles and editorials, teaching, supporting and establishing alternative media etc. The creative thinking and critical questioning upon which the peace process depends requires a climate of democracy so that people can express dissenting and unpopular views, explore ideas, and respectfully challenge one another in the pursuit of truth. The democratization of global society both licenses and requires each citizen to take an active role as a fundamental part of his or her life.
3.3. Authentic democracy. The foundation of world peace is genuine democracy for all citizens of the planet. Democracy means the empowerment of citizens from the local level to the global level through a societal infrastructure providing education and other institutional mechanisms making possible participation of citizens in decision making and the realization of the common good.
3.3.a. A world democratic system must be a federal system that preserves enough local autonomy for citizens to effectively work on the local level for specific social, political and economic goals. Citizens must be able to struggle for justice and the redress of grievances on all levels from local to national to global. They must be able to pass local laws to address their specific concerns and issues within a larger democratic framework that ensures universal political, economic and social rights to all persons.
3.3.b. Fundamental to democracy is the principle of equitably legislated and justly enforced laws ttrough which individuals violating the law can be brought to fair and open trial and possible punishment. This is why at the international level no democracy exists. You cannot arrest an entire nation, a corporation, an organization or an ethnic group. You can only go to war against them. World peace cannot exist without enforceable world law over everyone, protecting not only human rights, but peace itself and the global environment.
3.3.c. Neither peace nor the integrity of human rights can be maintained through the brutal and barbaric mechanisms of economic blockades or threat of military action now used by the UN, NAT0, and some powerful nation-states, mechanisms that continue the war system and punish entire populations for the crimes of a few.
3.3.d. For this reason, the eventual establishment of global peace on the Earth will require a non-militnry democratic world govemment under a world constitution that sets forth universal democratic rights and protections and that defines citizens’ responsibilities to sustain democratic processes. Only such a government, constituted on federal principles, can protect the right to autonomy of member nations, ethnic groupings, and individuals, while giving power to the federal authority to legislate in the common interest of humanity, to protect the planetary environment and to impose democratically legislated law, without the excessive use of force, on every individual citizen of planet Earth.
3.4. Economic justice. The word ”economics” comes from a Greek root meaning both “household management” and “thrift.” Historically, the concept of “economy” has broadened from its initial domain of household and local management to planetary institutions but nevertheless retains the original sense that economics can be managed poorly or well, justly or unjustly. An equitable and just global economics must be one informed from the ground up by democratic participation and planning. It must involve workers and citizens in the process and goals of production as well as in the democratic regulation and oversight of production, from the local level to the planetary level. Production must not rely on the outdated myth of an “invisible hand” that will somehow miraculously promote the common good out of a chaos of individual and corporate greed and competition.
3.4.a. Economic development and production decisions must consciously engage the participation of every adult person who is able to work in the production of sufficient basic necessities to eliminate poverty, hunger, and deprivation worldwide. Economic development must also be consciously sustainable through a planning process that corsiders the welfare of all the citizens of the planet as well as that of future generations. Well organized democratic economic management from the local to the planetary level requires careful attention to the health of the environment and management of resources, to the welfare of workers and their families, to the impact of technological innovation, and to the impact on future generations. It requires a significant degree of socialiy responsible, democratically guided planning to minimize unanticipated damage to the planet and persons and to maximize economic benefits for all concerned.
3.4.b. Global peace requires nothing less than a new economic order that replaces blind competition, irrational greed and thoughtless accumulation with conscious understanding, careful reasoning, and intelligently organized economic action.
3.5. Human rights and responsibilities. A fundamental principle of this document is that global peace is our most basic human right and responsibility, encompassing all other rights and responsibilities. A human planetary community, under the rule of democratically legislated law, is a community affirming each person on Earth as inherently valuable. From this principle flows the right and responsibility to peace, to enjoy the fullness of life within a healthy natural environment without the necessity for military readiness, without weapons of mass destruction, and without institutionalized violence that elevates some above others through class, race, gender or some other means.
3.5.a Fully realized democracy and the rule of law are synonymous with global peace, as is the assurance of universal human rights and responsibilities, many of which are already set fourth in such documents as the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the proposed Constitution for the Federation of Earth. The inherent value of each person is expressed in an adequate description of human rights and responsibilities. As we have seen, this description has historically evolved from the idea that all human beings have political rights and responsibilities, such as freedom of speech, press, assembly, and rights to a fair trial, due process of law, and equal protection before the laws. It has progressed to an understanding that the inherent value of each person is also expressed in economic and social rights and responsibilities such as the right to a decent standard of living, social security for sickness or old age, decent education and health care and, finally, it has emerged in the understanding that every human being has the right to world peace, with all that this entails.
3.5.b. As unnecessary as it might seem to say, all persons have a right to eat and to the basic necessities of life, just as all persons also have the responsibility to see that everybody eats and has access to the basic political, economic and social necessities of life. This document expresses the planetary meaning of this evolution in the idea thal all human beings have the right and responsibility to global peace – which means genuine universal democracy with the just rule of law over all nations and peoples embracing political, economic and social rights and responsibilities. At the dawn of the third millennium, we bear an urgent responsibility to think holistically, in terms of the interrelationship of diversity with unity, and to embrace a carefully thought out planetary vision.
IV. Practical steps toward lasting peace. (This part is still pending.)
This section is to be completed and printed separately from contributions of the entire IPPNO membership. IPPNO members are urged to contribute specific information here in terms of their own work for peace, as well as life experiences in the struggle for peace with justice.
Please send your suggestions for Part IV, and/or responses to this document to:
Dr. Glen T. Martin, IPPNO President, 313 Seventh Ave., Radford, VA 24141, USA
1. Emphasize not only rights but responsibilities of all people and organizations.
2. Specify roles for governments, NGOs, other organizations and citizens.
3. Suggest concrete actions IPPNO members and others can take.
4. Include here the personal, existential dimension of the struggle for peace.
Note: Additional copies of this IPPNO Document onWorld Peace, Parts I-III, may be obtained through any of the IPPNO officers listed on page sixteen. A contribution to IPPNO is requested to offset postage and printing costs.
President: Prof. Glen T. Martin, Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Radford University, Radford, VA, 24142, USA
Executive Director: Prof. Howard Friedman (in memoriam)
Executive Secretary: Dr. Patricia A. Murphy, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA.
To join IPPNO: All concerned persons are welcome to join IPPNO and to participate in its activities. To join, please send name, address, affiliation, phone, email and/or fax with a check or money order in U.S. dollars to:
IPPNO, Prof. Mar Peter-Raoul, 45 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY, 13905-4510 firstname.lastname@example.org
IPPNO dues: $30 / year US currency. ($10 / year for students or for members from developing countries.) In the case of hardship or special circumstances, please contact the Treasurer. (IPPNO is a 501-C3 non- profit organization).
International Advisory Board:
Dr. Robert Muller (Honorary Member)
Prof. Paul Allen III
Prof. Alison Bailey
Prof. Carolyn Byerly
Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay
Dr. Richard Chessick
Prof. Thomas Daffern
Prof. William Gay
Ms. Dorothy Gibson
Prof. Robert Ginsberg
Prof. Ronald Glossop
Prof. Errol Harris
Prof. Michael Howard
Ms. Ruth Edna Johnson
Prof. Joseph Kunkel
Prof. Fernando Leal
Prof. Sally Luther
Prof. Patricia Murphy (Chairperson)
Prof. John Neumaier
Prof. Richard Perkins
Prof. Mar Peter-Raoul
Prof. Chhaya Rai
Prof. Ronald Santoni
Prof. John Troyer