GLOBAL UPDATE 1985
Macrobiotic Summer Camp
August 31, 1985
Aveline, Michio, co-citizens of planet earth, fellow members of an endangered species, dear brothers and sisters,
I am delighted once more to have the honor and pleasure to be with you and share this magnificent setting, this aura of well-being and happiness. I am also grateful that I have been allowed two precious hours of your time. It's both a challenge and a joy. A challenge because of the complexity of my subject and my intense desire to make it simple, appealing and impelling, and a joy because, as students, even disciples of Michio and Evaline Kushi, and therefore already committed to a lifestyle of harmony, you can understand and appreciate my commitment to world peace more than most, and, therefore, I feel a kinship with you which can only be further reaffirmed and reinforced.
Since I last stood on this podium, we have, of course, moved one year closer either to Armageddon or to the Millennium.
What does the global scoreboard tell us about progress in these two opposite directions?
In admittedly broad strokes, let's begin with the first. It is not an encouraging picture. First, no weapons were destroyed in the name of world peace. On the contrary, enough new weapons were produced during this year alone to wipe out our endangered species many times over. The United States now possesses over 13,000 nuclear weapons. President Reagan plans to spend $222 billion in the next six years to add 17,000 new nuclear weapons to the U.S. arsenal.
The Soviet Union today has over 9,000 nuclear weapons. The total megatonnage of explosive power available to both countries is about 16,000. The entire megatonnage dropped in World War II was 3.
Nations spent over $850 billion dollars this year on our collective destruction while millions starved, and needless to say, are still starving at the rate of 35,000 daily. Many of these are women and children.
National wars proliferated and forty are still being fought as I talk, involving 45 of the world's 164 nations. Five are conventional wars between nations and 35 are internal guerilla struggles and civil wars. Over 4 million national soldiers are directly engaged in combat while another 15 million are under arms. The U.S. is currently a major arms supplier to 20 of the nations at war.
Both the Soviet Union and the United States military commands are preparing for a preemptive nuclear strike against each other. I refer you to a recent book, The Button, by Adrian Ford, which fully details and buttresses this statement. Also, the Defense Monitor from which I derive most of my military facts. Each side is also preparing chemical and biological agents for use in an all-out war. The pretense of negotiations is exposed daily by charge and countercharge of both sides like schoolboys in a yard defying each other to cross that line. Industrialized nations compete with each other to sell the latest weapons to poverty-stricken nations which then allows them to fight each other or suppress their own citizens. If the '84 trends are continued, military arms delivered to Third World countries this year will surpass $30 billion.
The environment becomes increasingly polluted. The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is reaching deadly levels. The amount of plutonium now existent is enough to contaminate our very planet, not to mention all living species dependent on it, for more than 25,000 years. And every nuclear reactor produces more daily. Deserts are proliferating while forests are being cut down or destroyed by acid rain. Water shortages are critical and widespread.
Poverty is endemic throughout the world while a national economic system - or more accurately chaos - is on the verge of total collapse. South American countries owe billions of dollars to major U.S. banks which are on the border of bankruptcy themselves, lacking liquidity. National currencies are floating against each other only bouyed by public trust. Third World countries owe billions to a few industrialized nations and the International Monetary Fund. Even Communist countries owe billions to free enterprise countries and banks. The largest creditor nation, the United States, has over a trillion dollars of public debt with projections of annual $200 billion deficits for the coming years and a trade balance deficit this year alone of over $150 billion.
The United Nations remains totally impotent to cope with national or international war or human rights violations. The International Court of Justice is a mockery and smokescreen behind which nations continue the war game. But more about this Court later.
There is as yet no worldwide movement for law and order. No wholesale peace initiative that in any way matches the deadly momentum toward war. Children everywhere are having nightmares of that war and demand of us tearfully and angrily how we, their parents, can be so abysmally stupid as to allow human society to drift swiftly to annihilation. They feel and are betrayed.
The list of negatives is seemingly needless. Dictatorships abound. Minorities, such as in South Africa, oppressively rule majorities. People everywhere are fearful, threatened, intimidated and feel helpless. So-called leaders admit their impotence to cope with any major problems. Drugs and alcoholism is on the rise. The refugee population has grown to over 20,000,000.
A visitor from another planet might well judge our race to be made and worthy only of the trashheap of history and the cosmos.
But what does the world scoreboard reveal on the opposite side?
A fundamental insight was reinforced by the world public this year: that the dimensions of power of nuclear weapons erased the classical definition of war. TV and movies such as "The Day After" and documentaries on Hiroshima dn Nagasaki depicted the awful totality of nuclear explosions. Dynamic speakers such as Dr. Helen Caldicott and Carl Sagan focused the public mind on the horror of total war. We have been forced, often against our will and experience, to think in wholesale terms when considering nuclear weapons. The word, "holocaust," appears more and more frequently speaking of them. The word, "win," no longer applies to a nuclear exchange.
The first major reaction to the threat of nuclear holocaust was fear and revulsion without thinking through the real problem: how to eliminate war itself from the human community. This in turn led to the "Freeze Movement." But this proved short-lived with no positive political program to back it up. This year, the movement is all but dead. It also spawned rebellions against governmental authority itself in the name of this or that movement. It led to a resurgence in escapist fundamentalist religion whether Christian, Jewish, Moslem or exotic cults, all in the name of the same deity.
That none of these fear reactions denied or attacked the greatest cult of all, nationalism, but to the contrary, embraced it either tacitly or overtly as their primary power base, was damning testament to their partiality and, therefore, unconscious collusion with the anarchic war system of nation-states.
But nevertheless, the world public, linked by television satellites and flooded with a proliferation of data literally worldwide, was slowly--almost unconsciously crossing a vital threshold of awareness, the time-honored awareness of its essential oneness and dynamic connection with the earth and even the cosmos.
The famine in Africa gave rise to global media events by rock stars singing "We Are the World" while contributing millions to relief.
A major part of that new awareness came from the more active role many women began to play in the political process. A politics of relatedness or nurturing began slowly to infiltrate the male-oriented and dominated nationalistic we-and-they traditional attitudes.
Also bio or environmental politics, given form by the Green parties, groups such as Greenpeace, Save the Whales and others, began to play a role in political thinking.
Then space flights accompanied by dramatic pictures from space accelerated public awareness of the earth's wholeness and oneness. Exclusive and aggressive national policies appear increasingly myopic and foolish. And suicidal.
My general assessment would be that a momentous political quantum leap is about to take place in the public resulting in a global coalition of peace forces.
But what do I mean by "peace?"
In my talk last year, if you remember, I attempted to define the word, "peace," in a global context. I claimed that the principle behind all definitions of peace is the same you apply in your food choices: dynamic balance. You call it "dualistic monism."
I pointed out that in political terms, peace signifies the recognition of a common social environment between seeming opponents.
But even before this recognition, the key requirement for peace to result between two or more humans is first for each human to recognize fully his or her inalienable or natural ability and right to make a positive choice. This choice is the essence of sovereignty. All national constitutions refer to the "sovereignty" of the people. "The people" break down to you and me.
It follows that it is your choice and your choice alone as to whether you will have world peace or world Armageddon.
Have you made that conscious choice yet? Or have you yet to realize that you have that choice to make? I note in passing that not many who heard me last year, to my knowledge, made that choice according to my definition. I pointed out that the key word connoting the choice for social peace to eliminate social conflict was "citizenship." Think of it. Your world is about to blow up. Your WORLD! Not your country or nation. The humanity to which you belong, into which you have been born, is about to be exterminated. Have you declared your civic allegiance to it yet? Have you claimed your citizenship to your world community? Forget the relative differences. Forget nationalism, religion, parochialism, sex, parentage, color, origins. Forget divisions, frontiers, barriers, mental, emotional or physical. Your humanity is at stake! To save yourself, therefore, you must save humanity. There is no other choice available. That's what both nuclear and Space Age means.
Whether you realize it or not, you are already involved on a daily basis in a myriad ways with both humanity and the world community. I am not talking of the humanity which flows through us all. I am talking about meta-systems, to use a cybernetic word. Cybernetics, as you know, is the science of organization. I find it an extremely useful discipline in explaining both what our world lacks and what it needs.
Let us take a prosaic example. Have you ever considered the true significance of entering a post office and buying a stamp? for a few cents or dollars, you are furnished with a worldwide delivery system involving ocean-going boats, planes, carriers delivering to every city, village, hamlet and post office boxes literally everywhere. We must admit, it is an extraordinary bargain.
You are operating in a "meta-system."
A meta-system has two general characteristics. First, it recognizes a given community as such, that is, as a whole. Second, it recognizes each individual in that whole as a sovereign, that is, the sole decision-maker to use the system and be served by it. No votes, no political parties, no nations, no bureaucrats, no committees, no unions, just you and you alone.
Now the Universal Postal Union was founded in 1875 in the horse-and-buggy days. I daresay no one in this hall nor indeed in the rest of the United States, other than perhaps top postal officials, knows who the Secretary General of the UPU is or what his nationality is or how much money makes. Moreover, no one cares. Nor do we know or care where its headquarters is. These facts are simply irrelevant to our being served by it.
You see, the SG of the UPU is a global civil engineer and administrator. He does not rule; he serves the world public as does every employee of the system.
Another characteristic of a meta-system is that you are solely responsible for your use of or action within the system. The man who sells you the stamp or delivers your letter is not responsible for its contents. Again, you' re the sovereign.
Let's take another example. Everyone today uses the telephone. Another global meta-system. Punch a few buttons and you are talking to a friend in Hong Kong. You have bypassed all national frontiers, the KGB, the CIA and all the other spy systems, the national armies, politicians and bureaucrats. And you made the choice to call and what to say. Again, individual sovereignty.
The International Telecommunications Union was founded in Paris, 1865. Does anyone here know or care who its Secretary General is, or what his nationality or salary is? The question answers itself.
My third and last example of a meta-system is even more banal and self-evident. You are driving your car along a city street and come to a traffic light. As it is red, you stop. You agree to the restriction as do all your fellow drivers. A city is full of such restrictions, all regulated by commonly accepted laws. It is obviously to each driver's benefit as well as to the population as a whole that such laws exist and prevail.
Then you come to a ramp marked "I-95." You have the choice to go up the ramp or not, as you wish. If you do, however, you may drive for 3,000 or more and never encounter a traffic light. Another meta-system. Who does it belong to? Who made it? Who governs it? We are not really concerned so long as it is available to us individually and everybody together.
And just as the post office and the telephone, the interstate highway system services on a meta or wholesale level all the lower level communities, establishments and individuals.
But let's examine somewhat closer what actually happens when a meta-system is created. First of all, it verticalizes a particular service, that is, it goes outside of or beyond the local. It eliminates exclusivity. It establishes a general agreement or contract BETWEEN ALL USERS OF THE SERVICE. You do not perhaps realize that when you buy a stamp or post a letter that you are already in a tacit but nonetheless real contractual agreement with your fellow mailers throughout the world. For how else can the system work? The very act of entering the post office and seeking its service is a sovereign decision made by each and every individual in total agreement with each and every other individual engaging in the same common service.
But even more significant is the civic "cross fertilization" process taking place right under the noses of national politicians, frontier guards, spy systems and all the rest who maintain a rigid hierarchical oligarchy which predates and ironically POLITICALLY DENIES the very meta-systems being daily used by the citizens of the world.
In other words, you and I are already, in myriad ways and with utter self-confidence, acting as world citizens in our global village. Airplanes, television, international trade, now computer networking and numerous other examples of global meta-systems are presently available to one and all in the name of service, not power politics.
The last stereotype to be replaced by a global meta-system is the archaic and suicidal nation-state. This directly and intimately involves you and me. Here again is the real peace-making principle and process at work.
When I declared myself a world citizen in 1948, it was as if I turned onto a political ramp called "Inter-world 1," got to the top and there was nothing there. The political meta-system had not yet been built. And so I fell off, back into the "lower-level" political nation-state system. As I no longer fit into that system, I was harassed, persecuted and imprisoned. I was not alone.
Gradually over the years, as others went up the same political "ramp"--many falling back as I did--we, as sovereign individuals, began to build the political meta-system BECAUSE WE NEEDED IT. We eventually called it the World Government of World Citizens. The organizational linking instrument for that construction, or our global "City Hall," we called the World Service Authority. Today it operates ironically out of Washington, D.C.
Now I come to the crux of my talk here today. You are vitally important in the building of that new system. For without you, it has no reason to exist. Just as the post office, the telephone and the interstate highway system exist because you exist, so the global political meta-system depends on your existence alone and not on nations.
It works now and you may today avail yourself of it.
But without it, national leaders must consider not only each other potential enemies, but worse, identify you as potential enemies to our fellow humans beyond the stereotyped national frontiers. Given the anarchy between or lack of a global political meta-system "above" nations, they have no other choice. The arms race continues. Your national money goes into war-preparing and war-making. Reagan's "Star Wars"--as foolhardy and extravagant as it is--continues while Gorbachev slavishly follows suit, not because they are evil humans, not because the Pentagon and the Kremlin want to wipe each other and the rest of us knowing full well that nuclear is total, but because we, you and I, have not exercised our individual inalienable right first to claim the imperative need of a global political meta-system and second, actually to help build it with our sovereignty of choice.
It sounds too easy but believe me, it is as simple as changing gears in a car. As an exclusive national citizen, you are merely a subject, helpless in the grip of an anachronistic, deadly power unit. As a declared world citizen, you become once again the power broker, one of the sovereign people. I am the living proof of this truth.
The fear some of you may feel in considering that choice is artificially and insidiously created, carefully nurtured, and designed to perpetuate the stereotypical thinking and action. As Gene LaRoque writes in the Defense Monitor, Vol. XII, No. 1, "Nationalism remains the most powerful force in the international system."
The desire to survive and to have humanity itself survive must overcome that fear and dominate your choice.
I am here today not only as a world citizen of over 35 years standing and founder of the world government of world citizen but as a declared candidate for world president. This candidacy is also a vital part of the construction of our global meta-system. It implies both legitimate coordinating offices of he system and your active participation in choosing the officers. Just as you "vote" for the UPU every time you buy a stamp, and the ITU every time you dial an overseas number, so I am now asking for your political vote as willful and active world citizens, indeed citizens of our new government.
Your right to this global franchise is sanctioned implicitly by every national constitution which recognizes the people as sovereign. The U.S. Constitution in the Ninth Amendment even refers to rights retained by the people without spelling them out.
It is sanctioned as well by the General Assembly of the United Nations through Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This states that
"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Seventeen national constitutions refer to this Declaration as being the "law of the land."
And what is my platform? It is a world government of, by and for the people of the world. World peace through just and democratic law. The global legitimization of human rights and freedoms. An economy of abundance rather than scarcity, now totally feasible. The outlawry of war and gradual disarmament of all nations down to police level. Protection of our common environment. The human right to breathe pure air, drink pure water and eat food grown in healthy soil. Protection of ethnic minorities and cultures, languages and customs. Promotion of a common language as secondary to one's native tongue.
Institutionally, a Parliament of humankind, elected by universal franchise to enact world laws; an executive office for their administration, a judiciary for their legality, a world constabulary to enforce them and punish offenders.
A vote for a world president--which is your right--is a vote for world peace. The co-relation of voter and candidate is one of the major building blocks of any political system. It requires nothing more than the awareness of that sovereign choice of each individual to determine his or her own destiny.
I have a personal reason for seeking your world vote. As I stand here, I am not legally in any nation. In 1977, the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States refused me entry into the United States. It classified me as an "excludable alien." I petitioned the U.S. courts. They upheld the INS' decision that I be excluded from the country of my birth.
I then appealed to the Supreme Court. It also denied my petitions. You may find these petitions in my recently published book, WORLD GOVERNMENT, READY OR NOT!
Then on March 15th of this year, I petitioned the International Court of Justice at The Hague. This time, however, in conformity with international law, I based my appeal on the Nuremburg Decisions. After exposing as best I could the illegality of war itself and that the threat of nuclear weapons is to threaten humanity with genocide, I cited both Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev as war criminals under the Nuremberg Principles.
On July 22 last, the Registrar of the Court, Mr. Bernandez, informed me that my petition has been rejected. The reason? In his words "...neither the court nor its Members may consider applications from private individuals or groups, provide them with legal advice, or assist them in their relations with the authorities of any country."
In rejecting my petition, it reveals its total impotence to address juridically the primordial question facing the individual as well as humanity, that is, the surcease from war between nations. In other words, it exposes its pretense of being the legal arbiter between aggressive and/or warring sovereign states. Also, the World Court has effectively repudiated its allegiance to that part of international law which is defined by the Nuremberg Principles.
The individual thus finds himself in a legal vacuum in a matter involving his very survival.
In other words, if you have a grievance against a state, say that it is threatening you with nuclear war, you cannot ask the highest Court on our planet for a redress of grievances. And yet the Nazis and the Japanese war generals were indicted, convicted and condemned personally for war crimes and crimes against peace defined by the Nuremburg Principles.
Just where does that leave us legally? Even though war has been declared illegal by Nuremberg, the very Court that seemingly would have jurisdiction against the criminals of war cannot even entertain a petition citing them as such. And yet the fifteen sitting judges of the Court take an oath of office to adjudicate so-called international law for a term of nine years.
They are amply remunerated out of taxpayers' funds.
We must ask what is the definition of fraud?
Are they not then fraudulently collecting their salaries? If only the criminals, that is, the states themselves have access to their Court, are not these fifteen judges merely acting as a judicial smokescreen behind which the criminals ply their deadly trade? And against whom? Against us, the world's people?
The irony is underlined when on May 22, 1985, I received a letter from a United Nations Special Assistant of the Under Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs who informed me, in his words, that "we have taken note of your considerable initiative with the International Court of Justice, and we hope that you will keep us informed of any ruling which might be forthcoming from them."
Apparently, the United Nations Disarmament Affairs office is as frustrated with its own Court as I am!
Now where does that leave me? And you? For Mr. Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev are pointing the nuclear gun at you too.
Since there is obviously no existent legal remedy or Court to which we can appeal to resolve the most pressing problem ever faced by our human race: world war and since President Reagan calls himself a "citizen of the world," and no doubt Mikhail Gorbachev considers himself one too, as their fellow world citizen, all bound together by the same international law of Nuremberg, in the absence of any other judicial remedy, I am preparing to make a "world citizen arrest" myself of these two war criminals. How and when and by whom this can be done is presently under study.
In conclusion, it is self-evident that if we want to be saved, we must save ourselves. This requires bold thinking and bold action some of which I have outlined today. It is our world and our humanity. We must assume a new legality, a global legitimacy which can deal finally with the question of war. And it is our moral and legal right and duty to do so. The tools are at hand; the need is categorically imperative. The global political meta-system is each individual's responsibility.
It is embryonically operating here and now.
The rest is up to you.
I am open to your questions.