HOW TO LEGITIMIZE HUMANITY
10 March 1987
INTERNATIONAL LAW SOCIETY
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
I am delighted to be here. It is an honor and a pleasure, though I have to add, somewhat ironic. For, as a stateless World Citizen, my personal experience with so-called international law has been less than satisfactory. I say "so-called" because international law by definition is an adjunct and derivative of national law and not a body of law in and of itself. There exists no international legislative, executive, judicial or enforcement body operating independently of the nation-state system having "international Law" as its basis of jurisdiction. With due respect, the term "international law," it would seem, is therefore a non-sequitur.
Alvin Toffler, in his seminal book, The Third Wave, is even more critical. He writes:
"All the political parties in the industrial world, all our congresses, parliaments an supreme soviets, our presidencies and prime ministerships, our courts, and our regulatory agencies and our layer upon geographical layer of governmental bureaucracy - in short, all the tools we use to make and enforce collective decisions - are obsolete and about to be transformed. A third wave civilization cannot operate with a second wave political structure."
He concludes that:
"Just as the revolutionaries who created the industrial age could not govern the leftover apparatus of feudalism, so today we are faced once more with the need to invent new political tools."
As I see it your dilemma as international law students, is that the subject itself derives from erroneous or even fraudulent premises: the so-called legitimacy of the nation-state system itself. The real question facing you as law students, it seems to me, is not whether international law is or is not dependent on national law, but whether the national system is relevant to human survival in our nuclear age.
Given this frontal attack on your doorstep, as it were, I am also keenly aware that it may be presumptuous on my part to claim any expertise on the subject of law itself. Having no standing in the legal profession, no law degree, no formal legal training, I can invoke no professional authority here. But contrarily, with no official reputation to defend, I have nothing to lose by speaking the plain truth about law as I know and experience it. I take comfort that Tom Paine could claim no university pedigree either, nor any of the prophets, nor indeed George Washington, your first president.
MY "CRIMINAL" EXPERIENCE
I do have some practical experience with criminal law having appeared a as a defendant in twenty-two court cases in six countries since 1948. I have been incarcerated 32 in sixteen countries since i began my crusade for world peace in 1948. My "crime" in most of these actions was either possessing no identity papers or false ones. So I am what you might call a "jailhouse" lawyer. I have also prepared several briefs. One, a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in August, 1981, then a petition for rehearing to the high court on December 22 of the same year - both denied - and finally a petition to the International Court of Justice at the Hague in March, 1985 wherein I cited President Reagan and First Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev as war criminals under the Nuremberg Decisions. this too was denied. These briefs are available in booklet form.
So what precisely am I doing here, you may well ask. The theme I want to talk about drives, you might say, from the "fourth" dimension of law: the flipside of the coin of revelation, that is, a holistic legitimate acceptance of the world of nature on our planet and its dominant species, humankind, as such. A striking symbol of that global mindset appeared on February 23 when we humans observed a supernova which exploded 170,00 years ago.
Though our subject this evening is virtually limitless, our time is not. I can, therefore, only bare the outline of our theme in the hope that it provokes discussion and further inquiry on your part.
In the next hour or so I will attempt to advance three major propositions:
1. The nation-state system is not only anachronistic and fictional but inherently illegal.
2. The human race as a whole and the world of nature are inherently legitimate.
3. World law and government, both natural and positive, are already operative.
MY PERSONAL LEGAL POSITION
First I must define my personal legal position here before you as it is relevant to my three propositions. It has two sides: national and global.
First the national: in 1948 I legally expatriated myself from the United States according to the Nationality Act of 1940; therefore, as of 25 May 1948 vis-a-vis all nations and the historical and legal system itself I became "stateless." I add in parenthesis, that in so doing I allied myself directly and dynamically with humanity itself which is also stateless.
THE RIGHT OF EXPATRIATION
Mind you, expatriation since 1868, has been deemed an inalienable right by U.S. law. The Act of Congress of 27 July 1868 proclaimed:
"...the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...any declaration, instruction, opinion, order or decision of any officers of this government which denies, restrict, impairs or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declare inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government."
What the Fortieth Congress was affirming here - or tacitly reaffirming - was not only the inalienable right of the individual to renounce his national status but equally to choose his own political allegiance.
THE STATE LEGALLY CONDONES LAWLESSNESS
By renouncing nationality, I was exercising personal sovereignty in choosing not to continue in the nation-state system itself. I was permitted legally by the state itself to deny its sovereign character. As the aforementioned Act of Congress pointed out, if expatriation is indispensable to the enjoyment of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," as the Act claimed and if the founding of the United States was to protect those very same rights, then by what legal means were they to be protected for the expatriate? We will come to the obvious answer to this basic question in a moment.
Did not this denial of exclusive state sovereignty and affirmation of personal sovereignty emulate the history of the founding fathers in 1787 who opted out of exclusive allegiance to their particular states in founding the higher allegiance to the United States they then created?
In other words, does not the exercise of personal sovereignty precede and provide the founding element of the new aggregate social contract we call government?
This is no new revelation. The Haudenosaunee, or the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy, was perhaps the oldest government in the western hemisphere if not in the world to incorporate the principle of individual sovereignty as indispensable to free government. Its great sage and peacemaker, Hiawatha was undoubtedly the first political general systems scientist since he rejected a hierarchical structure - which dominated the tribal government - for an organic feedback system where each tribal member had input to the governing system.
MY LEGAL STANDING IN THE U.S.
What then is my present legal standing in the United States? The legal position of the United States government today in my regard is that I am inadmissible to its constitutional jurisdiction. In 1977, when I returned from a trip abroad, the Immigration and Naturalization Service classified me an "excludable alien." This classification was subsequently upheld by the First District Court, the District Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
So where do I reside legally? The answer is to be found in Ling Yee Suey v. Spar, 1945, in which the court determined that
"A person brought into the United States by the authorities and then released on bond is considered as having never entered the United States and as being in a position analogous to one who stopped at the border and kept there."
According to the U.S. Code therefore, though not "brought into the United States by the authorities" and not "released on bond," I am legally residing on the frontier line separating the United States of America from the rest of the world. Strangely enough, this unique legal position has been forced on most nations by the expanding refugee and stateless persons population. Literally millions of individuals throughout the world - mainly victims of international wars - have been forced in the same anomalous legal position. Many are in detention or in despicable refugee camps.
I said my legal position has two sides; the other side is global. De facto or actual citizenship is obviously the beginning of government, the seminal political identity from which government evolves. In national constitutions, it is described as the "sovereignty of the people."
At the time of my renunciation of nationality I declared myself a world citizen. That was my inalienable right to choose my own political allegiance. Many others since, in the hundreds of thousands, have claimed world citizenship. In 1953, therefore, on September 4 from the City Hall of Ellsworth, Maine I declared a government to administer to this global constituency: the World Government of World Citizens.
This declaration of overt world government, however, was essentially the legitimate recognition of the natural and spiritual "world government" already operating on planet earth to which all humans as every other species are already bound.
So I stand before you, not legally in the United States, confined by U.S. law to a territory defined as the "frontier" by all nations, as a sovereign World Citizen represented by a sovereign government of declared World Citizens.
Why the Nation is Illegal
From the holistic perspective, the nation-state is dependent for its exclusive legal existence on a condition of world anarchy. But that very condition in turn is the breeding-ground of international war. The very evolution of the nation-state itself was designed to eliminate the condition of anarchy among lesser socio-political units. Thus, like the lizard which stings itself to death entrapped in a circle of fire, the nation-state system contains the seeds of its own destruction.
Indeed, if war is the driving social and political force of all nation-states - and no serious student of political science can doubt this proposition - then not only its leaders but the system itself is guilty of international crimes defined by the Nuremberg Principles.
Moreover, given the genocidal character of nuclear weapons, the leaders of the nation-states which possess them are indictable under articles II, III and IV of the Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Unfortunately, however, omnicide cannot be tried after the fact.
My first proposition that the nation-state is illegal may now be viewed in the light of its legal inability to protect its citizenry from inter-national war, the antithesis of law and order.
In brief, the concept of citizenship connotes just law protecting basic human rights, the principal one being the right to live. The concept of nation connotes an exclusive political fiction existing in a lawless or anarchic world community where conflict is the driving political and social force.
In other words, "national" and "citizenship" have become mutually exclusive in todayís world where war has been replaced by holocaust, the annihilation of human society itself.
The Fictional Nation-State Contract
When the Founding Fathers contracted with each other and individuals of thirteen states to form a "more perfect union," it was to protect inalienable rights "Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness," etc.
But that new social contract was made in the political vacuum "beyond" the legitimacy of the separate and then sovereign states. The Articles of Confederation had to be rejected to create the political "vacuum" into which the Constitution could be placed.
Now, almost 200 years later, after four major world revolutions: technological, electronic, nuclear and spatial, the national contract has turned into a collective suicide pact. Not only national but world society is being held hostage by its inherent contradictions:
1. "National security" has become a euphemism for war.
2. War dominates society to the detriment of the "common welfare."
3. Environmental pollution and degradation are built-in to a system breakdown.
4. When state "security" dominates governmental programs, violence becomes endemic internally and externally. Society literally goes mad, Presidents become open criminals, liars, dualistic, threatening all life. Business, unions, workers collude with violent-oriented commerce. TV, movies, media condone violence daily. Family, communal (tribal) regional groups are subject to moral and social disintegration.
5. Illegal usurpation of planetary space for national aggression.
As for the final point, national law, contracting between national citizens, obviously cannot extend beyond limits determined by its constitution. The very exclusivity of the nation precludes its claim to space "ownership" which is inclusive. In other words, national limits cannot , by definition, encompass spacial limitlessness. Thus exclusive national law cannot define the inclusive legitimacy of space.
Space is common to all humans on planet earth. Just as oceans are the "common heritage" of humanity, so obviously is space.
Just as only a World Citizen government can define the legitimate parameters of the world territory for all humanity, so only it can represent space surrounding humanityís home planet.
Statelessness: The Key To World Peace
If you view the world only from your national citizenship allegiance, then a world government appears a chimera or utopian. It depends on nations "giving up" sovereignty. Worse, it renders you, the human concerned, impotent.
But letís examine more closely this modern social phenomenon called "statelessness." For, if indeed the nation-state as a war-making institution is thereby anachronistic, then perhaps statelessness is the breakthrough to a peaceful world.
I have already said that the US Congress in 1868 in July 28, established expatriation as an inalienable human right. By so doing, inadvertently perhaps, statelessness acquired a legal status according to US law, the national law permitted and permits what appears to be lawlessness or a condition where positive law is absent. A national or state citizen choosing expatriation by definition enters a state of natural law with his or her fellow humans.
In 1963, a Convention on Statelessness, formulated by nations through the UN, defined the rights of stateless persons, Ironically, this was a confirmation by supposedly sovereign nations of the legal status of statelessness. Implicit in that recognition is again both the sovereign character of the individual and the limitation of sovereignty of the nation-state. For if a stateless person can enjoy a legitimacy "outside" the civic constitutional jurisdiction of the nation, then that legitimacy is of a sovereign character recognized by the so-called sovereign state.
Moreover, according to its provisions, the stateless Convention cannot apply to anyone having committed "international crimes" defined by "international instruments," i.e., Nuremberg. And since Nuremberg is part of international law, a stateless person therefore has been considered an "international" citizen by the states themselves.
The Frontier Line Between States Is Legitimate Territory
All states are today obliged to deal legally with this growing world population of stateless persons while still denying them access to civic constitutional jurisdiction. but where are they placed legally> Thatís right, on the line dividing them!
Then what are the underlying legal implications of this decision? First, national law is admitting that a "border" legally exists. That seems self-evident yet the implications are profound. Because what is not self-evident is that, by definition, that border is not part of the national jurisdiction. That is, in order to serve its function as a neutral dividing-line, it must be independent of the nation.
Second, if the nation has no jurisdiction on a border line, yet an individual can be confined there by national law, is not that law recognizing a legitimate "territory" outside its constitutional framework?
Thirdly, what is the law governing this neutral territory? And since it already has a population, what is its government?
Lastly, does not the nation depend for its very exclusive sovereign character on that neutral frontier line separating it from other equally sovereign states?
Ironically, therefore the frontier "line"" has become the particular legal territory or "land" created by states for individuals "outside" the state jurisdiction. This extra-territorial "land" which divides all nations from each other, has become implicitly their "country."
If a state has an ocean as border, that "land" merges with the ocean itself, a "common heritage of humanity."
Furthermore, the legality of the dividing line or "frontier" is per se sanctioned implicitly by all states since their sovereign legitimacy depends on its existence.
But whereas each states claims sovereignty , the sovereignty of the dividing-line is universal, that is, single and worldwide covering the planetary community. It is not only actual but legal world territory. Furthermore, it could be argued that as it encompasses the oceans as well, it is the largest "country."
The subject of national frontiers can be expanded almost as infinitum. For instance, though they delimit the nationís sovereignty, they are crossed continually. Humans, commerce, micro-waves, voices, birds, cows, cockroaches, airplanes, etc. National frontiers are defended, fought over, killed over. They are continually changed but never foregone. They become sacred, almost divine, separating the godly from the ungodly. Space and space travel, of course, reveals all national frontiers as false, arbitrary, and in terms of human need and now survival, illegitimate.
Take them away - as the Haudenosaunis did between the warring six tribes, the Mohawks, Senecas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas and Tuscaroras - and the world becomes one country....which in natural fact, it is!
It could be said that the national frontiers represent the entire surface of the planet which is actual world territory. The essential lesson then to be drawn from the events of 1787 in Philadelphia is that the political dividing-lines between the several states were removed by the United States Constitution.
I hope you are beginning to perceive the fictional character of the nation-state system itself, dependent on physical dividing-lines which are at once independent, planet-wide and legitimate in their own right.
What Constitute a "People"
That leads us to another aspect of so-called international law. What legally determines a "people?" The General Assembly of the UN (Res. 2625, 1970) defines the form which self-determination may take:
"The establishment of a sovereign and independent state, the free association with an independent state or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination of that people." (Emphasis added).
In other words, a "people" determines itself legally.
Having no national status yet possessing the inalienable right of free choice as to political allegiance, certain stateless persons and "refugees" residing as the legitimate "land" between states have "freely determined" themselves a "people" called "World Citizens."
This self-determining "people" have pledged their allegiance to a declared government of their own choice, the World Government of World Citizens.
This sovereign government functions independently and "outside"
of the nation=state framework. Yet, due to its functional "world land," without which states could exist, it claims a superseding sovereignty over the nation-state by virtue of its global interdependence. So-called "foreign policies" of states vis-a-vis each other encroach upon and violate the sovereign character and unity of the World Governmentís "territory."
The Contractual Right
For you to accept the legitimacy of this new global government, we have to examine the precise elements by which governments come into being.
First, the right to make a contract is the seminal right enjoyed by all members of a given community.
The social contract is implicit in that right.
But that right is in turn dependent on the sovereign character of the individual within the social framework of a given community.
The question of sovereignty for a person living alone on a desert island obviously does not arise for there is no make to make a contract with.
The sovereign right arises with two or more individuals in the same social context.
The fact of two in a singles social framework implies an exercise of sovereignty by both. Each must choose whether and how to live together or apart.
The aggregate decisions form a social matrix. The community itself then becomes sovereign along with the individuals comprising it.
As individuals are born or enter the social matrix, they contract not only with each and every other citizen but with the group itself as a whole. The relationship is known as :dualism monism: or the principle of dynamic balance. The geodialectical formula is "One for all and all for one."
This is called "government."
"Citizen" Is Code Word For Social Contract
Of course the code word for the social contract is "citizen," It implies the sovereign power of individual decision-making whether local, regional, national or global.
When two or more stateless persons, in recognizing their inalienable right to civic and political choice, contract socially to act peaceably toward each other, such a contract is legitimate within the legal code.
The contract, however, is global in concept and actuality. For it is both legally and operationally "outside" the national framework. It has a "meta" or independent sovereign character of its own.
The World Civic Contract
Besides the natural or biological "contracts" which link us dynamically one to another, "meta" or worldly contracts already tacitly exist between literally all members of the human race:
1. Postal service;
2, Telecommunication service;
3. Highway codes;
4. Common criminal codes;
5. International Travel by air codes, etc.
Human Rights Are Legitimate
I have talked about the legitimacy of the sovereign choice of the individual to make a social contract.
But what about the legitimacy of human rights themselves?
It is almost a banality to state that the exercise of the human right of political/social choice has resulted in many present-day governments.
Indeed, the Declaration of Independence reveals precisely how the inalienable rights of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness..." among others are to be protected:
"...That to secure these Rights, Government are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
The term "human rights"implies, however, transnational or global boundaries. Humanity is not limited by national frontiers.
But if human rights are legitimate per se, then their protection by law is as legitimate. This is confirmed in the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human rights:
"Whereas is is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by a regime of law..."
Then the exercise of the same human right of political/social choice by certain individuals who are by legal definition "outside" the nation of a world citizenship is as legitimate if not more so.
Here the global civic contract between sovereign individuals becomes the seminal act of legitimate protection of fundamental human rights.
Is Humanity Legitimate
If we accept that the individual right to live is legitimate, then the legitimate right of humanity itself to live cannot be questioned. For if humanity is destroyed, then each human being has been denied that basic right.
Furthermore, every national constitution refers to the "sovereignty of the people" as its very mandate for government.
"The People" as a whole is simple the human species itself.
That our species is dynamically linked to the whole of nature goes without saying.
We can then claim categorically that Nature itself is "legitimate," in that natural laws are immutable and already "enacted" by their Creator.
Any violations of these laws are "crimes" against humanity and each and all humans.
World Government Is Operational
I have already mentioned in recounting my personal history that a world government was declared September 4, 1953 from the City Hall of Ellsworth, Maine.
While it represents humanity as such, it also services individuals who seek the overt identity of world citizenship in their particular social and political environment. It has registered over 250,000 individuals throughout the world as its citizens. Half of this new constituency are refugees and stateless persons like me.
Time does not permit me to detail all its various programs and plans. My book World Government, Ready Or Not! contains both its philosophy and down-to-earth operations.
World-Class Leaders Needed
In their 1977 message to the world, "Basic Call To Consciousness," delivered in Geneva at the Palais des Nations, the Elders of the Haudenosaunee wrote that:
"The people who are living on this planet need to break with the narrow concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as something which needs to be extended to the whole of the Natural World."
"Spiritualism is the highest form of political consciousness."
You who are about to inherit the power reins of our desperate world need to think profoundly on your responsibilities to human survival in the nuclear age.
General Douglas MacArthur asked in 1955,
"When will some great figure in power have sufficient imagination and moral courage to translate this universal wish for peace - which is rapidly becoming a necessity - into actuality? It is the leaders who are the laggards. The disease of power seems to confuse and bewilder them. Never do they dare to state the bald truth that the next great advance in the evolution of civilization cannot take place until war is abolished."
The Rev. Henry Ward Beecher once claimed that "The worst thing in this world, next to an anarchy, is government."
If true, then world government, however expedient, is better than world anarchy. Moreover, with a crisis of total proportions facing us, a governed world is no longer a utopia but an imperative necessity.
World-class problems require world-class solutions. And only world-class leaders know that world law is the key to human survival.
And the revelation of our century unlike all previous centuries is that world law is already manifest in you as it is in humankind itself.