DREAMING THE NEW GEO-POLITICAL DREAM
Sun Valley Symposium
Sun Valley, Idaho
November 1, 1987
My Fellow Earthians, Brothers and Sisters of our Human Family -
I am grateful for the opportunity to address this important group and to share this podium with an extraordinary array of distinguished world citizens.
In looking into my speaker's lifetime library to find out if October 30th had any historical significance, I discovered that forty-nine years ago today, millions of American had tuned their radio only to hear the dreadful news of an invasion of earth from Mars. There was literally panic in the Streets. Though President Roosevelt probably didn't call Stalin to find out how many tanks "Uncle Joe" had to help repel the alien attack, many thought he should have. But it turned out to be only Orson Welles doing his weekly thing.
I even read that when Reagan met with Gorbachev at Reykjavik, the U.S. President mentioned somewhat wistfully how an attack from outer space would immediately dissolve Soviet and U.S. differences in our defense against a common enemy. The story didn't reveal the Soviet General Secretary's reply. Maybe Reagan's somewhat broad hint suffered in the translation.
The theme, of course, is not new. As an avid science fiction buff, I have been dealing with earth invasion from space monsters ever since I can remember. Pretty stale stuff. Why even in "The Journey Home," Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty and the rest of the Enterprise crew you will recall had to return to the 20th century from the future to save earth from that monster steel whale looking for its ancient water cousin.
Judging from our human history of wars in the past 49 years, a real invasion from Mars or outer space in 1938 at least would have saved the human race a lot of homegrown misery.
So I had the strange thought that maybe we here during this symposium can insist to our national leaders and a skeptical public that we are the invaders from outer space not to destroy the human race but to pull it together before it blows itself apart.
Or better yet, maybe we, who have already accepted the oneness of the world and our place in it as world citizens, can take the lead ourselves.
This was my idea when, on May 25, 1948, I renounced my national citizenship at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and declared myself a world citizen.
You see, I was concerned with my personal part in world saving back in the immediate aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I had just finished a bit of killing myself in the cockpit of a B-17 flying over Europe, oh not with those brand new atom bombs which my buddies had in their B-29s in Okinawa. But just little old incendiary bombs; if you had enough of them - and we did - you could do a fairly decent job on a city. Just ask the survivors of Hannover, Berlin, Dresden, Coventry or Tokyo.
What really troubled me after the war was that no one seemed to know how to stop the whole shooting match altogether. Because, what with the new bombs, I figured war itself had become obsolete. But the game only got bigger. And deadlier. Now it was my nation against the USSR. Or so people said. But I had the crazy feeling it was all the nations put together against humanity...and of course against me. President Eisenhower warned us in the '50s against the "military-industrial complex." To me that complex was pervasive, worldwide, and built in solidly to the nation-state system itself. In his seminal book, The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler condemned the "Second Wave" or national politics as being an anachronism in the 20th century:
"As nations are torn apart and restructured, as instabilities and threats of war erupt, we shall be called upon to invent wholly new political forms or 'containers' to bring a semblance of order to the world - a world in which the nation-state has become, for many purposes, a dangerous anachronism.""
Einstein, at the outset of the nuclear age, had already warned us that:
"Everything has changed except our way of thinking."
While, according to Stafford Beer, the revered general systems cyberneticist,
"Man is a prisoner of his own way of thinking and his own stereotype of himself. His machine for thinking, the brain, has been programmed to deal with a vanished world."
(Platform for Change, John Wiley & Sons, 1975)
So I was desperate for action, action that would confront that system directly. But nobody I talked to or read about had the foggiest notion about how the individual could help make world peace.
The problem was in the word "world." When you put that in front of "peace," a psych-out seemed to occur in the brain. I soon discovered why. People just didn't think of themselves politically in a global sense. They could telephone to Aunt Lizzie in Hong Kong, watch the 7 o'clock world news every night and post a letter to POB 140 in Timbucktoo, even admire the moons of Saturn on the front page of the New York Times, but to act out world citizenship as an antidote to exclusive nationalism was a no-no.
Emery Reves in Anatomy of Peace bluntly explained that we think "nation-centrically" rather than "globally." As to the causes of war, he had written that:
"Wars between groups of men forming social units always take place when these units - tribes, dynasties, churches, cities, nations - exercise unrestricted sovereign power. Wars between these social units cease the moment sovereign power is transferred from them to a larger or higher unit."
In other words, he advocated world government as the single and unique solution to wars between nations. Then he made the startling observation that
"There is no first step to world government; world government is the first step."
Here was the crushing response to all incrementalists.
It was that transfer of sovereign power that intrigued me. Judging from the United Nations setup, the nations themselves didn't seem capable of doing it. National sovereignty, especially among the super powers, had to be maintained at all costs. So the U.N. was designed deliberately for nations to retain their sovereign power. What was left? As ludicrous as it may sound, I figured that the MAKING of world peace through world government had to be the business only of the already sovereign individual. You...and me.
And so, I took what little sovereignty I possessed as a human being, legally divorced myself from the war-making institution, the nation-state, and invested it in a new allegiance: world citizenship.
Then the fun began. It's a long, sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious but always revealing story of one man's odyssey against the establishment. This is not the forum to tell it. Suffice it to say, I found myself continually outside the state looking in as it were. And without what the national bureaucrats called a "valid" passport, that criminal omission led to a lot of accommodations in national prisons, thirty-four to be exact.
I also discovered I wasn't alone in my advocacy of world citizenship. There were millions who, being in the same predicament, especially the stateless, were of the same mind. So we set up a registry of world citizens in 1949 and started counting heads. When we got to 750,000, in order merely to defend our new global status, we had to create a new government based on our fundamental human rights. Happily, these had already been identified in a universal declaration by a special commission of the moribund United Nations and proclaimed on December 10, 1948. One of them - article 28 - even mandated a world "order" so that "the rights enumerated in this Declaration can be fully realized." We were on pretty solid "official" ground.
Our world governmental declaration took place on September 4, 1954, from the City Hall of Ellsworth, Maine. You'll find that declaration and full information on this unique and historic development in our material available here at the symposium.
Personal world-saving was still my idea when, on January 19th of this year, at Middlebury College, Vermont, I announced my candidacy as a world citizen for United States President.
Because, you see, in between the establishment of the World Citizen Registry in 1949 and the announcement of my candidacy for the Presidency in 1987, a span of almost forty years, the world of nation-states has fought 75 wars, 44 of which are going on as I talk, spent over $3 trillion on armaments, killed over 20 million individuals, mostly civilians, made untold millions homeless and refugeed, stockpiled enough nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to wipe out life on earth many times over, polluted the atmosphere, the oceans, the soil with toxic wastes and radioactive poisons, and generally sustained an aura of fear, threat, tension and stress virtually everywhere resulting in societal ills of all kinds, the most insidious being alchoholism and drug use.
In short, our world peace efforts during this time have seemingly come to nought. The crises are still with us and greater than ever.
What in the world is wrong?
Unfortunately, the "vanished world" that Beer wrote about, the "second wave" politics which Toffler condemned, the "nation-centric" thinking that Emery Reves exposed, the "military-industrial complex" that Eisenhower warned us about, still holds sway over our political minds and emotions. It is the carry-over 18th century horse-and-buggy institution which still dominates the 20th century - the nation-state.
The question immediately comes to mind then, why in the world should a world citizen become a candidate for a national presidency? The answer is quite simple: a national president almost by definition can precipitate a world war, but he can't make world peace. A world citizen in the White House can at least help prevent a world war while setting in motion the structural conditions for world peace. My program spells this out in outline.
In sum, WORLD peace is obviously the result of world law and its institutions. This is a self-evident truth, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to protect inalienable human rights, you remember the rest..."governments are created among men with the consent of the governed."
Our founding fathers had to create a new civic allegiance beyond that of their individual states in order to make peace between them after the Revolutionary War. "Novus Ordo Seclorum," a new order of the ages. We are the fortunate inheritors of that process, and that mandate.
In historical fact, the Haudanosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy was the role model for that union although some essential principles were unhappily left out of the U.S. Constitution such as the choice of the governors only by the women and the protection of the community unto the seventh generation. The recognition of this first principle would doubtless have eliminated the warriors from presidential races whereas the last commonsense principle would have related the American citizens dynamically and intimately with protection of the environment. It would also have recognized the native Americans as brothers and sisters in humankind.
My candidacy for U.S. President as an activist world citizen then is meant to expose the nation-state for what it is: a surrogate system totally out of sync with the real-time world of the 20th century and, therefore, dangerous to the point of being a threat to human survival itself.
Today's economic headlines are bringing the point dramatically home. As the world's stock markets piggy-back on one another's plunge or ascent as the earth turns, all intertwined by satellite communication, commentators in some awe reach the banal conclusion that the economy is already global. But still the money system is hopelessly national. So dollars follow yen follow pounds follow deutschmarks follow francs follow dollars ad nauseam. Neither national economists nor politicians can envisage much less create a single global currency desperately needed to stabilize the global market.
So I stand here before you in two guises. One is as the world coordinator of a new government declared on September 4, 1953, based on fundamental human rights, and the second as a declared candidate for the highest national political office.
Let's talk for a moment about that upcoming presidential election. If Toffler, Einstein, Beer, Reves and a whole host of others are right that the nation-state is obsolete, why all the fuss about who is national president? Isn't a presidential election in reality a farce? An Alice-in-Wonderland politics? Wall Street is now crying for "leadership" from the White House. but what if the White House is literally empty of leadership? That no such commodity exists anymore on the national scale? Certainly the recent Iran-Contra debacle revealed once and for all that the emperor has no clothes. And if the last presidential election is any indication, only about half of us will even bother to vote anyway. The 49 percent of the U.S. electorate not voting in the last presidential election was in many instances a blanket vote AGAINST THE SYSTEM ITSELF. They were agreeing with Senator Charles McMathias, who, after four terms in the U.S. Senate, claimed that "the system doesn't work." No vote is in large part a protest vote. It says that the power of the president is no longer relevant to the voter's problems. And they are right.
Well, if you accept the system as real, just and representative, we independent or even small party candidates haven't a prayer. But suppose you are aware as I am that THE ENTIRE SYSTEM IS UNREAL, surrogate, a "vanished world" trying to manage a society gone global, a society saddled with an obsolete decision-making apparatus okay for the horse-and-buggy world, but totally inadequate to cope with a technological/electronic/nuclear/space age world of almost limitless data, then given this perspective, my global candidacy begins to make some sense.
What it means in political terms is that since the entire system is unable to represent the major issues facing us, the citizen voters, the principle one being war itself, we must elect someone WHO HAS ALREADY TRANSCENDED THE SYSTEM. And one with a track record of helping create and operate a new system based on global unity.
If you have followed me to this point, consider for a moment the present economic disasters in Wall Street, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London and other stock markets throughout the world, the global arms budget while millions starve, the situation in the Gulf, in Afghanistan, the nuclear proliferation in Pakistan, India, South Africa, Israel, and China, the carbon dioxide infiltration of our common atmosphere with the "greenhouse effect" threatening the warming of the polar caps, the ozone layer retreat threatening skin cancers worldwide, the deliberate and thoughtless destruction of rain forests without which humanity loses a large percentage of its oxygen, the acid rains destroying other forests and killing off lakes and the list goes on, all pointing to a total breakdown of "the second wave" decision-making machinery of the 18th century origin which replaced feudalism.
Given these major problems, I now ask you to mentally re-examine the policies of the major Democratic and Republican candidates. Being grounded in the system itself, none can obviously propose a solution beyond it. Therefore, NO CANDIDATE OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES CAN EFFECTIVELY DEAL WITH ANY MAJOR WORLD PROBLEM - WHICH ARE ALSO OUR INDIVIDUAL PROBLEMS.
My candidacy alone fulfills that imperative need. For I am the only entry with an ongoing program for world peace. Since they are part of the war system, no Democratic or Republican candidate can even discuss much less act on a program for world peace.
Whereas, as a world citizen, I am ALREADY part of the growing world peace system.
But that's not all. The U.S.A. is not the only country with a presidential candidate running on a world citizen ticket!
I am privileged and happy to announce today the candidacy for president of France a fellow world citizen, Monsieur Francois LaCroix, who is holding a press conference at this precise moment in Paris for this purpose. Our program is the same. A democratic world government based on the oneness of humanity and of our common home, Mother Earth. Together, we are launching an appeal to candidates for national office around the world, in Haiti, in Korea, and elsewhere to subscribe to our global program for the security, well-being and happiness of our fellow world citizens.
We invite as well all national presidential candidates to become citizens of our new global government, as role models for their own national constituencies.
The advantage of this multinational system to the national voter is obvious. Since other candidates transnationally have the same coordinated program, he or she is not only voting for a particular candidate in a particular nation, but for the other candidates as well. A "world citizen" vote is, therefore, a power vote, a compounded vote, a world peace and human rights vote instead of the single, narrow, stopping-at-the-border vote. I call this latter "a suicide" vote, one that only confirms the existing deadly politics-as-usual war game. You have only to examine the foreign policy positions of the leading party candidates to confirm this statement.
Before I conclude, a brief world on the rather incredible economic advantages of a peaceful world. Most of us are aware that this year's world military budget is about a trillion dollars. We all know of the worldwide debt crisis. Of the shaky banking structure with its electronic money transfer system. Of the volatility of all national currencies. Today, the United States has a public debt of over $2 trillion. Its deficit this year is $148 billion. President Reagan is meeting now with Congressional leaders to discuss how to reduce the deficit. Yet while the U.S. economy in the past seven days has revealed a shattering truth - that the entire global economic system can collapse literally overnight, neither the President nor any Congressperson is talking about ELIMINATING the defense budget or Reagan's personal paranoidal fantasy, "Star Wars" - which now has a $5.7 billion research budget - by installing a system of world order.
The more astonishing fact is that no world order thinker to my knowledge has made a cost analysis of a fully developed world government versus the present anarchic national system. Such an analysis would reveal conclusively that world government is the cheapest way out of our present economic morass.
The almost miraculous economic well being for us all when world peace arrives was spelled out in microcosm in a recent talk by the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York, at the 1987 yearly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Philadelphia:
"A Trident submarine costs $1,7 billion, but that's only one submarine. Let's talk a trillion. For one trillion dollars you could build a $75,000 house, place it on $5,000 worth of land, furnish it with $10,000 worth of furniture, put a $10,000 car in the garage and give this to each and every family in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado and Iowa. Having done this, you would still have enough left to build a $10 million hospital and a $10 million library for each of the 250 cities and towns throughout the six-state region. After having done all that, you would still have enough money left to build 500 schools at $10 million each for the communities in the region and after having done all that, you would still have enough left out of the trillion to put aside at 10% annual interest a sum of money that would pay a salary of $25,000 per year for an army of 10,000 nurses, the same salary for an army of teachers and an annual cash allowance of $5,000 for each and every family throughout the six-state region, not for just one year, but forever. And that's only one trillion dollars or about one-half of what we now have in the pipeline prepared to spend over the next four years. And I haven't even mentioned trying to get pure drinking water for the thirsty people in the third world."
And that is only a glimmer of the incredible benefits which will accrue to humanity should we go from weaponry to "livingry" as Buckminister Fuller suggested.
Bucky went further in his thinking about our earthly mission. In his masterful book, UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, he wrote that
"It is not surprising that man, burdened with obsolete knowledge - his spontaneous reflexing conditioned only by past experience, and as yet unable to realize himself already as a world man - fails to comprehend and cope logically with the birth of Universe Man."
I find this a profound and startling insight. In that our world has turned into a "global village" in the 20th century, we can certainly understand "world man." But what did that profound thinker mean by "Universe Man"?
We claim to be on the threshold of the "Space Age." But there is overwhelming evidence, including many biblical references, that the so-called Space Age came to our planet aeons ago.
Who can deny that humanity has been programmed not only to arrive at our present stage of moral and mental development but to achieve a quantum leap in consciousness enabling us to metamorphosize from what we call the tribal or national status to the global, the human and beyond?
In that sense, we earthians face perhaps THE major challenge all primitive species face as a universal test of their intelligence - the recognition and organization of our fundamental unity AS A SPECIES. For without that reasoned global awareness, we cannot justify either our present or future existence in the cosmic scheme. And we will prove it by destroying ourselves along with our environment, not to mention the other species who share our planetary home.
In conclusion, the government of Gaia exists.
This human has claimed its sovereign protection.
He invites you to join with him and our co-world citizens to complete the task of refashioning the human world in partnership with nature for the security, the well being and the freedom of one and all.
And in doing so we will echo Tom Paine's great call to arms:
"WE HAVE IT IN OURSELVES TO BEGIN THE WORLD AGAIN."