A Response to “Narrow Nationalism” — A Message from the President

By Bob Flax, Ph.D.
DWF President

Although our disclaimer, found at the bottom of most of our articles, states that the views expressed in the article are not necessarily our position, I’m taking the extra step of writing to add further clarification to this with regard to the article Narrow Nationalism or World Citizenship and Global Conscience? which we published in the November edition of DWF News.  I feel that the article may convey certain misimpressions that do not reflect the overall policy of the Democratic World Federalists, so I wish to make that clear.  Here are a few of the specifics that I am referring to:

First, several statements in the article may give the false impression that the DWF dislikes or is somehow against the British people.  That is not the case.  We understand that the Brexit vote had many complexities, with the youth and politicians overwhelmingly voting to stay in the EU.  In addition, there are many World Federalists in Great Britain who are actively working for both regional and global federation.  It would be as much of a folly to lump all British citizens together as it would be to lump all US citizens together, and as an organization, the DWF understands that.  However, we also believe that many of the attitudes conveyed during the debate leading up to the Brexit vote, such as a fear and demonization of foreigners, and a lack of recognizing our interdependence in this globalized world, are the very attitudes that help fuel our most pressing problems; from war and global violence to the myriad of social justice issues we face. I imagine that the new British Prime Minister and all those who voted to leave the EU believe that they are doing what is best for their country, however, we feel they are sorely misguided.

Second, Prime Minister May’s comment, “But if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means” is, of course, technically correct.  There is no legally recognized basis for the status of “world citizen”.  However, as the GlobeScan survey shows, that attitude is being supplanted by what might be called an emerging “global consciousness”.  With the globalization of major systems such as communications, transportation, and commerce, it is only a matter of time until democracy is also brought to the global level.  In many ways, much of the next generation is already there.

Third, the article points out that many people at Donald Trump’s rallies shout “USA! USA! To boast of their belief that their country is exceptional.”  At DWF we recognize that the idea of American exceptionalism is expressed in many quarters, and even though many of us disagree with most of Trump’s policies, we agree with him in the futility of the endless wars that we find ourselves embroiled in.  We welcome his people to join us.    

Finally, the general tone of the article may give the misimpression that the DWF is intolerant of other points of view.  We are not.  In a democratic world it is important to hear all points of view, but also point out the harm that may be caused by acting on them.  We are also happy to receive your comments in response to these articles.  Thank you for your interest.

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America’s secret surveillance empire exposed: a violation of the Earth Constitution?

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by Roger Kotila, Ph.D.

The revelation by former CIA employee Edward Snowden of widespread secret surveillance of all Americans by the National Security Agency is just one more step in the direction of democracy turning into fascism but presented with a friendly smile. Americans are watching the doors to their freedoms and rights slowly close as the Executive branch grants itself more and more power. The President hides in a cloud of secrecy claiming “national security.” Aided by a corrupt Congress bought and paid for by private multinational corporations and Big Money, and with a Supreme Court whose majority is controlled by a reactionary right wing ideology that supports authoritarian measures— there is little room for honest democracy and decision-making. The U.S. Attorney General’s office appears to do the bidding of the President while meekly admitting it will not prosecute the Wall Street banksters (“too big to fail, too big to go to jail”), but will enthusiastically prosecute patriotic whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and even Australian Julian Assange.

Checks and balances in U.S. Constitution set aside

It was once thought that the strength of the American Constitution was that even if one branch of government went wrong, the other branches could correct the problem. Few ever imagined that all branches of government would go rogue at the same time. But that appears now to be reality. Checks and balances can no longer be counted upon to protect the individual citizen’s rights. When the Executive branch, Congress, and the Supreme Court are all corrupted there is nowhere to go to correct grievances. It’s like having a corrupt city police department but you can’t go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation because, they too, are corrupt.

Could Americans go to the United Nations for help?

Asking help from the United Nations is not an option. The “national sovereignty” acknowledged for nations in the Charter means that the UN cannot interfere with the internal affairs of a nation — even if that nation’s government has gone bad. The UN is not allowed to investigate or prosecute those officials guilty of violating a citizen’s inalienable rights. Leaders of such governments are above the law and can continue violating the rights of their citizens at will, but with some limited authority granted the International Criminal Court for some Third World nations.

Earth Constitution a new geopolitical system to benefit all citizens

The United Nations Charter is outdated. Its flaws prevent effective UN action. The time has arrived for a new world charter, one with a more vibrant, democratic, and federal geopolitical structure. It is time for the Earth Constitution to take center stage. The Earth Constitution is both a rational and moral document, providing peaceful solutions to the power struggles, wars, lies, covert operations, fake enemies, and unlimited economic greed so destructively harmful to the good and decent citizens of the world. The .1%, the 1%, and the 10% have lost ethical, moral, and spiritual legitimacy. The Earth Constitution’s judicial and enforcement system illustrates how another level of appeal, to the office of Ombudsmus (a gender neutral term derived from the word “ombudsman”), could be available to citizens of a nation whose basic rights are being violated. Unfortunately for Americans and for many other governments, their constitutions lack an office of Ombudsmus — a flaw that opens the door to unconstitutional acts with impunity. Officials become above the law by simply claiming “national security.”

Discovering the World Ombudsmus in the Earth Constitution

IThe World Ombudsmus (Article 11) is obligated to protect all citizens against violations of universal human rights. Article 12 states that “Individuals or groups suffering violations…of such rights…shall have full recourse through the World Ombudsmus, the Enforcement System, and the World Courts for redress of grievances.” The Earth Constitution (Article 12) declares that all citizens have an inalienable right to privacy of “person, family, and association;” governments are prohibited from “surveillance as a means of political control.” Citizens are also protected against “arbitrary search or seizure” and there first must be a warrant issued. In the meantime, where do Americans turn for help? Protests? More protests? The obstacles are great. It appears that the police, the secret agencies, and the military are in lockstep with a corrupt Washington, DC. Whistle-blowers are treated as criminals rather than patriotic heroes. The protest movement comes under massive NSA surveillance. New dangers (phony “enemies”) are introduced into the public’s mind to keep people paranoid and easy to manipulate.

From the European Union to the Earth Federation

In 1776 the Americans under conditions of authoritarian tyranny sought help from France to free themselves from the British occupation. Should citizens once again seek outside help? Might the European Union, also a victim of secret surveillance, be sought out for assistance? If America became part of the Earth Federation, then citizens would have a new level of appeal to peacefully regain their freedoms and rights, thanks to the Federation’s Earth Constitution. Being part of the Earth Federation would open up a whole new set of possibilities for citizens to be able to restore democracy and protect basic inalienable rights currently under siege. NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the official view of Democratic World Federalists. Roger Kotila, Ph.D. is editor of Earth Federation News & Views, a USA Vice President of the World Constitution & Parliament Association, and President of Democratic World Federalists. Dr. Kotila can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

DWF Board members in action

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Board President Roger Kotila attended an Institute On World Problems (IOWP) Seminar in New York (June 26-30), presenting on the promotion and popularization of the Earth Federation Movement. Board member Glen Martin hosted this IOWP Seminar and discussed the history and significance of the Earth Constitution.

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DWF Vice President Bob Flax will attend the World Federalist Movement (WFM) Council Meetings at Hofstra University in New York (July 24-26). Bob is a councilor and carried a proxy vote at the meetings for DWF Board member Shahriar Sharei who is unable to attend. WFM will discuss programs such as Responsibility to Protect and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. Other topics include United Nations Reform, the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, and ideas to democratize international Environmental and Economic governance.

John Sutter

Board member and former DWF President John Sutter will be bringing Fernando Iglesias to San Francisco (July 29-31). Mr. Iglesias is a former member of the Argentina parliament and is the WFM Councilor Board Chairperson. He leads the “Manifesto for a Global Democracy” that has attracted worldwide endorsements. Mr. Iglesias will give a talk on the “Manifesto” at the well known Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

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