This helpful article provides an important window on the earliest days of our movement. For those who want to read a comprehensive history of the U.S. wing of the movement, a book entitled One Shining Moment by Gilbert Jonas is a place to start. It is well known that Albert Einstein was a key supporter in this early period. In the image below, Cord Meyer Jr., president of United World Federalists—a large federalist citizen’s organization during the first decade—visits with Einstein. – Editor
The First Decade of World Federalism
by Jean-Francis Billion
The decade from 1945 to 1954 is fundamental for the study of world federalism. This was its golden period, the decade which saw the popular and spectacular activities of Garry Davis; it likewise saw t
he development, but also the failure, of the two strategies which had received the most numerous and militant support: that, first of all, of the Peoples’ World Convention (PWC), and, subsequently, that of reforming the UN Charter. The serious crisis which hit the world federalist movement in 1955 undermined numerous organizations and publications. This period began with the end of the Second World War, with the first use of atomic weapons, with the creation of the UN in June 1945 and with the birth of the World Movement for World Federal Government (WMWFG) … [read more]
NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.
Garry Davis, dean of the One World movement, in 1956. He had his own flag and passport, and often his own jail cell. (Photo credit: Carl Gossett/New York Times.)
“World Citizen #1”, Garry Davis, died recently at 91. An Army Air Force bomber pilot during World War II, Mr. Davis became a peace activist who declared himself a citizen of the world. He blamed the nation-state system for war and said the solution to end war was world government.
Originally a Broadway theatre actor, his creative acts of nonviolent civil disobedience over the years as a “world citizen” put him firmly on the map with the media, and ultimately attracted Hollywood’s interest.
Thanks to the reporters who wrote about his notions of One World, world citizenship, and world government as the way to end war, his world federalist concepts were placed on public record. The widespread media coverage upon Garry’s death shows the respect he gained from journalists, highlighted by a front-page story in the New York Times, a story which went international.
Articles in both the NY Times and the Los Angeles Times, both major media outlets, treated the views of Mr. Davis seriously. Mr. Davis insisted that world government was what was required to end war, and the press faithfully reported it.
Garry Davis tells UN General Assembly that the sovereignty of nations divides us
We learn from the NY Times article: “In November 1948, six months after renouncing his citizenship in Paris, Mr. Davis stormed a session of the United Nations General Assembly there. ‘We, the people, want the peace which only a world government can give,’ he proclaimed. ‘The sovereign states you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of total war.'”
World Citizen #1 shows that “world government” can gain public interest
The NY Times reports: “In 1953, he founded the World Government of World Citizens. The demand for its documents proved so brisk that he established the service authority the next year.”
“More than half a million world passports have been issued, though there are no statistics on the number of people who have successfully crossed borders with them. A half-dozen countries – Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia – have formally recognized the passport.”
World passports sent to whistle blower Snowden and Wikileaks founder Assange
Mr. Davis remained very active right up to his death; he sent world passports to whistle blower Edward Snowden who was stuck in Russia after his American passport was canceled, and to Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, when he was confined to the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Hollywood’s interest could spark new interest in the world federalist cause
Movie producer Arthur Kanegis was extremely close to Garry Davis, having known him for 30 years. Mr. Kanegis writes, “Our short film about Garry won Best Global Documentary in the New YorkInternational Film Festival. You can watch it at: MyCountryIsTheWorld.com. Kanegis seeks funding to complete the full documentary film, and has a screenplay he is writing to do a feature Hollywood film about Garry Davis.
What you should know about Democratic World Federalists
We believe that the world federalist solution is the best hope for world peace, and the most realistic means to permanently eliminate nuclear weapons. We believe that it provides a better way to deal with global environmental crises. We believe it can help end poverty, and help protect universal human rights.
The World Federalist Solution has never been applied. The public is unaware that there is a potential answer to many of the world’s problems. Most people have resigned themselves to perpetual conflict and war, and a steady deterioration of our quality of life.
Democratic World Federalists is a nonprofit, self-funded citizen volunteer think tank and educational organization. We watch the world go from bad to worse with a growing sense of urgency.
PLEASE become a proud supporter and DONATE NOW. A generous donation will help us to immediately expand our outreach. It is time we came together as a global family. All donations are tax deductible.
DWF endorses a UN International Day of Peace
World Federalists may find the “Paths to Peace” program of particular interest as it may provide opportunities to discuss democratic world federation — the missing piece in the puzzle of how to end war and establish world peace.
Paths to Peace:
Building Compassion and Commitment for Transformation
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Sunday, September 8, 1:15pm-6:00pm
- Professor David McGaffey
“Swords into Plowshares, Enemies into Friends”
- Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian
“Compassion is the Key to Peace”