World Union: More Important Now Than Ever

World Union: More Important Now Than Ever

Dear World Citizen,

The tumultuous lead-up to our Presidential election has so consumed the nation that little attention has been paid to anything else.  Unfortunately, now that the election is over, it looks like the aftermath may be just as captivating.  Nevertheless, our global problems rage on: the earth continues to warm at an alarming rate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to boil, ISIS and the Sunni-Shiite War continues to claim lives, the threat of “loose nukes” and possibly even a “limited” nuclear war continues to increase, mass migration due to global violence and social injustice goes on unchecked, cyber criminals and terrorists get more sophisticated by the day, and pandemics such as Ebola and Zika continue to threaten our populations.  For all these reasons and more, we, the people of the world, need to find a better way to govern ourselves.

Of all the ways seriously considered, the creation of a World Federation, with a democratically elected World Parliament, World Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Judiciary system, holds to greatest hope of insuring peace, security, freedom, social justice, and environmental sustainability. Many prominent thinkers and leaders such as Einstein and Gandhi supported this great vision.  In the age of the internet and electronic communication, it is now possible for a small group of activists to get a new idea out to the world with amazing speed and efficiency. The idea of a Democratic World Federation is unknown to most people, and we are dedicated to educating the public and politicians as to its benefits.

Democratic World Federalists is part of a world-wide network of organizations that are working to bring about this change to our global governance structure.  Our website, newsletter, events and public presentations are designed to inform the public and build support, but we need your help. In 2017, we will become a membership organization, and we welcome you to join us.  For as little as $50/year ($25 for students and seniors), you become a Global Citizen member; $100+/year, you become a World Activist member; and for $250+/year you become a World Ambassador member. We offer thank you gifts for each level of membership.

You can become a member by making an online payment through our website at www.dwfed.org. All donations above $50 (or $25 for students and seniors) given between now and the end of 2016 will be credited toward your 2017 membership.

We urge you to become a member of the Democratic World Federalists so that we can work together to achieve a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.  As we approach #GivingTuesday, we are raising the funds for our next year of operation.  Although we are primarily a volunteer-based organization, we have modest operating expenses:   

  • A $100 donation will allow us to host informational tables at 2 Bay Area festivals;
  • A $250 donation will purchase a projector so that we can host informational presentations with larger groups of people;
  • A $500 donation will help us update and reprint our informational pamphlets;
  • And, a $1000 donation will purchase a new office computer.

Whether or not you become a member, we are grateful for your support. Your contribution will help build the kind of movement necessary to bring this vital message to the public. 

For a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World,

 

Bob Flax, Ph.D.
President

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

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.

Narrow Nationalism or World Citizenship and Global Conscience?

Narrow Nationalism or World Citizenship and Global Conscience?

world citizenBy Roger Kotila, Ph.D.
DWF Vice President 

Narrow nationalism is easy to find as we discovered from a recent speech by Great Britain’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May who said: “But if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means.”  

May’s derogatory view of (world citizenship) brought a quick reaction from world federalists, one of whom felt that May was attacking our values and therefore requires a strong answer. 

A response by one leading world federalist cautions that to limit citizenship to nationalism undergirds the world community’s ability to address fundamental challenges facing the world.  We couldn’t agree more.

A Washington Post reporter wrote an article on May’s speech and included the results of a research survey about global citizenship. People were asked to “Agree” or “Disagree” with the statement:  “I See Myself More as a Global Citizen than a Citizen of My Country.”  This 18 nation survey shows a surprisingly large number of people identifying with global citizenship.

May’s narrow nationalism, one might speculate,  gives the British an excuse to avoid the plight of the unfortunate refugees fleeing the violence in the Middle East, wars that Britain itself helped to cause.  To hell with the flood of desperate immigrants, they are not British!  Let the European Union worry about them. 

By leaving the European Union (Brexit) the British can avoid taking responsibility for these unfortunate immigrants whose lives have been ruined by militant foreign powers whose lust for regime change has led to violent chaos from Iraq to Syria to Libya.  

By contrast, world federalists worry about the whole world and peaceful change, a moral value that gives me great pride.  Part of the genius of world federalism is world patriotism is required in order to be a genuine national patriot.

Logic tells us that what is good for the world is good for my nation since my nation is part of the world.  It follows then, that if one truly loves one’s country, one must also be a world citizen. 

Embracing world citizenship, however, is not always easy.

We are taught from an early age to look first and foremost as to what is good for our nation, not what is best for the world.  At Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s political rallies, for example, the crowd bursts forth repeatedly shouting “USA! USA!” to boast of their belief that their country is “exceptional” and deserves special consideration over all others.

Such extreme nationalism trumps global citizenship and Global Conscience.  Blind love of country can lead to national policies that are harmful to the world at large as we see when countries refuse to deal responsibly with climate change, universal rights, or insist upon their sovereign right to endanger the world by military invasions and by possessing nuclear weaponry capable of destroying the world.

*Please consider reading A Message from the President, which is a direct response to this article.


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.

BBC: Most Identify as Global Citizens

BBC: Most Identify as Global Citizens

Global Citizen 2This news should cheer up any pessimists among us: a majority of people on the planet identify as global citizens, according to a new BBC poll. A special survey of 20,000 people in 18 countries revealed that 51 percent of people see themselves “more as global citizens than national citizens.” There were many other surprises, including high percentages for Nigeria (73% identifying with global citizenship, up 13 points since 2002), China (71%, up 14 points), Peru (70%, up 27 points), and India (67%, up 13 points), all far above the U.S. at 48%. Read this interpretation of the BBC data by David Swanson, acclaimed author of War No More. Another indicator of this trend is a recent TED talk. In it, Hugh Evans, the co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen, a charitable organization focused on inspiring global action by millennials, explains that Global Citizen’s events and other initiatives have had the effect of recruiting thousands of youth into the war against global poverty. “When you make global citizenship your mission you suddenly find yourself with extraordinary allies,” says Evans. Among these allies is President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who announced at a Global Citizen event a commitment of $15 billion over the next 5 years towards improving access to clean water and sanitation. And meanwhile, don’t forget to order your World Citizen ID Card from the Registry of World Citizens, the original organization of world citizens founded in 1948 by Garry Davis. The card is now available for the first time in plastic for 5 Euros. 

 


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.