Four Lectures on the Earth
The Meaning of Global Spirit
Glen T. Martin
Grand Global Peace Meet, Bangalore, India, 7 January 2015
The “meaning of global spirit” is a huge topic that requires narrowing down for a brief presentation like this one. One could speak of the global human spirit, cosmic spirit, or divine spirit at great length, and it is important to realize that all authentic religions participate in the transcendent Global Spirit that can be called “Ultimate Reality,” the “Infinite,” or the “Primordial One.” But what I will do for this brief lecture is limit the concept to the idea of universality that can be attained through proper human development and growth, and that is reflected in the Earth Constitution.
Many psychologists have identified human development from the pre-conventional to the conventional to the post-conventional levels. There are levels of ethical and spiritual maturity that characterize human growth and that follow generally the same developmental patterns everywhere. After the magical, fantasy, and mythological levels by which young children appropriate the religious ideas of their families and immediate communities, many adults move to what James Fowler calls the “synthetic-conventional” level in which believers adopt a coherent belief system from their cultural-religious surroundings. However, Fowler asserts, they are not fully aware that their world-view is constrained within a belief system, but that the Infinite or Ultimate Reality is beyond all belief systems.
They have not directly experienced “global spirit” or the unsayable mystery of Infinite Reality that breaks open all belief systems through direct participation in the unnamable One beyond knowledge, name, and form. Most persons remain on the synthetic-conventional level because they fear the post-conventional level as relativism and loss of moral grounding. A belief system provides comfort and security. One assumes that one has the Truth and the abandonment of this Truth seems like an apostasy and betrayal of God. But this is not the case. Moral and religious development must move beyond the conventional to greater maturity.
Similarly, psychologists like Lawrence Kohlberg, Carol Gilligan, Erich Fromm, and Ken Wilber have identified a “universality” that arises in the post-conventional stages of moral and spiritual development that can lead to yet higher “integral” levels of awareness (integrated levels of morality, spiritual consciousness, and holism). Gilligan, for example, writes that beyond the conventional “ethnocentric” level of moral development one moves to a “Worldcentric” orientation in which the universality of our common human endeavor is embraced with both reason and compassion. She argues that growth can lead to a still higher level that she calls “Integral” in which masculine and feminine qualities are integrated and one lives as a universal, integrated, human being. James Fowler speaks of a “Conjunctive” level of religious development in which all belief systems are seen as belief systems, and one realizes that the Truth or Global Spirit transcends them all. Mahatma Gandhi’s orientation, for example, was not a belief system but rather and open and ever-growing satyagraha: an active “clinging to Truth.”
In this presentation, I would like to discuss the post-conventional universalism of moral maturity in relation to the Earth Constitution by identifying four principles embodied in the Constitution. Human beings must grow to moral and spiritual maturity soon if we want to survive and flourish on this planet. The Earth Constitution represents human moral maturity in a universal legal form. These four principles reveal the systemic form of the universalism reflected in the Constitution that can and must be expressed in the form of enforceable world legislation.
The first principle is unity in diversity. There is no true unity without diversity. Every whole in nature and the cosmos reflects a diversity of parts that interrelate to constitute that whole. Yet human beings have at present only an abstract unity (“humanity” as an ideal of “brotherhood and sisterhood”). These ideals are lacking the concrete legal unity that joins all together under a common Constitution and common law: recognizing each person as a world citizen entitled to the rights and duties of citizenship.
Contrary to some views, such unity will help make possible a true respect for diversity. Otherwise diversity becomes a threat, something alien to what is familiar. The principle of unity in diversity is stated explicitly in the Preamble to the Earth Constitution and the Constitution itself is designed to maximize the participation of diversity within its unity. Moral maturity moves us to the “worldcentric” level, the level where we become universal persons, experiencing our common humanity as equally as real as the vast diversity of persons and cultures. The Earth Constitution embodies this universal unity in diversity in the form of enforceable world law, thereby establishing a peace-system for the Earth.
The second principle embraced by the universalism in the Constitution is the principle of human flourishing. Every human being has basic needs that are the prerequisite for flourishing: food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, education, health-care, etc. The Constitution assures all of these things to all people by right and by law. There is no other system in the world that can do this. The system of militarized sovereign nation-states is absolutely incapable of making human flourishing possible on this planet. Assuring these things to all persons must be done by universal law. Economics in the Earth Constitution (under world law) will be in the service of the quality of life and the ability of all persons to lead flourishing lives. The entire Constitution is designed as a system to make this possible universally. The U.N., as a treaty of sovereign nations, has no capacity to establish such a system. If we are persons of universality and compassion, “worldcentric” in our orientation, then it should be clear that we require a global social contract that protects the right of all persons to flourish in dignity, peace, and freedom.
The third principle of universality is the right and duty of persons to the development of reason, intuition, and love. In my newest book called One World Renaissance, I have described reason, intuition, and love as basic to human cognition of the world. Unlike the “early-modern” paradigm from which capitalism and the nation-state system are derived, it is not the case that humans face a world in which reason that must “objectively” ignore love and intuition in the process of living, knowing, and cognition. We are holistic beings and holistically encounter the cosmos: reason sees the universality of concepts, intuition experiences the universality of that which is beyond name and form, and love binds all these together is many kinds of positive and harmonious relationships from the human level to the level of nature to the cosmos and beyond the cosmos to God.
The present fragmented world system of sovereign nation-states and global capitalism derives from a centuries-old split between reason, intuition, and love. Reason was supposed to operate in the mode of “rational self-interest and scientific objectivity,” ignoring intuition and love as “merely subjective.” The institutions of militarized nation-states and global capitalist exploitation that now dominate the world (causing immense violence and misery everywhere on Earth) are products of this false set of assumptions. The Earth Constitution, on the other hand, is a product of the new holistic paradigm that reintegrates what is fragmented and makes possible the reuniting of reason, intuition, and love. If we desire a spiritual renaissance on the Earth, this must be made possible and complemented by an economic and political renaissance. This is the role of the Earth Constitution.
The fourth way that universality informs the Earth Constitution is that establishes the possibility of real dialogue directed toward mutual understanding for the people of Earth. Conferences and committees that now operate all over the world cannot do this on behalf of the planet as a whole: they have little authority and legitimacy to represent everyone. This is even true of United Nations groups and committees. They represent only sovereign nation-states, never humanity as a whole in mutual dialogue about our common fate and common future.
We need people who are elected as legitimate representatives of the whole of the peoples of Earth who can debate the way into the future, act to protect future generations, and establish peace, sustainability, and justice for our planet. The Earth Constitution sets up a democratic World Parliament for humankind mandated to dialogue about our future and empowered to act in order to build and protect that future. No group today has this kind of authority or responsibility.
What the Earth Constitution does, therefore, is provide our planet with a global brain. Right now we have many brains working against one another, or working for partial projects (like human rights, protecting the environment, eliminating nuclear weapons, etc.). But universality demands universal debate about the future of our planet as a whole by our elected, empowered representatives in a World Parliament. When we move to the moral maturity of a “worldcentric” orientation, we begin to understand that dialogue directed toward mutual understanding on behalf of the Earth and its future is missing from our planet and absolutely must be established. The Earth Constitution establishes the framework for this dialogue, for the Earth having a global brain working to establish peace, freedom, and sustainability for everyone.
All these absolutely essential features of world peace with justice and sustainability are embodied in the Earth Constitution. Global Spirit must be concretized and practically implemented in human affairs. Its universality is embodied in the Earth Constitution in the principles of unity in diversity, human flourishing, the holism of reason, intuition and love, and dialogue directed toward mutual understanding.
The Current “War-system” of our Planet versus
a “Peace-System” under the Earth Constitution
Dr. Glen T. Martin
Grand Global Peace Meet, Bangalore, India, 7 January 2015
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth (www.earth-constitution.org) provides an integrated system for establishing peace, justice, protection of human rights, freedom, and sustainability for the Earth. Many human beings have held values such as these ever since ancient times. But having values and ideals is not the same as organizing human civilization according to these values. The values remain mere theoretical ideals unless they are embodied within concrete systems that can be put these into practice in human life.
Throughout human history most social systems were not self-consciously designed but evolved contingently from the cultures, mythologies, social pressures, and fears of the time. This is also true of the current systems that dominate our planet: global capitalism and the system of sovereign nation-states. This world system evolved contingently. It was never planned or designed to establish peace or any other values.
The roots of global capitalism go all the way back to the investments in early trading expeditions in 15th century Italy, and the system of sovereign nation-states emerged from the older feudal political arrangements over the 16th and 17th centuries to be finally recognized, many scholars agree, in the Peace of Westphalia signed in Europe in 1648.
In my book Assent to Freedom (2008), I described in some detail the “Early-Modern Paradigm” from which capitalism and the system of sovereign nations emerged. In my subsequent book Triumph of Civilization (2010), I describe the immense systemic violence of our contemporary world that derives from the present fragmented world system of capitalist sovereign nation-states. The system, identified by many thinkers as inherently a “war system,” includes structural imperatives toward militarization, war, arms races, and “national security” obsessions. It also includes structural imperatives towards economic domination and exploitation of the poor by the rich and of weaker nations by more powerful nations.
Mahatma Gandhi said that under capitalism “the rich ride on the backs of the millions,” and he said that the modern nation-state was “violence in a concentrated form.” Indeed the capitalist system cultivates greed, blocks spiritual and moral development in people, and generates extreme wealth for the few and poverty and misery for the many. This system is today legally institutionalized within nation-states and protected internationally by the militarized violence of these states. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, for example, most clearly to control Middle East oil resources and to establish permanent military bases in the region to protect its oil and geopolitical interests.
The U.N. Charter is explicitly required to “protect the sovereign integrity of its member states,” and under its General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), it assumes and promotes the operation of the global capitalist system. These are reasons why the U.N. system can never give the world peace or justice, despite what is written in the Preamble to its Charter. We need to preserve what is valuable about many U.N. agencies while replacing its Charter (the war-system of sovereign nations) with the Earth Constitution, thereby institutionalizing a peace system for the world.
At present, the moral aspirations of peoples throughout the world for peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability are systematically blocked by these global institutions. Replacing the Charter of the U.N. with the Earth Constitution will not only establish a peace system for the Earth, it will simultaneously make possible the spiritual and moral development of peoples everywhere. If we want a spiritual and moral renaissance for the Earth, then we need to establish a world system that makes this possible. Article One of the Earth Constitution establishes the “broad functions” of the Earth Federation Government. Its broad functions address precisely the fundamental “planetary crises” or global problems created by the current world system, problems that the current system is unable to address.
The first broad function of the Earth Federation government is to replace the war-system of the nations with a peace-system under the rule of enforceable law for the world. This peace system will disarm and demilitarize the nations by law, as well as eliminate all weapons of mass destruction. The nations will become like states within the United States, India, or Cantons within China: administrative regions only and not militarized sovereign nations with absolute borders.
The second broad function of the Earth Federation Government under the Constitution is to make the list of unenforceable human rights in the U.N. Universal Declaration into enforceable rights for everyone protected by the World Courts and civilian world police. The U.N. Universal Declaration does not have the force of law, not even so-called “international law.” It is merely a declaration of ideals, routinely ignored by the nations and transnational corporations of the world. The Earth Constitution makes human rights enforceable by law, and creates the institutional mechanisms necessary for that enforcement. It creates a world peace system that respects human dignity and freedom.
The third, fourth and fifth functions of the Earth Federation include conservation and protection for the resources of the earth as well as protection for the global environment to create our planet as a healthy and happy place for all humans to live. The concept of sustainability is woven into the Earth Constitution in dozens of ways. To live with clean air and water within a healthy environment becomes a protected human right, not, as now, a mere ideal that must be balanced by corporations and governments against the need to maximize profits or protect “free enterprise.” The environment of our planet continues to collapse because our current world system is not a sustainability system, any more than it is a peace system or a justice system. Unless human beings consciously ratify such as system as embodied within the Earth Constitution, we do not have a viable future on this planet.
The last of the “broad functions” identified in Article One of the Earth Constitution gives the democratic World Parliament the responsibility to deal with all problems beyond the scope of nations that may arise in the future. It mandates the Earth Federation government to continually monitor the state of our planet and to protect and plan for our common future. The world has no official body today, not even the U.N. that has the responsibility and authority to monitor the peace and health of our planet and protect it into the future. The best that the U.N. can do is call for environmental conferences like the Rio de Janeiro conference of 1992 or the Johannesburg conference of 2002—that have no authority to result in binding, enforceable agreements.
Only by establishing a democratic world system over the nations and the multinational corporations, a system that has the authority to enforce disarmament, enforce sustainable practices, to nonviolently resolve conflicts and disputes, and to monitor the health and well-being of our planet can human beings create a decent future for themselves. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is our best and most practical instrument for transforming the world system from a war and exploitation system to a peace and prosperity system. Let us study it, distribute it, and promote it in every possible way.
World Parliament: Social, Political, and Economic Solutions
Glen T. Martin
Grand Global Peace Meet, Hyderabad, India, 9 January 2015
In Lucknow, the City Montessori School has a saying “Jai Jagat,” which means “Hail the World.” This appears to me as very appropriate because we need to realize that we are one humanity, one world, and one species living on a fragile and endangered planet. We need to be in the habit of hailing our one world, and focusing on it, and not allowing ourselves to be distracted by everyday practical affairs and petty demands on our time.
Our planet is now writhing in pain. It is writhing in the pain of weapons, hatred, fear, greed, violence, and confusion. How are we going to transform all this to peace and sustainability? One fundamental answer is “World Parliament.” A World Parliament will function as the supreme law-making body for the world. It will be able to enact environmental laws that control the behavior of multinational corporations and sovereign nation-states who now put political and economic considerations above peace or protecting the ecological health of our planet. It will be able to enact laws requiring disarmament of the nations. If we have the rule of enforceable law on the Earth, in which disputes can be handled by mediation or effectively through the courts, then we will have no need of armies. Civilian World Police can enforce planetary laws without the need of weapons of war.
Consider the nature of law itself: In contrast to what people often believe, law is not just a negative force prohibiting us from doing this or that. Much the opposite. The law is what makes peace and social coordination possible for all complex societies. The law establishes our human equality before the law. It protects us in innumerable ways. It also enables human flourishing.
The law enables us to get an education, to marry, to establish a business or a charity, to secure accomplishments like educational degrees, to travel with safety, to have electricity, clean water, pure food, and other necessities of life. The law protects our rights and provides due process even against false accusations by government or authorities. The law protects and provides for the future. Legislatures attempt to pass laws with the probable consequences for the future that are thoroughly debated and thought out. Ultimately, only the law can protect and promote peace, justice, and sustainability for the Earth and make possible a flourishing life for all the world’s citizens.
Three are three main forces destroying these positive functions of law for the world:
· The system of sovereign nation-states. The nations must give up the lawless “absolute sovereignty” and accept limitations on sovereignty under the rule of a democratic World Parliament. Swami Chaturvedi came up with the brilliant term “Associate Sovereignty.” We must promote a system of nations in which they agree on “associate sovereignty” rather than absolute sovereignty, in which they join together under the common authority of a World Parliament. Only such a Parliament would be able to bring peace among the nations and systematically begin the process of disarmament and conversion to the rule of enforceable law for the adjudication of disputes.
· Multinational corporations. These often have resources greater than small nations. They buy up the resources of poor nations, colonize the governments, bribe and corrupt officials, and exploit the land and cheap labor in the service of private wealthy investors in the rich nations. Only the rule of law under a constitutionally protected World Parliament can bring these rogue elements under control for the common good of the future and the people of Earth. Under enforceable world law, corporate infrastructure and expertise could be used to promote the common good of people everywhere. No force other than an effective World Parliament can make this happen.
· International criminal organizations. In a world of fragmented sovereign nation-states and rogue multinational corporations, criminal activity can flourish with impunity. There is little enforceable law that can be applied effectively, for the world system is hopelessly fragmented, creating ungovernable spaces where criminals can flourish. There are vast organizations engaged in human trafficking, human slavery, international terrorism, international weapons sales, etc. These can only be stopped through the rule of enforceable world law under a World Parliament representing the common good of everyone on the Earth.
These three aspects of the lawlessness of our current world system are all overcome through the creation of a World Parliament. Nation-states will no longer be able to violate world law with impunity, for their leaders will be subject to arrest and prosecution like anybody else. Corporations will no longer ravage the world in search of profit maximization for the same reason: violators of world laws will be arrested and prosecuted. International criminal organizations will find no more international “no-man’s land” within which to operate. Their organizations will be disbanded and the perpetrators brought to justice.
The World Parliament articulated within the Earth Constitution has three houses: the House of Peoples, the House of Nations, and the House of Counsellors. Under the authority of the Parliament operates the World Court System, the World Administration, the World Police, and the World Ombudsmus, which is mandated to protect human rights everywhere on Earth.
· The House of Peoples will have one representative elected from 1000 electoral districts worldwide, roughly equivalent by population. That means here in Hyderabad you would have one representative for this city alone in the House of Peoples.
· The House of Nations has 1, 2, or 3 representatives from each nation depending on population. So a big country like India would have 3 representatives in the House of Nations as this is defined by the Earth Constitution.
· The House of Counsellors has 200 representatives, 10 each elected from 20 magna-regions around the world. Candidates for this house are nominated by faculty and students in institutions of higher learning around the world and elected by a combined session of the other two houses. The purpose of the House of Counsellors is to have experts and thinkers in the Parliament who represent the whole of humanity and the Earth and who are knowledgeable in areas like the environment, disarmament, human rights, etc.
The World Parliament under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth provides social, political, and economic solutions to our planetary problems.
· Socially it unites humanity and provides coordination and a cohesive vision of the future. Everyone becomes a legal world citizen and participates before the law in the global vision of a peaceful, just, and sustainable future for humanity. In the World Parliament, every nation is represented by one or more delegates according to population, the peoples of Earth are represented directly from electoral districts around the planet, and the common good of the whole is represented by the House of Counsellors.
· Politically, the World Parliament for the first time in human history makes possible a dialogue directed toward mutual understanding among the members of the Parliament. No longer fragmentation and selfish interests but the real impetus to solve our planetary problems through understanding both the problems and the many impediments that we face in solving them. In effect the World Parliament provides the Earth with a brain for the first time: a legitimately chosen group of people responsible to establish peace, justice, and sustainability for our planet. This group has the political power (the legitimate authority) to establish enforceable laws for our planet that protect human rights, disarm the nations, and create sustainability as the basis for all human activities.
· Economically the World Parliament will be enacting legislation in accordance with the Earth Constitution’s mandate of a Global Public Banking system in Article 8 that serves sustainable development everywhere on Earth and serves the people of Earth to end scarcity, poverty, and destructive practices. Under global public banking the 1% who now control 50% of the world’s wealth will be quickly displaced and money creation and banking will be in the service of peace, justice, and sustainability. The World Parliament will be enacting specific laws to enable and empower the global public banking system in service to humanity and the future.
It should be clear why a World Parliament under the Earth Constitution is the need of the hour. It will have immense and transformative consequences for the social, political, and economic future of the Earth as outlined here. It will be able to apply social, political, and economic solutions to our immense planetary problems that the present world system, including the U.N., is utterly incapable of doing. A World Parliament, however, to be effective in this way, must be part of a larger system that includes world courts, world police, a world administration, etc. That is why the World Parliament must be established through the ratification of the Earth Constitution. The Constitution will provide the framework for the Parliament to effectively transform the world system into a peace, justice, and sustainability system.
World government-Opportunities and Action
Glen T. Martin
Grand Global Peace Meet, 3 January 2015, Chennai, India
The actualization of a peaceful, just, and sustainable world will be inseparable from the actualization of our higher human potential. Thinkers, scientists, mystics, and visionaries worldwide have often remarked that human beings have an immense spiritual, social, and cognitive potential that remains unactualized. The realization of a transformed world system will be inseparable from the realization of our higher human potential. It will provide opportunities for effective action now lacking to humankind.
Great thinkers like Albert Einstein, Carl Gustave Jung, and Ernst Laszlo have also declared that no fundamental problem can be solved on the same level that produced the problem in the first place. Yet on the Earth we are trying to do just that. We are trying to deal with climate collapse, poverty, pollution, terrorism, nation-state conflict, and all other global problems within the very framework that produced these problems in the first place. That framework is the global capitalist system and the system of sovereign nation-states, both of which actively prevent our higher human potential from emerging. These systems block opportunities for establishing peace, justice, and sustainability for the Earth.
Our globalized world today is characterized by multiple interdependent systems that now lead to disaster in numerous ways:
(1) The current world-system of “defense” and “security” is inherently a war-system. We are trying to create defense and security through using war and violence at the same level as the threats we perceive. The world has no peace system that can deal with security and peace from the appropriate higher level.
(2) The world-system surrounding human dignity and human rights does not protect rights (which are violated everywhere on Earth), but in effect is a system for violating these rights and human dignity. We think that we can protect human rights without realizing that human rights cannot be protected from the level of multiple militarized nations competing politically and economically. The world has no human rights and dignity system that can solve the problem of human rights from the appropriate higher level.
(3) The resources of the world such as good agricultural lands, clean water, and planetary forests are rapidly diminishing at the same time that the global population increases by some 80 million new persons each year. The world has no resource conservation system. You cannot conserve the planet from the same level of thinking that now diminishes it. We need a resource conservation system for the Earth.
(4) Similarly, the global economic, corporate, and national systems of the world are anti-environmental and causing climate collapse. The world has no sustainability system. Worldwide there are millions or organizations and agencies all operating with a limited and partial view of the problems and issues to be addressed, from nation-states to corporations to NGOs. The world is now a chaos-system characterized by un-coordination, fragmentation, and conflict. There is no system of social coordination directed toward solving our most fundamental problems.
Forums of the world like the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and IMF, or the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly are venues in which actors promote their own interests within a global competition of these interests. There is no forum for dialogue directed toward mutual understanding by people with the authority and concern to move the world toward a peaceful, just, and sustainable future.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth addresses all these issues and brings them all together into a coordinated and organized peace-system, justice-system, resource conservation system, and sustainability-system. It is important to realize that all these global problems are interdependent and interconnected. You cannot solve the problem of global poverty (engulfing more than 50% of humanity), for example, within an economic system directed to private profit for the few, nor can you protect the global environment while the 50% of humanity who are living in poverty need to burn wood to cook their food, thereby deforesting the Earth. Nor indeed can you address either poverty or the environment while the nations of the world spend close to two trillion US dollars per year on weapons and war-preparation, money that should be spent on restoring the environment and eliminating poverty.
The “broad functions” of the Earth Federation under the Earth Constitution (outlined in Article One) address all these interrelated planetary crises. The entire Constitution is designed as an integrated response to all these crises, with the understanding that they can only be solved through a comprehensive and integrated approach that converts the war-system to a peace-system, the human rights violation system to a human dignity protection system, the anti-ecological economic and nation-state systems to a sustainability system, the social fragmentation of the world to a social coordination system, and the fractured discourse of planetary self-interest to a system of dialogue directed toward mutual understanding and protection of our planetary future.
We cannot solve our lethal planetary problems on the same level that created the problems in the first place. We must move from global fragmentation under capitalism and the sovereign nation-state system to democratic world Earth Federation under the Earth Constitution. From this level, the opportunities and action for a transformed and sustainable world will emerge. Effective action is everywhere defeated by the current world-system.
The Earth Constitution is not some vague set of ideals like those expressed in the Earth Charter or the Millennium Development Goals. It is a concrete document creating specific institutional arrangements that can be studied, promoted, and enacted. It can and should serve as a model and goal for all our activities in the present, whether these be environmental, poverty alleviation, peace work or human rights work. By using this concrete model to conceptualize where we want to go on Earth, we coordinate and focus global actions, thereby maximizing our impact and transformative potential.
The Earth Constitution provides a concrete vision of a peace system, justice-system, sustainability-system and dialogue-system for the Earth. Let us take up this vision and make it happen. It alone can establish the systemic framework that can make effective opportunities and actions for a decent world order possible. It is our planet, our children’s future that is at stake. It is our global responsibility to make this happen.