The Humanism of Democratic World Law

versus a Totalitarian Pax Americana

                                                       

Glen T. Martin

12 October 2011

 

The “Pax Americana” currently being imposed upon the world by the massive military might of the United States signals the peace of death. It portends death raining down upon anonymous victims from countless drones soaring, like satanic hawks, through the skies of hapless foreign peoples in complex cultures. The blindness of its spy-lenses recognizes no living humanity below, no patterns of cooperation, love, or trust, no rituals of solidarity or companionship, no cultural traditions inherited from ancient bonds, no simple struggles for the satisfaction of human needs. A technology espying no living, breathing humanity but only potential enemies of the Pax Americana determines who are subversives, suspected rebels against the procrustean unity forced upon the peoples of Earth by the great “superior sovereignty.” The mighty signatory of the “end of history” deploys its cultureless, bloodless, technological all-seeing eyes upon the living, breathing peoples of our planet.

 

The Pax Americana portends the death of countless millions in the vast concentration camps called “third world nations” condemned to perdition in the arbitrary order of globalized greed. Most nations serve today as malleable resource peripheries for cheap materials and labor in the service of a planetary economy catering to the needs of the top 10% at the expense of the bottom 90%. The Pax Americana signals the triumph of capitalism, the so-called “triumph of the West,” resisted with naïve futility by its countless victims for several centuries until its culmination in the Pax Americana of the surveillance planet. Our precious blue-green Earth soon to be encircled by numberless pilotless drones and satellite based weapons-systems, policed from the imposed unity of its sky-mounted guard-towers, lies prostrate below the implacable eyes of the death machine. The camps at Auschwitz shocked the world as those who thought themselves superior exterminated those, assumed different from themselves, who were thought to be inferior.

 

Today the eyes of Predator drones watch their victims below for signs of rebellion among the inferior by those who know themselves to be superior, who sit in air conditioned facilities deep within the center of civilization watching, and waiting, for the chance to rain death upon suspected acts of rebellion by the inferior who populate the far flung corners of the Earth.  Military recruits, in the armies of the center, stripped of their human dignity and individuality, jog in formation through simulated battlefields commanded to chant, in satanic-like rituals, “kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.” The artificial unity of the recruits, stripped of their human diversity and stamped with a “brotherhood” willing to obliterate all who are different, mirrors the newly emerging unity of the Earth under the murderous eye of planetary surveillance.

 

For those who would cling to our common humanity and resist this regime of death, there are certain questions that must come first. How does one win the hearts of ordinary people across the globe to unite in a unity producing peace and prosperity throughout our common planetary home?  How does one reduce and mitigate violence, hatred, and distrust within the minds of people everywhere?  How do we minimize or control the treacherous eruptions of our unrestrained lust and violence, and our collective nationalist psychoses? How do we discover our common humanity beneath the endless diversity of the limitless “worlds within worlds” of human aspiration and endeavor? How can the deeply diverse peoples of Earth work together for the future of all her nations and citizens?

 

These are the central questions that we must ask, first and foremost, not how to stop the emerging construction of our global death camp by the Pax Americana.  If we merely oppose something, that opposition will define us. If we struggle against what is ignorant and evil without finding what is wise, deeply human, and good for all, then the ignorant and evil will tend to drag us down to its own level.  We will torture our prisoners, like they torture their prisoners.  We will kill their women and children, like they kill ours. We will spy on them in reaction to the horrific reality that they spy upon us with an inhuman surveillance lacking both comprehension and compassion.

 

All this has been said before by the great humanists of the world, from Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi in India, to Leo Tolstoy in Russia, to Albert Schweitzer in Germany, to Michel de Montaigne in France, to Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. We must discover in ourselves, and hence in all others, our common humanity, which is the source of our common human dignity and our universal ethical relationship with all others on the planet. We must not only live our personal lives from this common humanity but find ways to make it the genuine unity within which the vast diversity of our human project flourishes with protection, compassion, and security.

 

Among the above named thinkers only Gandhi realized that the project of authentic human unity requires the unity in diversity afforded by democratic world law. The spiritual and moral unity of the human race can only be effectively promoted and universalized through the promulgation of democratic world laws protecting the rights, dignity, and freedom of all persons equally. Because the “rule of law” has been so abused in the dark history of imperialism and colonialism, we do not always realize this central function of law: law is an essential factor in creating a fully functioning and operative equality, freedom, and dignity among human beings. In the theory of natural rights expressed, for example, in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedom, equality, and dignity of all persons is said to inhere in our personhood prior to the state and its laws. The state and its laws are supposed to protect these natural rights that define our common humanity.

 

But we do not fully appreciate the way in which properly framed laws create a framework for our equality, freedom, and dignity that remains fluid, amorphous, and tenuous in the absence of that law. The equality of men and women in modern western societies has been progressively realized not primarily because of some amazing enlightenment on the part of men, but because it has been progressively enshrined in enforceable law. Freedom of speech and religion in modern democratic societies has been gradually taken for granted not because we now lack bigots and haters of free speech and thought but because these freedoms have been enshrined in enforceable laws for the past two centuries.

 

A common, democratically legislated regime of law produces in people a sense of unity. When citizens realize that we are all precisely that: citizens with common rights and a common stake in the law that protects those rights, then a tremendous sense of unity can arise in the most diverse populations.  Good law emphasizes equal due process for all citizens.  Due process governs administrators. It governs the police, the courts, the prisons, the legislators, even the executives. The inherent equality and freedom of persons becomes institutionalized and protected in procedures that resist arbitrary discrimination and abuse.  If these procedures are securely embedded under the rule of law, trust is enhanced, a sense of common citizenship is enshrined, respect for the proper rule of law is increased, and people become free, for perhaps the first time, to recognize, rely-on, and live from their common humanity.

 

This is the function of world law as this is envisioned and articulated within the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. The present anarchic structures of our world disorder militate against recognition of our common humanity. A perceptive recognition of our common humanity does not obliterate diversity.  Just the opposite. The real love of humanity in others means a love of this unique expression of humanity in this particular person, culture, gender, or ethnicity. In the West, St. Francis of Assisi was a living embodiment of this truth.  He loved people and nature in terms of their unique particularities. In the East, the writings of Rabindranath Tagore manifest much the same authentic spirituality. Recognition of beauty in our Earth, its cultures, and peoples involves the perception of the synchronous harmony of unique particulars embedded within multiple universalities. Indeed, all reality (as the history of philosophy has revealed over and over for every generation) involves the synthetic integration of universals and particulars, the one and the many, unities and diversities in endless variety.  Authentic humanism simultaneously recognizes both the sameness of other persons and the marvelous multiplicity of their differences.

 

The Earth Constitution, binding all nations together under the common rule of law while protecting their uniqueness and diversity, will help to overcome the vitriolic nationalism and dehumanization of others that now leads peoples and nations into the abyss of endless war. As journalist Chris Hedges writes in his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, chronicling his experience as a war correspondent in conflicts all over the world: “Many of those who defy the collective psychosis of the nation are solitary figures once the wars end. Yet these acts of compassion were usually the best antidotes to the myths predicated by nationalists. Those who reached across lines to assist the “enemy” freed themselves from nationalist abstractions that dehumanized others…. They reduced their moral universe to caring for another human being. And in this they were able to reject the messianic pretentions that come with the nationalist agenda.”

 

Today, the virulent “nationalist agenda” festers unrestrained by any due process rule of law, for between nations there is no law, no enforceable unity to embrace their incommensurable and fragmented diversity. “War,” as the infamous Santa Fe document formulated in the US during the 1980s states, “is the norm in international affairs.” The humanist vision of universal respect and compassion cannot get a foothold because the structural fragmentation of our planet fosters “nationalist abstractions that dehumanize others.”  The American empire is premised on the assumption of endless war against pervasive enemies crushed under the all-seeing eyes of its merciless killer drones.

 

The unity fostered by democratic world law is not the alien, totalitarian unity imposed by the Pax Americana. Indeed, it may well be the only viable alternative to the rapidly closing doors to freedom and dignity for all humanity. The unity fostered by democratic world law is inseparable from the unity of humanism recognized by Tagore, Gandhi, Tolstoy, Schweitzer, Montaigne, and King. Non-military democratic world law under the Earth Constitution provides the effective, due-process legal unity necessary to put human beings everywhere in touch with our common humanity, with our deep spiritual unity arising simply from a common understanding and compassion. Whether we recognize our common humanity within a religiously motivated idiom is irrelevant here. We may express this common humanity as do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam through the metaphor of being made in the “image of God” or we may express this, as in the East, as the recognition of the “divine infinity” within every human self. But neither image is necessary. 

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What is absolutely necessary is that we discover this common humanity within ourselves and begin relating to all other persons with sensitivity, compassion, and respect. This cannot happen unless we overcome our lethal nationalisms and dehumanizations of others who happen to be different from ourselves. It cannot happen until we allow ourselves to be embraced by a common legal framework for all persons that institutionalizes freedom, equality, and dignity within coherent due process procedures of world law.  The humanism of the great thinkers of the world is also the deep humanism of the Earth Federation Movement. The effort to recognize our common humanity and the project to establish democratic world law are and the same.

 

 

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