"Speak your latest conviction and it shall be the universal sense; for always the inmost becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment."
Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks for tuning in. This is my first blog. Quite an awesome responsibility to be read by millions...Well, at least by you. It's really a one-on-one deal, isn't it?
You may know I am already "in" cyberspace with my own web site, (garrydavis.org), then you can check out my 7 books at worldgovernmenthouse.com, plus lots of articles at worldcitnews.org and over a half century of press material via a google search on "World Citizen Garry Davis").
But a blog is something else. More intimate, spontaneous, revealing, hopefully inspiring...and fun...for me and I hope for you too. Let's hear from you.
To set the overall tone, I dug out my well-thumbed copy of David Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience': "All men recognize the right of revolution, that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable." (In my book, the entire 18th century nation-state system has become increasingly dysfunctional and tyrannical! I want to spell that out later on). "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." (As a "stateless person" I myself have seen the "inside" of national goals 34 times!)
Then how about, "When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished"?
Lots of talk now about revolution especially since 9/11. More about that later. I myself "refused [national] allegiance" at age 26.
Here's a key quote: "Statesmen and legislators, standing so completely within the institution, never distinctly and nakedly behold it. They speak of moving society, but have no resting-place without it." (Emery Reves, Anatomy of Peace).
All National politicians by definition are "within the institution." Yet our 21st century problems are "outside" the governing system, i.e. war and global warming.
Buckminister Fuller claimed that "...for the first time in the history of man for the last ten years, all the political theories and all the concepts of political functions, in any other than secondary roles as house-keeping organizations, are completely obsolete. All of them were developed on the you-or-me-basis." (Utopia or Oblivion ). Thoreau also exposes the civic hypocrisy in wartime: "The soldier is applauded who refuses to serve in an unjust war by those who do not refuse to sustain the unjust government which makes the war..." (The US public overwhelmingly cries "Bring the troops home [from Iraq but not Afghanistan] but agrees to pay the cost while they're still there!" ).
And finally, "Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything that was." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) In other words, don't just talk the "walk" but you must "walk the talk" if you want to institute change.
I also concur with Thoreau's thoughts on the U.S. Constitution: "Seen from a lower point of view, the Constitution, with all its faults, is very good; the law and the courts are very respectable; even this State and this American government are in many respects, very admirable and rare things, to be thankful for, such as a great many have described them; but seen from a point of view a little higher, they are what I have described them; seen from a higher still, and the highest, who shall say what they are, or that they are worth looking at or thinking of at all?" (For example, are those 3 astronauts in a Space Station 360 miles over all our heads circling the planet every 90 minutes at 17,000 mph still bound by their national constitutions? Who and where, for instance, is "the enemy"?)
Tom Paine in 1789 wrote that "The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insulting of tyrannies. The circumstances of the world are continually changing and the opinions of men also change. And as government is for the living and not the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it."
So my blog has the distinctive feature of viewing the world from "outside" the established national governments and "looking in" rather like those astronauts in our Space Station. I call it "The Vertical View" as compared to "The Horizontal View" when on the planet. You've heard the expression, "Think globally; act locally." Well, for over sixty years (I'm 85) having claimed to be a "world citizen" at age 26, I have not only been thinking globally, but, of necessity, acting globally. It's really an ancient idea, world citizenship. The Greeks and Stoics 3000 years ago called themselves "cosmopolites." And Socrates 2500 years ago told his fellow Athenians not to consider themselves only Athenians and Greeks but also "citizens of the world."
So away we go! Let the global chips fall where they may. Have fun! I will.
There Is No Iraqi War!
Lt. Ehren Watada, US army, is a modern-day symbol of the military refusenik. The "Iraq war" is "unjust" he claims due mainly to its pre-emptiveness, and he requests to be let out of his oath of military servitude.
In a court martial February 5 the presiding officer, Judge Head, declared a mistrial when he realized that Lt. Watada's legal arguments had already gotten to the jury with a good chance of acquittal on one or more of the charges remaining in the case. Given the increasing public outrage and frustration with President Bush's harebrained and disastrous policies, his case could break the back of the Pentagon's whole muddled warring machine. Indeed popular support from around the world is already flooding the offices of his US team. Besides other soldiers have joined him in his mission.
During the Mexican war of 1812, Thoreau deals with the military aspect of government with his usual prescience: "A common and natural result of an undue respect for law, is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, private, powder-monkeys and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their will, ay, against their common-sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts, and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous men in power....[B]ehold a marine, such a man as an American government can make. or such as it can make a man with its black arts, a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments..."
Now Ehren Watada's admirers and supporters, in a special web site, are asking we who agree with him to write to General David Dubik to release him from his Constitutional pledge "to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
I have, however, a fundamental disagreement with the good lieutenant along with Bush's murderous policies. Ehren signed up to be a soldier ostensibly to fight a war and/or defend his country. But that presupposes an enemy. So, with the event of 9/11 as his jumpstart, ostensibly its justification for the so-called Iraqi war, Bush and his gang dreamt up a fantasy enemy: "terrorism." Once established in the public mind that "terrorism" was an "enemy" and not merely a condition, the trap was legally closed. And what was that? Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution which put a commander-in-chief hat on Bush's head.
In 1789 the debate in Philly on the issue of who should speak for the fledgling nation itself vis-a-vis other nations (England, France and Spain had their man-o-war's in the Atlantic threatening the former colonies) resulted in Art II, Section 2 conferring "discretionary powers" on the president in time of war. Patrick Henry abandoned the Committee of the Whole claiming the constitution conferred "dictatorial powers" on the president a la King George III. Because this issue relates to young men throughout the world being conned into a soldier's uniform with gun to match by heads of state, I wrote the following letter to General Dubik exposing the fundamental false premise of war itself and the "Iraqi war" in particular:
February 27, 2007
Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik
Fort Lewis and I Corps
Bldg 2025 Stop 1
Fort Lewis, WA 98433
Dear General Dubik,
I write on behalf of Lt. Watada. Before explaining my motives, however, allow me to note, respectfully, that, while I do not know your present age, Sir, as a U.S. Air Force pilot in WWII, I was bombing German civilians from a B-17 60 years ago. My rank at the time was the same as Lt. Watada's. And while I sympathize with his present stand of refusing to fight in what he terms an "unjust war," my considered take on his present situation and that of all soldiers everywhere is somewhat different.
What if there is no war in which he can refuse to fight?
Because there is no real enemy!
Allow me to explain. The so-called Iraq war is a non sequitur. "Terrorism" is a condition, neither a nation nor a particular people... As you are aware, war has two main definitions: 1. One must engage in it determined to win it; in short, there must be a winner and a loser. 2. Society must be left intact after the war is over. An alleged war against "terrorism" is by definition unwinnable since its environment is anarchy; society itself therefore will be eventually drained morally, physically and economically to its inevitable collapse. Empires have perished in this delusion.
Anarchy itself is the "enemy" as the US Founders foresaw and eliminated.
In short, President Bush and his advisors hoodwinked both the American people and the Congress starting with the September 11, 2001 debacle in accepting that the United States itself was under "foreign" attack. The fact that 15 "aliens" could take down the Twin Towers despite the US army, navy and all security agencies was tantamount to a psychic/emotional shock for Americans which permitted President Bush to assume dictatorial powers as "commander-in-chief" provided under Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution, a 214-year-old flawed "birthmark" on an otherwise almost miraculous document.
Lt. Watada found out too late the travesty foisted on both the American and Iraqi people. He had already signed up. He then belatedly if rightly scored not only the "preemptive" character of Bush's invasion to eliminate, ostensibly, Iraq's then leader, Saddam Hussein, but the essential dichotomy between authoritarianism and conscience. That Hussein was a war criminal under the Nuremberg Principles was evident due to his known usage of chemical warfare against his own citizens. The ICJ, however, the only court then adjudicating war crimes remained impotent due to the UN's weak-willed intervention to prevent Bush's opportunistic and feckless attack. Thus, President Bush, ironically, became the "war criminal" of which he accused President Hussein!
Now Lt. Watada is on trial for refusing to fight in an "unjust war." (Is any war just?) "For wars to end," he told a Veterans for Peace gathering in Atlanta recently, "the American soldier must rise above the socialization that tells (him) the authority should always be obeyed without question. They must know that neither Congress nor this administration has the authority to violate the prohibition against preemptive war, an American law that still stands today."
The core of his defense, however, is finally summed up in his claim that "Enlisting in the army does not relinquish one's right to seek the truth, neither does it excuse one from rational thought nor the ability to distinguish right and wrong." 'I was only following orders,' he insists, "is never an excuse."
"Can there not be a government," Thoreau asks in Civil Disobedience, "in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?...Must the citizen even for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then?"
The question is perennial yet topical.
But I would go further. War itself is obsolete, an artifact of bygone eras. The age of the exclusive nation-state has been surpassed by global revolutions in industry, electronics, weaponry (as of August 6, 1945) and now space travel. Veterans the world over stand with Watada, not only as old soldiers but as citizens of the world bonded with humanity which seeks its unity and peace. When he tells his fellow veterans, transmitted worldwide via satellite, that "If soldiers realized this war is contrary to what the Constitution extols, if they stood up and threw their weapons down, no President could even initiate a war of choice again," he is speaking for all citizens of the world and indeed to all nation-state leaders.
...And should you condemn him to prison, (General) may I remind you of Thoreau's comments on this institution when jailed by the good citizens of Massachusetts for non-payment of his war taxes: "I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was."
Yours truly, incidentally, as a stateless World Citizen, has spent as free a time in 34 prisons throughout the world for his sentiments expressed briefly herein.
Please be assured, General Dubik, of my most respectful regards and salutations.
Cc: Lt. Ehren Watada
(This letter also was emailed to key senators and representatives as well as my list of heads of state and world citizens.)
The Hidden 9th Amendment
My last item on this 1st blog fits in surreptitiously yet authoritatively to the comments above.
If you asked 100, nay 100,000 citizens or even a million on the streets of any city in the United states to quote the 9th Amendment to the United State Constitution, you would receive blank stares. Even congressional staffers cannot pass the simple test. I have a quirky offer to many 'experts' in Senators' and Representatives' office of "a quick $100" if he quoted the 9th amendment. I never had to take it out of my pocket much to his chagrin and embarrassment.
What is the mystery here? The 9th amendment, first of all, does not spell out any specific right as do the first 8. But the writers of the Bill of Rights - and my research failed to identify who actually penned it though I suspect James Madison - did not want to limit the peoples' rights to those 8. Hence the 9th which provides that, in spite of the written rights, all the others are "retained by the people."
BUT THEY DIDN'T SAY WHAT THEY WERE!
The key word is "retained." If rights are "retained" that infers that the people have them by virtue of their humanness and not by any specific civic codes. Voila! Inalienable human rights.
But the major sanction by this subtle phrasing is that THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT THEY CREATE.
And where do we find the first mention of "inalienable human rights"? Why, The Declaration of Independence, of course.
Remember "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"? Every school kid knows these. But ask them or their parents, how are these rights protected and you will again receive blank stares. The wonder is that this ignorance pertains in spite of the very words following these fundamental rights as to the very protection of our inalienable rights.
"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Therefore the 9th Amendment is the only popular LEGAL remedy available to the United State's citizen to neutralize the usurpation of dictatorial powers of the US president!
OK, here is my final "global chip": The major and fundamental human right, one which founded the United States in the first place, is simply political choice, the sovereign right of the human being part of human society.
In short, the 9th Amendment sanctions each and every U.S. citizen's right to ADD world citizenship to his/her national citizenship, [as the founders did to their state citizenships], thus eliminating the condition of anarchy which in turn breeds "terrorism."
Moreover Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights likewise provides that "...the will of people shall be the basis of the authority of government."
Attention: All heads of nation-states.
Until the next "View from my Space," I remain
Your fellow citizen in one world,