Monday, March 28, 2011

Senator Bernie “Tom Paine” Sanders’ Mandate

 “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.…No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
 —   James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

     At a citizens’ meeting at the South Burlington High School cafeteria Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I) spoke to an exuberant audience on the engrossing subject of economics.  After briefly mentioning the cost of the Iraq war (though not the Afghanistan) and the $13.2 trillion US national debt, he bemoaned the economic plight of  the “disappearing middle class” in comparison to the “1% of Americans who owned 23% of the total wealth of the nation.” He also failed to mention that the total expenditure for war in 2009 was $1.531 trillion of which 46.5% was from the United States[1] and that Vermont had received more than $7 billion in defense contracts during the last decade—over 9000 contracts awarded to 560 main contractors.[2]
     When following his talk, he called for questions, mine was the final one: “What is the cause of war, Senator, and how can we eliminate it?”
     He brushed it off with the quip, “What! In two minutes?”
     Actually, had he read The Anatomy of Peace by Emery Reves, he could have answered it in about half a minute:
      “The real cause of all wars has always been the same. They have occurred with the mathematically regularity of a natural law at clearly determined moments as a result of clearly definable conditions…War takes place whenever and wherever non-integrated social units of equal sovereignty come into contact. Wars between these social units cease the moment sovereign power is transferred from them to a larger or higher unit.” (p. 121)
       I had met His Honor Bernie in 1989 when he was mayor of Burlington. Two years later in 1991 on the very evening before he was to fly to Washington as Vermont’s sole congressional representative, when we supporters had gathered at Contois City Hall to wish him god-speed, I suggested to him that his “guru” as an “independent” in that august body should be  “Tom Paine” who claimed that “My country is the world.”
       With today’s world headlines rife with citizens rebelling against corrupt national regimes, I had written to him—as well as to Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch—on February 16th last about a congressional initiative 66 years ago in Washington after World War II. “As you well know,” I began, “the critical and ultimate question… was obviously how to avoid WWIII with its genocidal overtones.” Willkie’s One World, Emery Reves’ Anatomy of Peace, the rise of the World Federalists, the 1945 founding of the United Nations and the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were all harbingers of the change coming in the world then, that is accelerating rapidly today.
      In my letter, I continued: “On October 24, 1945 SR 183 ‘Creation of a World Republic’, sponsored by Senator Glen Taylor called on the Senate ‘to go on record as asking the President to call a meeting of the UN with the object of changing the UN into a federated world government.’ Then on July 9, 1947, HCR 59=SCR 24: ‘…a sense of the Congress that the President of the United States should immediately take the initiative in calling a general conference of the UN pursuant to article 109 for the purpose of making the UN capable of enacting, interpreting and enforcing world law to prevent war.’ (10 Congressional supporters…)” I continued, “On June 7, 1949, HCR 64 and  July 26 SCR 56: ‘Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that it is the sense of the Congress that it should be a fundamental objective of the foreign policy of the United States to support and strengthen the United Nations and to seek its development into a world federation open to all nations with defined and limited powers adequate to preserve peace and prevent aggression through the enactment of interpretation and enforcement of world law.’ (Introduced into the House of Representatives by Congressman Brook Hays with 91 Congressional sponsors.) June 26, 1949: Introduced in the Senate by Charles W. Tobey with 18 Senatorial sponsors. June 29, 1949: 100 House sponsors. Oct. 11, 1949 with 115 House and 21 Senate sponsors. Jan 31, 1950 with 111 House sponsors. Oct. 1950 with 115 House and 21 Senate sponsors. Nov. 1950: 89 House and 18 Senate sponsors.” Then I finished with:  “On June 7, 1949 – HRC 76 introduced by  Representative C. A. Bennett, Fla. (D) asserted that “The United States Government may participate in a world federal government to enact and interpret world law and to enforce such law by a world police force and other appropriate means provided that the powers of such world government be limited to the prevention of war and international aggression and provided that 2/3rd of each House of the Congress of the United States approve the constitution of such limited world government.”  
      What kind of a world would we have today if those bills had been successfully passed by Congress?  Would we not have a peaceful and democratic world?  Would we not have avoided  the 100 wars fought since the UN’s founding?  Would  over 160 million people’s lives have been spared?   But were the world’s people ready for citizenship on the global level?
      Inside countries with a single government, a single sovereignty, like the US, war is unthinkable. It would be illegal, criminal, to try to wage war.   Inside countries we don’t fight wars – unless there are two competing sovereignties like the Yankees and Confederates. Killing is a crime. It’s called “murder.”
      There is one cause of war: no law to prevent it.  That’s called “anarchy.” It defines today’s national community. Peace is not a cause. It is the result of the rule of law.
      World peace is the result of world law.
      As Madison pointed out 224 years ago[3], Governments are not started by legislators of lower level governments. The 55 men who gathered in a Philadelphia meeting hall in the summer of 1787 could not act as representatives of their separate states following their common victory over England 4 years before. The “founders” had to “create” a new, higher political space from which they could individually-as sovereign humans-exercise their inalienable right of political choice. By constituting themselves by unanimous vote as a “Committee of the Whole” they “opened” the virgin and unlimited space “above” their state citizenships into which they first certified then recorded their individual sovereign allegiance after which they “constructed” the USA. 
      In short, governments are created by people, and if we, the people, want a sustainable and peaceful future, we must extend our sovereignty still higher and create a government of, by and for the people of the planet. 
      We have first to imagine it, then declare it, and finally create it.    
      And that’s exactly what we did on February 4, 1953.[4]  A stateless human being, I declared the World Citizen Government, and that government continues to function, issuing World Passports, Birth Certificates, Marriage Licenses and ID’s –all based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Our global government has issued over 2 million documents.  To my fellow already-registered citizens of the World Citizen Government -- you are a part of the very birth of humanity’s legitimacy prophesied, lo, in ancient times.  You are humanity’s blessed instruments of a peaceful, prosperous and joyous world community. Hallelujah!
       Should Senator Sander’s read this blog penned by his de facto Vermont and World Citizen constituent and seek to claim his Tom Paine “lineage”, I enjoin him,—and indeed any and all national legislators— in the name of the entire world citizenship constituency of which many Vermonters are already included, to recognize his sacred responsibility to represent his constituency not only within the local (read: national) context but, as the Preamble of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, that   “…recognition of the inherent  dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the  human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and  peace in the world…” in that space in which we, humanity, already
      Amen to that. 
                                                                                    Garry Davis

[1] SIPRI Year Book, 2010
[2] Ken Picard: Defense Mechanisms, 10.21.09
[3] “It is not a little remarkable that in every case reported by ancient history in which government has been established with deliberation and consent, the task of framing it has not been committed to an assembly of men, but has been performed by some individual citizen of preeminent wisdom and approved integrity.” The Federalist Papers