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A History of the World Government Movement


Please send comments and revisions to John R. Ewbank, 1150 Woods Road, Southampton, PA 18966-4545, phone 215-357-3977 FAX 215322-2673 e-mail hmrl@libertynet.org. Copyright Oct. 26, 2001. Free license for publication in English without revision.

I have never encountered what I thought was a plausible history of the world government movement. I disagree with significant portions of the history written by Joseph Balatta, although I have great respect for Dr. Balatta. Any history of world government is necessarily a history of war and the history of efforts to abolish war.

Among wild creatures, inter-species killing is abundant; however, intra-species killing is extremely rare because of widespread instincts prohibiting it. Some evidence suggests that the instinct preventing intra-species killing is not as strong in humans as in most mammals. Humans resemble other creatures in being protective of the territory currently occupied. Because humans are predominantly tribal, and once were dominated by tribal consciousness, how individualistic creatures battled to protect territory is irrelevant. Other than humans, the only species known to wage war are a few rare varieties of rats. The wars among rat tribes are rare, but result in the extermination of the loser. Possibly early human wars were to extinction of the loser. Possibly we are not the descendants of the most intelligent mammals, but instead the descendants of a brutal tribe that happened somehow to exterminate a more intelligent tribe. Dogs are among the few species in which there is as extreme variety as there is among humans. Dog breeders survive only because humans are prepared to pay more for a particular thoroughbred than for a mongrel. At one time there were much greater variations among the approximately 700,000 tribes, each proud of its thoroughbred lineage. Much of the intermarriage for humans has been intra-continental. Although the children of inter-continental marriages today may encounter fewer problems than those faced by interracial families in earlier centuries, few areas offer compassionate ?melting pot? opportunities. Racial arrogance complicates human relations on all continents. When humans were sufficient tribal in their consciousness, the tribe could stimulate good behavior and a plausible minimization of violence by a threat of [or actual] outlawing of the recalcitrant individual[s]. No dispute resolution system superior to what then prevailed has been invented. Of course there were and are tribal variations, but the general pattern was: the disputants could not use violence and were obliged to submit their dispute to a tribunal [usually one person, but sometimes a plurality] that was empowered to be the detective, investigator, judge, and jury. The tribunal determined who was victimized and what restitution might be appropriate. Individuals generally complied with the demands of such tribunals. Based in part upon what has been learned from tribal activities in recent times, obedience was preferred to the punishment of being outlawed for failing to comply. Although many tribes had hospitality to individuals who happened to be traveling, the consent of the tribe was necessary for an adult to join a tribe. Such joining of a tribe as an adult was rare.

Some evidence indicates that possibly 50,000 years ago, this system collapsed because the chief of some tribe exploited the opportunity of taking in a wanderer, not as a regular member of the tribe, but as a ?second-class citizen? in a submissive role. Slavery thus was invented for exploiting the criminal ousted from another tribe. This start of a ?stratified society? was apparently the beginning of patterns of slavery. When greedy slavemasters desired more slaves, warfare was developed to capture more slaves and thus enrich the greedy slavemasters. Those militarists who have described militarism in terms of self-defense of territory fail to recognize that it was the aggressiveness of greedy slavemasters, not land-seeking tribes, that ushered in the militaristic era. Such greedy slavemasters could coerce humans to kill humans notwithstanding the instincts against intra-species killing. Some evidence indicates that such wars of conquest have occurred only during a relatively recent small fraction of the story of humankind. The winners of the wars have provided the stories about the past. Substantially all of the myths about events concern the more recent militaristic phase of the story of humankind.

There has long been a difference between constabulary weapons, designed for injuring one person at a time, and military weapons designed to substantially simultaneously injure a plurality of individuals or to damage property. With the evolution of stratified societies, the geographical discrepancies in wealth become greater. Substantially every area of the earth has at sometime been among the ten wealthiest areas of the world. Eventually there were some towns and cities having significant armies and navies. The turbulence of warfare was sometimes modified by mergers or conquests or confederations permitting a central headquarters to administer a larger region, sometimes called a nation. The number of languages was thus reduced from about 700,000 to a few thousand. Although the Roman Empire controlled a large area, the technology of that era did not permit it to prolong indefinitely its Pax Roma, thus connoting that based upon centuries, neo-colonialism self-disintegrates.

About 700 years ago, the European nations developed the modern theories of international law, based upon the unlimited sovereignty of a nation, and requiring adequate recognition by other nations to achieve nationhood status. Disputes among nations are to be terminated based upon the relative clout, relative prestige, and relative military power of a nation, with each nation being entitled to wage war to protect its national interests. Although called international law, it could also be called the treaty system or more accurately, the war system. All international law is based upon the false myth that foreigners can coerce an unlimited sovereign nation to behave as a nation. The technology at that time did not permit a corporation to adequately supervise an employee in a foreign country. Such reliance upon the unlimited sovereignty of nations made sense as of the technology at that time. Now there are thousands of corporations supervising employees in foreign countries. Even when Tennyson was writing about the ?Parliament of man? technology had made the federalized governing of individuals globally a plausible possibility. A World Association of Parliamentarians was organized in the 19th century. When it was the privilege of the US Senate to host such World Association of Parliamentarians in St. Louis in 1905, the US Senate became indirectly an official sponsor of world federalism by publicizing the resolution encouraging world federation. No adequate provisions were made concerning the transition insurance for diplomats, soldiers, and others who might be disrupted if such federalization became structure instead of aspiration. Hence, the responses to early rhetoric about world federation were conspiracies for attacking any variety of world federalism by maximally prolonging the treaty system. The principal impact of that St. Louis resolution was greater glorification of the treaty system by the diplomats and other special interests benefiting from it. Diplomats organized lobbying groups for a League To Enforce Peace, later embodied in the League of Nations, and still dominating the philosophy of the United Nations. As the total budget of the treaty system increased, the propaganda brainwashing people to perennially prolong the treaty system increased, as exemplified in the Hague Appeal for Peace.

At the Treaty of Versailles, there was a document on the table proposing that the world authority administer a world patent system. However, it was never debated or voted upon. If such global federalization merely of patent law had been adopted, this might have featured global jurisdiction over individuals. If the world authority had had a reliable source of income from administering a patent system, then it would not have had the collapse attributable to non-payment of dues and withdrawals from the world authority. Federalization of patents, although seemingly trivial, might have prevented WWII and achieved a per capita income possible double what it is today.

When Senator Lodge opposed entry of the USA into the League of Nations, his arguments focused significantly upon its prolongation of the unmanageability of the war system, without global jurisdiction over the individual. Many militaristic historians distorted such rejection contending that USA was isolationist. Hence few realize how strongly world federalist were the speeches of Senator Lodge in opposing entry into the League of Nations. Its failure was due to its structure and dependence upon traditional international law without federalism.

Various authors favored world federalism, but the issue was predominantly dormant until 1933. The important beginning of the world federalist movement was the establishment in about 1933 of the Campaign for World Government by Lola Maverick Lloyd and Roswika Schwimmer. By 1936, Bill Lloyd was flying a plane to publicize in many areas why federalized governing individuals was the manageable approach for coping with the horrendousness of militarism. Roswika Schwimmer and Lola Maverick Lloyd undoubtedly should have received the Nobel Peace Prize. Their 1933 pamphlet on Questions and Answers about World Government continues to be useful after 68 years. The Campaign for World Government also stimulated various attacks upon world federation.

Clarence Straight was a proficient journalist who both exploited and distorted public interest in world federalism aroused by the Campaign for World Government. Instead of seeking world government to abolish war, Straight wanted to wage war against Russia more effectively. His wordcraftsmanship skills were remarkable. Straight wrote UNION NOW in 1939, selling enough books to start an organization of the same name. He argued that Russia could be opposed more effectively if all democracies were to unite. A decentralist friend of mine, Leopold Kohr, wrote THE BREAKDOWN OF NATIONS as a rebuttal to UNION NOW. Kohr noted that national militarism was a minor irritant if nations were sufficiently small, but that big nations tended to self-destruct when using militarism and/or modern technology. His analysis has proven to be a much more accurate than the analysis by Straight. Substantially all authors, except a few decentralist writers such as K. Sale and J. Papworth, have ignored Kohr. However, the Association to Unite Democracies continues to promote Straight?s UNION NOW and to have significant vitality as a Yankee organization. AUD is the federalist group that has through the decades had more Congresspersons supporting it than other federalist groups. Many affiliates overseas collaborated at The Hague in 1998 in conducting a Citizens Constitutional Convention. AUD claimed that Clinton praised such international federalization in a speech at a diplomatic gathering in Poland. AUD indicated that Bush praised the ?rule of law? in one of his speeches at a similar gathering of diplomats. I contend that each delegate to the World Parliament should represent the entire earth and that geographical districts for World Parliamentarians is an obsolete concept. I oppose representation by nations in a world federation. However, most Proposals for a world constitution have featured a chamber for delegates from nations. If there were such a chamber, then I would want only democracies to belong to such Supra-National Federation. Accordingly I have maintained a membership in AUD and once offered to serve on its Board. The UNION NOW organization, predecessor of AUD, had a schism in 1940, because Mildred Riordan Blake contended that the invitation to participate in the federations should be sent to all, thus establishing a more inclusive federalist organization then called World Federalists. The American Movement for World Government carries on the generic, inclusive emphasis upon federalized governing of all humans which was initiated by Mildred Riordan Blake, Stewart Ogilvy, Tom Griessemer, et al. Such membership organization supplemented the educational campaigns conducted by the Campaign for World Government. Marjorie and I were active in both that World Federalists and the Campaign for World Government when we lived in the East 1940-45. Edyth Wynner was my mentor concerning federalism 1943-45. Marjorie was secretary to Tracy Mygatt in handling the New York City office of the Campaign for World Government. Marjorie was Treasurer of the national Peace Now Movement, which sought a negotiated peace. The Ewbanks stressed that decentralist-federalism was the most hopeful bonus for stimulating a negotiated peace.

After the Hiroshima bombing in 1945, dozens of world federalist groups evolved to compete with Union Now and World Federalists. I strongly favored the multiplicity of groups so that each could be true to its own doctrine. Volunteers will only work for a group for which they have enthusiasm. Hence, a variety of organizations is necessary to cope with the inherent variety of opinions. Of course there were critics who argued that if the world federalists could not agree among themselves, how could they stimulate many nations to agree. A gathering of many variety of federalists gathered in Cleveland in 1946 to evaluate the situation. I argued that the issue was whether individual liberty was to be properly recognized by allocating sovereignty from the bottom up, and that the minority of people who happened to be federalist activists at a particular time could not assuredly formulate a winning strategy for such a drastic transformation of the institutional matrix. Again I was in the minority. Unfortunately, the various groups merged in Ashville, NC in 1947, and temporarily functioned as United World Federalists, later changing their name to World Federalist Association. Stewart Ogilvy, Vernon Nash, Tom Griessemer, and the personalities who understood the problem were fired and replaced by bureaucrats treating grass-roots members as the corporals obligated to obey the wise strategists in Washington. In 1955, the United World Federalists hierarchy concluded that their effectiveness was weakened because their literature listed the alternative of calling a World Constitutional Convention as among its aspiration. Such potentiality was deleted. This deletion irritated Mildred Riordan Blake sufficiently to lead a second schism. Thus she and some other federalists, mainly in the area of New York City, established the American Movement for World Government in 1955. The group continues to operate under by-laws designed for the 1955 situation. AMWG quickly became the ?generic? advocate for the federalized governing of individuals, while UWF plodded along with its gimmicks aimed at collecting membership dues. However AMWG generally had its greatest strength in the New York City area, and did not, insofar as I recall, have any chapter in the Philadelphia area. Although the Hiroshima bombing stimulated interest in world federalism, the ten years of campaigning without federalization led to significant apathy. McCarthy?s anti-communism campaigns and similar fascistic projects in other parts of the world meant that the contributions to federalist groups plummeted both in the USA and globally. The world federalist movement went into a prolonged hibernation period. In Washington the UWF-WFA and AUD each survived as functioning organizations. However, AMWG deteriorated into what some described as a ?corporate shell?. Ewbank participation in AMWG started after it was predominantly a corporate shell searching rather futilely for a membership base. I attended board meetings and accepted a position on the Board. I routinely attended the Peace Forum managed by the World Peace News. Tom Liggett and Bill Cox had entered into an agreement that the World Peace News would be treated as a publication of AMWG so long as it was mutually agreeable, but giving each an option of termination. AMWG had been among the first of the federalist organizations to achieve the highly advantageous 501[c][3] status, so that it could collect tax-deductible contributions and pass them though for the publication of the World Peace News. It is my recollection that during some years when I was on the AMWG Board, it had no meetings except for the annual election of the officers as a few minutes during the day of the Peace Forum. Even when members were recruited as members or as board members, the drop-out rate tended to exceed the recruitment rate. After my retirement in 1982, I could attend Board Meetings other than on Saturday. After AMWG ceased to have a large membership, and particularly after it ceased to maintain any regular office, there were efforts to preserve AMWG in hopes that the generic federalist message would again be marketable. Edyth Wynner and Bill Cox became the activists. Then Bill Cox became ill, and for about a decade Edyth Wynner kept AMWG alive through her activism. She recognized the criticality of maintaining a generic federalist organization, and recognized that the role of AMWG was distinguishable from the activities of WFA. She and Georgia Lloyd were both concerned that somehow the uniqueness of AMWG should continue notwithstanding its temporary problems in recruiting members. AMWG obtained status as a 501[c][3] status. Possibly it was the first federalist organization to achieve such status. Eventually UWF [now WFA] gained 501[c][3] status. Even when AMWG was relatively dormant, it could be an organization through which contributions could be passed to projects such as World Peace News, edited by Tom Liggett.

During the time when the AMWG was significantly active, that is about 1955-57, Marjorie and I were busy in Southampton seeking to adopt a baby, paying little attention to NY City and its federalist activities. There never was a Philadelphia area chapter for AMWG so far as I know. Possibly it was through our subscriptions to Campaign for World Government that we learned about World Peace News and started subscribing to it. Tom Liggett sometimes published some of my letters to the editor. I had been enthusiastic about Edyth Wynner?s federalist activities because she was my mentor guiding me about federalism when we lived in New York City 1943-45. Eventually I joined the board of AMWG to supplement my pattern of attending Tom Ligget?s annual Forum. Although AMWG had once been a vital organization, it was a shell struggling to survive by the time I joined the board. Obtaining board members or officers has been a difficult hurdle from time I joined. I know of its active days of 1955-57 only as history. There have been many fiascoes among projects by federalist groups around the world. At one time AUD was persuaded to deplete much of its endowment on a spectacular event in Seattle. Instead of gaining the tremendous support aspired for by its managers, it brought AUD to the brink of extinction. Only the voluntary work of Tom Hudgens brought it through such a crisis. Phil Isely organized a World Constitution and Parliament Association, which has sponsored about a dozen fiascoes, traceable in part to dissipating funds for travel for delegates from pauper areas. Only the wealth of Phil Isely has kept the organization alive. Gary Davis has been wealthy enough to maintain the World Government of World Citizens and its affiliate the World Authority. It has issued identification documents to thousands of refugees, thus on a thousandfold basis doing that resembled the work of Larsen, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dozens of federalist projects by individuals have resembled the reform activism of Isely and Davis, who have collaborated through the World Government Coordinating Council, with which John Ewbank has been affiliated for about thirty years. It is now called the Coalition for Democratic World Government, and is headed by Hank Stone, with Phil Isely?s second wife Eli Isely as Treasurer. Dozens of entrepreneurs have organized world governments and flourished for a while, but none has been wealthy enough to have significant impact. Oceanus claimed the ocean as a nation, and promoted world federalism while claiming national status within the treaty system. The tonnage of boats flying the Oceanus flag exceeded the tonnage flying the Stars and Stripes when Washington made his Farewell Address. Admiral McClaskey is apparently in her second sever year term as Admiral of Oceanus, which publishes Oceanus news at $15/yr at POB 52-1292, Miami, FL 33152. I purchased a passport from Oceanus, and successfully used it in entering and leaving Costa Rica in 1992. I also used a Garry Davis World Authority passport for entering and leaving France in 1998. Home Rule Globally maintains a Gentle Usurpation Institute which seeks to register all varieties of entrepreneurial world governments. Some are fascistic, but interesting to visit as Websites. Books have been written about how to start your own country. There is a geographical desk in the US State Department for seeking to maintain some registry of these projects. After WFA had renewed financial strength, it moved the headquarters of the World Federalist Movement from Amsterdam, Netherlands to New York City, and hired Bill Pace as director. He had been a federalist activist in Colorado prior to being on the staff of Amnesty International. He knew how NGOs lobbied various groups at the UN. His wife was also a reform activist. She became the manager for the Hague Appeal for Peace. WFM focused much of its energies on promoting the treaty for the International Criminal Court, intended to be a UN court on a permanent basis, instead of the ad hoc basis of most tribunals affiliated with the UN for punishing individuals. Ewbank sought to promote a separate organization concerned with endowing the ICC so that it might have at least an iota of independence and not be subject to withholding of dues by nations, but this effort failed. Most treaties resemble the treaty for the world court, thus permitting a nation to veto attempts to bring a dispute within the jurisdiction of the World Court. The significant break-through in international law was achieved when the USSR approved of compulsory jurisdiction for the Law of the Sea Tribunal. Such court has been functioning for several years. Ewbank is acquainted with Judge Alexander Yarikov of the Law of the Sea Tribunal. This tribunal represents the principal achievement of world federalists over the past 70 years, attributable almost entirely not to the organizations, but to three individuals, Sam and Miriam Levering and Dr. John J. Logue.

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