My Wilmette Institute course on a World Federated Government

Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#1
The international crisis includes possible war in Ukraine, the terrorist groups, financial trouble in the eurozone, and climate change. We are now in the adolescence of the human race, and the next is maturity once we realize our interconnectedness. Modern communication, travel to other countries, and our inextricable trade and financial ties, have made oneness possible. Beyond that, they have united our interests as seemingly separate peoples and nations.

Once we grasp the reality that we can only resolve our gravest collective problems through collective solutions, we can take the next step towards maturity by beginning the process of creating the worldwide decision-making institutions that can act in the interests of all peoples and nations to solve our global problems. Building such a global infrastructure will deepen our unity and ultimately guarantee the peace and environmental survival of our planet.

in the fall of 2011, an article appeared in the American press, reporting that an official of a European Central Bank had visited his counterparts in the United States to seek advice about dealing with the financial crisis in the Eurozone. The article reported that his American hosts presented him with a copy of the 1781 American articles of confederation, the precursor to the 1789 Constitution. They told him that America had once been a loose confederation of states facing severe financial problems similar to the ones plaguing Europe. America had solved her debt problems by deepening the ties of unity between the thirteen states and forging a federated union. They suggested that Europe seriously consider doing the same as a solution to her financial problems.

Genocide has become an ugly feature of our times. On the other hand, weapons of mass destruction continue to proliferate. Terrorist networks are becoming more sophisticated and may soon have access to technologies that will enable them to make biological and chemical weapons. Religious intolerance and hatred continue to plague our societies, providing us with yet another excuse to maim and kill each other. Roving militias and insurgents act with impunity, raping and pillaging communities. Organized crime decimates our social fabric.

Our world is very interconnected, our world is so much so, in fact, that an apparently isolated crisis affecting one part of the world can have devastating effects on other parts. One striking example is the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the Twin Towers in New York City, which the World Bank estimates increased the number of people worldwide living in poverty by ten million. The World Bank also estimates that this one day terror alone cost the world economy in excess of US $8o billion. It is becoming equally clear that no one nation, no mutter how powerful, has sufficient human and financial resources to allow it Single-handedly to tackle all threats that abound.

The push for change must come from us, people at the grass roots who pay dearly with our lives for policies gone awry. First we must muster the humility and courage to acknowledge that certain of our laws and institutions no longer serve us as they should and must therefore be revamped or replaced as necessary. We must also recognize that what we lack is a well-thought-out, coherent and comprehensive system of collective security crafted not to address the crisis of the moment but to resolve all the crises that plague us, in a systematic, principled, unified, just and effective manner. We, the people at the grass roots of our communities, must hold our leaders' feet to the fire until they achieve consensus.

An example of a robust discussion that has given rise to what has been characterized by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations as an identifiable 'emerging norm''' is the discussion about our collective responsibility to protect civil populations from the threat of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Principle of the Just War
For a war to be just, it must be fought as a last resort, by a legitimate authority with the intention of redressing a wrong suffered and with the object of re-establishing a lasting peace. There is international consensus on this.

Principle of Responsibility to Protect
The Commission's report, presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in December 2001, asserted that the international community is responsible to protect those suffering from serious and irreparable harm, such as large-scale loss of life and gross human rights atrocities, and who are in dire need of protection.

Principle of Collective Benefits and Curtailed State Sovereignty
The evolving thinking suggests that state sovereignty implies responsibility towards the people within the state rather than control over their destiny, which in turn implies that state sovereignty is not absolute but relative and limited.

Principle of Unity in Thought and Action
Another principle that is emerging as a result of the work done in several quarters (by the ICISS but also others) is that the international community must unite around general principles regarding collective military action when invoking the responsibility to protect. Indeed, the principles of international cooperation and collective action are becoming increasingly recognized and valued.

Principle of Oneness
The international community is struggling to come to grips with the cornerstone of all principles, the principle of oneness. There is a feeling of superiority among the nations. The idea of oneness is starting to gain credence amongst the leadership in the international community.

Principle of Justice, Equity and Fairness
UN Secretary-General's 2005 report 'In Larger Freedom' remmded world leaders that 'collective security today depends on acceptmg that the threats which each region of the world perceives as most urgent are in fact equally so for all'.

Principle of Timely Change
The world community is finally recognizing that age-old institut1ons, policies and laws must be reshaped to meet the current needs of humanity.

Arms Control and Reduction
Nowhere is the drama of a world community being pulled reluctantly and stubbornly towards Baha'u'llah's vision of collective security more apparent than in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation and arms reduction.

There is too much expediency in the Eurozone, that is, looking for short term advantage and not seeing that the part's advantage is found when the whole is taken care of. Also in the Eurozone, there is too much unfettered sovereignty. There should be regional federated units before a world federation because there is more of a cultural agreement and there is more immediate impact on their nations. There is a slow progresssion towards that now.

Individual empowerment will accelerate substantially during the next 15-20 years owing to poverty reduction and a huge growth of the global middle class, greater educational attainment, and better health care. Individual empowerment is the most important megatrend because it is both a cause and effect of most other trends—including the expanding global economy, rapid growth of the developing countries, and widespread exploitation of new communications and manufacturing technologies. On the one hand, we see the potential for greater individual initiative as key to solving the mounting global challenges over the next 15-20 years. On the other hand, in a tectonic shift, individuals and small groups will have greater access to lethal and disruptive technologies (particularly precision-strike capabilities, cyber instruments, and bioterror weaponry), enabling them to perpetrate large-scale violence—a capability formerly the monopoly of states.

The diffusion of power among countries will have a dramatic impact by 2030. Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based upon GDP, population size, military spending, and technological investment. The shift in national power may be overshadowed by an even more fundamental shift in the nature of power. Enabled by communications technologies, power will shift toward multifaceted and amorphous networks that will form to influence state and global actions. Those countries with some of the strongest fundamentals—GDP, population size, etc.—will not be able to punch their weight unless they also learn to operate in networks and coalitions in a multipolar world.

New trends- migration, which will increasingly be a cross-border issue; and growing urbanization— another tectonic shift, which will spur economic growth but could put new strains on food and water. Demand for both skilled and unskilled labor will spur global migration.

Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40, and 50 percent respectively owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class. Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources. We are not necessarily headed into a world of scarcities, but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future. Many countries probably won’t have the wherewithal to avoid food and water shortages without massive help from outside. Agricultural productivity in Africa, particularly, will require a sea change to avoid shortages. Unlike Asia and South America, which have achieved significant improvements in agricultural production per capita, Africa has only recently returned to 1970s’ levels.

The international economy almost certainly will continue to be characterized by various regional and national economies moving at significantly different speeds—a pattern reinforced by the 2008 global financial crisis. The contrasting speeds across different regional economies are exacerbating global imbalances and straining governments and the international system. The key question is whether the divergences and increased volatility will result in a global breakdown and collapse or whether the development of multiple growth centers will lead to resiliency. The absence of a clear hegemonic economic power could add to the volatility.

The increasing number of players needed to solve major transnational challenges—and their discordant values—will complicate decisionmaking. The lack of consensus between and among established and emerging powers suggests that multilateral governance to 2030 will be limited at best. The chronic deficit probably will reinforce the trend toward fragmentation. The governance gap will continue to be most pronounced at the domestic level and driven by rapid political and social changes. The advances during the past couple decades in health, education, and income—which we expect to continue, if not accelerate in some cases—will drive new governance structures. Transitions to democracy are much more stable and long-lasting when youth bulges begin to decline and incomes are higher. Currently about 50 countries are in the awkward stage between autocracy and democracy, with the greatest number concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. The widespread use of new communications technologies will become a double-edged sword for governance. On the one hand, social networking will enable citizens to coalesce and challenge governments, as we have already seen in Middle East. On the other hand, such technologies will provide governments— both authoritarian and democratic—an unprecedented ability to monitor their citizens. It is unclear how the balance will be struck between greater IT-enabled individuals and networks and traditional political structures.

Intrastate conflicts have gradually increased in countries with a mature overall population that contain a politically dissonant, youthful ethnic minority. Three different baskets of risks could conspire to increase the chances of an outbreak of interstate conflict: changing calculations of key players— particularly China, India, and Russia; increasing contention over resource issues; and a wider spectrum of more accessible instruments of war. The current Islamist phase of terrorism might end by 2030, but terrorism is unlikely to die completely.

Regional dynamics in several different theaters during the next couple decades will have the potential to spill over and create global insecurity. The Middle East and South Asia are the two regions most likely to trigger broader instability. An increasingly multipolar Asia lacking a well-anchored regional security framework able to arbitrate and mitigate rising tensions would constitute one of the largest global threats. Fear of Chinese power, the likelihood of growing Chinese nationalism, and possible questions about the US remaining involved in the region will increase insecurities. An unstable Asia would cause large-scale damage to the global economy.
 
Sep 2010
4,362
Normanton Far North Queensland
#2
That looks like a comprehensive course. Interesting topic.

Do people that are not Baha'i attend these courses?

If yes, that's great, if not how do you think this course will help with the current community building priority, how will it share the vision of our Oneness?

Regards Tony
 
Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#3
As far as I know they are all Baha'i. After the course we will try to share our perspective with others. Included in this course are sections that deal with sceptics who say that World Federation is impossible and those that believe that a World government will abuse the rights of minorities.

After the course is over I will start a thread in RF about World Federated Government.
 
Sep 2010
4,362
Normanton Far North Queensland
#4
As far as I know they are all Baha'i. After the course we will try to share our perspective with others. Included in this course are sections that deal with sceptics who say that World Federation is impossible and those that believe that a World government will abuse the rights of minorities.

After the course is over I will start a thread in RF about World Federated Government.
Thanks Duane and best of luck with the post on RF. I have had the boot from that forum and wish you well.

Regards Tony
 
Sep 2012
305
Panama
#5
Thank you for your post. Pse share if you have any more info on this because at first glance your notes seemed contradictory. You mentioned in one part that--

"Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40, and 50 percent respectively..."
--and your later statement that--

"Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources"
--suggests that soaring demand coupled w/ a reduced supply would be disastrous. Yet, you also added---

"We are not necessarily headed into a world of scarcities..."
Do you remember any explanation as to how could there be soaring demand, falling supply, and still avoid scarcities? Something else is the question of time frame. Is this clash expected "by 2030" or in "the next 15-20 years"? Anything you can add to clarify would be most welcome.
 
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Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#6
Thank you for your post. Pse share if you have any more info on this because at first glance your notes seemed contradictory. You mentioned in one part that--



--and your later statement that--



--suggests that soaring demand coupled w/ a reduced supply would be disastrous. Yet, you also added---



Do you remember any explanation as to how could there be soaring demand, falling supply, and still avoid scarcities? Something else is the question of time frame. Is this clash expected "by 2030" or in "the next 15-20 years"? Anything you can add to clarify would be most welcome.
All I know is in the summary. You may note this: but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future. What they do to be proactive I don't know.
 
Sep 2012
305
Panama
#7
All I know is in the summary. You may note this: but policymakers and their private sector partners will need to be proactive to avoid such a future. What they do to be proactive I don't know.
kk There may have been supporting data back in there but not everyone's that curious.

My situation is that I have to keep up on what's happening so I can feed my family and I'm always interested in what the Friends are doing as they're my 'extended' family --which means I get doubly interested in what the friends are saying about current events.

tx agn!
 
Jun 2014
1,008
Wisconsin
#8
Genocide has become an ugly feature of our times.
It might be just because I'm an optimist, but I must dispute this line.

Sure, there are many ongoing genocides today, but this is not a feature unique to our times. In fact, I would state that this era has far less genocide than past eras have had. A distinct comparative lack of genocide is definitive of this current era.
 
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Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#9
It might be just because I'm an optimist, but I must dispute this line.

Sure, there are many ongoing genocides today, but this is not a feature unique to our times. In fact, I would state that this era has far less genocide than past eras have had. A distinct comparative lack of genocide is definitive of this current era.
It depends on what era you're talking about , how long it is. If we are talking about the last century this is a time of genocide.
 
Jun 2014
1,008
Wisconsin
#10
It depends on what era you're talking about , how long it is. If we are talking about the last century this is a time of genocide.
1919-2018 has plenty of genocides, of course.

But compared to 1819-1918?? Or 1719-1818?? Or 1619-1718?? The current century still had less than the preceding ones. It only seems like that isn't the case because the genocides of WWII are more fresh in our mind than, say, the Circasian genocide of the prior century. The fact that the term "genocide" was only coined this century probably also contributes to the idea that genocides are something that have only recently come about. But generally, as with all things, genocide included, the state of the world is only improving.
 

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