Foundational Principles of the Earth Federation Movement
Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Institute on World Problems (affiliate of ECI), April 2011
The Earth Federation Movement is an interactive network of world citizens, non-governmental organizations, and peace thinkers dedicated to promoting planetary awareness of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Together, we also work tirelessly to secure ratification the Constitution by the people and nations of Earth. The seven principles expressed here comprise the creed by which we live and the goal to which we give our lives, energy, and resources. These principles are summed up in the following concepts: (1) a free republic, (2) universality applying to all human beings, (3) a regime founded on the highest principles, (4) creation of living systems, (5) an in-depth principle of peace, (6) deep sustainability, and (7) integrity of the whole. These principles form the conceptual foundation of the new paradigm of universal civilization embodied in the Earth Constitution. Together, they guide us toward a transformed future of human beings and our precious planet Earth.
(1) The concept of a universal free republic.
The very first principle of our movement involves the culmination of the history of political thought in the concept of a free republic embracing all the peoples and citizens of Earth. The idea of freedom, emerging from the deepest levels of the human spirit and the farthest reaches of recorded history, has culminated in the concept of a free, universal planetary republic under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Our present world of fragmentation and divisiveness defeats human freedom at every turn, replacing our deepest aspirations with violence, hatred, surveillance, systems of domination, and war.
A universal free republic places the emerging Earth Federation at a higher level than a planetary order that merely protects civil liberties for all persons. There exists a vast difference between political and economic thought predicated on the satisfaction of private desires through civil liberties and the political foundations of human freedom centered in a universal republic of free citizens. An authentic republic constitutes a regime of genuine public space for dialogue and debate among all persons and provides for the participation of citizens in all aspects of government.
It provides, therefore, a “public freedom,” far transcending mere “private freedom,” that brings the historical human quest for freedom to fulfillment within carefully designed planetary institutions. While civil liberties are necessary to a free republic, they are not sufficient: a level of “public freedom” must emerge in which citizens themselves engage directly in governing. The thousands of world citizens involved in the development of the Earth Constitution over the space of 33 years from 1958 to 1991 designed a brilliant framework for planetary public freedom, providing for the citizens of Earth to participate in self-government in the multiplicity of ways detailed within the Constitution.
(2) The principle of universality.
The concept of a free republic for the Earth necessarily includes the concept of “all.” From the ancient Stoic affirmation of all human beings as creatures of rationality with common moral principles deriving from that rationality to the ringing words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” philosophers and sages have used the word “all” throughout history. But only with the Earth Federation Movement, and some related contemporary global movements, have we begun to really mean “all” when this word is used.
The Stoics excluded “barbarians” from their “all,” and the Declaration of Independence excluded women and slaves. However, unlike other contemporary movements that use the word “all,” with the intent of true universality, the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is not only premised on the concept of “all,” it embodies that concept in a set of institutions that brings a mere ideal down into the concrete world of legal, political, and economic arrangements that make this universality a living reality. Like the concept of a “free republic,” universality remains a mere ideal until it us embodied in concrete institutions and institutional protections that make it a living reality. The Earth Federation Movement has pledged itself to actualizing this living reality for “all.”
(3) The principle of a founded public regime.
The concept of a truly new beginning, of an origin that at the same time raises human life to a higher level of existence, is a principle of utmost importance for the Earth Federation Movement. For the founding principles in such a regime are public and there for all to see, shining through the concrete institutions and arrangements of the emergent Earth Federation. Those organizations of world citizens who are attempting to evolve the U.N., to affect small, incremental changes in the unjust and violent disorder of things, fail to understand that the compromises inherent in the evolutionary model of human affairs will forever prostitute the ideals one wishes to achieve. Perpetual compromises with immense systems of economic exploitation and imperial sovereign nation-states have led to disaster after disaster for the people of Earth.
In the ratification of the Earth Constitution as an integral, completed, foundational document lies the assent of humanity to true freedom and dignity. An integral legal system, founded on explicit principles of freedom, justice, prosperity, and peace from the very beginning, avoids the prostitution of deeply held ideals involved in all merely evolutionary models by the forces of unfreedom, injustice, poverty, and war. The Constitution embodies its highest ideals within an integrated, holistic, legal system that can substantially actualize these ideals in the daily lives of the people of Earth.
The campaign for ratification of an already completed Constitution since 1991 indicates, therefore, a disciplined refusal to offer the Constitution as a mere draft that can be forever tinkered with by querulous academic pedants and duplicitous forces that would subvert human progress. The campaign for ratification understands that only a founded system, only ratification of a completed document of surpassing brilliance (whatever minor flaws might remain), can establish human freedom upon the Earth. The flourishing (and indeed survival) of human life on our planet can only be accomplished through a founding ratification convention bringing the peoples and nations of the world to a truly higher level of human and political existence.
(4) The principle of living systems for human economic and political life.
A logical implication of the principle of a founded free republic involves the principle that living systems establish freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity. A widely held assumption today looks at these ideals as reflections of the subjective attitude of people, nations, or economic managers. If the people in government or business are moral, peaceful, and just, it is believed, then this may lead to a world of peace with justice.
This attitude fails to examine the fragmented and distorted institutionalized systems that block morality, peace, and justice no matter who make-up their institutional participants. If economic institutions are flawed and inherently destructive of people and the environment, it matters little whether the captains of banking and industry are moral or immoral. If the system of sovereign nation-states is inherently a war system and a system of power politics, it matters little who is president or prime minister of various countries.
The Earth Federation Movement understands that freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity primarily arise from properly designed institutions. If we live under such institutions, democratically and transparently governed, then the flawed human beings who staff these institutions are much more likely to embrace freedom, peace, justice, and universal prosperity. People who staff today’s dysfunctional and unjust economic and nation-state institutions are, for that very reason, more likely to embrace unfreedom, war, injustice, and vast poverty in a world of obscene power and riches for the few. The Earth Constitution establishes these ideals in an integrated and universal world legal system. It constitutes a freedom system, a peace system, a justice system, and a prosperity system for the people of Earth.
(5) Multiple elements within the in-depth principle of peace.
All seven principles expressed in this document imply one another, including the concept of peace. The condition of peace has remained an illusory ideal throughout recorded human history. The tragic history of war and violence has created a nightmare for a large portion of the Earth’s citizens over the centuries, including today. Pursuit of the ideal of world peace in today’s world has resulted in a number significant movements, among the most prominent of these are movements for peace education and groups devoted to the quest for inner peace.
Both inner peace and peace education are important elements in the quest for a peaceful world order (which would necessarily also be a free, just, and prosperous world order). But inner peace and peace education can never be sufficient, for the most fundamental dimension of peace is yet missing: the institutionalization of a peace system for the Earth. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth, along with its principles developed by the Provisional World Parliament under the authority of Article 19, establishes a dynamic peace system for the Earth.
Among the Constitution‘s institutionalized elements of an in-depth peace system include (1) universal, transparent democracy for all nations and peoples, (2) enforceable, democratically legislated laws ensuring that no one is above the law, (3) systematic and carefully designed demilitarization for all the nations and organizations of the Earth, (4) mechanisms preventing remilitarization or reestablishing of institutions or organizations predicated upon violence, (5) prohibition of all military for the Earth Federation government itself, (6) judicial institutions for the peaceful settlement of disputes among all people and nations, (7) institutionalized protections of human rights and freedoms for all people on Earth, along with their right to participate in governing themselves on multiple levels from local to planetary (8) the substantial elimination of poverty, misery, and disease from the Earth and creation of an infrastructure for keeping the people of Earth healthy and economically secure, (9) the development of worldwide institutions for mediation and conflict resolution designed to promote peace and mutual understanding among people, obviating in most cases the need to call upon the judicial system, and (10) worldwide peace education for all children in Earth Federation supported schools, and, through public radio, TV, and internet, for all adults within the Earth Federation.
The principle of living systems is here briefly illustrated in the principle of an in-depth peace system for the Earth. All successful living systems must include a free republic, must be universal, must be founded, and must embody multiple, integrated elements, under the rule of enforceable law, as illustrated in this example of an in-depth peace system. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the only living document today that includes all of these elements necessary for moving the human project to the next higher level of planetary existence.
(6) The principle of universal sustainability.
The concept of sustainability developed from the ecological sciences has become a fundamental principle for understanding the relationship between human economic, political, and social activity and the carrying capacity and ecological integrity of the ecosystem of our planet. We live today, as in the past, in an unsustainable manner that destroys the ecological integrity of our planet’s life-support system.
Today’s unsustainable world disorder does not only include a life-style carrying an “ecological footprint” greater than the planet will bear. It also includes vast poverty in the world’s population forcing desperate people to deforest the world, to produce very large families, and to over-cultivate land and over-exploit resources. It includes the vast military apparatus of the world that is deadly for the environment not only in the production of horrid bombs and chemicals but even more deadly when these technologies of death and destruction are used around the world. It includes an economic system predicated on private profit without regard to any human values, including sustainability, and that systematically externalizes the costs of production into the environment and onto society in a process that amounts to eating our planetary biosphere alive.
Sustainability, therefore, like peace, is a comprehensive principle requiring transformation of our entire planetary system as envisaged by the Earth Constitution. Sustainability applies not only to the ecological footprint of consumers. Rather, it is universal: it applies to all the central institutions that structure our lives at every level. The present global economic system is unsustainable. The present system of sovereign nation-states is unsustainable. The present cultural patterns of consumption and personal gratification are unsustainable. Global poverty signifies unsustainability for our entire planet as does global militarism.
The Earth Constitution provides the foundation for political, social, ecological, and economic sustainability for our endangered planet Earth. Sustainability can only be achieved through democratic world law within a transparent, institutionally sound, democratic world system. Sustainability is a comprehensive financial, social and ecological concept that cannot be achieved without ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
(7) The principle of integrity in the whole.
The integrity of the whole arises from the systemic and integrated wholeness of the system articulated in the Constitution and the understanding that wholeness itself is the most fundamental principle discovered by virtually every science of the 20th and 21st centuries. Human life on Earth is a whole, our personal individuality in relation to our “species-nature” as language using creatures is a whole, the biosphere of our planet is a whole, our solar system is a whole: our galaxy and, ultimately, our universe are integral wholes. In religious language, God is the principle of integrity and wholeness in all things, “through whom all things were made.”
The Earth Constitution embodies this principle in human economic, political, and social life at the planetary level. It is wholeness that carries natural, spiritual, and moral integrity, not division, violence, or fragmentation. The integrity of the Earth Constitution is in its wholeness, and in the wholeness of the Earth Federation that it establishes for the Earth. That is why freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity are the substantial consequences of its ratification and implication. It is the whole that has integrity, and the Constitution institutionalizes that integrity for human society for the first time in history.
This wholeness and its integrity can only be protected and concretely established through ratification of the Earth Constitution. The whole of our world system, a system of freedom, peace, justice, and prosperity, will then ascend to an inviolable integrity. These are the principles to which we pledge ourselves, and which we pledge to one another: to all humanity, and to future generations living upon the Earth. It is the institutionalized integrity of the whole that will lead future human beings to live lives of dignity, reverence, and honor upon our precious planet Earth.
The principles at the heart of the Earth Federation Movement are the most fundamental principles of ethical and political thought. Our thought and action is directed toward the primacy of human freedom for every person and community on Earth. The conceptual foundations of the Earth Constitution, upon which our work is based, involve only the most fundamental and universal of principles, principles necessary for coherent, integrated, and consistent thought regarding the human condition at the dawn of the 21st century.
Our movement refuses to adulterate its conceptual foundations with the cynicism, skepticism, relativism, and superficiality that today dominate thought within both nation-states and the United Nations. We have not watered down our work with ideas of limited and secondary value, ideas that clandestinely import fragmentation, division, and violence into human affairs. Such limited and secondary ideas include the sovereignty of nation-states as well as false notions of unbridgeable divisions among religions, races, cultures, ethnicities or creeds. Such adulterating ideas also include the necessity of compromise with the corrupt regimes and prostituted principles that we find everywhere prevalent within our current world of fragmentation, chaos, and disorder.
Our personal integrity resides in the rigorous honesty with which we critique the present world of injustice, violence, and unsustainability. It resides in our unfailing commitment to remain loyal to the highest principles arising from the human mind and human history, and our determination to institute these principles within a transformed world order predicated on freedom, justice, prosperity, and peace for all human beings everywhere. Our integrity lies in our word, in the sanctity and faithfulness of our word in relation to the principles to which we have pledged ourselves. It also lies in the quality of thought and action arising from our principles, thought and action vigilant against a pragmatism that forever compromises with a corrupt status quo.
This rigorous honesty and sanctity of our words and pledges themselves arise from a yet deeper level of insight. We pledge not only to the highest principles of human thought that constitute the foundations of our movement, but we pledge to one another to engage the future and our commitments through mutual dialogue, respect, understanding, and shared vision. Our pledges, therefore, maintain an unfailing commitment while avoiding dogmatism and closed-mindedness. For we commit to the highest principles of dialogue, discussion, and communication with all willing persons. This communicative foundation constitutes the living, phenomenological dynamic from which our highest principles and concepts emerge. Our integrity flows from this communicative foundation and from our commitment to these highest principles of human and planetary life.