The Politics of World Federation: United Nations, UN Reform, Atomic Control - Vol. 1

The Politics of World Federation: United Nations, UN Reform, Atomic Control - Vol. 1

The Politics of World Federation: United Nations, UN Reform, Atomic Control - Vol. 1

The Politics of World Federation: United Nations, UN Reform, Atomic Control - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Recounts the practical politics of creating a world in which the rule of law maintains the peace in the same way as in well-organized free national states.

Excerpt

When I was a young man, I volunteered to serve a tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. During recruit training, an old gunnery sergeant explained to about 500 of us in a vast hall: "The purpose of a battle is to reach a decision." This truth has troubled me to the present. We were trained to charge into machine gun fur—that was how the marines took Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. Surely, I thought, there must be a more rational way to reach a decision. During the prolonged tail end of the Vietnam War, when I was so fortunate as to be able to get a classical education at St. John's College, I came upon A Constitution for the World, the reprint edition by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions of the Chicago Committee's Preliminary Draft of a World Constitution. It suddenly dawned upon me that the reason why there are wars is that humanity has no government of the earth that could establish and enforce the rule of law. I discovered that there had been, in the 1940s, a rather popular political movement to remedy this very defect. I wondered, Was not world federalism the fundamental alternative to the containment policy? Was it not something for Americans to be for, in place of anti-communism?

This book began as a doctoral dissertation at Boston University over 20 years ago. Thanks go to the history faculty there, notably John Armstrong, Sidney Burrell, William Newman, and Arnold Offner, who first taught me the techniques of history. When I began, in the late 1970s, "world history" was not thought quite a proper study, and "U.N. reform" was a taboo term in the international community. Nevertheless, I pursued what on the face of it was a great and timely subject—the history of what has actually been attempted to politically unite the human race in order to establish the rule of world law and thus to abolish war. I collected material while working as director of the New York office of one of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) accredited to the U.N. (the World Association of World Federalists), and then brought the story up to date . . .

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