Tag: <span>University of Chicago</span>

Giuseppe Antonio Borgese Portraits of World Citizens.

Giuseppe Antonio Borgese: Common Cause.

Featured Image: Giuseppe Antonio Borgese. Public Domain. By https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Antonio_Borgese#/media/File:G._A._Borgese.jpg

“The era of humanity has not begun, but the age of nations has ended. It ended in 1914 when the world wars began.  Hence, earth and sky be Commonwealth to all, that Man at last may raise must Nations fall.”

Giuseppe Antonio Borgese (1882 -1952) whose birth anniversary we note on 12 November, was an Italian-born professor of literature at the University of Chicago and a leading world citizen in the late 1940s.  In 1931, Borgese was a visiting professor at the University of California when Mussolini announced that an oath of allegiance to the Italian Fascist state would be  required of all Italian professors.  Borgese did not go back and wrote to Mussolini:

“My dwelling place can only be where it is permitted a writer to be truly a writer.” 

Borgese published “Goliath: The March of Fascism” (1937) when few in the United States were following political events in Italy.  He developed further his views as the Second  World War developed in “Common Cause.” (1)

In 1939 he married Elizabeth Mann, youngest daughter of the German writer Thomas Mann, who was living in exile in Princeton, New Jersey. In the mid-1970s, I knew Elizabeth Mann Borgese, who had become a specialist on law of the sea issues.

Thomas Mann

 Thomas Mann, Nobel laureate in Literature 1929. By Nobel Foundation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

G.A. Borgese was a leading member of the University of Chicago-based Committee to Frame a World Constitution which wrote the “Preliminary Draft of a World Constitution” (1948) (2)  As Borgese wrote: 

“The popular assumption that the present movement toward world unity originates essentially in the technological revolution as applied to ‘ weapons of mass destruction ‘ is a fallacy derived from the superstition of our time, which is the adoration of the tool, the cult of the material causes.  Techniques and tools are the product of spiritual evolution which in successive waves of reactions and actions they become contributing factors.  They are not the first causes.  It was not the Legion that made Rome, not the phalanx that built Macedonia, but conversely.  For the age of nations, after a span of six centuries was as good as dead for reasons far deeper and more complex than any technological change, in 1914 – when uranium was quietly number 92 on the periodic table, and plutonium was nothing and nowhere.”

For Giuseppe Antonio Borgese, we need to change the way we think of ourselves and each other, not as members of separate nations but as citizens of one planet with justice as a core value.  Justice is a timeless and universal idea whose historical appearances and demands are variously and progressively determined by the various configurations of the ages.  At a time when there is injustice in many parts of the world, it is useful to recall the vital efforts of Giuseppe Antonio Borgese.

 

Notes.

1) G.A. Borgese. Common Cause (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1943)
2) G.A. Borgese. The Foundations of the World Republic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953)

 

René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Quincy Wright Rapprochement of Cultures.

Quincy Wright: A World Citizen’s Approach to International Relations

Featured Image: Quincy Wright, Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, from the 1940 MacMurray College Yearbook, where he was one of the speakers on “The Essential Elements of a Durable Peace” at the MacMurray Institute. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Contemporary movements that stressed the need for world citizenship started on the eve of World War II when the spirit of aggressive nationalism was at its height in the policies of Germany, Italy and Japan.  There was a need to develop balance by stressing the unity of humanity and the interdependence of the world.  These concepts of world citizenship were articulated by a leading professor of international law, Quincy Wright (1890-1970) of the University of Chicago who felt that States must shape their domestic laws and foreign policies in such a way as to be compatible with the tenets of international law.

A Study of War

Quincy Wright spent most of his teaching life at the University of Chicago.  He was active in debates among international relations specialists on the place of law – and thus of universal norms – in the conduct of States.  In 1942 he published his massive  A Study of War  which combined a philosophical-legal approach with a more statistical-quantitative one.  He was very concerned with the quality of university teaching on war and peace.  His 1955 The Study of International Relations remains an outstanding multi-disciplinary approach to the study of world politics. (1)

World Citizens Association

         He served as a bridge between professors of international relations and the growing ranks of peace researchers and the world citizens movement.  Quincy Wright was a leader of a first World Citizens Association founded in 1939 serving as its Secretary with Anita McCormick Blaine as Chairman. (2)

         Unfortunately, the strength of the nationalist tide was too great, and a balance by stressing world unity could not be created in time. The Second World War broke out in Europe shortly after the creation of the World Citizens Association. Japanese nationalism had already brought violence to China, but too few people reacted. Japanese nationalism continued in an unbalanced way, leading to the attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor, which  provoked U.S. entry into the war.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A small boat rescues a seaman from the 31,800 ton USS West Virginia burning in the foreground. Smoke rolling out amidships shows where the most extensive damage occurred. Note the two men in the superstructure. The USS Tennessee is inboard (7 December 1941). By Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

In the modern world, the security and prosperity of all individuals and all groups are closely bound together.  The preservation of civilization depends upon the ability of national states and diverse peoples to live together happily and successfully in this rapidly shrinking world.  Since all individuals today suffer or benefit by conditions the World over, every man has interests and responsibilities as a world citizen.”

Second World War and The Cold War.

         Even though the Allies won the Second World War, the start of the Cold War presented many of the same issues as had been present in 1939.  In his 1949 address as President of the American Political Science Association, Wright posted a dark picture.

While inventions in the fields of communications and transport and interdependence in commerce and security make for one world, the actual sentiments of people have been moving toward more exclusive loyalty to their nations,  more insistence that their governments exercise totalitarian control over law, defense, economy, and even opinion.  Materially the world community steadily becomes more integrated, but morally each nation gains in solidarity and the split in the world community becomes wider.  Under these conditions, people await with a blind fatalism the approach of war.  Disaster seems as inevitable as in a Greek tragedy.”

Montage of Cold War pictures. By 麩, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What have world citizens to propose?

   Wright sets out three steps which remain the framework for world citizen action today.  As a first step, world citizens must provide a process of systematic observation: what new political conflicts are likely to develop?  What methods are likely to be used? What goals are likely to be striven for?  In short, what is the nature of current tensions, struggles and conflicts?

System of world law

         The second essential step is to provide proposals for negotiated resolutions to these struggles and conflicts within the framework of a system of world law.

  What arrangements will assure that world politics operates with reasonable respect for human personality, for civilization, for justice, for welfare – all values which most men will recognize?  How do we work so that the political struggles going on in the world will utilize only methods consistent with human dignity and human progress?  World citizens are willing to take one step at a time anticipating that if one step in the right direction is taken, it will be easier to win sufficient consent for the next steps.”

Education for World Citizenship

         Thus today, the Association of World Citizens which builds on the earlier efforts of the World Citizens Association has made proposals for mediation, conciliation, and confidence-building measures for armed conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, Myanmar (Burma) and the Ukraine-Russia conflicts.

Education for Global Citizenship.

The third step which Wright proposed was longer term but essential: education for world citizenship.  If men must be world citizens as well as national citizens, what picture of the world can command some of their loyalties however diverse their cultures, economies and government? 

The primary function of education – developing in the individual attitudes appropriate to the values of the society in which he is to live – and, in progressive societies of adapting those values to changing conditions – all citizens need to feel themselves citizens of the world.”

         Thus, through education, a widespread sentiment of world citizenship must be developed.  Thus,  the Association of World Citizens works in cooperation with UNESCO’s major program “Education for Global Citizenship.”

         Today,
the Association of World Citizens is proud to build on the steps outlined by
Quincy Wright.  We face the challenges of
our time as he faced the challenges of his time.

 Notes:

1) See Quincy Wright. The Study of International
Relations
(New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1955)

    See also
Quincy Wright. The World Community (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1949)

2) For biographies of Anita Blaine, see! Gilbert A.
Harrison. A Timeless Affair. The Life of Anita McCormick Blaine (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1979) and

Jacqueline Castledine. Cold War Progressives.
Women’s Interracial Organizing for Peace and Freedom
(Urbana: University of
Illinois Press, 2012)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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Robert M. Hutchins Rapprochement of Cultures.

Robert M. Hutchins: Building on Earlier Foundations.

Featured Image: University of Chicago: Hyde Park, East 57th Street. Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash.

Robert M. Hutchins much of our current work for a more just and peaceful world builds on the thinking and efforts of earlier foundations.  An important foundation is the leading role of Robert M. Hutchins, long-time President of the University of Chicago  (l929 -1951).

University of Chicago.

Robert M. Hutchins’ father, William, was President of Berea, a small but important liberal arts college, so Robert M. Hutchins (1899-1977) was set to follow the family pattern.  He went to Yale Law School and stayed on to teach. He quickly became the Dean of the Law School and was spotted as a rising star of US education.  When he was 30 years old, he was asked to become President of the University of Chicago, a leading institution.  Hutchins was then the youngest president of a US university.

In the first decade in his post as president, the 1930s, his ideas concerning undergraduate education − compulsory survey courses, early admission after two years of secondary school for bright and motivated students, a concentration on “Great Books” – an examination of seminal works of philosophy in particular Plato and Aristotle − divided the University of Chicago faculty. 

There were strong and outspoken pro and anti Hutchins faculty groups.  Moreover Hutchins’ abolition of varsity football and ending the University’s  participation in the “Big Ten” university football league distressed some alumni whose link to the university was largely limited to attending football games. For Hutchins, a university was for learning and discussion, not for playing sports. As he famously said:

  “When I feel like exercising, I sit down until the feeling goes away.”

Committee to Frame a World Constitution in 1945.

It is Hutchins’ creation and leadership of the Committee to Frame a World Constitution in 1945 which makes him one of the intellectual founders of the movement for world federation and world citizenship. After the coming to power of Hitler in Germany in 1933 and his quick decision to ban Jewish professors from teaching in German universities, many Jewish scientists and professors left Germany and came to the USA.  Some of the leading natural scientists joined the University of Chicago.  Thus began the “Metallurgy Project” as the work on atomic research was officially called. The University of Chicago team did much of the theoretical research which led to the Atom Bomb.  While Hutchins was not directly involved in the atomic project, he understood quickly the nature of atomic energy and its military uses.  He saw that the world would never return to a “pre-atomic” condition and that new forms of world organization were needed.

Atomic Force: Its Meaning for Mankind .

            On 12 August 1945, a few days after the use of the atom bombs, Hutchins made a radio address “Atomic Force: Its Meaning for Mankind” in which he outlined the need for strong world institutions, stronger than the UN Charter, whose drafters earlier in the year did not know of the destructive power of atomic energy.

Several professors of the University of Chicago were already active in peace work such as Mortimer Adler, G.A. Borgese, and Richard McKeon, Dean of the undergraduate college.  The three approached Hutchins saying that as the University of Chicago had taken a lead in the development of atomic research, so likewise, the university should take the lead in research on adequate world institutions.  By November 1945, a 12-person Committee to Frame a World Constitution was created under Hutchins’ chairmanship.

Mortimer Adler By Courtesy Center for the Study of The Great Ideas, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Committee drew largely on existing faculty of the University of Chicago − Wilber Katz, Dean of the Law School and Rexford Tugwell who taught political science but who had been a leading administrator of the Roosevelt New Deal and Governor of Puerto Rico. Two retired professors from outside Chicago were added − Charles McIlwain of Harvard, a specialist on constitutions, and Albert  Guerard of Stanford, a French refugee who was concerned about the structure of post-war Europe.

 Rexford G. Tugwell, administrator, Resettlement Administration. Public domain.

Journal Common Cause.

            From 1947 to 1951, the Committee published a monthly journal Common Cause  many of whose articles still merit reading today as fundamental questions concerning the philosophical basis of government, human rights, distribution of power, and the role of regions are discussed.  The Preliminary Draft of a World Constitution  was published in 1948 and reprinted in the Saturday Review of Literature edited by Norman Cousins and in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists some of whom were in the original “Metallurgy Project”.  The Preliminary Draft raised a good deal of discussion, reflected in the issues of Common Cause.  There was no second draft.  The Preliminary Draft was as G.A. Borgese said, quoting Dante “…of the True City at least the Tower.”

            In 1951, Hutchins retired from the presidency of the University of Chicago for the Ford Foundation and then created the Ford Foundation-funded Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions where he gathered together some of his co-workers from the University of Chicago.

Norman Cousins Picture: Apurva Madia, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest to read Norman Cousins: A Pioneer of Track II Diplomacy.

The Preliminary Draft.

            Two ideas from The Preliminary
Draft
are still part of intellectual and political life for those concerned
with a stronger UN.  The first is the
strong role of regional organizations. 
When The Preliminary Draft was written the European Union was
still just an idea and most of the States now part of the African Union were
European colonies.  The Preliminary
Draft
saw that regional groups were institutions of the future and should
be integrated as such in the world institution. 
Today, the representatives of States belonging to regional groupings
meet together at the UN to try to reach a common position, but regional groups
are not part of the official UN structure. However, they may be in the future.

            The other lasting aspect of The Preliminary Draft is the crucial role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should play.  The then recently drafted UN Charter had created a “consultative status” for NGOs, but few of the UN Charter drafters foresaw the important role that NGOs would play  as the UN developed.  The Preliminary Draft had envisaged a Syndical Senate to represent occupational associations on the lines of the International Labour Organization where trade unions and employer associations have equal standing with government delegates.  In 1946, few people saw the important role that the NGOs would later play in UN activities.  While there is no “Syndical Senate”, today NGOs represent an important part of the UN process.

Reflections.   

   Robert M. Hutchins, however, was also a reflection of his time.  There were no women as members of the Committee to Frame a World Constitution, and when he created the Center for the Study of Democratic  Institutions with a large number of “fellows”, consultants, and staff, women are also largely absent.

            The effort to envisage the structures and processes among the different structures was an innovative contribution to global institution building at the time, and many of the debates and reflections are still crucial for today. Looking at back issues of  Common Cause, the journal of the World Constitution Drafting Committee, if they are available in a university library, still has discussions of  important questions on the structures of governance.

Notes.

For an understanding of the thinking of those involved in writing The Preliminary Draft see:

Mortimor Adler. How to think about War and Peace (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944)

Rexford Tugwell. Chronicle of Jeopardy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955)

G.A. Borgese. Foundations of the World Republic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1953)

Scott Buchanan. Essay in Politics (New York: Philosophical Library, 1953)

For a life of Hutchens written by a co-worker in the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions:

Harry Ashmore. Unreasonable Truths: the Life of Robert Maynard Hutchens (Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1989)

By Rene Wadlow, President Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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