Tag: <span>World Citizens Association</span>

International Day of Conscience Rapprochement of Cultures.

Conscience: The Inner Voice of the Higher Self.

Featured Image: Photo by Lan Johnson in Pexels

By Rene Wadlow.

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 5 April; as The International Day of Conscience. An awakened conscience is essential to meeting the challenges; which face humanity today as we move into the World Society.

The great challenge which humanity faces today is to leave behind the culture of violence; in which we find ourselves; and move rapidly to a culture of peace and solidarity.

We can achieve this historic task by casting aside our ancient national, ethnic, social prejudices; and begin to think and act as responsible Citizens of the World.

The 5 April. International Day of Conscience.

An awakened conscience makes us sensitive to hearing the inner voice that warns and encourages. We have a conscience so that we may not let ourselves be lulled to sleep by the social environment; in which we find ourselves; but will remain alert to truth, justice, and reason. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says in Article 1:

“All human beings are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

There is a need to build networks and bridges among Companions of Conscience. Companions of Conscience create a ground for common discourse; and thus a ground for common life-affirming action. As Companions of Conscience; we take firm action to formulate effective responses to the challenges facing the emerging world society: armed conflicts, human rights violations, persistent poverty and ecological destruction.

However; we strive to make the world a more humane dwelling place for ourselves; and for future generations as we move toward a peaceful; just and ecologically-responsible future. We do not hide from ourselves the complexity of these challenges.

Therefore; we believe in the effectiveness of common action and enlightened leadership to build a culture of cooperation and solidarity.

The circle of Companions of Conscience is growing world wide. Conscience-based actions are increasingly felt.

Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949. By FDR Presidential Library & Museum, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest read: Human Rights: The Foundation of World Law.

 Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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

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Alexandre Marc Rapprochement of Cultures.

Alexandre Marc: Con-federalism, Cultural Renewal and Trans-frontier Cooperation

Featured Image: Through the Russian Revolution. By Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexandre Marc ; (19 January 1904 – 22 February 2000) was born as Alexandre Markovitch Lipiansky in Odessa, Russia in 1904.  He later simplified his name by dropping Lipiansky; (which his sons have reclaimed) and modifying his father’s first name to Marc; which he used as a family name.  His father was a Jewish banker and a non-communist socialist. 

Alexandre was a precocious activist. He was influenced by his early reading of F. Nietzsche; especially Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  He started a non-conformist student journal; while still in secondary school during the Russian Revolution; asking for greater democracy and opposed to Marxist thought.  This led to death threats made against him by the Communist authorities.

Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. In drei Theilen. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Forerunners of the Nazi Movement

The family left Russia in 1919 for France; but not before Alexandre had seen some of the fighting and disorder of the Russian civil war.  These impressions left a deep mark; and he was never tempted by the Russian communist effort as were other intellectuals in France; who had not seen events close up. 

During part of the 1920s; Marc was in Germany studying philosophy; where intellectual and philosophical debates were intense after the German defeat in the First World War; and the great difficulties of the Weimar Republic.  He saw the forerunners of the Nazi movement. 

Anti-Nazi German Youth

Marc was always one to try to join thought and action; and he had gone back to Germany in 1932 to try to organize anti-Nazi German youth; but ideological divisions in Germany were strong.  The Nazi were already too well organized and came to power the next year. Marc; having seen the destructive power of Nazi thought; was also never tempted by Right Wing or Fascist thought.

Seeing the destructive potential of both Communist and Fascist thought and sensing the deep crisis of Western civilization; Marc was looking for new values that would include order, revolution, and the dignity of the person.

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

L’Ordre Nouveau

  There was no ready-made ideology; which included all these elements; though two French thinkers — difficult to classify — did serve as models to Marc and to Denis de Rougemont and some of the other editors of L’Ordre Nouveau: Charles Péguy and  J Proudhon . Marc wrote a book on the importance of Péguy at the start of the Second World War. 

Marc was living in Aix-en-Provence at the time; and the book was published in still unoccupied Marseilles in 1941. He also met in Paris Nicolas Berdiaeff, Jacques Maritain and Gabriel Marcel.  It was from these meetings that the personalist doctrine of L’Ordre Nouveau was born. The rallying cry of personalism was “We are neither collectivists nor individualists but personalists …the spiritual first and foremost, then the economic, with politics at the service of both of them”.

Denis de Rougemont. By Erling Mandelmann / photo©ErlingMandelmann.ch.

once a Jew, always a Jew

In 1943 when all of France was occupied, he was in danger of arrest both for his views and his Jewish origins. Although in 1933; Marc had become a Roman Catholic in part under the influence of intellectual Dominicans; for the Nazi occupiers — as well as for some of the French Vichy government — “once a Jew, always a Jew”. Therefore he left for Switzerland where he was able to study the working of Swiss federalism with its emphasis on democracy at the village and city level.  He was also able to meet other exiles from all over Europe who had managed to get to Switzerland.

Alexandre Marc seemed destined to use words which took on other meanings when used by more popular writers.  The name of the journal L’Ordre Nouveau was taken over after the Second World War by a French far-right nationalist movement influenced by a sort of neo-Celtic ideology and was widely known for painting Celtic cross graffiti on walls in the days before graffiti art filled up all the space. 

French writer Charles Péguy (1873 – 1914) Painted by Jean-Pierre Laurens (1875-1932).

The Jewish philosophers

Revolution, especially after the Nazi-Fascist defeat, could only be considered in the broader society in its Marxist version.  Person, which as a term had been developed by the Roman stoic philosophers could never carry the complexity of meanings which Marc, de Rougemont, and E. Mounier wanted to give it. 

Personalism.

The Jewish philosophers Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas also used the term “personalism” in the same sense as Marc; but their influence was limited to small circles.  In fact, “individualism” either seen positively or negatively; has returned as the most widely used term.  In some ways; this difficulty with the popular perception of words exists with the way Marc uses “federalism” by which he really means “con-federalism”.

Martin Buber in Palestine/Israel (1940 – 1950). By See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Foundations of the European Movement and the European Federalists

Alexandre Marc and Denis de Rougemont met again in Switzerland at the end of the Second World War; when de Rougemont returned from spending the war years in the USA.  They started reconnecting people whom they knew in the pre-war years; who also saw the need for a total reformation of European society. 

Both de Rougemont and Marc were good organizers of meetings and committees; and they played an important role in 1947 and 1948; setting up the first meetings for the foundations of the European movement and the European federalists; especially the August 1947 meeting at Montreux, Switzerland; in which world citizens  and world federalists were also present.

Emmanuel Levinas. By Bracha L. Ettinger, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Cold War.

Both men stressed the need for education and highlighted the role of youth to move European unity; beyond the debates of the 1930s and the start of the Cold War; though both continued to stress the importance of the themes; which brought them together in the 1930s.

Centers for the Study of European Federalism

They were both founders of centers for the study of European federalism and an exploration of European values. It was in the context of seminars and publications of the two centers; that I worked with both in the 1970s.   Culture in the philosophical sense was crucial for both; and their efforts in Geneva and Nice were rather similar.

Marc and de Rougemont had a personal falling out that lasted nearly a decade; due, it seems, to the tensions surrounding the break up of de Rougemont’s first marriage.  But even during this break; de Rougemont always spoke to me highly of Marc and his ideas.

Distrust of European Integration

De Rougemont knew that I was seeing Marc and had an interest in the intellectual; currents of France in the 1930s.  The two men came together again later; especially after de Rougemont’s happy second marriage.  From his death be; de Rougemont spoke to Marc on the telephone concerning the need to reprint the issues of L’Order Nouveau; since the articles were still important. The reprinting has been done since.

Both de Rougemont and Marc shared a distrust of European integration; as it was being carried out within the European Community and later the European Union; Both men stressed the need for local democracy; and shared a strong distrust of the politicians prominent in the nation-state system. 

The Lobbying of Governments on Federalist Issues.

De Rougemont went on to give most of his attention to the role of regions; especially the trans-frontier Geneva area; which combines part of Switzerland and France and is an economic pole of attraction for the Italian Val d’Aoste.

Marc continued to stress what he called “global” or “integral” federalism; a federalism with great autonomy and initiative at every level as over against “Hamiltonian”; federalism which he saw as the creation of ever larger entities such as the United States; whose culture and form of government Marc distrusted.

Hamiltonian Federalism

Marc remarked that  ‘Hamiltonian federalism’; as a whole was turning its back on spiritual; cultural and social questions and devoting itself to a form of action that can be defined; as ‘political’ and underlined the contradiction that is inherent in the lobbying of governments on federalist issues.

The Future is within Us

De Rougemont was the better writer.  His last book The Future is within Us; though pessimistic; especially of political efforts, remains a useful summing up of his ideas. (2) Although Alexandre Marc wrote a good deal; his forms of expression; were too complex, too paradoxical, too filled with references to ideas; which are not fully explained to be popular. 

Marc’s influence was primarily verbal as stimulant to his students.  Having seen early in his life the dangers of totalitarian thought; he always stressed the need for dialogue and listening; for popular participation at all levels of decision-making. As with ‘order’ ‘revolution’ ‘the person’, ‘federalism’ was probably not the term he should have chosen to carry the weight  of his ideas.

A Complex Man

The other Alexander — Hamilton — has infused the word ‘federalism’ with the idea of unification of many smaller units.  ‘Popular participation’ is probably a better term for Marc’s ideas; if the word ‘popular’ could carry the complex structure; which Marc tried to give to the word ‘person’. Con-federation is probably the better term for the de-centralized administrative structures that Marc proposed.

Marc was a complex man; one of the bridges; who helped younger persons to understand the debates; which surrounded the Russian Revolution; the rise and decline of Fascism and Nazism; and the post-Second World War hopes for a United Europe.  As de Rougemont on his death bed said to Marc:

“We have been able to do nothing, start again, talk to the young and we must carry on.”

 Notes

  • For the 1930s period see: Christian Roy. Alexandre Marc et la Jeune Europe: L’Ordre nouveau aux origins du personnalisme (Presses d’Europe, 1998) J. Laubet del Bayle. Les non-conformistes des années 30 : Une Tentative de renouvellement de la pensée politique francaise (Seuil, 1969) Michel Winock. Esprit : Des intellectuels dans la cité 1930-1950 (Seuil, 1996)
  • Denis de Rougemont The Future is within US  (Pergamon Press, 1983).

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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

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H.G. Wells Rapprochement of Cultures.

H.G. Wells: The Open Conspiracy for Peace.

Featured Image: Portrait of Herbert George Wells by George Charles Beresford. Black and white glossy print. 150 mm x 108 mm (1920). By George Charles Beresford, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Behind the short-sighted governments that divide and mismanage human affairs, a real force for world unity and order exists and grows.”

         H. G. Wells in A Short History of the World,  1943

 Herbert George Wells, an active world citizen is usually known as just H.G. Wells. (1) From the publication of The Time Machine in 1895 to his death in 1946, Wells ‘bestrode his world like a colossus.  He was a creator of modern science fiction, a pioneer of women’s rights (though he treated some badly in his many love affairs), a journalist, historian, and novelist.  Above all, he was a social thinker devoted to peace and stable world order. (2)

The first page of The Time Machine was published by Heinemann (1 January 1895). By Published by Heinemann in 1895, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

         Wells first studied biology under Thomas H. Huxley, the leading Darwinian of Victorian times, and came to see the ethical principles underlying humanity’s social systems as being rooted in the evolutionary process and therefore have the potential for onward development. Just as there was one major factor in biological progress − natural selection − so in social progress, there was one major factor − the quality of enlightened thought. As he wrote “However urgent things may seem, a great mental renascence must precede any effectual reorganization of the world. 

Systematic development and a systematic application of the sciences of human relationship, of personal and group psychology, of financial and economic sciences, and of education − sciences still in their infancy − is required.  Narrow and obsolete, dead and dying moral and political ideas have to be replaced by a clearer and simpler conception of the common origins and destinies of our kind.”

Caricature of T H Huxley. Caption read “A great Med’cine-Man among the Inqui-ring Redskins”. circa 1870 (published 28 January 1871). By Carlo Pellegrini, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Open Conspiracy.

         Wells was critical of democracy as being too slow and always tending toward the middle of the road on important issues.  In 1928, he tried to alert to new dangers and possibilities by proposing an “open conspiracy” − an elite group of pioneer world citizens who would organize to move humanity forward. (3). The Open Conspiracy was his organizing manual for the diverse constituencies of globally-minded citizens to bring sanity to the organizing of human affairs.

         Wells clearly foresaw the need for a re-organization of the economic affairs of humanity.

  “Certain things, the ocean, the air, rare wild animals must be the collective property of all humankind and cannot be altogether safe until they are so regarded and until some concrete body exists to exercise these proprietary rights…the raw material of the earth should be for all.”

         Some
progress has been made in the identification of endangered species, and a
variety of international conventions have at least slowed the despoliation of
an amount of our natural heritage.  Yet
the ongoing destruction of forests, over-exploitation of the oceans as well as
other signs of the environmental crisis are constant reminders of how much
distance is left to travel.

         Wells was harshly critical of Marxist theory and of the Communist rule of Stalin in the USSR.  Thus he contrasts his “open conspiracy” with the closed conspiracies and vanguard approach of Lenin whom he had met in 1920. He was also highly opposed to Fascism and its closed conspiracies.  The “open conspiracy” is a project for every manner of the person once an individual has developed a ‘world consciousness’, though Wells was himself very Eurocentric in his world outlook.

         He summed up his views as a race between education for world citizenship and catastrophe − a task of bold and creative minds.

      Notes.

  • For a detailed biography see: David Lodge A
    Man of Parts 
    (New York, Viking, 436pp.)

    • For an overview of his political thinking
      see: John S. Partington. Building Cosmopolis: The Political thought of H.G.
      Wells 
      Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003)
    • The Open Conspiracy   was first published in 1928 and slightly revised
      published in 1933.  The 1933 edition is
      republished much more recently with a strong introduction and notes in W.Warren
      Wagar. The Open Conspiracy/H.G. Wells on World Revolution  (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 151pp.).

Rene 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.

World Refugee Day.

June 20 is the United Nations (UN)-designated World Refugee Day;  marking the signing in 1951 of the Convention on Refugees. The condition of refugees and migrants has become a “hot”…

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Salvador De Madariaga Portraits of World Citizens.

Salvador De Madariaga: Conscience of the League of Nations.

Featured Image: The Spanish writer Salvador de Madariaga and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina José María Cantilo talk during a session of the League of Nations (1936).

By Dr. Rene Wadlow.

The first two organizations using world citizen in its title “World Citizens Association” date from 1939, the eve of the Second World War when the dangers of aggressive nationalism became evident. Both organizations, one in the USA, the other in England, owe much to two friends who had worked together in the League of Nations: Henri Bonnet, a Frenchman living in 1939 in the USA and the better known Salvador De Madariaga of Spain living in England after General Franco came to power in Spain.

Salvador De Madariaga (1886-1978) was called, half ironically, half seriously, ‘the conscience of the League of Nations’; by Sir John Simon, the chief UK delegate to the League of Nations Council and Foreign Secretary. De Madariaga was chairing the Council at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria, and he was convinced that this attack, the first major violation of the Covenant by a Council member, Japan, was a key test for the League. He later chaired the League efforts to deal with this Manchurian crisis, as he did with the League efforts to deal with the Italian attack on Ethiopia (Abyssinia, as it was then called). 
Salvador De Madariaga had a free hand as chief delegate of Spain during the Republican years (1931-1936); before the Civil War and General Franco‘s victory ended Spanish influence in the League. Spain was not considered a ‘Great Power’; it was not a permanent member of the League Council, but it was large enough and had friends in South America (Spanish America as De Madariaga calls it), so that Spain was often chosen to lead League efforts when a ‘neutral’ state was needed.

Portrait of John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, no later than 1922. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Morning Without Noon.

From the memoirs of De Madariaga, Morning Without Noon (London: Saxon House, 1974) written when he was 80 and recalling the period from 1921 to 1936; one gets a good view of the inner workings and the spirit of the League of Nations. They are memories rather than documented research as most of his personal papers were destroyed when Franco took control of Madrid; where De Madariaga had a house and office. Nevertheless, they are a vivid picture of the period and the early functioning of a world institution of which the UN is the continuation in the same buildings. The main League of Nations building for most of its Geneva history is now the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Palais des Nations, finished just as the League was ending its life, is now the UN’s main European headquarters.

Salvador De Madariaga had a first-hand knowledge of the League, having joined its Secretariat in 1921 when it was being created as the first world civil service by Sir Eric Drummond and Jean Monnet. De Madariaga come from a distinguished Spanish family. His father was a military officer who believed that Spain had lost the Spanish-American war to the USA because of a lack of technology. Thus he encouraged his son to have an international technical education, and Salvador De Madariaga went to the elite Ecole Politecnique and the Ecole des Mines, both in Paris and ended with an mining degree which he never used.

Portrait of Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth. By Harris & Ewing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

However, it gave him a certain image of having technical knowledge and so he was chosen to head the Disarmament Department of the League in 1922 as some people mistakingly thought disarmament was a technical problem. As De Madariaga argues in his book Disarmament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1929) written just after leaving the League Secretariat:

” disarmament is an irrelevant issue; the true issue being the organization of the government of the world on a co-operative basis.”

Jean Monnet à Londres en 1952. By AnonymousUnknown author (Keystone France), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

De Madariaga left the League Secretariat in 1928, largely because the League had accepted to fire Bernardo Attolico as Under Secretary-General and replace him by Paulucci di Calvoli Barone, a chief assistant of B. Mussolini. There were always persons from the Great Powers in influential League posts; but they were usually intellectuals who believed in the values of the League and not national civil servants. De Madariaga had met Mussolini twice in Rome during disarmament talks. It was De Madariaga’s habit of making quick instinctive judgements of people, and he did not like Mussolini from the start.

De Madariaga became a ‘premature’ anti-Fascist. The fact that the League would place a Fascist civil servant in a key position was for De Madariaga a step backward for a real world civil service. As he writes:

“Here began the downfall of the Secretariat. The Fascist Under-secretary’s room became a kind of Italian Embassy at the League (Save that the Ambassador’s salary was paid by the League), linked directly with Mussolini and openly accepting orders and instructions from him. Paulucci in himself an attractive and friendly person, was nevertheless zealous enough to go about even during official League gatherings sporting the Fascist badge on his lapel.”

As luck would have it, just as he was thinking about leaving the League Secretariat, Oxford University was looking for a professor of Spanish literature for a newly-created chair. Although he had never taught, through League friends, he was named Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies at Oxford. Once when asked when he had studied Spanish literature, he replied:

“I didn’t need it before, so I shall study it now in order to teach it.”

He held this chair until King Alfonso XIII, who had nothing to do with the chair, was pushed from power.

In 1931 the Spanish Republic was born. The new Spanish Republic leaders, divided among themselves along political lines, were united in wanting the Republic to be represented by intellectuals so that they could explain the aims and values of the Republic. De Madariaga was named Ambassador to France but also asked to represent Spain at the League of Nations since League duties were not considered as a ‘full time job’, and he had League Secretariat experience.

Thus De Madariaga returned to Geneva, one of the few government delegates who knew the workings of the League Secretariat. De Madariaga, when he had been in the Secretariat, because he spoke Spanish, English, and French and was an excellent speaker, had become the chief ‘lay preacher’ for the League and had travelled throughout Europe and the USA giving talks to present the work and the ideals of the League.

Alfonso XIII of Spain on Time magazine cover, 1928. By Time Magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Geneva was a smaller city at the time and much of the intellectual life related to the League. The League had created the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation as an effort to build an intellectual network of support for the League. De Madariaga gives interesting pen portraits of people he had met in the League effort of intellectual cooperation: Paul Valery, R. Tagore, Albert Einstein, Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and others. Knowing leading intellectuals also opened doors to political figures in many countries. De Madariaga’s knowledge of a country’s politics went beyond his contacts with the delegates to the League.

Rabindranath Tagore. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest read: Rabindranath Tagore: The Call of the Universal Real.

Crisis Situations.

The highlights of De Madariaga’s League efforts were the complicated entry into League membership of Mexico which had been barred by Woodrow Wilson who had bad memories of the Mexican Revolution. Although the USA was not a League member, Mexico had been barred by an annex to the Covenant. De Madariaga had to work so that Mexico would accept League membership without asking for it – such is the craft of diplomacy!.
His two most crucial roles were the League efforts at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria and the Italian attack on Ethiopia. His detailed accounts merit reading as to the difficulties of multilateral responses to crisis situations.

De Madariaga resigned as Spain’s chief delegate to the League as the Republic disintegrated, and Franco took power. From 1936 on, he lived outside of Spain, mostly in England and Switzerland and only returned to Spain to visit after the death of Franco. He devoted himself to countering those forces of aggressive nationalism which had destroyed the effectiveness of the League. As he wrote:

“If peace and the spirit of Europe are to remain alive, we shall need more world citizens and more Europeans such as I tried to be.”

De Madariaga encouraged Henri Bonnet, who had been the League Secretariat member in charge of the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation and who was then living in the USA to create in 1939 the World Citizens Association which he did with the young lawyer Adlai Stevenson and Quincy Wright, a leading professor of international relations at the University of Chicago.
De Madariaga helped to create a World Citizens Association in London, also in 1939 – both efforts were too late to block the tide of war. After the Second World War, De Madariaga helped create the College d’Europe in Bruges as a training field for Europeans, especially for those thinking of working in European institutions.

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.

You might interest read: Quincy Wright: A World Citizen’s Approach to International Relations.

Special Program in European Civilization.

He continued his literary and historical interests, writing especially on the founders of ‘Spanish America’. He did some teaching, and in 1955 spent a year at Princeton University in the USA where a new “Special Program in European Civilization” had just been created. His lectures covered the literary analysis of his  Portrait de l’Europe (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1952). As his student that year, I was also interested in disarmament and the functioning of the League of Nations so we had many interesting talks. His was a witty and perceptive mind.

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Thomas Berry Rapprochement of Cultures.

Thomas Berry: A World Citizen’s Ecological Vision

Featured Image . Königssee, Schönau am Königssee, Germany. Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash.

“ As we enter the 21st century, we observe a wide-spread awakening to the wonder of the Earth.  This we can observe in the writing of naturalists and environmental organizations dedicated to preserving the integrity of the planet. The human venture depends absolutely on this quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth.  As soon as we isolate ourselves from these currents of life; and from the profound mood that these engender within us; then our basic life-satisfactions are diminished.” (1)

The Great Work.

                   The restoration of reverence and joy for life within Nature is what Thomas Berry; a cultural historian, calls “the Great Work.  “History is governed by those over-arching movements; that give shape and meaning to life by relating the human venture to the larger destinies of the universe. 

Creating such a movement might be called the Great Work of a people…The Great Work now; as we move into a new millennium, is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period when humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner… The deepest cause of the present devastation; is found in a mode of consciousness that has established a radical discontinuity between the human and other modes of being and the bestowal of all rights on the humans. 

Reverend Thomas Berry, American Catholic priest and “ecotheologian”. By Caroline Webb, http://caroline-webb.com/, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The other-than-human.

The other-than-human modes of being are seen as having no rights.  They have reality and value only through their use by the human.  In this context, the other-than-human becomes totally vulnerable to exploitation by the human, an attitude that is shared by all four of the fundamental establishments that control the human realm : governments, corporations, universities, and religions – the political, economic, intellectual, and religious establishments.  All four are committed consciously or unconsciously to a radical discontinuity between the human and the non-human.

                   In reality there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other-than-human.  In this community each being has its own role to fulfil, its own dignity, its inner spontaneity.  Every being has its own voice. 

Every being declares itself to the entire universe;  and it’s enters into communion with other beings.  This capacity for relatedness, for presence to other beings, for spontaneity in action, is a capacity possessed by every mode of being throughout the entire universe.”

Community of Life on Earth.

         Today, humanity is challenged to discover – or rediscover – this single integrated community of life on Earth in terms of ideas, images, myths, rituals, and practices that are meaningful to people today. 

Berry, who has written on the religions of India and on Buddhism and Chinese culture, is well aware that in earlier times, there have been teachings which stressed the kinship of all life.  In The Great Work, he quotes many examples from the Native Americans who had a strong sense of living within Nature, a sense of place, and the need for sympathy toward animal and plant life. 

Berry’s book The Great Work.

However, he knows that the shift from a human-centered to an earth-centered norm of reality and value cannot be done just by a return to past teachings and insights.  As he writes “One of the most essential roles of the ecologist is to create the language in which a true sense of reality, of value, and of progress can be communicated to our society.”  One of the useful aspects of Berry’s book The Great Work is a well-annotated bibliography which gives a good overview of different writers and approaches on the subject – even those authors with whom Berry disagrees.

     Berry highlights greed and loss of sensitivity as reasons for ecological destruction.  “The profoundly degraded ecological situation of the present reveals a deadening or paralysis of some parts of human intelligence and also a suppression of human sensitivities.” 

However Berry is hopeful that concern for the environment must become the central organizing principle of civilization.  “There is now developing a profound mystique of the natural world; we now experience the deep mysteries of existence through the wonders of the world about us.”

                   Berry writes well and has a broad vision.  The Great Work; it is a book; that one shares with others to widen the circle of those; active to develop an ecologically-based world view such as that of the Association of World Citizens.

 Note

1) Thomas Berry. The Great Work. Our Way into the Future

                             (New York: Bell
Tower, 1999)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Albert Thomas Rapprochement of Cultures.

Albert Thomas: The ILO Centenary. by Rene Wadlow

Albert Thomas, By National Photo Company Collection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Albert Thomas (1878 -1932); was a French socialist close to Jean Jaures; who was assassinated on the eve of the First World War by a French Nationalist; who thought Jaures was too active trying to prevent a war with Germany.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the New England philosopher wrote that

an institution is the lengthened shadow of a man.”  

This is certainly true of the International Labour Organization (ILO); whose centenary was celebrated in Geneva at the start of its annual conference in May, 2019.  

Albert Thomas, the first Director General, set in motion nearly all the elements that were developed later.

Director General of the ILO.

Thomas was brought into the French government as the war began; largely as a sign that not all socialists were pacifists.  He was quickly given a newly-created Ministry: the Ministry of Armaments.  In this position; he met many French industrialists; who were making arms and that he would see again as the representatives of French industry; when Thomas was Director General of the ILO.

Minister of Armaments.

Thomas was very aware of the socio-political situation in Russia.  He had widely traveled there as a university student, and returned in 1916 as Minister of Armaments.  He returned in 1917 after the April revolution which had made Alexandre Kerensky Prime Minister.

Soviet-Style Revolution

Thomas saw the possibility of similar revolutions in other countries; if labor conditions were not improved and if cooperation between workers and owners was not developed.

Thus, the background of labor unrest leading to a Soviet-style revolution; was in the minds of many of the 1919 negotiators that led to the Treaty of Versailles.  Without mentioning the Russian Revolution in public; the negotiators; especially the English and the French; saw the need for an organization that would bring together in a cooperative spirit the representatives of government, of industry and of labor.

Norwegian delegation to the 1919 International Labour Conference (Washington Conference).
By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The French and the British.

The French and English negotiators were the most active on these labor cooperation; issues and divided the structure of the administration of what was to become the ILO between the two States. 

The U.S.A. had already indicated that it would not join the League of Nations. Russia, become the Soviet Union, was not invited, and Germany, as the defeated power was also excluded.  Thus a Frenchman, Albert Thomas, became the founding Director General, and the British Harold Butler became his deputy.  In practice, all the important posts were divided among the French and the British.

Trade Union Federations and Employers’ associations.

The ILO has a three-part structure of equality among the representatives of governments, trade union federations and employers’ associations.  The ILO has a philosophy of dialogue and compromise.  However, Thomas began a tradition of strong leadership and expert knowledge by the secretariat. 

Thomas stressed that “The governments must be told what they have to do; and told in terms so far as possible, of their own constitution and methods”.

Letters of Principle.

He insisted on what he called “letters of principle”; in which the duties of governments were carefully set out and a method for their performances suggested.

This approach has led to the widely used ILO practice of setting out “Recommendations”; which creates standards but need not be ratified by national parliaments as must be ILO Conventions; which are treaties which need to be ratified in the manner of other international treaties.  Thus there are many more ILO Recommendations than ILO Conventions.

Rural Workers and The Unpaid Labor.

From his early days in French politics; Thomas had developed an interest in cooperatives and in rural workers; both of which were usually outside the interests of trade unions and employers’ association which focused on industry.

Under Thomas’ leadership, the ILO took on a fairly broad view of what is “labor”.  He was also concerned with the role of women; though it was only a good bit later that the ILO became concerned with “unpaid labor” and the informal sector.  In many countries the work of wives  as “unpaid labor” is still outside employment statistics.

The International Labour Conference.

On 21 June 2019, a new Convention and accompanying; recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the world of work was adopted by the ILO Conference.  

Manuela Tonei; Director of the ILO’s Work Quality Department said; “Without respect, there is no dignity at work, and without dignity there is no social justice.” 

This is the first new Convention agreed by the International Labour Conference; since 2011 when the Domestic Workers Convention (Convention 184) was adopted.  Conventions are legally binding international conventions while Recommendations provide advice and guidance.

An Intensive Worker.

Also linked to his political background, Thomas knew the importance of personal contacts.  Thus, he traveled a good deal to meet officials and explain the role of the ILO.  He traveled a good bit in Asia; especially China and Japan, two countries outside of colonial control, as well as to North and South America.

Thomas was an intensive worker, often traveling in difficult conditions.  He did not take into consideration his own health needs – suffering from diabetes.  He died suddenly in 1932; as the ILO was facing the consequences of the world-wide depression.  He was only 53.  He left a strong legacy on which the ILO has been able to build.

Note

For a biography and analysis of the start of the ILO; written by a close co-worker and high official in the ILO Secretariat see: E.J. Phelan. Albert Thomas et la Création du B.I.T. (Paris: Grasset, 1936) translated into English as Edward J. Phelan. Yes and Albert Thomas (1936).

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

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Libya Appeals

Libya: The Fairy Godmothers hoping to bless a new…

Photo by Levin on Unsplash

by Rene Wadlow.

The Fairy Godmothers of world politics met in Berlin,  on 19 January 2020 to assist at the birth of a State structure arising,  from the currently deeply divided factions of Libya: German Chancellor,  Angela Merkel and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,  were the co-hosts with the Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimer Putin, France’s Emmanuel Macron, the U.K.’s Bosis Johnson, the USA’s Mike Poupeo;  as well as the less easily recognized officials – Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Corte;  and the representatives of China, Egypt, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates.

There were also representatives of the major intergovernmental organizations involved in Libya: the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the League of Arab States.

The Berlin Conference.

The Final Document of the Berlin Conference is an effort to please all participants;  but in fact;  on the crucial issue of the creation of a functioning administration for Libya;  there was only a broad vision of a desirable future: a single, unified, inclusive, and effective Libyan government that is transparent, accountable, fair with equitable distribution of public wealth;  and resources between different Libyan geographic areas, including through decentralization and support for municipalities;  thereby removing a central grievance and cause of recrimination.

The creation of such State structures has been the chief issue since 1945;  when the Allies – Britain, the USA and the USSR – agreed that the Italian colonies should not be returned to Italy;  although Italian settlers were encouraged to stay. The Allies did not want to create the structures of the new State;  believing that this task should be done by the Libyans themselves. Also;  the three Allies disagreed among themselves as to the nature of the future State.

The Creation of a Libyan State.

By 1950-1951 with more crucial geopolitical issues elsewhere;  the Allies were ready for the creation of a Libyan State. It seemed that a monarchy was the most appropriate form of government;  as there were no structured political parties that could have created a parliamentary government.

Thus in 1951;  Idris was made the King of the State. Idris was the head of the Senussi Sufi Order;  created by his father. The Senussi Sufi Order had branches in most parts of the country. Idriss ruled the country as if it were a Sufi order;  and did little to structure non-religious political structures. Idris ruled until September 1969;  when he was overthrown by Muammg Qaddafi.

The Authority Of The People.

Qaddafi was also not interested in creating permanent political parties which;  he feared, might be used against him. He called himself “the Guide of the Revolution” not “President” and Libya became the Libyan Jamaihirya;  that is, the authority of the people.

The closest model to Qaddafi’s vision is a Quaker Meeting;  where decisions are taken by consensus and compromise at the local level. These decisions are then sent as recommendations to the next higher level;  where by consensus and compromise again a decision is taken. Ultimately, these decisions reach to the top of Libya;  and the “Guide” sees how they can be carried out.

The problem with the governance of Libya;  was that not everyone was a member of a Sufi order;  where the search for enlightenment in a spirit of love was the way decisions,  were to be made. Moreover, there were hardly any Libyan Quakers;  and compromise was not the chief model for the tribal and clanic networks;  which was how the country was structured under Qaddafi.

Field Marshall.

Since the overthrow and death of Qaddafi in 2011;  there has been no agreement on how the country should be structured. The model which is most likely to be followed is that of General Khalifa Haftar;  who now likes to be addressed as “Field Marshall”. The model is a military-based dictatorship with a small number of civilians as “window dressing”.

The model is well represented through the world although;  not always held up as a model form of government. Haftor holds a good bit of the Libyan territory;  although his hope of a quick victory over the “national unity” government in the capitol Tripoli has not been successful for the moment.

The National Unity Government.

The National Unity Government of Faiez Sarraj is a civilian-led government;  but heavily dependent for its survival on tribal militias. The model for the government is that of Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey;  with a certain ideological coloring from the Islamic Brotherhood;  originally from Egypt;  but whose ideology has spread.

What type of structures can be created between these two major models is not known. I would expect to see a Khalifa Haftar-led government;  with a few civilians brought in from the National Unity Government.

The Fezzan.

The only geographic area outside of the current Tripoli-centered conflict between Faiez Sarraj  and Khalifa Haftar is the area known as the Fezzan – the southwestern part of the country,  on the edge of the Sahara. The area was associated with the rest of the country during the period of King Idrass;  as there were a number of branches of his Sufi order in the oases;  where most of the 200,000 people in the area live, mostly date palm farmers.

Gaddafi largely left the area alone as there was little possibility of developing organized opposition. However, today;  the governmental neglect has opened the door to wide-spread smuggling of people, weapons and drugs. The Italian government in particular;  has drawn international attention to the lack of administration in the Fezzan;  as many of the African migrants;  who end up in Italy have passed through the Fezzan on their way to Europe.

The creation of highly decentralized governmental structures in Libya will not be easy. Nevertheless, such decentralized administration is key to the future;  and a challenge to all of us;  who want to see a peaceful and relatively just Libya;

 Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Burma’s Crumbling Junta

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