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Letter to World Citizens

From 1948 to 2000 - A World Government Odyssey

By Garry Davis

Almost 50 years have passed since the start of the world citizenship movement in Paris. In this issue, we are reminding you of some of these historic events. They are even more relevant today, with the breakup of the Soviet Union closing the bipolar era of Great Power confrontation.

You will read in my open letter to Kofi Annan about our 1948 ultimatum to the U.N.--the "Oran Declaration." We reprint the letter written to me by Dr. Herbert Evatt which was read to the 17,000 Parisians assembled at the Velodrome d'Hiver on December 9, 1948. They had all come to the same conclusion: that the U.N. wasn't established to make peace.

It is my conviction that as the U.N. collapses through continuing discord, irrelevancy and impotence, finally fading into historical oblivion, we World Citizens, uniting through dynamic programs like the World Syntegrity Project, are rightfully taking control of our own global affairs.

In contrast with today's high-tech world, 1948 seems like the Middle Ages. At that time, there was no national television, much less worldwide satellite broadcasting. Radio dominated the electronic news media, complemented by movie newsreels. Computers were still experimental, with labyrinths of vacuum tubes filling entire rooms. All airplanes were propeller-driven. Space was unconquered. Europe was still in ruins.

The United Nations was stillborn and the world was, as usual, anarchic. The "enemy" on August 6, 1945--the day of the Hiroshima atomic bombing--had been identified as humanity itself, and it remains so to this day.

Today, however, following the cessation of the United States-Soviet Union superpower conflict, the monstrous truth is nakedly revealed: either the present nation-state system will prevail or humanity will. It cannot be both.

Consider, for a moment, modern technology's impact on everyday lives: satellites poised in space, allowing for pinpoint positioning of planes, boats and even hikers worldwide; space vehicles circling the Earth every 96 minutes at 18,000 miles per hour; cyberspace open to one and all with a computer, modem and telephone line; television channels bringing on-the-spot news from literally anywhere on the planet to any TV set; transportation systems that enable goods and services to crisscross national borders without hindrance.

Given these facts, the notion of world citizenship, with its built-in strategy of democratic input from each and every human, is no longer a future hope or fantasy but a down-to-earth political reality with powerful grassroots support.

Through the World Syntegrity Project, the World Citizen Referendum and mundialization, we are exercising our inalienable rights as governors of our own destiny on this, our home planet.

When the World Syntegrity Project was launched in July 1993, I predicted that the year 2000 would see a fully functioning World Government with a new-style world constitution. As Dianne Tangel-Cate notes in this issue, the WSP is steadily moving us toward that goal, as more and more people start syntegrating.

It was Stafford Beer who pointed out in his masterful book Beyond Dispute that each Infoset becomes part of a compounding fact where the magnitude increases not arithmetically, but geometrically. Finally, a critical mass is reached from which a political quantum leap can occur. This process was described by Buckminster Fuller as "synergetic" or dynamically combining; Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine calls it a breakthrough to a "higher coherence."

Ultimately, for the project to succeed, it will require an immense influx of capital. While local financing is encouraged, the World Citizen Foundation, which sponsors the WSP, is called upon by facilitators worldwide to fund essential items such as printing, postage, food, rent, materials and transportation for the 30-person, 3-day meeting.

To all past, present and future Infosetters, I say, don't reduce the pressure. You have acted as "world legislators," and as others join and the world media begins to pay attention, an overwhelming tide of popular opinion will become manifest. Local and national leaders will follow your lead. World leaders will appear to "follow" or represent your expressed political will, just as Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms: "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government."

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