Winter 2017 Newsletter

NOW IS THE TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Five of our members have lifetime membership in our organization as a
result of making a contribution of $500 or more. For everyone else,
membership is for a calendar year, from January 31 through the next
January 31. Therefore now is the time to renew. You can do that by
sending a check for $25 made out to “Citizens for Global Solutions of St.
Louis” to our Treasurer, David Oughton, 1130 Big Sky Drive, Fenton MO
63026. Please include your postal address, phone number, and e-mail
address. We also appreciate any additional contributions at any time. All
contributions, including annual memberships, are tax-deducible because
we are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Membership means that you receive our quarterly newsletter by mail as
well as being eligible to vote for officers at our annual meeting. Our
policy is to send you the Winter (January) copy of the newsletter for the
following year even if you have not yet renewed. Your address label
indicates when your membership expires. For lifetime members, the
expiration date is “XOXOXO.” If there is no expiration date, you are
receiving the newsletter as a friend, but we would like you to become a
member.
If you have any questions, you can contact Chair Ron Glossop at
314/869-2303 or by e-mail at <rglossop@mindspring.com>.

REPORT ON CGS/STL’S 2016 FALL WORKSHOP

Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis held its third global solutions workshop on October 16, 2016 at the Ethical Society’s Clayton Road facility. Twenty eight people attended on a sunny autumn afternoon.

Dale Walton opened with a keynote address on the future of democracy and globalization. In his talk he analyzed the populist uprisings occurring here and elsewhere. He spoke of the need for political and economic elites to recognize ordinary people’s concerns and help them cope with the impact of globalization.

Brian Arendt described China’s changing role in global politics. He concentrated on how the US should position itself with respect to China, namely understanding how the actions of the Chinese depend on their long-term goals.

Cassandra Butler showed how economic disparities can be understood and addressed both here and abroad, using examples from some successful social democracies.

Donald Heidenreich commented on the 2016 US presidential election from an international perspectives. He addressed foreign policy moves that would maintain our global stance.

Robert Reinhold described the Tobin Tax on financial exchange transactions, a proposal that could help fund global initiatives such as those of the United Nations.

The event closed with a pizza supper, including salad and sweet deserts. Refreshments were arranged by David Oughton and Mary Bickel. Contributions from participants exceeded $150.


Six organizations were cosponsors: League of Women Voters of Metro St. Louis, Peace Economy Project, The Baha’i Community of St. Louis Area, United Nations Association of St. Louis, Webster University Institute for Human Rights, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.


In all its entirety, mankind has always striven to organize without fail on a worldwide scale. There have been many great peoples with great histories but the higher such people stood, the greater was their misfortune, for they were more acutely aware than others of the need for a world-wide union of all peoples.
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV

HOW THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS VIEW THE MEANING OF PEACE;
THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO WAR

By Dr. David Oughton,
Department of Religion, St. Louis University,
and Treasurer, CGS/STL

Three meanings of peace in the world’s religions:

1. Inner peace: serenity of mind and conscience. This kind of peace arises from a proper relationship and oneness with the divine or with reality. This level of peace is often called “nirvana” by Hindus and Buddhists. It is also emphasized by many Taoists.

2. A second level of peace involves harmony between people. Some religious people base this kind of peace on the biblical commandment “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This level of peace, when combined with justice, will promote the “reign of God” or the “messianic age.” This level of peace is emphasized by many Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Confucianists.

3. A third meaning of peace concerns public order and security. People seek to live in peaceful neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries through the rule of law. Peace between countries could also be achieved through the rule of law. World law and order is emphasized by the Baha’i Faith and the Roman Catholic Church. The responsibility of the world’s religions is to provide the necessary foundation for the creation of a global public authority by emphasizing the world community, world citizenship, universal brother/sisterhood, humatriotism in addition to patriotism, the Golden Rule, and the Global Ethic.

Three religious approaches to war (large-scale violent conflict between groups that are governments or seek to become governments over some territory):

1. Pacifism and non-violent resistance for individuals: This is the approach of Jainism; many Hindus, Buddhists, and Taoists; Christian groups such as the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Brethren, Mennonites, Amish, and Jehovah’s Witnesses; and some Catholics and Protestants.

2. Just War Teaching for individuals and national governments: This is the approach of most Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians.

3. Outlaw war through democratic world federation: This is the goal of the Baha’i Faith, the Roman Catholic Church, and many individuals in other religions.

THE IDEA OF WORLD GOVERNMENT: FROM
ANCIENT TIMES TO 21ST CENTURY

by James A. Yunker
[Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group. 2011]
(Book review by Ronald J. Glossop– November 20, 2016)

     The Idea of World Government is a book in the “Routledge Global Institutions” series edited by Thomas G. Weiss and Rorden Wilkinson. Economics professor James Yunker was selected to write this text because of his long-standing interest in the topic and his having already authored several books and articles about it. In it Yunker provides an excellent overview of the long history of the idea that having one effective government over the whole world community is the way to have a world without war.

     On page 2 Professor Yunker poses a central question that stimulates his interest in the controversial issue of world government. “Why do most people believe that relatively strong governmental authority is impractical and inadvisable at the global level” even though most people believe that relatively strong governmental authority is “necessary and beneficial to human welfare at the local, regional and national levels”? His own view is that what has been lacking up to now is “a properly designed world government.” He also says, “Conscious or unconscious identification of world government as a form of imperial government is an important reason why the idea of world government is currently rejected by a large majority of the world’s population” (p. 15). Professor Yunker’s introduction discusses the important events from the beginnings of the notion of peace via one-person rule in ancient empires to more recent views about how nations should work together to create a super-national world federation. The book as a whole provides a detailed historical account of the evolution of governments and political thinking with respect to the problem of war accompanied by Yunker’s insightful observations about how these developments are relevant to the world government issue. The six chapters are titled: “Historical antecedents;” “From Perpetual Peace to the Great War;” “From the Treaty of Versailles to the nuclear age;” “The postwar world government boom;” “The post-Cold War era;” and “Is there a future for world government?”

     Yunker thinks that humanity is slowly moving toward world government. Nevertheless difficulties being confronted by the European Union, sometimes viewed as a model for the world, show that any such integration at the global level remains a huge challenge for humanity. Yunker mentions language differences as a particular problem for European integration but notes that the use of English as a de facto common language both in Europe and globally may help overcome this problem for future integration.

     In the last chapter Yunker provides his own detailed proposal for a “properly designed” global political system. He calls his proposal the “Federal Union of Democratic Nations (FUDN).”

     It is intermediate between the confederate United Nations and an “omnipotent” world federation. He thinks that the European Union provides a good model for how the global community might proceed, but the global organization would need a “dual voting system” where neither the richer countries nor the poorer countries could make policies unacceptable to the other group. In his FUDN countries would be free to maintain their national military forces (including nuclear weapons) and would be able to secede from the global organization if they want. He hopes that as such a limited global organization displays its usefulness these rights to maintain armed forces and to secede would lose their importance. A true world federation would gradually have evolved.

THE BIG PICTURE

by Hank Stone, Rochester, New York
December 2, 2016

Elections change leadership, but they don’t change reality. Before the 2016 election we were faced with climate threats, economic inequality and joblessness, an unstable economy, unending wars, nuclear threats, and problematic corporate government. Globally, a population of 7.4 billion humans and growing was facing pollution plus depletion of energy, farmland, fresh water, and minerals.

These problems have been getting worse despite sincere efforts of hundreds of millions of people over many decades. We have believed that with enough political will we can fix the problems, so that prosperity can be shared even more widely and can continue indefinitely. What went wrong?

The trouble is that our prosperity has been based on exploiting and depleting resources even as the population has doubled and doubled again. Automation and desperate foreign workers have given us a “musical chairs” job market which at the moment is having unpleasant repercussions in the more developed parts of the world. Our problems are inherent to Western civilization. Society (schools, banks, corporations, media, government, military) do what they were designed to do. Adjustments, “fixes” and “struggling to make a difference” are how we got to the present situation.

Now climate change, nuclear and economic threats, wars, and for-sale politics have made our type of society unsustainable. The problems are serious, global, and interconnected. Society must undergo a “Great Transition,” from endless growth and resource exploitation to sustainability. If we do it right, we get to a peaceful, just, prosperous, and sustainable human future.

But deep change will be disruptive for everyone, and most painful for rich and powerful people. Change will be resisted. The way forward is to focus on the positive future we want. We can describe a new vision of the future that is sustainable and that is so moral, broad, reasonable, and generous-minded that it can appeal to pretty much everyone.

The “Great Transition” is already happening. Consider the accelerating switch from fossil fuel to renewables, the increasing popularity of the idea that it’s time to protect the climate and clean water, and the growing sense that “War is not the answer.”

Change can be distressing, but can also be exciting and fun! We should solicit stories about the positive future we envision. Of course, action in the present is required. Fortunately, very large numbers of groups are working on the various aspects of this “Great Transition” to a sustainable future. The successful human future is the birthright of our children, and their children, and countless generations to come. Our vision, and our action, must protect that future.


“Unless some effective world supergovernment for the purpose of preventing war can be set up…the prospects for peace and human progress are dark…. If…it is found possible to build a world organization of irresistible force and inviolable authority for the purpose of securing peace, there are no limits to the blessings which all men enjoy and share.”
-Winston Churchill

OBAMA’S LEGACY

By Ronald Glossop

Discussions of Obama’s legacy are often too narrow. They focus on specific policies that were adopted or not adopted. They don’t pay enough attention to what Obama himself said at his January 10 valedictory speech in Chicago. When the audience began shouting “No, no, no, no, no” as he mentioned the coming change in the White House, Obama responded with a statement that displays his wisdom and his understanding of the important role of the United States in world history, namely that one of our nation’s great strengths “is the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.”

We have constructed a large and prosperous democratic nation that decides who should have ultimate political power in our country for the next few years on the basis of elections rather than fighting violent military battles. In a democracy groups with opposing views and interests realize that the results of an election can be reversed in the next election and the next and the next. Violence is not necessary.

In a stable democracy there is no one winner-take-all for the foreseeable future. The rulers for the moment can be changed in the next election.Progress toward an ideal community can be made gradually and even with steps forward and back.

We had our very destructive Civil War (1861-1865) to determine that we would preserve the democratic federal Union. For a century and a half after that our country has experienced the wonderful benefits of a united democratic federal government that determines its rulers by elections instead of wars and is governed by law and courts rather than destructive military battles. Obama realizes that, and his whole life as well as his presidency been guided by it..

This legacy is even broader than just for this county or even for many other federal democratic countries following in our nation’s footsteps. It provides a lesson for the whole world community that the way to end war not only within countries but also within the planetary community is to establish a democratic federal government.

What a huge blessing it would be for all of humanity if the global community would transform the United Nations into a global democratic government just as our country made the transformation from the ineffective Articles of Confederation to the democratic federal union when the U.S. Constitution was created and ratified in 1787-1789 and George Washington became our first elected President.

Create a democratic world federation to outlaw war

Last week President Obama visited Hiroshima, and on Monday we honored those who have served in the military and lost their lives in wars. The best way that we can honor the past victims of war is to outlaw not only the weapons of war but war itself.

International conflicts and global problems will always exist, but they can be solved in nonviolent ways through the rule of law. In addition to local, state and national governments that create and maintain various degrees of peace and order within their borders, we need to create a democratic world federation of nations that would be able to outlaw war, weapons of mass destruction, genocide and terrorism as well as solve our many global problems. If a democratic world parliament would create such laws, the individual dictators, terrorists and others who violate world laws could be arrested by world police, prosecuted by world courts and held in world prisons.

Nuclear weapons and military weapons are believed to be necessary by national leaders because we still live under a war system. The United Nations has been very successful in dealing with some global problems, but it is unable to eliminate the war system because it is a confederacy of national governments that is based on the unlimited sovereignty of nationstates and on a system of treaties between national governments. Transforming this international confederacy into a democratic world federation is the only way to eliminate wars and the extremely destructive weapons of war.

David C. Oughton, Fenton
Letter to the Editor,
St. Louis POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, June 1, 2016, page A 14.

Reminder: Time to renew your membership in CGS of Greater St. Louis

We value your membership in Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis. The expiration date for your membership is at the top of the address label on your newsletter. Life members will see “XOXOXO.” For 2016 members, it will say “31 Jan 2017,” which means that you will get the Winter 2017 issue even if you have not yet renewed for 2017. If the expiration date is past, we are hoping that you will soon renew your membership. If there is no expiration date of any kind on the label, you are receiving a free copy with the hope that the information will be of interest to you.

Membership guarantees that you will continue to get our quarterly newsletter GLOBAL SOLUTIONS NEWS which keeps you informed about our local activities and provides articles of interest to our members. We encourage you to participate in our events where you will be informed by experts about global issues and global solutions and will have a chance to share your views with them. Our 2017 annual meeting will be Sunday afternoon, June 11, at the Ethical Society of Saint Louis..

Memberships in our local CGS organization and the national CGS organization are separate matters. Membership in the national Citizens for Global Solutions costs an additional $25 per year ($5 for students and low income individuals). You can decide how much of your national membership dues goes to the educational CGS Education Fund and how much goes to the political CGS Action Network. Contributions to CGS-AN are not tax- deductible. You can join the national CGS at the website <http://globalsolutions.org&gt; or by sending a check and your name and address to: Citizens for Global Solutions, 420 Seventh Street SE, Washington DC 20003.

Our local CGS of Greater St. Louis publishes a quarterly newslettter and arranges local programs. Annual local membership dues are $25 ($10 for students). Members and other contributors receive our quarterly newsletters and have voting rights at the annual meeting. Please also consider an additional contribution to assist us in our work. Life membership is awarded for a donation of $500 or more. Joining after Oct. 1 also includes the next year.

Make checks payable to “Citizens for Global Solutions/ St. Louis” and send them along with the membership blank below to David Oughton, 1130 Big Sky Drive, Fenton MO 63026. Both dues and additional contributions are tax deductible because CGS of Greater St. Louis is a 501(c)(3) educational, non- political membership organization. Thanks for your support.

Sincerely,
Ron Glossop, Chair


CITIZENS FOR GLOBAL SOLUTIONS OF
ST. LOUIS CHAPTER LEADERS

     Each year in April or May we have our annual meeting where we elect our Officers and Directors for the following year. The chapter leaders for 2015-2016 are:
CHAIR: Ronald Glossop,
VICE-CHAIR: Brian Arendt
TREASURER: David Oughton,
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: David Oughton
RECORDING SECRETARY: Rosario Rena Ciaramitaro
DIRECTORS: Cassandra Butler, Hasmik Chakaryan, Terry Gates, Kyerra Johnson-Massey, Yvonne Logan, Bob Reinhold and Grant Williams.
Others who are important to our work are:
NEWSLETTER LAYOUT EDITOR Marideth Sisco.
NEWSLETTER PRINTER The Ink Spot, 3433 Hampton
Ave., St. Louis MO 63139.
Our board meets at the World Community Center, 438
No. Skinker, whose manager is Darrick Smith.

COMING EVENTS

Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. – WOMEN’S MARCH in ST. LOUIS – This St. Louis march and rally supplements the Womens’s March in Washington DC in support of the rights of women and other marginalized groups. It begins at 9:00 a.m. near Union Station at 18th & Market. We will meet at 8:50 a.m. inside Union Station at the top of the stairs by the main entrance. The march will go east on Market Street to Luther Ely Smith Park where there will be a rally at 10:00 a.m. Those who don’t want to march can still come to the rally. Appropriate T-shirts will be on sale. Several informed and inspiring speakers will address the rally. From 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. the Volunteer Opportunity Fair takes place indoors at the Phyllis Wheatley Heritage Center, 2711 Locust Street. Enjoy complimentary hot beverages. More info is available at <http://womensmarchonstlouis.weebly.com&gt;.

Saturday, March 11, 10:15 a.m. – CGS/STL Board of Officers & Directors meets at World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker Boulevard, 63130. The meeting is open to all.

Saturday, May 13, 10:15 a.m. – CGS/STL Board of Officers & Directors meets at World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker Boulevard, 63130. The meeting is open to all.

Sunday, June 11, 3:00-7:00 p.m. – Bob Flax, President of the Democratic World Federalists, Consultant to national Citizens for Global Solutions, and Professor of Conflict Resolution and Organization Development at Saybrook University near San Francisco will be the main speaker at the CGS/St. Louis 2017 annual meeting at Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road.

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