Dr. David Oughton, Religion Teacher at CBC High School and Religion/ Philosophy Instructor at St. Louis Community College, Maryville University, & St. Louis University
WHEN: Sunday afternoon, May 18, 2008 3:30 p.m.-Reception; 3:45 p.m.-Talk followed by discussion; 5:00 – Annual Business Meeting; 5:30 – Buffet dinner
WHERE: CAFETERIA OF NEW CBC HIGH SCHOOL
(CBC HS is off North Outer 40 Rd. west of I-270 & east of the Mormon Temple.)
Directions: Use I-64/US 40 and exit at Mason Road. Go north. Immediately at signal turn east on North Outer 40 Road. Continue past the Mormon Temple & CBC athletic field on left. Turn left into De LaSalle Drive just west of the CBC HS main building. (If the main road curves to the left, you
have gone too far.) Go up the hill on De LaSalle Drive, turn left, and park in the lot. Enter the building by the glass doors (theater entrance) close to the flag poles. Go down the long hallway until you come to the big cafeteria on the left, but look right and use the door to the faculty dining room.
At its March 8 meeting the Board of Officers and Directors unanimously adopted a resolution directing Chair Ron Glossop to send to the national leadership and the national boards (CGS and CGS Education Fund) of directors this message:
The St. Louis chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions recommends that the CGS national organization be guided by Tad Daley’s statement made at the October 2007 national CGS meeting in Minneapolis that “Our singular ultimate long- term goal is enduring world peace through enforceable world law, an end to the scourge of war forever, and something we could truly call a United Earth. . . .Our highest loyalty is our universal loyalty. . . . Allegiance to our nation must be transcended by allegiance to all human- ity, to one world.”
You may remember that we viewed a DVD of that talk by Tad Daley at our February 3 meeting at the Ethical Society. Ron has a copy of that DVD for anyone who would like to borrow it. It is a great discussion starter for a home meeting. You can contact him by e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or bby phone at 314/869-2303.
Yvonne Logan, Chair of our local Partners for Global Change group has this message for our members about the Partner’s projects for March and April 2008:
(1) Please call President Bush (1-202-456- 1414) and urge that he act to ensure the success of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and its Abyei Protocol. Abyei is an area which straddles the border between the northern and southern regions of Sudan. It was the subject of a separate protocol to the January 2005 Compre- hensive Peace Agreement signed between the Sudanese government in the north and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the south. One provision of the protocol was the establishment of a boundaries commission to define the terri-
tory to be included in the special administration of the area. The commission’s decision was to be implemented immediately after the submission of its July 2005 report, but such action has been blocked by the Sudanese national government controlled by the National Congress Party. The Bush administration started well by brokering the agreement, but now needs to press for targeted sanctions in the U.N. Security Council if the Sudanese officials continue to be obstructive.
For more information see <http:// http://www.enoughproject.org/abyei>.
(2) Please call or write your U.S. Representa- tive (Washington DC 20515) and Senators (Washington DC 20510) asking them to initiate an independent Bipartisan commission on Torture and Interrogation Policy. Our elected leaders must ensure that we stand on the side of human rights and the rule of law. You can double your influence by contacting both the national office and the local office.
(3) According to the latest pie chart from War Resisters League, 54% (up from 51% last year) of our taxes (not including trust funds like Social Security) are spent on the military for past, present, and future wars. A good place to do some cutting would be the expenditure for new “reliable” nuclear weapons. Let your legislators hear from you.
In our Winter 2007-2008 newsletter we noted that Nikki Llorin, the new webmaster for our website <https://cgsstlouis.wordpress.com> is a student at St. Louis University. Well, she was— three years ago. She has graduated and is now at Washington University expecting to get her Master’s Degree this coming December.
At its March 8 meet the board decided to have a display booth for CGS of St. Louis at the “Festival of Faiths and Cultures” to be held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6.
CHAPTER BOARD MEETING OPEN TO ALL
The next meeting of the Board of Officers and Directors of Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis will be held at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker Blvd., St. Louis MO 63130.
As usual the meeting is open to anyone who would like to join us. The Partners for Global Change call originally scheduled for noon that day has been postponed because of the national meeting being held in Washington May 14-16.
College students, & high-school seniors and juniors—
Enter this contest for an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in our annual assembly in Washington D.C.
“PURSUING A MULTILATERAL FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE GOOD OF THE WORLD”
MAY 15-16, 2008
HEAR PRESENTATIONS BY EXPERTS & JOIN IN DISCUSSIONS ON: HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS
HOW TO MAKE THE U.N. MORE EFFECTIVE
HOW THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
MAKES A DIFFERENCE
VISIT THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis will provide transportation, registration, meals, & lodging for a college student or a high-school junior or senior to participate in the Citizens for Global Solu- tions national assembly in Washington DC.
The conference begins at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, May 15, so you should be able to leave St. Louis Thursday afternoon or evening. It ends Friday afternoon, May 16, so you could be back that night if you wish. If you want to do sightseeing in Washington on Saturday, we will also provide housing for you for Friday night (but not extra meals). Getting to and from the St. Louis airport is your responsibility.
If you want to be a contestant for this all-expenses-paid trip, write a 3-5 page typed essay (double- spaced) consisting of two parts. In the first part tell us about your background and why you would be a good person for us to send to this meeting. In the second part share with us your thinking about some of the problems our world community faces and how we might deal with them more effectively.
In exchange for this subsidy C/GS of St. Louis expects you to give us a brief written report about the conference & what you learned from it. (This gets published in our local newsletter.)
Send your essay to:
Ronald J. Glossop, 8894 Berkay Avenue, Jennings, MO 63136-5004
or preferably by e-mail to: <email@example.com>
Be sure to include your home address and home telephone number.
For more information, call (314) 869-2303.
Deadline: April 21, 2008. Winner(s) will be notified by April 22, 2008.
From Albert Einstein’s September 1945 letter to J. Robert Oppenheimer:
“The wretched attempts to achieve international security, as it is understood today by our governments, do not alter at all the political structures of the world, do not recognize at all the competing sovereign nation-states as the real cause of conflicts. Our governments and the people do not seem to have drawn anything from past experi- ence and are unable or unwilling to think the problem through. The conditions existing today force the individual states, for the sake of their own security based on fear, to do all those things which inevitably produce war. At the present state of industrialism, with the existing complete integration of the world, it is unthinkable that we can have peace without a real governmental organization to create and enforce law on individu- als in their international relations. Without such an over-all solution to give up-to-date expression to the democratic sovereignty of the peoples, all attempts to avoid specific dangers in the international field seem to me illusory.”
THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: THE STORY OF ANCIENT EMPIRES, MODERN
STATES, AND THE QUEST FOR A GLOBAL NATION by Strobe Talbott
[New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Simon & Schuster, 2008]
(Book review by Ronald J. Glossop—April 3, 2008)
Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institute, provides us an excellent overview of human political history enriched by personal experiences and comments, all organized to show how humanity is slowly but surely creating ever larger political units to the point where now the next step is a creation of a global nation, a politi- cally unified community that encompasses the whole Earth. Talbott gave us his general viewpoint in his 1992 article in TIME when he said, “I’ll bet that within the next hundred years . . . nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority” (pp. 126-27) He now adds,”I have qualified my forecast some- what, but not in essence” (p. 127). The book’s vast historical sweep, apparent in the subtitle, is also evident in the three parts into which the 405-page survey is divided: “The Imperial Millennia” (roughly up to 1914), “The American Centuries” (roughly up to the end of the Cold War in 1990), and “The Unipolar Decades” (from 1991 to the present). There are also another 71 pages of notes in this carefully documented work.
This book is a dramatic erudite narrative of human history told by a top-notch American scholar with an insider’s view of current events. Strobe Talbott and Bill Clinton shared a house while both were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford Uni- versity (p.17), and Talbott later was asked by Clinton to be his Deputy Secretary of State. Talbott’s own account of his life and career, which includes 21 years with TIME, is in the “Introduc- tion” (page 11).
World federalists will especially enjoy reading chapter 10 titled “The Master Builder,” which covers the end of World War II, the beginning of the U.N., and the all-too-brief flourishing of the world federalist movement. Most readers will be surprised to learn that Harry Truman, from the time he graduated from high school in 1901, carried a scrap of paper in his wallet on which were written
12 lines of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Locksley Hall,” including the lines “Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d, In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World.” Talbott notes that “Truman recopied this text by hand as many as forty times during his life” (p.184) and that in a 1951 conversation with author John Hersey Truman said, “Notice that part about universal law. . . . We’re going to have that some- day. I guess that’s what I’ve really been working for ever since I first put that poetry in my pocket” (p. 210).
The negative reaction of world federalists to the U.N. plus their arguments for a radical change are described in detail. One example is this quotation from Einstein’s September 1945 letter to J. Robert Oppenheimer: “The wretched attempts to achieve international security, as it is understood today by our governments, do not alter at all the political structures of the world, do not recognize at all the competing sovereign nation-states as the real cause of conflicts. Our governments and the people do not seem to have drawn anything from past experi- ence and are unable or unwilling to think the problem through. The conditions existing today force the individual states, for the sake of their own security based on fear, to do all those things which inevitably produce war. At the present state of industrialism, with the existing complete integra- tion of the world, it is unthinkable that we can have peace without a real governmental organization to create and enforce law on individuals in their international relations. Without such an over-all solution to give up-to-date expression to the demo- cratic sovereignty of the peoples, all attempts to avoid specific dangers in the international field seem to me illusory” (p. 197).
The book also contains several statements that suggest that world federalist ideas are having some influence in unexpected places. For example, Talbott notes that in the first edition of his 1948 classic POLITICS AMONG NATIONS prominent realist political theorist Hans Morgenthau noted that “the argument of the advocates of the world state is unanswerable. There can be no permanent international peace without a state coextensive with the confines of the political world [and] a radical transformation of the existing international society of sovereign nations into a supranational commu- nity of individuals” (p. 198). In 1992 Ronald Reagan said that he could foresee “a standing UN force—an army of conscience—that is fully equipped and prepared to carve out human sanctu- aries through force if necessary” (p. 258). In his 2006 farewell address at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, U.N. Secre- tary-General Kofi Annan said, “The United States has given the world an example of a democracy in which everyone, including the most powerful, is subject to legal restraint. Its current moment of world supremacy gives it a priceless opportunity to entrench the same principles at the global level” (p. 391).
Talbott provides interesting inside accounts of crucial events and international meetings during the years of the Clinton administration as well as an insightful analysis of the actions and views of individuals in the current Bush administration. His last chapter, “The Crucial Years,” focuses on the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and the poli- cies Talbott believes the United States should adopt as well as the issues that must be addressed. “The next administration should . . . waste no time in demonstrating that respect for international law is once again part of the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy” (p. 393). There should be greater support for the United Nations, but beyond that “the UN needs to be incorporated into an increasingly variegated network of structures and arrange- ments—some functional in focus, others geo- graphic; some intergovernmental, others based on systematic collaboration with the private sector, civil society, and NGOs” (p. 394). The United
States should “encourage regional organizations to develop their own capacities as well as habits of cooperation with one another and with the UN itself” (p. 395). Also “ensuring a peaceful twenty- first century will depend in large measure on narrowing the divide between those who feel like winners and those who feel like losers in the process of globalization” (p. 395).
With regard to the most urgent problems to be tackled Talbott points to “two clear and present dangers. One is a new wave of nuclear-weapons proliferation; the other is a tipping point in the process of climate change. These mega-threats can be held at bay in the crucial years immediately ahead only through multilateralism on a scale far beyond anything the world has achieved to date” (p. 395). Talbott concludes with this comment: “By solving [these] two problems that are truly urgent, we can increase the chances that eventually . . . the world will be able to ameliorate or even solve other problems that are merely very impor- tant. Whether future generations make the most of such a world, and whether they think of it as a global nation or just as a well-governed interna- tional community, is up to them. Whether they have the choice is up to us” (p. 401).