How to check "Save the World" off your bucket list?
Welcome to Chapter 20 of Planet Republyk!
This is the seventh of 10 chapters of the third and final part of the Planet Republyk project.
If you were to read only one part, it would be this one.
With the "Why" portion of Part III completed, we are now presenting the "How" and the method of the Planet Republyk Project.
These chapters are the most important in the series.
Chapter 20: Be Proud Again
I am a fan of the word hope. I don't believe in fatality or in a story written in advance. If you are open to others, if you love life, it always ends up responding to you and reflecting itself in you.
Now, what do we do to take the step towards John Lennon's Imagine?
To arrive at this Universal Republic of humankind? To this cosmocracy?
It is of course a project that will take time. But isn't it time to participate in something that we might not be able to taste in our lifetime?
A centuries-old project like the Chinese wall, the great European cathedrals or the pyramids in Egypt for other generations, in other times?
Just imagine! To be part of the generation that will have initiated the movement that will eventually lead to the establishment of the Universal Republic of humankind!
Personally, I dream that one day my great-granddaughter will be able to proudly say: "My ancestor was one of those who helped establish the world parliament!
But our societies, we, now slaves of individualism, of instantaneity, of the quest for pleasure, of eudemonism even, do we still hold, by atavism, the capacity to commit ourselves to projects that pay so little attention to the influence of the ego?
Many of us want to believe this. We want to believe that the visceral need for a quest beyond the self is part of our common genetic heritage.
So, if this project appeals to you, what should you do?
First, we need to talk about it around us with constancy and courage; spread the idea in our real and virtual networks. Make videos, write texts, organize meetings and soon, perhaps, we will have to found national political parties within our democracies. The first article of their constitution, their first mandate, will be the promotion of a World Republic by universal suffrage. Eventually, these political parties will elect members of parliament. Then we will have allies in the national parliaments themselves.
It will be good to have again political parties that carry something other than a technocratic project of accounting management; parties that carry a dream. It seems to me that the citizen, the youth in particular, desperately needs to dream of a future. Parties of this type will have to emerge in all the democracies of the world. They will work together.
We will need to raise funds to open offices and hire full-time staff to promote this project in every major city around the world.
A timetable will have to be set for various considerations, including the motivation of the troops. The year 2045, the hundredth anniversary of the United Nations, seems to be a coherent objective for the establishment of a permanent structure of world parliament. This advent would constitute the year 0 of the calendar of the new era. The date could very well be the equinox day of March, which in 2007 was declared "World Citizens Day and World Unity Day" by the Peoples Congress.
We should aim for elections, on a fixed date, preferably every nine years.
Why should we do this?
Eventually, billions of people will have to vote: a complex and expensive exercise. A nine-year, non-renewable parliamentary and presidential term would make the exercise of power more manageable. Half of the members of parliament would be elected every 54 months. The citizens could also ratify or repeal by referendum the measures and legislation adopted by the chamber if a request to do so received the assent of a minimum number, to be determined, of world citizens.
Similarly, global citizens should have a constitutional mechanism to remove the representative of their area by referendum at any time during his or her term if they are dissatisfied. The citizens of the world should be able to do the same for its ministers and its president. As an example, this process could be automatically initiated if 1% of the voters of the district (or of the globe for presidents and ministers) sign a formal petition to this effect.
The parliamentary deputation should have an equal number of women and men at all times. One way to achieve this would be to make it mandatory to alternate the gender of candidates in each district. In the first world election, from north to south, the world's districts would alternate female and male candidates. At the next election, the candidates would be of the opposite gender. Gender alternation should be written into the constitution for the presidency as well.
The first election could be held in 2027, on October 24 (the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter). At the beginning, the representation will of course be only symbolic, but given the slow but undeniable progress of democracy in the world, there will come a time when more than 50% of the populations in parallel areas will be able to vote according to standards inspired by those of the UN electoral division. Then we will be able to speak, more and more, of a legitimate representation.
The important thing is not to convince, but to give food for thought.
Contrary to the generally accepted idea, and despite some setbacks (mentioned in episode 17) over the last decade, and even more so since the beginning of the pandemic, democracy is steadily progressing in the world[i]. Both qualitatively and quantitatively. According to research by Max Roser's team at Oxford University, democracy has made a quantum leap in the last two centuries. More than half of the world's population now lives in proper democracies. More than half of all states are now democracies, and the average quality of these democracies is also on the rise.
So, yes, from a historical perspective, democracy is progressing; nevertheless, at the moment, it is in a bad way... if I have approached, earlier, the subject of the dejection which strikes a part of the current militancy, I have not yet asked the question of the dull anger which emanates from it. It is now spilling over, among more and more citizens, from various social strata, as witnessed by the recent upheavals in voting habits resulting from the massive rejection of traditional political parties in the democracies of the contemporary world. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz explains the situation as follows:
Since the 1970s, neo-liberalism has chosen to deepen social inequalities by increasing without limit the rent to large and wealthy shareholders, usurping all the wealth produced. And the governments are stuck between these rich people and the people. Democracy no longer functions and no longer plays its role[ii].
A seditious literature and discourse, in the virtual as well as in the real world, calling more and more openly for resistance, civil disobedience, even revolution, is growing.
Despised only a few years ago, radical voices, more and more powerful, on the extreme left and right, seem to be making their way into the public space almost everywhere on the planet.
They find a particularly favorable breeding ground among the world's youth, whose anger linked to the impression of having been robbed of their future by previous generations is strong.
The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey we mentioned earlier revealed, in its 2019 annual World Youth Report[iii], that in recent years a strong trend seems to be taking hold: the widespread loss of trust among youth in their national political systems. It reached 73% in 2018.
The firm notes that current political paradigms seem outdated to young people in the face of the challenges of the contemporary world. In 2018, only 22% of young people surveyed expected the situation in their respective countries to improve. A decrease of 33% compared to the previous year. 75% of them believed that the current political leaders have a negative impact on the world. This trend was evident in both mature markets (down 11 points) and emerging markets (down 9 points).
And this survey, it should be remembered, was conducted before Covid-19 struck...
In the face of political inaction, even scientists are coming out of their proverbial shell, as evidenced by a call[iv] in February 2020 by more than 1,000 leading scientists from different backgrounds for civil disobedience and even rebellion.
That works that were once in the shadows, such as Peter Gelderloos How Nonviolence Protects the State, have been translated into many languages and sold in hundreds of thousands of copies is a testament to the times. If the numerous calls for revolution eventually find an echo, major changes in our societies are to be expected.
In support of these scenarios and adding to the voices of environmental scientists, NASA[v], various army corps around the world[vi][vii] as well as organizations such as the World Bank[viii], the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration[ix] or the CIA[x] have come to the conclusion that our collective failure to adequately deal with the financial, environmental, geopolitical, resource and social inequality crises on a planetary scale will eventually lead to a social, economic, ecological and even civilizational collapse.
In the United States alone, the report[xi] Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army, a collaboration between the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), NASA, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, the U.S. War College and the Center for Climate and Security (CFCS), predicts that the U.S. population could face long-term power outages, epidemics, lack of potable water, famine and civil war by 2040-2050.
That's it for Chapter 20!
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[i] Research by the team of Max Roser, an economist at the Institute of New Economic Thinking of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, published on the Our World in Data website. https://ourworldindata.org/democracy
[ii] Joseph E. Stiglitz, People, Power and Profits, Capitalism in a Time of Social Exasperation, Paris, LLL Les Liens qui Libèrent, p.105.
[iii] The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, loc.cit, p.8-10. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/deloitte-2019-millennial-survey.pdf
[iv] Collective, "Faced with the ecological crisis, rebellion is necessary", Le Monde, 20 February 2020.
[v]Nafeez Ahmed, "Nasa-funded study: industrial civilization headed for 'irreversible collapse'?", The Guardian, March, 14, 2014.
[vi] Nicolas Mazzucchi, Thierry Berthier, "Defense and climate change: what model for tomorrow's armies?", The Conversation, 15 December 2019.
[vii] Shirley V. Scott, Shahedul Khan, "The implications of climate change on armies, peacekeeping missions and conflict prevention," Air and Space Power Journal, Africa & Francophonie, 3rd Quarter 2016.
[viii] World Bank, "World Development Report 2010, Development and Climate Change" Washington, 2010, p.42.
[ix] Nafeez Ahmed, "New report says human civilization highly likely to collapse by 2050," Vice, June 4, 2019.
[x] Aude Massiot, Estelle Pattée, "How does the CIA see the world in 2035?", Liberation, 27 January 2017.
[xi] Max Brosig, Parker Frawley, et al. "Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army," United States Army War College, Washington, D.C., 2019.