Since the start of this century, we see a global erosion of basic civil liberties in countries across the globe. This has gone hand-in-hand with the increasing dominance of society by extreme beliefs, repression of minorities, economic inequality and war. In such a situation the question of World Government becomes inevitable. The ruling capitalists want a global government with a global currency and a global police state. This movement towards global totalitarianism inevitably gives rise to the antithesis in the form of a global democracy.
Cardinal Human Values
Currently, the majority of the world’s constitutions are created out of the legal legacy of western European culture. The growth of this legal tradition has been inextricably linked with imperialism and colonialism as has been documented by the studies of Walter Mignolo and Baoventura de Sousa-Santos. For example in the case of the Indian constitution, the framers did not take note of the moral, cultural and spiritual values of the Indian people due to being educated in the Western legal tradition. Similar is the case with the various documents created by the UN arising from western law, ultimately rooted in Church law. This legal tradition has created the current global crisis of militarism and so to resolve this crisis one has to transcend this tradition. As the popular adage states, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
Hence, a genuine consensus is required. This involves not just consulting the various religious and other national legal traditions of the past but also the indigenous (Adivasi) legal traditions. The Encyclopedia of Peaceful Societies primarily lists non-western indigenous societies whereas the culture of western societies regularly threatens the very existence of life on the planet. However, the majority of constitutions are created based on these western traditions.
In light of this, what is required is a study of the rich legacy of the world’s legal traditions and an endeavor to discover the common cardinal values such as the Golden Rule. Based on this a Bill of Rights for humans, animals and the ecology can be created out of a process of collective synthesis.
Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar has noted that the roots of every legal tradition lie in a particular concept of virtue and vice arising from the local religion and customs. Hence, virtue and vice need to be re-defined based on universalism. He therefore says,
“In my opinion virtue is that which helps to expand the mind, by whose assistance the universe increasingly becomes an integral part of oneself, and vice is that which makes the mind narrow and selfish. And the realm to which the mind of a person engaged in virtuous activities travels is heaven, and the realm where the mind of a sinner races about in a wild frenzy is hell.” (Justice)
He has also in the practical realm proposed (Requirements of an Ideal Constitution) core values for such a Global Bill of Rights:
- Complete security should be guaranteed to all the plants and animals on the planet.
- Each country must guarantee purchasing power to all its citizens.
- The constitution should guarantee four fundamental rights –
- spiritual practice or Dharma;
- cultural legacy;
- education; and
- indigenous linguistic expression.
- If the practice of any of these rights conflicts with cardinal human values then that practice should be immediately curtailed. That is, cardinal human values must take precedence over all other rights.
The last point is especially important as when people bounded by groupism pursue the welfare of their group in a materialistic way, then basic human rights, basic cardinal values are bound to be violated.
What are the cardinal human values? We know so many of them – justice, equality, liberty, compassion, etc. Shrii Sarkar reveals the spiritual roots of cardinal values saying:
“Human value means nothing but to treat the joys and sorrows, hopes and aspirations of human beings sympathetically, and see them merged in Cosmic Consciousness and established in divine majesty. And if one is to elevate oneself to that sublime height, he or she will have to be supplied with an environment suitable to his or her physical, mental and spiritual existence. It is the birthright of everyone to make headway in their trifarious existence. It is the duty of society to accord recognition to this human right. Society has failed to do its duty, and that is why life is full of sorrow and suffering.” (Cardinal Values and Human Society)
This requires not just spiritual philosophy but a system of spiritual practice which merges the mind in pure Consciousness. It is in the shoreline between the mind and Consciousness from whence cardinal human values emerge. By the practice of meditation, these cardinal values become living realities, palpably present in the vicissitudes of daily living. Otherwise, cardinal human values become religious dogmas used to exploit people or cardinal values become dry abstractions at the mercy of intellectual gymnastics of philosophers and lawyers.
Hence the endeavor to create a global conversation and consensus on universally shared cardinal values and from this to create a consensus for a Global Bill of Rights is the foremost task facing humanity today.
It is a universal maxim in every culture that a balance of powers is required in every social activity. The concentration of power in one person or one institution is bound to lead to disaster. Currently the global political order has been shaped by the growth of capitalism. National governments arose out of the desires of capitalists to operate across an entire nation without any constraints from regional governments. Similarly, today globalization and the push for a neoliberal global government is driven by the desires of capitalists to operate throughout the globe. At every stage of this process, countless people and communities have been victimized by this venial thrust towards economic centralization. This is an ongoing process in most countries today and we see it in India in the drive to give foreign mining companies what little Adivasi land that still remains.
This thrust towards globalization must be balanced by a thrust towards localization. Thus the movement for a global democracy in the political realm must be balanced by the movements for local democracy in the economic realm. Genuine freedom will arise from the balance created by these two movements. As Shrii Sarkar says,
“It is desirable that the management of industrial, agricultural, trade and commercial enterprises not be in the hands of the central government or the world government (after the establishment of the world government). If it is, the common people will not get the direct or even the indirect opportunity to participate in the management of these enterprises. In such cases capitalists, opportunists or self-seeking politicians can easily take control of them and misappropriate public wealth.” (Problems of the Day)
The western legal tradition arising from the capitalist takeover of the commons recognizes individual rights but not community rights. The rights of communities – in particular economic rights – are at the heart of genuine freedom in the world today. Under the western philosophies of capitalism and communism, communities find themselves held hostage to the economic centralization of power in the hands of various elites. At the time of Indian independence, a popular idea was that of a “village republic”.
From the point of view of practicality, the Progressive Utilisation Theory (PROUT) advocates participatory economic planning at the block (sub-district) level. This planning is for a Trilateral Economic Order with key industries (like mining) in controlled by the local government, small shops selling non-essential or luxury items in the hands of private enterprise and the vast majority of the economy in the form of locally controlled networks of cooperatives. At the higher level of the samaja, there is the revolutionary struggle for complete economic swaraj or independence from the rule of outside capitalists and bureaucrats. A samaja is a socio-cultural ecoregion like Bundelkhand or Bengal. So summarise economic democracy is based on the following principles:
- The minimum requirements of a particular age – including food, clothing, housing, education and medical treatment – must be guaranteed to all.
- Increasing purchasing capacity must be guaranteed to each and every individual.
- The power to make all economic decisions must be placed in the hands of the local people.
- Outsiders must be strictly prevented from interfering in the local economy.
In order to enable this, the local (village, block, district) governments need to work to fulfill the collective plans of the local people. Hence the local political administration practically works as per the local economic power and at the same time implements the basic values and policies of the global government.
Of course for large-scale economic activities such as telecommunications, global environmental action, exploration of other planets, the involvement of the world government is required but the world government must not interfere in the local economies except in emergency situations. Emergency situations include such as when a particular community economic exploits neighboring communities or exploits minorities in their own community or in the case of where 1 region has precious resources that need to be shared by all countries without exploiting the host region.
Nations have been exploiting their own regions for centuries. This trend must not continue in the era of global governance. Only local-cum-regional economic democracy (based on fully independent central banks) can provide genuine economic freedom to the global community. Hence local economic democracy is the foundation of genuine global political democracy.
Visions of a Global Legislature
The Earth Constitution provides many noble ideas worthy of discussion in the global community such as the balance of powers between a legislative body based on population (House of Peoples) and another based on the representation of countries (House of Nations). The Earth Constitution recognizes the need for a guardian of the people in the government structure and hence recommends as World Ombudsmus. While this is a good idea, something more is needed.
PROUT suggest the evolution of social boards comprised of experts in various fields of the sciences, various professions chosen by associations of their peers. These social boards are to function at all levels of government and are to have the power to influence government policy without being tainted by having to become part of the government. In ancient India, various sages or rsis like Buddha functioned outside the government but readily voiced criticisms of wrongdoings and failed governance.
The Earth Constitution mandates the need for a global police force. While a national and political police force may be required, PROUT proposes a global militia. A militia is defined people with training involved in public life, who are involved in various jobs but devote part of their time to global defense forces. It is important to move away from a professional military or police force where people become isolated and even hostile to the common people such as is the case in many countries. Soldiers coming from various careers will have ties to society that will prevent the rise of military elitism.
In pursuance of the legacy of Polybius and Montesquieu on the balance of different branches of government, the independence of the audit department is crucial for establishing morality in any government. Without this reckless deficit spending and all forms of corruption will rule unchecked.
In addition, PROUT proposes that the independence of the secretariat (government administration) must be guaranteed in the world constitution. This is crucial as we see in present times where government servants are helpless to prevent the incompetent and intolerant policies enforced on them by autocratic politicians. As Shrii Sarkar says,
“To provide a fearless and independent ambiance to the administration, the secretariat should be kept free from pressures from the cabinet. The cabinet should confine itself to legislation, the passage and passing of the budget, the implementation of its plans and policies, defense etc. The power of ministers should remain confined to the parliament and they should not poke their nose into the workings of the secretariat. The chief secretary should not be under the president or the prime minister but should act independently as the executive head. All the secretaries should work under the chief secretary. Free from cabinet pressures, every department will serve the people well.” (Compartmentalized Democracy)
Capitalism has over the centuries poisoned the moral values and culture of nearly every country around the globe. Communism merely metastasized this moral cancer. With the decline of communism and the rise of religious extremism, this rapidly worsening moral cataclysm is leading to the rise of authoritarian, intolerant leaders around the world.
Hence it is not enough to simply give noble ideas and plans we have to create noble leaders as well. This is not a matter of utopian dreaming but a matter of practical survival. For unless genuinely Dharmic or sublimely righteous leaders emerge from an internal struggle for righteousness the very survival of humanity on this planet is in grave danger. This internal struggle for righteousness is the Tantra Yoga given 7500 years ago by Lord Shiva.
Only someone who undergoes an internal revolution to fight and sublimate all their mental vices and prejudices has the moral right to launch an external revolution to unite humanity as one single family (Ananda Parivara). An internal moral and spiritual revolution is the foundation of the moral and spiritual revolution needed in society today.
Those who are established in this internal and external yoga (union) are the Sadvipras or spiritual revolutionaries. From them, a dramatic transformation in the consciousness of humanity is required. The amorality, selfishness, and greed of modern capitalist culture have led to the counter-evolution of religious extremism. Both religious dogma and capitalism and communism are rooted in a rudimentary materialistic mindset. Hence a spiritual revolution is the root of the holistic or nuclear revolution humanity requires today. As Shrii Sarkar reminds us,
“With the smooth, natural and progressive channelization of the psychic urges of the individual and collective mind towards the Supreme Entity, psychic pabula will be converted into psycho-spiritual pabulum. Then each person will be a Sadvipra, and the whole society will be a Sadvipra Samáj – an Ánanda Parivára.” (The Transformation of Psychic Pabula into Psycho-spiritual Pabulum)
We are all assembled here out of love for human beings everywhere on this planet and even on other planets. Let us work to spread that love, to create a global consensus for a global Bill of Rights and a world government based on local economic swaraj that was the dream of India’s freedom movement. Let us collectively practice the yoga that will usher forth a spiritual revolution in the collective mind of humanity. And let us spread the universal, NeoHumanistic love for all beings, all communities in each and every village and mohalla of this planet. Despite all odds, we are bound to triumph in the end. For as Shrii Sarkar says,
“The fact that the fortune of every individual, not only of this earth but of the entire cosmos, has been wreathed together, will have to be admitted one day by people. The spiritual aspirant has to hasten that auspicious moment by pauseless effort, service and propagation of the great Ideology. This alone is the Supreme task for the present humanity.”