2ND - 6TH AUGUST 2002

Shanghai International Convention Centre

Shanghai, P.R. China

Is Systems Science Sufficient for Human Survival?©

(Initially drafted for the World Congress of the Systems Science, Toronto, Canada)

Garry Davis

. The theme, "Understanding Complexity: The Systems Sciences in the New Millennium," reflects Alvin Toffler’s contention in The Third Wave that

"Just as the Second Wave created a slice of the population that had larger than local interests and became the base for nationalist ideologies, so the Third Wave gives rise to groups with larger than national interests. These form the base of the emerging globalist ideology sometimes called ‘planetary consciousness.’

His extraordinary claim that "All our political parties of the industrial world, all our congresses, parliaments and supreme soviets, our presidencies and prime ministerships, our courts and our regulatory agencies and our layer upon geographical layer of government bureaucracy–in short, all the tools we use to make and enforce collective decisions–are obsolete and about to be transformed" if true, implied, nay, impelled a restructuring of our human institutions on the dynamic global level.

And as complexity connotes wholeness or "composed of many interconnected parts," as my Webster’s states, then a conference devoted to "Understanding complexity" implies a holistic attitude and framework to underscore the total crisis facing our human race on planet earth.

Our Current World

Contemplate for a moment these stark facts: In the 20th century's first 85 years, 78 million people - mostly the poor fighting the poor - have been killed. That is a 500 percent increase over the 19th century. Since 1900, 207 international wars have been fought. In 1945, there were less than 50 sovereign nations; in 1999, there were over 180, a 250+ percent increase with a corresponding increase in war potential. In 1960, 28 percent of independent Third World countries were military controlled; today 50 percent are. One hundred forty-two governments are spending more than $900 billion a year on their military, over $2 billion per day. Nowhere is the chaos of present world conditions more apparent than in the fact that the poorest 30 percent of humanity control 3 percent of the income, while the top 20 percent have 66 percent. Death from starvation is commonplace. Seventeen million persons, mostly children under five, are currently dying each year from malnutrition. That's some 46,000 each day, 24 per minute. Cities and civilians have become major targets. Pollution, including deadly radiation, encroaches on our collective bio-system. Rain forests are cut down or burned. Fellow species are eliminated daily. Global warming is already with us with disastrous environmental consequences. Soil erosion continues globally. Armament budgets rise alarmingly. Nuclear war insanely threatens huge populations over tiny world territories. Space threatens to become the latest national battleground. The ozone layer diminishes yearly while transnational corporations greedily behave like modern dinosaurs.

Our Current Leaders

Now think back to recent so-called Summit conferences of national leaders or indeed to any alleged Summit Conference. Was the elimination of war or poverty ever discussed? Have solutions to global environmental pollution been advanced? Even more to the point, has any national leader ever proposed limiting national sovereignty to a world government? Bush, Blair, Sharon, Chirac, Putin, Mubarak, Faisal, et al, in maintaining the fictional "sovereign" nation-state system, are blood allies, buddies-in-arms. Legally, if international law, to which they constantly allude, exists, they are war criminals along with their fellow heads of state. The history of nations is basically the history of war.

Total Solutions for Total Crises

Total crisis, however, calls for total solutions no matter how offensive and hazardous these may appear to some. No criticism equates with the danger of not resolving the question of survival itself. The policy of extermination of peoples has become institutionalized by the nation-state. Moreover detached systemic thought has been adopted to implement this depraved behavior. The time for abstract theory about world peace is past. Bombs are about to fall on our collective heads. Indeed, they are already falling on many heads in various places. While I have no formal credentials as a system scientist, I consider my purpose here to address squarely our common crisis as well as to propose a workable solution already in operation.

What I Propose

In sum, I intend to advance five propositions:

1. Humanity is already a de facto "system" abiding on a planetary biosystem.

  1. The cause of war between exclusive allegedly sovereign social units is due to the deficiency of law recognizing humanity as such thus sanctioning a condition of global anarchy assuring and perpetuating conflict.

3. The alleged sovereignty of these exclusive social units depends in turn on the allegiance delegated to them by single human beings possessing, whether they know it or not, inalienable rights to choose their own political identity.

4. As one sovereign human being, owing no allegiance to any nation-state, I claim, as now do many others, to be a citizen of a global government as legitimate, if not more so, than any and all nation-states.

5.The evolution of this global government is the sine qua non of world peace. Systems Science, as a discipline of holistic dimensions by definition, is obliged to renounce its collaboration with war and its progenitors and corroborate and support, in theory and performance, the above statements.

What is Sovereignty?

Sovereignty is an attribute of people, not states.

Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides

"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government…"

Fifty-three national constitutions affirm that sovereign authority for the Constitution derives from "the people." (See appendix)

Emery Reves in "Anatomy of Peace" wrote in 1945:

"The real cause of wars has always been the same. They have occurred with a mathematical regularity of a natural law at clearly determined moments as a result of clearly definable conditions... 1. Wars between groups of men forming social units always taken place when these units - tribes, dynasties, churches, cities, nations–exercise unrestricted sovereign power. 2. Wars between these social units cease the moment sovereign power is transferred from them to a larger or higher unit... wars always ceased when a higher unit established its own sovereignty, absorbing the sovereignty of the conflicting smaller social units."

Applying that formula to the nation-state system, an outside or higher sovereignty would be required in order to outlaw war between equally sovereign social and political units. Reve’s formula was unconditional:

"Throughout the entire history of all known civilizations, only one method has ever succeeded in creating a social order within which men had security from murder, larceny, cheating and other crimes, and had freedom to think, to speak and to worship. That method is law. In short, peace among men and a civilized society - which are one and the same thing - are imaginable only within a legal order equipped with institutions to give effect to principles and norms in the form of law, with adequate power to apply those laws and to enforce them with equal vigor against all who violate them."

What Higher Authority?

Now 55 years and over 100 wars later plus some five trillion dollars spent on armaments, we know the truth of that statement. But if nations cannot eliminate war against each other and it requires a higher authority, the question remains, from what source can this higher authority derive? Here is the first mental and emotional barrier to overcome. Does it involve you and me as fellow humans? If world war involves you and me as national citizens, then conversely world peace must involve you and me as world citizens. Stafford Beer, in Managing Modern Complexity: Fifteen Years On, wrote:

"No nation state is going to vote a metasystem in place...It follows that the only international metasystem we shall ever have is, miraculously enough, the one we’ve already got! That is to say, the metasystem IS the population of all the world's citizens..."*

That is the bullet we must bite if we are serious about world peace. However, if I am to be involved in this process of establishing an outside or higher sovereignty, what alone is relevant in this context is your and my legal participation in war making or your and my legal participation in peace making. Nothing less will suffice than total commitment to world law. The obfuscation sur-rounding the question of peace comes from all directions: moral, social, economic, biological, educational. And while peripherally moral, ethical, social, economic, educational and biological factors all play their role, still, when it is a question of the sheer survival of the species, the bottom line is the legal right either to wage war or to make peace. If true, then the problem of world peace is neither moral, educational nor technical but legal. Let us examine its premise more closely.

Our Legal Dilemma

Legally, we are living in a geocentric world of nation-states. We look upon economic, social and political problems as "national" problems. No matter in which country we live, the center of our political universe is our own nation. In our outlook, the immovable point around which all other nations, all the problems and events outside our nation, the rest of the world, supposed revolve, is–our nation. Our attachment to our particular nation is not only legal but also pervasively emotional. But when nations deal with other nations, the individual citizen becomes a mere subject and ignored. The civic communication is cut between individual and head of state. He/she constitutionally speaks only for the "nation" not for the individual citizens. The US president, for instance, enjoys "discretionary powers" which Patrick Henry claimed "squinted toward monarchy." We citizens have no direct input to such decisions supposedly taken in our name. Yet such is the duality of the nation that even though it claims to be the legitimate representative of its people, a closer examination reveals that it has relinquished its "legitimate" right to wage war both by its own laws and by binding international common law.

Is War Still Legitimate?

Though the first declaration of illegitimacy of war-making and even war preparing was the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, the Nuremberg Decisions formulated in 1945 to try the Nazi leaders actually defined an international penal code. These principles explicitly state that "any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment." (Principle I); secondly, that "crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity are punishable as crimes under international law." (Principle VI); and thirdly, that "complicity in the commission of these crimes is itself a crime under international law." (Principle VII). As to the responsibility of the national citizen acting on orders from his Government or of a superior, it "does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

The United Nations General Assembly accepted the Nuremberg Principles in 1950 as part of international law. We have to conclude therefore–with the International Commission of Jurists–that "the Principles of Nuremberg are today fully accepted as a part of international law." These Prin-ciples constitute the first international penal code that superseded national obligations. But what are "crimes against peace"? They are defined as: 1. Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; 2. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any acts mentioned under 1. But aren't these all acts of sovereign nations, especially violating international treaties, agreement or assurances? Isn't that the game of diplomacy totally outside popular control? Then how can the Nuremberg Principles hold the individual citizen responsible? The one citizen who possesses the legitimate right to speak for the state is the president or Prime Minister or chairman of the controlling party. If the Nuremberg Principles then applies only to state leaders, then with minor exceptions, all are war criminals for all are either "Planning, preparing, initiating, or waging a war of aggression" though such activities are always couched in the sacred name of "national defense."

None the less, the Nuremberg Principles, in spite of no enforcement process, at least in principle, declared war outlawed.

The second proof of the illegitimacy of war, this time pertaining directly to the nation itself begins with the 1947 Showa Constitution of Japan, Chapter 11, entitled, "Renunciation of War." Article 9 provides:

"Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea and air forces, as well as all other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."

The extraordinary and precedent-shattering implication of Article 9 is that the concept of state sovereignty no longer has any validity. After a trial of 30 months beginning on 3 May 1946 in Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East rendered the "Tokyo Judgement." It pronounced sentence on twenty-five accused war criminals. Part of the Judgement dealt with the alleged right of self-defense of a nation. It stated:

"The right of self-defense involves the right of the State threatened with impending attack to judge for itself in the first instance whether it is justified in resorting to force. Under the most liberal interpretations of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the right of self-defense does not confer on the State resorting to war the authority to make a final determination upon the justification for its action."

Both the succeeding national leaders and the general public have largely ignored the implications of this judgment. It confirmed and universalized the concept of Article 9 in two ways. First, it introduced into the concept of command responsibility an arbitrary element of chance that effectively denied the state the right to impose such a risk on any individual. Second, by a radical interpretation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 which condemned "recourse to war for solution of international controversies" and renounced it "as an instrument of national policy..." the judgement removes the sovereign right of self-defense. The renunciation of the right of belligerency contained within A-9 was therefor given international legal standing by the Tokyo Judgement.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

My last example of the illegitimacy of war making by nations is contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Certain argue that the Declaration is not law. Yet eighteen nations today have incorporated it into their own constitutions. Many more refer to it in its Preamble. But the crucial fact about human rights is not their universality but their legitimacy. Consider first that war making is a function of assumed sovereignty. Yet, as stated, most national constitutions without few exceptions claim to derive from the sovereign people. In other words, the exercise of fundamental human rights in the first place gave rise to all national constitutions. It follows that the legitimacy of human rights themselves is categorical. Then by elementary reasoning, if the people are sovereign and innately legitimate, as stated in most national constitutions and reaffirmed in such documents as the U.S. Bill of Rights, particularly in the 9th and 10th amendments, then we are sovereign and legitimate not as "Americans," "Indians," "Soviets," "French," or "Nigerians," but as humans.

It follows that the world's people, that is, humankind as such, is the ultimate and largest sovereignty on planet earth.

This humankind, of which each of us is a dynamic part, is innately and inalienably legitimate in contradistinction to that of the so-called sovereign state. Otherwise human rights themselves are not legitimate. Furthermore, the United Nations Charter, in Article 56, obliges each Member-State to "observe and respect fundamental human rights" as a very condition for its membership. In so doing, it negates its own sovereign character. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is explicit concerning our sovereign rights. Article 1 provides that:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

For the protection of our fundamental rights, Article 28 provides:

"Everyone is entitled to a social and international order so that the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized."

The Genesis of World Government

We have finally arrived at the genesis of world government by first exposing that exclusive national sovereignty is no longer legitimate and secondly that human sovereignty in terms of fundamental human rights is legitimate. Well-intentioned peaceniks maintain absurdly that "nations" are unwilling to "relinquish" their national sovereignty. But nations do not have sovereignty. As Emery Reves* pointed out:

"According to the eighteenth century French philosophers the most articulate among the founders of modern democracy, the democratic conceptions of sovereignty meant the transfer of sovereign rights from one man, the king; to all men, the people. In the democratic sense, sovereignty resided in the community."

Ultimately, it is you and I–born into world citizenship–who today have civil sovereignty. This is the axiom of civil democracy. In brief, nations cannot "relinquish sovereignty" because it is not theirs to begin with. Sovereignty is an attribute only of the people.

"Our present system of national sovereignty," wrote Reves, "is in absolute contradiction to the original democratic conception of sovereignty, which meant–and still means–sovereignty of the community."

With this axiom in mind, it is now necessary also to look at this word "relinquish." If sovereignty resides in the people, there can be no such thing as "relinquishing" our sovereignty. It is inherent in us by the very fact of being human, in other words, inalienable. Again Reves clarifies:

"The question is not one of 'surrendering' national sovereignty. The problem is not negative and does not involve giving up something we already have. The problem is positive–creating something we lack, something we have never had, but that we imperatively need. The creation of institutions with universal sovereign power is merely another phase of the same process in the development of human history–the extension of law and order into another field of human association which heretofore had remained unregulated and in anarchy."

The whole connotation of the words "relinquish" or "cede" is negative and totally unsuited for expressing the immensely creative step which the people of the earth must now take, and are now starting to take, in the direction of forming a planetary government. My own statement on May 25, 1948 reaffirmed the notion of sovereignty as a personal choice and a key component of world peace:

"I must extend the little sovereignty I possess, as a member of the world community, to the whole community, and to the international vacuum of its government–a vacuum into which the rest of the world must be drawn if it is to survive, for therein lies the only alternative to this final war."

Stafford Beer, updating his address "Managing Modern Complexity," presented to the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the House of Representative of the US Congress, graciously confirmed my thinking on the subject

"Garry Davis had the steely nerve to declare himself a world citizen nearly forty years ago. He really was the first person to recognize the remarkable truth that the metasystem of world government was already there, in place, in being…..How many more of us would it take to register, and make the point that nation states are obsolete? Worse yet, they are harbingers of universal death. Only a World Citizen could be expected to see that the two mighty powers, representing all that overkill, rattle their spears at each other in mere ritual. But each of us IS a world citizen. We know the risks. We know exactly where the profits are. WE HAVE NO VOICE UNTIL WORLD GOVERNMENT MASSIVELY DECLARES ITSELF." (Emphasis added.)

For years, the ogre of the so-called world government movement has been the "red herring" of "relinquishing" our rights, "ceding our claims", "renouncing our sovereignty," all of which makes the would-be recruit immediately fearful that he or she will be losing something of valuable self-interest. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The people of the earth would lose nothing of real self-interest by a civil world government. Quite the contrary, they would gain enormous freedom from needless suffering and taxation. The only persons who would lose their usurped rights would be precisely those national leaders whom we are asked to believe in as the defenders of our security. Their right to destroy the earth over petty conflicts, for instance, would lawfully be taken away from them. And along with them, the spies, diplomats, consular personnel, frontier guards, not to mention the army of moneychangers which only benefit the transnational corporations! What a boon for humanity!

How People Become Represented

(See also the Addendum)

"…..this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

Part 2, Article 21(3), Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The word we should use instead is "delegate". People can delegate their decision-making functions, their functional sovereignty, to others democratically. Up to this point in history people have seen fit to delegate their sovereignty only to the level of national governments. Those humans sitting in the General Assembly of the United Nations are not delegates of citizens but only of states. But now, it is necessary that the people not "relinquish" their sovereignty, but reassert and extend it to the level of functional human unity as a legal and political institution.

World government, then, need not occur only when nations begin to "relinquish" their national sovereignty." It begins when citizens wake up to the fact that they are by every right world citizens, that they have the right to set up their own political machinery on the world level, and when they then take that step can actually begin to set a world government into action.

We must be clear that the formation of a world government need not in any way depend on the actions or "recognition" of national governments.

In essence, we must stop being a slave to the mentality of nationalism and the word "nation." We must stop falling into the mind-set that affirms Old World Order relationships even as it seeks to transcend them.

On November 22, 1948, we World Citizens interrupted a General Assembly session being held at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris and called for "one government for one world." If the UN did not attend to our demands, we added that we would form such a government ourselves "for we can be served by nothing less." Already declared world citizens and thus world voters, we announced our means of representation: a "peoples' world assembly."

The missing element here was the corollary of world voters: world candidates. Since 1950, many initiatives to create a "peoples’ world assembly" have been undertaken with virtually no success. While the idea of global representation by qualified individuals became increasingly popular in direct proportion to the failure of national politics to address global problems, no actual "candidates" declared themselves seeking the popular global franchise. Nor was there the requisite machinery for world elections until, that is, the advent of the Internet. Here finally was the perfect communicative tool both for individuals seeking global representation and their counterpart, individuals willing to so act in that new capacity. I am reminded of Chancellor Willi Brandt of West Germany, at a press conference, declaring his candidacy for a European parliamentarian! When reminded by a journalist that there was no European parliament, he replied, "Don’t you think I know that? That’s precisely why I am declaring my candidacy because we need one!" The lesson was not lost on the public.

As a stateless citizen of the World Government of World Citizens, I have offered my candidacy for president of our government as of 1983 citing article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its sanction. As there is no precedent for world elections, they can begin as soon as voters and candidates declare themselves. The way is open for others to come forward as declared candidates for world public office. A new website is presently in construction to service this vital initiative.

A Near Fatal Dichotomy in Systemic Thinking

Those intimately involved with analytical and systems thinking, in retaining their exclusive national allegiance, cannot but recognize their own complicity with the surrogate world of nations. As exclusive national citizens, do they not help perpetuate the very chaos, indeed, what Stafford Beer prophetically refers to as "universal death," which the nation state today represents?

This deadly dichotomy is found in the General Systems Bulletin (Fall, 1985) describing a program of the May meeting of that year. While other sections talk facilely of "holistic thinking" and "global dynamics" and "networking," here we find the old, relativistic, i.e., nationalistic blind spot:

"Peace development may be viewed as an effort to assist the nations of the world to become parts of an international system in which non-violent means can be used to obtain solutions and settle conflicts between nations."

Jonathan Shell writes of "Extermination as a Systemic Evil" in a recent Harper's article "The Unfinished Twentieth Century, What We have forgotten About Nuclear Weapons," (January, 2000)

"Just as the twentieth century's policies of extermination–whether of peoples, classes, or cities–enveloped entire human communities," Shell writes, "so also they were carried out by entire communities–or at any rate, by the state authorities that putatively represented those communities. Extermination, a species of crime requiring extensive social resources is–can only be–a systemic evil."

"When the state become the exterminator," he concludes, "and the law, instead of enjoining evil, supports and enforces it–as does the whole tremendous weight of custom, habit, bureaucratic inertia, and social pressure–the individual who might seek to oppose the policies is left in an extremity of moral solitude."

We have but to read today's headline about Kashmir, not to mention the Taiwan Straits among other global "hot spots" to realize the truth of such an observation

How Do Governments Begin?

Thomas Paine, over two hundred years ago, has some illuminating thoughts on how government begins:

"It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principle of freedom to say that government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as men must have existed before government existed, there once was a time when government did not exist, and consequently there originally existed no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government..."

This "entering into a compact" is the social actualization of our innate and inalienable legitimacy. Therefore world peace, as a result of a new global compact with fellow humans legitimizing each partner, a veritable horizontal network of sovereign individuals, creates the new institution of government. This peaceful action is neither idealistic nor utopian but eminently realizable in the here and now since it depends essentially on the sovereign will and discretionary decision of each individual concerned.

What the Individual Must Do

For world government to legitimately exist, humans must first identify themselves legally as "citizens of the world" beyond the national paradigms. Since simply to recognize oneself as human is already to outrank the nation-state, this is no grand achievement. But human law is inclusive not exclusive like national law. Therefore, each individual must identify himself or herself as a world citizen. This becomes the first social communication or compact essential to the evolution of world government.. The second step follows logically from the first: establish a "contract" with fellow world citizens and with humanity as such! Why humanity? If the whole is in danger, all the parts are in danger. The "tool" to accomplish this was declared in 1953 on September 4th: the declaration of the World Government of World Citizens. (Ref.,The Ellsworth Declaration). But the aforementioned UDHR and the 750,000 individuals already registered by the International Registry of World citizens were the actual mandates.

While declaring oneself a World Citizen and signing a "Pledge of Commitment" to World Government is a perfectly legal act and the exercise of our inalienable right to choose our own political instrumentality, it is also a revolutionary act; in other words, a sovereign action. For it means that we are affirming our own human sovereignty in opposition to that assumed by the fictional state. In short, we are taking our human destiny into our own hands and declaring our worldly independence and freedom. We are crossing the razor's edge from the theory of world peace to its reality in microcosm.

This is the price of world peace, freedom and well-being…and the "passport" to the Universe.


E. B. White has written in The Wild Flag

"World government is an appalling prospect. Many people have not comprehended it or distinguished it from world organization. Many others, who have comprehended it, find it preposterous or unattainable in a turbulent and illiterate world where nations and economics conflict daily in many ways. Certainly the world is not ready for government on planetary scale. In our opinion, it will never be ready. The test is whether the people will chance it anyway like children who hear the familiar cry, 'Coming, ready or not!'"

And so I maintain that systems science by itself is not enough for the establishment of a peaceful world. Stafford Beer himself described what might be called "the moral agenda" or benevolent purpose of the discipline:

"I take it for granted that the basic of the ethic we wish to embrace is the objective of eudemony–well-being–for humanity….There has to be teaching about systems beyond the normal perceptual scale, whereby the factual modern truth of the ancient insight ‘we are members one of another’ can be brought home."

In our day of global crises, caused and accelerated by the deadly nation-state, only the historic juxtaposition of a systems science confronting global complexity allied with a model if practicing world government legitimizing both the individual human and the human community can together empower the "breakthrough" to that "higher coherence" which Prigogine foretold.

Thus, as bona fide citizens of the world, we together can assure humanity’s freedom, peace and well being so as to fulfill its rightful destiny on this Providence-provided planet Earth. The choice, however, is ours, not divine Providence’s.




(Author’s note: Since this activity has its own origin, background and agenda distinct from my main theme yet has become an integral part of the operational structure of world government, I thought it best to make it a separate yet still a section of the whole thesis.)

"How to make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

Buckminster Fuller, Utopia or Oblivion

History of the Syntegrity Infoset

The challenge facing all large organizations, especially business and government, is how to release creativity in people (they must be free), while maintaining purpose and achieving organizational goals (they must be controlled). It is the known paradox of empowerment versus control.

Stafford Beer, founder of management cybernetics*, over a 20-year period, evolved a social technology for group problem solving. Utilizing cybernetic principles, methods and properties of cohesiveness, he named his process, "Syntegrity" (a portmanteau word for synergy and integrity). In his book, Beyond Dispute,* he set forth his concerns about traditional methods of group problem-solving:

"Then a technique is needed that recognizes that if a meeting sets out with agenda, it has structured the whole outcome in advance. Anything truly novel had two minutes as Any Other Business. Second, the meeting is merely a series of platforms for those who determined the agenda on which to ride their familiar hobby horses. Third, the requirements to put the agenda in order says something (perhaps complicated) about the priorities of the organizers rather than the exigencies of the problem. These arrangements work well enough for purposes of routine management; but we have been talking about directional planning. In that case, they do not work at all."

The Syntegrity process is modeled upon the geometric design called an icosahedron, a twenty-sided geometric figure which, because of its interconnected properties, is considered to be one of the strongest structures in the world. Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome was one practical application of the structure which he claimed had "tensile integrity" condensed to "tensegrity." Beer realized that the use of this resilient structure as a communication tool would spontaneously permit the equal participation of each person replacing the 30 vertices allowing for maximum creativity in problem-solving, while at the same time ensuring unified results.

Beer gathered together a team of management consultants and cyberneticians to launch the "syntegration" idea. With himself as chairman of the board, the group is incorporated in Canada under the name, Team Syntegrity, Inc. (TSI).

Beer had already endorsed the concept of world citizenship and world government following his grievous experience in Chile:

"No nation state is going to vote a metasystem in place...It follows that the only international metasystem we shall ever have is, miraculously enough, the one we already got! That is to say, the metasystem IS the population of all the world's citizens …Only a World Citizen could be expected to see that the two mighty powers, representing all that overkill, rattle their spears at each other in mere ritual. But each of us IS a world citizen. We know the risks. We know exactly where the profits are. WE HAVE NO VOICE UNTIL WORLD GOVERNMENT MASSIVELY DECLARES ITSELF." (Emphasis added.) ..."* (Managing Modern Complexity: Fifteen Years On.)

Yet what should World Government look like? Who should it be peopled by? What type of global laws needs to be legislated? What terms need to be set forth in a World Constitution? There have been many attempts at world constitution writing in the recent past. They are gathering dust on academic shelves. So should it be a static document or should it be dynamic reflecting the fast-changing human and technological world? If the latter, does systemic thinking have a role to play? And if we want a government in which every world citizen has an equal voice, how can we make that a reality? Until recently, a major obstacle to ensuring democratic World Government has been lack of total communication. How could the opinions and desires of all of the world's people be gathered, to ensure a truly democratic government? Since the founding of the World Government of World Citizens in 1953 this writer has researched this question for many years, both theoretically and in the field, and through this work I have found the answer: the World SyntegrityTM Project. (Synergy** + integrity)


The World SyntegrityTM Project

The World Syntegrity™ Project (WSP) evolved in the search for a way to ensure every global citizen equal voice in the constitutional evolution of World Government.

As the coordinator and founder of the World Government of World Citizens and a stateless world citizen and activist since 1948, I commissioned Stafford Beer and Team SyntegrityTM in 1985 to develop this project, which was launched successfully in 1993 in 10 cities worldwide. Since then, Infosets have occurred in communities on nearly every continent and are expected to continue well into the Millennium.

It has been designed specifically for the use of world citizens, providing a way for us to participate locally and yet have our voice heard globally through the network of the technosphere. It is this network that will make practical the achievement of global stewardship through local involvement for achieving a peaceful world community. The principle of unity-in-diversity global-style in action!

The aim is to surmount the enormous obstacles facing the large numbers of people who wish to collaborate on issues of importance to themselves and their communities–issues such as putting an end to hunger, preventing disease and violence, achieving world peace through law, stopping environmental pollution, and establishing world methods of communications so that we can live as one humanity. This inspiring and historic global event will unite people around the world through a unique problem-solving process called "Syntegration".

Based on Buckminster Fuller's design of a geometric icosahedron, 6 teams of 5 each (thirty people) gather for three days in their own communities to explore twelve topics of their choosing pertaining to the central question, "How Can We, As Sovereign World Citizens, Govern Our World?" Underlying the question is the principle that sovereignty is an attribute of the individual human. The question must be addressed and answered through a democratic and dynamic process by individual sovereign citizens. (See section on sovereignty in first section)

The rigidly structured Syntegration format allows for optimal creativity and participation of each participant, while ensuring the generation of cohesive (synergistic) results. These results are made available to the world at large in the form of "Statements of Importance" developed by the members of each "Infoset," or Syntegration group. Beer's idea is that once a small number of Infosets have been inaugurated, this mode of human collaboration will breed. The technosphere will be inhabited by self-organizing mini-parliaments of world citizens.

As these "Statements of Importance" arrive at the World Government offices, they are compiled loosely by subject, published in booklet form, and distributed to policy makers, heads of state, institutions, and individuals worldwide. The Collated Statements are available to the public, and can also be accessed through the World Government Website on the Internet:

The launch of the WSP took place July 23-25, 1993, gathering participants in 10 cities across the globe. Each Infoset consisted of 30 people plus facilitators, who spent a three-day period examining issues vital to global governance.

Launch 'Infosets' were held in Bogota, Colombia; Melbourne, Australia; Greenwich, England; New Hartford, New York; Manchester, England; New South Wales, Australia; Swansea, Wales; Stockholm, Sweden; Burlington, Vermont and Toronto, Canada. Each group decided for itself what topics to address within the framework of the central question, beginning by brainstorming on possible subjects, then working together to winnow their focus down to a few central issues.

One striking feature in these results is the repetition of concerns addressed across the globe, and the similarity of solutions and ideas offered by these independent groups of thinkers.

Cultural diversity, another of Burlington's Infoset issues, proved to be of universal concern. "How can we preserve ethnic identities in a global society?" was a question examined by almost every group worldwide. Does "being a world citizen mean losing one's cultural identity?" as one Toronto, Canada participant suggested. Responses from around the world reflected one another. From Burlington came the statement: "Let us respect and protect languages and cultures, and celebrate them so that their wisdom and uniqueness are preserved." From Bogota: "Cultural dialogue must be promoted with deep respect for individuality within a framework of mutual acceptance and recognition which ensures full implementation of human rights." From Liverpool: "Legislation is not enough — the individual must take action by means of recognizing 'the other' as 'the same' and celebrating the diversity of cultures." And from Toronto, in answer to the original question: "Being a world citizen means my perception of my cultural identity will change as I appreciate the global aspects."

Robin Lloyd, founder of the Peace & Justice Center, who participated in the Burlington event, praised the structure of the Project as one uniquely conducive to creative problem solving."So many of the human relationships we have are based on a pyramid model of hierarchy," said Lloyd,

"whether it's the father of the family who is the head, or the expert who explains things to the common people. Here we had a genuine example of non-hierarchical interacting, and it was very refreshing."

Over the course of several sessions, issues were discussed, examined, and argued, until a consensus decision was reached and issued in the form of a statement. It represented a veritable world "town" meeting,

Many participants found the process to be very intense and challenging, even emotional. Stephen Davies, who coordinated the Toronto, Canada, Infoset admitted, "When you look at the world as a sovereign, it brings up a lot of stuff–just the concept of sovereign is a real challenge, to realize that world government can only evolve from individuals learning how to govern themselves, and that self government means taking 100% responsibility for our actions." Elizabeth Ewins, a Syntegration participant from Burlington, Vermont, said, "When the group was on the same wavelength and we got beyond the head and into the heart, that was wonderful, and our best creative ideas came at such a time."

Since the worldwide launch of the project in July 1993, it has flourished–and the queries for information and implementation tools, keep streaming in to WG's office. Only lack of financing prohibits the expansion of this major project. Given the means, the World Syntegrity Project will continue to grow throughout the beginning of the Millennium after which time a flexible, democratic world constitution can be formulated based upon the results of all the Infosets held.

This global Syntegration is demonstrating world democracy-in-action through local participation. The World SyntegrityTM Project will build the framework that will allow local action to make a major difference on a global scale.

*John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1994

** Synergy means combined action or functioning; synergism is the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.

National Constitutions/Sovereignty

1. Albania

Article 1 [Republic, Sovereignty]

Albania is a parliamentary republic. National sovereignty stems from the people and belongs to them.

2. Andorra

Article 1

3. Sovereignty is vested in the Andorran People, who exercise it through the different means of participation and by way of the institutions established in this Constitution.

3. Angola

Article 3

(1) Sovereignty shall be vested in the people, who shall exercise it in the manner provided for in the present Law.

4. Armenia

Article 2

In the Republic of Armenia power lies with the people.


5. Austria

Article 1

Austria is a democratic republic. Its law emanates from the people.

6. Azerbaijania

Article 2 Sovereignty of people

(1) Sovereign right of the Azerbaijanian people is the right of free and independent determination of their destiny and establishment of their own form of governance.

7. Belarus

Article 3 [Democracy]

The people shall be the sole source of state power in the Republic of Belarus.

8. Brazil

Article 1 [State Principles]


  1. All power emanates from the people, who exercise it by means of elected representatives or directly, according to this Constitution.

9. Bulgaria

Article 1 [State]

(2) The entire power of the state shall derive from the people. The people shall exercise this power directly and through the bodies established by this Constitution.

10. Cambodia

Article 51- New (As amended March 1999):

The Cambodian people are the masters of their own country.

All power belongs to the people.

11. Chechnya

Article 2

  1. The people of Chechen Republic is a unique source of all authority in the state.

12. China

Article 2 [Sovereignty]

  1. All power in the People's Republic of China belongs to the people.

13. Congo

Article 4 [Sovereignty, Democracy, Principle]

National Sovereignty shall belong to the people who exercise it by way of referendum and by representatives elected by universal suffrage.

14. Croatia

Article 1 [State Principles]

(1) The Republic of Croatia is a unitary and indivisible democratic and social state. Power in the Republic of Croatia is derived from the people and belongs to the people as a community of free and equal citizens.

15. Chech Republic

Article 2 [Power]

  1. All state power derives from the people; they exercise this power by means of their legislative, executive, and judicial bodies.
  2. 16. Eritrea

    Article 1 The State of Eritrea and its Territory

  3. In the State of Eritrea, sovereign power is vested in the people,…

17. Estonia

Article 1 [Sovereignty]

(1) Estonia is an independent and sovereign democratic republic wherein the supreme power of the state is held by the people.

18. Finland

Section 2 [Sovereignty]

Sovereign power in Finland shall belong to the people, represented by Parliament convened in session.

19. France

Article 3 [Electoral Rights]

  1. National sovereignty belongs to the people, who exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendums.
  2. 20. Germany

    Article 20 [Basic principles of state order, right to resist]

  3. All state authority emanates from the people
  4. 21. Greece

    Article 1 [Parliamentary Democracy]

    (3) All powers are derived from the People, exist for the benefit of the People and the Nation, and are exercised in the manner determined by the Constitution.

    22. Hungary

    Article 2 [Democracy, Rule of Law, Sovereignty]

    (2) In the Republic of Hungary supreme power is vested in the people, who exercise their sovereign rights directly and through elected representatives.

    23. Indonesia

    Article 1

    2) Sovereignty shall be vested in the people…

    24. Iraq

    Article 2 [Authority]

    The people are the source of authority and its legitimacy.

    25. Ireland

    Article 6 [Popular Sovereignty, Rule of Law]

    (1) All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good.

    26. Italy

    Article 1 [Form of State]

    Sovereignty belongs to the people,….

    27. Japan

    Article 1 [Symbol of State]

    The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.

    Chapter II Renunciation of War

    Article 9

    (1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

    (2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.

    (3) The right of aggression of the state will not be recognized.

    28. Latvia

    Article 2 [Popular Sovereignty]

    The sovereign power of the State of Latvia is vested in the people of Latvia.

    29. Lithuania

    Article 2

    The State of Lithuania shall be created by the People. Sovereignty shall be vested in the People.

    30. Libya

    Article 1 [Principles]

    Libya is an Arab, democratic, and free republic in which sovereignty is vested in the people.

    31. Lithuania

    Article 2

    The State of Lithuania shall be created by the People. Sovereignty shall be vested in the People.

    32. Macedonia

    Article 2

    (1) Sovereignty in the Republic of Macedonia derives from the citizens and belongs to the citizens.

    33. Madagasca

    Article 6 [Sovereignty, Representation, Electoral Rights]

    (1) Sovereignty shall belong to the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives elected by direct or indirect universal suffrage or through a referendum. No faction or individual may usurp the exercise of sovereignty.

    34. Mauritania

    Article 2 [Sovereignty]

    (1) The people shall be the source of all power.

    (2) The national sovereignty belongs to the people which exercises it through its elected representatives and through referendum.

    35. Mongolia

    Article 3 [Sovereignty]

    (1) State power is vested in the people of Mongolia.

    36. Morocco

    Article 2

    Sovereignty shall be that of the People who shall exercise it directly, by means of referendum, or indirectly, through the constitutional institutions.

    37. Namibia

    Chapter I The Republic

    Article 1 [Establishment of the Republic of Namibia and Identification of its Territory]

    (2) All power shall vest in the people of Namibia who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the State.

    38. Nepal

    Article 3 The Sovereignty

    The sovereignty of Nepal is vested in the Nepalese people and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

    39. Paraguay

    Article 2 Sovereignty

    The sovereignty of the Republic of Paraguay rests with the people, who exercise it in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

    40. Portugal

    Article 3 Sovereignty and Legality

    (1) Sovereignty, one and indivisible, rests with the people, who exercise it in accordance with the forms laid down in the Constitution.

    41. Romania

    Article 2 [Popular Sovereignty]

    (1) National sovereignty resides with the Romanian people, who shall exercise it through its representative bodies and by referendum.

    42. Russia

    Article 3

    (1) The multinational people of the Russian Federation shall be the vehicle of sovereignty and the only source of power in the Russian Federation.

    43. Rwanda

    Article 6 [Sovereignty]

    (2) National sovereignty shall belong to the people of Rwanda which shall exercise it through representatives or by means of referendum.

    43. South Korea

    Article 1 [Democracy]

    (2) The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea resides in the people, and all state authority emanates from the people.

    44. Spain

    Article 1 [State Principles, Sovereignty, Form]

  5. National sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people from whom emanate the powers of the state.

45. Suriname

Article I

1.The Republic of Suriname is a democratic State based upon the sovereignty of the people and on the respect and guarantee of the fundamental right and liberties.

46. Sweden

Chapter 1 Basic Principles

Article 1

(1) All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people.

47. Syria

Article 2 [Republic, Sovereignty]

(1) The governmental system of the Syrian Arab region is a republican system.

(2) Sovereignty is vested in the people, who exercise it in accordance with this Constitution.

48. Taiwan

Article 2

The sovereignty of the Republic of China shall reside in the whole body of citizens.

49. Thailand

Section 3

The sovereign power belongs to the Thai people.

50. Tunisia

Article 3 [Sovereignty]

The sovereignty belongs to the Tunisian people who exercise it in conformity with the Constitution.

51. United States of America

We, the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America

52. Yemen

Article 4

Power rests with the people who is the source of all powers.

53. Zambia

Article 18

1. [Declaration of Republic, sovereignty of people, supreme law and official language]

(2) All power resides in the people who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the State in accordance with the Constitution.






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