A Plan for the Nations –Step Three

Byron, Arnold J. | May 17, 2018 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

The Chicago Theological Seminary Building at the University of Chicago by Justin KernFlickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thank you MAHB. Two previous articles of mine have been published to this blogsite: A Plan for the Nations and A Plan for the Nations – Step Two, and I have received insightful feedback from many of you.

In my first article I wrote about overpopulation, global warming and nuclear disaster. These are the problems facing humanity that need to be solved. In addition, I laid out my thoughts on how the nations of the world could develop a governing body, based on Pope Francis’s use of the words a true world political authority. I believe that such a body can become the entity under which all of the ideas and solutions that are being talked about can be coordinated and made to work. Please let me interject the following caveat. I do not know if Pope Francis has any special plan for his idea of a true world political authority. I am merely using his words to give a name to a global governing body that will be in charge of solving our planet’s problems and I thank Pope Francis for that.

My idea is that a true world political authority will be a committee of twelve people elected globally from the science and comparative religion departments of colleges and universities worldwide. This political authority, which I call The Alliance, will be given all of the authority to solve the issues of overpopulation, global warming and nuclear disaster.

In my second article I expanded on the notion that this political authority will be created by a majority of the nations. These nations will approve treaties, charters, rules, laws and constitutions that will have been prepared by the law departments of colleges and universities worldwide. It is essential that colleges and universities become engaged in: (1) writing the treaties, constitutions, laws and rules that will be needed to create a true world political authority; (2) selling the idea of a true world political authority to the politicians currently running the nations; and (3) electing the officials who will run the true world authority.

In this article I want to focus on what needs to be done to get a global governing body up and running. I wish we could simply hand the problem to the United Nations, but we can’t. The framework of the United Nations is not conducive to getting things done. The United Nations has had climate meetings for the past twenty-five years without (1) creating negative population growth; (2) removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; or (3) establishing a worldwide effort to decommission and dismantle nuclear power plants and bombs. In addition, the United Nations is hamstrung by the dreaded security council veto.

To illustrate my idea of a true world political authority, consider the following progression: a school district has a superintendent and a school board; a city has a mayor and a city council; a province has a governor and a legislative assembly; a nation has a prime minister and a parliament. What of the planet? The planet needs an administrative authority and an advisory senate made up of representatives from the nations. The question is: How do the nations set up a true world political authority? My answer is, “Let the colleges and universities do it.” Colleges and universities are filled with all of the knowledge and expertise in every field needed to get the job done.

Colleges and universities are honest and trustworthy. I have chosen professors from the science and comparative religion/humanities departments of colleges and universities worldwide to be the administrators of a true world political authority because the problems are science problems and the strong force of religion, that permeates every society on the globe, must help everyone march in the same direction toward a safe and sustainable future.

As soon as I thought about the need for a true world political authority I recognized the need for a complete new set of laws, regulations, treaties, charters and constitutions for the new authority and the nations. The nations will need to somehow link themselves together and to link themselves with the new political authority. If we are asking the nations to give up some of their powers to a new global entity then it is only right to keep the nations involved. I suggest that when the nations approve a true world political authority they create a senate to act in an advisory role. The nations need to be involved with the new authority but if the nations insist on having individual powers over the actions of the new authority, the authority will become powerless and will not be able to function. This is what has happened to the United Nations.

Who will write all of these new legalities? I have chosen law students, worldwide, with the help of law professors, to be best suited for this. The future of humanity is scary and filled with trepidation, even to include the possible extinction of the human race. My hope is that college students, especially those in the law departments, will create an association (using email, texting, or other social media) with students in universities, worldwide, to set up a communications network that will result in the writing of all of the new legalities for a global authority. I have chosen the students to do this because the future is theirs and they will have no agendas that will be detrimental to the effort.

It is easy for me to say, “I have chosen law students, worldwide, to do this.” But the reality is that the students have to be given permission from the presidents and boards of regents of the colleges and universities. It is easy for me to say, “let the colleges and universities do it”, but nobody on the planet has the authority to order the colleges and universities to do it. Who will begin the process? Which university president, which university regent, which law department head of which university will step forward and say, “I give my permission for the law professors of my university to instruct the graduate and under graduate students to reach out to their peers in other universities, worldwide, to form a coalition of students whose mission will be to begin drafting treaties, charters, laws, rules and constitutions that will be the basis for creating the true world political authority that must be put in place before humanity can begin solving the problems it faces.”

The word associated with this first step is “inertia”. Somebody has to start something, somewhere. I will use a metaphor as I describe the huge pile of inertia that is smothering any effort to start this process of healing.

When I was a child my folks had a few acres of land just outside the small rural town where we lived. We kept a cow for milking and her calf; some chickens; and usually a sow and piglets that were raised and butchered. The point is that cleaning up after these animals resulted in a pile of manure located, outside, near the barn door. Sometimes this pile became foul and repulsive. I submit that any plan that might be put forward at this time will be covered with an odious pile of inertia preventing the starting up of the plan. We need to find our manure forks and shovels and remove this pile of inertia.

Humans have the propensity to ignore a problem by saying, “let someone else do it”. Instead of expecting someone else to do it, we could take up our manure shovel and scoop up some of that inertia ourselves. Or a university regent or a college president might see how a true world political authority is needed and say, “I will tell the head of the law department to get started and to not worry about any backlash.” That Regent or President could then take up a manure fork and remove a scoop of inertia. Or a group of students might be sitting in the cafeteria of some university anywhere in the world and they might begin talking about seeing this MAHB blog about a true world political authority and decide to contact friends at other universities and begin a movement to establish a true world political authority so that the healing of humanity and the planet can begin. These students will each take up their manure fork or their shovel and remove scoops of inertia. The inertia can be removed in many ways but it can only be removed by people willing to do the work.

I have designed my Plan for the Nations to be as realistic as possible. The problem is global. The plan calls for a global body to coordinate the work. The nations will be involved. They will be required to fund, protect, advise and otherwise support the authority. The nations will all be committed to each other and to the global body through treaties. The treaties the nations sign on to will be nonbinding until a majority or supermajority of nations are signed on. The treaties will then become binding. These treaties will be written by students at colleges and universities, worldwide. Once in place, the authority – which in earlier writings I describe as the Alliance and its standing committees, the Committee of the Prominent, and the Association – will begin the work of pulling everything together to reduce the population by half or more, to remove carbon dioxide to 280 parts per million and to rid the world of everything nuclear.

I am convinced that my Plan for the Nations will enable the nations of the world to join together to create global solutions. Pope Francis presents his idea for a true world political authority in paragraph 175 of his encyclical on the environment. I am using his words as the basis for my thoughts on the environment. These thoughts include overpopulation, global warming and nuclear disaster but, perhaps, our thinking should also include the inalienable right of nature to exist in all of its glory without undue anthropomorphic stress.

One last thought. I remember, as a kid, being told in Earth science class that the Sun will go nova in two billion years, consuming the planets and ending all life on Earth. How much time does humanity have to enjoy the benefits of the Sun?  Will extinction occur? As humans, we do not have the right to participate in the annihilation of humanity or of nature. So, the decisions we make today must be made with the understanding that there is a need to further the existence of humanity for at least one billion years. The natural occurrence of the Sun going nova is the only acceptable way to end life on Earth.

Get out your manure fork. We have a lot of work to do.

The MAHB Blog is a venture of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. Questions should be directed to joan@mahbonline.org

MAHB Blog: https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/plan-nations-three/


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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Meditor

    It is easily demonstrable that the development of complex societies has driven population growth and resource depletion. You suggest a mega-dose of the poison that is killing us. All the wrong direction, like an alcoholic being certain that one more drink will cure him of alcoholism. You select all the bureaucrats whose self serving behaviors have cursed history.
    Further, what kind of horrible dystopia do you want to live in? Do you really want to live in a world where literally everything about you is controlled by the government? How horrifying.
    How much better by far to let the whole fragile complex system just crash.

    • Arnold Byron

      To Meditor. I don’t understand where you are coming from. You are accusing me of everything that I am not. You may need to understand my program better. You are jumping to conclusions that are not there.
      You say that I want to serve a mega-dose of the poison that is killing us and you suggest that the poison is population growth and resource depletion. A short cursory look at anything I have written will show you that I am in favor of reducing the population until it is in sync with the available resources.
      You say that my plan is designed to select all the bureaucrats whose self serving behaviors have cursed history. A quick look at my plan will show that the committee, called The Alliance, which is the agency that the nations will put in place and support will be twelve people, six will be elected from the science departments of colleges universities worldwide and six will be elected from the comparative religion and humanities departments of colleges and universities worldwide. These twelve people will make the decisions about the work that needs to be done to correct global warming and overpopulation. There will not be a bureaucrat nor a self serving corporate CEO nor a greedy sociopathic oligarch among them. I have deliberately chosen the twelve to be elected from their nondescript positions because they will not have personal self serving agendas.
      You ask if I want to live in a world controlled by the government. In my plan the nations will continue to be the governments. That will not change. What will change is that the nations will agree on appointing an agency, (that I ascribe to be a true world political authority), and give that agency the authority to deal with overpopulation, global warming, the possibility of nuclear disaster and perhaps other issues dealing with flora, fauna and the environment. The agency’s authority will be limited with the exception that in the areas where the nations have given up authority to the agency, the agency will have the right to force the nation to comply with its promises. In the setting up of this agency the nations will promise by treaty to fund and otherwise support the work that the agency is doing.
      Read what I have written and you will agree that my Plan for the Nations will work.

      • Meditor

        I did read it, I read every word.
        You essentially want more social structure, more control, and yet more complexity in the social system. No? That is what turned us from a relatively harmless ape with a global population of 50 million to a world destroying monster with 7.7 billion. Social structure, controlling resources.
        A person necessarily becomes a bureaucrat when they are give purview and authority, it is the very definition of the word. Your twelve people will be mega bureaucrats, with hellish influence.
        If your plan intends to control the two factors of our crisis, population (specifically, population density) and resource exploitation (which results in carbon release) then they will have terrible power over every person, what they consume and when they reproduce. They will have the power to use whatever surveillance necessary to make sure everyone is in compliance. There would be no place to hide.
        If your bureaucrats don’t have the power to control those two factors, what use are they?
        We are in this crisis because social structures, that is, governments and religions, have accumulated the benefit of the many to enrich the few. You and I are part of the few. The current system, which could be described as “late stage global capitalism” is perfecting the incorporation of every person on the planet. Because it is a successful system, it will continue to grow until it has exhausted all its resources, which are specifically raw materials, human energy, fossil fuels, and economic energy or activity (by which the system is now continually creating new wealth.) For example, for every dollar you spend in a consumer good, about 40% of that goes to pay interest on loans taken out by, for example, farmers, commodity brokers, production facilities and transportation. When you buy a double rich macchiato, or a poor person buys rice, the global elite make money. More people, more workers, more consumers, more wealth. Social structure always drives population growth.
        You plan is the outgrowth of Enlightement style secular humanism. It believes that man can accomplish anything through logic and technology, and that every life is precious and everyone deserve “respect”. That thinking got us here, it won’t save us.
        If we could actually save humankind, and there is no reason to believe we can, given how quickly the planet is heating up, it would be from the opposit of more social structure. It would require us to shut down the fuel, choke off the bureaucrats and, sadly, finally pay the piper on all the death we have been cheating to get the population so high.
        I think the problems are unsurmountable.

  • Bill Van Fleet

    Does the Humanianity concept have any role in this effort at global unity and species preservation? Would the Humanian Belief Manual be an important and useful component of any such effort? Do you think inertia will prevent the Humanianity concept from taking off?
    (See humanianity.com.) Is anyone here willing to register in the Humanian Belief Manual and contribute to the ethical principles being proposed in that Manual?

  • trilemmaman

    Mr. Byron, I admire your initiative and some of your ideas but I hope you don”t waste any more time trying to reinvent the wheel. There has been a movement to create what you are proposing for nearly 70 years. Albert Einstein was one of the first advocates. I became aware of it when I was hired as Issues Director for the World Federalist Association, the organization that evolved out of Einstein’s early efforts after World War II. Some of the smartest people I’ve ever known have been thinking about every aspect of a world authority that you can imagine…and it still exists to day in several other organizations. WFA became “Citizen’s for Global Solutions” after they met with so much resistance to the idea here in the US from those on the Right and Left who fear the loss of national sovereignty…and those on the Christian right who fear world government. If you are planning to make this a democratically based world authority i highly recommend three things.
    1. Read “Transforming the United Nations System: Designs for a Workable World”: By Joe Schwartzberg
    A four-page summary of all of the book’s proposals was created for busy people who might actually want to review them. The related page numbers in the book are listed for easily finding sections of interest. David Oughton also wrote a useful summary of the book’s key points. Both summaries can be found:
    Schwartzberg has worked out the details of moving forward on this path with many already supporting his ideas.
    2. DO NOT suggest or imply that the world authority will be responsible for reducing the world population…by any number. You will encounter such resistance it will bury you and your idea from the start. Instead put achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as your highest priority. Together, these goals protect human freedom and security and will result in a natural and voluntary reduction in birth rates while protecting the environment and addressing the root causes of war (a profound threat given the evolution of weapons and war).
    3. Put the protection of human rights at the top of your agenda. The greatest fear far to many people have is a world government…taking away their freedom. The number of people willing to fight, kill and die to protect their freedom is far greater than you imagine. And the best minds in colleges and Universities (scientists and religious scholars) will not lead them to change their minds.
    I’m convinced that the best means of getting people change their minds is enlightening them on the non controversial threats to both their freedom and their security in the absence of justice in the world. To the degree we can quantify the personal costs to Americans from all the various global injustices…the more people will see the connection between the pain and fear they are experiencing…and the need for ‘liberty and justice for all’. If you would like more reading resources on any or all of these ideas, please let me know.
    The book that changed my world view when I read it in 1998 was originally written in 1945. Back then it was on the list of the “100 Most important books in human history”. It’s title: The Anatomy of Peace, by Emory Reves.

    • stevenearlsalmony

      Please help us understand the point of ignoring the root cause of what ails humankind. Human population numbers have exploded by 5+ billion in my lifetime. The best available ecological science of human population dynamics accounts for this staggering, patently unsustainable growth of H. sapiens. Why choose consciously and deliberately to address nothing more than the ‘symptoms’ of what ails humanity? We have an adequate ‘diagnosis’ for what is ailing the human species. We know the cause of the problem H. sapiens presents to itself, worldwide biodiversity, and the integrity of Earth as a planetary home fit for human habitation. If the ongoing human population explosion is in fact the root cause of cascading global ecological threats to future human well being and environmental health, how on Earth do we avoid winning some Pyrrhic victories all the while losing the struggle for the future of continuously evolving life on the planet we inhabit?

      • Arnold Byron

        As I see it, human overpopulation is a consequence of humanity beginning with only a few inhabitants in a world of surplus that was a virtual Garden of Eden. There was no need to restrict family size until now. People can’t comprehend overpopulation, don’t think about it and won’t talk about it. They are oblivious; so it is up to a few leaders to take on the challenge, devise a solution and make it work.

        If the problem is too many people then the solution is to go to negative population growth. How does one do this in a fair, nonviolent, non-eugenic and humane way? Who makes the rules on how this can be done? How can it be done on a global level? These questions are all answered in the pl;an I have devised called: A Plan for the Nations. Take a look at my Plan for the Nations and you will see how the global elements can be made to work.

        I have not thought very much about whether it will be easy or hard for people to accept all the changes they will have to accept in order to save humanity from collapse or worse. I have merely tried to find the most practical methods to employ with the expectation that people will go along with the changes.

    • Arnold Byron

      To Trilemmaman. Thank you for your input. I will try to find the time to take up your reading suggestions. You suggest that I not spend my trying to reinvent the wheel. My concern is that if the wheel is unable to function or is broken then it needs to be reinvented or at least repaired.

      At this present time, in the march of humanity, people have unwittingly created three major problems. There is too much carbon in the atmosphere. There are too many people on Earth. Developing nuclear materials for energy production and war armaments has been a mistake because of the possibility of a nuclear disaster. The solutions are to remove carbon from the atmosphere, create negative population growth and end the use of nuclear products.

      Whose wheel has been successful in solving these three problems? The United nations has not been successful. Some efforts, such as family planning or increasing standards of living, may be working in some paces; but, that is not enough. None of these problems are being solved or even ameliorated on the global level; and that is where our thinking and our vision has to be directed. I do not know of any organization or effort that has been successful in dealing with these problems.

      So far as I know, my plan is the only plan that is being vocalized at this time. If there are other plans out there, they might be better than mine. They need to be vocalized so that the best way forward can be found. Otherwise the time until collapse or oblivion or extinction or whatever you may want to call it is close.

      I have laid out a plan that gives the universities of the world the capacity to break the inertia and start the process. Please help with this effort.

  • stevenearlsalmony

    Arnold J. Byron has presented a Plan for the establishment of a “true world political authority” that will take shape in the form of a colossal human experiment. Everything the author reports appears worthy of consideration. And as G. Holland reports, “a fundamental reshaping of the culture is critical…” and will become evident in the norms and conventions implemented as actions are taken. Perhaps we can also consider the question, “What is to be chosen in this new socio-political world order as the objective of human existence?”

    • stevenearlsalmony

      Alluding to the current objective of human existence…and the need to choose, to choose new written words.

      “We set out with epic fanfares to conquer the Earth,
      to reign and tame and claim the wildness of the Mother.
      And this we did, we took, took our vanquished spoils
      As these voracious labors were just rewards of our manifest deserving,
      And this is as it was according to the written word….”

    • Arnold Byron

      The problems of overpopulation, global warming and nuclear disaster that we are facing need to be solved in as practical manner as possible. The nations of the world must collaborate in setting up an agency that the nations will control even as the nations give that agency the authority to solve the above problems while pledging to the agency that the nations will provide all of the wherewithal and support needed to complete the task it has been set up to do. If the nations can start up an agency, they can shut it down, so there is no need to worry.
      I do not see any mystical, societal upheaval in this Plan for the Nations. I see only the setting up of an agency to do a job and the monitoring and supporting of that agency to get the job done. The next paragraphs are an excerpt from my book, “Of Population and Pollution”. I hope it will help to keep things in a positive perspective.
      Our lives are going to undergo lots of changes when humanity start its war against overpopulation. The many changes that will come from reducing the population will become part and parcel of everyday life. There will be changes in energy production, energy use, food production, jobs, and more. One of the many changes will be about fewer changes. Diaper changes are what I mean. Reducing the population will mean fewer children, fewer diapers, fewer toys, fewer bicycles, fewer everything.
      This translates to less manufacturing and less employment in every phase of the manufacturing sector. Adjustments will have to be made because humanity won’t need as many schools, as many teachers, as many stores, as many doctors, as any nurses, as much of everything until the time of population reduction has been completed. Nations’ economies will have to be closely controlled, with an emphasis on helping everyone stay on an even keel for up to two or three generations. Until this huge problem has been resolved everyone will have to be eager and willing to use their resources for the betterment of all humanity.
      Sometime in the future when the people living today will have peacefully ended their life spans, when the current supply of manufactured goods will have been used up and replaced by new things, and when all of the societal and manufacturing functions will have been recalibrated to the newly sized population, life will go on. How pleasant a thought is that? By the way, humanity will still need diapers. It’s all about the living. It’s all about the future.

  • Geoffrey Holland

    Totally agree with the author that a fundamental reshaping of the human culture is critical to a future that is sustainable and life affirming. The challenge is to settle on an economic, political, and social structure that will work on a planetary scale. First and foremost, we need a buy-in that we are all planetary citizens first, and the solutions to our common problems must be instituted across all political and social boundaries.

    • Arnold Byron

      I agree. We need to work at eliminating greed, sociopathy, bias and racism wherever it exists in the world. Doing so is a nearly impossible task but we need to come as close as we can. That is one of the reasons why I chose universities as the place where strong, capable leaders who do not have special agendas of their own can be found. Otherwise, the plan that I suggest is full of practicalities.
      The nations will still be in charge of their individual parts of the globe. The difference is that the nations will agree to cooperate with the other nations in setting up and supporting an office to which the nations, collectively, will give the authority to do whatever it takes to end global warming and save humanity from collapse if not form extinction. Also, please note that if the nations decide to appoint an office to heal humanity and the planet, then the nations can take that office down if it cannot be made to work.
      I would prefer to simply give this responsibility to the United Nations but the United Nations has had climate meetings for the past twenty five years and have not accomplished anything. The United Nations may be able to help but we need a new, decisive, goal oriented, top down leadership to get this job done.