Dreaming of World Government – One Hundred Years Ago

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Carl Teichrib
Forcing Change
FEBRUARY 13, 2012

The dream was straightforward. World peace would have to come via world government. To that end, a five-point document was presented to men of high political standing – men who shaped foreign policy, who wielded power in the top universities, who commanded industry, who represented the most influential organizations and the most enlightened social circles of the day. Men who personally knew presidents and prime ministers; indeed, for some the White House was their house.

The year was 1912. Calls for “world government” precede that date, but the fact that we find much discussion today regarding “global governance” and the need for an “international political authority” – one hundred years removed from 1912 – demonstrates the continuum of a “big idea.”

Now, this century-old five-point statement wasn’t lengthy. Rather, it laid out the skeletal structure for world administration in only a few paragraphs. Today, this text would probably be described as a visioning document. Even now these five points are considered fundamental to a new global order.

1. A world judicial system.

2. An international parliament or congress.

3. World laws.

4. A global military force.

5. Security architecture to ensure compliance under an international protectorate.

The person making the presentation was William C. Gannett, a Unitarian minister well connected in progressive New York circles. And the setting was the World Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to international order, and at the time comprised of politically elite board members. The foundation was also a recipient of Carnegie funding, and personnel interlock existed between the World Peace Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Today, the World Peace Foundation is still operational.

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