ONE GOD, ONE WORLD
It should be obvious that we live in one world. It is one world as seen from outer space. It is one world as the special habitation of the human species. It is one world as the only known life-supporting planet (for certain) in the universe. It is one world as a unique ecosystem having a fairly common global environment.
Yet despite all these self-apparent and rational certainties, there are still people who will argue that it is not one world at all. Taking the viewpoint of a microbe, these people cannot see beyond the boundaries of the speck of dirt on which they live. They simply cannot perceive the fact of the unity of the universe as the work of one Creator, for this goes beyond the limited horizons of their sectional minds.
Down through the ages, the majority of mankind has been afflicted with this ethnocentric myopia. The Neanderthal could not see beyond his cave or his clan. The Iron Age warrior could not see beyond his tribe or the limited territory over which his tribal god held sway. The Greek or Roman citizen could not envision a greater brotherhood than that of his glorious city-state. And since the beginning of the Age of Nationalism, the patriot, even to this very day, cannot imagine any power beyond that of his nation, his beloved fatherland, to whose flag he pledges his entire devotion, his life’s blood, and his sacred honor.
It is a concept of “kinship” that has bound men together over the years, but it is also this ethnic affinity that has prevented really beneficial intercourse with outsiders. Fear and prejudice have been the effective tools of social segregation. And even to this day strangers are looked upon as “strange,” those of another family are “un-familiar,” those of another stock are “uncouth” (“un-kith”), and people of other lands are deemed “out-landish,” “alien” (threatening) and “foreign” in their ways. These non-natives are all grouped into inferior classes and set apart by uncomplimentary slurs as “barbarians,” “gentiles,” “gringos,” “wops,” “micks,” “chinks,” “dagos,” etc.
And this derogatory mindset is rationalized, all too easily, by a chauvinistic belief in an invisible but absolute demarcation between “us” and “them.” We teach our children: “East is east, and West is west, and never the twain shall meet.”
Fortunately, however, for the ongoing progress of the race, there have been a few far-sighted thinkers and leaders who have perceived what others could not see, namely, that all boundaries are man-made obstacles to the ultimate unity of the human species. And there have even been those who have transcended the concept of “species” to envision a symbiotic partnership encompassing all living things.
A few years ago, in the last century, the ideal of a global community was little more than a pipe dream. But with the collapse of totalitarian regimes (fascist and communist), a new spirit caught hold, and mankind has sprouted two new wings of freedom and democracy, upon which it is now soaring to heights heretofore beyond the aspirations of everyday common people.
It is a new day, a day when the ideal of one world unified in faith, in philosophy, in culture, in government, and in cooperative effort can at last be achieved. The curse of the Tower of Babel has at last been revoked, and a more mature society than that of Nimrod can set about the task of building finer and purer structures and institutions that will bless mankind through the centuries to come
One God made One World, and each is an Entity.
Therefore, since this is true,
Both Polytheism and Nationalism are heresies,
which must be eradicated from the thinking of enlightened mankind.
Richard L. Atkins
THE EVOLUTION OF CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT
The history of the world is in one sense a record of the progressive centralization of power. In ancient times armed confrontations were conducted on the level of warring families, clans, and tribes. Then when civilization at length produced urban centers, power struggles pitted one city-state against another. Next, as cities were merged by powerful chieftains into territories, it was a case of wars between states. And finally, in the last stage reached thus far in the evolution of society, all power has been consolidated into kingdoms or nations. And so as a result, today most diplomatic negotiation takes place at the national level.
Numerous examples of this family-to-tribe-to-city-to-state-to-nation development may be cited. Examples of the earliest form of organization, that of the tribe or clan, can be seen both in the Bible’s account of Hebrew patronymic divisions and in the warring clans of the American Indians. The prime example of city-states is, of course, the ancient Greek pattern, in which Athens, Thebes, Sparta, and Syracuse, etc., maintained their own armies and waged war against each other. And just as one urban center, Rome, ruled the known world at a pivotal point in history, so did other maritime cities such as Troy, Tyre, Carthage, and Venice control mercantile domains during other eras. In medieval times sovereign states, such as Normandy, Castile, Saxony, or Burgundy (and more recently, Prussia), were the primary patterns of power.
It seems to be a rule of history, however, that power passes inevitably from smaller to larger groups by means of voluntary or forced unification. The union of cities into states occurred quite early in Egypt under Narmer and also in Mesopotamia under Sargon. The unification of tribes was accomplished for the Persians by Cyrus, for the Franks by Charlemagne, and for the Mongols by Genghis Khan. The union of states into nations was a later development. Germany was united by Bismarck, Italy by Garibaldi, and America by Lincoln. In each of these cases there was an upward transfer of power. The smaller group either freely or forcibly relinquished sovereignty to the larger. The tribe evolved into the nation.
However, at each point along the way there was much opposition to the new order of things. In Russia the boyars resisted the authority of the czar, just as in England the barons sought to maintain their prerogatives against the king. Every new instance of this centralization of power was condemned by some proponent of the status-quo as being against the nature of man and the order of God. The reluctance of the Hebrew tribes to amalgamate into a nation under one ruler is pictured dramatically in the Old Testament. It took the threat of conquest by Philistine invaders to merge the clans of Israel into a monarchy. In the same manner, it was the invasion of Persia that caused the reluctant unification of the Greeks.
And now, despite the unfortunate venture of the League of Nations, there is today the prospect of a new and higher order of government in the form of the United Nations. And it is the oft repeated lesson of history that this voluntary federation will eventually assume a position of supreme control. Countries like “the United States of America” will give way to “the United Nations of the World.” But for now there is the same amassing of isolationist arguments that has accompanied all of the earlier transitions. Opponents of centralized government argue for “states’ rights,” “cultural autonomy,” “national sovereignty,” “inviolate boundaries,” “indepen-dence,” and “self determination,” etc. And radical religionists speak of the United Nations as an apocalyptic evil empire that threatens the existence of the Church.
Robert E. Lee was a great general and a great man, but he was wrong when he said, “The consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precurser of...ruin.” The question of “states’ rights” was one cause of the bloody American Civil War, but its final outcome was the vindication of a strong, centralized, federal government.
Unfortunately, there is a bias in the Bible against centralized government that has had a catastrophic impact on the progress of political reorganization. Prior to the coronation of their first king, the religious leaders of Israel defended the old tribal system, believing this loose state of anarchy to be a righteous theocracy. By contrast, monarchy was an evil institution, based on the false supposition of inevitable bondage of the once-free tribes by their submission to the proposed unholy alliance. Later, after monarchy was established and when a ruler simply took a census, that is, made a head count of all subjects capable of military service, this was deemed to be an act of grave impiety. Supposedly, this act of the ruler implied reliance upon armed might rather than the protective power of God. And finally, when the Hebrew nation suffered oppression at the hands of foreign empires, their prophets condemned all powerful contemporary governments under the symbolic guise of apocalyptic monsters and blasphemous idols. As it turns out, this was primitive thinking. And it is significant that when the modern nation of Israel was founded, it did not go back to the old tribal system, but organized itself around a central government.
Little wonder then, that with a Bible-based prejudice toward centralized rule, church-folk have acquired an anti-governmental prejudice that insists on placing Cæsar in opposition to God. In fact, religious fundamentalists have an outright dread of ever unifying all nations under a single government, for they fear the old Bible bugaboo of the worldwide reign of the Antichrist. Dogmatists holding to this superstition say that if mankind does ever get together and ascribe allegiance to a common federation, the supreme figure of the governing body will be the Devil himself.
Needless to say, this is a pathetic, pessimistic, and myopic worldview, since it is blind to the obvious lessons of history, which show an ever-increasing tendency toward the combination of higher and higher forms of governments and institutions for the benefit of all constituents. And if some are worried by the prospect of the seizure of power by a Hitler, it is by no means impossible to ensure the continued benevolence of the supreme government by means of built-in checks and balances such as those already in place at the United Nations.
In the meantime, as it now stands, any global balance-of-power struggle such as America against Russia is just Athens against Sparta on a larger scale. And it is high time that the world advanced beyond this stage. In 1988, President Reagan chose to cut monetary support for the United Nations peacekeeping forces and to take upon his own nation the audacious role of worldwide policeman. This unfortunate strategy had disastrous results wherein the downing of a civilian airliner over the Persian Gulf led to subsequent retaliation against another airliner carrying American passengers. And thus, what should have been a United Nations function, the patrolling of a war zone, was usurped, and this became the cause of hostility between one warring nation and a third party nation.
Unfortunately, unilateral warmaking by the United States has continued, with disastrous consequences. And the image of this nation has suffered in all parts of the globe, as people have come to resent the intrusion of the American Super-Power into their affairs. There is something in the hearts of men that recognizes the need for partnership in global government, not the rule of any single nation.
Therefore, the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize for 1988 was awarded to the UN peacekeeping forces was a good sign. It said that the world as a whole might be about ready to complete the advance of history that began when tribes relinquished their power so that they might become united under larger jurisdictions for the good of all.
Nowadays the old warfare between the Scottish clans or between African or Arabic tribes is seen as stupid, and so, what will a more civilized future society have to say about warfare between nations?
In his classic A Study Of History, Arnold Toynbee called the enemies of the United Nations, “petrified devotees of the idol of national sovereignty.” In other words, the chauvinistic nationalist is an enemy of human progress. He is a fossilized specimen of the persistence of ancient ethnocentric bigotry that has always put the welfare of one little group ahead of everyone else. In the opinion of the super-patriot, the rest of the world can go to hell - but nowadays it has become common knowledge that when the world goes to hell, everybody else goes with it. Consequently, in the wake of terrible global conflicts accompanied by the threat of nuclear annihilation, more enlightened leaders have been forced to map out some kind of strategy for saving mankind through unification. Also in recent years, economic considerations have led to the formation of regional trade pacts and international common markets, which are just another factor in this tendency toward increased cooperation between segments of society.
While Bible-thumpers rant and rave about the formation of the Evil Empire of the end times, mankind goes on about the process of evolving systems that will result in a future time of peace and untold prosperity for all. It is as Winston Churchill has said: “If it is possible to build a world organization of irresistable force and viable authority for the purpose of securing peace, there are no limits to the blessings which all men may enjoy and share.”
At the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945, President Truman said that it was “a declaration..that war is not inevitable.” The “world organizaton” of which Churchill spoke had come into being. But it still remains for the nations of the world to give the United Nations the power necessary to govern them all for the benefit of all.
Richard L. Atkins
MANKIND AT PEACE UNDER ONE GOVERNMENT
It shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the House of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. And peoples shall flow into it. And many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the House of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways, and we may walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid. For the mouth of the LORD of Hosts has spoken. Micah 4:1-4
Mankind is not only capable of living in peace but by its very structure cannot fail eventually to achieve peace...the earth is more likely to stop turning than is Mankind, as a whole, likely to stop organising and unifying itself...And nothing, as it seems, can prevent the universe from succeeding - nothing, not even our human liberties, whose essential tendency to union may fail in detail but connot (without ‘cosmic’ contradiction) err ‘statistically.’
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), The Future Of Man
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1842
Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do:
For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain’d a ghastly dew
From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro’ the thunder-storm;
Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law.
MILESTONES IN THE UNIFICATION OF MANKIND
3200 Egypt united under Narmer (Menes)
2350 Mesopotamia united under Sargon and Naram Sin
1500 Egyptian Empire established by Thotmes III
1050 Hebrew tribes form a monarchy, the House of David
850 Assyrian Empire established by Shalmaneser II
800 Phœnician merchants control Mediterranean commerce
600 Babylonian Empire established by Nabopolassar
550 Medo-Persian tribes united under Cyrus
500 Greek city-states united against Persian invasions
350 Greek Empire established by Philip II and Alexander the Great;
Worldwide hellenization: common language and philosophy
50 Roman Empire established by Julius Cæsar;
Worldwide law and order
312 Christianization of Roman Empire under Constantine
600 Arabic Empire begun by Muhammad
800 Holy Roman Empire unites Franks under Charlemagne
1200 Mongol clans united under Genghis Khan
1450 Turkish Empire expands into Europe
1500 Spanish Empire expands into America
1600 British Empire expands into America
1780 American Republic established by Washington
1800 French Empire established by Napoleon
1860 American Union preserved by Lincoln
1860 Italian states united by Garibaldi
1870 German states united by Bismarck
1917 Russian socialist union established by Lenin
1945 United Nations established
1957 European Common Market established
1991 United Nations grants authority for liberation of Kuwait
1993 Russian socialist state dissolves; Cold War ends; Russian republics
and former satellites with stronger Western ties.
ONE WORLD - INEVITABLE !
Just as surely as gravity draws a feather to the earth,
Just as surely as water channels its way to the sea,
Just as surely as the needle swings to the Pole,
Just as surely as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly,
Just as surely as the cave man progresses to the astronaut,
Such is the inevitable destiny of the human species (in the supreme interest of self-preservation) to form an alliance at the highest echelon of worldwide cooperation, namely, ONE, UNIFIED, GLOBAL GOVERNMENT.
It may be slow, but it will be steady;
It may be halting, but it will be in the right direction;
It may be erratic, but it will be ponderous and persistent;
It may experience temporary failures, but its final establishment is sure!
Richard L. Atkins