Raymond L. (Raymond Landon) Bridgman.

World organization online

. (page 1 of 12)
Online LibraryRaymond L. (Raymond Landon) BridgmanWorld organization → online text (page 1 of 12)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook















Copyright, 1905




Some of the following chapters, in more or less dif-
ferent form, first appeared in magazines. " The World
Legislature," first of the series, was published in The
Atlantic Monthl I/, March, 1903; "National Sovereignty
Not Absolute," in The Arena, April, 1904; "The
World Constitution " appeared in The Neiv England
Magazine, July, 1904; and "The World Executive,"
in the September number of the same periodical of the
same year. "World Organization Secures World Peace"
first appeared in Tlte Atlantic Motithlg, September, 1904.
Acknowledgment of the courtesy of the publishers of
these magazines in consenting to the use of the articles
in this volume is hereby gratefully made by the author.




Chapter I — World Unity 1

Fiiuls the existing unity of mankind the condition from which
the organization of tlie world as a single political body is sure
to be developed.

Chapter II — National Sovereignty not Absolute . 6

Urges the point that no national sovereignty is absolute, but
tliat only the sovereignty of mankind is absolute.

Chapter III — The World Constitution 20

Points out the real world constitution in the rights and rela-
tions oF individuals and of nations, and calls attention to a
world bill of rights and a world form of government which the
nations are now formulating, thougli both are still unwritten.

Chapter IV — The World Legislature 41

Shows why the establishment of a permanent world legisla-
ture in the near future seems necessary and probable lor the
transaction of the business of the world.

Chapter V — The World Judiciary 55

Holds that the Hague Court of Arbitration is likely to be the
foundation of a world judiciary.

Chapter VI — The World Executive 63

Forecasts the development of the world executive depart-
ment and shows how germs of it have already begun to grow.

Chapter VII — World Legislation already accom-
plished 71

Cites instances of world legislation now in practical effect.




Chapter VTIT — World Business now pending ... 77

Mentions important measures of world business already press-
ing for attention by a world legislature.

CiiAPTEH IX — National Constitutions 88

Shows that widely dissimilar national constitutions are not
_^ an obstacle to the organization of the world.

Chapter X — The Supremacy of Races 92

Gives reasons to show that world organization, with perma-
nent national boundaries am! secure peace, will not interfere
with the virility and expansion of races nor check beneficent

Chapter XI — The Mind of the World 109

Attempts to give an idea of the world enthusiasm and the
woi"ld impetus which would follow world organization.

Chapter XII — Forces active for World Unity . . 123

Presents some of the activities which are already operative
for the unity of the world.

Chapter XIII — World Organization secures World

Peace 128

Sets forth that permanent peace between the nations will be
an incident of the organization of the world, one among other
vast benefits.

Chapter XIV — World Peace 147

Pictures .some of the respects in which the world will be
revolutionized and prosper under the inspiration and protection
of permanent peace.

Appendixes 159

The Appendixes consist of documents showing the course
and unexpectedly successful progress of the present formal
movement for world organization until it was given a recognized
standing in the programme of the second peace conference of
the nations at The Hague.



In the following pages the proposition will be main-
tained that it is time for direct work to organize man-
kind into one political body. Whether the consummation
is near or remote is not a pertinent consideration. The
one pertinent fact is that tlie time for work has come.

In dealing with the affairs of mankind it is best to be
honest with ourselves. It is time to drop falsehood and
to admit the truth. The great falsehood in world affairs,
seemingly held as truth, is that mankind consists nor-
mally of separate portions and that nations rightfully have
absolute sovereignty. But the affirmation here made is
that mankind is one, and that above the sovereignty of
nations is the sovereignty of the world as a single body.

Blame is here imputed to no one for the persistence
of the falsehood. The world has grown up in it. But
the world is wiser and better than ever before. The
relations of the masses of mankind to each other have
changed greatly in recent years, and they are changing
rapidly as time goes on. If no action is taken in view
of the changed facts, blame may hereafter be charged
justly, where formerly it could not have been charged
without injustice.



This effort for world organization makes no apology.
It seeks only to secure recognition of truth, followed by-
action based upon truth ; and it can justly say that it
has a rightful claim upon the attention of the woiid.
It has encountered scoffing on the ground that it is
visionary or premature, but it is confident that by the
power of truth and in the progress of events the scoffers
will be converted or silenced ; they are a negligible
quantity compared with the many who have already
given the effort their sincere approval and are working
for its success.

As far as the relations of men are concerned the most
vital truth is the unity of the race. That unity will in
the fullness of time, by its very nature as a fundamental
fact, annihilate all divisive forces of color, language,
religion, prejudice, class, distance, and ignorance. It
will hold mankind together by unbreakable but unbur-
densome bonds, and it will bring permanent peace and
prosperity in place of the discord and loss which these
divisive forces in their perverted phases entail upon
men, and will make them subservient to their true
function as sources of benefit in their diversity.

For all purposes of progress and organization it is
safe to rest upon this foundation of world unity. We
can afford to leave untouched the dispute of the ethnol-
ogists whether the races are of single or plural origin.
If they came from one stock, it accords with the com-
mon belief and with the declaration of Paul on Mars'
hill that God "hath made of one blood all nations of
men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." But if
the races are of plural origin, it nevertheless remains


true that the most diverse races are so nearly alike that
many able men of science still hold that the plurality
has not been demonstrated. If, therefore, the divergence
of the extreme types is so slight as not to convince
specialists, it may safely be overlooked as a practical
factor in the relations of races to each other and of
individuals among themselves as respectively parts and
atoms of one immense whole.

For practical purposes, for the truth as to the fitness
of men to work and to live together, for the truth
regarding their mutual rights and duties, for a sound
position regarding their fundamental equality as indi-
vidual fi'ee wills, it is safe to proceed on the theory that
mankind is one in origin, and that the unity into wliich
the individuals are created is a stronger centralizing
force than any diversity caused by color, climate, lan-
guage, religion, or social condition.

So it is safe, in working toward the political unity of
mankind, to build on the affirmation that every human
being from the degraded savage in the depth of Africa
to the consummate flower of German universities, the
perfection of royal blood, or the creation of Croesus'
household, is born into a unity from which he cannot
escape, in which he has rights, and to which he owes
service, — a unity which comprehends all diversity of
human types, a unity which will triumph over all divi-
sive tendencies, and a unity which will attain its ideal
only when it has organs through which it can act when,
in the might and enthusiasm of world consciousness,
world pinpose, and world will, it reaches the sublime
heights of its own being, recognizes its own dignity and


capacity, and essays to do what is befitting its lofty nature
in order to promote its own peace and prosperity.

It is not to the point to aflirm, even though it be true,
that hitherto the divisive tendencies have mastered the
vital unity of mankind and made the nations present
the pitiable and needless spectacle of fragments of the
race in deadly collision. It is not conclusive against pres-
ent progress to show that in the past the nations have
been like robbers greedy of the property of their victims,
or like wild beasts thirsting for each other's blood. A
new era has come. " Old things are passed away."
Arbitration, already spoken of as an epidemic among
the nations, promises to substitute a world court for
war as a means of settling international differences.
Repeated instances of special world legislation by con-
ferences or congresses representing all nations of the
earth, or at least many of the great Powers, foretell the
development of a world legislature with true legislative
functions for all mankind, while the germ of a world
executive which has already begun its feeble existence
gives promise of the day when the world administration
will be developed to the full energy of an official organ.

Mankind, being one body, must have organs if it is to
do anything ; and political bodies are completely equipped
with organs when they have those that will furnish a
means to express the intelligence and the will of the
organism, a means to determine whether the will applies
to particular cases, and a means to carry out the will. In
other words, a political organism must have legislative,
judicial, and executive departments ; having these in due
efficiency and detail, its organization is complete.


To secure this organization is the present duty of all
who would promote the largest degree of peace and
prosperity for all mankind. Witli organization the
warring of the factions of the body will cease, and the
energies of the race can be devoted to overcoming inter-
nal evils which in the relations of classes and of persons
derange the health of the body. With justice to every
part, which is demanded by the health of the whole,
will be secured health for every part. With all parts
working together witJi a common consciousness of unity,
the prosperity and the enjoyment of all individuals
included in the mighty whole will so far exceed any
present enjoyment that the existing order of things,
disorganized, crippled, inefficient, and diseased, will be
looked back upon with amazement and shuddering.

Organization is tlie inexorable condition for attain-
ing this culmination of good. It has already begun to
come. The new order of things is already here. It is
time now to promote intelligently what has been com-
ing without full comprehension by the actors in the
events, though they have surely been filled, hi many
cases, with the inspiration and strength of prophetic
vision. We have a clearer outlook than they, and it is
now our opportunity to work in tlie l)righter light and
with the better understanding which the progress of
events has given us. Events have biought mankind to
the stage in which it seems ready to realize the formal
unity for which it is fitted and for which it seems to
have been created.


Directly across the path of the movement to organize
the world stands the obstacle of absolute national sov-
ereignty as it is asserted by the nations. But this
obstacle is not insupeiable, for in a large view of the
world there is no such tiling as the absolute sovereignty
of any nation. Upon that point world education is
necessary in order to establish a secure foundation for
the organization of the world which seems sure to be
developed with the progress of mankind.

What increases the difficulty in this world education
is the fact that no precedent exists in favor of the posi-
tion to be established. On the contrary, from the be-
ginning of history an unbroken line of precedents of
unquestioned authority exists in favor of national sover-
eignty. The argument therefore flies in the face of the
universal experience of mankind. Yet the organic unity
of the race is foreseen by an increasing number of men,
and the demonstration which is sufficiently clear already
for the prophetic is being rapidly facilitated by the opera-
tion of steam and electricity in bringing the ends of the
world together. In due time, as the workers for world
organization believe, in spite of the unbroken line of
precedents, the world will admit that absolute national
sovereignty is a relic of a barbaric past and that world



sovereignty is the dominant fact in the relations of the
nations to each other.

The fact that precedent is in favor of the doctrine of
national sovereignty ought not to be finally convincing
in view of the velocity of progress which to-day has
little mercy for the doubts and timidity of conservatism.
Our average American realizes to-day what was not
realized in the past by tyrants, emperors, and great
moguls, — that he who stands in the way of progress
will suffer a collision, and that it is not the car of
progress which will be overturned.

Why can there be no such thing as absolute national
sovereignty? Because outside of every nation which
may claim to be absolutely sovereign exist organized
communities of men over whom it has no sovereignty
and over whom it claims no sovereignty. The mere
existence of such communities establishes relations
between them and any nation which may claim to be
sovereign, — since both are upon the same planet, —
and conditions and limitations are imposed upon any
nation which may claim to be supreme. It is true that
any nation may deny the fact of such limitations, may
ignore the existence of outside nations, may erect an
intended impassable barrier around itself and establish
a national policy of attempted absolute sovereignty.
But there is only one China, and the experience of that
country proves the folly of trying to deny the supreme
fact in the empire's existence. Greater in the liistory
of any nation than the fact of its sovereignty within its
limits is the fact that the world is greater than itself, and
that to ignore this supreme condition is supreme folly.


The existence of other nations is itself a conclusive
reason why no nation can be absolutely sovereign. It
must have relations with its neighbors. Those relations
must affect its internal policy. In fact, it is recognized
in civilized governments that treaties are a part of the
supreme law of the land. Whatever party Inay be in
power in a nation, agreements and formal relations
established with other nations must be recognized, at
whatever disregard of the national legislation. To this
extent already has the world advanced in recognizing
the limitations upon national sovereignty.

It is in the very nature of things that nations recog-
nize their limitations and establish this principle of the
supremacy of treaties. The fundamental fact is that
outside of themselves are other peoples who will do
something to them unless they act so as not to hurt
those other peoples. Even if a nation supposes that it
can act as it pleases inside its own limits, it finds its
mistake if it passes beyond a certain line which the
sensibilities or common sense of outside nations regard
as the limit of conduct to be tolerated. Spain in Cuba
is a sufficient illustration for the people of this country,
while the condemnation of the European governments
by the outraged sentiment of Christendom for failing
to prevent the massacres of the Armenians illustrates
what would have been the verdict of civilization if
those unspeakable horrors had been stopped by force.
Slave traders and pirates are recognized as common
enemies of mankind, and slave-trading and piratical
peoples, as in the case of Arabs in equatorial Africa
and the Mediterranean pirates of the early days of the


American republic, can, in so far as their deeds offend
the common conscience of other nations, be rightfully
deprived of sovereign powers at the will of these nations,
with no claim to redress.

When we come to examine thus the positions already
held by civilized nations, it is clear that they practically
recognize material encroachments upon the principle of
national sovereignty. In order to secure assent to a posi-
tion essential to successful world organization, a further
clearing up of ideas rather than any radical change is
the need of the hour. Common conditions imposed upon
all nations make their status substantially the same in
their relation to each other. Each people exercises a
limiting and conditioning influence upon every other
people. Each must recognize conditions which every
other must recognize. It is for the common good that
these conditions be submitted to.

It is somewhat with nations as it is with men.
Nations are sovereign ; men are free. But the recog-
nized limitations upon the free action of men are no
more real than the limitations upon the sovereignty of
nations. From the savage up to the highest product of
civilization, the individual man, with a will truly free,
is yet so limited by circumstances that his freedom is
rather a freedom of choice between riglit and wrong
than full freedom of choice regarding the acts of life.
The savage is not under a code of enacted law like the
citizen of the United States; but, in addition to the
restraints of force put upon him by surrounding savages,
he must, even if he is chief of his tribe, work or hunt or
fight in order to maintain his family and his position.


The civilized man, in addition to the code of enacted
law, is under other imperative conditions. Whether he
exerts himself in the pulpit, or at the bar, or at the i>low,
he is surrounded by conditions not of his choosing, at
many of which he may chafe, but which he is forced to
observe, though he is at every moment of his life a per-
^son with free will. Free men, as they develop from the
savage state up to the condition of subjection to formal
law, have recognized their relations to each other and
have become organic communities. Just as truly the
nations, organic within themselves, are on tlieir way to
the organic unity of the whole of mankind, and the attain-
ment of organic unity by a race, or by the people under
one government, is warrant and prophecy of the attain-
ment of the organic unity of all mankind. When that
organic unity shall have -been attained, mankind must
have some organic form of expressing its will regarding
the interrelations of the several parts, and the world
legislature is sure to come. Such an organ of expression
would correspond to the Congress of the United States
for the states composing the political body over which
it lias jurisdiction ; and there would be a constant suc-
cession of subjects demanding the attention of the
world legislature as long as there was any progress
by mankind.

Interpreting history in this light, the experience of
the nations in their development up to their present
{)oint of government by law illustrates the process which
is going on toward the recognition of a law of mankind
superior to all laws of nations. The sovereignty of man-
kind, though not yet formally established, is so clearly


indicated by the progress of man that it seems only a
short step to the formal recognition of that world sov-
ereignty which is a necessary condition to the establish-
ment of a formal body politic of the world.

What is it which the nations are asked to recognize
in the case of world organization, as the proposition
now stands? It is the simple, supreme fact that con-
ditions are over them which they did not create, which
are inexorable in their demands for recognition, and
whose penalties are inevitable if they are disregarded.
" Mankind is one. Will you admit it? " That is practi-
cally the form in which the question comes to the nations.
Suppose! that the United States invites the nations of
the world to a meeting for the purpose of establisliing
a legislative body for the world. Will the nations, in
acting upon such an invitation, insist upon their sover-
eignty to the extent of refusing to agree to world legis-
lation unless it is ratified by the home government?
Such will be their attitude at first, for nations, like men,
are slow to surrender the form of powei-. But ulti-
mately, viewed in regard to their relation to mankind,
it would be as unwise and as obstructive to progress
for the nations to insist upon their formal national sov-
ereignty as it would have been for tlie states of the
United States to have insisted that no act of Congress
should be valid within their limits until it had been
approved by the state governments.

World relations are not things of human creation.
The unity of mankind is not some scheme which cer-
tain men have evolved out of their imaginations and
are trying to foist upon the world as a machine which


promises to work well. Nations are put into the con-
ditions in which they find themselves. Already, to a con-
siderable degree, they recognize these conditions. They
seem to go halfway ; but their timid men are profoundly
unwilling to go the other half of the way, — to admit
that they are really under conditions which are supreme
an3 in the recognition of which they will really find
their greatest peace and prosperity.

Recoofnition of truth cannot hurt either men or
nations ; denial of truths-must always hurt both. The
challenge to the timid, then, is this, — that nations are
not ultimately and supremely sovereign, that they are
parts of an organic whole, and that the recognition of
this will be for their unspeakable advantage ; it will
harmonize them with conditions which are stronger than
national power and which must be obeyed to secure the
highest development. If any objector seeks to prove
that nations are absolutely sovereign, that mankind is
essentially fragmentary and conflict the only prospect,
he will make a picture darker than the gloomiest pes-
simist has yet painted for the future of mankind.

Let us pass on to another consideration, — the readiness
of the world for such organization as will recognize
the sovereignty of mankind and demonstrate practically
that nations are only parts of one organic whole. Most
pertinent of the many facts which might be gathered is
the concert of the Powers of Europe. In the light of
the formal relations of nations here is a very singular
condition. So far as we know or have reason to believe,
there exists, as the basis of this concert, no treaty what^
ever, no formal or informal alliance, but only mutual


good will or recognition of mutual interest upon the
matters regarding which there is concert of action, and
an agreement of judgment upon the policy which is to
be pursued. That is, in their relations among them-
selves as a group having similar relations to outside
nations, they recognize the common conditions which
are over them all and shape their conduct accordingly.
Practice under those conditions is steadily at work set-
ting up a line of precedents and shaping the course
which will be follow^ed in the future for the internal
peace of the group and for its combined strength among
the nations as a whole. In a dim and partial way the
concert of Powers is a recognition of the world consti-
tution, and it foreshadows a wider field of agreements
among nations whereby the organic unity of all will be
recognized and the prosperity of all will be promoted.

A pertinent illustration of nations acting by a com-
mon understanding, without written agreements, is the
joint action by the United States, Russia, Germany,
England, France, Italy, and other nations in the troubles
in China.

These illustrations may be reenforced by the list of
over thirty international conferences or congresses which

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Online LibraryRaymond L. (Raymond Landon) BridgmanWorld organization → online text (page 1 of 12)