Year LII, 2010, Single Issue, Page 85

 

 

UNITING EUROPE TO UNITE THE WORLD*
 
MARIO ALBERTINI
 
 
I. A New Era.
 
1. A new age has dawned and new thought must take shape. The course of history that was driven by the formation of the global market and sustained by the scientific, political, economic and social revolutions has now reached its climax with the end of the hegemony of the European system of states, the rise of the world system of states, the re-awakening of all the peoples of the earth, the growing participation of religious spirit in modern life, and the enormous development of technological capability (the latter still uncontrolled by the collective will). For this reason, it is now necessary — and indeed possible, providing we direct our thought and will towards this supreme task — to plan, at world level, the solution to some of the problems fundamental to the survival and future of mankind.
2. No one denies this necessity. But the time has come to realise that the problems shared by mankind, now a community of destiny with its fate in its own hands, cannot be solved solely through the recourse to the institutions and criteria of knowledge and political action of the past. Those instruments were needed in order to understand and build the world we know — a world that is now behind us, even though, containing embryonic forms of universal freedom and equality, it remains the terrain on which we must advance as we strive to build a new one.
3. The first barrier that has to fall is the one that still separates domestic politics from international politics. International politics should no longer be seen as a field of action in which it is solely a question of pursuing independence, in accordance with the idea that social emancipation is a matter for domestic politics, while security is an issue for international politics; and also on the basis of the mistaken conviction that nations that are independent are also equal. National independence is a necessary historical phase, its purpose being to place the states in the hands of the peoples; once acquired, however, it reflects, rather than corrects, the inequalities that exist between nations, which can be overcome only by allowing relations between states to be managed democratically. We therefore have to realise that the inequalities between nations are far greater, and far more inhumane, than the class inequalities that still persist within the most developed countries. And we therefore have to admit, as well, that the world as a whole has now become the theatre in which the conflict of values is played out, and also the framework in which the fundamental contradictions of our times emerge and can be overcome — providing, that is, international politics becomes, increasingly, the arena in which the progressive forces in politics and society are directly mobilised.
4. The first fact to recognise is this: at the current stage in the historical process, all men are, at last, free, and thus want to be equal; in the same way, all peoples are free and want to become equal. This desire for equality is the new revolutionary force that must be exploited in order to give rise, at all levels — globally but also at the level of each country and each local community — to a collective will, as this is the only way in which the freedom of all individuals can become universal freedom and equality (i.e. the only way in which mankind can control its own destiny). This is a remote objective, and we are indeed still taking the first steps. But it is only by setting out, right now, towards it that we will acquire the capacity to control the factors of the crisis that are manifesting themselves all about us, and to transform, gradually, the freedom of all individuals into the freedom of the whole of mankind.
5. The first strategic concept to grasp concerns the fact that world government already exists, and that it is thus necessary to fight, with all the forces already able to enter the field, to ensure that it is gradually entrusted to a growing number of peoples and men, and ultimately, to all men. World government is the same as the global balance of power, which is a key factor in establishing the rules — written and, above all, unwritten — that control the global market. Therefore, changing world government means changing the global balance of power, in order to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the dominance of the major powers; and also in order to guarantee, through the world federation, democratic government of the world and the replacement of relations of force between nations with equality between nations, legally sanctioned and protected by law.
 
II. The First Political Objectives.
 
1. The crisis of bipolarism corresponds to the crisis of the form of global government that characterised the first phase in the life of the world system of states. The crisis of political power at national level, manifested most severely in the states with the greatest difficulties, is but one of the consequences of the general crisis of global government which, still in the hands of the two declining superpowers, no longer ensures that the global market and the international monetary system are controlled in a progressive and positive manner; it is for this reason that the major powers are forced to fall back, more and more, on trials of strength, psychological warfare and military means. It must thus be stressed that the military obsession, and the idea that the global balance of power basically comes down to the balance of military power, are enormously harmful and ruinous, as the Fascist period demonstrated.
2. The task of re-establishing progressive and positive global control falls to politics. Changes in the balance of power are possible only in the presence of increasing social liberation and political success: even wars, inasmuch as they can be deemed successes, are the successes of certain political strategies. Basically it is a question of managing, carefully, the transition (in itself inevitable) from the bipolar world to a multipolar world whose protagonists must be not just the states, but also the new international entities such as the group of non-aligned countries, the evolving European Community, and China of course. It is thus up to these new leading players in the political process to take the initiative; and it must be made perfectly clear (particularly to Western Europe, which, engaging in an honest and open exchange with the United States, should be endeavouring to work out the time-frame and modalities of the transition from the situation of US leadership to one of equal partnership), that failure to take this initiative (with all the consequences this would naturally have), and blind and cowardly alignment with the positions of the leading power, can do nothing but perpetuate and worsen the crisis of global government, to the point of leading us to the brink of catastrophe.
3. The transition from the bipolar world to a multipolar one may be rendered peaceful and orderly only through the restoration of détente. This would guarantee, in all countries the world over, the highest possible degree of security with the lowest possible level of armament, and thus favour the success, everywhere, of those political forces that have, as their objectives, peace and the civil and social progress of their peoples. But we have to remember that détente is a method, not a policy. A policy manifests itself only where there is the will and capacity to change the relations of force. Therefore, to control the transition towards a multipolar world, it is necessary to try and set international relations of force, to a degree at least, in the multipolar rather than the bipolar context.
4. In this regard, there are, as far as Western Europe’s situation and possibilities are concerned, two key problems. The first concerns the EMS, within whose framework the Community must create the European monetary fund. If this fund works, it will allow us to pay for oil in ECUs, and could thus allow the hegemonic dollar-to-rest of the world relationship (which is an obstacle to the advent of a new economic order) to be replaced with a multipolar dollar-ECU-other currencies relationship, which, instead, would be balanced and progressive. The other problem concerns the Palestinians, and the increasingly urgent need to create a Palestinian state. Unless the Palestinian problem is resolved, it will be quite impossible to channel the revival of the Arab world and of Islam in positive directions, useful as much to the Arabs and Muslims themselves as to the rest of the world. As long as there continues to be no Palestinian state, Israeli democracy, rather than serving as a positive example, will carry negative connotations that will actually damage the democratic model; moreover, extremist views will become too influential in the Arab and Muslim world, preventing its economic and civil development and making it impossible to put an end to the direct or indirect interference of the major powers.
 
III. The Role of the MFE.
 
1. As things currently stand, the historical and social process, as it unfolds, automatically reproduces liberal, democratic and socialist tendencies (in their various historical and sometimes even religious expressions), in other words the culture of the separation of domestic from international politics; by so doing it prevents direct democratic mobilisation of political and social forces at international level. It should be remarked, however, that this culture, despite, for historical reasons, having coincided with the exclusive concept of nation typical of the traditional nation-state, nevertheless contains the germ of federalism, and thus the possibility of overcoming this limit. In any case, until such a time as the evolution of society itself spontaneously generates, alongside the liberal, democratic and socialist ideas, also the federalist concept of the democratic government of mankind and all its communities, the task of spreading and developing federalist thought will remain primarily that of the MFE; and this task may be accomplished — in particular vis-à-vis the new generations, who will be the ones having to manage a more advanced phase in the evolution of the multipolar order — only if we focus once again on the organisational problems relating to the recruitment, enrolment and training (theoretical and practical) of militants.
2. The transition from a situation in which organised federalism is only the fruit of determination, pure and simple — and, for this reason, requires the constant effort of each individual militant in order to be kept alive — to one in which it will have the character of a socially recognised idea, will require a complete democratic transformation of the European Community. If it can achieve the democratic government (within a constitutional legal framework) of a society of states that are independent and equal, thereby overcoming, on an institutional level, the distinction between domestic and international politics, Europe will become not only a model, but also a source of support and a solid ally for all those forces wanting to tackle, together, the problems of peace, collaboration and international justice, also through the creation of large regional federations understood as preconditions for the transformation of the United Nations into a world federation.
3. Federalism is not linked to class liberation and for this reason does not constitute an alternative ideology to liberalism, democracy and socialism. Historically, these ideologies, having given expression to, and coordinated, the liberation of the middle, lower-middle and working classes, have traditionally developed antagonistic and reciprocally exclusive identities, in this way placing limits on the realisation of the very values of freedom and equality that they uphold — which are complementary, not alternative, values. It follows that federalism, to become more widespread, has no need to reduce the presence of liberalism, democracy and socialism. On the contrary, its development depends on its capacity to contribute to an increasingly complete affirmation of the values of freedom and equality, which it may do through its pursuit of the value of peace, which, from the moral, institutional and historical standpoint, only federalism is able to cater for. These, basically, are the reasons why organised federalism does not use any of the weapons of power — the vote, representation of sectorial interests, violence —, with the exception of the indirect one of culture. And this is precisely why the federalists have the capacity to modify the power situation — and become a political force of initiative (even if not of execution) — merely by turning their sections, in every city and community, into cultural workshops: centres for the generation of discussion and ideas; in other words, by intervening at grassroots level in the social settings where political inclinations are formed.


* These are the views presented by Mario Albertini at X Congress of MFE and unanimously approved by the same on 24 February 1980. They were published on issue 1-2 of Il Federalista the same year.

 

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