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Why People's Congress ?

Text of Alfred Rodriguès-Brent

From the earliest time, in the world, the great majority of citizens have been governed by a small minority. Until the start of the democratic states, about two centuries ago, an autocratic regime was governing the different groups of citizens. The old regimes were settling problems between themselves like a business "from king to king" excluding totally the people. With the appearance of democratic institutions and the birth of sovereign Nations-States, the procedures of settling affairs changed name, it became inter-national, but the system remained unchanged: a very small minority retains all powers and without reference to the people decides on war and peace.

Around the end of the 19th century, the rulers felt the need to secure peace. In 1899, they convened a conference in The Hague that failed. In 1907, there was a second conference at The Hague, which only visible result was the 1914-1918 war. After the horrors of that war, with the hope of maintaining peace, the Society of Nations was created, based on the sovereignty of the Nations-States without any popular support. It was then bound to fail and sank into the 1939-1945 war, even more horrible than the precedent. After the second world war : same reaction.The United Nations organisation was created, as incapable as the three preceding attempts to secure peace because it had the same defects: absolute respect of national sovereignties, exclusion of popular support.

For ever oligarchies, democratic or of divine right, have always acted the same way, juxtaposing their own sovereignties without ever delegating part of it in favour of a superior institution, able, with the direct support of the people to secure peace.

At present, the more powerful a nation state is, more it can take on "international obligations" the more it tends to create and reinforce a bloc of satellite nations that it seeks to dominate. The less powerful nations likewise try, in protecting their political and economical interests, to dominate those weaker than themselves. In fact, this is the way an instable world hierarchy of the nations is established.

The international meetings, at ministerial level, where decisions are taken with a view to bind the Nation-States are themselves powerless against the actual bad organization of the world.. Change the system totally and in a glance is impossible, because all the national governments are at once the guardians and the prisoners of that system.

What is possible and also necessary, is to organize step by step a new system beside the old one. That is in fact, the way in which human evolution most often unfold. The old does not suddenly disappear with the appearance of the new. Whether a mechanism or a method is considered, the old and the new always exist side by side for a certain period of time.

The new facts of our era are the extension of the sense of human solidarity, the progress of science and the widening of knowledge, and the development of techniques and the consciousness of world citizenship.

It is on the basis of these facts that the new method of trans-national organization of the world must be established to replace the present inter-national organization.The condition essential for success is to be able to work in forgetting our borders. The organization must be thus trans-national and not supra-national in the sense of the grouping of a certain number of nation states into a sovereign bloc, thus establishing a new hierarchy.

In front of the often repeated failures of the Nations-States, a hand full of thinkers have been seeking for a solution: so, between the two world wars, two Americans Lola M Lloyd and R. Schwimmer launched in 1924 the idea of a Constituent Assembly of People elected throughout the world: one delegate representing one million inhabitants to be responsible for the drafting of a world constitution.

After the second world war, this idea was taken up again by several people, among them an American lawyer from Tennessee, Fyke Farmer, who proposed combining the elections for the Constituent Assembly of the People with the Parliamentary election in the different countries. The State of Tennessee passed a law to this end. The election took place allowing the appointment of three representatives, two were present at the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of the Peoples in Geneva at the end of december1950, at which a representative of Nigeria was also present. This first result raised, in the parliament of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, an interest of proposing laws for the organizations of similar elections but they never materialized. In the absence of any appointment of delegates from other countries to the Constituent Assembly of the People, the Governor of Tennessee, giving up in front of a pressure group abolished the law which had enabled this first election to be held

A dead end had been reached

A new method had to be worked out. It was necessary to start all over again and to find a new possibility of progressive representation of the inhabitants of the planet with a view of the management of their common affairs. The new organization must thus be organized little by little, by stages and coexist as long as necessary besides the old one. The People's Congress can do this by assuming the responsibility for tasks that are within its scope now, that is why I have conceived the project of the People's Congress and why I, with my friends Jacques Savary and Maurice Cosyn, in 1957, put forward the basis of this project that is the progressive replacement of the institutions which have administered the world since its creation by institutions at the world level.

Alfred Rodriguès-Brent

“The only way to go forward is to put the world law above that of the states. Making such laws means having a parliament; this requires us to create a parliament through worldwide elections where all peoples participate”. Albert Camus

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