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by John Roberts

Here is a most welcome appearance.

In 1993 Prof. Glossop published his book under this title and now, it has been translated into the international language as Monda Federacio?. As an inveterate user and writer in Esperanto he has brought the

book up to date with a chapter to cover the past eight years. That, and the accomplished work of the English translator, John Rapley, have produced a most useful addition to the literature, probably unique, since despite the tradition of Lanti and other non-nationally minded writers, there has been nothing in the international language previously covering the whole question of world government.

So the book is doubly welcome, since it is an able and erudite discussion of the need and possibilities of transforming the planets government and thereby making peace possible, something not available with any other mooted avenue of change. Esperantists are natural internationalists, and potential world citizens, but like all of us, most of them have been brought up in nationalist communities, blinkered by the traditions of militarism and national barriers that are presumed to be god-given or eternal. They need, like all of us, to shed the political and social preconceptions that blind us to the urgent needs of the time. Now, at least, they have an opportunity of seeing the arguments laid out in a language that they can follow, even if they themselves continuing to belie the hoary old canard that "everybody speaks English."

The importance of these past eight years becomes evident in reading of the changes that have occurred, from the enlargement of the European Community and its transformation into the Union to the imminent creation of a permanent International Criminal Court as well as the highly significant ratification of the Law of the Sea convention. Professor Lucio Levi is rightly quoted in his analysis of the crucial example of Europe for the unification of the world, although one could wish that it was more rapid and had fewer backslidings. Nevertheless, there is a steady process of growth and integration that cannot be ignored or gainsaid and we can feel confident that Europe, by uniting such a mix of languages, traditions and former hostilities, is showing the way to the eventuality of world federation.

The insistence upon the importance of the imminent international criminal court is noteworthy - and accurate - for that will pave the way to a complete transformation of the global political scene.

Once the International Criminal Court is available, the recourse of the United States to armed force, as has happened after September 11th, will no longer be as automatic or acceptable, even within the States, because an alternative will be on offer, giving the possibility of settlement of the most urgent quarrels by peaceful and legal means. Such a route will be increasingly tempting to a world that sees daily the disasters attendant upon the methods of war that are still prepared for and too often used.

Here it is ironic that an article from Le Monde prophesies that the war in Kosovo has spelt just such an end to old-fashioned recourse ot war. Because in future, say the author, the United Nations will have to undertake global policing and not leave such work to NATO. Instead, at the moment, we have the spectacle of the U.S. doing just that, with the British acting as the lone rider from the NATO stable and a 'coalition' of more or less supporting states remaining well in the background.

Officially, Esperanto has been one of the languages of the World Federalist Movement since 1977, but that is honored more in the breach than in the observance.

However, I did take a message from the movement to the Universala Kongreso in Finland a few years ago. Now, to forward what is being done by works such as the one under review, there will be at least one meeting at next year's world federalist Congress in London both for Esperantists and other federalists. That will be an opportunity to bring Esperantists together into a real coalition for peace and enable federalists to better understand the crucial necessity of language reform for the sake of global democracy.

Ron Glossop concludes this new edition by discussing recent writing on the whole subject and giving a useful account of the anti-globalization movement. This is an effective way of bringing the whole subject up to date and would also be useful for federalists not proficient in Esperanto (as they probably ought to be). An English speaker of the language, who died this year, used to remark that an Esperantist was an internationalist who meant it; and that description is not an inaccurate one.

However, we must hope the readers of this new translation will appreciate that internationalism is not enough: they need also to understand the need for World federation.





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