The World Government Ideas of Garry Davis – Part 2
Excerpted from the 1997 book “Sovereignty Consciousness”, by Taansen Fairmont
~ More relevant today than ever ~
Cherished [[firstname fallback=”Friend”]],
THE PERSONAL STORY OF GARRY DAVIS
On May 18, 1948, Garry Davis, former Broadway actor and WWII bomber pilot, walked into the United States Embassy on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, France, and renounced his American citizenship. Since that spring day in 1948, Garry Davis lived as a World Citizen until his passing in 2013.
“I wish to make clear that my original renunciation of nationality was in no way an act of disloyalty to or disaffection for America. On the contrary, I consider my espousal of the one-world cause the highest act of loyalty I could perform both as an American and as a conscientious human being. In its negative aspects, my gesture was a personal protest to the exclusiveness of the institution of nationalism itself, which encloses all countries today and which has been, in fact, rendered obsolete by actual world conditions.” . . .
“Man’s deadliest, self-imposed, restrictive device is nationalism . . .
“‘Every man possesses the right of self-government . . . ‘ wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1790.” — from the book, The World Is My Country, by Garry Davis
That September, the United Nations General Assembly came to Paris, declaring the Palais de Chaillot “international territory.” Davis asked the UN Assembly to serve as a World Government for World Citizens, sanctioned by Article 109 of its charter. But the UN asked the French Government to rid it of the troublesome idealist. Davis was expelled from UN territory by French police on 17 September, but not without worldwide publicity. Thousands of letters of support poured in, and momentum gathered. On 19 November again he addressed the UN Assembly, and was again forcibly expelled.
Worldwide support, including prominent thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Albert Camus, Albert Schweitzer, Lord Boyd Orr, Claude Bourdet, Richard Wright, Jean-Paul Sartre, Andre Gide, and Carlo Levi brought praise and increased attention from the media and public alike. Articles about him, mostly favorable, appeared in many French periodicals, plus The New Yorker, Life, Manchester Guardian, Montreal Gazette, Harper’s, Moscow’s Prarda (unfavorable), and many others.
“One of the chief objects of my gesture of renunciation was to demonstrate that the nation-state need not be overthrown. For, in fact, it does not exist. Men’s minds need only be dis-abused. The nation-state is a whole-cloth myth, perpetuated by the slavery of tradition, unreasonable loyalties and pieces of paper which at best only pretend to recognize rather than bestow existence upon the individual. If I could show that it was possible for me to survive in the world without papers, cross frontiers without a passport and conduct myself as a free human being without benefit of any national credentials, I would be striking a blow at the very heart of nationalism itself.” — from the book, The World Is My Country, by Garry Davis
Dr. Herbert Evatt, then president of the UN General Assembly, later received Davis and a World Citizenship delegation promising to transmit to the delegates the World Citizens’ petitions. On 3 December 1948, at the Velodrome d’Hiver in Paris, attended by over 20,000 people, Davis read Evatt’s response to his question as to whether the UN had a definite plan to make world peace. Dr. Evatt’s answer was a categorical “no.”
By early 1949, more than 50,000 letters of support had poured in from World Citizens around the world. That year Davis founded the International Registry of World Citizens. The same year, more than a half million people from over 150 countries signed up. (By the 1990s over 1,000,000 individuals from 150 countries had registered.)
When Garry started traveling out of France in 1949, he began experiencing what was to become a long series of confrontations, hassles, and problems at international borders, not surprisingly. Encounters with passport and visa officials became an education for him that was to fully capture the extent of the ignorance of mankind about the unity of humanity.
Bureaucrats typically had never met a person with no country, and were at a loss as to what to do with him. France tried to issue him papers essentially affirming that he was paperless.
“What intrigued me about my new credentials was that I had not sought them so much as that they had been foisted upon me. Both the American and the French governments had been so eager to issue me some form of document that they had twisted and tortured their laws in order to give me papers declaring that I was paperless, or symbols of existence to verify my non-existence. Who, I began to ask myself, was the beneficiary of this transaction? Surely it was not I. My sense of belonging to the human community, my self-awareness and indeed my self-esteem had not been increased. The true beneficiaries of my papers had been the nation-states themselves, I reasoned. It was they who had gained a measure of existence in the world, or come one human-unit further into being, for having issued credentials which I was willing to bear . . .
“Papers give status, dignity and privilege to the issuing authority rather than to the bearer — although the opposite is generally assumed — and I believe that this is equally true in the case of passports, driver’s licenses, honorary degrees, permits to practice law, licenses for marriage . . . or even certificates of good health. In all such cases the individual unwittingly surrenders his right to assume command, status, or direction of himself in human terms by acknowledging and then accepting an outside authority’s right to grant these things to him.” — The World Is My Country
Aboard the ship S.S. America crossing the Atlantic, he met Dr. P. Natarajan, founder of the Gurukula Movement of South India. In conversation, he told Davis:
“The notion of world citizenship is grounded in an ancient, unitive science-philosophy known in India as Advaita Vedanta. Citizens come before governments, but men come before citizens. Until men are educated to have a global or universal attitude toward all life, there will be no true world citizens.” – – The World Is My Country
Davis was intrigued, and decided to make a trip to India some day, after staying in America for a while.
On 4 September 1953, from the Town Hall of Ellsworth, Maine, USA, he declared the founding of the World Government of World Citizens based on fundamental human rights. For Davis, the act was neither frivolous nor utopian, but entirely pragmatic and legitimate. Still stateless, he had been imprisoned 16 times since 1948 for lack of “valid” papers. Along with other stateless World Citizens, he needed a legal base from which to deal with national bureaucrats.
In January 1954, he founded the World Service Authority (WSA) in New York, as the administrative organ of the new government. It began serving thousands of World Citizens.
Many adventures followed, including travel to many countries. While in India, Davis studied with Dr. Natarajan, who taught him to be a “lover of humanity.” Natarajan related that while he was teaching at the International School in Geneva, Switzerland, he would listen to the daily broadcasts of the United Nations debates and think about what was missing. The UN had only recently been formed, but Natarajan quickly pointed out the flaw. No one represented humanity. This was a missing function.
He taught Davis that “the maturing of wisdom develops along with the capacity to love. ln fact, love is the cup that wisdom fills. And to be a lover of humanity,” he said, “one must first acknowledge its existence. This is difficult for most people to do. It means giving up many false notions.”
Garry Davis began learning to deepen his motive for being a World Citizen beyond merely a political solution to the war-making of nations. He began seeing a more positive motive, in the ability to love mankind as a whole, as a single family, and to work for the realization of the intrinsic oneness of humanity to dawn on all people. Thus became his mission.
Natarajan suggested that Davis go meet the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharal Nehru. The meeting was arranged. A long and interesting conversation developed between them. At one point, Davis said, “‘Our basic principles, of course, are yours,’ I added, ‘one world and one mankind.’
“He looked up. ‘One world, yes, and even one mankind . . . but it is a difficult job. Look at the immense task we have right here, in uniting India.’
“‘Oh, we don’t do any uniting, sir,’ I said hurriedly. ‘We start from the premise that mankind is already united and the world is already one. We merely advertise the fact, and when necessity arises, act upon it.’
“‘Yes, as a World Citizen, I dare say you would,’ he returned mildly.” — The World Is My Country
Similar conversations took place with government officials and bureaucrats all over the world. In Hannover, Germany, Davis met with some wealthy industrialists who liked his ideas. It was in their company that the first hand-drafted versions of World Government Currency were drawn up and distributed. Davis influenced many people of all kinds, in many countries, making them reconsider the limitations they had placed upon themselves with their thinking. He relates many funny stories, such as this one:
“A young man, a United States citizen, once asked my advice about a problem.
‘I want to travel to Bulgaria,’ he said.
‘What stops you?’ I asked.
In reply he handed me his passport, on one page of which was affixed a rubber stamp stating that the passport was restricted for travel to Bulgaria along with several other nations.
‘How does this prevent you from traveling to Bulgaria?’ I asked.
‘They won’t let me!’ he exclaimed. ‘That damn restriction! See for yourself.’
‘Yes, I see,’ I said, ‘but if you really want to go to Bulgaria, come back in three days with your passport, and I’ll fix it.’
‘On the third day, he and his passport were back. Before he could protest, I produced a rubber stamp and quickly stamped the restricted page directly beneath the restriction.
‘Hey, what the hell are you doing?’ he exploded. ‘That’s illegal. You can’t do that.’
‘Here, read it,’ I said, handing it back. He did so, stood for a moment perplexed, then burst into laughter.
‘Of course, of course,’ he said. ‘Don’t know why I didn’t see it. Thanks a million.’ The next time I heard from him was six months later after he had returned from Bulgaria.
“The stamp I had affixed on his passport read: The above restriction is hereby removed.“
— The World Is My Country
Today, the World Service Authority (WSA) is centered in Washington, D.C., with agents throughout the world. Over 400,000 WSA passports, World Government ID Cards, and birth certificates have been issued. Over 135 countries have recognized the passport on a de facto basis.
The phrase, “the above restriction is hereby removed“, has become a common theme in much of WSA’s activities.
(This topic to be continued in future editions of the Brilliance in Commerce Newsletter).
The key to infinite safety, unbounded security, the repulsion of all harm, and theattraction of all good, is the daily experience of samadhi in deep meditation. More information on how to experience this is available at this link.
In Fellowship and Cosmic Communion,
Yours, Taansen Fairmont
Founder, Brilliance in Commerce