Another purpose of this book is to demonstrate the power of even a handful of individuals, particularly those in positions of leadership motivated by only the best interests of humanity rather than self-interest and exhibiting certain sterling qualities like freedom from prejudice, to bring about organic and far-reaching changes in the structure of our global governance institutions that in turn foster peace, prosperity and stability in our global society. In a world where the rule of strongmen seems to be once again on the rise, where leaders unabashedly stir up the ugliest and most divisive of human emotions like xenophobia, racism, and sexism to gain and maintain their grip on power, and where the forces of nationalism appear to be gaining ascendancy resulting in the increasing fragmentation of human society, I believe it is essential that we remind ourselves of a better world which could be ours if we only bring ourselves to demand leaders with qualities that inspire trust and engender unity.
Lastly, but by no means of least importance, I aim to illustrate the power of consciously and deliberately weaving a set of universally agreed, global ethics into the very structures of our global governance institutions. It is not sufficient for our leaders to possess ennobling qualities. In addition, the very composition, voting structures, and processes that govern our institutions must also embody principles of oneness, equity, and uncompromising focus on the collective good to inspire trust and confidence in the governed and guard against the corrosive forces of self-interest and corruption.
The model I propose is based on the remarkably successful European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) adopted after the Second World War to enable the recently warring countries to rebuild their devastated economies and national polities despite critical shortages of coal and steel without falling into the same traps that doomed the same countries after World War One. As I will explore in depth, we can derive much inspiration and many lessons from the ECSC about how to solve the complex, entrenched problems facing us today, in particular the three-fold complex of global warming, inequitable distribution of energy, and nuclear proliferation. The ECSC had many strengths from which we can learn, ranging from the way it came into being, to its composition, funding, powers, and guiding principles, and most importantly to its role in bringing a lasting peace to Europe. The successes of the ECSC inspired confidence among its member nations to deepen and expand their cooperation to encompass additional domains of economic, security, and legal policy in what we know today as the European Union. Although the ECSC also suffered from certain weaknesses, these are no less instructive as we strive to shape global governance institutions that are fit for purpose for the 21st Century and beyond.
In this book I hope to offer a useful model for action. Although the argument rests on textual resources and analyses, footnotes would obstruct what I hope is a natural flow of ideas. Those who wish to dive deeper, however, will find these sources in a bibliography at the end of the book, broken down by chapter.
World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.
---Robert Schuman, May 9, 1950
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