I just wanted to archive this here, so I don't have to search for it again. I've always wondered if Walter was duped, and actually believed the one-world rhetoric. He didn't strike me as being very bright, so it's possible.WALTER CRONKITE PROMOTES DEMOCRATIC FEDERAL WORLD GOVERNMENT
On October 19, 1999, Walter Cronkite received the WFA's Norman Cousins
Global Governance Award. A transcript of his acceptance speech
I am greatly honored to receive this award for two reasons: first, I
believe as Norman Cousins did that the first priority of humankind in
this era is to establish an effective system of world law that will
assure peace with justice among the peoples of the world; second, I feel
sentimental about this award because half a century ago Norman offered
me a job as spokesman and Washington lobbyist for the World Federalist
organization, which was then in its infancy.
I chose instead to continue in the world of journalism. For many
years, I did my best to report on the issues of the day in as objective a
manner as possible. When I had my own strong opinions, as I often did, I
tried not to communicate them to my audience. Now, however, my
circumstances are different. I am in a position to speak my mind. And
that is what I propose to do.
Those of us who are living today can influence the future of
civilization. We can influence whether our planet will drift into chaos
and violence, or whether through a monumental educational and political
effort we will achieve a world of peace under a system of law where
individual violators of that law are brought to justice.
For most of this fairly long life I have been an optimist harboring a
belief that as our globe shrank, as our communication miracles brought
us closer together, we would begin to appreciate the commonality of our
universal desire to live in peace and that we would do something to
satisfy that yearning of all peoples. Today I find it harder to cling to
that hope. For how many thousands of years now have we humans been what
we insist on calling "civilized"? And yet, in total contradiction, we
also persist in the savage belief that we must occasionally, at least,
settle our arguments by killing one another.
While we spend much of our time and a great deal of our treasure in
preparing for war, we see no comparable effort to establish a lasting
peace. Meanwhile, emphasizing the sloth in this regard, those advocates
who work for world peace by urging a system of world government are
called impractical dreamers. Those "impractical dreamers" are entitled
to ask their critics, "what is so practical about war?"
It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual
catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United
Nations as a first step toward a world government with a legislature,
executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws
and keep the peace.
To do that, of course, we Americans will
have to yield up some of our sovereignty. It would take a lot of
courage, a lot of faith in the new order. But the American colonies did
it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the
world has ever seen. The circumstances were vastly different, obviously.
Yet just because the task appears forbiddingly hard, we should not
shirk it. We cannot defer this responsibility to posterity. Democracy,
civilization itself, is at stake. Within the next few years we
must change the basic structure of our global community from the present
anarchic system of war and ever more destructive weaponry to a new
system governed by a democratic U.N. federation.
Let's focus on a few specifics of what the leadership of the World
Federalist movement believe must be done now to advance the rule of
world law. For starters, we can draw on the wisdom of the Framers of the
U.S. Constitution of 1787. The differences among the American states
then were as bitter as differences among nation-states in the world
today. In their almost miraculous insight, the Founders of our country
invented 'federalism,' a concept that is rooted in the rights of the
individual. Our federal system guarantees a maximum of freedom but
provides it in a framework of law and justice. Our forefathers believed
that the closer the laws are to the people, the better. Cities legislate
on local matters; states make decisions on matters within their
borders; and the national government deals with issues that transcend
the states, such as interstate commerce and foreign relations. That
Today we must develop federal structures on a global level.
We need a system of enforceable world law -- a democratic federal world
government -- to deal with world problems.
Hamilton wrote about the need for law among the 13 states applies today
to the approximately 200 sovereignties in our global village: "To look
for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent
unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood, would be to
disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the
accumulated experience of ages." Today the notion of unlimited national
sovereignty means international anarchy. We must replace the anarchic
law of force with a civilized force of law.
Ours will neither be a perfect world, nor a world without
disagreement and occasional violence. But it will be a world where the
vast majority of national leaders will consistently abide by the rule of
world law, and those who won't will be dealt with effectively and with
due process by the structures of that same world law. We will never have
a city without crime, but we would never want to live in a city that
had no system of law to deal with criminals.
Let me make three suggestions for immediate action that would move
us in a direction firmly in the American tradition of law and democracy.
- Keep our promises: We helped create the U.N. and
to develop the U.N. assessment formula. Americans overwhelmingly want us
to pay our U.N. dues, with no crippling limitations. We owe it to the
world. In fact, we owe it as well to our national self-esteem.
- Ratify the Treaty to Ban Land Mines, the Law of the Sea
Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention to
Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention
on the Rights of the Child. Most important, we should sign and ratify
the Treaty for a permanent International Criminal Court. That
Court will enable the world to hold individuals accountable for crimes
- Consider, after 55 years, the possibility of a more
representative and democratic system of decision making at the U.N. This
should include both revision of the veto in the Security Council and
adoption of a weighted voting system for the General Assembly.
The World Federalists have endorsed Richard Hudson's Binding Triad
proposal. George Soros, in "The Crisis of Global Capitalism," has given
serious attention to this concept which would be based upon not only
one-nation-one-vote but also on population and contributions to the U.N.
budget. Resolutions adopted by majorities in each of these areas would
be binding, enforceable law. Within the powers given to it in the
Charter, the U.N. could then deal with matters of reliable financing, a
standing U.N. peace force, development, the environment and human
Some of you may ask why the Senate is not ratifying these important
treaties and why the Congress is not paying our U.N. dues. As with
the American rejection of the League of Nations, our failure to live up
to our obligations to the U.N. is led by a few willful senators who
choose to pursue their narrow, selfish political objectives at the cost
of our nation's conscience.
They pander to and are supported by the
Christian Coalition and the rest of the religious right wing. Their
leader, Pat Robertson, has written that we should have a world
government but only when the messiah arrives. Attempts for world order
before that time are the work of the Devil! This small but
well-organized group has intimidated both the Republican Party and the
Clinton administration. It has attacked presidents since F.D.R. for
supporting the U.N. Robertson explains that these presidents are the
unwitting agents of Lucifer.
The only way we who believe in the vision of a democratic world
federal government can effectively overcome this reactionary movement is
to organize a strong educational counteroffensive stretching from the
most publicly visible people in all fields to the humblest individuals
in every community. That is the vision and program of the World
The strength of the World Federalist
program would serve an important auxiliary purpose at this particular
point in our history. There would be immediate diplomatic advantages if
the world knew that this country was even beginning to explore the
prospect of strengthening the U.N. We would appear before the peoples of
the world as the champion of peace for all by the equitable sharing of
power. This in sharp contrast to the growing concern that we intend to
use our current dominant military power to enforce a sort of pax
Our country today is at a stage in our foreign policy similar to that
crucial point in our nation's early history when our Constitution was
produced in Philadelphia. Let us hear the peal of a new international
liberty bell that calls us all to the creation of a system of
enforceable world law in which the universal desire for peace can place
its hope and prayers. As Carl Van Doren has written, "History is
now choosing the founders of the World Federation. Any person who can
be among that number and fails to do so has lost the noblest opportunity
of a lifetime."
(The reproduction of this speech appeared in the Autumn 1999
Toward Democratic World Federation.)