The United Nations are a divisive topic. Some see it as the culmination of humanity and progress, while for others it is an all-powerful cabal, out to destroy traditional values or an ineffective talking shop for detached politicians.
The UN is undoubtedly important to international diplomacy. It has mediated countless treaties regulating anything from human rights to the peaceful use of the oceans.
Yet despite its successes, the United Nations Organization suffers from several fundamental design flaws that prevent it from being effective and accountable. …
Over a century ago, Bertha von Suttner was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for her audacity to oppose the horrors of war”. As one of the most vocal and inspiring representatives of the anti-war and pacifist movement, her ideas have laid the groundwork for contemporary world federalist thought.
I personally have learned about Bertha von Suttner at the very beginning of my involvement with world federalism, when I began reaching out to local pacifist organizations in hope of support. Her main literary work, Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!), had been on my reading list for quite some time…
Toki Pona is a minimalist language, designed by Canadian linguist Sonja Lang to help simplify one’s thoughts. It is based on the idea that a small grammar and vocabulary is more than enough for simple communication. Imagine you are stranded on an island with a Babel-esque group of survivors — you can start communicating with nothing more than this article and a bit of time, which you seem to have a lot of anyway. It’s a deliberately simple language, so Keep It Simple, Speaker.
Toki Pona uses only sounds that are common to most languages. These are k, l, m…
Critics of world federalism often assert that powerful nations such as the United States, China, or Russia, would never concede their absolute sovereignty to a world federation, rendering any attempts to limit their national independence futile right from the start. A subtle assumption that accompanies this argument is then that nations would have to be forced into a world federation, thus justifying a nation-state’s reason for existence as an institution defending citizens against outside invaders.
In this article, I’d like to take this line of thinking apart and highlight the flaws in this argument step by step.
originally written for the Young World Federalists and Massachusetts Peace Action
A child born today could have worse-than-even odds of experiencing a nuclear war. This back-of-the-envelope estimate by Martin Hellmann flies in the face of the decreased public attention to nuclear armament and proliferation and should give us pause to reevaluate our priorities in terms of global politics. Since the end of the Cold War, other global issues, chief among them the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, have grabbed public concern and determined policy. Nuclear weapons have instead become something that we have merely learned to live with.
I write sporadic essays about open society, world federalism, Europe, languages, and whatever else I find interesting.