In his book "The Anatomy of Peace", published in New York in 1945 and subsequently translated into 18 languages, the american journalist Emery Reves devoted himself to the problem of national sovereignty. His general statement, often radically presented, was that the superiority of the unlimited sovereignty of nation states over human rights and any other value represents the greatest threat to peace, freedom and security.
To this day, hardly anything has changed. The possibility that every state has the right to do in its own interest what it considers to be right on its own permanently threatens world peace. A direct threat is posed by highly armed nations that pursue an aggressive foreign policy. People despising rulers hide behind the sovereignty of their countries. Many a people dreams of old greatness, of national identity and national pride, elects an authoritarian regime for it or even accepts dictatorship. Nationalists want their country back, separatists fantasize about the independence of their province.
It's all irrational. Under the conditions of the 21st century, no one, no village, no city, no country can be independent, because today the world is an indissoluble web of dependencies. The global problems show us this clearly. The states can only cope with them through comprehensive cooperation. Humanity must therefore become a political entity with clear rules. The nation states do not have to disappear. Their cultural idiosyncrasies remain unaffected. They should only surrender as much of their sovereignty to the world community as is necessary for the common tasks.
The greatest challenge facing mankind today is climate change. Scientists have been warning of this for half a century, but today it is becoming tangible. Through the protest movement "Fridays for Future", the topic seems to have reached politics in the meantime. It remains doubtful, however, whether the policy of the nation states, which is geared to their own interests, will manage to get the problem under control, not to mention the expected disastrous effects. It is a matter for humanity to create competent supranational institutions for this purpose.
Together with other, no less dangerous causes of conflict, climate change will dramatically reduce the opportunities for world peace in the coming decades. Preventing a third world war is mankind's most important concern. To achieve this, weapons of mass destruction must be brought under the control of the UN. Protection against war must no longer remain a matter of national sovereignty, but must be placed under the United Nations' monopoly on the use of force. The UN must be put in a position to quickly and effectively prevent emerging intergovernmental aggression according to firm rules, so that no nation state has any reason to equip itself for self-defence and to maintain its own military.
It is an urgent matter for humanity to create a worldwide social system based on solidarity. The increasing disadvantages for a large part of humanity caused by global problems must be fairly compensated. It is about survival. This is the only way to prevent distribution struggles and wars over food, water and other resources. People who have to leave their homes because of climate change or other disasters need help and solidarity to resettle in other countries. They need a new home. The nation states will be overwhelmed by this. This can only be achieved by a well-organised world community.
If mankind wants to survive in the long term and not die out at some point - like many species that inhabited the earth in the past - it must expand into space. This is not a conquest, because in the universe that we can reach for an unforeseeable time there is no competitor in sight to be defeated. The only victory that must be won is the victory over our own human stupidity. Space travel is a matter for humanity because it can relieve our planet and at the same time protect it, and it is a strong impetus for the peaceful unification of humanity through comprehensive cooperation.
To survive in a better future we need the political unification of the world. This must be as democratic, just and peaceful as possible. All people of good will, all citizens of the world, are needed for this. Let us start now! If not now, when else?
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