World Elites for Equal Dignity (WElitesED)

HumanDHS is primarily grounded in academic work. We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses on topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, on respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not only our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no one has a monopoly on justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not only for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.



We look for interested people, who would like to develop our WElitesED page. Please see our Call for Creativity.



 

 

The significance of elites
by Lindner, 2005

When I discuss with people, many tell me that we first have to create peace, justice and non-humiliating social structures locally, in our immediate social environment, before we can aim at global peace. I do not want to denigrate this view, however, I do not fully agree. If we want to build a decent global society, a task which includes tackling war, terror, poverty, injustice, corruption and other social illnesses at a global scale, we cannot merely become Mother Theresas, placing some bandages on the wounded, locally, and let the elites forge the global structures. Rather, we have to engage the elites of this world and invite them into more equitable social contracts. Because otherwise, our efforts will always stay small and fragile, and one single decision, from some powerful elite of this world, may undo all our efforts.

Ultimately we need to change the notion of what "elite" means - from illegitimately arrogating superiority to responsibly and legitimately providing leadership for forging policies which entail respect for equal dignity for all. We need leadership, we need experts who work for us; we cannot do without it. However, the pilot in a plane or the captain of a ship, though masters over their passengers when in the sky or at high sea, do not need to abuse their passengers. Clear hierarchy and stark inequality characterize these situations. Yet, the pilot and the captain need not look down on their passengers as lesser beings, let alone exploit or manipulate them.

So, my personal focus is to reach the powerful, the elites, engage them, and build cooperation - rather than confrontation - following the example of Nelson Mandela. I have several routes in mind, firstly, I think, we want to change elite behavior through strengthening public opinion, which then may guide elites into new social contracts, with respect for equal dignity at their core. Events such as Ukraine's orange revolution in 2005 should no longer be necessary (see also our big events project). Secondly, elites themselves should be approached more directly - see David Hamburg's experience.




Links

Please note that the entire HumanDHS website is maintained by volunteers, since its inception in 2003, and this is mainly done by Evelin Lindner. Until 2012, she usually pasted interesting news into this Links section. From July 2012 until 2017, she tagged interesting information on delicious.com. From 2017 onward, you see Evelin's personal list of interesting web links on Twitter:

New UN Chief Guterres Plans to Focus on Human Dignity
NEW YORK (IDN-INS) - On December 12, 2016, António Guterres will be sworn in as the next United Nations Secretary-General. In his vision for the post, Guterres - a former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees - has said that the world body is uniquely placed to connect the dots to overcome global challenges and further strengthen the nexus between peace and security, sustainable development and human rights policies. [IDN-INPS – 11 December 2016]

An Interview With Dr. Nora Sveaass: Why Torture is Wrong
by Nilantha Ilangamuwa
... A state that allows torture to happen not only violates international human law but creates a room that is extremely destructive. It undermines the trust and confidence that every society must contain, and such practices open up for more violence and disrespect of human rights. What was attempted as part of the war against terror was to create the picture that better one guilty than many innocent. But there is absolutely no justification for torture. And this campaign has also been used as a way of getting rid of or pacifying opposition. A lot of human rights violations over the last years have taken place under the auspices of fighting terror. The campaigns to fight this are extremely important. In addition, it has been argued, especially from people trained in interrogation and forensic psychology that torture, in addition to be totally wrong, also brings about wrong or false intelligence...
Read more at http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/11/why-torture-is-wrong/.

The System Improvement Process
SIP was developed to solve any difficult large-scale social problem. This includes the "excessive humiliation problem." Systems Engineer Jack Harich invites all researchers to study SIP (in a personal message, 15th January 2013).

The Equality Trust
The Equalit Trust is an independent, evidence based campaign working to reduce income inequality in order to improve the quality of life in the UK.
UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this is bad for almost everyone.
People in more equal societies live longer, have better mental health and are more socially mobile. Community life is stronger where the income gap is narrower, children do better at school and they are less likely to become teenage parents. When inequality is reduced people trust each other more, there is less violence and rates of imprisonment are lower.
If we want to build a better society, it is essential we take action now to reduce the gap between rich and poor. The Equality Trust is working with others to build a social movement for change. We analyse and disseminate the latest research, promote robust evidence-based arguments and support a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country.

Monitoring Economic Performance, Quality of Life and Sustainability
December 2010 Joint Report as Requested by the Franco-German Ministerial Council http://www.sachverstaendigenrat-wirtschaft.de/fileadmin/dateiablage/Expertisen/2010/ex10_en.pdf.

World Trade Talks End in Collapse
Marathon talks in Geneva aimed at liberalising global trade have collapsed, the head of the World Trade Organisation has said. Pascal Lamy confirmed the failure, which officials have blamed on China, India and the US failing to agree on import rules. EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said the result was "heartbreaking". The talks were launched in 2001 in Doha and were seen as providing a cornerstone for future global trade. The main stumbling block was farm import rules, which allow countries to protect poor farmers by imposing a tariff on certain goods in the event of a drop in prices or a surge in imports. India, China and the US could not agree on the tariff threshold for such an event...
Please read more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/business/7531099.stm.

'$100 laptop' to Sell to Public
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News
Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called "$100 laptop".
The organisation behind the project has launched the "give one, get one" scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198).
Please read the entire article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/technology/6994957.stm and on http://www.xogiving.org/.

The Earth Federation Movement
The Earth Federation Movement includes a worldwide association of World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) Chapters and affiliated independent organizations, such as many youth, environmental, and human rights organizations, that affirm the creation of a non-military, democratic Earth Federation under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We have several web sites associated with our work for global peace with justice, environmental sustainability, and prosperity such as www.earthfederation.info.
Dr. Glen T. Martin is the Secretary-General of WCPA and President of the Institute on World Problems. Since its founding in 1958, the WCPA has focused on creating a non-military, democratic Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It has done this through four Constituent Assemblies of World Citizens meeting from 1968 to 1991, when the Constitution was finally completed in its present form.
WCPA now works to get the nations and people of the world to ratify the Constitution through the criteria specified in Article 17. The Constitution is permeated by the concept of human dignity, focused especially in Articles 12 and 13 on human rights. WCPA sees the ratification of the Earth Constitution as a central structural change, creating global democratic institutions of unity in diversity, that can facilitate the deep spiritual change toward planetary maturity that is also necessary for a world of peace, with justice and sustainability.

Joseph P. Baratta
Joseph P. Baratta (2004)
The Politics of World Federation
Vol.1: The United Nations, U.N. Reform, Atomic Control.
Vol. 2: From World Federalism to Global Governance

Westport, CT: Praeger
Please see here the Introduction to both volumes.
Please see here an editorial on the work of Joseph Baratta and Virginia Swain.

Garry Davis: World Citizenship, World Passport, World Presidency, World Service Authority, World Government of World Citizens, World Government House
Garry Davis (Bar Harbor, Maine, July 27, 1921) is a peace activist who created the first "World Passport." A former World War II bomber pilot and Broadway actor, he renounced his American citizenship in Paris in 1948 to become a "citizen of the world." Davis founded the World Service Authority, which now issues the passports - along with birth and other certificates - to applicants. Davis first used his "world passport" on a trip to India in 1956, and has been variably admitted into or jailed by countries around the world after using his world passport. Up to 150 countries have purportedly accepted the world passport at one time or another. In France, his support committee was co-founded by writers Albert Camus and André Gide and the Abbé Pierre (quoted from wikipedia).
See also:
- www.onefilms.com and www.1worldcitizen.com.
- World Citizen Radio with Garry Davis interviewing Evelin Lindner, Global Radio Alliance, Sunday, November 11, 2012
- Garry Davis’s Speech at the 2007 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict (2007)
- Our dear Garry Davis went into hospice care on 18 July 2013, and died six days later. We mourn him in deep admiration for his life work and resonate with every word in Rene Wadlow's lovely reflection on Garry Davis: « And Now the People Have The Floor »

Rosika Schwimmer and World Government
Rosika Schwimmer or Bédy-Schwimmer "Rózsa" Rózsika (1877-1948) set out to create a world government. In 1935 she formed the World Centre for Women's Archives with Mary Ritter Beard. She received a World Peace Prize in 1937 and formed the Campaign for World Government with Lola Maverick Lloyd. In 1947 she was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize but no one received it the next year...
Please read more on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosika_Schwimmer, or, please read also Remarks on the History of Hungarian Feminism by Judit Acsády.

Richest 2% Own 'Half the Wealth'
By Andrew Walker
Economics correspondent, BBC World Service
The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of all household wealth, according to a new study by a United Nations research institute. The report, from the World Institute for Development Economics Research at the UN University, says that the poorer half of the world's population own barely 1% of global wealth. There have of course been many studies of worldwide inequality. But what is new about this report, the authors say, is its coverage.
It deals with all countries in the world - either actual data or estimates based on statistical analysis - and it deals with wealth, where most previous research has looked at income.
What they mean by wealth in this study is what people own, less what they owe - their debts. The assets include land, buildings, animals and financial assets.
Please read the entire article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/business/6211250.stm.

The Pixel Press
At PixelPress our intent is to encourage documentary photographers, writers, filmmakers, artists, human rights workers and students to explore the world in ways that take advantage of the new possibilities provided by digital media. We seek a new paradigm of journalism, one that encourages an active dialogue between the author and reader and, also, the subject. Our online magazine features projects that use a variety of linear and non-linear strategies, attempting to articulate visions of human possibility even while confirming human frailty. For us the digital revolution is a revolution in consciousness, not in commerce. We work with organizations such as Crimes of War, Human Rights Watch, World Health Organization and UNICEF to create Web sites that deal directly with contemporary issues in complex and innovative ways that circumvent media sensationalism and simplification. We also try to factor in ways that the viewer can help remedy social problems, rather than remain a spectator. Recently we completed a site focusing on how to end polio worldwide; another trying to aid an orphanage in Rwanda; one trying to reclaim the Brazilian forest; and a site featuring the images of photographers from the Vietnam War. And we also create books with photographers such as Machiel Botman, Kent Klich and Sebastião Salgado on social themes, as well as traveling exhibitions using both digital and conventional processes.