Ronald Glossop

Guest Blogger

Ronald J. Glossop is Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville (SIUE), member of the national board of Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund, Chair of Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis, Vice-President of UNA of Greater St. Louis, Coordinator of the St. Louis Coalition for the ICC, President of the American Association of Teachers of Esperanto, and Director of Infanoy chirkaw la Mondo [Esperanto for "Children around the World"]. Previously, Dr. Glossop held positions as Chair of the World Federalist Association of Greater St. Louis (1970-2004), Vice-President of the National World Federalist Association (1994-2003), and Coordinator of the Peace Studies Program at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (1974-1998). Dr. Glossop earned his B.A. from Carthage College (summa cum laude) and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Of GlobalSolutions.org's core issues, Dr. Glossop is interested mainly in Peace and Security through expanding democracy and restricting national sovereignty. In particular, he supports the International Criminal Court, the Responsibility to Protect principle, creation of a force of individually recruited U.N. peacekeepers, and education for world citizenship. He emphasizes the need to substitute democracy for violence as the way to resolve social conflicts, both within and between nations. He addresses these issues in his books World Federation? (1994) and Confronting War (4th ed., 2001).

Ronald previously served on the board and chaired the organization's World Federalist Institute.

Obama's Legacy

President Obama Voting in a US Election

Discussions of Obama's legacy are often too narrow.  They focus on specific policies that were adopted or not adopted.  They don't pay enough attention to what Obama himself said at his January 10 valedictory speech in Chicago.  When the audience began shouting "No, no, no, no, no" as he mentioned the coming change in the White House, Obama responded with a statement that displays his wisdom and his understanding of the important role of the United States in world history, namely that one of our nation's great strengths "is the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next."

We have constructed a large and prosperous democratic nation that decides who should have ultimate political power in our country for the next few years on the basis of elections rather than fighting violent military battles.   In a democracy groups with opposing views and interests realize that the results of an election can be reversed in the next election and the next and the next.  Violence is not necessary.

In a stable democracy there is no one winner-take-all for the foreseeable future.  The rulers for the moment can be changed in the next election.  Progress toward an ideal community can be made gradually and even with steps forward and back.

We had our very destructive Civil War (1861-1865) to determine that we would preserve the democratic federal Union.  For a century and a half after that our country has experienced the wonderful benefits of a united democratic federal government that determines its rulers by elections instead of wars and is governed by law and courts rather than destructive military battles.  Obama realizes that, and his whole life as well as his presidency has been guided by it.

HIROSHIMA AND WAR: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Hiroshima after the bomb from UN website

Thanks to President Obama for visiting Hiroshima and thereby calling attention to the increasing horror of warfare.  The President has an important message which much of the media seems to be missing, that in the future humanity must avoid not only nuclear war but all warfare.

It is past time for the world's leaders to see that the development of any kind of weapons is not the cause of war but rather the effect of leaders expecting wars and wanting to win them rather than lose them.  Wars are a disease of our human society, and the desire to make ever more destructive weapons is a symptom of that disease.

Some people think that we must always have wars because there will always be conflicts, but that is a mistake.  Not all conflicts are wars.  Humans engage in warfare when they do not rely on a better way to deal with conflicts.  

In fact, we humans have developed a peaceful way of resolving conflicts, even intense conflicts between groups with opposing interests.  It is called democratic government, and we are seeing it at work right in our election taking place this November.  Different groups have different views about what policies the government of our community should follow.  A few even want to continue to use violence to deal with these conflicts, but fortunately most are committed to having elections according to agreed-upon rules.  Then the winning majority make laws which are in effect until the next election.   Courts are established to determine how the laws apply to particular cases.  We will have a very contentious election, but there will not be a war.

The United States of America is not the only country that has demonstrated the value of democracy, that is, of resolving conflicts by political and judicial means along with regular elections.  Democracy promotes bit-by-bit progress over a long period of time.

Nuclear Zero: Let’s Think out of the Box

https://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/april-2016-photo-day

Many thanks to President Obama and the 50+ world leaders who came to Washington for the international nuclear summit on how to keep nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists and rogue nations. Efforts to accomplish that goal are certainly to be lauded.

Nevertheless, I wish that all our world leaders could do more "out-of-the-box" thinking. Why do these nuclear weapons and materials even exist? I think that it is rather evident that like all the weapons of war, they have been created by national governments in order to dominate other national governments or to protect their own nation against possible attacks by other nations.

Why is the situation so different within our country? Why don't some states have to have nuclear weapons to protect themselves against a possible attack from another state? When we put the issue this way, it becomes evident that the problem is not really nuclear weapons or cruise missiles or drones or cyber warfare or any other kind of weapons. Rather, it is the need of national governments to be ready to use military actions and war because of the absence of another, better way of resolving international conflicts.