My Country is the World
World Government, Ready or Not!
Dear World, A Global Odyssey
Letters To World Citizens
My Country is the World
"A ONE WORLDER wrote to us last month about "what appears to me
to be a disproportionate emphasis on Garry Davis", going on to say, half humorously, "There are so many others
fighting resolutely against the border maniacs. Could we have a note on the Afghan nomads, the Spanish smugglers,
or even those dear old One Worlders, the professional spies?" Yes, indeed! There are millions who agree with the
One World idea, and have done in the history of humanity before the globe became the tight little setup it is
today criss-crossed with barbed wire madness, with custom-houses and flag-and-uniform checkposts, with a paper
world formality which makes you sick before you step over each state threshold. There are organizations too,
and more growing every day, who encourage togetherness in arousing public opinion for a free world which won't
recognize frontiers any more.
But-we ourselves know of only ONE individual who became stateless
voluntarily and who happened to be the ONE person who openly defied the passport-frontier world of officials,
not as a spy, a smuggler, a nomad or a reformer of state laws, but as a total all-out or absolutist representative
of World Government. People can and do travel on faked passports, or carry even a dozen passports.
They have done so ever since travel papers became necessary, since 1917 to be exact (before then there was no
need of any passport!), But Garry Davis achieved world fame (or notoriety) for the plain reason that he insisted,
on entirely level and open grounds of principle, on doing everything in the glare of public view, aided with all
the sensational resources that he could and has been mustering, for the last 12 years. His methods are no secret,
and thousands now will have the opportunity of learning the know-how and should they wish, of following
the path that he has alone carved out, for his Odyssey, is now available in his book, The World Is My Country
(Putnam's New York, $4.50)
These years of world wandering in dozens of countries, the innumerable
imprisonments, the escapades and alternatively comic and tragic situations in which he has had to use his wits,
have given Garry a reputation and a flare which amounts to specialized genius. Garry could have been Spy No 1
or Smuggler No 1, but he chose the higher way of being humanity's World Citizen No 1 in the practical harsh world
Every one of us can call ourselves World Citizens in every other sense than
that. I myself have gone to the extent of having my World Passport (issued by Garry in the name of Humanity)
reproduced in a Singapore daily, and I carry it as an equivalent document alongside my Indian passport, but
I cannot drop everything and become like Garry, a stateless pariah."
John Spiers, Editor "VALUES MAGAZINE," Narayana Gurukula,, Fernhill, India
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World Government, Ready or Not!
"WORLD GOVERNMENT, READY OR NOT! is unlike any book we are likely to read this side of the
year 2000. Ministers, strapped for a sermon topic, could hardly do better than fill several
months of Sundays with readings from Garry's book. It's a must for the law schools, the courses
on international law, international relations, the peace researchers, disarmers, and freezers.
It is high time that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, which has made so many outrageous rewards,
took a good look at Garry's work and give him the prize in 1985."
Edith Wynner, co-author, Searchlight on Peace Plans
"Garry Davis has written a book which should be read by all world leaders and opinion makers without
delay. They should learn from him that man-made boundaries are obsolete, restrictive to human freedom
and counter-productive to the cause of peace."
"In this long overdue book, Garry Davis has taken a quantum leap beyond Rousseau's Social Contract
and he has placed himself for all time as the most vocal and structured advocate of the compact theory of world
Dr. Luis Kutner, Chairman, Commission on International Due Process of Law. Chief Justice, World Court of Human Rights
"Garry Davis is difficult to describe. As an uncommon blend of intellectual, activist,
huckster and lover of humanity, he is a wonderful and unusual phenomenon. His book World Government, Ready or Not! reflects that uniqueness of
character. It is both an adventure story and a handbook for world citizens.
The adventure story, which is related with sparkle and vigor, is the tale of Davis's efforts since 1960 to achieve
recognition for world citizenship. In that sense, the book is a sequel to his earlier work, My Country Is The World, which chronicled his activities
from 1948, when he renounced U.S. citizenship in favor of world citizenship, up through 1960.
Davis doesn't just live; he travels about the world as a tireless advocate for humanity and world government,
and his adventures-amazing adventures. To be sure, there is a Don Quixote element to Davis's wanderings, but the similarity is only in the audacity
of the quests Davis has carried off. They range from rescuing a British writer from the clutches of Idi Amin to a wild and hilarious trip from Dulles
Airport in Washington, DC to Tokyo and back to Settle, all as a test of recognition by the super-powers of the rights of world citizens as detailed in
the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights.
Davis is never boring! While he pursues the goals of humanity with the utmost sincerity, he never takes Garry Davis
too seriously. In traveling across national borders with his World Service Authority Passport, an organization of his own creation), it can only be the
twinkle in his eye and his ready laugh that sees him through.
As a handbook for would-be world citizens, the collection of essays, position papers, legal briefs and news releases
(covering everything from the nuts and bolts of the law of passports and immigration to Davis's speech announcing his candidacy for World Government president),
is without equal. There is a chapter describing the activities of the World Service Authority as the executive and administrative arm of world government which
to date has issued more than 250,000 documents including everything from birth certificates to marriage licenses to passports. Other chapters review world law
and economics, nationality and religion, and the problems of statelessness faced by the world's 20,000,000 refugees.
Davis's philosophy is simple. World peace and unity will only be achieved when each individual, as a world citizen and not as
a national of a particular country, recognizes his or her ties to all of humanity.
The book's four hundred pages are filled with examples of what can be accomplished by individuals who care enough to risk
personal freedom and safety and to face ridicule in the name of humanity.
It's a good read, a thought-provoking challenge, and a tribute to the unflagging efforts of one man on behalf of us all."
Fred Simpson, THE GURUKULAM
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Dear World, A Global Odyssey
November 7, 2000
Well, I just finished reading your terrific letter to humanity: Dear World.
I must say that this is the most inspiring profile in courage I have ever read. It is an uplifting story of the rise
of the human spirit. I cried with some of the victims of persecution who found courage and identity in your passports.
My heart swelled with pride as you and Robin joined the human beings tearing down the Berlin Wall! And I laughed until
my sides ached at the poor bureaucrats helplessly grasping for way to deal with an intruder from the real world who
steps beyond the reach of their silly games (I'm reminded of the scene in Life is Beautiful in which the Gestapo
SS officer rants and raves while Roberto translates the ravings into a children's game).
As the Berlin Wall came crashing down, and people across the planet found themselves
discovering by fire that their own unarmed people power is more powerful than even the world's mightiest armies, you
have been that beacon of light, showing them through the smoldering rubble of the crashed, oppressive dictatorships
a bright beam toward a better way. You have, by your actions, shown all of us that we have it within ourselves to
say "Here I stand; I am a citizen of the world!"
Dear World breaks out of the rigid structural approach that infects even so many
of us who are concerned about creating a democratic world, and aligns itself with the evolving flow of humanity on
this tiny blue marble - reaching that higher plane where there is no one to fight, nothing to struggle against,
only a place to stand in the future which draws forth those trapped in the past. It is truly a love letter to
Arthur Kanegis, Hollywood Producer
"I received today with abundant thanks your new book Dear World,
a Global Odyssey. Private governments have the power to say that you have no place to sleep or dine in their
private company called the state. But, dear Garry, you are living in the heart of millions of people as a bona
fide human being and a brother citizen of (the) world. Life and death are no problems to a lover of mankind.
You will live with us for ever and ever.
I read your book Dear World cover to cover, and if I have any bona fide
as a right thinking man, I should tell the world that after Socrates, you are the first man to be counted by all
as the wisest and noblest son of humanity."
Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, Founder/head, East-West University of Brahma Vidy. Fernhill, Nilgiris, India
"To struggle for years and years against the shortsightedness and
obscurantism of popular ideas of nationalism and political ideas left over from previous centuries is not an easy task.
It may take unusual determination, which can sometimes turn to obstinacy. Anyone who has been in the world government
movement for over 50 years can witness to the variety of obsessive and strong-minded members we have collected,
often argumentative and very persistent. Without such characteristics we should probably have given up long ago
and settled for something simpler, like winning the Cold War or reforming prison systems.
As a former skeptic, I am completely convinced of the utility of the World
Service Authority that Garry Davis created. Its exit and entry permits, passports and other identity documents
have enabled countless unfortunates to travel and be visible to officials who would otherwise have refused to
recognize them as human beings. The fact that a passport issued for $100 can be illegitimately sold for $3000
is an indication of its value to the buyer, not a reflection upon the issuer. The WSA is performing a public
service in a world where national states are obstructing and persecuting innumerable innocents - refugees and
Thus we can salute Garry Davis, whose labours over the past 50 years have
merited his sobriquet of 'World Citizen number One' awarded by the Press. For he, like many of us, has had
that very quality of persistence that verges on obstinacy and inclines him to dismiss the work of others who
may be working in the same direction but on another track. Notably, he dismisses the world federalists,
having his own route to subverting the nation-state system in order to create a peaceful world. Garry is a
root and branch man. He rejects the nation-state system that the majority of the world's population still
accepts unthinkingly. By dint of choosing his targets wisely he has been able to make an impact. But despite
the thousands who have benefited from his labours, he has not yet been followed by any substantial number of
other radicals objecting similarly. We still live in national corrals, allowed out and shepherded back again
by our governmental masters. Garry has defied the borders and traveled freely but usually at the price of
obstruction and delays, that have sometimes frustrated his intentions.
After reading HG Wells and Clarence K. Streit before the Second World War I
did not need anyone else to tell me that I was a world citizen. To become a world citizen one does not need a
world government, or a passport, or an identity card. Garry Davis had none of them when he stood up at the
Palais de Chaillot and inspired a generation. But I did need a good deal of thought to convince myself that
the world could only be administered in peaceful future by using a global federal system, decentralized to
protect freedom and centralized to prevent war.
World federalism is not an exciting cause, like Greenpeace or CND, and
generally attracts only those willing to commit thought and time to follow through its implications.
But what Garry misses is that people do not become convinced world federalists unless they are already world citizens.
It is a further stage in the understanding of the world's needs, unlike the first and simpler stage of identifying
with the rest of humanity. Partly because of his cavalier treatment of federalists and partly because of their
skepticism about his methods, the federalists have often denigrated Garry and his whole approach. Understandable but
not productive. True, some of its adherents do not follow its implications but, like the pioneer Henry Usborne,
relapse into seeing themselves as nation-state subjects. But it is symptomatic of the weakness in this approach
that Garry Davis affords more respect to the undemocratic feudal institution of the Japanese emperor than he does
to the federalists.
However, Garry has summed up his life's work in a new book, entitled Dear World,
in which he tells the story of activities in his last decade. It is an engrossing read, which explains in detail
both what is at fault with our world and its national rulers and why Garry believes that his own "World Government"
offers the way to success in the movement for world unity. Even more impressive is the record of the hundred of
thousands of people who have been helped to establish themselves as having rights previously denied to them because
they lacked national documents to verify such simple things as their names, dates of birth and original residence.
Surprisingly, for someone so clear-sighted about the outdated nature of the nation-state system and so aware of its
dangers, the author is often lax in using the word 'nation', perhaps forgetting the thousands of nations that are
left unrecognized by membership of the 'United Nations'.
The account of Garry Davis's adventures until he was in his seventies is not
yet ended. After all, he was at Rio de Janeiro for the Earth Summit and again at the Hague Conference in 1999.
But even so indefatigable a campaigner for human rights and world unity must at times weary of the futility that
the nation-state bureaucracies and their political masters engender. Even more he, like many of us, wearies at
the obtuse stubbornness with which people so often accept their enslavement as subjects of nation-states and,
worse, kiss the chains of custom and regulation that bind them. But world citizens, termite-like, are burrowing
into the fabric of the nation-states, subverting their ideological basis, which is the differentiation of man
from man and the labeling that accompanies it. Not only that, but they also are erecting institutions such as
the non-governmental organizations, some of which will ultimately supplant the existing order. It is a slow but
inexorable process and will triumph later in this century. But until we can number avowed world citizens in millions
we shall not see very much in the way of results.
From his first public demonstration in 1948 Garry has always taken his stand
on the need to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in innumerable encounters with officialdom
he has always been prompt to quote the chapter and clause that are being infringed. There are fascinating
episodes during which he gives examples of the different cultures that dismiss his arguments. In Japan the
immigration officers find it very hard to understand ideas about unrestricted travel, because there is no traditions
there that would give it scope. On the other hand, in the United States the gulf between theories of liberty and the
practice of national sovereignty is so great that the only safety for the government lies in impounding his WSA
passport so as not to have to expose contradictions at the heart of its policy. The bibliography at the end of
the book includes two items of mine - one being a pamphlet entitled HUMAN RIGHTS NEED WORLD LAW. But it does
not have my WORLD CITIZENSHIP AND MUNDIALISM, an omission that needs explanation, being a view of the subject
that does not coincide with Garry's, as it might smack of censorship."
John Roberts, World Citizen, Lecturer, UK
"Most of the books that have come out on the subject of world
government have been weighty tomes, as well-researched and dry as a master's thesis. John Kiang's One world
is a case in point; it had some pages where more space was taken up in footnotes than to text. Garry Davis'
newest book, Dear World, A Global Odyssey is a delightful exception to the rule.
Most of the book is an exploration of Davis' adventures in Japan,
trying to establish the "Pacific rim office" of the World Service Authority, but it provides plenty of
flashbacks to earlier parts of his career. For those who are not familiar with Mr. Davis, he is most famous
for renouncing his US citizenship and for denouncing the UN for failing to become a world government. He is
the leader of the World Government of World Citizens, and the World Service Authority, its administrative arm.
Davis and his group issue world citizen passports and other identification to refugees and other stateless people.
Davis' book is at its best when he is describing his encounters with
uncomprehending and unsympathetic national legal systems. He constantly tweaks the noses of government
bureaucrats, who vainly attempt to keep neatly within their prescribed categories. In one instance,
after Davis was arrested for trying to travel from Japan into the United States with his world passport, he
confronts the immigration judge with a dilemma. The judge could not send him back to Japan - the Japanese
wouldn't take him. Yet if he allowed him back into the United States, it would be an admission that he had
traveled with an unauthorized passport. The judge found that the only way out of his Catch 22 was to declare
that Davis had not legally left the United States at all.
The book introduces the reader to a collection of interesting characters with
whom Davis had dealt over the years, both heroes and rascals. These include such people as Vaclav Havel,
then President of Czechslovakia; Vytanus Landsbergis, President of Lithuania; Cybernetician Stafford Beer;
Indian Guru Nataraja; and Mark Lian, a Tiawanese businessman with whom Davis chaired a jail cell.
If Davis ever decided to change careers, he could give Paul Thereaux a run for his money as a travel writer.
If this book has any flaws, it is that it is such a personal testament.
Davis feels free to vent his frustrations with others within the world government movement that he feels are
not on the right wavelength, focusing particularly on Philip Isely and Henry Usborne. He tries very hard
to make a rational case about the inadequacy of their approaches, but he ends up sounding biased and inflexible.
Perhaps that is inevitable, since it is a subject about which Davis feels strongly. But it is an indication of
just how difficult it is going to be for the world unity movement to realize any sort of unity itself.
Those defects should not, however, make the reader lose sight of the value
of this book. As more and more of the "Old Guard" fall by the wayside, it is important to keep the memory of
their activities alive so that we do not lost a sense of the history of the movement. For those who tend to
think of Davis only in terms of his activities fifty years ago, it should come as something of a revelation that
he is not simply resting on his laurels."
Gary K. Shepherd, Editor, "United World"
"Among those American veterans of World War II who had obeyed orders
to kill or try to kill German or Japanese people, a few came home in various states of regret or remorse. These include Howard Zinn,
Philip Berrigan and Kurt Vonnegut. But the ex-soldier whose life would take the most passionate turn against U.S. militarism and
nationalism, as well as zealously turn toward pragmatic solutions that went beyond mere antiwar demonstrations, was Garry Davis.
Now 79 and living in Burlington, Vt, his story is like no other. The title of his lucid and often
wry memoir- Dear World, A Global Odyssey (Booksurge, 312 pages, $16 paperback)- gives only a hint of his commitment to international
peace building. In 1948 at the America Embassy in Paris, the former B-17 bomber pilot renounced his U.S citizenship and declared himself
a world citizen. The well-publicized event caused a furor at home. The 27-year-old dissident, son of the famed society bandleader,
Meyer Davis, was seen as a harmless loony or a self-hating American consumed by bomber pilot guilt.
In fact, Davis was hardly the only one-worlder. Intellectually, he joined the company of Gandhi and
Einstein. Later, Norman Cousins and E.B.White would embrace the idea. But Davis singularly went beyond the talk. He took literally
Article 13(2) of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to leave any country,
including his own, and return to his country."
On a planet of well-armed and economically competitive nation-states obsessed with protecting
national boundaries, Davis became the ultimate globalist, In 1953, he founded the World Service Authority, a Washington-based
nonprofit organization that has issued more than a half-million World Passports to refugees and others in the world's homeless
In the past 30 years, I've interviewed Davis a dozen or so times, He is a natural storyteller,
whether the subject is his frequent stays in the world's jails or his tales of stateless people he has been helping all these years.
His belief that "national citizenship in the nuclear age is a collective suicide pact" strikes me as rational, and his work, on behalf
of the world's wandering poor is both visionary and needed.
Recalling his renunciation of nationality in 1948, Davis writes, "I wanted to demonstrate that
the modern nation-state was really a whole-cloth myth, perpetuated by the slavery of tradition, unreasonable loyalties and pieces
of paper that at best only pretend to recognize rather than bestow existence upon an individual... As a world citizen, I would survive
without papers, cross frontiers without a passport, and strike a human blow at the very heart of nationalism itself. My humanity,
identified politically as world citizenship, was sufficient to meet the criterion for world peace in microcosm."
In this, as in his earlier works-My Country Is The World (1961), World Government, Ready or Not!
(1985) and Passport To Freedom (1992)- Davis has put into practice what politicians glibly and hollowly preach, that the time has come
for "a new world order.""
Colman McCarthy, Columnist
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Letters To World Citizens
Review of "Letters to World Citizens"
Abigail Stone, author of Recipes from the Dump, (Norton)
Garry Davis is a messenger from god, and the minute you meet him or read his words, you will know. He glows like a light and every sentence shimmers with hilarious truth. Hilarious, because it is suddenly so obvious as to be child like. Each individual has equal rights on this planet to live in joy and safety and travel where he will. Each human being has the right to exist without the threat of annihilation from nuclear war. Simple words, that make you laugh when you hear them. Because they are the words of God, spoken through an angelic man who has been chosen to spread the message. You laugh because they are truth. You laugh because you knew it all along. You laugh because YOU REMEMBER. Oh yes, you think, that's right! I forgot!
Garry Davis, World War Two Veteran, has testified on behalf of all of us, that we are free. We have the right to be free. His latest collection of articles and interviews is an outstanding book, and it offers the ways and means of freeing ourselves from oppression. We need only to SAY IT. Believe it. And live it. Listen to this wisdom;
humorous in it's simplicity, it is an urgent message which rings with truth. Read ALL of Garry Davis's works. As he travels around the globe offering hope and freedom to thousands of imprisoned and hopeless refugees, as he addresses heads of governments regarding nuclear weapons, as he speaks to individuals and to crowds, Garry Davis opens the doors to our personal jail cells and hands us the rusty old key. Show a little respect and dance on your way out.
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