After Brussels: West is still not ready to reflect the Why! TFF- Transnational Foundation Pro-Peace!

Reflections after Brussels

TFF PressInfo # 368

Lund, Sweden, March 29, 2016

The general post-Brussels mainstream media discourse has shown the same profile as virtually all others since September 11, 2001:

• Emphasis on who did it, the circumstances where it happened and how the crime was carried out;

• The fate of the victims, the mourning of the nearest relations and the memorial;

• Much larger coverage than more devastating attacks outside the West.

• Absence of relevant and intellectually challenging questions related to the big WHY – Why do some people hate us so intensely, willing to die for it?

• And absence of discussions about possible historicalcauses and action-reaction perspective – the only reason offered is that they are evil people/Muslims and evil acts must be met with force – Francois Hollande who never misses an opportunity to puff himself up talks about all of Europe being hit – 35 people killed out of 508 million to be precise.

• The underlying, tacit ‘narrative’ of course is that we Europeans are simply innocent victims – more important, that is, than the roughly 1 million Iraqis who died thanks to the European participation in 13 years of sanctions and an illegal war and occupation led by the US. And, as is well-known, victim psychology often legitimates disproportionate responses – to be seen.

• Finally, the complete loss of perceptive proportions in a war that has resulted so far in 350.000 dead Syrians, 4,6 million Syrian refugees and 6,6 million Syrian internally displaced and destruction of yet another Middle Eastern country and its culture – among other things thanks to arms trade to all fractions and thousands upon thousands of bombing sorties – the far majority of which orchestrated by the US/NATO/EU countries over the last 5 years.

We believe there are different perspectives that deserve our attention – based on complex analyses, a moral standpoint and an intense desire to help stop this – for all self-defeating – vicious spiral.

We invite you to browse these and share them in your circles:
Richard Falk, world renown international law expert and TFF Associate

Reflections on the Brussels attack

Omar Alnatour in Huffington Post

Muslims are not terrorists. A factual look at terrorism and Islam

Roberto Savio – founder of the International Press Service and connoisseur of international affairs
A decalogue to understand terrorism and its consequences

– among them the possible dissolution of the EU.

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
The scariest thing about Brussels is our reaction to it

Gareth Porter, world renown investigative reporter and TFF Associate
Reporting (or not) the ties between US-armed Syrian rebels and Al-Qaeda’s affiliate

Juan Cole, professor, Informed Comment

How not to talk about Muslims after a fringe terrorist group attacks

Jan Oberg, TFF director on PressTV
Comments about an hour after the Brussels attacks.

And much more in the on-line magazine Transnational Affairs published by TFF…

Jan Oberg



All earlier TFF PressInfos


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TFF provides research and public education related to the basic UN Charter norm that “peace shall be established by peaceful means”.

We are always happy to hear from you or try to answer your questions.

This text may be reprinted as it is with due credit and links to TFF but we shall appreciate you telling us. If shortened, please send the abridged version to obtain our permission.

Jan Oberg

TFF director, dr. hc.

About the organization

TFF was established on January 1, 1986. We launched this current homepage on January 25, 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Foundation in 2011.

Mission statement

“TFF is an independent think tank, a global network that aims to bring about peace by peaceful means. It inspires a passion for peace from the grassroots to the corridors of power.
TFF is an all-volunteer global network. It promotes conflict-mitigation and reconciliation in general, as well as in a more targeted way in a selected number of conflict regions – through meticulous on-the-ground research, active listening, education and advocacy.
The Foundation is committed to doing diagnosis and prognosis as well as proposing solutions. It does so in a clear, pro-peace manner.”

TFF works in support of two major UN Charter norms – “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and that “peace shall be brought about by peaceful means”. The Foundation helps people learn to handle conflicts with less violence towards other human beings, other cultures and nature.

We are a networking organization with Associates all over the globe. We believe that alternatives to the main trends of our time are desirable and possible – indeed necessary for humankind to survive and live with dignity.

TFF is critical and constructive. It is and shall remain an experiment in applied peace research and global networking.


Conflict-mitigation, peace research and education to improve conflict-understanding at all levels and promote alternative security and global development ideals based on nonviolent politics, economics, sustainability and an ethics of care.
The results, which are geared at decision-makers and citizens alike, combine innovative thinking and theories with workable, practical solutions.

What we do, how we work

1. On-the-ground conflict analyses and mitigation as well as education, training and reconciliation work. The countries we focus on include Burundi, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and other places in the Middle East as well as the European Union, Sweden, Denmark.
Our activities are conducted by organized teams which are formed by the Foundation’s Associates.

2. TFF is constantly developing its intellectual resource base. It provides learning opportunities and inspiration. These are the pillars of our field work and are made available to our website visitors, to students at courses and training sessions, and everyone else around the world. Everything we produce is free of charge.

3. Advocacy, training, education, media and other public outreach.
Our work in conflict areas and our resource base that enable us to work effectively in this third way.


In the first five years after its inception, TFF focused on academic research and the publication of comprehensive academic studies. Since 1991 the Foundation has chosen to emphasize exploratory, in-the-field, solution-oriented studies in conflict-mitigation and to let this experience inform new theory formation and educational programs in the future.
TFF intends to remain an experiment, a hybrid between research and practical on-the-ground peace and reconciliation work.
Since 2007 TFF has made extensive use of social media and emphasized public education.
Since 2011 the Foundation has moved the balance between diagnosis, prognosis and solutions further in the direction of the latter; this can be seen in a more general pro-peace orientation and the opening of the virtual community Imagine A Better World in 2012.

Philosophy & credo

• Independent of all special interest groups

• “Non”- rather than “near”-governmental

• Factual and critical yet always constructive

• Committed to nonviolence in all aspects of its operations and daily management

• Personal, small and flexible

• Meets supporters’ and grant-makers’ criteria for professional management with minimum administration and costs

• Networking and team-building but no permanent research, administrative or other staff; all work is done on a volunteer basis

• Does not accept funds derived from activities related to warfare

• Works in the field according to a code of conduct and a series of published principles.

Legal Status

Founded by Christina Spännar and Jan Oberg as an independent, not-for-profit public charity under Swedish law in autumn 1985.

Reports annually to the local government authority for foundations. TFF’s authorized public accountant is KPMG.

TFF works in partnership with The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, California, a non-profit organization with IRS exempt status under 501(c)(3).

Documentation, statutes and progress reports available upon request.


TFF as such is people-financed. The Foundation’s day-to-day management operates on donations from citizens around the globe who sympathize with our goals and methods. In addition, it is based on unpaid voluntary work by all Associates, the founders, volunteers, etc.

In order to implement specific projects, the Foundation seeks grants – if necessary. Grant-givers and donors over the years have included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1991-1999), Stockholm; the Alva & Gunnar Myrdal Foundation; Greenpeace International; the Futura Foundation; the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research; the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, England; Apple-Macintosh Sweden; the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA); Soka Gakkai International, Japan; Polden-Puckham, England, and the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden.

Although its legal status is that of a “foundation”, TFF is not based on any capital endowment.

Paul McCartney is Honorary TFF Friend

We are very proud to have ex-Beatle Paul McCartney – Sir Paul – as Honorary TFF Friend since 2002.
That special story is told here.

  1. TFF at 30 – Part 6 – TFF in the future

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  2. TFF at 30 – Part 5 – Peace is good life

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  3. TFF at 30 – Part 4 – Only 30 years

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  4. TFF at 30 – Part 3 – Football, peace and common interests…

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  5. TFF at 30 – Part 2 Why peace research is about finding solutions

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  6. TFF at 30 – Part 1

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  7. TFF at 30 – The Story and Perspective You Need

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics

  8. 4

    “What To Do Instead Of Bombing Iran?”

    von TFF & Oberg PhotoGraphics


Newly disclosed Hillary emails show that Libya’s plan to create a gold-backed currency to compete with the euro and dollar was a motive for NATO’s intervention, killing of Libyans and the destruction of Libyan state!

Hillary Emails Reveal True Motive for Libya Intervention

Newly disclosed emails show that Libya’s plan to create a gold-backed currency to compete with the euro and dollar was a motive for NATO’s intervention.

Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, murdered by Western-backed rebels on October 20, 2011, planned to create a gold-backed African currency to compete with the dollar and euro. (Photo: Jesse B. Awalt/US Navy)
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, murdered by Western-backed rebels on October 20, 2011, planned to create a gold-backed African currency to compete with the dollar and euro. (Photo: Jesse B. Awalt/US Navy)

The New Year’s Eve release of over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.

But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious origins of the absurd Viagra mass rape claim, and concern over Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves threatening European currency.

Hillary’s Death Squads

A March 27, 2011, intelligence brief [archived here] on Libya, sent by long time close adviser to the Clintons and Hillary’s unofficial intelligence gatherer, Sidney Blumenthal, contains clear evidence of war crimes on the  part of NATO-backed rebels. Citing a rebel commander source “speaking in strict confidence” Blumenthal reports to Hillary [emphasis mine]:

Under attack from allied Air and Naval forces, the Libyan Army troops have begun to desert to the rebel side in increasing numbers. The rebels are making an effort to greet these troops as fellow Libyans, in an effort to encourage additional defections.

(Source Comment: Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troopscontinue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting…).

While the illegality of extra-judicial killings is easy to recognize (groups engaged in such are conventionally termed “death squads”), the sinister reality behind the “foreign mercenaries” reference might not be as immediately evident to most.

While over the decades Gaddafi was known to make use of European and other international security and infrastructural contractors, there is no evidence to suggest that these were targeted by the Libyan rebels.

There is, however, ample documentation by journalists, academics, and human rights groups demonstrating that black Libyan civilians and sub-Saharan contract workers, a population favored by Gaddafi in his pro-African Union policies, were targets of “racial cleansing” by rebels who saw black Libyans as tied closely with the regime.[1]

Black Libyans were commonly branded as “foreign mercenaries” by the rebel opposition for their perceived general loyalty to Gaddafi as a community and subjected to torture, executions, and their towns “liberated” by ethnic cleansing. This is demonstrated in the most well-documented example of Tawergha, an entire town of 30,000 black and “dark-skinned” Libyans which vanished by August 2011 after its takeover by NATO-backed NTC Misratan brigades.

These attacks were well-known as late as 2012 and often filmed, as this report from The Telegraphconfirms:

After Muammar Gaddafi was killed, hundreds of migrant workers from neighboring states were imprisoned by fighters allied to the new interim authorities. They accuse the black Africans of having been mercenaries for the late ruler. Thousands of sub-Saharan Africans have been rounded up since Gaddafi fell in August.

It appears that Clinton was getting personally briefed on the battlefield crimes of her beloved anti-Gaddafi fighters long before some of the worst of these genocidal crimes took place.

Al-Qaeda and Western Special Forces Inside Libya

The same intelligence email from Sydney Blumenthal also confirms what has become a well-known theme of Western supported insurgencies in the Middle East: the contradiction of special forces training militias that are simultaneously suspected of links to Al Qaeda.

Blumenthal relates that “an extremely sensitive source” confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special operations units were training Libyan militants along the Egyptian-Libyan border, as well as in Benghazi suburbs.

While analysts have long speculated as to the “when and where” of Western ground troop presence in the Libyan War, this email serves as definitive proof that special forces were on the ground only within a month of the earliest protests which broke out in the middle to end of February 2011 in Benghazi.

By March 27 of what was commonly assumed a simple “popular uprising” external special operatives were already “overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels” including “a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition.”

Yet only a few paragraphs after this admission, caution is voiced about the very militias these Western special forces were training because of concern that, “radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command.”

The Threat of Libya’s Oil and Gold to French Interests

Though the French-proposed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 claimed the no-fly zone implemented over Libya was to protect civilians, an April 2011 email [archived here] sent to Hillary with the subject line “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold” tells of less noble ambitions.

The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”

Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency. In place of the noble sounding “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine fed to the public, there is this “confidential” explanation of what was really driving the war [emphasis mine]:

This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).

(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.)

Though this internal email aims to summarize the motivating factors driving France’s (and by implication NATO’s) intervention in Libya, it is interesting to note that saving civilian lives is conspicuously absent from the briefing.

Instead, the great fear reported is that Libya might lead North Africa into a high degree of economic independence with a new pan-African currency.

French intelligence “discovered” a Libyan initiative to freely compete with European currency through a local alternative, and this had to be subverted through military aggression.

The Ease of Floating Crude Propaganda

Early in the Libyan conflict Secretary of State Clinton formally accused Gaddafi and his army of using mass rape as a tool of war. Though numerous international organizations, like Amnesty International, quickly debunked these claims, the charges were uncritically echoed by Western politicians and major media.

It seemed no matter how bizarre the conspiracy theory, as long as it painted Gaddafi and his supporters as monsters, and so long as it served the cause of prolonged military action in Libya, it was deemed credible by network news.

Two foremost examples are referenced in the latest batch of emails: the sensational claim that Gaddafi issued Viagra to his troops for mass rape, and the claim that bodies were “staged” by the Libyan government at NATO bombing sites to give the appearance of the Western coalition bombing civilians.

In a late March 2011 email, Blumenthal confesses to Hillary that,

I communicated more than a week ago on this story—Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing—though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)

Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops. The incident at the Tripoli press conference involving a woman claiming to be raped is likely to be part of a much larger outrage. Will seek further confirmation.

Not only did Defense Secretary Robert Gates promote his bizarre “staged bodies” theory on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” but the even stranger Viagra rape fiction made international headlines as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice made a formal charge against Libya in front of the UN Security Council.

What this new email confirms is that not only was the State Department aware of the spurious nature of what Blumenthal calls “rumors” originating solely with the rebels, but did nothing to stop false information from rising to top officials who then gave them “credence.”

It appears, furthermore, that the Viagra mass rape hoax likely originated with Sidney Blumenthal himself.


[1] The most comprehensive and well-documented study of the plight of black Libyans is contained in Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa (publ. 2012, Baraka Books) byMaximilian Forte, Professor Anthropology and Sociology at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec.

Hillary Emails Reveal True Motive for Libya Intervention

Worker Cooperatives Are More Productive Than Normal Companies: When maximizing profits isn’t the only goal, companies can actually work better.

Worker Cooperatives Are More Productive Than Normal Companies
When maximizing profits isn’t the only goal, companies can actually work better.
By Michelle ChenTwitterTODAY 12:25 PM
Baker at co-op
A baker takes freshly-baked bread from the oven at King Arthur Flour Company, a worker-owned business in Norwich, Vermont. (AP Photo / Toby Talbot)

Imagine an economy without bosses. It’s not a utopian vision but a growing daily reality for many enterprises. A close analysis of the performance of worker-owned cooperative firms—companies in which workers share in management and ownership—shows that, compared to standard top-down firms, co-ops can be a viable, even superior way of doing business.
The term “co-op” evokes images of collective farming or crunchy craft breweries. But Virginie Perotin of Leeds University Business School synthesized research on “labor-managed firms” in Western Europe, the United States and Latin America, and found that, aside from the holistic social benefits of worker autonomy, giving workers a direct stake in managing production enables a business to operate more effectively. On balance, Perotin concludes, “worker cooperatives are more productive than conventional businesses, with staff working ‘better and smarter’ and production organized more efficiently.”

Under worker-run management structures, co-ops might avoid the usual friction between bosses giving orders from above, and staff misunderstanding or disputing decisions or resisting unfair work burdens from below. Fusing the workforce and management streamlines operations and saves energy otherwise sunk into training and monitoring the workforce.

Perotin highlights research on French cooperatives showing that “in several industries conventional firms would produce more with their current levels of employment and capital if they adopted the employee-owned firms’ way of organizing.”

Contrary to stereotype, the European co-op sector is generally as diverse as any other type of ownership structure, including full-scale factories. Though co-op conversion is often seen as a way to rescue “failing” firms, Perotin’s research reveals that in France from 1997 to 2001 more than eight in 10 worker co-ops starting up during this period were established “from scratch,” not derived from ownership transfers in failing companies (compared to new business formations overall, co-ops had a larger portion of brand-new startups).

By prioritizing worker autonomy, co-ops provide more sustainable long-term employment, but not only because worker-owners seek to protect their own livelihoods. If a company runs into economic distress, Perotin says, co-ops are generally more adept at preserving jobs while planning longer-term adjustments to the firm’s operations, such as slowing down expansion to maintain current assets—whereas traditional corporations may pay less attention to strategic planning and simply shed jobs to tighten budgets.

While co-ops vary in form, the underlying philosophy, particularly in Europe, is the co-op as both democratic enterprise and public trust. Often worker-owned firms are mandated—either by law or corporate bylaws—to reserve a portion of assets for longer-term preservation of the integrity of the co-op model. Even if the owners close or leave the business, these indivisible assets are recycled back into future co-op generations or co-op support organizations. The practice seems less common among American co-ops, but in European co-op culture, Perotin observes, “we set up a collective good, we set up an institution for future generations.”
There are far fewer co-0ps in the United States than in the established French and Spanish co-op sectors, with only an estimated 300 to 400 US worker cooperatives “employing around 7,000 people and generating over $400 million in annual revenues,” according to the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC). But in an increasingly precarious economy, advocates push worker ownership as a pathway to restore equity and control to labor. Co-ops can boost career mobility and seed homegrown job opportunities, while communities benefit from an ownership structure that keeps capital reinvested locally, not exploited or outsourced to faceless corporate chains.

“We don’t see any reason why this should be the way that businesses are preserved as the owner retires, or the way that startups happen,” says Melissa Hoover, executive director of USFWC’s Democracy at Work Institute. Through advocacy and training programs, USFWC helps incubate new co-ops and promotes policies fostering grassroots worker-ownership. In some areas, budding co-ops are evolving into a pillar of community development programs: New York City, for example, recently launched a $1.2 million initiative to develop and network local co-ops. Last year California enacted legislation to streamline the legal framework for founding a co-op.

Though the co-op model is not widespread, a few have built extensive operations, such as Bronx-based Cooperative Home Care Associates, home healthcare agency that employs more than 2,000 workers in union jobs upholding living wage and fair scheduling standards. Others include DIY print shops, neighborhood cafes or renewable-energy producers, often founded on a socially conscious ethos.

But could these co-op shops “scale up” to rival major corporate employers? Hoover projects that an oncoming wave of retiring Baby Boomer small business owners could offer fresh opportunities for co-op conversion. Many of these firms are viable, but won’t attract big buyers, so instead of folding, a retiring owner can hand the keys over to veteran staff. “If it’s a buyer’s market,” Hoover says, “why not help the buyers be people who have never had a chance to own a business before—the people who work in them?”

Amid stagnant wages and rising inequality, Hoover adds, “I actually see a competitive advantage in cooperatives, particularly as our world crumbles around us. There’s environmental crises, there’s capital crises, people are starving and homeless in the richest country in the world. And as that begins to filter through the consciousness of everyday people…how do we envision a different system?… This actually is a system that foregrounds member benefit and community benefit in the [organization’s] form.”

For worker-owners, the business proposition is even more straightforward: Max Perez, an employee-owner at Arizmendi Bakery in the Bay Area, discusses in a USFWC report how the co-op helped him overcome the employment barriers that he faced after leaving prison.

“I was really nervous to tell them about my past, but the co-op gave me a chance because they cared more about me than my record,” he writes. A family-sustaining co-op job has enabled him and other workers to cope with the high cost of living and remain rooted in the community. “It’s hard work at the bakery, we don’t always agree, but that’s why I care about this place so much, you know? I want other people to have the chance I did.”

Co-ops may not bring about a revolution, but they do bring a priceless return on investment—giving workers the power to repay one good turn with another.


Unsere politische Kapazität ist zu schwach für die Bewältigung der Vielfachkrise. Wenn Du das glaubst, bis du damit nicht allein! Diese Initiative für ein Welt-Parlament regt an, dass die Bürger dieser Welt sich angesichts der globalen Krisen eine wirkliche wirksame Vertretung für ihre Interessen schaffen! Durch eine basisdemokratische Bewegung! Sollten wir nicht prüfen, ob uns das nach vorn bringen kann? Meldet Euch, wenn ihr das mit uns diskutieren wollt und eventuell mit die Aktionswoche im Oktober vorbereiten wollt!

Wenn Du der Meinung bist, dass unser derzeitiges politisches System nicht ausreicht, um die wachsenden globalen Herausforderungen in den Griff zu bekommen, dann bist Du damit nicht allein! Mach’ mit bei der globalen Aktionswoche vom 15. bis 25. Oktober, um die Einrichtung eines Weltparlaments zu fordern, das allen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern eine echte Vertretung gibt.

English | Esperanto | Español | Français | Italiano | Русский | Svenska | ไทย

Während sich die globalen Krisen verschärfen, drücken Menschen aus aller Welt, mit verschiedensten Hintergründen und aus unterschiedlichen Kulturen, ihre Unzufriedenheit mit den existierenden Formen der politischen Repräsentation aus, die ihnen in globalen Entscheidungen kein Mitspracherecht erlaubt.

Wir haben viele, viele globale Probleme. Von der Zerstörung unserer lebenserhaltenden Ökosysteme zur Missachtung der Menschenrechte über unvollständige nukleare Abrüstung, fehlende Regulierung der globalen Märkte und Finanzsysteme bis hin zur Überwindung der sozioökonomischen Ungleichheiten – diese und viele andere sind alles globale Probleme, die globale Lösungen erfordern. Doch wer ist verantwortlich für den Umgang mit diesen Problemen aus einer echten globalen Sichtweise heraus?

Um globale Lösungen zu schaffen brauchen wir ein globales politisches Gremium, das globale demokratische Diskussionen fördern und globale Entscheidungen treffen kann. Die Bürgerinnen und Bürger haben heute wenig Einfluss auf die Entscheidungen, die bei solchen Institutionen wie der UNO, dem IWF, der WTO und der Weltbank oder bei Foren wie den G20 oder den G8 getroffen werden. In diesen Gremien treffen sich die Regierungen – und zwar oftmals kleine selbsternannte Gruppen von ihnen – und entscheiden über unsere Zukunft. Oft werden sie dabei stark von den Lobbyisten globaler Konzerne beeinflusst. Das Hauptanliegen dieser Regierungen ist es, das zu verteidigen, was sie als ihr nationales Interesse ansehen und nicht das Gemeinwohl der Menschheit und der Umwelt.

Wer sollte für die Menschen der Welt sprechen? Sie sollten selbst darüber entscheiden!

In einer demokratischen Ordnung wählen die Bürgerinnen und Bürger bereits auf verschiedenen Ebenen ihre politischen Vertreter. Es gibt Stadträte, Provinz- oder Landtage und nationale Parlamente. In Europa gibt es sogar ein kontinentales Parlament. Und doch, für globale Angelegenheiten, die alle und jeden Menschen auf diesen Planeten betreffen, gibt es kein gewähltes Weltparlament.

Ein Weltparlament wäre ein Instrument, um Lösungen zu finden und umzusetzen, die demokratisch sind, für die Rechenschaft abgelegt werden muss und die dem besten Interesse der Menschheit dienen. Es würde die soziale, politische, religiöse, ethnische und kulturelle Vielfalt aller Weltbürgerinnen und Weltbürger wiederspiegeln, die über nationale Grenzen hinausweist.

Wir, die Teilnehmer dieser Aktionswoche, stimmen in dem Grundgedanken überein, dass die Bürgerinnen und Bürger der Welt ihre Vertreter für weltweite Belange wählen sollten. Es gibt viele verschiedene Ideen, wie ein Weltparlament funktionieren könnte. Einige von uns glauben, dass es mit Mechanismen elektronischer und direkter Bürgerbeteiligung bereichert werden sollte. Wie dem auch sei, wir sind in Vielfalt vereint und rufen gemeinsam auf:

Lasst die Menschen entscheiden. Wir brauchen Demokratie ohne Grenzen. Wir müssen eine globale Demokratie aufbauen. Wir brauchen ein Weltparlament!

Wir rufen Einzelpersonen, Organisationen, Gruppen und Bewegungen überall dazu auf, sich zu organisieren und sich der globalen Aktionswoche für ein Weltparlament vom 15. bis 25. Oktober 2015 anzuschließen. Mach’ mit und setze Dich für globale Demokratie ein!

Bitte Kommentare schreiben oder der Gruppe bei Facebook zur Diskussion über mögliche Aktivitäten in Deutschland beitreten:


Mankind will only survive, if we start cooperation and stopp confrontation! Cooperation for a world for peace, justice and human rights for every member of the human family, as 1948 witht the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights agreed! For the global challenges we need a global answer! Can this initiative bring us forward on the way to create an effective social and international order? Let us discuss, if we should join!

If you feel that our current political system is inadequate to deal with growing global challenges, you are not alone! Join our week of action on October 20-30 to call for the establishment of a World Parliament that will give real representation to all citizens.

Deutsch | Esperanto | Español | Français | Italiano | Русский | Svenska | ไทย

The Global Week of Action for a World Parliament, GWA, is an annual event celebrated for one week in October around United Nations Day on the 24th. During this week independent events worldwide are held to promote the establishment of a democratically elected world parliament.

The first Week of Action in 2013 was launched and coordinated by a group of individuals connected through social media, the global federalist movement, and the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Activities were carried out in around fifty cities in fifteen countries in the Global North and South.

Those celebrating the Week of Action with events and activities endorse the original founding declaration which calls for the establishment of global democracy through a world parliament elected by the world’s citizens. The statement calls on individuals, organizations, groups and movements everywhere to mobilize for the Week of Action.

Everyone who is preparing GWA events and activities and who wishes to be involved is invited to join the GWA’s coordination network. The network’s mailing list can be subscribed by sending an email to

The Week of Action is an initiative promoted by the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly.


If you have any questions or comments, write to us using this contact form. If you want to let us know about your interest in participating this year, complete this questionnaire and a member of the team will contact you.

Our Rights, for which many people had died in the Atlantic-Charter, the UN-Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights! We – every citizen of each country of the world – have the rights of its implementation!

Here the fundament in political decisions, which brought the world together, to win against the German effort to conquer the whole world and exploit ressources and people around the globe for an elite of the “Arier” the German ethnicitym how Hitlers party described them! These fundaments made the victory against Germany possible, but the promises were not kept to those who fought the war.

Soldiers of the colonies fought against Germany, because in the Atlantik-Chartet the US-President Roosevelt forced the President of the Britisch-Emire, who still had occupied and was exploting large parts of the world, to exept the selfdetermination of people. First time the industrilised states, which had conquered big parts of the world in this document acepted, that they have no rigt, to do so:

Four of the eight principal points of the Charter, which we refer mainly to  were:

Printed copy of Atlantic Charter distributed as propaganda

  1. (..)
  2. all people had a right to self-determination;
  3. there was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare;
  4. the participants would work for a world free of want and fear;
  5.  and a post-war common disarmament.
  7. The Charter had a base on national level in the US. President Roosvelt tried to convince the Americans, who did not want to participate in the war with the promise to develope an Ameerica and a world with these four freedoms for all:

FDR 1944 Color Portrait.tif

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (/ˈrzəvəlt/, his own pronunciation,[2] or /ˈrzəvɛlt/; January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the President of the United States from 1933 to 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and dominated his party for many years as a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war. His program for relief, recovery and reform, known as the New Deal, involved a great expansion of the role of the federal government in the economy. As a dominant leader of the Democratic Party, he built the New Deal Coalition that brought together and united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans, and rural white Southerners in support of the party.

  1. The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:
    1. Freedom of speech
    2. Freedom of worship
    3. Freedom from want
    4. Freedom from fear

Even more clear was the US-Vice-President at this time, Henry Wallace:

Head and shoulders of man about fifty with upswept hair, wearing a gray suit and dark tie

The Century of the Common Man

Men and women can not be really free until they have plenty to eat, and time and ability to read and think and talk things over. Down the years, the people of the United States have moved steadily forward in the practice of democracy. Through universal education, they now can read and write and form opinions of their own. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of production — that is, how to make a living. They have learned, and are still learning, the art of self-government.

If we were to measure freedom by standards of nutrition, education and self-government, we might rank the United States and certain nations of Western Europe very high. But this would not be fair to other nations where education had become widespread only in the last twenty years. In many nations, a generation ago, nine out of ten of the people could not read or write. Russia, for example, was changed from an illiterate to a literate nation within one generation and, in the process, Russia’s appreciation of freedom was enormously enhanced. In China, the increase during the past thirty years in the ability of the people to read and write has been matched by their increased interest in real liberty.

Everywhere, reading and writing are accompanied by industrial progress sooner or later inevitably brings a strong labor movement. From a long-time and fundamental point of view, there are no backward peoples which are lacking in mechanical sense. Russians, Chinese, and the Indians both of India and the Americas all learn to read and write and operate machines just as well as your children and my children. Everywhere the common people are on the march. Thousands of them are learning to read and write, learning to think together, learning to use tools. These people are learning to think and work together in labor movements, some of which may be extreme or impractical at first, but which eventually will settle down to serve effectively the interests of the common man.

The march of freedom of the past one hundred and fifty years has been a long-drawn-out people’s revolution. In this Great Revolution of the people, there were the American Revolution of 1775, The French Revolution of 1792, The Latin-American revolutions of the Bolivarian era, The German Revolution of 1848, and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Each spoke for the common man in terms of blood on the battlefield. Some went to excess. But the significant thing is that the people groped their way to the light. More of them learned to think and work together.
The people, in their millennial and revolutionary march toward manifesting here on earth the dignity that is in every human soul, hold as their credo the Four Freedoms enunciated by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress on January 6, 1941. These four freedoms are the very core of the revolution for which the United Nations have taken their stand. We who live in the United States may think there is nothing very revolutionary about freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom from the fear of secret police. But when we begin to think about the significance of freedom from want for the average man, then we know that the revolution of the past one hundred and fifty years has not been completed, either here in the United States or in any other nation in the world. We know that this revolution can not stop until freedom from want has actually been attained.

Modern science, which is a by-product and an essential part of the people’s revolution, has made it technologically possible to see that all of the people of the world get enough to eat. Half in fun and half seriously, I said the other day to Madame Litvinov: “The object of this war is to make sure that everybody in the world has the privilege of drinking a quart of milk a day.” She replied: “Yes, even half a pint.” The peace must mean a better standard of living for the common man, not merely in the United States and England, but also in India, Russia, China and Latin America — not merely in the United Nations, but also in Germany and Italy and Japan.

Some have spoken of the “American Century.” I say that the century on which we are entering — The century which will come out of this war — can be and must be the century of the common man. Perhaps it will be America’s opportunity to suggest that Freedoms and duties by which the common man must live. Everywhere the common man must learn to build his own industries with his own hands is a practical fashion. Everywhere the common man must learn to increase his productivity so that he and his children can eventually pay to the world community all that they have received. No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism. The methods of the nineteenth century will not work in the people’s century which is now about to begin. India, China, and Latin America have a tremendous stake in the people’s century. As their masses learn to read and write, and as they become productive mechanics, their standard of living will double and treble. Modern science, when devoted whole-heartedly to the general welfare, has in it potentialities of which we do not yet dream.

Yes, and when the time of peace comes, The citizen will again have a duty, The supreme duty of sacrificing the lesser interest for the greater interest of the general welfare. Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples. We ourselves in the United States are no more a master race than the Nazis. And we can not perpetuate economic warfare without planting the seeds of military warfare. We must use our power at the peace table to build an economic peace that is just, charitable and enduring. (….) 


Many Africans were mobilzed for these goals and fought in the British and French Army against Germany!

World map of colonization at the end of the Second World War in 1945

In 1945 50 states the UN-Charter in the sense of the Atlantik-Charter, here the präambel, which we refer to:


  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,


Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.

more, especially chapter 1+2, you find here:

But after Germany was beaten and even after signing this UN-Charter the colonialpowers France and Britain did not keep their promises of the Atlantik-Charter and the UN-Charter and did not give selfdetermination to their colonies. Very brutally they repressed demonstrations for self-independence, sometimes with massacers.

A demonstration for the Independence for the French Colony Algeria answered France with The Setif Massacre
Algerian Genocide: The Setif Massacre

On 8 May 1945, French army troops with machines guns opened fire on a crowd, killing hundreds of people.

similar actions – even wars – took part in many parts of the colonial world: The Colonisers used all kind of repression, violence and wars, to hinder the selfdetermination of their colonies, all against the sense of the UN-Charter.

Only when they were militarily beaten, they were ready to leave, but tried in a new hidden system of Ne-Colonialism to keep their domination of their former colonies, even after independence, the first Ghanian President, Kwame Nkrume described it in his book about Neo-Colonialism.

The United Nation as an independent body as a poer above the states was by the big powers weakened, where they could.

But in 1948 they were forced by action of people and by the public opinion to pass through goals in the spirit of the Atlantik-Charter and the UN-Charter.

The Declaration was commissioned in 1946 and was drafted over two years by the Commission on Human Rights. The Commission consisted of 18 members from various nationalities and political backgrounds. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Drafting Committee was chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, who was known for her human rights advocacy.

Canadian John Peters Humphrey was called upon by the United Nations Secretary-General to work on the project and became the Declaration’s principal drafter


The British government did all, that this declaration should only be an appeal, but Eleonor Roosevelt made it clear before the voting, it is a global constitution:


Here the preambel, in which the spirit of the declaration ist clearified and some general chapters, but all articles are very important:


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national o social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. (that means also all people in the at time still colonised countries hat even these rights)

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.



If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure? The working classes have the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations. The fight for such a foreign policy is part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes.

In 1864 representitives of the working class of many European countries and the USA, who wanted to cooperate for the emancipation of the workers, met in London and formed the International Workingmen’s Association. They analysed, that they can only emanicpate themselves, it they work together on international level. Here some of their guidelines, their constitution and some information about their activities. To form such an association again, might be the order of the day! The pictures are from Karl Marx, who wrote the Address and from the meeting in London. It gives us for the emancipation several   important task: Struggeling for laws, which safes the needs of people in an economy which cares only for profits! Organizing associated factories by the workers themselves and supporting such associated economy by political support up to the leven of a by the working people selforganised economy! Occupying the democratical political power by the working class, to make politics for the priniples of the working class,  social production controlled by social foresight not any more for the middle class according to the blind rule of the supply and demand laws, independent of its human costs. Intervening in the foreign policy for a moral policy towards other countries! Unification for these tasks on international level, selfeducation, so that the big numer of working people is lead by strong knowledge!

“This struggle about the legal restriction of the hours of labor raged the more fiercely since, apart from frightened avarice, it told indeed upon the great contest between the blind rule of the supply and demand laws which form the political economy of the middle class, and social production controlled by social foresight, which forms the political economy of the working class. Hence the Ten Hours’ Bill was not only a great practical success; it was the victory of a principle; it was the first time that in broad daylight the political economy of the middle class succumbed to the political economy of the working class.

But there was in store a still greater victory of the political economy of labor over the political economy of property. We speak of the co-operative movement, especially the co-operative factories raised by the unassisted efforts of a few bold “hands”. The value of these great social experiments cannot be overrated. By deed instead of by argument, they have shown that production on a large scale, and in accord with the behests of modern science, may be carried on without the existence of a class of masters employing a class of hands; that to bear fruit, the means of labor need not be monopolized as a means of dominion over, and of extortion against, the laboring man himself; and that, like slave labor, like serf labor, hired labor is but a transitory and inferior form, destined to disappear before associated labor plying its toil with a willing hand, a ready mind, and a joyous heart. In England, the seeds of the co-operative system were sown by Robert Owen; the workingmen’s experiments tried on the Continent were, in fact, the practical upshot of the theories, not invented, but loudly proclaimed, in 1848.

At the same time the experience of the period from 1848 to 1864 has proved beyond doubt that, however, excellent in principle and however useful in practice, co-operative labor, if kept within the narrow circle of the casual efforts of private workmen, will never be able to arrest the growth in geometrical progression of monopoly, to free the masses, nor even to perceptibly lighten the burden of their miseries. It is perhaps for this very reason that plausible noblemen, philanthropic middle-class spouters, and even keep political economists have all at once turned nauseously complimentary to the very co-operative labor system they had vainly tried to nip in the bud by deriding it as the utopia of the dreamer, or stigmatizing it as the sacrilege of the socialist. To save the industrious masses, co-operative labor ought to be developed to national dimensions, and, consequently, to be fostered by national means.

To conquer political power has, therefore, become the great duty of the working classes. They seem to have comprehended this, for in England, Germany, Italy, and France, there have taken place simultaneous revivals, and simultaneous efforts are being made at the political organization of the workingmen’s party.

One element of success they possess — numbers; but numbers weigh in the balance only if united by combination and led by knowledge. Past experience has shown how disregard of that bond of brotherhood which ought to exist between the workmen of different countries, and incite them to stand firmly by each other in all their struggles for emancipation, will be chastised by the common discomfiture of their incoherent efforts. This thought prompted the workingmen of different countries assembled on September 28, 1864, in public meeting at St. Martin’s Hall, to found the International Association.

Another conviction swayed that meeting.

If the emancipation of the working classes requires their fraternal concurrence, how are they to fulfill that great mission with a foreign policy in pursuit of criminal designs, playing upon national prejudices, and squandering in piratical wars the people’s blood and treasure? It was not the wisdom of the ruling classes, but the heroic resistance to their criminal folly by the working classes of England, that saved the west of Europe from plunging headlong into an infamous crusade for the perpetuation and propagation of slavery on the other side of the Atlantic. The shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by, Russia: the immense and unresisted encroachments of that barbarous power, whose head is in St. Petersburg, and whose hands are in every cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes the duty to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective governments; to counteract them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent, to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the simple laws or morals and justice, which ought to govern the relations of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations.

The fight for such a foreign policy forms part of the general struggle for the emancipation of the working classes.

Proletarians of all countries, unite!”

International Workingmen’s Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“First International” redirects here. For other uses, see First International (disambiguation).
International Workingmen’s Association

Logo first used by the Spanish IWA.
Abbreviation IWA
Successor Second International
(not legal successor)
Formation September 28, 1864
Founders George Odger, Henri Tolain,Edward Spencer Beesly
Extinction 1876; 140 years ago
Type Intergovernmental organization
Legal status Defunct
Headquarters St James’s Hall, Regent Street, West End
Region served
5-8 million
Key people
Karl Marx, Mikhail Bakunin,Pierre-Joseph Proudhon,Louis Auguste Blanqui,Giuseppe Garibaldi
Main organ
Congress of the First International

In 1872 the organization split in two over conflicts between socialist and anarchist factions. It dissolved in 1876. The Second International was founded in 1889.
In Europe, a period of harsh reaction followed the widespread Revolutions of 1848. The next major phase of revolutionary activity began almost twenty years later with the founding of the IWA in 1864. At its peak, the IWA reported having 8 million members,[2] while police reported 5 million.[3]The International Workingmen’s Association (IWA, 1864–1876), often called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist[1] and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class and class struggle. It was founded in 1864 in a workmen’s meeting held in St Martin’s Hall, London. Its first congress was held in 1866 in Geneva.


Following the January Uprising in Poland in 1863, French and British workers started to discuss developing a closer working relationship. Henri Tolain, Perrachon, and Limousin visited London in July 1863, attending a meeting held in St. James’ Hall in honour of the Polish uprising. Here there was discussion of the need for an international organization, which would, amongst other things, prevent the import of foreign workers to break strikes. In September, 1864, some French delegates again visited London with the concrete aim of setting up a special committee for the exchange of information upon matters of interest to the workers of all lands.

St. Martin’s Hall Meeting, London, 1864[edit]

St. Martin’s Hall

On September 28, a great international meeting for the reception of the French delegates took place in St. Martin’s Hall in London. The meeting was attended by a wide array of European radicals, including English Owenites, French followers of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Louis Auguste Blanqui, Irish and Polish nationalists, Italian republicans, and German socialists.[4] Included among the last-mentioned of this eclectic band was a somewhat obscure 46-year-old émigré journalist, Karl Marx, who would soon come to play a decisive role in the organisation.[4]

The positivist historian Edward Spencer Beesly, a professor at London University, was in the chair.[4] His speech pilloried the violent proceedings of the governments and referred to their flagrant breaches of international law and advocated a union of the workers of the world for the realisation of justice on earth. George Odger, Secretary of the London Trades Council, read a speech calling for international co-operation.

Karl Marx (1818–1883)

The meeting unanimously decided to found an international organisation of workers. The centre was to be in London, directed by a committee of 21, which was instructed to draft a programme and constitution. Most of the British members of the committee were drawn from the Universal League for the Material Elevation of the Industrious Classes[5] and were noted trade-union leaders like Odger, George Howell (former secretary of the London Trades Council (LTC) which itself declined affiliation to the IWA (although remaining close to it)), Osborne, and Lucraft and included Owenites and Chartists. The French members were Denoual, Victor Le Lubez, and Bosquet. Italy was represented by Fontana. Other members were: Louis Wolff, Johann Eccarius, and at the foot of the list, Karl Marx. Marx participated in his individual capacity, and did not speak during the meeting.[6]

This executive committee in turn selected a subcommittee to do the actual writing of the organisational programme — a group which included Karl Marx and which met at his home about a week after the conclusion of the St. Martin’s Hall assembly.[4] This subcommittee deferred the task of collective writing in favor of sole authorship by Marx, and it was he who ultimately drew up the fundamental documents of the new organisation.[4]

On October 5, the General Council was formed with co-opted additional members representing other nationalities. It was based at the headquarters of the Universal League for the Material Elevation of the Industrious Classes at 18 Greek Street.[7] Different groups offered proposals for the organisation: Louis Wolff (Mazzini‘s secretary) offered a proposal based on the rules and constitution of the Italian Workingmen’s Association (a Mazzinist organisation) and John Weston, an Owenite, also tabled a programme. Wolff left for Italy, and Lubez rewrote it in a way which appalled Marx. Through deft manipulation of the sub-committee Marx was left with all the papers, and set about writing the Address to the Working Classes to which was attached a simplified set of rules.

General Rules

Written: October, 1871
First Published: October 24, 1871
Source: Original pamphlet
Transcription/Markup: Zodiac/Brian Baggins
Online Version: Marx & Engels Internet Archive ( 2000


That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;

That the economical subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor — that is, the source of life — lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;

That the economical emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;

That all efforts aiming at the great end hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries;

That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries;

That the present revival of the working classes in the most industrious countries of Europe, while it raises a new hope, gives solemn warning against a relapse into the old errors, and calls for the immediate combination of the still disconnected movements;

For these reasons —

The International Working Men’s Association has been founded.

It declares:

That all societies and individuals adhering to it will acknowledge truth, justice, and morality as the basis of their conduct toward each other and toward all men, without regard to color, creed, or nationality;

That it acknowledges no rights without duties, no duties without rights;

And, in this spirit, the following Rules have been drawn up.

1. This Association is established to afford a central medium of communication and co-operation between workingmen’s societies existing in different countries and aiming at the same end; viz., the protection, advancement, and complete emancipation of the working classes.

2. The name of the society shall be “The International Working Men’s Association.”

3. There shall annually meet a General Working Men’s Congress, consisting of delegates of the branches of the Association. The Congress will have to proclaim the common aspirations of the working class, take the measures required for the successful working of the International Association, and appoint the General Council of the society.

4. Each Congress appoints the time and place of meeting for the next Congress. The delegates assemble at the appointed time and place, without any special invitation. The General Council may, in case of need, change the place, but has no power to postpone the time of the General Council annually. The Congress appoints the seat and elects the members of the General Council annually. The General Council thus elected shall have power to add to the number of its members.

On its annual meetings, the General Congress shall receive a public account of the annual transactions of the General Council. The latter may, in case of emergency, convoke the General Congress before the regular yearly term.

5. The General Council shall consist of workingmen from the different countries represented in the International Association. It shall, from its own members, elect the officers necessary for the transaction of business, such as a treasurer, a general secretary, corresponding secretaries for the different countries, etc.

6. The General Council shall form an international agency between the different and local groups of the Association, so that the workingmen in one country be consistently informed of the movements of their class in every other country; that an inquiry into the social state of the different countries of Europe be made simultaneously, and under a common direction; that the questions of general interest mooted in one society be ventilated by all; and that when immediate practical steps should be needed — as, for instance, in case of international quarrels — the action of the associated societies be simultaneous and uniform. Whenever it seems opportune, the General Council shall take the initiative of proposals to be laid before the different national or local societies. To facilitate the communications, the General Council shall publish periodical reports.

7. Since the success of the workingmen’s movement in each country cannot be secured but by the power of union and combination, while, on the other hand, the usefulness of the International General Council must greatly depend on the circumstance whether it has to deal with a few national centres of workingmen’s associations, or with a great number of small and disconnected local societies — the members of the International Association shall use their utmost efforts to combine the disconnected workingmen’s societies of their respective countries into national bodies, represented by central national organs. It is self-understood, however, that the appliance of this rule will depend upon the peculiar laws of each country, and that, apart from legal obstacles, no independent local society shall be precluded from corresponding directly with the General Council.

8. Every section has the right to appoint its own secretary corresponding directly with the General Council.

9. Everybody who acknowledges and defends the principles of the International Working Men’s Association is eligible to become a member. Every branch is responsible for the integrity of the members it admits.

10. Each member of the International Association, on removing his domicile from one country to another, will receive the fraternal support of the Associated Working Men.

11. While united in a perpetual bond of fraternal co-operation, the workingmen’s societies joining the International Association will preserve their existent organizations intact.

12. The present Rules may be revised by each Congress, provided that two-thirds of the delegates present are in favor of such revision.

13. Everything not provided for in the present Rules will be supplied by special Regulations, subject to the revision of every Congress.