From Nationalism to Internationalism:

European Union and the Trilateral Center

The Idea of an International Democracy

     The international proposal is a system of world order based on the values of democracy, manifested most fully in the American model of government.  America alone, as the world's Trilateral Center, has a unique history of "international nationalism"--the cosmopolitan idea that America was established to be the "hope of the world" and the bearer of universal values.

    In contrast, nationalism--whether based on cultural, linguistic, or political factors--inevitably leads to disputes between rival nationalities.  European nationalism in its eighteenth to twentieth-century forms has proven to be a failure because each time it served as a motivating force--in France, Germany, and Russia--it resulted in dictatorship, regardless of political theory  At the end of the French Revolution, French invocation of "love of the fatherland" resulted in the autocracy of Napoleon Bonaparte's empire, against which Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) reacted by claiming "love of the fatherland" as an exclusive German characteristic.  Author of Addresses to the German Nation (1807-1808), Fichte motivated Germans into feeling a sense of German cultural superiority.  He zealously proclaimed that Germans must consider their nation to be the center of their existence--an attitude that facilitated the rise of a dictatorship in Germany during the 1930's-1940's.  Furthermore, according to Fichte's view of nationalism (which owed its view of human nature to Romanticism), Germans were the "chosen people", the only Europeans whose language was their pure native tongue, and the German nation was invested with a mission: German national "salvation" and with it, a total renewal of  humanity.  He, too, magnified the State itself as an entity higher than democracy: "love of the fatherland", he said, must rule as the ultimate authority, and to achieve this end, he called for placing limitations on individual rights and freedoms.  However, such anti-democratic nationalism has already failed to bring peace to Europe.

European Union

    Democratic cosmopolitanism was a viewpoint furthered by Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), an Enlightened Prussian philosopher who called for appreciation of the "spirit of the folk" (volkgeist).   He saw all nationalities as being equal and compatible with each other; celebration of each nationality's volkgeist would lead to the peaceful co-existence of them all.  He warned against showing favoritism for any one nationality, and his admonition against thinking that Germans were a uniquely "chosen people" destined for world supremacy was prophetic in light of later developments during the 1930's-1940's.  (Indeed, Herder felt more affinity for the Slav ethnic groups, whom he saw as being peaceful, than the Germans, whom he saw as being warlike.)

    In the early twentieth century (1920's-1940's), Richard N. Coudenhove-Kalergi, founder of the "Crusade for Pan-Europe", carried the torch of cosmopolitanism lighted not only by Herder, but also by the American Trilateral Center model expounded by American representative Benjamin Franklin.  (See The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order (for Benjamin Franklin's inspiration of the European Community (now the European Union)).  Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order tells how America as the Trilateral Center emerged as a consequence of a historical chain of events initially set in motion by the British Board of Trade.)

America: The Trilateral Center

    The emergence of the United States of America as a world power during the twentieth century coincided with the international movement for a European union--Coudenhove-Kalergi's "Pan-Europe".   The product of an Austrian-Greek father and a Japanese mother, Coudenhove-Kalergi's dream was to unite all the elements of his ancestry by awakening all the peoples of Europe, and possibly Asia, to the concept of world citizenship.  He aimed to combine Pan-Germanism, Pan-Slavism, and Pan-Asianism into a "supercontinental federation" of Western Europe, Pan-America, the Slavic nations of Eastern Europe, and Japan, in which everyone's culture was entitled to respect.  Switzerland provided a model of such a federation based on democracy and ethnic pluralism.   Another model is the United States of America--uniquely qualified to be the world's Trilateral Center.   (See Camerica: Trilateral Center of the New World Order.) 

    Such "American nationalism" is not cultural nationalism in the usual sense--because it is really the ideology of internationalism.  John Louis O'Sullivan (1813-1895), in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review (1845) (of which he was the publisher), advocated the inclusion of Texas, and then California, into the American Union--not only because of America's national interest, but also to allow America to fulfill its "manifest destiny".  One day, he thought, such union could also include Canada--perhaps, O'Sullivan envisioned, by the year 1945.  Of course this did not happen, but a free trade zone extending across the American continents, and in time, a possible alliance or confederation of the Americas (i.e., Camerica), is possible.

    A binding force for European union suggested by the international view is world order based on democracy, free trade, and freedom of the individual--in short, the American model.   The United States is such a model because, in a world increasingly defined by culture clashes, alliances, and affinities, the United States is a unique example of many individuals, though they are from different ethnic groups, co-existing in one democracy, under one constitutional system of republican government.  This is possible because historically, American democracy has encouraged the exercise and protection of mutual respect and individual liberties.  

  (Interestingly, if the European Union includes the name of God in its constitution, the EU would be merely acknowledging the history that America shares with the Old Countries.  This would facilitate a stronger European-American alliance.)

    A German historian (contemporary of Fichte and Herder) who enthusiastically liked the American model of government, was Christopher Ebeling (1741-1817).   Ebeling thought that America was the inspiration for the rest of the world, as did French philosophe Abbe Raynal (see Camerica: Trilateral Center of the New World Order for the views of Raynal); thus, Ebeling, too, had the vision to see the United States as the world's Trilateral Center, inspiring the rest of the world to imitate America's love for freedom and democracy.  A supporter of both values, Ebeling was naturally a strong supporter of the United States, and he had many American correspondents, including University of Pennsylvania botanist and medical professor Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815), a prominent American scientist and vice-president of the American Philosophical Society, which aided Ebeling's research by sending him a wealth of printed material about America.  (Benjamin Smith Barton's older brother, lawyer William Barton (1754-1817), was the chief designer of the United States Coat of Arms; see The Great Seal of the United States and the Belcher Coat of Arms).  Thus, late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Germany had at least one philosopher who was inspired by America's example, and was inspired by certain Americans who actively exported America's ideology of democratic liberty, embodied in America's Constitution, as a political and constitutional model for the rest of the world to imitate.  With the aid of Americans, Ebeling saw America's potential and encouraged Europe to follow in America's footsteps.  However, Germany's early twentieth century history took another route: the Romantic road of Fichte's nationalism, based upon a concept of totalitarianism and German cultural superiority.  

The Cosmopolitan View

    Some East European republics now look to internationalism based on democracy to supplant nationalism's past failures and to control the chaos of warring Slavic ethnic groups.  Cultural conflicts are rising to the top of the world's problem list, and, according to the international view, different cultural groups can learn to live without national rivalries in a democratic, global system.   It was in this way that New World Enlightenment informed Old Europe of that Enlightenment's fullest potential; thus America ultimately inspired Europe, instead of the other way around. 

Transforming Autocracies into Democracies

    According to the international view, the American example can be extrapolated to the global scale, and can serve as a model for an international system of world order characterized by the peaceful co-existence of various ethnic and religious groups, possibly in an alliance, confederation, or federal union of democracies.  Furthermore, the United States Constitution provides a blueprint for the development of representative government, composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, with adequate checks and balances and separation of powers.  There is also precedent within the British imperial system for the transitioning of a colony from a government ruled by the military to one ruled by the will of the people.

    One instance within the eighteenth-century British imperial system in which representative government was developed following a period of military occupation was the Nova Scotia of Chief Justice Jonathan Belcher, Jr.  Before his appointment as that colony's first chief justice, Nova Scotia's civil government had largely been directed by the army officers stationed at Annapolis Royal, and though further administration was exercised by the Royal Governor and the Council, there as yet existed no complete legislative or judicial system.   (During the short interval from the beginning of British occupation, a formal court system had not been established.)  The example of Nova Scotia, which started out as a backwards colony, provides one model for the initial transitioning of countries from a military to a representative government. 

    Furthermore, an example of transforming an autocracy into a democracy, taken from twentieth-century history, is United States General Douglas MacArthur's transformation of post-World War II Japan.

For further reading:

The Trilateral Center: Benjamin Franklin and the New World Order

Jonathan Belcher: Governor in the Emerging Trilateral Center of the New World Order

Camerica: Trilateral Center of the New World Order

The Great Seal of the United States and the Belcher Coat of Arms

General Douglas MacArthur and Governor Jonathan Belcher

Chief of the North: Jonathan Belcher, Jr.

Home - Policy Analysis - Christian Law Library - Christian History Library

Historical Biographies - Belcher Bulletin - Publications - Belcher History Center

About Governor Jonathan Belcher - About the Belcher Foundation - Copyright/Disclaimer - Site Index