Garry Davis

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    Garry Davis with
World Passport 000001

Sol Gareth "Garry" Davis (27 July 1921 – 24 July 2013) was an international peace activist best known for renouncing his American citizenship and interrupting the United Nations in 1948 to advocate for world government as a way to end nationalistic wars. His actions gained international attention, including support from intellectuals such as Albert Camus and Albert Einstein, but ridicule from Eleanor Roosevelt. Davis, an advocate for the World Federalist Movement, founded the non-profit World Service Authority in 1953 to educate and promote World government. The World Service Authority issues "world government documents", such as the World Passport, a fantasy travel document based on his interpretation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly,and on the concept of world citizenship. Davis served as an American bomber pilot in World War II and worked as a Broadway stage actor.

Quotes[edit]

  • Why am I killing people in their homes... schools and factories..? Why wasn't I arrested for killing people? Whey weren't they?
    • Upon bombing the city of Brandenburg (1945), as quoted by Arthur Kanegis, The Life of Garry Davis - World Citizen #1 (May 13, 2021) discussing the documentary film, The World is My Country that he directed.
  • Here we are, in one little world, one planet... Everybody agrees that world government is the logical solution...
    • As quoted in Garry Davis Cult, Life (Jan 24, 1949)
  • Peace doesn't come through hope, prayer or time; we have to reach out and grasp what is within reach.
    • As quoted in Garry Davis Cult, Life (Jan 24, 1949)
  • A lot of times it works, and a lot of times it doesn’t, and we make no bones about that... But if you’re dealing with bureaucrats who recognize documents rather than human beings, then we will issue the documents. And if the bureaucrat doesn’t recognize it, whose fault is that?
    • as quoted by Emily Langer, "Garry Davis, gadfly and World Citizen No. 1, dies at 91" The Washington Post (August 6, 2013)

My Country is the World (1984)[edit]

The Adventures of a World Citizen by Garry Davis
  • A young... United States citizen... handed me his passport... on one page... was affixed a rubber stamp stating... restricted from travel to... several... nations. ...I ...stamped ...directly beneath ...the above restriction is hereby removed.
    • Prologue
  • [M]odern man—as man of ages past—doesn't know himself. He... has lost confidence in his own, innate capacity. He restricts himself. ...Man's deadliest, self-imposed, restrictive device is nationalism.
  • If you have any restrictions artificially imposed on your own free intelligence, I want this book to be the rubber stamp which reads: The above restriction is hereby removed. ...It is an act of faith.
  • Ever since my first mission over Brandenburg, I had felt pangs of conscience... I had begun to question the morality of punishing the German people... How many bombs had I dropped? How many men, women and children had I murdered? Wasn’t there another way...
  • The Madisons, Monroes and Jeffersons... had not merely urged a central government... [they] had declared it... they ceased to be mere proponents of an idea and became practitioners... This, the World Federalists were not willing to do. ...I would bring about world government ...simply by declaring myself an actual citizen of that government and then behaving like one.
  • Henry Noel... had renounced his United States citizenship in July 1947 and had begun working... in... Germany, rebuilding a bombed-out church. ...It was an affirmation of the fundamental sovereignty of the individual upon which all government rests. Henry Noel... was now on humanity's side.
  • I would secede from the old and declare the new.
  • In France but not of France? Not only did "international territory" provide the perfect asylum for me, but my camping out at the U.N. would dramatize the need for world law. Naturally, I would need for "international law" to govern me on "international territory", but there would be none.
    Perhaps in this way I could focus attention on the inadequacy of the U.N., suggesting that if it could not provide for one lone human being, it would not be able to provide for the whole of mankind. It was a desperate... but... beautiful argument for world government.
  • I no longer find it compatible with my inner convictions to be a party to the inevitable annihilation of our civilization, by remaining solely loyal to one sovereign nation state...

Letters to World Citizens (2004)[edit]

First published in Values Magazine and World Citizen News (1956-2000)
  • Dedicated to those humans who... gazed... at the blue globe called "home," seeing no artificial boundaries, nations or races... experiencing the epiphanous... wholeness or holiness of their fated mission in infinite space.
    • Dedication
  • Yesterday's science fiction is today's prosaic, everyday reality.
    • Forward
  • The H-Bomb is Absolute or total in its physical power. The United World Government is Absolute or total in its spiritual or qualitative power.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956)
  • [T]he H-Bomb does not distinguish Americans from Russians, sinners from saints, Communists from Capitalists or White from Black. ...Even our children can claim the monster. ...Do you see that you do have a responsibility as a global person?
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) OUR BOMB
  • [T]he H-bomb exists because... we only consider ourselves as belonging to a part of the whole... So the H-Bomb is a mere reflection of our ignorance...
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) OUR BOMB
  • [T]he United Nations... represents nations and national interests, not you. ...[I]t can't "make" peace, but can only "maintain" it once made.... So who is going to "make" peace? The same one who "make" war... YOU and US.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) OUR BOMB
  • Til now the common social contract which links you dialectically to Mankind has not been precisely formulated. ...[w] have declared existent a government which transcends the nation-state.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) THE DIALECTICAL KEY
  • As citizens of United World Government we threaten no one... we fear no one... we do not contribute voluntarily to the maintenance of national armaments... we accept responsibilities to the world community, abide by its tenants of order based on morality and common sense, and modify our national and communal allegiance accordingly.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) THE DIALECTICAL KEY
  • [W]e have opened roll books. Our names and the names of those who stand with us are inscribed thereon. ...[W]e are issuing passports to identify each citizen who stands with us.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) THE VOICE OF HUMANITY
  • Killing is murder; plundering is thievery; destroying another's property is criminal. Yet for the soldier killing is essential, plundering is standard practice, destroying property is "winning the battle."
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) THE VOICE OF HUMANITY
  • As law... seeks to express man's moral nature... certain laws may be regarded as "good" and others... "bad," depending on their conformity with accepted moral standards.
    • VALUES (Aug, 1956) THE VOICE OF HUMANITY

Toronto World Wisdom Conference (Oct 12, 2007)[edit]

  • All through history, the philosophers, Dante, Manius and Socrates, they called themselves world citizens. ...[I]t's one of the oldest ideas ...and we're the privileged ones who will decide whether the human race will go on... whether all those... prophets... seers... philosophers and poets... were justified. We here... in this day, in this age... decide whether the human race will continue and all the future people will be born.
  • [I]t requires intelligence... guts... courage and commitment... but the tools are there. ...The People are sovereign. The Constitution... The first three words say "We the People"... [M]ost of the state constitutions say "This Constitution derives from the People." Well, we are the People, and we have to exercise our sovereignty.
  • On September 11, 1948 I went to the United Nations General Assembly meeting, which was in Paris. ...[T]hey declared that piece of France international territory. ...[T]hat was the same day that the French government said [to me] to get out. ...I knew that once I got on that territory I couldn't get off. ...I told the U.N. General Assembly ..."I'm your first citizen" and the U.N said... "We don't have citizens. We only have states." I said "Yeah, but... I'm a world citizen and this is international territory."
  • [I]t was... a meta-moment where some human being populated a territory which had been declared by the nations as international... So it was like... I was populating that vacuum... 7,000 journalists were on my back. I became world famous in seven days... because the moment was right, the words were right and the commitment was right...
  • We registered 750,000 people practically overnight. We set up the International Registry of World Citizens. We started issuing documents based upon world citizenship. ...This passport is one of the most important key documents in the world because it represents one world, no frontiers, freedom of travel and humanity.
  • I have traveled with this document to India. I've traveled back from India... with... number 000001.
  • [W]e now have a world government which... has an office in Washington D.C. and we have an office in Shanghai... We have an agency called the World Service Authority which issues these passports.
  • I have 58 years of of material here and he's only given me twenty minutes on this stand. ...I'll talk to you later.

Quotes about Davis[edit]

Garry Davis Cult, Life (Jan 24, 1949)[edit]

pp. 28-29
  • Davis established himself as an apostle of peace last spring when he renounced his U.S. citizenship, proclaimed himself a "citizen of the world" and called upon the U.N. to make way for a world state forthwith.
  • Three thousand Parisians... jammed a Paris music hall to hear him. Two thousand more could not get seats. ...15,000 turned out for a Davis rally in a Paris sports arena. Letters poured in at a rate of 400 a day.
  • Albert Camus... and other French intellectuals formed "The Association for the International Registry of World Citizens and People's Assembly."

Garry Davis, gadfly and World Citizen No. 1, dies at 91 (August 6, 2013)[edit]

The Washington Post, by Emily Langer
  • His radical proposal... was a world with no borders... in which all people belonged to the same global citizenry. ...[A] place of peace ...no need for war.
  • In 1953, Mr. Davis founded the World Government of World Citizens. He later created the World Service Authority... that continues today to issue passports and other documents. To date, 950,000 people are registered as world citizens... In 1991... the State Department... determined [he] was not legally empowered to print such documents. Critics charged that Mr. Davis was hawking "false hope" to people who had few other places to turn for help.

The Life of Garry Davis - World Citizen #1 (May 13, 2021)[edit]

Interview with Arthur Kanegis on the Documentary film, The World is My Country.
  • It's about a song and dance man on a mission to unite the world, to save this little ball... in space.
  • World War II comes along and he finds himself... bombing the city of Brandenburg, and his own brother has been killed... [H]e says, "Why am I killing..? Why wasn't I arrested for killing..? Whey weren't they?" and he goes on a mission to figure out how he can save our world.
  • He went to Paris where the United Nations was meeting in 1948, before they had built the building in New York... [H]e leaps up in the middle of the entire U.N. General Assembly... to say that nations you represent divide us and lead us to the brink of total war. ...[H]e calls on the delegates to elect a government of, by and for the People of this planet.
  • Delegates actually applaud him, but he's hauled away. ...Albert Einstein, Jean-Paul Sartre... Albert Camus rally to his defense and 20,000 Parisians join him in demanding the U.N. represent the rights of humanity...
  • The very next day, (he did that on December 9, 1948) December 10 the Soviets dropped their objection to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... they abstained and let that incredible document get passed unanimously, that declares every citizen on this planet has rights and freedoms.
  • It's... crucial that humanity come together, rise above these borders that divide us, and... have the People of the world have a voice at the global level, to... express the will of humanity globally... by bringing together the highest and best wisdom of all of us on the planet, not a race to the bottom like this current broken system. A new system that we invent with the incredible genius of humanity to... amalgamate... all of our best thoughts about how we can save the planet... how we can save our children.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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