April 15, 1945
Publicity photo for the publication of Searchlight on Peace Plans: Choose your path to World Government. Edith Wynner, L, and Georgia Lloyd. Reportedly, Eleanor Roosevelt kept a copy on her bedside table.
Georgia Lloyd, President of the Campaign for World Government, Lobbies UN Conference in 1945
~ Robin Lloyd
75 years ago, my aunt Georgia Lloyd took a train from Chicago to Berkeley CA to lobby at the formational meeting of the United Nations.
On the train, she heard that FDR had just died. Georgia worried that plans for world cooperation had lost a champion;, would President Truman support a genuinely democratic union of nations? .
During WW2, Georgia had written a book with Hungarian activist Edith Wynner titled Searchlight on Peace Plans; Choose your Road to World Government. She had a plan for this new global government that was taking place in San Francisco.
Georgia came from a unique family. When she was 2 years old, in 1915, in the middle of WW1, her mother, Lola Maverick Lloyd (LML) sailed to Europe with other feminist activists, including Rosika Schwimmer, to look for a way to stop or mediate the war. Although they were not successful, they helped to form an organization, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, that, as we know, exists to this day.
The two decades following WW1 gave birth to many plans for world cooperation. Thousands joined the League of Nations Non-Partisan Association to support the League of Nations. Lola and Rosika initially supported the League, but in the early 1930s, they could see that the League was not able to buffer or control the currents of militarism that were setting nations against each other. In 1937, deeply concerned that the world was headed to war, they formed the Campaign for World Government. Their founding statement was a slim pamphlet Chaos, War and the New World Order.
What was that New Order? LML envisaged a way to stop the competition that leads to war and violence. The League failed, she thought, because they put the entity that causes war in a position of power. Governments should be inferior to the people: people should choose the delegates to this new federation, LML and Georgia thought. Under such a set-up, governments would have no say in who represented their country; in the same way that today governors have no say in who represents their state in the U.S. Senate.
This federation would bind nations more closely together. Instead of asking for intergovernmental cooperation, as most other proposed plans did at that time, including WILPFs, theirs would empower the people as delegates to establish peace. State sanctioned violence would be outlawed.
All 64 nations would be admitted immediately and unconditionally. Each country would have 10 reps who did not have to vote unanimously.
LML and Rosika thought through many problems that were dealt with superficially by other plans. They felt that the problem of colonies was a major cause of war. An economic commission would ‘plan the regulation of the world’s production of raw materials and the control of distribution according to the needs of all nations.”.
Georgia’s mother died the year before her trip to lobby at the 1945 UN founding conference. It was up to Georgia the carry the mission of a New World Order to San Francisco. She came carrying 4000 signatures on a petition calling for an elected world legislature, and civilian enforcement directly on individuals.
When she arrived in San Francisco, she established an answering service, and went through the formalities of official acceptance as an NGO. She was heartened by seeing signs outside the Conference welcoming "world citizens". Thousands of people had signed petitions calling for a world legislature, elected by the people of all member nations. "The sovereignty which belongs to us," the petition stated, "we now wish to re-divide, giving to a higher world level of government -- which we continue to control through our representatives -- the power to decide questions of world-wide concern."
One wonders what would have happened if some of these ideas were enacted.
I interviewed Georgia in the late 90s before she died in 2002. She told me that, looking back on it, the UN Charter signed June 26 was window dressing for the continuation of power politics. She concluded “I thought it was quite tragic that all these strong hopes for peace did not achieve a structure that was adequate to deliver the peace that everyone was hoping for. “
For more information on Chaos, War and the New World Order look up the work by Megan Threlkeid, a scholar on women’s international activism. Her upcoming book is a study of women’s arguments for world citizenship and campaigns for world government between 1900 and 1950.