Dawn of the Era of Common-ism

By Tom DeWeese

The lines used to be so clear. On the one side were free markets, free societies and openly-elected representative governments, normally defined as democracy. On the other, was the force of totalitarianism choking off individual initiative, private ownership of property and providing a ballot box with but one choice, normally defined as communism. The ideological lines were drawn as a titanic battle ensued across an iron curtain. The Western world united in a mixture of proud, independent, sovereign nations to fend off the creeping black plague that swallowed whole nations and erased their identities. In the end, the “Evil Empire” disintegrated under the weight of its own ignorance of human nature. Or did it?

Conservatives hailed the victory, dispatching communism to the “ash-heap of history.” Many Conservative leaders have put forth the idea that we are living in a “Conservative era,” using as proof the Republican takeover of Congress and the worldwide movement toward democracy and free trade. The demise of communism, some say, now allows a spirit of cooperation among nations which will bring on the benefits of world-wide prosperity and a universal increase in the standard of living.

Yet, many Americans are concerned that the same leaders who proclaim that American ideals are spreading across the globe have failed to protect constitutionally-guaranteed liberties here at home. The assaults on property rights and personal privacy along with the transformation of local schools under federal programs, and, above all, the seeming lack of concern for national sovereignty and protection of the nation’s borders are the obvious contradictions to the proposition that Conservative ideas now reign supreme.

Other goals seem to be taking center stage. The rule of law in our Republic, designed to insure individual rights from intrusive government, is being replaced by a new ideology; one that tends to allow the concerns of interest groups to supercede the inherent rights of the individual. Further, the interests of the United States of America now tend to take a back seat to those of something called the “Global Commons.” National identities and individual religions appear to be morphing into non-descript and indistinguishable arrangements to some unidentified whole. The teaching of history has become an exorcise in group-promotion and political correctness, with little regard for truth. Science has been reduced to little more than a convenient political tool to promote agendas. Self determination is being replaced with group-think.

What is happening to our way of life and to our nation, as it once was? Communism is dead. Capitalism is fading. Welcome to the new era of Commonism.


When the walls of Soviet communism fell a decade ago, the world changed. Once-proud nations, that had been swallowed up by the Soviet empire, now emerged as a new “democracy movement.” Western forces were expected to rush forward and promote their ideology and bring communism’s formerly oppressed victims into the fold of free markets and freely elected representative government. But it didn’t happened.

Instead, international communists refused to hang their heads in defeat and leave the world stage. In fact, with the death of communism, they were now freed from its negative baggage. They could begin a new movement able to reach across national boundaries – even into the West. As long as the title “communist” was not hung around their neck to raise Western fears, the ideas of international socialism could move forward unhindered. The world has responded in almost thunderous support. Thus, Commonism was born.

The distinctive feature of Commonism is its intention to transform private intellectual property and nationally-controlled natural resources into common property in the name of the “common heritage of mankind.”

The ideology of Commonism is based on political concepts and spiritual values, such as global commons, global village, global spirituality, equalitarianism, democratism, disarmament, environmentalism, interdependence, interconnectedness, and participation in world peace.

Commonism is a political ideology containing both a doctrine and a device for its expansion. Commonism advances on the idea that problems cross national and local boundaries. In that way, natural and political boundaries are conveniently transversed through treaties, legislation and policy statements, all under the excuse that it is necessary for improvement of the common good.

The President’s Council on Sustainable Development is one of the most obvious devices in the establishment of Commonism policy. The Council’s report describes “certain tools, approaches, and strategies…could result in more environmental protection, less economic cost, and … greater opportunity for the poor and disadvantaged.” A program, publicly presented as a way to protect the environment, mysteriously involves itself in racial, economic and equality issues.

This is no accident. It is a tactic of Commonism to meld together a seemingly unconnected array of issues into one cause. It allows the formation of partnerships among a long list of interested parties. In just the example of Sustainable Development, partnerships are formed with Non-government organizations (NGO’s), University faculty and administrations, local business leaders and the Chamber of Commerce and local political leaders including city council and county commissioners. All come together working toward a “common” goal.

The President’s Council report explains how these partnerships are to be a first step. “Learning to use new approaches to achieve interrelated goals simultaneously will be an evolutionary process. It needs to build on the strengths and overcome the limitations of current economic and regulatory systems and recognize the interrelationships between economic and environmental policies.” In describing “Intergovernmental Partnerships,” the report explains, “Federal, state, and tribal governments need to work together in partnership with local communities to develop place-based strategies that integrate economic development, environmental quality, and social policymaking with broad public involvement.

In other words, local or state elected officials are no longer considered to be capable of making development decisions for the community. It is now necessary to expand the process through common consensus of an endless number of private organizations with their own political agendas. In this way the boundaries of government are blurred along with the clear definition of the rule of law. These are the reasons why a single objection from the Sierra Club can stop a building project, close a road or shut down an industry. In the language of Commonism this is called “social policy making.”

The doctrine of Commonism is promoted through a restructured education system where old ideas of schools as centers of academic learning are replaced with systems designed to moderate behavior that will accept the aspects of the new Commonism. That is why history courses must be changed to accept the proper doctrine. It must not glorify the accomplishments of free markets and individual freedom. It must not show the virtues of freely elected representative governments and it must not show the vital importance of the individual’s right to own and control private property. Commonists have a false view of the past because success stories like the United States would undermine its premise that centralized power rather than free individuals create progress. They have a fatalistic view of the present and so must rely on the creation of supposed disasters if radical changes aren’t made. And they have a futile view of the future, often depicted as a barren waste land of human misery – if their dictates are not followed to the letter.

In the new classrooms it is more important to be sensitive to and acceptable of multiculturalism and the stated rights and values of various interest groups and political agendas. The very meaning of Outcome-based Education (OBE) is that students will leave school fully indoctrinated with, and sensitive to, the Commonism agenda. In this way, schools, too, are a mere device to promote and entrench the doctrine and prepare today’s students to be proper citizens in the century of Commonism.


Throughout the doctrine of Commonism one rarely hears use of the words freedom or liberty as they would pertain to individuals. Instead, one hears much about the need for justice. Economic justice. Environmental justice. Racial justice. Rights, too, are important. The rights of the child. The rights of women. The rights of indigenous populations. All of these rights and calls for justice serve a very important purpose; the need for more laws, rules and regulations to enforce them and, since these urgent needs cross international borders, there must be some sort of international power with the ability to keep it all under well-ordered control.

The recent United Nations’ Millennium Summit saw the official transfer of the UN from what many perceived as an international organization of sovereign nations to that of a global organization. Documents presented to the Summit represented the culmination of almost all of the goals in the drive for Commonism. Some called for the consolidation of all international agencies under direct authority of the UN. Others called for regulation by the UN of all transnational corporations and financial institutions. UN reports refer to the Earth as the global commons, encompassing all of the air, water, land and airways for the purposes of giving the UN jurisdiction and taxing power for use of natural resources. Some even advocate extending the global commons throughout the universe in order to control and tax space exploration. Other documents call for the establishment of a UN standing army, more global taxes and an International Criminal Court. Each of these items would give the UN the power of rule making and the enforcement ability to see it carried out. Finally, in the spirit of Commonism, UN power would be switched to an “Assembly of the People,” populated by selected NGO’s, giving international scope and power to partnerships in local communities.

The UN Millennium Assembly was the culmination of efforts started in 1974 by a band of international socialists that sought to stress Commonism rather than revolutionary communism. They saw this new “functional” approach not merely as a change of political device, but a change of political outlook. They saw a way to eliminate the baggage of communism, which was automatically hated and opposed in the West.

Instead, they developed what they called the “common index of need.” “Very many of such needs cut across national boundaries, not a few are universal, and an effective beginning for building up an international community of interests could be made by setting up joint agencies for dealing with these common needs.” (David Miltrany, 1966). In short, they saw the process as the way and means for world government.

They called the process social and economic democracy. Democracy is a positive term in the West. However, understanding the use of this word by international socialists is the key to understanding Commonism and today’s changed world.

To Conservatives, democracy means civil and political decisions made within the framework of a free society and a free market. It means moving from closed elections (or none at all) to free and competitive elections among multiple parties. In the United States, democracy particularly means that defense of individual rights and property are paramount to government dictate.

To the Socialist or Communist, democracy primarily means economic or social equality with or without parliamentary means. To the Socialist, if property, wealth, choice or communication need to be taken from one group in order to create “equality” for another, that is social democracy. In socialist philosophy, law becomes an instrument to advocate the redistribution and intrusion of rights, riches, privacy and property, under the excuse of economic equality in order to “enforce” a new international economic order.


During the early and middle part of the Twentieth Century, international socialist David Multrany pioneered the path to Commonism using the common cause approach to find global “common security” and “common future.” His ideas were fully entrenched in international policy through a series of four UN-sponsored international commissions in the early 1980s.

The four international commissions were led by prominent European international Socialists and dealt with the interconnection, integration and “democratization” of economic development, disarmament, environment and communication.

In 1980, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt chaired the commission on international development. The Commission report, entitled “North-South: A program for Survival,” said: “World development is not merely an economic process, [it] involves a profound transformation of the entire economic and social structure…not only the idea of economic betterment, but also of greater human dignity, security, justice and equity…The Commission realizes that mankind has to develop a concept of a ‘single community’ to develop global order.”

Also in 1980, Sean MacBride, a recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize, headed up a commission on international communications which issued a report entitled, “Many Voices, One World: Towards A New, More Just And More Efficient World Information And Communication Order,” the Commission, which included the head of the Soviet news agency TASS, believed that a “New World Information Order” was prerequisite to a new world economic order. The report was a blueprint for controlling the media, even suggesting that international journalists be licensed.

In 1982, Olof Palme, the man who single-handedly returned socialism to Sweden, served as Chairman of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. His report, entitled, “Common Security: A blueprint for Survival said: “All States have the duty to promote the achievement of general and complete disarmament under effective international control…” the report went on to call for money that is saved from disarmament to be used to pay for social programs. The Commission proposed a strategic shift from “collective security,” such as the alliances like NATO, to one of “common security” through the United Nations.

Finally, in 1987, came the granddaddy commission of them all, The Brundtland Commission on Environment and Development.. Headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Vice President of the World Socialist Party, the commission introduced the concept of sustainable development. For the first time the environment was tied to the tried and true Socialist goals of international redistribution of wealth. Said the report, “Poverty is a major cause and effect of global environmental problems. It is therefore futile to attempt to deal with environmental problems without a broader perspective that encompasses the factors underlying world poverty and international inequality.”

These four commissions laid the groundwork for the Commonism agenda. A controlled media would dictate the flow of information and ideas and prevent dissent. Control of international development manages and redistributes wealth. Full disarmament puts the power structure into the hands of those with armaments. And tying environmentalism to poverty and economic development brings the entire Socialist agenda to the level of an international emergency. Sustainable development is nothing less than the Commonist philosophy of development.

One world, one media, one authority for development, one source of wealth. One international army. The construction of a “just society” with political and social equality rather than a free society with the individual as the sole possessor of rights. It’s all wrapped in nothing more than Orwellian single-think and double-talk. Exclusive and universal power for the new United Nations. Welcome to the world of Commonism.


The plans were laid for the new order called Commonism. But one major obstacle stood in the way. The West was united in the war to contain communism. In the eyes of the international Socialists, Western capitalist ideology was a negative knee jerk reaction to their grand schemes for order. Enter on the international stage a new Soviet leader named Mikhail Gorbachev, hailed as a new kind of Soviet leader with whom the West could deal.

Under his leadership, Soviet strategy changed from confrontation with the West, instead advocating that the USSR and the U.S. pool intellectual and scientific resources “in order to solve the most diverse problems for the benefit of human kind.”

Gorbachev then turned to World Communists and urged them to form a fraternal alliance with the Socialist International to advance the cause of peace and international democracy. In 1990, communist parties throughout Europe and elsewhere changed their identity by renaming parties as Labour parties and the Democratic Left Alliance. Thus aligned, they could move to advance the “New International Economic Order.”

Said Gorbachev, “We have to develop the process of democratization in all areas – political, economic and in the sphere of reconstructing our federation. We have to move ahead democratically in all areas and this movement toward greater justice and greater liberty, that is the same thing as the movement to socialism and to the implementation of the socialist idea.”

The magic words were there: democracy, liberty, reorganizing the hated “evil empire.” And the West bought it. President Reagan toasted him and said, “freedom and democracy are the best guarantors for peace.” Gorbachev smiled and said, “peace(ful coexistence) and maximum democracy are the guarantors of freedom.” Little did the West understand that the same words had such different meanings.

It took Gorbachev less than a decade to get rid of the old Soviet albatross and set the stage for international Socialism and world-wide Commonism. The West no longer stood in the way.

Was it just a lucky accident or was the fall of Communism Gorbachev’s goal all along? Nothing has ever been admitted, but today he stands as a major leader in the environmental movement, firmly entrenched in comfortable splendor in the United States. Is it another lucky accident that the environmental movement uses the exact same language as the international socialist movement that Gorbachev helped unite in the 1980’s?


In the wake of the euphoria following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall, Socialists wasted little time implementing their plans. The former Soviet empire gave birth to a hoard of Socialist democracies. Western Europe fell in line, discarding once-proud sovereign nations, and forming the European Union with its common regulations, common currency and common Socialist agenda.

In the United States the agenda is moving forward faster than any Socialist could ever have hoped for. Of course the effort has been greatly advanced under President Bill Clinton’s Executive Order pen as he fully implemented sustainable development and has moved to strengthen U.S. involvement in the United Nations.

But Republicans too, have embraced the agenda, all the while proclaiming the Commonism brand of free trade as the vision of our founding fathers. Even after the Republicans gained control of the Congress, Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich agreed that the lame-duck 103rd Democrat-controlled Congress should reconvene to pass the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Many freedom-loving libertarians have argued that NAFTA, and it’s sister GATT, are about free enterprise and universal global liberty. Yet a comparison of the NAFTA and GATT documents show them to be literally indistinguishable from the agenda outlined in the Brandt and Bruntland Commission reports from the 1980’s. Most Republicans continue to dismiss the United Nations as a threat to U.S. sovereignty. It seems the double-speak of Commonism lulls them to a peaceful sleep. Only a radical, they say, could oppose world-wide democracy and free trade. But the meaning of words and the use of language drives the globalist agenda today. Listener be alert.

The noose continues to tighten. Three elements are now being promoted for an American union similar to the European Union. First are efforts to harmonize diplomatic relations in the North American countries of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Second are steps to homogenize economic relations into an all-American trade agreement. Third is a strategy to humanize or democratize the Americas.

Once accomplished, after the American Union has the full faith and credit backing of the U.S. government and commercial banks, the United States may no longer be fully free or fully independent to act according to its national interests. As the United States forfeits its national sovereignty to the Union, Mexico and Canada will grow more determined to compel redistribution of wealth and power between nation states, and within the commonwealth of the Americas.

New trade relations would effectively limit the scope for independent domestic economic management. For example, the so-called Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is in fact an effort to free international trade from the dominance of the United States and the Western conceptions of an economy based on the free market.

As a result of the UN’s Millennium Summit, pressure is now being applied to the U.S. to accept the Kyoto global warming treaty which would force the U.S. to reduce energy use by more than thirty percent, further redistributing American industry, wealth and power. Moreover, the call for full disarmament, establishment of UN armies, taxes and criminal courts to protect the global commons pose a direct threat to U.S. independence and sovereignty.


As massive as the worldwide movement toward Commonism appears to be, it can be stopped. For there are several elements, some from the past, some new, that the international Socialists have never counted on.

First is the fact that humans are not a colony of ants. We have our own ideas about how to run our lives. Moreover, Americans have grown up with the idea of independence. As asleep as we appear to be at times, when our comfort is threatened, we awaken and fight back. The greatest weakness in the drive for Commonism is that Socialism doesn’t work. If ever fully implemented, it won’t take long for the Socialist structure to crumble and individual ingenuity to again prevail.

Second, try as the Commonists might to control the flow of information, they never counted on the internet. Due to the internet’s free flow of information, opposition forces are growing around the world, even in darkest China. As the Commonist agenda takes hold, more people are growing aware of its existence and are spreading the word. But it is imperative that all efforts to regulate the internet be soundly defeated. Even Conservative drives for censorship of pornography opens the door for a “legitimized” government role. Liberal efforts to ban internet access of “hate” groups have included lists of some of the nation’s most respected Conservative groups. The internet represents the best opportunity for full Laissez-faire free enterprise ever known to the current generation.

Revolt is beginning to take shape. Most recent examples are the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade in Nevada as they defied Commonism environmental restrictions, and the fight currently taking place in Ohio over a new environmental reserve on the Darby Creek. Not to be forgotten is the overwhelming response to the FDIC’s “Know Your Customer” invasion of privacy battle last year. The growing home schooling movement is a major threat to the Commonists’ effort to re-structuring American school children. All of these examples, and more, are signs that Americans are growing aware of the globalist threat and are beginning to fight back.

Those who oppose the international socialist agenda must fight on four distinct fronts. These include education, where the fight must focus on academics and an end to the psychology-driven behavior modification federal programs; the right to privacy, where an all-out effort must be made to stop the establishment of federal data banks that document personal information; private property rights, which guarantee private ownership, control and protection of real and intellectual property; and protection of national sovereignty. Today the drive to get the United States out of the UN is beginning to take hold. End U.S. involvement in the UN and the Socialists will lose their center of power. Stop them on those four fronts and Commonism, too, will find its way to the ash-heap of history.

For more information on Commonism read: “The Coming Century of Commonism – The Beauty and the Beast of Global Governance,” by Philip C. Bom, published by Policy Books, Inc. P.O. Box 65111, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23467.

Special thanks to Floy Lilly, Program Director for the Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise at the University of Texas at Austin. And thanks to Henry Lamb, Founding Vice President of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO).

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods (www.CFACT.org). He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.