Laced in and throughout the tapestry of our American culture, are the ethics of our civil society. Civil society in America is supported and shaped by the fundamental Godly truths and rights we are entitled to as individual members of society and as declared in our founding documents, The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States.
American civil society as such upholds and supports the individual’s interrelation within the family, the religious institution, business, and the rule of law. These institutions of civil society have created prosperity, charity, and liberty. The civic virtues of volunteering and voting are fundamental examples of how our civil society is exceptional.
Within the last fifty years however, the purpose of civil society has been thrown off balance. Inconspicuously and without great fanfare, the mainstream practice of individual civic virtue has diminished and been gradually replaced by ‘stakeholders’ or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that seek to advance common interests for the common good. When these NGOs influence public policy, we describe them as ‘special interest groups’.
In the realm of Sustainable Development, extremist ‘environmental justice’ NGOs such as the Sierra Club, and Nature Conservancy, or a ‘social justice’ NGO like Build One America are exercising enormous influence and are demanding a restructuring of our society. These new members of civil society diminish our inalienable rights and elevate themselves as progressive arbiters and judges of the course for humanity. These NGOs are often funded by wealthy corporations and individuals who want to expand their sphere of influence. Taxpayers unwittingly fund these NGOs when States offer grants and agree to enter into public private partnerships with them.
In a relentless effort to implement global governance, the United Nations elites understand that to succeed, they have to reorient the values and ethics of all nation states toward a common global civic ethic. They also recognize that reform must occur at the local level.
Building on the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report, Our Common Future, which introduced the world to the concept of Sustainable Development, the UN elites, in 1994, unveiled their new civil society initiative in The Earth Charter. The values within The Earth Charter were to be the new global covenant that all nation states would embrace. The 1992 Agenda 21 blueprint for living in the 21st century along with Our Global Neighborhood (1996) provided the strategies and the structure for the implementation of this global civic ethic.
The recommendations within Our Global Neighborhood advanced the idea that if the UN elites could harness the civic virtue of NGOs and elevate their status to a ‘qualified member of civil society’ then they could redirect the values and ethics of a nation state. Each NGO member of the UN Civil Society Organization has signed a global compact, pledging to support the ten principles prescribed and “express […] intent to advance these principles within [their] sphere of influence…” [read a letter of commitment]
The UN Global Compact Overview page explains the type of ‘participants and stakeholders’ they are looking for:
The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative. Since its official launch on 26 July 2000, the initiative has grown to more than 10,000 participants, including over 7,000 businesses in 145 countries around the world. It is a network-based initiative with the Global Compact Office and seven UN agencies at its core.
The Global Compact involves all relevant social actors: companies, whose actions it seeks to influence; governments, labour, civil society organizations, and the United Nations, the world’s only truly global political forum, as an authoritative convener and facilitator.
The UN Global Compact website features an extensive database of participants that include by category, UN Agencies, Business Associations, Labor, Civil Society, Academic Participants, Public Sector, and Cities. The city and county of San Francisco is a participant as well as many U.S. college level institutions such as Berkeley College, Harvard Business School, MIT, and the State University of New York (SUNY). Business associations like the American International Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Carbon Collaborative, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are listed as well.
In America, these UN accredited and/or U.S. sponsored members of civil society organize the local, boots on the ground members who are prepared to lobby on policy issues related to environmental, economic, and social justice.
The 20th century suffragette movement is a positive example of how a NGO within civil society can garner support at a grassroots level and effect change. However, a majority of today’s ‘stakeholder’ civil society NGOs presume to know and represent the will of the people and act on its behalf to redirect America’s core values to support a global civil society that inherently subsumes our inalienable rights.