Citizens Convention: An American Way to Address Socioeconomic Injustice

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

PELL CITY, AL., June 2--Richard R. Biondi, author of In Search of a Capitalist Peace, proposes that we, the people, revisit and reshape the Atlantic Union idea to help overcome socioeconomic injustice in America and beyond. He is calling on President Donald J. Trump to host a Capitalist Peace Summit and inspire an online Capitalist Peace Exploratory Convention modeled after the Atlantic Convention of 1962. Biondi contends that the international citizens convention approach had historical support among political leaders of the Black Community.

Using government publications, Biondi documents that in the 1960s and 1970s members of the Congressional Black Caucus, such as Representatives Ronald Dellums of California and Charles Rangel of New York, embraced the Atlantic Union idea as a means of overcoming socioeconomic injustice. Biondi suggests that they recognized that free trade regimes—lacking representation, checks, and balances—would lead to unfavorable economic outcomes for the Black Community. In hindsight, he believes they were right.

Biondi argues that the historical record proves that members of the Congressional Black Caucus joined over 100 other Members of Congress representing both political parties calling for a second “Atlantic Convention” to explore world federal trade as an alternative to free trade. He believes they recognized that free trade was an inherently racist economic doctrine that exploited people of color at home and abroad. Biondi suggests their goal was not to establish a world socialist state, but to exact a new world economic order that worked for all citizens in all nations.

Biondi asserts in his book that the first Atlantic Convention of 1962 was inspired by former New York Times journalist, Clarence K. Streit, and the Atlantic Union Committee (1949-1962). He proves that the vision of the Atlantic Union idea was heralded by President John F. Kennedy. According to The New York Times, “semi-official delegates from the fifteen North Atlantic allies . . . drafted the first internationally agreed proposal for converting the vision of an Atlantic Union into a practical reality.” The Times declared on January 21, 1962 that the Declaration of Paris a “Blueprint for Atlantic Union.”

Biondi laments that the United States Congress opted to advance free trade rather than world federal trade in 1974. He argues that the passage of the Trade Act of 1974 laid the foundation for globalism—the true cause of socioeconomic injustice in modern America.

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