The Psychology of Nuclear Disarmament: Only a Democratic Federal World Union Is Realistic


Roger Kotila | Earth Federation News & Views – TRANSCEND Media Service

25 Jan 2021 – SUMMARY and EXCERPTS revised  from a lecture on psychological factors to the Annual Meeting (June, 2020) of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS):  The United Nations Charter is part of a geopolitical system which breeds paranoia.  Paranoia, coupled with character defects among some leaders of nations, produces perpetual conflicts, wars, and a dangerous nuclear arms race.  Core masculinity issues, greed, and lust for power frustrate diplomatic UN solutions.  Powerful psychopathic leaders mock the UN and international law; the undemocratic and defective Charter allows them to be above the Law. 

The Earth Constitution addresses these shortcomings in the outdated Charter while evoking alarm bells and psychological resistance by those fearful of change, but also raises a sense of excitement and anticipation at the vision of a “new UN.”  Will the 188 nations in the UN General Assembly, all denied voting rights,  launch Charter Review using the Earth Constitution as their model and guide for a “new UN” which transforms into a democratic world federal union government?   Such a new governing structure for the nations must be established if we are to end wars between nations and to permanently eliminate the ever present danger of a nuclear nightmare.  


Treaties are a mixed blessing

In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal.     Unfortunately, history shows that agreements based upon treaties are eventually broken or ignored.  Time and time again, particularly with the more powerful, treaties are discarded when seen as inconvenient.

Although the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) appears to be a positive step in reducing the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia, in reality it will do little to change the fundamental problem of an UN geopolitical system which is so badly designed that militarization, wars, and maintaining nuclear weapons is virtually inevitable.

Similarly the now activated Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will hit a brick wall.  The nuclear powers are refusing to disarm.  The fact that possession of nukes will now be illegal is helpful.  It will put public pressure on the Bully nations to abandon the nuclear arms race now underway.

When nations sign treaties, it gives us a false sense of security.  Treaties, therefore, must be understood as only an interim step.  Nevertheless, by addressing issues such as nuclear weapons (and war) via treaties, nations are acknowledging problems of broad concern and importance despite differences in culture and tradition. We can reasonably conclude, then, that there are areas of ethics and conduct which the majority of people worldwide accept as valid — universal standards that can be applied to all.

Because we cannot rely on a multilateral approach for nuclear disarmament (treaties), we must think in terms of a stronger type of governance between the nations.  The next step from multilateral agreements are constitutional, as outlined by the Center for UN Constitutional Research (CUNCR) based in Brussels.  CUNCR has provided a legal basis to open up the fatally flawed UN Charter for a long overdue review, the beginning step to revise or replace the outdated Charter.

The UN, like the League of Nations, is not Constitution-based, but instead is a multilateral treaty agreement which makes it too vulnerable to the whims of powerful, Bully nations.  Fortunately, the World Constitution & Parliament Association’s Constitution for the Federation of Earth (aka Earth Constitution) anticipated the problem, and is ready to serve as a model and guide for the UN General Assembly to create the urgently needed “new UN.”

With the U.S. (Federal) Constitution, if Texas and California have a conflict they don’t go to war, they go to Court or to Congress.  Similarly, France and Germany are unlikely to go to war since they belong to a semi-federal government — the European Union.

The United Nations must federate.  The Earth Constitution can be the foundation for a “new UN.”

 Institutionalized paranoia and character defects

What do psychological factors have to do with achieving complete nuclear disarmament and ending war?

The key psychological dynamic associated with national sovereignty is institutionalized  paranoia.  To understand this type of paranoia, one only needs to examine prison gangs, an opportunity I had professionally while working as a psychologist within the California prison system.

Like nations, these gangs are “sovereign,” and like nations, gangs fear that the other side is seeking an advantage.  Hence, even when prison authorities do a complete, clean sweep of weapons, within weeks the various gangs are rearming themselves.

Why?  Paranoia.  This is the psychiatric disorder which the current geopolitical system of sovereign nations cannot overcome.  It is an inherent response to the system of national sovereignty and secret operations… Nations routinely spy on each other in a world flooded with a winner take all, survival of the fittest mentality.

Institutionalized paranoia between nations originates primarily from fear that the Other will get the upper hand in terms of use of force or military might, and fear that the other will gain economic advantage and control.

This type of paranoia in our current UN system will never be resolved no matter how many disarmament treaties are signed. It is a hard psychological fact among sovereign states — always a fear that perhaps the other nation is cheating or gaining advantage.  Such a fear is not unrealistic when we see that some nations are ruled by sociopaths or psychopaths.

In Kathleen Barry’s “Unmaking War, Remaking Men” the danger of leaders with “core masculinity” issues is very real.  “We are number one!” they proudly proclaim.  Such leaders  brag about having a powerful military and feel more important because they possess nuclear weapons.  To make matters worse, such sociopathic and/or psychopathic leaders are characterized by lying, being greedy with a lust for power, and lacking conscience or empathy.

Every nation therefore, whether or not fully in the Federation (i.e.,”new UN”), must accept open inspections at anytime, anywhere.  Only a world federal union government (“new UN”) can eliminate the paranoia which fuels militarization and a nuclear arms race.

President Ronald Reagan’s famous quote regarding disarmament “trust but verify,” was absolutely correct, but incomplete.  Because some leaders are psychopaths, there must also be serious consequences (jail or prison) for criminal acts.  No one should be above the Law.

Good medicine for a mentally ill world and a means to control psychopaths

In a federal world union governing system, laws would be enforceable on all individuals no matter what their level of authority.  This rule of law is absolutely necessary.  Whereas people with a normal, healthy conscience will do the right thing without threat of punishment,  those who are sociopaths or psychopaths must be restrained by knowing they will face real punishment for wrongdoing.

Put bluntly, there is no shortcut except to establish a constitution-based democratic world federation — just as world federalists have been saying for over sixty years.

The psychology of full nuclear disarmament and world peace requires a global structure which can eliminate the mental illness of paranoia, and control the dangerous behaviors of psychopathic leaders.  The Earth Constitution/Earth Federation government (“new UN”) is the required medicine to treat paranoia and to simultaneously create a healthy and positive world — free from the tyranny of fear, greed, lies, dogma, and lust for power.

A federated democratic world union under the Earth Constitution has the potential to end paranoia, and a democratic designed World Parliament with a World Judicial/Enforcement system will provide a means to control the handful of sociopaths and psychopaths who destroy and impoverish our world.

With the healthy foundation of the Earth Constitution to start anew, the world can free itself from the undemocratic roots which were incorporated into the UN Charter, and begin an era where “we, the people” have a true voice regarding global affairs.


Roger Kotila, Ph.D. is a psychologist (ret.) with many years of clinical experience with the California Dept. of Corrections doing psychiatric diagnosis and treatment with inmates. President of Democratic World Federalists he is co-editor of DWF NEWS, and editor of Earth Federation News & Views. He supports a “new UN” under the Earth Constitution. Email:

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