The Eighth Basic Baha’i Principle is:
“Universal Peace upheld by a Spiritual World Government.”
The eighth foundation stone, the Beryl, is greenish-blue; somewhat like the ocean wave as it mounts toward its crest; the blue of the faith and loyalty toward our brother man, the green of humility and unity, the harmonious blending into one symmetrical whole, like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This, established in the hearts of man, will also establish Universal Peace.
The world longs for peace. But none of its respective nations, not even America is prepared to relinquish nationalism to the extent which Bahá’u’lláh pointed out would be necessary in an effective world organization.
Two mandatory considerations are still withheld from fulfillment in the United Nations. The first is the relinquishment of national sovereignty to the point of accepting without right of veto the adjudications of a world court. The second inevitable requirement of stable peace is national disarmament down to the point of internal security only, and the establishment of an international police force. The world is not yet ready for these two momentous steps. Nor can they be accomplished without due caution.
World peace is not merely a matter to be arranged between governments by treaties. It is the concern of every citizen of this one-world home of humanity. This is the point of exercising our free will to avoid that nullification of progress, that race annihilation that threatens us.
“The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded.” – Baha’u’llah
The abolition of war is to be only the first step in a colossal plan for a world organized in effective unity. Fully functioning as a federated unit, and dedicated to the establishment of a universal civilization founded on justice and good will. Expressing itself in forms of prosperity, beauty, and joy-of-living more glorious than even the world’s great poets and seers have envisioned and conceived.
The miracle of the rapid growth of a will-to-peace throughout the world is directly concomitant with the development of new and terrifying death-dealing military weapons. War on the ground had always been tragically destructive. But war from the air, on the scale recently attained, is too devastating for humanity to endure.
“…. instrumentations of warfare would become so deadly and all-destructive as to eventually compel humanity to desist from war entirely.” – Baha’u’llah
There exists today that which did not exist in 1870, therefore the world, in 1870, gave little heed to the proclamations of Bahá’u’lláh. It overlooked one item which would eventually induce a desperate search for permanent peace, changing world events. These world events have proved the truth of this prognostication. Sadly enough, it is not idealism which is at last inducing humanity to outlaw war. It is not the moral sense but the fear of race annihilation which under entirely new and unexpected conditions, forces governments to entertain new and unexpected convictions and goals. Human nature may not greatly change, as the cynics maintain. But the directives of human activity often change, and never are they more potently active than today. So that now there exists a universal will to avoid war which is equivalent to a universal will-to-peace.
“Peace is not something we fall into because we react against war. Peace is a positive achievement involving an organized world community of law and order which we must want so much that we are willing to pay the full price it costs.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick
The world order of Baha’u’llah is a goal which we can visualize in outline, and towards which we may strive. It is no magic millennium which will result from some particular political or economic action. It is founded on the spiritual concept of the oneness of mankind and raises a structure by which this unity may be preserved and developed. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens” is its principle.