Global Law and Order Party (GLOP)
A manifesto

Richard Parncutt

April 2017

Today's world has many problems. Most of the biggest could be solved if the most influential players in politics and business merely obeyed existing laws. That may be a truism--but sometimes true things are waiting to be said. 

GLOP is about bringing honesty back to politics. That's all! A revolution is not necessary, unless you regard telling the truth as revolutionary. In an age of "alternative facts", perhaps it is.

GLOP is also about tackling the biggest, most global problems first. Today's main global political problems are those that threaten the lives of billions of people. These are arguably:
All three points are a threat to peace, democracy, and prosperity, and all have an economic foundation.
The rising wealth gap is the most important economic issue of our time, because the main problems facing the modern world depend on it. But the solution is simple: The rich must simply pay ordinary amounts of tax according to existing tax laws. To achieve this goal, it is first necessary to recognize its central importance--then to talk about it openly, and after that to creatively explore possible solutions.

GLOP aims to reduce or eliminate poverty worldwide, slow or stop global warming, and sustainably suppress or eliminate (by democratic means) the far right. The central claim is that these ambitious goals can be achieved if the rich and powerful merely abide by existing taxation laws--in letter and spirit.
These are not the only benefits of enforcing existing laws, such as human rights legislation. Other benefits include for example controling capitalistic excesses such as the international arms trade, which is exacerbating war in many countries, or stopping the exploitation of developing countries by multinational corporations.

GLOP is about taming capitalism--not ending it. Recently, capitalism got a lot of bad press, and rightly so. But perhaps capitalism, or the right of individuals to get rich by buying and selling products in the marketplace, is not itself the problem--at least not directly. The main problem is surely the continuing existence of poverty when it could have been eliminated by now, taking advantage of capitalism's success. If poverty were eliminated, not even communists would have a problem with capitalism. Another problem is the undermining of democratic processes by the increasing wealth gap. If the rich stopped interfering in politics, that problem would disappear. Yet another important problem is dishonesty and lawlessness, which seems to be getting worse as the wealth gap increases. That is GLOP's point of contact.

During the first few decades following World War Two, c
apitalism, in conjunction with democratic socialism, brought unprecedented prosperity to many people in many countries. Today, this golden age may be drawing to a close. The wealth gap has been rising steadily for decades, and a global war is again a serious threat. GLOP aims to reverse this trend, restoring democracy by steadily increasing the proportion of the population that shares the prosperity made possible by capitalism.

That is a tall order and an enormous challenge. But the stakes are also enormous. More than ever before, the whole world needs a sustainable global order without poverty, violence, or environmental destruction.

Faced with a problem of such overwhelming dimensions, it is tempting to place one's faith in ideal solutions, including extreme forms of capitalism, communism, or theocracy. GLOP rejects all such utopias, first because they have never worked before, and second because humans are very diverse in their attitudes and ways of life. We need to recognize that people are more important than principles. For this reason, a sustainable compromise may be the best solution, and one that stably minimizes suffering in the long term.

Three foundations

GLOP is a single-issue platform. The rich and powerful should obey the law--it's as simple and as obvious as that. This single issue is based on three foundations: honesty, realism, and caring about other people. GLOP politicians who genuinely support these three foundations will also seek solutions on other issues that are in the best interests of both majorities and significant minorities.

The importance of honesty should be obvious. To promote honesty it may be necessary to extend the law in new directions. The legal response should be to discourage and punish not dishonesty itself but its negative consequences. It should be illegal to distort the truth in a manner that leads indirectly to the suffering of large numbers of people.

Realism means rejecting utopian solutions. Political problems should be solved in a direct and transparent fashion. An example is reducing the wealth gap. It should be done by increasing taxes paid by the rich. This is a simple, obvious, tried-and-tested solution. Examples of poor strategies include "trickle down" and a communist revolution. Both of these solutions are complex, and neither of them will work.

"Caring about other people" means what it says. The aim of all political policy should be the well-being of all people and not the well-being of some at the expense of others. For example, being proud of one's country is ok but nationalism is generally problematic. This should be obvious, but sometimes obvious things need to be said.

What GLOP is not

GLOP has little or nothing to do with far-right calls for "law and order" that focus on punishing relatively powerless or desperate people for small crimes while turning a blind eye to the biggest and most obvious crimes. By contrast to the three foundations of GLOP--honesty, realism, and caring--far-right parties are typically dishonest and unrealistic, and their representatives show repeatedly that they don't care about other people.

In that sense the far right is the opposite of GLOP. But that does not make GLOP far left. In fact, GLOP is neither left nor right. GLOP upholds conservative principles, such as honesty and lawfulness. It also upholds progressive principles, such as reducing poverty and suffering. Most people agree with both sides of GLOP.

Far-right parties like to blame poverty and unemployment on "foreigners". But those people are mainly innocent, and their "crimes" are mainly small. If a country is having economic problems, it is not because "foreigners" are getting asylum or jobs--worth in total perhaps a few million dollars.  It is because the rich are evading tax to the tune of billions. Some countries are spending trillions on the military--at the same time as their domestic infrastructure gradually crumbles. The best example is the USA, but it is not the only one.

At the risk of stating the obvious: number one billion is a thousand times bigger than one million, and a trillion is a million times bigger than a million. We sometimes seem to forget that. These enormous differences tell us that blaming foreigners for a country's economic problems is populist nonsense. The main reasons lie elsewhere, and they are usually staring us in the face.

What  is "global law and order"?

Each word in "Global Law and Order Party" has been carefully chosen.


The word "global" in GLOP has several meanings. It refers to
In short, we should have the courage to think big.

GLOP is not about petty theft, or whether you can walk safely in the street at night. These are important things, of course, but by comparison to the world's biggest problems, they are relatively minor.

GLOP does, however, offer a long-term sustainable solution to such relatively small problems--without extra police or restrictions on personal freedom. When the world's biggest problems are solved, the smaller problems will solve themselves automatically and sustainably. If the gap between rich and poor is reduced, social unrest will also be reduced, reducing crime and violence of all kinds.

Some people say "Look after the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves". If you are careful with your money, you will gradually get more of it. That may be true for individuals on low incomes. But to sustainably solve the world's problems, we need to turn this idea around. We need to focus on solving the biggest problems first. We need to look after the dollars, so the cents will take care of themselves. To fix up the global financial system, this means putting an end to tax havens and the exploitation of developing countries by multinationals. This goal can be achieved if existing laws are respected and enforced.

The world's biggest problems are poverty and climate change. These two things are seriously affecting, or will seriously affect, the largest numbers of people. Moreover, they interact with each other: people will suffer more as a result of climate change if they are poor. Given that climate change will be irreversible and may one day take on a life of its own (due to natural feedback processes), the survival of humanity may depend on solving both these problems. From a human rights perspective, nothing could be more urgent.

If GLOP is going to work, it will do so according to the motto "Think global, act local". First, GLOP representatives will stand for election in cities and countries. Later, they will get together internationally to address global issues.


Most existing laws in most countries are ok as they are. Of course there are exceptions, but they are often obvious. For example, there is an obvious need to universally end unjust or inhumane punishments such as the death penalty or the stoning of adulterers.

GLOP does not advocate some kind of legal revolution, but it does advocate improvement to national legal systems on special issues. For example, we should be moving toward a global legal situation in which all military activity is limited to genuine defense and international arms sales are banned. After that, we could start to talk about "global law and order".

GLOP advocates a fundamental legal principle that is often neglected:
the principle of proportionality. The magnitude of a punishment should reflect the magnitude of the crime. In a human-rights approach, the magnitude of a crime depends mainly on the number of people affected and the degree to which they are affected.

It is certainly unfair if small crimes attract big punishments while large crimes are ignored. Large-scale tax evation and influential climate denial are examples of big crimes that affect enormous numbers of people. 
Tax havens cause poverty, and influential climate denial is increasing the future death toll in connection with global warming. The main aim of the legislature should be to maintain law and order by identifying and punishing the biggest crimes.

Those responsible for such enormous crimes should be in jail. To make space for them, inmates responsible for relatively minor crimes should be freed. These are not radical claims, nor are they demands. They are merely a logical consequence of enforcing existing laws and bringing honesty back to politics. Those who do not want to land in jail after GLOP wins an election should stop breaking the law--especially when breaking the law has serious negative consequences for large numbers of people.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948
is one of the most important legal documents ever written. GLOP proposes raising the UDHR to the status of national law in all countries. Every article in UDHR would then become national law and would be enforced accordingly. For example, Article 5 of UDHR states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". That means that all forms of torture and the death penalty should be universally banned. This and other UDHR articles should be enforced in every countriy.


The global situation today is reminiscent of the old American Wild West. Many multinational corporations are doing more or less what they please with devasting effects mainly on developing countries both now and in the future. GLOP is about ending this lawlessness. 

GLOP is not about creating a new utopia. Most attempts to create a "new world order" go too far. On the political left, some are dreaming of replacing capitalism by global communism. On the right, some want a society based purely on "survival of the fittest". Both are imagining a kind of anarchical freedom, but history has shown time and again that utopias of this kind do not work.

There are also religious idealists who believe in a global kingdom of Islam or Christianity. But what about  people who don't agree with that? There will always be plenty who think differently, and thank God for that (if she exists). In a fair world, everyone has their place, their freedom, and their standard of living, regardless of personal beliefs or political orientation.

Political extremists often believe in a kind of perfect world or nirvana. They may not realise it, but they are falling into an old trap called the nirvana fallacy. World orders are complex things. If you improve one aspect, you are bound to produce a problem somewhere else. A new world order is not necessarily generally better, just because it solves some problems. Nor can one predict the success of a new world order in advance. Sociologists gave up predicting the future long ago.

GLOP rejects extreme political solutions, utopias, and anarchies of all kinds. Instead, we make a very simple claim. The main problems facing the modern world could be solved if the most influential people  obeyed existing laws. By this we are not saying that all laws are good, because clearly some are not. Instead, we are referring to laws that are widely accepted as being fair and necessary.

GLOP emphasizes that people are more important than principles. The trouble with utopias is that they are usually based on principles.
In the end, the well-being of individuals is more important than principles such as "user pays" or the necessity of revolution to achieve communism. Both principles, if applied strictly, lead to widespread suffering. Moreover, violence generally leads to more violence: those who have been attacked will probably respond in kind. Clearly, whatever social solutions we strive for, they should not involve violence.

The growing wealth gap and how to reduce it

From a global perspective, the rich are getting richer while poverty is stagnating. Every year, the number of billionaires goes up and the amount of money that they control increases relative to the money controlled by the poorer half of the world. The rising wealth gap is exacerbating poverty and attendant suffering. It is undermining democracy and feeding into violent international conflicts.

These facts are well-known, but no-one seems to have a realistic solution. People are throwing up their hands in horror, shaking their heads in frustration, or doing nothing.

In fact, there is a relatively simple solution. It's just a matter of believing in it and implementing it.

The solution to poverty is, and has always been, to redistribute the wealth--to transfer some of the wealth of the rich back to the poor. This is justifiable not only because every human has a right to freedom of poverty, but also because wealth is created by work. Therefore, it should be shared by the workers--as communists have always correctly pointed out.

The traditional and most effective way to achieve wealth distribution is through taxation. Taxes can include progressive income tax scales, wealth taxes, property taxes, inheritance taxes, environment taxes, and transaction taxes. The nice thing about taxation from the point of view of the rich is that it allows the rich to stay rich while at the same time eliminating poverty. This goal is realistic and should be politically achievable. Taxation also has the advantage of fairness: everyone it treated equally--or should be.

Taxation is and always has been intrinsic to national economies. In fact, they cannot possibly function without it. Anyone who has ever played the board game "Monopoly" knows that capitalism always has winners and losers. Capitalism is only sustainable when redistribution is built into the system. People must pay taxes to governments according to their means. Governments must redistribute taxes via welfare to alleviate poverty. Rich countries must use taxes to support poor countries for the same reason.

Of course existing taxation systems can and should be improved. But the main problem is to ensure that the rich pay existing taxes. The rich must simply obey the law. National governments and judiciaries must be strong enough to ensure that the law is fair and that it is fairly enforced.

Unfortunately, many rich people are in the habit of distorting the truth for their own benefit, while pretending to be innocent. Climate denial is a well-known example; it allows the fossil fuel industry to make gigantic profits at the expense of present and future people. Another classic example of truth distortion is the so-called "trickle down effect", according to which poverty can be alleviated by giving tax breaks to the rich so that they can get even richer and offer lots of jobs to the poor and thereby eliminate poverty.

But history has shown time and again that this doesn't work. What usually happens when the rich get richer is that they keep going along the same path. They try to get even richer, gambling on international markets. Or they try to protect their riches, hiding them away in tax havens. Some are generous, but most are not. They will only give away large amounts of money in two cases. First, if they can see a benefit for themselves, such as getting a reputation as a "philanthopist", which can lead to new opportunities to make money. Second, if they are legally forced to do so.

The best and possibly only way to reduce the gap between rich and poor is to force the rich to pay reasonable levels of tax. This allows money to be transferred directly, by fair and transparent means, from the rich to the poor. Nothing could be more obvious and more necessary. 

How can we force the rich and powerful to obey the law?

To be sure, this is not an easy task. Some kind of power shift will be necessary. But the solution could be easier than we think.

The rich are human, too. Many are genuinely worried about the rising gap between rich and poor. Many would prefer to live in a world in which there is no poverty and no environmental destruction--but it is nevertheless possible to become rich. That is possible, and it would take the guilt out of being rich.

There have been several news reports in recent decades of rich people getting together and offering to pay more tax. Whether these declarations were taken seriously or whether other rich people suppressed them, I don't know. I know only that the potential for a solution exists.

Another solution may be to bring the rich and the poor to the negotiating table. Negotiation, incidentally, is also the best solution to international conflicts, regardless of how obviously unfair they might be. The first thing to do is to avoid violence, which invariably kills large numbers of innocent bystanders. Instead, the warring parties should talk to each other, find out what each side wants, and creatively negotiate possible solutions that take into account the rights and wishes of all players. The same applies to the conflict between rich and poor.

Is this happening? Evidently not. The solution is to promote the idea until it actually happens.


The aims and content of GLOP are similar to those of many existing organizations. They include for example Amnesty International, the United Nations, the Tax Justice Network, Attac, Transparency International, Oxfam, the World Health Organisation, Doctors without Borders, the Union of Concerned Scientists,, and Greenpeace
. Even if you don't support GLOP, please support one or more of these organizations. The future of humanity will depend on their continuing success.

The opinions expressed on this page are the author's personal opinions. Readers who know and care about this topic are asked to contact the author with suggestions for mproving or extending the content: parncutt at gmx dot at. Back to Richard Parncutt's homepage