John Sutter


dr. John Sutter

up close and personal

John Sutter and I go back 30 years when we worked with Lucile Green (World Citizens) and the World Federalists Association of Northern California, later to become Democratic World Federalists (2005) with John as our president.
I’ve had the privilege of working “up close and personal” with world federalist leaders such as Philip Isely (Earth Constitution) and Dr. Lucile Green. Now, I add Dr. Sutter to my list of world federalist “stars.”
We would from time to time gather at his condo, imbibe Sherry on the rocks, and talk politics.  John, a moderate Republican, believed in the rule of law — a feature missing in the UN Charter. Global anarchy was part of the reason the UN fails to prevent wars.
John did not believe in God or religion but was highly idealistic.  He and wife Doris gave away large sums of money to numerous causes. I estimated that John donated close to a quarter million dollars to world federalist organizations.
John’s wide array of friends and interests included John Anderson who ran for US President, Dr. Hunn’s proposal for an American World Service Corps, and Dr. Sharei’s Center for UN Constitutional Research.
Bragging that he was “Missouri stubborn” when it came to reason and facts. John had an unusually high IQ and an almost photographic memory for the details of past events and history.
The editor for many years of Toward Democratic World Federation (TDWF), he did not shy from controversy.  From the use of weapons of mass mutilation to the violent actions by Israel against innocent Palestinian citizens, John wrote about it in TDWF;  his legacy can be seen in what is now DWF NEWS.   John’s spirit will live on.

Roger Kotila, Ph.D.

President, Democratic World Federalists

Remembering John

“I appreciated John, Dr. Sutter, so very much and will not forget him: that tremendous intellect, his courageous and clear thinking, his quiet penetrating art of listening.  We rode together to our Sunday DWF Board Meetings in SF – John, Roger and I – John insisting on getting in-and-out of the car with his own strength, of coming to from and returning to his San Rafael condo, on his own strength.  I will miss our lively conversations, about the burning issues of the day, as we made our way to and across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I will hold dear and inviolate, the final words of his last correspondence with me…with us: “We are here to proclaim a world people’s sovereignty. We assert our citizenship in the world… We are here to plan our part in the long, hard fight to achieve the birth of a democratic world civilization, protected and promoted by a federal world government.

Harris Wofford | Former US Senator (D - PA)

President 1946, Student World Federalists

I’m proud to have been a close World Federalist colleague of John’s since I moved into the San Francisco area thirty years ago. John, a principled intellectual, is known internationally for his leadership in the Democratic World Federalist movement. John’s presence will be dearly missed by all who have been touched by his morality.”

Fred Duperrault

Former Vice-President, Democratic World Federalists

“If the world ever does come to its senses and form or evolve into a democratic world federation, John will richly deserve much of the credit.  His vision and persistence will have paid off.  We can never replace him, but we must try to carry on his dream.”
Bob Hanson

Treasurer, Democratic World Federalists

“John was a great person and leader. It truly hurts me to hear this. To me, John wasn’t just a friend and mentor he was a role model. I personally looked up to him and honored him. Now more than ever it is our duty to accomplish our goal for world peace and better society in honor of all the great World Federalists.”
Etienne Bowie

Administrative Director, Democratic World Federalists

“John was among that exceptional cohort of WWII war heroes who realized there was a better way to resolve disputes than through violence on that battlefield.  He dedicated his life to that cause, and was a mentor to many.  The movement has lost one of its most dedicated followers.”

Bob Flax

Councilor, Citizens for Global Solutions

“The movement lost a great man and mentor…Long live to the rest of you, good governance folks!”

Shahr-yar Sharei

Executive Director, Center for United Nations Constitutional Research

“…World Federalist stalwart champion John Sutter. He leaves an indelible mark in the arduous battle for the realization of the unity of our human family.”

Daniel Schaubacher

Co-Founder, Center for United Nations Constitutional Research

“It is sad news for Dr. John Sutter’s death whom I can describe in my own words as a World Federalist legend and library. He paid my travel assistance to attend the WFM-IGP congress in 1998 at India ,during my first time of being a democratically elected  first councilor of WFM-IGP by WFM Congress from the African continent.”

Prince Joseph Simbwa

President, African Federation Association | WFM Uganda

World Citizens or World Subjects?

Written By: John Sutter

Many of us concerned with the future viability of the Earth and its population and environment like to think of ourselves as World Citizens. But are we really “World Citizens” or “World Subjects”? Should one differentiate between aspirations and reality, especially when it comes to citizenship?

I’d like to suggest that there is a range of conditions between subject and citizen. A subject is usually a person or inhabitant of a political entity in which (s)he has no voice its governance. Traditionally most inhabitants of ever more complex communities were subjects of the ruler of the community. It was often a monarch – a chief, warlord, feudal prince, king, sultan, emperor or other secular or religious potentate.

Sovereignty, the authority to rule, and the powers obtained therefrom were in the hands of the ruling monarch or autocrat. The autocracy, — sometimes totalitarian – could be either secular, as in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, or theocratic, as in Taliban Afghanistan, rabbinical Judea and Samaria, or Europe under the Christian Church during much of its history.

The average inhabitant, during much of history, remained a subject without a real right to self-government — when the powers of government were shared between a monarch and an aristocracy (as in post-John England, the Holy Roman Empire, and feudal Japan), or between the monarch and the clergy (as in many of the post-Westphalian European nation-states).

In most instances the commoner inhabitant traditionally and through inheritance remained a subject and had no voice in his/her government. Since the people of the Earth still have no voice in the governance of Earth, there not yet being a global government, we remain “World Subjects”, not of a global autocracy, but of global anarchy.

When tyranny – misrule – was sufficiently great, there might be rebellions by some of the people, as by the British barons against King John or by peasants in part of Europe and Asia. With the Enlightenment and education came a growing demand for self-determination and self-government on a larger scale.

American colonists in territories under the British Crown, with their distance from the metropolitan power, increasing availability of education, and leadership influenced by the Enlightenment, began to participate in self-government and long for self-determination. With the successful War of Independence – the American Revolution – many American found themselves no longer subjects of a foreign monarch but citizens able to delegate powers to their governments at two levels under a federal structure.

Two centuries later the inhabitants of a number of countries of Western Europe have seen their community go through a number stages leading to what they hoped would be a new European citizenship, to possess and treasure along with their national and sometimes constituent-state citizenship.

Meanwhile, in many “independent” countries, the local inhabitants are still not full-fledged citizens, despite regular elections. How could they be, if (a) they never actually participated in the elections of their governors/legislators; (b) the election rules prevented any “citizens” not anointed by the ruling group from standing for election; or (c) their legislators were beholden to moneyed or other vested interests?

To become truly World Citizens, it is necessary to delegate powers and fashion a system for governing the Earth, with adequate checks and balances, horizontally among the global institutions and vertically among the different levels of the world federation. At the same time, it would do no harm if we, living in what we like to call democracies, become real citizens thereof and overcome the obstacles to full-fledged citizenship at home.



I. Bronze star for valor – US Army 1945

II. Purple heart – US Army 1945

III. Good conduct medal – US Army 1945

IV. Battle ribbons for service in europe – US Army 1945

V. Distinguished service award – DWF org 2015

Moments with John Sutter

Here are some videos and article about John and friends

The Soldier for democracy:

John Sutter the World Federalists

 John Sutter


leader | soldier | writer | peace activist

San Rafael, California, USA

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