Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A world government?

I was always part of the 'international' community. Born in France, mother Spanish, traveled around due to my father's job, emigrated to the US etc etc. I am very much a citizen of the western world. So this article resonated with me. It argues that the time is right for a world government.

First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.

Second, it could be done. The transport and communications revolutions have shrunk the world so that, as Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, has written: “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr Blainey foresees an attempt to form a world government at some point in the next two centuries, which is an unusually long time horizon for the average newspaper column.

But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.


I believe the first and second point. Mainly that technology has made a world govt possible. I do not believe in the political will to get there. But what do I know.

I personally believe that nation states are dangerous notions from the 19th century. As political bodies they were a necessity back in these days, but nowadays they are dangerous constructs. Not everything is a matter of global politics, many issues are in fact local, and unlike what the article states, I do not think the EU model is one to emulate, where the power resides squarely with local politics, but rather the US model where state and federal powers are clearly defined.

I do not believe the nation state will go down peacefully, the political body is too invested in its own survival to vote its own dismissal, we need a Gorbachev of local nation states, one per country, to reach that state. There will be a lot of inertia in the dismissal of the nation state. I really like the idea.

12 comments:

Stan said...

Smart people have been whispering about a world government for years because it may be the only way mankind will survive. They whisper because they are afraid of being burned at the stake by zealots of the world's #1 religion - Patriotism.

Roy Russo said...

Wow Stan, +1 for a pompous comment; "Smart people(like me)" blah blah...

When people speak of world government, they tend to mean "Western World Government". Anyone that believes Asia, Africa, and the Middle East will join this utopian arrangement, is not in reality.

Loss of culture and power from "local" governments, is what scares people. Given recent political moves, this is true even in the EU. There are no guarantees that local governments will retain power/control over their decisions. There are little guarantees even now, within the U.S. - the next few years and new supreme court appointments will matter here.

Although I prefer a government that lets each state in the union do as it may, my communist... umm... *democrat* friends may not.

How did the world like 8 years of a Bush-led US? Now (hypothetically) put Bush as World President. Reality sucks. kthnxbye.

Marcf said...

>How did the world like 8 years of a Bush-led US?


VOMIT

Anonymous said...

all govt. is local.

Stan said...

C'mon Roy, I said "they are afraid", not "I am afraid". I certainly wasn't talking about guys like you and me. :-)

Jean-Luc van Hulst said...

Wasn't the UN supposed to be(come) some kind of a world government?
I agree with Marc that it is time, but I think unfortunately that is not going to happen.
Just look in the EU, where a lot of progress has been made in 30 years of being governed more like 'one' but where it's still not possible to agree on for example a common foreign policy.

I think giving up (perceived) power is one of the hardest things to get people/countries to do.

Maybe we need something bigger (aliens?) to threaten the world as a whole to create the need / urgency for a true world government....

Army No Va said...

I wonder how happy the western world would be if a "conservative" from an Islamic or Asian nation were "President" of the world. And they reallocate energy distribution away from the West.
Or would we use our nuclear arsenal as a threat to prevent that? Or would we turn our nuclear arsenal over to this world government!?!

Perhaps this needs to happen, but consider...

Got bikes and Nikes and gold? !!!

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