- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« Giving Costly Gifts | Main | Pray for the Pilot »

December 10, 2008

A One-World Government?

Global_govt According to this article by Gideon Rachman, we're moving ever closer to a one-world government. Do you think you'll see it happen in your lifetime? If so, do you view such a change positively or negatively? Why?

(Image © James Ferguson for the Financial Times)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A One-World Government?:


Jason Taylor

I think the present state of affairs is close to an ideal balance and a one-world government would be a step back.
What we have now is a hegemony that is strong enough to keep the peace unilaterally but enough power in smaller states to maintain a credible balence.
The disadvantage of multible equivalent states is the constant threat of large scale war. Added to a less rationalized global economic structure.
The disadvantage of hegemony is the temptation to hubris and the lack of recourse if a hegemony should become tyranical. This is not automatic: Rome, China, and Britain were not ideal but their rule was reasonably decent reliatively speaking. Even the Tartars gave rational if stern rule to those of their subjects who were left alive after their arival. Large hegemonies are often incentivised into ruling well by the goose and the egg principal. However one cannot count on that so an arrangement of one patron state and several reasonably powerful client states is better then a patron state and a multitude of vassals so weak as to be nonentities.
America's weakness is that it doesn't have the patience or the callousness needed for the constant small wars that cannot be separated from top position. And it regards pacification operations as degrading. In effect America is a Britain or a Rome that wants to be a Switzerland.
America's near monopoly of the sea and the air go far to make up for that. Because of this no power can launch a full-scale war in defiance of America. And while America's limitations keep it from preventing local anarchy, America's power at least ensures that the one to two dozen states that are most rich, influential, and stable are safe from each other. Creating what amounts to a global civilization. It is not an ideal situation but it is better then any other possible alternative.


He lost all credibility in the second paragraph:

"The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force."

Ability to deploy a military force? Really?????

There are lots of historical examples for really, really big governments, like the Mongol or British Empires. They don't last long - like a radioactive isotope, they seem inherently unstable. The overriding human tendency is toward division rather than unity, though people often do willingly unite for a time.


Big Brother is watching you.


It's always fun to put on our futurist hats, so here's me in mine. I see a post-national world in the making, with non-state institutions like multinational corporations and virtual cultures becoming the major power actors. While borders and national governments may hold on for a few generations, real power will slowly accumulate in extra-national organs, until a global culture that is hard to imagine now will emerge. It will not be consciously created on an EU or any other model, but will emerge from a global stew of cultural, communications, media, and likely martial revolutions. It will take a few generations of people who take global interactions for granted for all this to take shape, but barring utter environmental catastrophe, that is how I see the future world shaping up.

Jason Taylor

Both Rome and China lasted quite a while.
The Mongols were unstable because steepe culture was not geared toward administration or giving automatic respect to offices.
The British Empire ended because it's people were simply tired of it, had less of a desire for mere power then some, and had just finished two World Wars.
The Hapsburg Empire had a curious talent for survival and always seemed to keep going in it's rather ramshackle way.
So it is not unknown for empires to last a long time. From the purely rational point of view there is a lot to say for empire. But people are either more then rational, or less then rational, or(most likly)both. Many seem to agree with the poet that said,"our masters then, were at least our countrymen."

Jason Taylor

Andy, doesn't your system depend quite a bit on people being willing to die for "a post-national world?" A societal structure that no one is willing to fight for exists at the sufferance of those who are.

Jason Taylor

The problem with Andy's thesis is that the the people that are most enthusiastic for it are often people who are a heartbeat away from pacifism, afflicted with an instinctive cultural self-hatred and have a tendency toward romanticizing any rebellious or divisive elements in the world. This makes them an untrustworthy foundation for any government, let alone a world one.
Ninteenth century globalization would have been impossible without Waterloo. Twentieth and Twenty-first century style is impossible without Leyte Gulf.


Jason, I think you missed the part in Andy's idea about how this will require a few generations. Think about the current generation of kids growing up, all connected to the internet, not just the nerdy ones or the idealistic ones, all of them. Now replace all of the old fuddy-duddy luddites in the older generations that exist now with the internet people that are up and coming.

However, I see Andy's scenario fitting within some sort of locality based governmental institution(s), either new (one world) or old (leftovers from existing institutions) because no matter how wired and global we get we still exist in a local sphere and will need things like food, plumbing, electricity, law enforcement/protection, etc.


Hey, Jason. It's not "my" system, or one that I necessarily wish for. Just looking at the trends, it's one possibility I see coming. And I thought I covered the war aspect by including "martial" in my list of revolutions.
I don't think that you can argue against the reality that extra-national actors are becoming more powerful global players these days, and that the trend is likely to grow.

An aside: If you think me a pacifist, you're mistaken. (Heck, my hobby for the early decades of my life was putting on 50 pounds of cold-rolled steel armor and beating on my fellow hobbyists with rattan clubs. Got pretty good at it too. KSCA.) Sometimes war is the only answer, so please don't peg this lib as someone who thinks a fight is never necessary. I understand that some folks do need killin'.

Jason Taylor

Matt, my point is that this will require EVERYONE accepting it, or else it will require someone defending it by force.

Andy, your individual warlikeness is irrelevant. The point is that for the system you describe to work requires a large number of people with the means and the will to do so.

Jason Taylor

Another problem with the system Andy describes is that it has the attraction of an account book.
Which is an emotional reaction. But it might be considered that others will think the same.

Jason Taylor

While my individual emotional preferences are unimportant in themselves, if they are indicators of how others would feel, one might wonder.
I am skeptical about the shelf-life of a world order that promises NOTHING but peace and prosperity. We know all to well(at least some of us do)the perils of romanticizing the state. But a state that cannot romanticize itself at least a little bit will gain no loyalty.
And that is one reason why I am skeptical of Andy's concept. It is frankly boring. While that is an amuseing objection, it is more important then it seems.
And the EU to date has shown no sign of understanding this. It has shown no sign of imagination. It's choice of a capital may have been a good political compromise but it was atrocious as the begining of a New World Order(Rome equals Great Caesar's ghost, Athens equals Socrates, Aachen ecuals Charlemagne, Belgium equals diamonds and merchants of death). How long would such a system hang together.
In a way, that one of my objections to a rational order. It's just to rational.


I could see a one-world government happening *in my lifetime* only if the name of that government was an Arabic word meaning "submission".

But I'd imagine my lifetime would be rather short under such a regime, since I trend away from "islam", and I'm aware of the consequences.


Re: Jason. I think that the world has billions of folks who would love nothing more than a dull life of relative prosperity, a secure job, and a quiet family life, and would care a fig for what governmental system provided it. Drama is over-rated for most of the world's people. For them, such excitements are usually accompanied by AKs and RPGs. For most of us, drama is best suited for novels and movies, not real life.

Most of this world's pain can be laid at the feet of people who just had to stir things up because of their irrational need for drama. That small percentage of the human race has much to answer for.

If my prediction does resemble a future reality, perhaps we can purposely use the drama-junkies for space exploration and settlement, so that they can get their jollies while constructively contributing to boring old peace and prosperity on Earth.

Jason Taylor

Andy, the fact that humanity has much to answer for does not in fact make humanity able to be molded into a form in which it will not have much to answer for. If you wish to have a system like you describe, it must be sustainable. Which means that people have to desire that it be sustained.

And the billions of folks that would like nothing more then a dull life of relative prosperity, a secure job, and a quiet family life, are often just the same ones that would be perfectly glad to follow quite nasty people, if they only take said things from someone other then themselves.

Jason Taylor

Andy, any political calculation based on the assumption that other people are rational, is itself irrational.


Because I believe in the Biblical doctrine of the Fall, and because it is true that power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, I think that a one world government would be a nightmare of mass murder on a scale incomprehensible - though many people won't know about it due to total information control by the surveillance state.

Jason Taylor

The point Andy is that the reason people become cannibals is that they are deprived of food. The same operates in this case.
In a way I would prefer Andy's thesis with a constitutional monarchy to provide a little pomp and circumstance. The problem is that even constitutional monarchies need a little age to be believed in. Still the Habsburg system, weird as it was had a certain logic. They had one family holding the crowns of a dozen or so nations at the same time. The British Commonwealth is nominally like this too. But it did not work out that way.
But this sort of thing may not work in the modern world

b"ecause I believe in the Biblical doctrine of the Fall, and because it is true that power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely, I think that a one world government would be a nightmare of mass murder on a scale incomprehensible - though many people won't know about it due to total information control by the surveillance state."

Actually that is not the problem. Large Empires rule reasonably well enough times to satisfy one that this one might. The problem is that if it turns out that way there would be no where to run to.

Samuel X

I don't think humanity is moving towards a one-world government. We're just becoming connected enough that now we can group up by ideology to fight each other rather than by territory. (I cite: Internet trolls. Also the ongoing Anonymous vs Scientology war. Tendencies away from physical combat does not mean happy gleeful peacefulness.)

Also, the EU fails the test for nationhood. Of the eight accepted criteria, the EU government does not have its own police force (at least, not as far as I know...), it lacks diplomatic recognition by other nations, and sovereignty is retained by the member states.

I believe the applicable quotes here are... hmm...

"Pulling together is the mark of a tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions." - Terry Pratchett

"Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours?" - G. K. Chesterton

The comments to this entry are closed.