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Blake Ekelund

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The World would be a better place with one government.

The World right now is struggling--different currencies, new ordeals within countries, and the fear of others is on our minds everyday.

With one government most of this would be abolished--

How is one government not better?

Topics: government
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    May 22 2012: competition keeps organizations in check. competition makes companies produce the stuff we want in good quality and at low prices. competition among countries keeps the states in check. the possibility to leave, or even to look at another country and see what they do limits the state in its actions. good examples can spread, bad examples can be avoided. in other words, diversity and trial-and-error helps a lot. we don't need one state. probably we need more than we have. they are already too big.
    • Timo X

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      May 22 2012: Although your argument has beauty in it, states are not actually competing for citizens like companies for customers. It is not possible to disagree to participate with the state you are in. Sure, you can go to another country and if you live there long enough you might even get a new nationality. However, you would be giving up very much in the process: your family, your friends and your home. Switching to a new state involves so much more than switching to a new supermarket. So much more in fact, that the idea of competition between states falters.
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        May 22 2012: i don't know much about your country, but here are two facts about mine:

        1. doctors leave the country like a sinking boat. the government tries to threaten them, but it is difficult, as if they are too tough, it can backfire, and cost them votes.

        2. it is common among people to compare how things go here and how in other countries. usually the formula is something like "in a normal country ...". if a neighboring country has bigger progress, it is a media event. popularity of the government in these times falls like a rock.
        • Timo X

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          May 22 2012: Contrary to what my profile says, I am actually from the Netherlands. It could very well be that what you describe is an important difference between our countries. Indeed, when comparing my country with many others around the world, there is usually very good reason to stay. However, I would still point out that citizens wanting to leave a country is not the same as another country wanting to have them.
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        May 22 2012: my second point has nothing to do with going anywhere
        • Timo X

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          May 22 2012: True, but if the threat of citizens going somewhere else isn't credible, then there is no reason for a country to change its policies. Only a credible threat can keep a country 'in check', as you put it. Elections and even revolutions are examples of credible threats, but those things can happen just as easily in world with only one state.
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        May 22 2012: but i just gave you a counterexample. in hungary, doctors freshly out of universities leave the country presumably on dedicated buses, or charter flights, they are so many. (kidding, they go on their own, no charters.) guess what, other countries welcome doctors. that was just one example. and you are right, carpenters are not (yet) leaving. one can never know. on saturday, i ate chinese food. the guy behind the counter looked suspiciously asian.
        • Timo X

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          May 22 2012: Haha, true, but even China is still full of Chinese. I did, however, not mean that citizens never leave, I meant that most of them will stay regardless of how their country compares to others. Perhaps you are right that all Hungarians would leave if your government's popularity hit rock bottom, but I just can't picture that (and therefore must discount it as a driver for competition between countries). Either way, for your sake, I sure do hope we don't find out for sure :)
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        May 22 2012: okay, here is my offer: the 2nd argument is much more important than the 1st one. deal?
    • May 23 2012: This is probably the best counter argument I have seen, and it's a fair point. However I would suggest that a one world government doesn't have to look the way you suggest it does. It doesn't have to mean the end of competition, trial and error or diversity, local issues in different regions can still be dealt with by local governments. It could and when it comes probaly will look something like the United states or the EU where each separate state can run itself in it's own individual way but agrees to a set of rules that are enforced by a central authority. The benefits of this would be the end of international wars, and an ability to force co-operation where it is needed so badly i.e global warming, humanitarian and natural disasters, science etc...
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        May 23 2012: the reply to this is the historical fact that states tend to grow and join, as opposed to shrink or divide. look at the US. federal budget compared to GDP grows like mushrooms after rain. the EU is getting stronger over member nations. so power has the tendency to concentrate. i predict that if ever a world government will be conceived, it will grow in power and slowly take away tasks from local governments.
        • May 23 2012: Great argument! I guess all I can say to this is the idea that power tends to concentrate kind of reinforces my belief that a one world government is inevitable. If it is inevitable we may as well not fight it but rather prepare for and create the best possible one world government we can.
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    May 24 2012: Hi Misha,

    answer me this:

    why is it that people constantly think that without government, the world would just be utter chaos, when in fact that true nature of the world and universe do not abide by such human standards? The true nature of the world and universe is anarchistic (in the sense that it is free to do whatever it wants and that we actually do not understand it) but we have been conditioned by the modern world to think that without government or structure we would just plunge into nihilism (or meaningless chaos). I must note that in regards to power I'm not just talking about government but also other apparatuses of power such as the educational, medical and prisons systems just to name a few.

    The funny thing is, is that people are so critical of governmental establishments but are unwilling to do anything about it. To me this is quite odd..actually very odd and hard to understand because "WE THE PEOPLE" seem to put more trust into politicians and business leaders who really do not care about our interest as opposed to working together with our fellow man and what is more flabbergasting is that ,many people know all about this and yet still advocate "to maintain the order" (although there are few exceptions to this of course). Here in the U.S. people do not even want to get to know their neighbor, so there really seems to be a low sense of community. this works well for those who understands the nature of power.

    I honestly think there is a deeper issue here: Without some sort of social structure there only seems to be individuality. People are left to themselves to create their own values; there own meaning and this terrifies many people. So instead of doing this and facing meaninglessness they grasp on to anything that they can find until they have solid ground. The very act of self-creating and be responsible for ones own life is the hardest thing for one to do.

    the result: the establishment of government and religion.
    • May 24 2012: Hey =)

      "The true nature of the world and universe do not abide by such human standards" - The true nature of the world or universe are irrelevant here because we are not debating those. We are debating the best way to structure human society, surly we want societies for humans to "abide by such human standards"?

      I doubt anyone truly believes that a world without government would plunge into nihilism as you suggest. There was a time when no governments existed we know what happens, we would have feudal societies (historians generally agree these weren't so great). Our nature as humans encourages complex social relationships this helped us to naturally progress from feudal societies to the democratic governments we have today. You might even say it is the natural order of things.

      "People are so critical of governmental establishments but are unwilling to do anything about it... People do not even want to get to know their neighbour". - This sounds like a criticism of your community rather than of governments themselves. Surly the answer would be to get people more interested and involved in their communities and local government rather than encouraging them to retreat from or abandon them altogether...

      "Without some sort of social structure there only seems to be individuality. People are left to themselves to create their own values... Be responsible for ones own life" - You seem to be interested in a society were people create all their own food, shelter etc, people are fully responsible for theirs and their families lives and little trade occurs. This sounds to me like a hunter gatherer society. Sure a hunter gather society would probably maximize peoples individuality and allow them to be fully responsible for themselves and their values. But with 7 billion people on the planet there is simply not enough land for everyone to live like this. By advocating this you are condemning billions of people to death by starvation...
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        May 25 2012: Hello Misha,

        most (if not all) governmental systems try to understand the nature of the world and people alike. By understanding these things they can understand how to control the public. This is really the basis of the public relations industry (at least here in the U.S.). Although the P.R.I. tries to understand public opinion, they have to have a deep understanding of everything else as well, that way they'll know how to set up their establishments and maintain their power. You mention the best way to structure human societies. The only way of understanding this is understanding the world and the human mind in relation to power and the environment.

        You'd be surprised as to how many people fear a world without government and structure. These sort of people have a tendency to link human suffering to human nature and for many, this is the true basis of human nature. What i think many people tend to forget is the many factors that contribute to human suffering and if you ask me most of it can be linked back to governmental problems as well as the global monetary system (this is not to say that all human suffering can be linked back to government and money being that religion amongst other things leads to this as well). Given the fact that there are many stateless societies, I would have to disagree that there was some sort of evolution of governmental systems as you suggest, leaving democracy to be the epitome of what governmental systems should be like.

        You are correct in stating that I am talking about a society in which people create their own values, food, shelter, etc but it is far from hunter gather societies and many societies like this exist til this day but are more community based. I appreciate the point you made. I have never heard that criticism before but it is far from condemning people to starve. I think starvation mainly occurs when you establish gov't since the most dominate ones take all the resources....

        My position may be a bit idealistic
        • May 25 2012: "Given the fact that there are many stateless societies... I am talking about a society in which people create their own values, food, shelter"

          How do these societies compare? Are they as "successful" (what ever that means lol) as democratic governments we have today? Do they have good healthcare, education and safety nets for the poorest? Do these societies allow for trade between communities? How about specialization or economies of scale? Do you find any meaningful science being done in these societies? I personally would not sacrifice scientific advancement for any kind of society at all. Science ensures life for everyone can always get better.

          "I think starvation mainly occurs when you establish gov't since the most dominate ones take all the resources...."

          This argument simply does not ring true. The nations where you find famine today are all net importers of food so you can't really claim the food is being stolen from out of their mouths. The problems are many but the biggest one I'd argue is that places ravaged by famine don't employ the best farming techniques. Why? Maybe because they don't have working democracies maybe they overvalue their existing farming techniques. They don't want to copy any one else farming techniques (after all they should be responsible for their own food right?). What ever the reasons, they have to deal with lower yealds because of it, and by extension famine. For a example research the green revolution and how Borlaug turned India from the brink of mass famine in 1961 into one of the worlds largest rice, poultry and beef exporters.

          I suspect you were probably thinking about other commodities like oil when you talk of dominant governments taking all the resources rather than food. In this case you make a valid point. This problem is exactly why we need to make the most dominate government responsible for everyone on the planet so no one looses out in this way. In other words to fix this we need a global government.
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        May 25 2012: The issue with what you say, is that your assuming that people cannot have a sense of well-being without government. Also you mentioned "success". As you pointed out, I cannot really talk about that being success is relative. For you to understand such a society and where I'm coming from check out these two links for starters:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia

        these are just two examples. What you need to consider is that everything you mention from scientific knowledge to food requires human knowledge, human hard work, human innovation, etc. All this could be accomplished without government. The problem is we have not considered these things and I think the first link is a perfect example of that. It is far from paradise but what place is and the people that live there are generally satisfied with their life. If you doubt the science you need to explain not only how those people are healthy but how were their buildings manufactured without the aid of government and I believe money? This is just one of many examples of societies like this that many people do not know about.

        If you really want to understand my position you have to look and even consider a world and human experience without money and I believe that is something your not really accustomed to because our modern world dictates that such a life is absurd and nearly impossible because humans cannot live in peace with just "9 Laws" (when you check the links you'll see what I mean).

        your analysis is not entirely true. To state that for example, American imperialism do not have an influence on resources in other countries and therefore creating a failed state is completely wrong. Also the point I was trying to make, even the local governments withhold resources from their own people, so to state that government and power are not responsible for famine is really not true at all. Its not because of farming, its because of power and interest.
        • May 25 2012: "Your assuming that people cannot have a sense of well-being without government"

          I didn't say that at all!. At best I assumed that a structureless society wouldn't really support scientists who don't really contribute anything tangible until they make a discovery that can be used to create something new (which may not come in one lifetime).

          "I cannot really talk about that being success is relative"

          Sure we could shrug an say 'we can never say for sure if life is better with or without gov't because it's a matter of opinion' but this debate wouldn't get far. I did suggest some things that I thought could be used as a measuring stick if your not happy with those suggest your own.

          "You need to explain not only how those people are healthy but how were their buildings manufactured"

          How could they not be? If they weren't healthy they wouldn't be around for us to discuss. If I left on a dessert island the first thing I would do is find food and build shelter, just because it's possible to live like this doesn't make it the best way to live...

          "To state that for example, American imperialism do not have an influence on resources in other countries" - I never made that statement infact I argued against it in the case of oil. "Human experience without money" - Money is just a technology that is used to facilitate specialization. What's wrong with specialization?

          Your anarchic societies seem very easy to corrupt and control. As long as you allow private property (you seem to be someone who believes in private property if not please clarify your position) then you can have monopolies forming. If I am the only person in the society who can provide something that everyone else really wants then I can basicly control every one by only giving it to people that do things I like.

          If you truly value individualism then surly you wouldn't get rid of all gov't because people should be free to choose for themselves what kind of society they want to live in...
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        May 26 2012: Hi Misha,

        This is fun!

        If you say that you weren't implying what I mentioned I cannot debate you being that I'm not you but your statements says it all. Thats actually not true, there is no reason to assume why they do not think on the same scale as most modern countries. They may not be as sophisticated but that's ok and it actually works for the inhabitants. Being stateless does not mean being primitive.

        I understand that you were using science, health and education as a measuring stick but this does not matter if these are not part of the functioning of that that particular societies. Many stateless societies function off their principles and values. If they are not concerned about global recognition then let them be because if their societies are not violent failed states, then we should allow for them to be autonomous and do what we can to protect them. and the environment.

        Since you are so concerned about scientific progress in stateless societies look up anarcho-syndicalism (libertarian-socialism).

        you really have much to learn about stateless societies because if your thinking that progress and success is contingent upon the amount of power and influence the dominate and more modernized countries have, then I would have to respectfully say that I disagree with that being that history and evidence shows the dangerous of such exceptionalism. (if this is not what your implying please do correct me).

        I'm not entirely sure if you are understanding what I'm saying. I first mentioned that I was using American imperialism as an example and I was using to as a way to show why I disagreed with your statement about famine and government. With that being said I am very happy to know that you know that you are against that type of behavior I was just show that the same apply for food as it does oil. And your type of specailiztion is the main reason for poverty so I wouldn't put much value into it.
        • May 26 2012: "This is fun!" - Certainly is, though I have exams next week and am not getting as much revision done as I should be lol.

          "Amount of power and influence the dominate and more modernized countries have" - But this is only a problem because there are more than one country so some will be dominated. This problem vanishes if you have a global government. All of a sudden countries can't dominate each other the same way different states in the US can't dominate/exploit each other. I truly believe government can work perfectly as long as there isn't another government nearby to fuck it up. The system works we just need to extend it to cover everyone.

          "You'd have to prove that governmental systems have a lower corruption rate" - Good point. I guess I'd say (democratic) governmental systems have built in mechanisms to stop corruption (elections). Anarchic ones though do not. You can't really piss off someone who is your only source of something in a anarchic society. There is no real way around this. Since governments have a built in mechanism to deal with corruption it kind of follows they'd have a lower corruption rate, no?

          "You didn't find the issue of private property in the links I showed you" - I certainly did but I felt the issue was kind of confused. In freetown the buildings all seem to belong to the collective but the article also goes on a bit about weed dealers living there, to be able to sell weed you have to own it don't you? I decided to do some extra reading; Googling Anarchy informed that there are different types including individualist anarchy that usually supports a free market and private property. I assumed you belonged to that school because you seem to value individuality quite a bit. I guess I just confused the issue.

          "Your type of specailiztion is the main reason for poverty" - interesting statement care to expand on that?
          "You really have much to learn about stateless societies" - no doubt recommend any books?
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        May 28 2012: Hi Misha,

        no worries, I'm quite busy myself and usually only have time to go on here at least once but I just finished finals. glad your having fun and sorry for being a bit strident.

        I would have to kindly disagree with your statement about a one world, global government. For one the major players in the world political systems (I'm referring to ones that attend the G-8 and G-20 summits) are by far the most corrupted people on the planet. You can mention how dictators are bad but to be honest, these people are not different than dictators except for the fact that some are more systematic in their approach as opposed to the tyrants that are more direct. Secondly what would such a global system look like? Would it be a global democratic-capitalistic system? Would it be an oligarchy? Would the leaders from other dominate countries be willing to sacrifice some of their power and prestige? Would this get rid of poverty, famine, high unemployment and social classes?

        The reason why I honestly think governments exist is not because people are incapable of ruling themselves. I think its because a few individuals realized that not only are we social mammals but also that the human mind is impressionable and they figured out ways to convince people that they know what is in their best interest. I do not think governments are natural, I think they are socially constructed (not out of some imperative but of convenience)

        Very clever response about corruption rates but there are some things you should know: In theory, democracy is built to stop that but in practice (at least here in the U.S.) corruption is systematic. It happens through the media, educational system, health care, banks (hence the bailouts). Many anarchist societies have ways of dealing with this. Many anarchist societies have what are known as federations. Also you should look up the First International.

        I'll continue the last part of your response in a new thread since this one is getting long: agree?
    • May 24 2012: I kind of had to infer what you think a government less world would look like from what you said and may have completely misinterpreted your perspective. I would be very grateful if you could explain in detail how you imagine the world with no governments, it's sure to be an interesting read.
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        May 25 2012: If your that interested I won't mind explaining it but I sort of want to see where our other conversation leads to before I decide to talk about that but I do have my own reasonable analysis of what such a world would look like..and thank you, I appreciate your interest.
        • May 25 2012: I had hoped it would help our conversation because I would be able to tailor my arguments to your perspective, rather than just offer generic arguments and hope some of them resonate with you. But we can do it this way if you like, just don't forget to explain your ideas when your ready.
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        May 26 2012: I ran out of characters so I'll continue here:

        Well of course, any society can become corrupted depending on the individual(s) involved. This really isn't a good argument because you'd have to prove that governmental systems have a lower corruption rate.

        I'm surprised you didn't find the issue of private property in the links I showed you. true anarchist societies (those that function off anarchist principles) do not value private property. Private property is one of the most grotesque concepts to anarchist. The link about free-town should of showed you one way of how a anarchist society functions without private property.
  • Jun 12 2012: Even in a vacuum, government of seven billion people by a single entity would be very difficult. All that power in just a few hands could work beautifully in capable hands, but we all know even democracy doesn't always elect even competent officials, and there's always the possibility of corruption. if officials aren't elected, well, then you're toeing a fine line with despotism.
    Not in a vacuum, if you put a global government right now in the real world, you'd have to add clashes between nationalities, cultural identities, religions, races, ideologies, sports rivalries... This system might not be perfect, but I'd rather have a community of nations to police each other, than one massive government that could fall on wrong hands.
    • Jun 15 2012: Luis: you describe some very real problems, but they have already been met and solved under similar conditions. As for this idea that a "community of mations...police each other", that obviously does not work. Just llook at the history of the last hundred years.. Unless by community of nations, you mean a community ruled by agreed on Laws, with the necessary structure, financing , and institutions to enforce the Laws. Just a gang of Vigilantes, merely out for their own selfish interests, which is what the UN or NATO is now.. won't do at all; it just provokes conflicts. It is certainly going to be a problem about "one massive government falling into the wrong hands", but then that has ALWAYS been the problem with governments, has it not?
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    May 25 2012: IF the cumulative "Good" of your hypothetical one-world government outweighed the actual cumulative "Good" of all the existing governments your assertion would ring true. I estimate the probability of making that "IF" a reality to be one chance in 7 billion. One government would probably probably not be better because it would not change what we are, i.e. proud; selfish; greedy; and corrupt.
    • Jun 15 2012: Edward: I don't know where you live, but is your own life so intolerable on account of "proud, selfish, greedy , and corrupt" people? If you are in the US, it is fair to say that such people are around, but so what'? we have a reasonably benign government , so far. Compared to Syria, let's say.
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        Jun 15 2012: Sorry Mr. Disney, I am not getting your point with respect to anything, but particularly with respect to one government being better than each nation having their own. Please bear with me and clarify your comment. Thank you!
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    May 22 2012: First off the way to a more sustainable and more peaceful place, lies not in the idea that more centralized themes are important. But, instead in the fact that we are all different and the local communities can and should be responsible for taking care of themselves. Simply the idea that one government could rule the vast land that is called Earth is so far to the right that it almost looks authoritarian and neo-nazi. The problem is that there is too much emphasis on telling people what is right or wrong and not enough time spent thinking. Let's instead make one world that teaches young people the same stuff about how to critically solve problems and the truth about equality the environment and about how corporations actually impact life on this planet. To me that would be more beneficial that an all encompassing government. Just my two cents...
    • May 23 2012: LOL why does a global government have to be right wing neo-nazi? It's perfectly plausible for a global government to be decentralized left wing or even communist. Claiming otherwise is simply not a fair argument.
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        May 23 2012: I did not say that it had to be I merely stated that it seems like the idea of one government would be very hard to have without it being very authoritarian. Just think of all those different cultures (many of which don't much care for each other) that have different values and religions and ancient stereotypes in their heads. It would be next to impossible for all of them to come to an agreement on who and how a ruling faction could take power. One might say democracy, but others would say that is far too bourgeois others would say let the left and the lower classes rule. It just seems that in the end it the world would turn out like most other countries in the 20th century that have tried to experiment with government and become dictated to in some form.
        • May 24 2012: Fair enough but I completely disagree I think the only way it could exist is if it was very decentralized. Probably implemented in the form of a union like the US, EU or UN exactly because there are so many different cultures on the planet.
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        May 24 2012: Sorry Misha I want to reply one last time but I can't because we have gone too in-depth lol. The idea of a decentralized government has yet to prove sustainable especially economically. Look at the U.S. the EU etc...They are loose collections of placed placed under one rule yes, but in the end they really have to either answer to the authority (the federal government) or make their own decisions (every country in Europe). Great conversation by the way!!! thanks for the fun debate
        • May 24 2012: Don't apologize I really appreciate any feedback on my arguments that people have to offer. I have been thinking about this for a very long time and never really had a forum for debate to really test my ideas until now, which is kinda why I have gone a bit over the top in this thread lol.

          If you don't think the US has been successful as a decentralized government then well... Your a more prudent man then I. Sure I wouldn't want to actually live there myself but from an outsiders perspective they seem to have proven the model can work. The EU maybe less so, I guess we will only know when and if they make it through this downturn intact.

          Personally I prefer the US approach for the possible global government and would install an authority that each nation would answer to. Though some seem to prefer the more flexible EU flavour. My biggest worry is how to implement a direct democracy on such a large scale many developed nations seem to struggle with it as it is.
    • May 23 2012: In principle yes one could argue that we would be better off with a one world government. How would we go about it in practice though? Perhaps we already have a workable structure with the UN? I personally think that this is the best we can do for the foreseeable future. We should not be in any rush to form an all encompassing government. I agree with you John that we need to make a more sustainable and peaceful planet and maybe the best way is from the bottom up rather than the top down.

      My personal preference is a mix of the two that meet in the middle? A global governing structure need not be authoritarian as Misha says. Hopefully we can bring this about with local assembles, regional/national governments and a World Council, UN, League of Nations etc. I don't see any reason why it should be one or the other we can and should mix and match as needed. The system should be flexible, open to change and capable of civilised dispute.
      • May 24 2012: Yes exactly. I'm in no rush for it to come about it will take time. The UN is possibly a workable structure it's just so weak that it's virtually irrelevant on any real issues. Also the UN has no direct democracy, if people are going to give the UN some actual power they will want a say in who runs it. Basicly I envisage a UN that actually has some power (probably in the form of control of the worlds military) and direct democracy.
      • May 24 2012: I have made this point elsewhere but would really like to reiterate it here as well.
        "we need to make a more sustainable and peaceful planet"

        The only way peace has ever been made was by creating a monopoly on violence (with perhaps the exception of the cold war). Monopolizing violence is how governments maintain peace within their countries it seems to be the only real way to create lasting peace. So it follows that humanity will be stuck in a perpetual state of war until violence on a international scale is monopolized (read global government is created). We wont have a peaceful planet until we have a global government.
        • May 24 2012: That is certainly an interesting point you make there. However the idea of a monopoly on voilence, there's something about that makes my skin crawl slightly, I can't define exactly what it is. I think I would prefer a UN controlling intervention and peacekeeping, maybe thats a different thing, maybe it's just the same but dressing it up in more diplomatic language.

          Educate people to the extent that they no longer want to participate in violence sounds more in line with my own personal philosophy. I accept that's just my personal preference though.

          With regard to your earlier point UN representatives could be elected democratically much the same way as members of the European parliament are elected from European constituancies. Is this perhaps what you meant with regard to direct democracy? To me direct democracy implies a more participatory structure with each and every individual involved in descion making, easy to do on a local level but much more difficult to scale up to a global level. This what I am trying to get at with my point in regards to a mix of structures.

          Regards
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    May 21 2012: I would argue that the world would be better without government
    • May 23 2012: Why would that make be a better world? Instead of elected officials the world world would be run by who ever is the most ruthless, richest or has the most weapons...
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        May 23 2012: and now it is run by ... wait, ruthless, richest guys with weapons. so even if you were right, which you are not, it would still not be any worse than we have today.
        • May 23 2012: The weapons controlled by leaders today belong to the government or a particular position rather than each individual leader this allows bloodless transitions of government (so no your wrong that's not what the world looks like today). Even if I accept your argument, the democratic governments that we can see today ensures there is a peaceful way to replace a poor leader (Either through election or term limits or votes of no confidence from congress/parliment).Your response seems to suggest my argument went entirely over your head or you are purposefully twisting it. Either way you haven't really made much of a point. My question was; why would the world be a better place without any governments? Or alternatively could you explain why I'm not right as you claim?

          Maybe what was meant was the world would be better without poor government and sure I'd accept that. But that's a different thing entirely from saying the world would be better without any government...
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        May 23 2012: this seems to be sophism, considering what the leaders actually do with their power.

        what would be better? this: nobody in the private sector build armies. look at the richest persons on the world. like james cameron, the ansari's, bill gates and so on. they don't want to build armies. they want to spend on their own whimsies, which either benefits mankind or not, but it does not matter. armies are created only on other people's money. only kings and states create and maintain armies. that was one. on demand, i can tell more.
        • May 23 2012: No I'm sorry the claim that rich people would not build a private army if only we trusted them is not a good argument. The only reason rich people don't build their own personal private armies is because the GOVERNMENT stops them.

          My counter example would be the feudal societies of the past. In these societies lords and Nobles would build personal armies. The most powerful among them became kings of their lands. These kings then used the armies of the lords/nobles below them to wage wars with neighbouring kings for more land/power. This is how most states were created in the first place. We progressed out of feudal societies to democratic ones. But getting rid of governments will take us back a step to feudal societies. This would not be a good thing.

          "That was one. on demand, I can tell more." - please do...
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        May 23 2012: so you suggest that james cameron is building submarines just because he can't build armies? it is theoretically possible, but some introspection tells me that it is not true.

        landlords in feudalism didn't spend their own money. they stole money from the serfs. all the leaders of mankind from the very beginning stole from the people, and maintained their power using that loot. sadly, this has not stopped. today, majority opinion robs people blind, and builds armies.
        • May 23 2012: Sure not James Cameron, but what about all the organized criminals who are kept in check by the government. With out a government to keep them in check they would become the kings of your new ungoverned world. I certainly wouldn't want to live under them.

          "the leaders of mankind from the very beginning stole from the people, and maintained their power using that loot. sadly, this has not stopped. today"

          Nor will it ever stop. The best solution to this that I am aware of is to try and give the people the ability to select who their leaders are. This is usually done through a democratic government. Taking away the peoples ability to control their leadership in whatever meaningful way that they can will only expose them to exploitation from the very problem you yourself described and I quoted above. Better the majority rob people blind and build and army than a single man...

          But pray tell me how do YOU envisage a government less world? Do you honestly think there will be no leaders or armies?
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        May 24 2012: organized criminals usually feed on government stupidity. now they make a living selling drugs. earlier they sold alcohol.
        • May 24 2012: So you honestly believe that the government is to blame for gangters in our society and if we got rid of the government all those mean people would just stop being mean... Some how I dont think so. Governments today monopolize violence in our societies if you take away that monopoly then what you will get is the liberal use of violence to extort the weak. the most brutal or powerful gangsters will then rise to power in a kind of feudal society that I described above. I honestly do not see the complete abolishment of government playing out any other way.

          I have made it pretty clear what I think would happen with out government but you haven't really said much on the matter. Could you please describe what sort of society you imagine when you talk about "no government societies". How would it work? Who would be the leaders/organizers of society? Who would provide education, healthcare and food for the poor?
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        May 24 2012: organized crime, yes or at least what i can recall now. bank robbers, frauds and such things would exist without government, or even aggressive gangs. but we don't need the state to defend ourselves. we need competing defense agencies operating for fee based on contract.

        in such a society, everything is provided by specialized firms. you want defense, go do a defense company. want healthcare, go to a hospital or doctor. you want insurance, go to an insurance company. you want to retire one day, go to an investment handling company. want education, go to a school, and pay.

        before you say, but the poor! consider that we are already paying for all this. just there is only one provider. and what one provider guarantees is high price and awful service. guess what, this is what we have now. expensive and terrible health care, expensive and terrible education, expensive and impotent national defense, and the Grand Ponzi Scheme called social security.

        and herein lies the problem. you want to fix the state. but the state by its nature is a monopoly. and so by its nature, it will always be cumbersome.
        • May 24 2012: If you strip a government down to the bone it is essentially a monopoly on violence. You can have a government that provides no welfare or, education etc but you can't have a government that doesn't control the military in the region. Arguing who or how we provide welfare, healthcare or education is really just debating what flavour of government we like best. If you can accept this we may be close to a resolution.

          Some reasons why the free market system does not work for defence:

          The free rider problem. The problem is that it is not easy to provide the service to only those who want to pay for it. This is because the most efficient way to defend something is to protect its perimeter. If Every one around me buys a defence contract I am bascly covered because there is a line of defence all the way around me and so I have no incentive to pay. Or to put it another way I can free ride of those around me. The ONLY solution to this problem is for the defence company to declare they will protect a certain area and everyone inside the area must pay the fee (tax). Lo and behold we have gone and created the borders of a state with a monopoly on the use of violence or in other words a government.

          Regulation. If there is any industry on the planet that needs to be regulated it is defence. Some kind of regulation would be vital to stop all kinds of atrocious war crimes. You try and think of a way to set up a regulatory body that has enough power over these "defence companies" to not be irrelevant but doesn't resemble a government.

          "we need competing defense agencies operating for fee based on contract." - This is essentially legalizing protection rackets. You wouldn't be getting rid of organized crime you'd be legalizing it!

          "the state by its nature is a monopoly. and so by its nature, it will always be cumbersome." - Without a monopoly on the use of violence humanity will be in a state of perpetual war. Which is why we need governments and in particular a global government
        • May 24 2012: "the Grand Ponzi Scheme called social security." - I'm sorry no this is a ridiculous statement.

          A ponzi scheme and a welfare state do not resemble each other at all. In a ponzi scheme people invest in the expectation that they will receive a return in the future. If they do receive a return it is only other peoples investment rather than any more money that has been generated. Eventually the scheme becomes unable to recruit enough new investors to pay off the people already waiting for a return. This is when the whole thing blows up, right in the faces of the people who are still waiting for returns on their investments.

          A welfare state has investors (taxpayers) and beneficiaries (people who receive welfare checks). They are never the same person at once. Its pretty easy for a government to make sure that there is enough money in the pot by either reducing the beneficiaries or increasing the investors.

          This simple division of beneficiaries and investors means that social security can not collapse like a ponzi scheme, quite frankly there are no parallels between the two.

          Please do not resort to this sort of hyperbole in the future it degrades the debate.
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        May 25 2012: "If you strip a government down to the bone it is essentially a monopoly on violence"

        it is kinda accurate. and as every monopoly, it does not work.

        "The free rider problem"

        this is mostly a non-problem. first, you don't need everyone to pay. we don't care about the free riders as long as not everyone is a free rider. second, exclusion from service is not as hard as some claims. the state is sloppy and impotent to exclude nonpayers, but the market is kind of good at it.

        "Some kind of regulation would be vital to stop all kinds of atrocious war crimes"

        who would finance war crimes? in a free market system, defense means defense. not like the US army that can not defend US citizens, but can bomb countries to oblivion. if there is competition between defense firms, the one with most effective defense means will win. but they will not be able to wage wars. they will lack the resources. at leas if i find out that my defense agency spends money on ICBM-s or bomber aircraft, i will choose another company that does not waste my money. same applies to any form of aggressive behavior. i'm not going to pay for it.

        " Without a monopoly on the use of violence humanity will be in a state of perpetual war."

        two things are missing from this reasoning. one: why would that be the case? two: how the states solve that problem? as i see now, wars are wage by states only. nobody initiates a war on his own money. only entities that are able to tax wage wars on each other. tell me a single war that was started by people.

        "A ponzi scheme and a welfare state do not resemble each other at all."

        wait. you are talking about the ideal welfare state. i'm talking about what we have. if you read back, i was explaining how the state screws up everything. the theoretical "welfare" state works as a redistribution system. the actual welfare state is a pile of promises that can not be fulfilled. the state has no idea how to keep its word. in fact, its not going to.
        • May 26 2012: "we don't care about the free riders" - that is probably the least efficient way to run a business certainly less efficient that the governments solution.

          "Exclusion from service is not as hard as some claim... the market is kind of good at it." - This is simply not true in the case of defence. If you going to tell me I'm wrong please at least provide an example of how the market could exclude from defence with out intimidation or physically moving anyone.

          "defense means defense" - defensive capability = offensive capability.

          "The US army that can not defend US citizens" - Not true the US army defends US citizens perfectly. less than 1% of American deaths last year were violent.

          "There is competition between defense firms, the one with most effective defense means will win." - To compete over defence you must out defend you competitor this means you have to attack your competitor to win. This means a war. Question: if no one will ever want to attack any one else why have defence companies at all?

          "Why would that be the case?" - Because if there are two companies that can use violence they will compete. A violent competition means... You guessed it war. The only way to stop this competition (war) is to have less than 2 (i.e 1) company that can use violence. Ergo a monopoly is the solution.

          "How the states solve that problem?" - You already agreed that states are monopolies on violence and as I just explained a monopoly is the only solution to war.

          The idea is that violence is bad. Because it is bad we want as little of it as possible so we should use the least efficient system as possible. What's the least efficient system you know? A monopoly! Monopolies are good here BECAUSE they are inefficient. The inefficiency in this case is good. Are you following me?

          "The state screws up everything" - My government doesn't, nor do many others. If your government has failed, it doesn't mean the concept of governments have failed.
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        May 26 2012: this is getting too long. i'm trying to answer key points only.

        you are falling in the nirvana fallacy. you want 100% efficient market, but you accept the utterly inefficient state. we don't need 100% efficiency. we need workable solutions.

        it is also not the case that if i can't say a solution you accept, i'm wrong. i didn't run for the role of king. it is not my task to come up with solutions. but here are some ideas. we don't want national defense. we want local defense. we don't want to win a war. we want to deter anyone to wage a war on us. don't think in today's solutions, these are inefficient state solutions. this is not how the free market solves problems.

        defense is much easier than offense. all we need is to make a war more expensive for the enemy than the revenue he might hope in return. again, never in history people started wars. only states do.

        granted, one state eliminates the possibility of war. but at a cost of trashing everything else. i don't think that war is our number one problem today.

        your government is one of the ones closest to bankruptcy. mine is actually farther from it. i can't imagine a more severe screwup than that. in addition to that, your country has a GDP growth below 1%. at this state of technology and capital accumulation, 10% is easy, 5% is the minimum. your government did it. they take more than half of the total production out of the economy, and spend it inefficiently. that sets you back that much, so you have no progress anymore.
        • May 26 2012: "it is also not the case that if i can't say a solution you accept, i'm wrong." - fair point

          "defense is much easier than offense." Wrong attack is easier than defence. Thats why we have M.A.D. it's easier to launch a nuclear attack than defend against one.

          "All we need is to make a war more expensive for the enemy than the revenue he might hope in return" - But that's the problem war is infinitely profitable. When you win a war you can claim any assets you like from your opponent this could be land or a slave population, these assets are potentially permanent if you defend them well enough. Because they are permanent you can profit from them for all eternity, as you approach eternity your profits approach infinity. So you see your defence would have to make it infinitely expensive to attack which is impossible.

          "Never in history people started wars. only states do." - false; what about tribal wars, gang wars, mafia wars, any civil war in history was started by people maybe it was against the state maybe it was against other citizens either way no civil was started by the state. I got into plenty of fights during school, in these fights I invested all the resources I could in hurting my opponent. The only reason this was called a fight and not a war was because I didn't have many resources. People fight all the time, wars are started when rich people fight.

          "at a cost of trashing everything else." - But government's don't have to be involved in anything but defence. Most people want them to be because they like the guarantees of food, shelter healthcare and education.

          "I can't imagine a more severe screwup" - But it hasn't gone bankrupt and it's getting further and further away from bankruptcy as we speak. And the welfare state (which is what my point was meant to be about) is still working fine.

          "You have no progress anymore" - Thats perfectly acceptable as long as everyone has food healthcare and shelter. Constant, fast progress is not my biggest priority.
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        May 26 2012: "attack is easier than defence."

        then how could vietnam kick out the US military? imagine a guerrilla war in which both parties are similarly advanced. about nuclear weapons: as i said, we only need to raise the price over benefits. what is the benefit for anyone to drop nukes on someone else? and one more point: just because the state can't defend against an ICBM, it does not mean that nobody can. in the worst case, all i need is an own ICBM. a dozen is enough. we don't need the state for this.

        war actually never was profitable, not even for the winner.

        gang war is called war, but it is not an actual war. this is exactly a kind of skirmish we can defend against by hiring some guards. tribal wars is a relic of the past, when man was mostly animal.

        don't move goalposts midgame. you said your country is not screwed up. i explained that it is. now you say but it should not be the case. that is my point! but it IS the case everywhere. because, as i claimed, the state can not be more efficient, lacking the trial and error of the market. and i can promise you, just watch, states are getting more aggressive, more intrusive, more indebted, more dishonest with time. getting away from bankruptcy is temporary. they have to, because they can't get more money now. but the are working on the issue.

        zero progress can be acceptable for you, but i can assure you, if you show people the two choices in detail, they choose progress. they choose smarter phones, faster travel, better health care, longer life and so on.
        • May 26 2012: "then how could vietnam kick out the US military?" - By paying a significantly higher price, the lives of so many millions. Why did Vietnam have to pay a higher price than the US? because defence is harder.

          "war actually never was profitable, not even for the winner." - false most wars are profitable, the opium wars are just one counter example.

          "What is the benefit for anyone to drop nukes on someone else? " - you can loot their dead bodies.

          "Don't move goalposts midgame" - my quote about about the state screwing up came from this piece of text written by you;

          "wait. you are talking about the ideal welfare state. i'm talking about what we have. if you read back, i was explaining how the state screws up everything. the theoretical "welfare" state works as a redistribution system. the actual welfare state is a pile of promises that can not be fulfilled. the state has no idea how to keep its word. in fact, its not going to."

          It is pretty clearly talking about welfare unfortunately I couldn't quote the whole thing because I didn't have enough characters. I hoped you would have been able to link the quote to the original text and realise I was specifically referring to the fact we have working examples of welfare states. I didn't "move the goalposts".

          " they choose smarter phones, faster travel, better health care" - over ensuring universal access to food, shelter and healthcare? doubtful.

          "states are getting more aggressive, more intrusive, more indebted, more dishonest with time." - That's a matter of opinion.

          The market can not provide a welfare system at all let alone a efficient one. You also seem to believe monopolies can't appear in the absence of government. - this is wrong, markets tend to monopolies the higher the barriers to entry are. Barriers to entry can be completely unrelated to governments.

          "You said your country is not screwed up. i explained that it is." - I'm not convinced but also feel we have gone down a useless tangent.
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        May 29 2012: " By paying a significantly higher price, the lives of so many millions."

        that is my point. what do the USA gained on that war? zero. the profit is negative. only a state does such a thing. a company never.

        "false most wars are profitable, the opium wars"

        prove me. the cost of even delivering the troops, let alone maintaining them and providing resources are huge. in return, they gained almost nothing.

        "It is pretty clearly talking about welfare unfortunately"

        no it is not. i was talking about "theoretical" and "actual" welfare state there, which is important. the theoretical welfare state is just unethical and and a drag on the economy. the actual welfare state is a ponzi scheme.

        "over ensuring universal access to food, shelter and healthcare?"

        first, it is some very basic level of healthcare, as quality healthcare can only be provided by an advanced economy. and i claim that yes, people choose phones and computers, as demonstrated by their choice of buying phones instead of putting money in a bank to provide reliable access to food for the rest of their lives.

        "That's a matter of opinion"

        no, that is a factual matter. either states getting bigger and more intrusive or not.

        "The market can not provide a welfare system"

        sure not, that is the point. btw we should put quotes around "welfare". for wealth is generated by free market, as it was demonstrated in the 18-19th century in the western world. the "welfare" state is a lie, and it does not work.

        "markets tend to monopolies"

        tell me a single monopoly that emerged on the free market.
  • Gu E

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    Jun 16 2012: I am split...I want to address our question as to (1) its feasibility as well as (2) whether it would even be a good thing.

    (1) I do not believe that one government for the world is possible. The United Nations is the closest thing to resemble a global organization or "government" and we are reminded daily of its failures and the hierarchies that exist within it. Then again, a United Nations that is taken much more seriously and has real legitimacy might work. Still, I find myself alongside those who are skeptical of a one world government--- Now successful global regimes (ideas/movements/ goals etc.) this might work better.

    (2) Now, would the world be a better place with one government? I do not think so. There are way too many different groups that it seems impossible to have every perspective heard in one government-- how can one government capture every political ideology, culture, history, culture etc.??
    I think the world is better off without one government. It is much more realistic and simpler to have regimes, cooperation and deliberation.

    I hope I made sense. To summarize I don't think its possible or a good thing.
  • Jun 15 2012: Agreed. A no-brainer. If anyone wants a preview, see Chinese History, the "Period of the Warring States", before the first Empire.
    It is not even an issue, because people seem to have the inherent interest, for many reasons, to travel, conduct business, etc. anywhere they can reach, and tend to create larger and larger social groups. from small bands, we have evolved into groups of millions. Of course, all this involves disputes of all kinds;but the most satisfactory solutions have always been by a" Rule of Law, not of Men". This process continues, and quite obviously, cannot stop at the National level, because the disputes at that level, (since there is NO rule of Law internationally), the consequent wars are ever more devastating. This will continue until either one nation "wins", or alternatively , the nations agree to form a very limited World Governemnt , along the lines of the original US. In any case, the same kind of political problems naturally ensue, but since there would automatically be a Rule of Law, it should be manageable, using the same institutions we have already developed for such situaitons.
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    May 28 2012: MIsha,

    I'll give you some input on the issue of private property (I've been sort of waiting for this part of the discussion).

    Collective ownership is essentially the anarchist way. Many anarchist realize the dangers of such ownership and how it causes many things such as greed and selfishness and conflict amongst people. For me private property is bad for the sense that individuals get attached to such things and that it really cost much unnecessary conflict. You seem to not have much value for collective ownership (or a communist society) so as an individual from the outside of this perspective can you tell me the dangers of such a way of life and how this is worse than what many modern socities base their life upon?

    If you did read about freetown you would of heard about the bombing and damage done to one of the buildings due to some sort of conflict. Since the society is community based many members of the community "willingly" helped repair the damages. This is something that would not have been done in a society that values private property because it creates the mindset of "well its not mines so why should I repair what I didn't work hard for".

    Now you are correct in stating that some anarchist principles value individuality but most people tend to think that philosophical and individual anarchism is forlorn. Also the anarchist that value this sort of private property tend to be anarcho-capitalist, which many anarchist reject as even being anarchism. If they are not anarcho-capitalist, they usually read the book by Max Striner called "The Ego and Its Own" which I would not really recommend.

    As for me, I value individuality in the Nietzschean sense but I disagree with him that every thing that is community based is herd-like. I do not think Nietzsche can lump anarchist with the herd or masters because anarchist seek to be neither but instead the free spirited individual.

    great talk, if we keep this up I may have to pull out my first of many Ace cards
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    May 28 2012: Well Blake,
    I feel one government is more like bringing in dictatorship, there should be at least 2 parties so that the opposition always keeps a check on this government.More importantly there will be a sense of competition to strive to serve people better.
    As far as economy is concerned, we can create a separate entity on which all economy related concerns are handled and tackled in a wise way so that we create a win win economy situations in a wise way.

    Regards,
    Bharath
  • May 26 2012: One government would not be better. The mess that current governments make is primarily because power is an agent of corruption. Politicians do everything they can to suppress their mistakes and remain in power. This appears to happen at all levels in politics from local town hall politicians to national politicians. International summits meetings appear to encourage delusions of grandeur and the power of world government positions would be likely to create government member's positions which are absolute and unassailable.

    No! Thank you very much. This notion is dystopia writ large. I don't need people telling me how to live. I particularly do not need well-meaning amateurs imposing their vision of a bright future upon me. Your idea appears to derive from the erroneous school of thought that states that if something is good, more of it just has to be better.

    Until government positions are mandatory for all and handed out for a limited time period (for say... not more than 3 months) to all of the population (mimicking jury service which is an assigned public function that is supported by career professionals) Any form of government, world or local is a poor compromise that serves narrow interest groups.

    If I want to do my bit to ensure law and order, I could buy a gun and dispense a form of justice that would ensure that people leave me alone. Perhaps the population numbers would be reduced but the remaining citizens would be very polite. /sarcasm

    I doubt that the self-interest of politicians could be sufficiently subordinated so that it was subsumed by the wider public interest. This requires vision for humanity and a will to do what is in humanity's best interests. Generally speaking, the people who want the power to change the world, are precisely the people who should not be let anywhere near the levers of power. Such positions will only attract big business (big pharma is already willing to drug drinking water supplies) and psychopathic personalities.
    • May 26 2012: Sounds like you have a problem with the way governments are currently structured rather than the idea of a global government per se. Would You still be against a global government of there were no politicians? Instead as you suggested all government positions could be mandatory for all and handed out for a limited time period (for say... not more than 3 months) to all of the population (mimicking jury service which is an assigned public function that is supported by career professionals). If so why?
      • May 27 2012: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_parliamentary_expenses_scandal

        Follow the link to see what passes for government in the UK. The excuses offered by the thieving representatives were many and varied. Only a few were actually prosecuted and punished. What was actually required was immediate and long jail sentences with a concomitant lifetime ban on holding public office. Instead the majority of these thieving MP's handed back the minimum amount they could get away with and the matter was quietly forgotten.

        Our local councils, which are managing people lives in thousands and tens of thousands, can barely make sensible decisions... for the public good. What chance is there than an organisation which is responsible for managing the whole planet and 7 billion lives, will make sensible decisions?

        Governments require power to act (supposedly in the interest of the many) and power implies enforcement. Non-compliant individuals and institutions would provide a massive logistical problems. e.g. how to police the globe or how to solicit the views of a 7 billion population. Huge inequalities are inevitable... particularly while many people do not have enough basic food or shelter for their needs. One could not even consider how to give everyone equal communication rights and internet access, for example.

        Power at a local level is often incompetent. This is often magnified in larger organisations. Giving more power to incompetent people is not a solution to the mess which governments tend to make. With short spells (as I have proposed) in government office, vested interests would find it difficult to build the relationships with legislative bodies that are so corrosive to so-called democracies such as that which exists in the UK.

        Does anyone have the right to decide what would be best for the globe?
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    May 26 2012: No.
    • May 26 2012: Care to explain your reasoning or defend your position?
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        May 26 2012: First of all I admit I was a little stunned by your question... Why should anyone be asking this kind of question?
        Anyway, since you asked, look at Europe. It's only 17 countries very closed together geographically, very well linked with roads, railways, communications, etc.
        They created a huge bureaucracy in Brussels (European Commission), in Strasbourg (European Parliament) and in Frankfurt (European Central bank), etc. They are spending billions to have that bureaucracy and at the same time all individual countries have kept their own bureaucracies, governments, parliaments, central banks, etc. They even created a single currency that created more problems than solutions as we can see now.
        If this is happening in Europe with 17 countries, you can imagine the whole world with more than 200 different countries, each one with their own currencies, cultures, languages, religions, regional problems, etc…
        I totally agree with free trade agreements but don’t come up with global governments…
        • May 27 2012: "I was a little stunned by your question" - You come to a thread specifically created to facilitate debate on the idea of a global government and are stunned when someone wants to debate the topic with you? Simply saying yes or no doesn't really contribute to the discussion so I encouraged you to contribute more...

          You complain that the EU has to much bureaucracy but then state you totally agree with free trade agreements... I don't think I really understand what your main argument is. Is it simply that a global government would be to bureaucratic?
        • Jun 15 2012: The problem about bureaucracy in Europe, is partly because of a reaction to WW2, isn't it? In any case, it would be entirely possible, and quite desirable , to structure a world government along the lines of the original US. , i.e. plenty of "States Rights" , and a very small, and limited Federal part, mainly used to keep the Peace. Why would that be fearful, or undersirable? It would , of course, be necessary to constanly counter the tendency to let it get out of control, but that is not iimpossible. And think of the benefits! For example, we hear about civiliians being killed and tortured in Syria right now. In a world government of Law, those victims could just dial 911, and have the perpetrators arrested. In fact, if murder were made illegal, Assad would not even attempt it, if he knew he could be arrested .
  • May 25 2012: Which would be better for us-- Anarchy? or One Government?
    • May 25 2012: Anarchy presumes we can abandon hierarchy's but even when we get rid of governments the person (and he will always exist because no two people are born the same) that can make the best/most of the most valued thing on the planet (whatever it may be) becomes the most popular guy in the world. All of a sudden we have a new hierarchy based not on democratic vote but on who is the best producer. The guy at the top of this hierarchy is just a likely to abuse his position as the guy at the top in any other position. I have never herd anyone explain how anarchy will deal with this hierarchy, I presume it can't.

      Democratic government however is pretty much a proven concept, so we at least know a global government is possible.
    • May 26 2012: I would love to be an anarchist but I cannot find out where they are holding their meetings. :)))

      Anarchy is preferable to one overarching authority.
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    May 24 2012: George Orwell, 1984.
    • Timo X

      • +1
      May 26 2012: Simply stating the author and name of a novel does not constitute an argument. Moreover, Orwell's dystopia actually has three governments. And while these governments are extremely repressive, this is not due to the fact that there are so few of them, but because of their ideology and because they are in a perpetual state of war. If there is only one government, this government could still be of a laissez-faire type. The argument that you imply by mentioning the novel is thus not even relevant to the discussion.

      Edit: Or perhaps you were making an argument for one government? That is, if there is only one government, something like in 1984 could never happen because there could be no wars between governments?
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        Jun 3 2012: It was not really an argument to begin with. I simply intended to imply that a one world government will lead to an Orwellian state.
      • Jun 15 2012: Timo: We have only one government in the US, but I notice that it doesn't seem to interefere with the War Hawks, claiming we are permamently "At War" with "Terrorists", (they don't know exactly who, or how to contact them, but so what?)
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    May 24 2012: I am certain that our world will evolve to ultimately be one world. It will take a 1,000 years or more, but it will happen.
  • May 23 2012: Part 2

    People seem to have the idea that a global government would be a centralized right wing dictatorship that resembles the empire from star wars. This idea I think mostly comes from the fear of Hitler and Lenin, or our media (e.g Star wars) that so often portray an evil power hungry super villain who seeks global domination. Why does the media go for these story lines? Well everyone likes a good underdog story where the little guy single handedly beats the evil empire, but our society should not be based on good stories. I feel it's particularly important to make clear that a global government does not have to look like this. Another argument I hear is that if a global union did happen the individual member states would loose their unique cultures. This is a ridiculous argument. In any single country there are many subcultures. I like to participate in the rave scene my mum does not. The fact that we both have British citizenship does not stop us from participating in our unique cultures. Similarly the states in the US or EU manage to maintain what keeps them unique perfectly well.

    So you see a global government does not have to look like the evil empire in star wars. When it comes it will more likely be decentralized and resemble the US or EU, with each nation having their own set of local laws but a central authority that can resolve conflicts and guarantee basic human rights.

    Of course their are many problems to solve on the way including:

    What will the official language/currency/etc be?
    Getting every one interested to join (invading everyone is not plausible, so it must be made profitable to get involved e.g how European nations want to join the EU)
    What laws do enforce globally (or what do we consider basic human rights)?
    Richer areas will always end up "carrying" poorer areas to some extent. Are richer nations happy to shoulder this burdon at first?

    But we will get there, if only because we have to.
  • May 23 2012: Part 1

    I personally think the world would be a better place with single global government. I also believe that in the future a global government is inevitable.

    My main and strongest argument for these beliefs is necessity. We are discovering more and more problems that can ONLY be solved with intimate global co-operation; global warming, war, the banking crisis, various natural and humanitarian disasters, that fact that so many people do not have access to basic human rights etc... We have also discovered that the kind of co-operation required just isn't possible unless it's coerced (in the case of war this is achieved at the cost of human life). So how do we get nations to co-operate? Well we would have to create some kind of authority that can force co-operation of course for people to accept this new power (and it would have to have some real power to be able to force co-operation this would probably come in the form of control of the military) it's leadership would have to be decided by direct democracy (and quite rightly so). All of a sudden we have created something that for all intents and purposes is a global government. Hopefully this global government will also foster a global community and global citizenship rather than nationalism. It will also reinforce the globalisation trend and provide a better forum to co-operate across borders for normal everyday citizens. Of course issues that don't require international co-operation should still be handled by local governments.
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    May 22 2012: The world would never have one government. that kind of utopia does not exist. We are all too different. governments reflect the people they are governing and the beliefs inherent in their populations. Collectivist cultures would struggle to be governed by the individualistic culture of countries like USA, UK etc. Sharon mentions that Absolute power corrupts and that is evident especially in politics, but imagine for example, someone like me in New Zealand, or you in America, or the Uk or wherever you are being governed by say Mugabe? There was a time when Mugabe was seen as a visionary, before he was corrupted by greed and power. So lets say we end up with a Mugabe, and we as one massive nation decide to revolt. Revolution in the streets of...everywhere? Could the united Nations exist if there were no nation/s to stand together?
    • May 24 2012: That kind of utopia does not exist... Until we create it.
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        May 24 2012: Good luck with that! I really wish it was that easy. It's hard enough getting people in one room on the same page let alone have the entire world agree on anything, and that is what would have to happen for there to be one government.
        • May 24 2012: But you don't have to get the entire world to agree at the same time. You only have to convince two countries then another, then another, etc. You don't have to bring everyone in at once... You could look to the EU and it's membership growth as an example of this.
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        May 24 2012: maybe this approach can be used to eliminate governments altogether?
        • May 24 2012: It certainly could! I just don't think it would be a good idea nor would such a world resemble any kind of utopia.
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    • May 23 2012: Are agreements to not commit acts of war not called peace treaties? It not unheard of for them to be broken. As long as some countries have more powerful armies than others there will always be an incentive to participate in war. The only way to truly stop war is to create some sort of global authority that can force each individual nation to behave peacefully once you have done that your halfway to a one world government anyway.

      Also please note that terrorist attacks (unless they are false flag attacks) are done by terrorist organisations rather than actual countries. So it really isn't fair to say terrorist attacks are a potential war tactic for countries to use (although you might argue that many attacks should and would be labelled terror attacks if only they were not committed by a government and you'd be right).
      • May 23 2012: It is not unknown for governments to fund terrorist/guerilla organisations in another nation. This has happened many many times in the past most especially during the Cold-War period and in fact many oppositon movements were specifically armed in order to become terrorist/guerilla armies.
        • May 24 2012: Yeah these are called false flag operations I did mention them above. Do truly independent terrorist organisations exist? Aren't terrorist organisations all just false flag operations run by governments? Well that's an interesting debate that would only get any where with insight from the security agencies of the world, who really knows? But I guess I meant a terror attack is not really a potential tactic for a nation to openly use. I guess there is quite a big difference between that and what I originally said. Bit of a pointless point really don't know why I made it. I guess I was confused as to why terror attacks would make people want a global government. If anything surly they foster hate for other nations and stop people from wanting a global government.
      • May 24 2012: With regards to truely independent terrorist/guerilla organisations, the slave revolts in the Roman empire spring to mind, certain uprisings of Native Americans against colonial occupation in the Americas also. A more modern equivalent perhaps being the indiginous uprising against corporate mining interests in Bougainville the so called coconut revolution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coconut_Revolution

        How would a one world government deal with that sort of thing I wonder? Would it negotiate or attempt to crush? If it would attempt to crush, it wouldn't get my vote.
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    May 21 2012: I guess this idea will only thrive in the imagination and in fantasies.
    The world is a complex place: an incompatible mix of ideas, philosophies, agenda, cultures and religions. One government could struggle to control the grandeur of diversity; it could be overwhelming in its control if it has to enforce its wills on the world.
  • May 21 2012: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. There are so many reasons this would not work I do not have the space here to addess them all. Consider the book Jihad vs. McWorld by Benjamin Barber. He discusses the pulling that is already going on between the globalizing influences of technology and the desire of humans to remain distinct and separate. Look around the world. People are pulling into smaller and smaller governments and tribal groups as they feel their culture is threatened. Complex systems corrupt and corrode. In the busines world we have "too big to fail" which really is "too big to manage". If there was one government it would truly be too big to manage and too big to control.
    • May 23 2012: But just because there is an authority over each individual nation doesn't mean it has to have absolute power... The united states is a good model of how such a system could work. Each "state/nation" can keep it's identity and culture and most things would be decided at a local level. however there would also an international level that keeps the peace enforces basic human rights like access to healthcare, food, sanitation etc and also facilitate close global collaboration on the things that need it most like cutting edge science or disaster relief. Essentially it would be kind of like the UN now only with some element of direct democracy and some actual authority over each member nation. I personally think it's the inevitable future although there is still a long way to go and thank god the world will be better for it