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Rob Warren

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Is a one world government just around the corner?

Humans have gone from caves to settlements, from villages to towns, from cities to metropolises, and from states to unions. As we have grown in number we have grown closer both geographically and culturally. Technology has vastly helped increase our interconnectedness further. Is our path therefore predetermined? Will one day our states become only memories, as a single global union dotted with vast 'megacities' becomes our future?

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    Dec 8 2011: It is a very interesting question Rob. There are many advantages and disadvantages to a one world goverment. I think that Tim makes a very good point about the way multiple goverments = multiple approaches but I think that many leading goverments are now looking for universal approaches to problems.

    Lets look at the summit of EU member states taking place as I type for an example. Germany and France want all Eurozone countries to adopt a common tax rate and other measures, in an effort to save the Euro. However many smaller eurozone countries are against this. Ireland for example would lose more business if there was a common industrial tax rate as we rely heavily on our low rate as a draw for international companies to set up here. So would a world goverment with fixed tax rates for every continent or province or however it would divide land, be beneficial for everyone? Human nature is to look after your own and that would be a great obstacle to an International goverment.

    Were it to happen I think its set up would be the hardest part. Would we be ruled by a select council of people or would there be a very Matt Groening-esqe 'President of Earth'. You only have to look at the fierce opposition some Eurozone citizens have towards Merkel and Sarcowzi to see that elections would'nt be easy! Maybe in a post-racism world they could work but I reckon that each country would simply vote for their own, with the biggest majority winning and leaving about 6 billion people unhappy with the goverment. And even for politicians that is a lot of opposition to deal with!

    I dont see it working in my lifetime and it is anything but just around the corner. But one alien invasion could change it all....
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    Dec 6 2011: I actually think there are only 2 ways a world government would be successful. Alien attack, ie. "Enders Game", we all unite around a common enemy as a utopian society becomes necessary to survive invasion. Or... Huge global space colonization project. I think we could use that as a unifying idea to pool a collection of resources around.

    First we need to solve food and water shortages worldwide, population, and global warming... We got a few decades.
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      Dec 6 2011: I agree David. We seem to prefer an "us versus them" situation.
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        Dec 6 2011: I'd like to hope that some time in the distant future, we could be united in the way Major League Baseball is... Where we all have a team we're rooting for, and we're all competing... but very few people have to die over it.
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          Dec 6 2011: It is good to have hope David. But the darkness of the human heart must be subdued if such a hope can come true. Where men are there is treachery., tyranny, war and death. Come on alien invaders!
  • Dec 2 2011: A one world government is not around the corner. It would be forced upon us if it were, which would mean war. Freedom is the natural calling of every human heart. Not anarchy, freedom. Information is so accessible, it is leading to more freedom. All of the rebellions in the Middle East, they could not have risen without information. The technology to create the interfaces to information was created in free societies, mostly. Humanity has never been more free, and the pendulum still swings in that direction.
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    Dec 1 2011: Thanks for the response Tim.

    It's a good point you make; global democracy. I would hope that if a one world system were to develop it would be pluralist in its nature; utilising knowledge and expertise from all corners of the globe. In fact maybe that would be the whole point. If one 'super government' could gather all the best minds from all disciplines and put them in one place, then all of earth's citizens could benefit from the result. This may prevent dysfunctional systems like that found in the US having to wait for other state's solutions. Although the internet already plays a massive role in this.

    Of course the shortcomings to a one world system are numerous. That much power concentrated in one place would lead to massive government paranoia, probably resulting in a vast and invasive police state. I foresee underground revolutionaries battling the all knowing all powerful demigod in a post-apocalyptic landscape! Maybe too much sci-fi.

    I think the need to pool resources in the future will force us to cooperate more and more; either that or an alien invasion. We may not be ready for a one world system, but I have my doubts about the future of the state.
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    Dec 1 2011: It is an interesting question Rob. I used to think that a single world government would be the inevitable outcome of the evolution of human society. And indeed there is an ever-increasing need for coordinating the efforts of the world population, particularly concerning issues of resource allocation and environmental degradation.

    However, there is one major shortcoming to the all-powerful one-world-government approach. The advantage of multiple governments is that it allows for multiple approaches to be tried. If a given system is opposed by one population, but tried by another, then a sort of competition of ideas will have a chance to prove which is best. Take the case of health care. There are many competing philosophies on what the best approach is. Over time, with the current multi-governmental systems, the superior approaches will be found. Whereas with one world government we might get stuck with a dysfunctional system like that in the US which opposes all government health care approaches.

    What do you think?
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    Dec 30 2011: This topic is very interesting. I thank everyone who is participating. I have one idea to put forward here.
    Paul Lillebo said "separate cultures and languages, they will prefer political decisions that affect them to be made by their own representatives, by folks who understand their own culture."
    This has been true in the past, but the growing divide between the groups that see their way of life threatened and those with the power to take the resources that their society needs, will push disparate language and culture groups together against the groups they perceive as powerful and greedy 'corporate controlled oligarchies.' The simple example of this concerns those labeled "Muslim Extremists." Religion has historically been a rallying point around which groups can coalesce. And indeed the apparent divide between current radicals and their opponents has been religion. But this is only because this one of the easiest rallying points that people can identify with. The problem is not between the religions. It is between power and non-power. As power grows faster than non-power, those that see themselves as powerless can only hope to survive by joining an ever expanding group that reflects their feeling of non-power.
    This is one of the major problems we face in the near future. Technology will increase available power exponentially. Those with controlling interests in power will remain a small fraction of the population and it will become apparent to greater proportions of all populations that some fundamentals must be changed. The divide between the powerless and those with the power to purify water, to harness the wind, to produce electricity from the Sun, to kill anyone anywhere, to change their genetics, perhaps to conquer aging and even death, will become deeper and deeper. Greed might kill us all.
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    Dec 29 2011: Democracy becomes less meaningful the farther away the government is from the people. It's a useful democratic principle that decisions ought to be made at the most local level possible. From that perspective, a single world government is a horror tale. I think for the foreseeable future a world-wide organization limited to consultation and coordination where needed is appropriate, like the UN.

    As long as peoples and nations have separate cultures and languages, they will prefer political decisions that affect them to be made by their own representatives, by folks who understand their own culture. We can observe the growing dissatisfaction within the European Union, where individual countries can no longer make their own laws, but are overrun by the bureaucracy in Brussels which is cranking out laws and regulations that must be followed by all 27 countries. Resistance to this is mounting throughout Europe.
  • Dec 13 2011: I do not believe that this would be possible in the near future... the augmenting levels of internal conflicts, coupled with the shifts in power due to the economic recession has made this highly unrealistic.
    Perhaps, one would argue that due to the absence of a world war, things have become more peaceful. Nonetheless, this is only because most nations understand the lose- lose situation they will encounter due to the nuclear technology present today.
    the recession has made nations more inward looking, which in fact is affecting the globalized society.. due to the decreasing unity, would it be possible to unite ?
    Who will take control ? Several new powers are emerging, the old powers continue to exist .... Due to cultural clashes, I do not believe that even a government collaboration would work. We are simple too diverse...
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    Dec 6 2011: No. A country is defined by its government. Borders will only be erased when 7 billion earthlings all want the same government. Only by superior force is that possible.
    "Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land!" (Walter Scott)
  • Dec 2 2011: I think that the IT has been supported as well the benefits to our lifes but we have to think how we can take more advantage of it???
    The IT sustainability index has been created the values???
    Let's discuss about it, including, the benfits to our city...how???