• Marigold23
    6
    Should humanity be unified under a single government? Why or why not? If you were required to set up this government, what kind of government would you create? What threats to sustainability would arise and how would you deal with them? I'd love to hear anyone's thought on this.

  • synthesis
    935
    Is this for extra credit?
  • Outlander
    1.6k
    There are reasons isolated pockets of civilization are beneficial. Example, if a contagion is released or all-out war unfolds (ie. the place goes down the tubes) at least not everyone has to die or be afflicted by whatever as well. Corruption also, everybody can kind of "watch each other" and call out egregious abuses against those who commit it with no one entity ever being able to so easily or casually "overpower" the collective might of "everyone".

    Transparency and accountability, best defense against the tyrannical and beastly abomination that is unrestrained human nature with all it's greed and indifference.
  • ApollodorusAccepted Answer
    3.4k
    Communism has been a major advocate of world government and we've seen where that ended.

    Besides, we can see how even a national government can be corrupt and evil. Imagine the havoc and destruction that an evil world government might inflict on humanity!

    Personally, I would start with a national government run by well-trained and well-behaved philosophers, give it 50-100 years and if that worked out then I might just consider it. And, ideally, it should be a Christian one. I don't think I'd fancy the idea of a worldwide Islamic State to be honest.
  • counterpunch
    1.6k


    I don't believe global government is viable because the distance between government and governed would be too great. Perceived legitimacy of government lies in government being seen to identify with, and represent the interests of the governed. Global government would be alien to all - and even though, I believe that in fact, human beings are all members of the same species, we are evolved, and so beholden to traditional, cultural ideas from which we draw our identities. We do not identify as a species, and so cannot be governed as a species. It is not however necessary to a sustainable future, that we are! We would need global cooperation, but only on the application of specific technologies.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k
    We do not identify as a species, and so cannot be governed as a species.counterpunch

    That's a good point. I think if we look at China's treatment of Tibetans, Uighurs and other ethnic groups, some humans regard others as a different species to be either dominated or wiped out. A world government controlled by China would definitely be against the interests of other nations and, probably, even against the interests of Chinese people.
  • counterpunch
    1.6k
    For the sake of the question I assumed a neutral global government could be set up without the particular domination of any one or two countries. Global government would lack perceived legitimacy regardless of any disproportionate influence, because the distance from the governed is too great. It could not be identified with, because that's not how we identify politically. Obviously, such a body would be subject to undue influences also, but that wasn't my point. Rather, where Marigold asks:

    What threats to sustainability would arise and how would you deal with them?Marigold23

    I left an opening to explain to Marigold, had she asked - that the degree of global cooperation necessary to a sustainable future is actually quite narrow, and specific, if we cooperate in harnessing limitless energy from magma to tackle climate change by producing clean electricity, and extracting carbon from the atmosphere - nations need not agree to impose crippling taxes, swinging cuts and drastic transformations at home to achieve climate benefits. Nor, indeed, have such measures imposed upon them by global government!
  • Marigold23
    6
    There are reasons isolated pockets of civilization are beneficial. Example, if a contagion is released or all-out war unfolds (ie. the place goes down the tubes) at least not everyone has to die or be afflicted by whatever as well. Corruption also, everybody can kind of "watch each other" and call out egregious abuses against those who commit it with no one entity ever being able to so easily or casually "overpower" the collective might of "everyone".

    Transparency and accountability, best defense against the tyrannical and beastly abomination that is unrestrained human nature with all it's greed and indifference.
    Outlander

    Hey Outlander, thanks for the response,

    These are good points

    Yes, a system of separate nations was sustainable...even beneficial, as a way for civilization to experience evolution through turmoil rather than total destruction... war was also sustainable as odd as that sounds... a fight between Medieval Britain and France did not threaten the actual survival of humans

    but the individual governments are growing

    There will be a war. I know its a cliche to say that but think about this trend over time... let's be generous and say this era of peace after WWI and WWII will continue for another 76 years... lets make it 100 (unlikely)
    How confident should we be that after a century no superpower has even once used the full extent of it's military might in defense or offense against another superpower...?

    And

    How confident should we be that the full might of one superpower exercised in a war effort 100 years from now (let alone two or three of them) will not either result in some victors empire built on bones such as Hitler nearly built 80 years ago, or a total destruction of humanity by nuclear holocaust, (or by the utilization of some much worse weaponry to be built years from now)... as "sci fi" as that might sound, people would have laughed if you predicted the level of devastation which we would invent with the atomic bomb...
    And consider in what area of technology governments will invest the most time, effort, and resources over these 100 years (at their current rate which won't change as long as nations remain seperate and in competition)... war and things that go boom.

    We can't survive war anymore, currently...and that fact will become exponentially more true over time, quite rapidly.. so, regrettably, I don't see an alternative (in the long term) to a world regulator, or a world government...
  • Saphsin
    388
    The Bretton Woods system improved regulation of the global economy, I don't think international governance is as difficult as often alleged.
  • Marigold23
    6
    Personally, I would start with a national government run by well-trained and well-behaved philosophers, give it 50-100 years and if that worked out then I might just consider it. And, ideally, it should be a Christian one. I don't think I'd fancy the idea of a worldwide Islamic State to be honestApollodorus

    Well I agree an Islamic State is a very bad idea and a real threat... I disagree that a government or a society should ever have a singular religion, even if Christianity would be worlds better than Islam... I think an ideal system of government should necessarily disqualify the religious from holding office as political representatives over society. (I try to explain my reasoning below)

    I do not believe with any certainty that the religious are not correct in their particular religious belief (though admittedly I doubt that they are)... My personal skepticism towards any religious doctrine(s) is, I believe, irrelevant to this evaluation.

    I consider the role of a representative official as a job, much like any other in that there is a prerequisite to a person's qualification which is that they can (and will) do the job. If a job requires that a person must be able to aim and fire a gun and they cannot, though they may have good intentions in applying for the job, they are objectively unable to serve in that capacity...If a person is required to lift over 100 pounds in order to perform the duties of a job and they can't, then they are unable to serve in that capacity. It is not meant to insult or disgrace the applicant, it is just an objective fact.

    In society, applicants are screened for their qualifications... Generally, for the most important jobs with the highest stakes, the screening process is more rigorous... there are more qualifications, and the number of people in society who are qualified for the particular position shrinks dramatically...
    Furthermore, the screening process of any occupation is not randomly carried out by anonymous people, it is specific and carried out by experts who are familiar with the job being applied for.

    So, if more important jobs require more screening, then the most important job should require more screening than any of the others, and a higher bar for qualification... I'd imagine you and I do not disagree that the most important job, in a hypothetical world government, would be the execution and regulation of the government in tandem to those other people with that same job or above all others in the case of an executive like a president.

    So what are the qualifications? That is subjective, as it depends on what functions you have assigned to the job of executing the will and/or interests of a society...

    These are the main three functions I ascribe to a representative of any society

    1st function:
    (What should go without saying) To prioritize the job(or the function) above everything else.
    ----in the most important job in the society, it has never been so important for any job in that society that the person to whom we give the job is devoted to it in an absolutely zealous manner... they must be willing to die rather than to betray their objective... they cannot be selfish, under any circumstances. So, whatever functions we add after this, it is important that we are certain that the first qualification of the person is that they are able, willing, and absolutely determined to carry them out. They must be selfless.

    2nd function:
    -----To preserve the physical existence of the society over which he or she presides... No ideology of society, no moral injustice or cost to its comfort is so great as to forfeit the physical survival of the society altogether rather than to suffer that cost.

    3rd function:
    -----Within the limits of the second function, to increase and preserve the liberty and freedom of all the individual members of society... it is only the requirements of the second function that should (and will) limit the 3rd function, such that no one in society will ever have limitless liberty as long as they exist relative to others. We can only increase liberty through higher efficiency and sustainable material growth.

    The first three functions here describe the intentions I would require of a person before I would say that it is possible that the person could ever be considered perfectly "qualified" to be a representative of a society. To be a representative of all society, the primary candidates must pass the screening process and come closer than anyone to meeting these first 3 functions

    And the rest is a determination of whether they can carry out those intentions... Essentially just education and experience in the duties of a leader over society... Generally, a vast political, economical, historical, ethical, philosophical, and logical education and a proven record of success...

    A true follower of religion (or a shared, exclusive doctrinal ideology), is prevented from meeting the first two of my qualifications... given a choice, a true believer will (to the extent they are loyal to their religion) prioritize the spiritual ideology of society over its physical survival, as they believe that their specific ideology will correlate to an eternal, non physical survival after death which they prioritize over the impermanence of physical survival... therefore, should the general physical survival of a society ever become exclusive to the ideology of that person's religion, they will be bound by their loyalty to their religion to abandon the cause of physical survival for "spiritual" survival, which they always thought was more important... the religious tell us this quite often.

    I would ask a person applying for representative leadership who is religious this hypothetical question:
    "would you prefer that all of your society were physically destroyed tomorrow and everyone went to your version of heaven, or that your society were preserved physically for millions of years and every generation of that society went to your version of hell?"
    If they can answer with the second option, then I'd say they are a terrible adherent of their religion and a vicious person but, nonetheless, a potential political candidate. Though I would find them personally dislikable, as (according to their belief) they could only possibly carry out their function (according to this hypothetical) of preserving physical survival as they desired everlasting suffering for everyone to follow...they would be unlikely to carry out the third function...

    In any case, even if there are some religious ideologies that could potentially allow a follower to pass the qualifications (if they could prioritize the physical wellbeing of society over an ideology of non physical wellbeing), it is dangerous to pick favorites with religion, because we would could bring about a "world religion" which would be a terrible risk to society should that religion (whatever it may be) evolve over time into a less sustainable form which contradicts the function of a representative official
  • TheArchitectOfTheGods
    63
    The Beta version of world-parliament.org is a positive vision of a democratic future in a federal global republic, employing a mix of direct democracy and representative democracy known as liquid democracy. It allows voters to choose between exercising their voting rights themselves or delegating to trusted representatives, like in classical representative systems.
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    I am of the view that monopolies corrupt, and this does also apply to government.

    I was speaking to a politics graduate a few years back and he expressed a view that I found interesting. He said that a lot of the current world problems can be traced back to the last decade of economic stagnation, that in turn followed from the financial crisis in the late 2000s. This financial crisis was a result of a global thought monopoly that followed from the end of the Soviet Union - called the Washington Consensus. Even China at that point were economically adopting parts of that consensus. And this monopolistic thinking lead to bad structural choices and the recession.

    And while communism in the Soviet Union was a failure, it at least provided a form of competition at least in the ideas space. The Washington Consensus had a challenger and thus was less complacent.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    I am of the view that monopolies corrupt, and this does also apply to government.PhilosophyRunner

    Suppose it's an arm's length administrative structure, with diversified home rule, but no standing armies? Regional representation, like a senate, only without national borders, and a constantly changing elected parliament? An international court for transgressions against sovereign rights, and an arbitration process for inter-regional and inter-national disputes.
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    Suppose it's an arm's length administrative structure, with diversified home rule, but no standing armies? Regional representation, like a senate, only without national borders, and a constantly changing elected parliament? An international court for transgressions against sovereign rights, and an arbitration process for inter-regional and inter-national disputes.Vera Mont

    The issue is that beast has no external entity to critique it, to constraint it, to make it justify it's actions. I find that a problem. If you did not like that structure, you have no option. It has no competition and so can be complacent.

    Others have given different reasons that I think have merit, but mine is one against there being a monopoly, even if it is a benevolent monopoly.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    Others have given different reasons that I think have merit, but mine is one against there being a monopoly, even if it is a benevolent monopoly.PhilosophyRunner

    What we have now is a monopoly of unaccountable, unopposed, infinitely mobile global wealth. What external entity can critique it with authority? What external entity has the power to constrain it? What external authority can make it justify its actions - or even discover most of its actions?
    The nation-states are powerless against it, but they rattle enough missiles against one another to kill the world seven times over. Ordinary people already have very few and very bad options to choose from. I think a benevolent co-operative system, however fragile and potentially prey to corruption, is preferable to the current situation.
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    The nation states do have the authority to oppose the accumulation of ultra wealth. They choose not to because of thought orthodoxy, inertia, or corruption. There has been a monopolistic thought orthodoxy since the fall of communism, which is a problem.

    So the solution as far as I am concerned, is not an even larger monopolistic thought orthodoxy, but rather more options.

    Starting with changing the electoral system to one that allows minority parties more of a say (eg proportional representation), as opposed to the two party dominant systems in many countries.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    So the solution as far as I am concerned, is not an even larger monopolistic thought orthodoxy, but rather more options.PhilosophyRunner

    Sounds good. Go on...

    Starting with changing the electoral system to one that allows minority parties more of a say (eg proportional representation), as opposed to the two party dominant systems in many countries.PhilosophyRunner

    How do you get them to do that? Start with the US.
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    How do you get them to do that? Start with the US.Vera Mont

    Start with getting people talking about it. Talking more and swapping ideas more is one reason I joined this forum. More discussion about politics in a framework where moderation encourages argument and swapping of ideas over things like personal attacks.

    Anyway it will be hell of a lot easier than forming a global government. If you are talking practical steps today, a global government has no chance.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Global "one world" government will have to wait until the advent of an irreversible Technological Singularity that brings about a sustainable Post-Scarcity economy. (NB: Iain M. Banks dramatizes this political-economic speculation in his acclaimed Culture series of space opera novels.)

    :up:
    :up: :up:
  • Vera Mont
    836
    Global "one world" government will have to wait until the advent of an irreversible Technological Singularity that brings about a sustainable Post-Scarcity economy.180 Proof

    Sounds OK... except that with the post-whatever-happens situation, you can't be at all sure of global communication, or even finding out who survived. Be interesting to watch how they manage.
  • universeness
    4k
    I agree that it's probable, that technical advancement will compel eventual global unity before human morality does.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    Anyway it will be hell of a lot easier than forming a global government. If you are talking practical steps today, a global government has no chance.PhilosophyRunner

    It doesn't need forming. The UN already exists and its agencies carry out a good many functions of government much better than most current governments do in their individual territories. It's true that world powers, both formal and private, undermine its efforts whenever they see their own hegemony threatened, but that happens to every government in countries with contentious factions. They - I mean world powers, military, political, religious and financial - are the only real obstacle.
    Empires must crumble before a new world order can be formed out of the crumbs. I imagine a breakdown of all federations and dominions, so that relatively equal small states may form a pact where none dominate.
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    I imagine a breakdown of all federations and dominions, so that relatively equal small states may form a pact where none dominate.Vera Mont

    Fair enough. I imagine much smaller and more practical steps like more discussion spaces and technical changes to how elections work, than empires crumbling and new world orders. I guess time will tell!
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    Global "one world" government will have to wait until the advent of an irreversible Technological Singularity that brings about a sustainable Post-Scarcity economy. (NB: Iain M. Banks dramatizes this political-economic speculation in his acclaimed Culture series of space opera novels.)180 Proof
    Yeah I think you are right, though I would say that a post-scarcity economy is necessary for a single world government but not sufficient.

    Look at the corruption and power plays being made by millionaires and billionaires - it is not due to scarcity. It is because power and influence is very alluring. A solution to that would also need to be found.

    The way I see it, first we have to understand and fix the structural issues that are faced in our current democracies of millions, before we can even begin to contemplate a democracy of 7 billion. Otherwise you are going to have the same issues and worse, just of a bigger scale. Why is the US so antagonistically divided? If you we can't first fix that, I can't see a good outcome on a worldwide scale.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Yeah I think you are right, though I would say that a post-scarcity economy is necessary for a single world order but not sufficientPhilosophyRunner
    This is why I refer to it as an (optimal) effect of a (beneficial) Technological Singularity which, for me, is the sufficient condition for 'world governance'. Primates like us are mostly wired for – territoriality and forming dominance hierarchies – tribal eusociality, and so monopolistic social arrangements, as you've pointed out, are inexorably subject to moral hazards because of our atavisms. 'Human-level A.I.' (or more advanced) will not be constrained by primate glands and reproductive drives; provided we can engineer 'philanthropic A.I.'; it can govern us and all other planetary systems as an integrated whole. :nerd:
  • PhilosophyRunner
    181
    I see, the AI technology is not just to make enable a post-scarcity world, but to also basically run the world on behalf of humans. It would be interesting to expand on that idea, because I wonder what possible pitfalls there might be, and how to avoid them.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Check out the recommendation in which "my idea" is explored in speculative fiction (@ my first post on this thread).
  • Vera Mont
    836
    I guess time will tell!PhilosophyRunner

    Listen fast! I don't think you have as much time as you all seem to think you have.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Heck no there should not be one world order. It is much better to stay with wars to determine what happens.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    This is why I refer to it as an (optimal) effect of a (beneficial) Technological Singularity which, for me, is the sufficient condition for 'world governance'. Primates like us are mostly wired for – territoriality and forming dominance hierarchies – tribal eusociality, and so monopolistic social arrangements, as you've pointed out, are inexorably subject to moral hazards because our atavisms. 'Human-level A.I.' (or more advanced) will not be constrained by primate glands and reproductive drives; provided we can engineer 'philanthropic A.I.'; it can govern us and all other planetary systems as an integrated whole. :nerd:180 Proof

    Well so much for liberty. Will that utopia include drugs like people used drugs in The Brave New World to deal with their totally useless lives.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Well so much for liberty.Athena
    Why do you say that?
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