By Ron Logan
In the short time since the middle of the 20th Century, there has been an irrepressible growth of globalism. A vast network of air transport spans the planet. Telecommunications have become global. Pop culture is a shared experience of much of humanity. Ideas flow freely, almost in real time, throughout the global reach of the Worldwide Web. Science is undertaken in a milieu of global collaboration. Movement of investment capital is little obstructed by national boundaries. And goods produced in one country find global markets for their sale.
“The proper structure for a world government is that of a confederation, not a federation.”
Globalism’s rise has also had its dark side: global climate change, global dispersal of pollutants and radioactive materials, destruction of ecosystem resources that serve the planet as a whole, global spread of epidemics, depletion of essential resources used by all humanity, global credit bubble collapse, economic globalism’s race to the bottom. And there remains the earliest, and most destructive, of globalism’s diverse expressions: wars having global impact. From World War I, to World War II, to the Cold War, to the rolling, shifting conflict between the Islamic and Western world systems, much of the planet has either been directly without peace or indirectly experiencing the world to be unsafe.
While globalism races ahead economically, culturally, technologically, its emergence is stalled where most needed: politically.
Since the end of World War II, the United Nations has served the international community, helping to facilitate economic development, frame international law, improve health and education, promote human rights, and protect the peace. Its powers have steadily evolved, its mandate has expanded, and the power that was originally concentrated in the hands of a few superpowers is now better distributed (to some extent). Yet the United Nations, for all that it has contributed to making a better world, is simply inadequate for the needs of the global society.
A world government, having sovereign authority in certain spheres of life, needs to be established. Humanity has no other option if it is to secure a peaceful and prosperous future and life in harmony with the earth. The irrepressible rise of globalism simply cannot continue to go forward without a global political body to give it order. We cannot be global in all other respects, but balkanized by sovereign nation-states at the political level.
Benefits of a World Government
With a world order, a world government, to be established, there are three primary benefits which humanity could enjoy.
First and foremost, with the establishment of a world peacekeeping force, there could be elimination of the violence of one group against another so that human beings need no longer be suffer from war.
The second benefit is that the standard of living of human beings may be brought up by the consideration of global welfare and the equitable development of a global economy having proper global standards.
And the third benefit is that there will be the collective movement of human society as one. With this collective movement, many new developments will occur. There will be opportunity to become space-faring, to function as a unified society, and to move along the lines of collective evolution as human beings become more and more interwoven and linked to each other, first through technological means and the sharing of a common society and then through expanded psychic development.
In all these areas, human suffering will be minimized and human development enhanced by virtue of the world government.
Obstacles to the Creation of a World Government
A world government cannot be imposed; it can only come about if it is widely accepted by the people of the world. For humanity to reach this acceptance, several obstacles will need to be overcome.
First, many peoples are reluctant to loose their national sovereignty. They possess nationalistic sentiments and do not want to see their country give up its political authority to a global body. Their fear of losing national autonomy can need to be allayed by rational discussion of the benefits of a world body and by taking measured steps toward its formation.
Second, many people have been subjected to political, economic, or cultural imperialism. Oppressed peoples are naturally going to be suspect of a world government, assuming it will be dominated by the same powers who have long enjoyed hegemony or economic dominance over lesser nations. Their feeling of caution is warranted and cannot be dismissed. Those working to create a world government will not only need to acknowledge these reasonable fears, but also help free all people from domination. Once people are free from oppression, and enjoy cultural autonomy, they can become strong and secure, and they will naturally feel open to joining a world governing body.
Third, global integration of a certain kind is presently promoted by transnational corporations and by the global institutions that serve their interests. Any world order that further strengthens their power would be highly destructive to the common welfare. The global institutions that largely serve the interests of the corporate global economy – the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and (perhaps to a lesser extent) the World Bank – have accrued tremendous power, and the power they wield serves corporate interests above the interests of local communities and ecosystems. Their loyalty is not to humanity, but to the power and profits of the transnational corporations. So long as corporations hold dominant influence in global affairs, formation of a world government should proceed cautiously. Localized control of economic power must be secured along with the emergence of a global political authority.
Given the climate of people’s concerns – some legitimate, some not – the world government should be strengthened gradually, and in pace with evolving popular acceptance. In its initial stage, for example, the world body’s executive powers should be limited to such important areas as maintaining peace, protecting the rights of internal minorities, and preventing environmental harm to the earth. And the power of executing the policies and legislation enacted by the world confederation should be left to the member states.
The proper structure for a world government is that of a confederation, not a federation. In a federation the whole becomes something of itself, something more than its parts. In a confederation there is the voluntary participation of many states that together form a whole, and that whole is the sum of its parts. So a confederation is not a unit in itself, but consists of a united coalition of various local units, of the member states.
According to the PROUT political system, regional, multinational federations should be formed, comprised of groupings of local socio-economic units (nations, if you will) that share a cultural affinity. India, for example, is a multinational federation that politically unifies diverse cultural nations of the South Asian subcontinent that share Indian civilizational characteristics. And the European Union is an emerging multi-national state, made up of member nations having a shared European identity.
This trend toward the formation and strengthening of regional multi-national states will only continue. Although culture and social development needs to be protected and strengthened through the formation and empowerment of socio-economic units, this is not a time for small political states. The present movements toward regional alliances and economic integration that is occurring in South America, Southeast Asia and elsewhere will only deepen; the European Union (in broad outline) is the model others will follow.
Then these regional states can be brought together as a world confederation. But that confederation will not dominate the local areas; it would not have a separate life from the participating bodies. The collective of these federations becomes a governing body in itself, but it has no separate authority from those federations; it is the sum of those federations. If one federated state decides it will make war on another, then the confederation may intervene. But it does so as the entire collective, not as an independent body and independent police force that has nothing to do with the member states. The world body must be a confederation of the local federated groupings which have collaborated to form the confederation.
Protecting Internal Populations from Oppression
When there is a ruling party in a particular area which becomes oppressive to its people it is the responsibility of the international community to intervene. If a country has become totalitarian and abusive, this allegation may be brought before the confederation. Then this body may decide that concerned country must change its policy and come into line with the stated ideals of the world confederation or pressure may be applied by the confederation against this country. If it does not listen to a verbal warning, then some kind of sanction must be applied. If this does not suffice, then intervention must escalate and international force must be brought to bear upon the situation. And if they still do not change, then the rulers must be ousted from government and the opposing elements allowed to take control.
So there is a four step approach:
- First the situation is brought before the confederation, then specific demands are established by the world body;
- If those demands are not met, sanctions will be taken;
- If sanctions are ineffective and anti-humanitarian activities continue, then military intervention may be taken and the existing oppressive regime taken from power and opposition forces given full right to rule; and
- When the situation is stabilized, the international peacekeeping force will be removed from the region.
All countries will know that they must abide by the international standards that have been collectively set. If a country would change those standards, they must bring the change before the collective body and propose the change in standards. But they cannot simply violate the standards that have been set without repercussions, otherwise there will not be international order whatsoever. In this way, a certain humanitarian standard may become the norm within the entire world order. There must be some regulating force and some capacity to keep those who are offenders in line. If a standard is not set, and there is not enforcement of that standard, then there become no criteria for the establishment of a united human society.
It need not be oppressive. The world body will be a confederation; that means that control is maintained within each individual member’s local society. The regions will have local autonomy, but they are also part and parcel of the larger world body. Though the control is local, they must answer to the larger body as to their compliance with the general standards, which must be based upon humanitarian values. That is why there must be a common ideology, one which is based on spiritual and human values, so that it promotes the physical, psychic and spiritual welfare of all human beings, giving them maximum opportunity to pursue their personal development, as well as to pursue the collective development of the human race.
Functions of the World Government
As the world confederation evolves it would develop and expand several major functions. Important among these functions would be the following.
Board of trade and resource allocation. To promote balanced economic development throughout the planet, the world confederation would promote the equitable distribution of the world’s resources, especially those vital raw materials, such as oil and aluminum, needed by all economies but which are found in only a few locations. Such resources would be treated as the common patrimony of humanity, not as the exclusive possession of the region in which they are found. Regions possessing rare and necessary raw materials would have the right to process these resources into usable commodities – to smelter the copper, cut the diamonds, extract the quinine, refine the oil, etc. But they would then be expected to sell or trade these commodities at fair price to those regions that need them.
A board would be established to oversee the fair distribution of essential and rare materials; it would insure that they are not hoarded or not sold at inflated prices by cartels. Because the trade board would be a function of the world government, it would represent fairly the interests of all the member regional federations. The board should be comprised of persons of high integrity and dedicated to the welfare of the entire global community. By assuring the fair global distribution of important resources the prosperity of all humanity would be elevated.
For the world government to maintain world peace, there must be a world militia under its command to undertake peacekeeping missions, should no other means of securing peace be possible. The world militia would be a standing force, not an ad hoc assembling of volunteered national forces as occurs with present UN peacekeeping operations.
Only the world militia would control weapons of war. The regional federations could only possess those weapons reasonably required for internal policing purposes, not armaments intended for war. Neither should the regional federations be allowed to maintain standing armies. They may have reserve forces that could be mobilized to maintain internal peace, but not a constantly mobilized military. There should be no need for such armies, as the world militia would act as an effective deterrent to aggression.
The dismantling of standing national armies and the restriction of military power to the world militia would be a decisive step toward establishing the authority of a world government, and a step that would have immense benefits for the people of the world. It would not only mean that war between nations would disappear from the earth, but would also allow for the immense resources squandered on national militaries and arms to be freed for human needs.
In addition to the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, the world government would have an audit branch. The integrity and independence of the audit branch is critically important, as it is the branch of government that sees to the honest and efficient functioning of the other branches. So the auditors must be beyond the reach of corrupting influences. Otherwise they will not be able to assure fair elections, root out corruption, see that agencies do not waste money, and so forth.
To protect the integrity of the audit branch, its oversight would be under the auspices of the world confederation, far removed from local and regional political pressures. The world audit branch would supervise the auditing activities conducted by subsidiary regional audit branches. These regional offices would be supervised by auditing teams that are not of from the local population, but come from another region. That is, the regional federations would not audit themselves, but would audit each other, under the supervision of the global audit branch. If an audit team from one region were to find discrepancies in the region they were auditing, and their report were then challenged by the region being audited, then a second audit team could be sent in by the world government to do an independent review. The audits done in the regional federations would also include audits of lower levels of administration.
Environmental protection bureau
The world government must have authority to protect the health and to regulate the use of the global commons. As environmental protection often comes in conflict with economic development, local and national administrations often compromise the enforcement of laws which safeguard the environment and regulate resource use. So it is necessary that ultimate authority rest with the world government to see that resources are properly stewarded and ecosystems properly protected. This would become the role of an environmental protection bureau. This bureau would be invested with strong authority to constrain developmental activities in the regional federations, should those activities cause damage to the environment.
Protecting the environment is a political issue; it is not in the realm of economics. It may affect economic policy, but in such matters local economic policy should not have the main say over the usage of land, waters, or air because this will lead to exploitation which will destroy balance. So the appropriate political arena for environmental protection should be the world order. There will be a system for protection of the planetary resources, and that will come from the confederation of world states, which will set a policy of global protection. And from this there will be certain codes and a department which will see to the overall protection of the global resources and environmental standards, so that the larger good is seen to.
This is a global issue, not a local issue. So there must be a world regulatory system to maintain proper environmental standards throughout the globe, and these standards must be adhered to by local socio-economic units in their economic development. Otherwise the desire for economic progress in the local areas will override the good of the whole in terms of environmental quality. These environmental standards must be developed taking a global perspective, not based upon the needs of the local areas. There will definitely be times of conflict between the interests of the local units and the global environmental standards and resource development standards. Tension between the economic interests of local socio-economic units and the environmental standards for planetary sustainability will be ongoing.
So issues of sustainability, resource development, and environmental integrity will be coordinated by the world confederation, looking at the larger picture of global development. It will set the standards, and it will enforce the standards. There will be a bureau for this, and the bureau will have offices within each region and within each district and within each block. It will be very large. There must be a primary directive, a primary plan which everyone is following. Then implementation will be in the local level, but it will be monitored one district to another, one region to another, by officials of this bureau. For this is a global issue, not a local issue, and the standards and their maintenance will be a source of rub with local economic developments.
Local autonomy is good and well and should be there, but local control of resource development and environmental standards cannot be had, otherwise what will be to the advantage of economic development in one place may be to the detriment of all.
The legislative assembly of the world body would formulate laws and authorize executive authority, and the executive branch would administrate programs in accord with legislative statutes and executive orders. A judicial council would then be required, having authority to review legislated laws and the executive orders and to adjudicate cases in which international laws may have been violated. The judicial council would be appointed on the basis of merit, and in the interest of fairness, its members would represent all regions of the world.
Cases could be brought before the world judiciary in a variety of ways. Cases could be initiated by the member states. Or the audit department could ask the court to review cases where global regulations are not being adhered to. Judicial opinion might also be sought by the legislative assembly or by the executive branch.
The world government will require revenue for its operations, and this revenue would come from its member states. The operational contributions assessed from the regions would not be made on a voluntary basis, as currently occurs in the United Nations. A binding means of revenue collection will have to be put in place. This system would be established by the world council then administered by the treasury department, which would also disburse the operating funds that are budgeted to the various operations of the world government.
But the treasury department would not just handle the collection and distribution of revenues. It would have two additional functions of importance. First, it would set and maintain regulatory standards for the world’s banking system. These standards would insure that banks are operating soundly and that their holdings are invested in local economies and in support of the developmental plans of the local planning commissions. The banks would be locally operated, but there would be regulatory standards set by the world treasury department to insure that they are kept sound and are operated for the maximum benefit of the local society.
Second, the treasury department would oversee regulation of the world’s currencies. This would involve seeing that the regional currencies of the world are pegged to a common standard so as to insure stable rates of exchange and avoid the devastating effects on local economies that can come from fluctuating exchange rates.
Key industries commissions
Certain industries have regional or global importance. These key industries would be overseen by the world confederation. Telecommunications is an example of a global key industry; rail transport is a key industry having regional importance.
The production facilities of a key industry may be locally owned, and the operation of the plants may be under the control of the workers cooperative. Ownership and operations would be local concerns. The role of the commissions would be to oversee the overall development of the industry on a global or interregional scale. They would determine production needs and production standards. And they would decide where best to locate plants so as to take advantage of favorable production conditions as well as promote the equitable economic development of the world’s regions.
So, for example, there may be several sites a skilled work force, the access to parts, etc. that are needed for airplane production. The key industries commission for global air transport may then distribute production among these several sites, giving more work to sites where economic development needs stimulus. And if there is a production site that has potential, but there are already several key industries concentrated in the vicinity, then it may not get selected to also manufacture planes.
Key industries commissions would not come under the executive branch, but supervised by the world legislative council, as its work concerns the coordination of the internal economic activity of the regions. The commissions would function through a hierarchical administrative apparatus: Under the global commissions there would be regional administrations, and under this there would be administration in the socio-economic units. Through this apparatus there would be a systematic and efficient functioning of the key industries.
Extraterrestrial affairs department
The boundaries of humanity’s existence are no longer limited to Earth’s surface, but are beginning to penetrate into space. If extraterrestrial bases were to be established, there would be concerns that should be overseen by the world government. And were space-faring races to make open contact with Earth’s people, relations with these races could only be handled by a world body that could speak for humanity as a whole and, eventually, arrange ambassadorial relations. Coordination of such space related matters should come under a department of the world confederation. As humanity ventures ever further into space, the importance of this department will grow extensively.
Humanity must come out of its barbarism and balkanization, secure its collective destiny on the planet and rise to new heights. For this, world government is essential.
Ravi Logan is the Director of the PROUT Institute (www.proutinstitute.org) and author of PROUT: A Solution-Oriented Paradigm of Development.