It’s a fascinating idea–can the entire world be governed as one?
I remember as a kid watching all the space shows where Earth and its entire people were always shown as one united planet.
Not only was the Earth viewed as a single governed entity and the people as united against outside forces, but multiple planets were united together in alliances–Star Trek (with The United Federation Of Planets), Star Wars (with the Republic, The Empire, and The Galactic Council), and Battlestar Galactica (with the Twelve Colonies).
In all these shows, there was planetary unity as well as an interplanetary union.
Yet, the reality in this world, as we know it, there is plenty of divisiveness and distrust, often leading to conflict, skirmishes, and even all out war.
Over time, we have formed some unity in parts of the world–in ancient times, we had the various empires (Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, British, etc.) that spanned large swathes of Europe, Africa, and Asia–but since these empires were the result of conquest, I do not think this is what we mean by true world unity.
In current times, we have unions that are geographically based and often founded on unity of ideas and beliefs–such as the United States and the European Union (with core beliefs in democracy, freedom, equality, and the rule of law), as well as the Russian Federation, and the African Union.
So the question is can we as a world move from individual countries, nations, and states to a true world order?
The Wall Street Journal (8 October 2012) had a book review on “Governing The World” by Mark Mazower that explored whether global government was possible or even desirable given that a world government could be used not to unite disparate peoples and solve large and complex global problems, but rather for the strong to rule over, colonize, and subjugate the weak.
So far efforts at establishing world-wide governing bodies such the League of Nations and United Nations, have been largely seen as being “mere sound and fury” and essentially ineffectual. Similarly, supportive world bodies, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been accused by movements such as Zeitgeist of being agents of economic manipulation rather than true benefactors to help needy people.
So far the track record of the world for governing universally people around the world has been less than stellar with events like The Holocaust, and other recent genocides in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Darfur.
Yet, while the WSJ book review says, “early enthusiasm about the emancipatory promise of world government now seems hopefully naive,” I still believe it is possible when our similarities become more important than our differences.
In all the science-fiction shows that show the people of Earth united, it is always a result of some external threat–whether an outside enemy like the Klingons or Cylons, or other apocryphal events such as a global pandemic, killer asteroids, or even thermonuclear war.
We can come together–not in subjugation but in jubilation–only when we stop hating and discriminating based on differences–and instead band together to raise the standard of living, freedom, and human rights of all.
Everyday, three times a day, towards the end of the Jewish prayers in the Aleinu, we ask for the day when “G-d will rule over the whole Earth”–this is a great hope for not only G-d to be one in all the Earth, but for all people to be governed and united as one–justly and beneficially. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)