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Musing on a One World Government

November 25, 2009

Aron Paul wrote a thoughtful piece last week In Defense of a One World Government on New Matilda and I am have been musing on it ever since. As he points out we already have a One World Government – all-be-it a seriously dis empowered one – the United Nations. We created it after WWI for good and thoughtful reasons that still stand today.

For me, Copenhagen has been just around the corner since Bali, so I find myself caught off guard by the sudden flush of interest and enthusiasm for the subject from both sides of politics and among the commentators that are watching. It seems to me that most of the dialogue is asking the obvious (will we reach agreement) and a lot is missing the point (that Copenhagen is simply the first step towards that agreement), but regardless it is good to see.

Paul’s article however brings up some good points that are often not discussed. As he points out we already have a One World Government – all-be-it a seriously dis empowered one – the United Nations. We created it after WWI for good and thoughtful reasons that still stand today.

I know that the UN’s critics decry it as a plot from the left to bring down the world as we know it. Senator Minchin’s rather infamous neo-conservative pantomime was the most recent public evidence of this.  I have to say that I am not worried that sovereignty will be eroded as they claim. Sovereignty is an increasingly outmoded fabrication anyway that doesn’t bear any useful relationship to the way we use and abuse the world.

What thoughtful people are really questioning when they hear these debates is will a One World Government erode cultural diversity, and that is something I agree we must guard against. However, cultural diversity, is not and has never been the analog to sovereignty. Culture is about how humans understand and identify with their world. Sovereignty is about how we regulate and own it.

I am a fan of the UN. I love it as a concept and I yearn for the promise it holds. We increasingly need a global focal point to assist us with coordinated global decisions. We have long since moved past the time when we could operate in isolated countries without heed for what the rest of humanity was up to. Even the most closed of our societies recongise this fact and particioate in some global processes for the good of their people.

I am also a strong critic of the UN, for all is current dis empowered, overly bureaucratic, and often poorly focused faults. But, we need it. It is precious, and in the context of what is just around the corner, without the UN we wouldn’t have then platform of Copenhagen approaching; we wouldn’t have had the IPCC provide us with solid facts one which to make sound decisions; and most of al we wouldn’t have the opportunty to agree, let alone voice our concerns that we wont.

So, I am not worried about a One World Government – bring it on I say. Perhaps empowering it more might actually steer a useful course for the future.

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