Monday, June 04, 2007

Has the Time Come for a Global Government?

At the moment, there seems to be very little oversight over the rulers of countries when they go bad. There is the United Nations, but they have little teeth. They hold regular meetings and have limited contributions toward peacekeeping forces, etc., but I get the impression the house is pushed around by the bigger players in the room.

I'd like to see a world-based legislative body with an authority to hold world leaders accountable for their sins against their own people and against their neighbors.
I think countries should still exist and should be allowed to manage their own affairs, but that there should be a higher authority for someone to appeal to when they need to seek justice. It must be someone not easily corrupted by the politics within a single nation.

Imagine if there were a global governing body that Bush had to go to to propose his case for a war with Iraq. This whole nightmare of a mistake that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars might have been avoided if they had said no AND had the means to enforce that decision.

In the larger sense, whether the person is running the US, or the UK, or Sweden, or Venezuela, the world simply can't afford to have a self-serving country leader running around trying to start wars for no good reason except self-interest and self-enrichment, or political influence leveraging. It doesn't serve the common global interest.

I know there are those that view this global governing body to be the future destiny of America - but the global body cannot be American. America is already too powerful militarily, and as it loses it's economic supremacy over the next few years, there will be the temptation to use it's hyperpower military to gain some economic leverage back, and that should not be allowed. It should be an extension of the United Nations, and could possibly be housed in Iceland. Iceland is in the middle of the Atlantic between the power bases of Europe and America. In fact, because of the curvature of the Earth, often the planes on trans-Atlantic flights do pass over Iceland on their way. And Iceland is a country small enough not to have global domination dreams, and they seem relatively impartial, so that might make a good neutral place to set up shop for the global government.

And this new body is needed for more than just resolving disputes between countries, and keeping naughty country leaders in line.

More and more these days, certain companies are larger than the countries that used to contain them. They play gamesmanship by pitting one country against another as they move their jobs and assets around the globe. If they are big enough, no single country's government can really touch them. They are citizens of the world - not of a single country.
These include G.E., G.M., IBM, HP, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Cerberus, Royal Bank of Scotland, Phillips, Toyota, Volkswagen, etc. there are thousands of such companies. The Fortune 500 are just the biggest 500 in the US. But this is only one country in a big world that is getting bigger all the time.

Someone needs to be the global authority to regulate these companies in the common global interest. Having them escape prosecution or compliance with one country by leveraging their ability to move to other less restrictive countries does not work in the best interests of the world in general. Companies operate completely by pursuing self-interest. That is fine on a small scale, but when a company has hundreds of thousands of employees and makes more money than hundreds of countries, and when they make decisions that affect millions and millions of people and the marketplace and economies of countries - then they need to be controlled to some degree.
That's why we have governments at all. If we were left to the desires of companies, then those who own the companies would pollute the world, and keep everyone who is not an owner in abject poverty and would operate unlawfully in every possible way at every possible opportunity. The only thing that keeps them controlled is a government body that enforces it's laws. But now that companies extend beyond the borders of any one country, and in a time that has companies that have offices in literally hundreds of countries - the time has come for a global authoritative body to provide that measure of enforced control for the common good.

For example, if a large company that has plants in the UK and the US is not permitted to dump toxins in the countries it inhabits, then who is to stop them from taking them to the middle of the Atlantic and dumping them there? It does not fall under any single country's jurisdiction. We need that global oversight.

Also, from an equalization perspective, a global authority could correct economic inequities to bring the poorer, uneducated people of some countries up to a common standard.

People look to the US to provide aid to every poor country in the world. It is not the job of the wealthiest neighbor on the street to pay everyone else's mortgage, or cut their grass or educate their kids.
The US, like a good citizen of the world should just simply pay their proportionate amount of "taxes" into a global pool and the global authority can take care of the less fortunate ones.

That way, no one can accuse the US of using their money to influence the politics of other countries for self gain, etc.

Also, in cases where poorer countries in one area deliberately allow their people to emigrate illegally to wealthier countries thus placing a potential burden on the hosting country, the global authority could stop that and force the sending countries to comply with immigration/emigration guidelines. It's simply not fair to dump their resource mis-management problems on the wealthier countries.

Also, there is so much business done internationally over the internet now, that there needs to be a central global body that regulates and oversees the transactions to make sure that everyone is playing fair, no one cheats or does an end-run around the country they live in to escape taxes, or duties, or import quotas, or contraband, or whatever they are trying to get away with.

In this day and age where so much is done in the global space, I think we need a global authority with the power and resources to police it. It simply cannot be left up to the individual countries to fight it out one to another anymore.

Of course, not every nation would want to pitch in at first - it would have to be explained to them how they stand to benefit.

For example - no one would suspect that the US would want to voluntarily submit to a higher authority like that. Because for the last 60 years, we've been king of the world and everyone else is subordinate to us. We are the sole superpower, we have the biggest economy, we are the most this and the biggest that, etc. etc., etc.

HOWEVER - that is all changing quickly.

The US's strongest power is it's military might, correct? Yes, we have the largest military in the world. We should - we spend more than all other countries in the world combined on military spending. 51% of all military spending in the world is done by the U.S.

BUT - we are being taught new lessons in Iraq. We can conquer armies, but we cannot conquer terrorists and insurgents. A small, cheap, determined force can undo us every time. This is because it costs money and time to mobilize a massive force like ours. We have 180,000 troops and 145,000 contractors in place in Iraq - that's 325,000 military personnel - and they kick our butts whenever they want by sneaking in, attacking, then sneaking out. Our military is designed for a full frontal assault where the one with the most toys win.

But their approach is completely different. Terrorists have no capital city to bomb. No capital building to storm. No congress or parliament to overtake. They live in mountains and fields and meet in people's kitchens. They can outmaneuver us. Also, they can attack our presence or our interests in many different countries simultaneously. They can attack anytime anywhere - and with respectable force. We have to sort out treaties or make arrangements and negotiate trade-offs to enter into another country - or else go to war with them. So the terrorists can even surround us - despite the fact that they have far fewer men. Due to their decentralized structure, we have no major target and we cannot conquer them by taking out strategic targets or winning decisive battles. We would have to kill every single person.

Al-Qaeda is more than a group of terrorists now. It has become a movement. It is a philosophy of hatred toward America. It is an idea. You can kill a man with a bullet, but you cannot kill an idea so easily. We are spending well over half a trillion dollars using the most expensive high-tech fighting force in the world to fight phantoms, shadows, and ideas. And every time we attack, we make them hate us more - which only makes them stronger.

And at the moment, we seem to be ramping up to a military confrontation with Iran, and we seem to be initiating recent confrontations with Russia again. We are already spread too thin with Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no way we have the money and resources to fight two more major countries like that - plus whomever they can align on their side. This whole military aggressiveness may be our undoing.

So our great massive military engine is in the process of being rendered obsolete and over-stretched at the same time. Where does that leave us in our global power base?

Then we have our consumer economy. The whole country's infrastructure is based on an assumption of cheap oil. But that is disappearing now and our prices are starting to shoot up. I just paid over $3.50 per gallon which is unheard of in this country - and it's heading up higher as China is taking more and more of the world's supply and as the supply itself dwindles.

As we export our middle class jobs offshore to India AND at the same time we export our manufacturing base to China AND we import all our manufactured good from China AND we add the increased fuel prices for transporting goods across the country, AND the Chinese government starts to wield their big ace card - they are starting to use their 1.2 trillion dollar US dollars stockpile of treasury bonds to buy things, which puts that money into circulation, which devalues our currency - suddenly everything becomes much more expensive here in the US and we have fewer jobs and they pay less so we have less of an ability to buy stuff - so the consumer feeding frenzy grinds to a halt - unless something drastic changes, that will collapse our economy.

Suddenly we lose our military effectiveness AND our economic power base in the world.

Then we have every other nation in Central and South America dumping their economic problems on us by exporting their poorest people as illegal immigrants AND looking for aid all at the same time.

AND we are being held ransom by huge global conglomerates who break our laws and flaunt their global leverage and we are powerless to stop them because they can so easily take their taxbase to another country any time they like.

We could actually USE some help from a higher power. From a global authority that could regulate and ease the pressures on us. We didn't need anyone's help before, but we are now heading into a new era where things may not be so rosy for us, and a little help might be welcome.

Also, the smaller countries can benefit in obvious ways.

I think the concept could be sold to people if it is presented in the right way.


At 6/06/2007 9:33 AM, Anonymous Your Buddy Joe said...

So I only read about the first 3 or 4 paragraphs of your blog. I didn't need to read the rest to form a response. My response is simple - I will be the first person in line to enlist in whatever army, militia, resistance movement, etc to fight to retain the sovereignty of the United States of America. That's the very reason that the US backed out of Kyoto and the World Criminal Court. Both threatened the sovereignty of the greatest nation in the history of the planet. To paraphrase our friends in the NRA, "They can form a world government the day they pry the rifle from my cold dead fingers".



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