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Monday, June 23, 2014

World government

click to enlarge
this is part of an even more extensive graphic to be found here:

Academic blue-sky thinker Robin Hanson says:

The world has many problems and some of them are global [...] war, global warming, and promoting innovation [...]    a lot of these problems would get solved a lot better with a high capacity world government. Such a government could better reduce uncertainty and secrets, enforce compliance, and promote compromises between conflicting interests.

I used to think that, too. Now I want to ask, "World government - by whom, how?" Certainly some issues transcend national limitations - but would a centralised global power be the answer?

Thoughtful responses (rather than the usual lazy barracking found on the internet) would be truly welcome.

P.S. Here's the original Blofeld:


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1 comment:

A K Haart said...

“The world has many problems and some of them are global. That is, some problems like war, global warming, and promoting innovation can benefit substantially from large scale coordination to address them.”

His first sentence assumes what he wishes to demonstrate and in my view this is the problem – it’s an untested assumption. So if his assumption is to be tested, how do we roll things back if it fails?

What’s the fallback position for a global government which turns out to be a corrupt totalitarian nightmare?

Of course there is no fallback position – it’s too late. Once a global authority is established there is no going back.

Okay, one might propose safeguards to ensure a failed world government loses those functions where it has failed – but how to we know in advance that they will work?

With all institutions we need some mechanism for the failures to be dismantled. It’s bad enough now because governments have become adept at evading the consequences of failure. Global government will be even worse.