I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.
If these sinister UN choppers (why aren’t they being deployed to Darfur?) aren’t hovering over the future world capital of Butte, Montana, then why does Rachman see potential for a “world government” in the near future next two centuries.
First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.
But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.
He goes on to discuss how the phrase “global government” — ostensibly euphemized as “global governance” or “responsible sovereignty” — is a bogeyman even for some Europeans. But what Rachman really is talking about here is not some cabal of global rulers; his very valid point is that the world’s problems these days cannot be taken on by a single sovereign government, or even a clump of them each hacking away individually at something like climate change or nuclear proliferation. The “governance” aspect of the term is less important than the “global;” the name we give to such international cooperation will matter much less than the melting icecaps that will flood our cities and the rogue nukes that will proliferate without a coherent global strategy to address them.
UPDATE: Responding to his readers’ mini-furor over his column, Rachman defends his impartiality by quoting his sister’s analysis of the piece as a “slightly dull discussion of a school-boy debating topic that went – on the one hand, on the other hand, probably not.”
(image from flickr user noticelj under a Creative Commons license)