Tuesday, October 7, 2008

World Peace: One Nation, One Government

Currently the fear of war, and war its self is ubiquitous. Russia has invaded Georgia, China is eying Taiwan, and the U.S. is fighting war on many fronts: Iraq, Afghanistan, and on Terror itself. Currently diplomacy in the form of agreements and treaties are being used as temporary fixes to keep war and discord at bay. The sad truth is that diplomacy is just that, temporary. The reason that World War I became a world war was because treaties dragged nation after nation into the war like collapsing dominos. Diplomacy and agreements will only be followed as long as the parties involved see that as the most advantageous solution. Things change. One sovereign nation will only respect another sovereign nation as long as it does not significantly benefit them to challenge their sovereignty. You may disagree with me, but if you challenge me I would merely point to the past. History has proven my argument time and time again. Take for example the British and the French, they have gone to war with each other over and over again. Austria makes it a practice of being invaded by its neighbors, and the borders of European countries have changed in the recent past.

The answer to the question of world peace is simple: an Empire. By abolishing all the different sovereign nations and placing all authority instead in one nation, an empire, there would be no more war, there would be no countries to fight. Now don’t misinterpreted what I am saying. I am not saying that this empire would be a perfect utopia, that this empire would not have problems, the same that every nation now faces and others that come with the size and complexity of an empire. What I am saying is that there would be no more war between countries, just peace. Invevitably there would be fighting, turbulence, and strife withing the empire, an unfortiante side effect of human nature. Thomas Hobbes claimed that people allow the restriction of their rights when they come together in a social contract in order to have the best possible life. This is merely an extension with the qualification that not all of the people who fell under the authority of the empire would want it. I think that binding everyone under one empire would still fall under the “common good”, and be in the best interest of the majority. I say that in order to ensure peace the rights of people will need to be restricted, and should be restricted. Many would take offence to this saying that we have inalienable rights that no one but our individual personage has the right to discard. I disagree, we ascribe rights to people, and write that they are inalienable in constitutions and profess as much in speech, but that is just what we have decided, nothing more. Nothing absolute or objective, purely subjective. So in conclusion, at the expense of some of our “rights” and the abolishment of current governing structures world wide, we could have world peace in the form of one empire.


Courtney Martin said...

I can't really say I agree with this, but it is an attempted to help cure the chaos that is so evident in our past and present societies. If we were to all live under the same "empire," you may say there is a type of peace since one country is not fighting against the other but I feel that similar problems would arise, along with many others.

If there was a sudden change in political structure to the world, people would flee to there own kind causing new forms of segregation with each nationality trying to preserve their own kind. People would not strive to further their technological knowledge, because they are now on new same level as everyone else. Then to also take away people's rights. It sounds like people would be molded into this new creation of the empire.

Scarlett D'Anna said...

Your description of “fighting, turbulence, and strife within the empire” as “an unfortunate side effect of human nature” seems like an attempt to tone down the meaning of such conflict. In an empire like the one you suggest, war between sovereign nations would merely be replaced by civil war. Calling this “world peace” is as efficacious as reducing poverty by redefining what constitutes “poor,” so that less people fall within its brackets. The world under a single empire would be no less violent than it is today; I would even go as far as to suggest that it would be more so.

Further, I can think of no more certain way of sparking rebellion within a nation than restricting the rights of the people. While I agree with you that government can ascribe rights to the people, I don’t think this means it is best for the people that those rights be severely limited, simply because a governing power has the ability to do it. Whether you want to call it the common good, the general will, or the greater good, I have to disagree that a world order like the one you suggest would be in everyone’s best interest.

Paul Bendor-Samuel said...

Civil war and chaos would most certainly occur if the situation was left unmonitored and unattended too. What I propose would be that the military / army of the empire, maintain the peace. What I meant by turbulence was violence, crime, and other such things that you will find in any country. I don’t think that civil war would be such a problem because with out countries and similar social and political organizations to draw resources and organization from, anyone fighting back would be no more than the terrorist we see today. In regards to technology improvements freezing, I disagree. Without all the focus and funds being dumped into war much better funded, and manned research and development of technology could take place. Weapons and weapons technology would always be worked on to keep the empire on top. Removing war would not remove the competition that you are referring to that generates new and unexpected technology. Finally, I did not say that governments ascribe rights to people, I said that people ascribe rights to themselves. I believe that the “human rights” acknowledged by modern countries today are imaginary rights we cling to, no more real or inalienable than the rules a child makes up in an imaginary game. We claim these rights because it makes us feel safe. We claim them because they make the game we play work to our liking.

matt jacobs said...

I agree, but I have a few problems with what you are saying. First, who exactly would be in control? You are saying a lot about the empire and the methods that would be used to maintain peace, but it seems to me that a lot of this depends on where the power lies. For example, in The Republic, Plato describes a similar idea that the ideal form of government is a single empire. However, he argues that it is not possible to give that much power to the only kind of person that could make the system work. Second, I would also agree with the freezing of technology. You mention that the removal of war would not remove competition, but who is the competition? And finally, I agree that the limiting and restricting of rights is necessary and preferred under this empire, and the idea that there is nothing that gives us rights or requires that we even have them at all, they are all self-prescribed.

Cat Rauck said...

To say that diplomacy is a failing art is baseless. Wars do not justify the failure of diplomacy, an art turned method. A war has historically been a positive effect on the economy, nationalism and social reform. In some cases the desired effect of sending ambassadors abroad was to simply provoke or find legitimate cause to warrant attack. In more recent times diplomacy has been pushed aside when it was clear parties would never reach the same agreement. This is pure human nature-it would occur one sovereign nation as always. As is ethnicity, regionalism, and cultural pride-there is a slim to none chance Israel and Iran could be conceivably governed under one nation-slim just left town. Your use of the word empire implies you are suggesting one nation dominate the others, you cannot surely believe that this would result in a peaceful cohesive nation. The fact of the matter is, there are more countries today than just there were 10 years ago; the trend is that people want to be governed in smaller units where authority can be local within culturally significant borders. Stock this is the pile with the ladder to heaven and colonizing Mars.

Ryan Carroll said...

I definitely agree with the concept in its ideal form. I wrote a blog post on some of the reasons that I found sovereignty a silly concept, yet I believe that a humans' inalienable rights are the basis behind the overthrow of sovereignty. At the same time though, to insure the inalienable rights of everyone in the future, I feel that some must sacrifice those rights now. Otherwise, one could imagine that many more of these inalienable rights are abused under the rule of sovereignty than this transition to one government

I disagree with the assumption that technological advance would stop, considering competition will always exist between a people within a subject. People at Harvard and researchers at Yale will always be competing while existing in the same country/nation/empire.

With this said, I think it is important that with this sort of claim you must back it up with more detail. Otherwise, it is extremely vague on how this one empire would necessarily stop war and be generally "good" for the people.