The Independent View: A solution – world government

As the world descends and travels into the catastrophic circles of economic chaos, globalisation seems vulnerable and suffering from nationalist rhetoric. With a growing centralised global economy, with major intuitions – such as the World Bank and IMF – is it time for the United Nations to overseas global economic and financial responsibility?

This is not a winsome notion, we are reaching the next geopolitical evolutionary steps for our civilisation and global federalism will eventually creep its way on to the international stage. Of course, the general public of the United States will be hostile to any bureaucratic institution that is Napoleonic or Europeanised “socialism.” But if the IMF and World Bank featured and were under the control of a United Nations Economic Council, then international regulation and cooperation would be easier to facilitate and implement. In fact, a World Bank – reconstructed and based upon the European Bank – could manage global interest rates and currencies. As the Chinese government have argued, maybe we do not need a global reserve currency but a global currency. But of course, I am digressing from the main substances here.

If we are to save capitalism and restart global economic growth, then an international forum needs to be created or reorganised. Personally, we do not need new organisations – we already have the IMF, World Bank and the United Nations. The UN already has an international mandate and the ability to manage the global economy, with the IMF acting as a treasury and World Bank as a central bank. A democratically elected UN assembly would benefit the population and give a mandate for officials to create financial and other regulation. Tragically though, not all UN members are democracies.

To play the role of the devil’s advocate and antagonist here, there is one problem. H.G.Wells, in The Shape of Things to Come (1933), proposed that a world government would be a benevolent dictatorship and did believe a World State is the solution to our problems. In order for the United Nations to operate in its new reform role, a connection with the population is needed to justify its control over the international economy. Before I am criticised by the right wing cabal, can I point out the G-20 and G-8 meet, without a mandate, and discuss the World economy – is that morally right? Surely the United Nations Headquarters is best placed and not some hotel in Sussex. I am perplexed by the paranoid and conspiratorial thinking of libertarians and conservatives, a new world order is needed.

If we are serious about reforming the international economic situation and creating a prosperous future, then economic centralisation on a global scale is needed. Global governance is a serous reality that we should not let slip, but if we do not take this opportunity, a dark and dissolute future awaits us.

* Daniel Furr is an independent liberal, not linked to the Lib Dems, currently studying business at Greenwich University. He is also a part time freelance blogger commenting on politics and international affairs.

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  • “The UN already has an international mandate and the ability to manage the global economy”

    Does it? All I can find on this area in the UN charter is:
    “the United Nations shall promote:
    1. higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
    2. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems;”

    Which is well short of the power to manage the global economy.

  • David Allen 21st Mar '09 - 1:23pm

    OK, so the posters all think world government is a dysutopian non-solution. Well, I agree. However, every-nation-for-itself, and growing international strife as resources crises become more acute, is also a non-solution.

    A stronger UN with greater powers – but not governing powers – could surely be a force for good.

  • Um – this article is proof if ever that standards in HE have fallen and ending the ‘binary divide’ may not have been the panacea we were told at the time…

  • Simon Courtenage 23rd Mar '09 - 9:06am

    A great example of “magical reasoning” – sleights of hand that disguise gaping holes in the logic of an argument.

    The second paragraph contains the first of these sleights: “This is not a winsome notion, we are reaching the next geopolitical evolutionary steps for our civilisation and global federalism will eventually creep its way on to the international stage.” Blink, and you miss it. A gloriously impressive statement, designed to impress, but that uses vague overblown terms to avoid inspection and analysis. Are we reaching such a stage? How do we define such steps and where is the evidence for them? What does “geopolitical evolutionary steps for our civilisation” even mean????

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust senior UN management to cut my grass, let alone run the world economy. And lastly, the bigger the power structure, the bigger the corruption. So, I guess that’s a no.

  • David Allen 23rd Mar '09 - 7:20pm

    “As Tom Papworth points out, a monopoly is not simply a Bad Idea, it is an Absolutely Awful Idea.”

    Quite agree, but, national monopoly power by Bush, Mugabe, Ahmedinejad, etc is also an awful idea. What we need is the countervailing power of a stronger UN, so that nobody has the monopoly on power.

  • youve all given me a lot to think about, ill have to get back on this .ive always backed the idea of world government but its got to be democratic & either federal or confederal & there must always be space for the countries who refuse to join. in fact there would be dozens of small countries who would keep their independence & some larger ones-the USA i would have thought.
    the EU is actually a good model, in parts & particularly the way it has developed, peicemeal & very, very slowly. the roots of the EU actually go back to the London conference in 1944. any world govt will be built equally slowly, perhaps as a loose alliance of such regional unions as the EU. i cant see it happening much before the last quarter of the century.

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