“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: “This is my country.” -Benjamin Franklin, letter to David Hartley, M.P. December 4, 1789
History of Global Governance
At the pinnacle of its power, in 117 A.D., the Roman Empire exercised control over 2.5 million square miles of real estate surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Another three-hundred and sixty years would pass before the Achaemenid Empire of Persia could lay claim to a greater one. Still, both of them added together pale in comparison to the British Empire of 1922 which lasted for a century and still holds the “world” record with 458 million people and 14.2 million square miles, about a quarter of the earth’s total land area.
Caligula, Genghis Khan, William the Conqueror, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin and hundreds of others, both individuals and states, have at one point in history laid claim to what they thought would be an ever increasing control of the world and its people. Some even justified themselves by saying that it was their aim to make the world a better place, or like Generalissimo Franco and Marshal Tito were heralded as benevolent dictators. Nevertheless, Aesop has taught us well that “The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”1 There is no argument that I have encountered that should cause me to believe that the characters and motives of those who presently advocate for global government are any less flawed. Nor am I prepared to discount Lord Acton’s admonition that “[a]ll power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”2
Arguments for Global Governance
Many arguments for global governance are compelling. Jon Mandle3 notes factors such as the internet, a virtually instantaneous global communication system, and the World Trade Organization, which along with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have created a worldwide economic system.4 The internet is itself managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) an international organization comprised of representatives from several groups and subcommittees that work together to manage the protocols for international connectivity.5 The proliferation of multinational corporations that have created an business environment that operates easily across or perhaps above national borders that may lead one to the conclusion that these borders are no longer of any consequence.6
The growing threat that nuclear and biochemical weapons of mass destruction may become available to rogue states and extremist NGO’s is another factor driving the trend of national security agencies to share information freely and cooperate closely with one another.7 Recently the President of the United States signed an executive order giving Interpol broad privileges to operate within the United States.8 This effectively removed all borders for the International Criminal Police Organization and undermined the basic protection that civilians have enjoyed against the abuse of police authority, that the ultimate police authority is vested in the county sheriff who is accountable to the electorate in their county.9 Interpol is also exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests under this amendment to Executive Order 12425. Actions of this kind, which some may decry as traitorous, are no doubt driven by the perception that globalized threats require a globalized administrative response.
Environmental concerns seem to be among the most popular arguments for global governance. As early as 1959 physicist Gilbert Plass concluded that the average temperature of the earth would rise over time as a result of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.10 The issue of climate change became a significant political issue in the 1970’s when three scientists, F. Sherwood Rowland, Paul Crutzen, and Mario Molina reported that man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were destroying the ozone layer.11 Since that time various global meetings and committee’s have been established to deal with the issue of climate change, most recently the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change held in Copenhagen, Denmark. While the deadline for joining the accord has passed, over one hundred and twenty-four countries including the United States and the member states of the European Union have indicated agreement with at least the target levels for reduction of greenhouse gases.12 However, a particularly embarrassing accusation directed toward the panel was made by Britain’s Lord Christopher Monckton, who warned “Copenhagen climate change treaty represents a global government power grab on an “unimaginable scale.” by a “sinister dictatorship.”13 This included provisions to levy a 2% tax on all financial transactions and upon the cumulative global gross domestic product, as well as to levy financial penalties for non-compliance which would have the cumulative effect of creating the largest, most well-funded bureaucracy the world had ever seen.14
Forms of Global Governance
If global governance is to be a foregone conclusion, there is still much to be discussed regarding the form it shall take. An obvious route is to attempt to organize existent global institutions into a formal world government. Professor Peter Singer of Princeton advocates the full militarization of the United Nations, eliminating the veto power of the so called “superpowers” in the Security Council, and recasting of the General Assembly into a cosmopolitan model; representation proportional to the population of member nations and directly elected by the citizens of those nations.15 Singer recognizes the difficulties in superimposing a matrix of representative democracy upon hierarchical states but also recognizes that excluding them “would be more destabilizing than conducive to world peace.”16 Singer’s ideas regarding world government also seem to include aspects of the deliberative (discursive) model as described by Professor Anthony McGrew, democratizing the world institutions that are already in place.17 While his appeal is elegant enough, Singer does not suggest by what process all the nations of the world might be convinced to endorse such a solution.
Singer argues that “the limits of a state’s willingness and ability to protect its people are also the limits of its authority.” This is an excellent argument as far as it goes and is in fact one of the arguments used by the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a justification to nullify the titular sovereign’s authority saying that the King “ has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.” So Singer is correct that this argument may be used to nullify the authority of sovereign national governments just as it may be used to nullify the absolute authority heads of households who stand guilty of neglect, domestic violence, or abuse. Singer makes two claims that I find problematic. The first is that a global ethic should not stop at, nor give great significance to national boundaries, and the second is that national sovereignty should be given no intrinsic moral weight. Both claims seem to smack of an elitist tyranny. National sovereignty, as I as I see it, is a function of individual Sovereignty. Those of who, as a result of our pledge of allegiance to the republic, are de facto Americans exercise our individual sovereign power corporately in doing so, and may choose to reassert our individual sovereignty “to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to affect our Safety and Happiness.” 18 Therefore because of basic human rights of self-determination, it must always be the local individual people who are to be considered what Singer calls “the protectors of last resort.” If outside assistance should become available from some global legislative body, it must not intervene unless requested by legitimate local authorities, and must be subject to their authority lest the populace find that they are merely replacing one tyrant with another. Neither of Singer’s claims seems compatible with the institution of a global deliberative democracy.
Other views on what form transnational government might take have also been categorized by Professor McGrew in his essay “Models of Transnational Democracy” and include liberal-internationalism, radical pluralist democracy and cosmopolitan democracy.19 Liberal-internationalism focuses more on rehabilitating the global institutions that are in place than democratizing them, by making participation available to all, and making their decisions and operations a matter of public record.20 In my opinion, Liberal-Internationalism cannot be called be rightly called democracy. It is as if someone has said “this is our playing field and our game, and anyone may play, and learn the rules.” In this it is perhaps more liberal than the current state of affairs where global institutions conduct much of their business in secret, and membership is determined by power and money. But if it is not democracy, what is?
At a lecture at Hilla University for Humanistic Studies in January of 2004, Professor Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University listed the four following characteristics of a democracy:
- A system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
- The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
- Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
- A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Given these prerequisites it is easy to see that Liberal-Internationalism does not qualify because it fails in points one and four. “Shorn of the requirements of electoral politics” as McGrew describes it does not provide for selection of its leadership by the people. Because it is a loosely associated collection of international organizations it seems unlikely that each organization’s rules and regulations could apply equally to all the individuals affected.
The theory of radical pluralist democracy is focused on the inclusion of numerous overlapping associations that exist in society such as trade unions, environmental, local, transnational, cultural, gender-based, religious and civic organizations. McGrew comments that the idea of radical pluralism is that “democracy, therefore, is to be found in the juxtaposition of a multiplicity of self-governing and self-organizing collectivities constituted on diverse spatial scales — from the local to the global.”22 While it seems as if it would easily fit qualifications one through three of the definition of democracy previously given, it seems to me that it would be very difficult to apply a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens, it seems to me that such a diverse arrangement would be difficult to manage if only because of the overlapping nature of associations and differences of geographic scope. The deeper, wider and more varied the set of pluralistic factors, the more complicated and difficult to manage the laws and procedures relating to that set.23 McGrew quotes Hutchings who noted that one of the ‘great fallacies of political theory is the assumption that a centralized management of power. . . is necessary to assure political order’. But I find this problematic in that the idea of a fair and equitable political system and a rule of law seems to infer a centralized administration if only to act as umpire. In his article “Does Democracy Really Require Complex Equality?” Professor Peter Breiner of SUNY Albany quotes De Tocqueville who remarked that:
[S]omewhere and somehow authority is always bound to play apart in intellectual and moral life. The part may vary, but some part there must be…Therefore we need not inquire about the existence of intellectual authority in democratic ages, but only where it resides and what its limits are.”24
One cannot consider pluralism without recalling President Madison’s discussion of factions in Federalist 10. He defined a faction as “ a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed (italics mine) to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Madison also posited two solutions for “curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.” Now the first remedy he decried as being “worse than the disease”, for in plain English it means permanently eliminating the offending opposition. The other more agreeable solution was the implementation of constitutional controls afforded by a republic so that the unwanted effects of factionalism would be controlled, whether the faction was in the minority or the majority. Again this must be recognized as a centralized management of power and conclude that the theory of radical pluralist democracy is flawed in this aspect.
Touching again on the theory of cosmopolitan democracy embraced by Singer, Anthony McGrew says that “central to this model is the principle of autonomy for both individuals and collectivities, to be upheld through development of a cosmopolitan democratic law.” Frankly this sounds to me like double-speak for a far-reaching attempt to nullify the actions of individuals who have or had established for their posterity sovereign nation-states. As noted before, one of the projects under consideration for the reform of the United Nations is the creation that would directly represent individual world citizens rather than sovereign nations.25 Representatives for such a body would be presumably assemble by globally publicizing and holding elections at local levels, irrespective of the authority of the sovereign nation within which they were being held. If we consider that a constitutionally established sovereign nation is created and maintained by the collective will of the individual sovereign citizens who have sworn allegiance to, and promised to protect and defend that nation, the act of presuming to be a representative of one’s fellow citizens to a overarching world government may justly be considered act of treason, and its promotion by an foreign agency an act of war. What must be overcome is the established idea that in a Westphalian world, “[i]ndividuals have no role in the international community, except as citizens of a state.”26 The idea of being a citizen of world is intellectually attractive, but it makes as much sense as being a voter who has registered as an independent. Without association one is powerless.27 I gain personal power from the fact that I am member of a family and a church. Both that are ready to support me emotionally, financially, spiritually, and should it come to that, militarily.27 As a member of the Republican Party, I have an opportunity to directly influence county and state political policy and perhaps through conversations with my elected officials at party functions, national policy.
Jefferson said: “It should be remembered as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only at first while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice as fast as that relaxes.”28 The two-tiered system of government may have started out well in the United States but in later years it has become a disaster. If we have learned anything in the grand experiment that is the United States of America it is that federal power is invasive, overbearing, and apparently uncontrollable. We are engaged now in a great political battle to regain the states rightful power, which in a very real sense represents the power and liberty of the individual citizens of those states, who have full and complete control over those states, whether they frequently exercise it or not. I think that there is a great danger that this struggle may yet degenerate into civil war if the Federal Government continues to ignore the will of the States, imposing agendas that already seem to be driven in a great part, by a global consensus. Just a few days ago, Norm Chomsky expressed his concern at the rising activism of the Far Right as a result of the “frustration, disillusionment and the justified anger combined with the absence of a coherent response,” to current national problems.29 Therefore I must reject cosmopolitan democracy fearing that the present confederation that is the United Nations based on the ultimate sovereignty of member nations would ultimately be replaced by a federal global Leviathan.30
Finally, McGrew addresses the theory of deliberative (discursive) democracy which, I must admit as a trained parliamentarian, I find the most attractive. McGrew describes it as “a genuine transnational public sphere of democratic deliberation”, and by this I understand precisely what he means, for it is the mechanism by which men have obtained protection for their rights and liberty since the dawn of European history. The term “deliberative assembly” was first used to describe the English parliament by the British statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke in 1774.31
James Madison wrote in Federalist 47 that “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny” When the accumulation of all powers in the hands of many it is called “tyranny of the majority.” We also have another name for it. It is called “Democracy.” Now it is important to note the double meaning of the word “Democracy” which generally means government by the people. But more specifically it is the name for a form of government, one where the majority has the absolute power to do whatever it wants. The government of Ancient Greece and the present parliament of Great Britain are examples. French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville gave several reasons why the Tyranny of the Majority is a bad idea some of which are:
- The majority uses its power to deprive the rights of the minority. (For example by forbidding where and when a person may pray, or whom they may marry.)
- The pursuit of pleasure causes the majority to neglect its duty to restrain the government.(As when the people spend their time listening to music or watching entertainment while the chains of their slavery are being forged.)
- The majority votes to surrender its own freedom in exchange for equality.(The government promises to provide bread and circuses [or healthcare] for all.)
If this should sound familiar, the good news is that there is a solution. Instead of a Democracy, a Republic is established with a constitution that imposes a set of rules that protect the rights of everyone, including those in the minority. The foundation below this process, which brings us back to our discussion of deliberative (discursive) democracy, is another set of rules that protect the rights of everyone called parliamentary procedure. The development of this process began on or about 750 B.C. in the democratic halls of ancient Greece.32 In 400 A.D. when Saxon warriors sent representatives to a regional tribal council, in 1066 William the Conqueror assembled a “Great Council” to give him advice about the rule of his new kingdom, in 1215 with the signing of the Magna Carta, to forty-three years after that in 1258 when King Henry III of England was “forced to accept the Provisions of Oxford, effectively ending the absolute monarchy in England by requiring the calling of the first parliament.”33 In the 14th century parliament gained the right to consider petitions for the redress of grievances and to submit such petitions to the King.34 Think of it! Hundreds of years before the birth of our nation, the seed is planted for our First Amendment right to petition the Government. All along the way rules of deliberation, debate and common courtesy were agreed upon, by trial and error, sometimes as a result of tragic circumstances. Finally in 1774, the First Continental Congress met and through the arduous process of deliberative democracy began to forge a new nation. An entry in John Adams’ “Autobiography” dated June 1775 reads as follows:
“By conventions of representatives, freely, fairly, and proportionately chosen . . . the convention may send out their project of a constitution, to the people in their several towns, counties, or districts, and the people may make the acceptance of it their own act.”
Later in 1789 the United States Constitution was ratified by the people of the several States through ratifying conventions in each State created for this express purpose. This is our legacy and our history. It is a legacy of freedom, and the history of our struggle for liberty. Without parliamentary procedure it would never have happened. Without exception, every nation that has risen out of the sewer of totalitarianism has been assisted by the process of deliberative democracy, it would not have been possible, and without rules of order to facilitate deliberative democracy in private meetings, in political clubs, and executive committees it will be impossible to take the bold action; to make the terrible choices that are occasionally necessary to preserve liberty.
McGrew describes a global deliberative democracy has being based on the principles of “non-domination, participation, public deliberation, responsive governance and the right of all affected to a voice in public decisions that impinge on their welfare or interests.”35 It is characterized by a recognition that stakeholders at every level of government and society have a right to participate by providing input and having their concerns addressed.
The main problem associated with deliberative democracy is related to the discourse aspect. Cultural diversity, language and idiom make conversation and understanding difficult, even when debate is taking place among individuals who are citizens of the same country. This difficulty can only be magnified a thousand fold at the global level, and as McGrew acknowledges, translation services do not begin to address the problem. This is readily obvious to those who have had occasion to observe the proceedings at the United Nations or any other international body. The solution, if there is one, can only be found in the deliberative aspect, where progress is made slowly, calmly and politely sometimes over the course of many seasons. Critics are quick to point out that this process does not lend itself to rapid decision making during times of crisis. In fact, our own system of government is especially designed to prevent hasty decisions. This is why we have an executive branch whose portfolio presently allows a rapid response to danger, which the legislative branch may ratify or condemn at its leisure. Nevertheless, if someday there is to be authoritative, global governance that shall exist with the reasonable expectation that it will not constantly be under attack from patriots of the many nations desiring to secure their true liberty, it must be a deliberative, discursive, democracy.
And yet show I to you a more excellent way.36
An alternative view of Global Governance
In The Politics Aristotle writes, “The basis of a democratic state is liberty; which, according to the common opinion of men, can only be enjoyed in such a state; this they affirm to be the great end of every democracy.”37 Our primary concern is our personal liberty. I awaken and I take comfort that I can rise to my feet unimpeded. I am thankful that I am not wanted by the authorities, or in prison, and can do what I want for the most part in the morning. I am satisfied that I have been able to easily make provision for myself and my family, that there is a roof over my head, running water and electricity, and food in the larder. I do not have to struggle for my basic survival and this enhances my liberty. I have a sizeable piece of property and a home where I can live unmolested and in peace and quiet, but should I wish, I can drive to Miami or Atlanta and be in the thick of the crowds and the nightlife.
I leave for work each morning and am momentarily annoyed that I must secure my personal weapons rather than bear them as I do at all other times, because I work for a state agency. It is a restriction upon my liberty, but after all, I am not compelled to work where I do. I still have the liberty to quit my employment at will, to seek another employer or if I wish to be self-employed. Besides, I know that I have legislators and PACs who are working on my behalf to repeal such onerous laws, and that I can speak with them if I so desire, and even run for office myself. In most ever aspect of life which pleases me, it is because I luxuriate in my liberty. John Stuart Mills says it well:
The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.38
With a view toward ensuring that a cooperative global administration does not degenerate into unresponsive non-representative tyranny, I offer the following program to ensure the greatest possible opportunities for simultaneous global cooperation and personal liberty. I propose that all the nations of the world be encouraged to forever renounce the idea of a global hegemony. In its place shall be the encouragement and establishment of a global deliberative body and an international university and research facility to be handsomely funded but forever without any authority except for the passage of ethical resolutions and the publishing of scientific papers for the use and information of all mankind. These resolutions and discoveries could come to be received by the people of the world as purely altruistic acts because they would be offered without condition, without sanction or any hope of excessive avaricious gain or dictatorial power. Because they would be offered freely and without threat it is more likely that they might be accepted as a standard for ethical practice bearing great political weight, which along with the scientific data provided could become the basis for deliberate decisions at the national and local levels. Such institutions may be of benefit to the world by publishing their findings and recommendations in ways that people at all intellectual levels may clearly understand and access them. All findings, data, and hard intelligence should be available to all governments and individual citizens alike. All scientific and medical discoveries made by this global body, even those that might be used for military purposes should be available to all governments, and all individuals without charge and without copyright. These free and open lines of communication would make it virtually impossible for hierarchically based nations to participate without the information also being available to the citizens of those nations which in turn should convince of the efficacy of deliberative, democratically governed, constitutional republics if we are to believe Thomas Jefferson who writes:
“The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes.”39
Any standard to be acknowledged as binding upon all the nations of the world in matters appropriate for such consideration must always be a matter of diplomatic consensus based on decisions ratified by individually sovereign nations. Matters considered to be appropriate for global consideration are those that most properly cannot be managed in any other manner except through global cooperation, the traditional and most readily agreed upon subject being maritime law. It seems to me a reasonable progression to include the monitoring of air quality, and the management of the upper atmosphere and near outer space as concerns the control and management of fixed satellites and unwanted objects. Conversely, issues such as human rights, hunger, and poverty, health care, are all best managed at the local and national level where cultural norms may be considered and incremental change applied if desired.
In a like manner, federal governments should concern themselves primarily with foreign diplomatic policy and such international agreements that are absolutely necessary for management of the oceans and the atmosphere, sea and air travel and the like. All such international agreements should require the ratification of the states or regions comprising each nation and should sunset requiring re-ratification from time to time. This should not be particularly difficult task if such agreements are kept to the bare minimum. Immediate problems, wars and other catastrophes may be dealt with by ad-hoc committees and temporary alliances that are purposely designed to evanesce, thus eliminating economic and political millstones like NATO.
Federal governments would do well to operate in the same manner as global entities serving as a clearing house of information for the states and regions that comprised them, providing data scientific evidence and non-binding resolution for the information of citizens and state legislatures. Again to quote Jefferson:
“And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.40
National governments should not as a rule maintain agencies of any kind, issue regulations, make laws, or collect taxes except those that are absolutely essential for the minimal operation of national government and the security of the nation. Today it has become clear that physical mail is best handled by private entities, although operation of the Internet and perhaps other utilities might overseen by the government/ However, given government’s propensity for operating everything it touches at a loss this is a dubious proposition.
The citizens of the individual states nations must be encouraged by rational argument and irrefutable scientific fact to compel their own legislatures to make responsible decisions. As Justice Louis Brandice wrote in his dissent to New State Ice Co. V. Liebmann, 285 U. S. 262 (1932), “ It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
While it must be admitted that Justice Brandice was not hesitant to overrule the decision of state governments, yet he was still quick to recognize that within the limited laboratory of the states new policies can be adopted and tested. I would suggest that if unsound, such policies may quickly be amended or repealed and if sound, they are likely to be quickly adopted by other states by virtue of their obvious success.
The military or military intelligence agencies should never be deployed against civilians in a free Republic unless it is matter of civil war. The F.B.I. must always operate under the authority of the local sheriff, unless it is the sheriff himself who is under investigation and then this should be supervised by a state court. During catastrophic events federal forces should never be used unless their command has been relinquished to the Governor of the state affected. Such use should be in cooperation with the state guard and local county sheriffs who are the primary civil authority in their areas. In every case the federal government should be strictly in conformance with the restrictions placed upon it by its constitution. State law should take precedence unless basic human and civil rights are forfeit.
The court system should be used by citizens to bring suit against the government, not by the federal government against states on behalf of the citizens. Laws rather than agencies and regulations should address the behavior of individuals and corporation in such matters as employee rights, worker safety and environmental protection. The laws should be actionable in civil or federal court for compensatory damages or prison sentences but in no case should punitive damages be awarded. In all civil cases, courts should strictly apply the law and the articles of the state and federal constitutions, rather than interpret them. Constitutions should be amended, not reinterpreted.
The idea of deliberative, democratically governed, constitutional republics should be held up as a standard of excellence and a principle of solidarity and unity by all nations that have embraced it and should be publicized and promulgated diplomatically and through private trade. This can only be accomplished if a culture that celebrates the idea of deliberative democracy and solidarity is promoted and taught to children and made part of the national identity hand in hand with the idea of personal sovereignty and individualism. At the same time, indoctrination of this type cannot be mandated; it can only be celebrated and encouraged by those who willingly embrace it. This then, is the responsibility of citizenship to, like that famous bell in Pennsylvania, “Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land.” Conservative author, Pat Buchanan writes:
“The nation-state is dying. Men have begun to transfer their allegiance, loyalty and love from the older nations both upward to the new transnational regimes that are arising and downward to the sub-nations whence they came, the true nations, united by blood and soil, language, literature, history, faith, tradition and memory.” 41
He goes on to quote Michael Lind, policy director of the new America Foundation who says:
“not only are nations subdividing, losing their monopolies on the love and loyalty of their peoples, but they are being superseded by “non-state actors” that are challenging the monopoly on warfare enjoyed by the nation-state since the Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War.”
It is essential to realize that the transference of loyalty and allegiance flows both upward and downward. Remember well the city-states that existed before the consolidation of Italy. The county, the state and the nation are naturally occurring polities that come and go as conditions fluctuate. A large impact event caused by an asteroid could within a few hours reduce all the nations of the earth to bare subsistence levels. Rather good for the species, if there remain any strong among us who survive. The economic collapse of the Soviet Union should easily demonstrate how quickly an empire can falter, while all those Baltic States reasserted their sovereignty and promptly abrogated it by joining NATO. Earlier this month, Sheriff Arvin West of Hudspeth County, Texas advised all the citizens of his county to arm themselves because his department considers itself unable to protect them from spillover violence from criminal drug gangs in the Mexican Juarez Valley.42 You may believe that those citizens are in fact armed and their concerns now are focused on issues of sovereignty and solidarity. It is in the public interests that societies are well organized locally, and it seems to me that the nation with its subsidiary states and counties, appear to be the most efficient method of doing so while continuing to maintain personal liberty and deliberative democracy.
In August of 2009 Tibor Richard Machan, professor emeritus in the department of philosophy at Auburn University, penned the following:
“Over the last several decades of American political life the idea of liberty has taken a back seat to that of democracy. Liberty involves human beings governing themselves, being sovereign citizens, while democracy is a method by which decisions are reached within groups. In a just society it is liberty that is primary – the entire point of law is to secure liberty for everyone, to make sure that the rights of individuals to their lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness is protected from any human agent bent on violating them. Democracy is but a byproduct of liberty. 43
In the summary report of the United Nations Commission on Global Governance issued in 1995, the word “democracy” is used three times and an emphasis is place on the idea that “the democratic principle must be ascendant.” The word “liberty” is used once, while the word “leader” or “leadership” is used thirty-three times.44 I would suggest that liberty and leadership are mutually exclusive. To cover just a few of the committee’s recommendations, they advanced the following:
- That notions of territory, independence, and non- intervention have lost their meaning.
- That the production and trade in arms should be controlled by the international community including a provision for a mandatory Arms Register.
- That action must be taken to regulate population growth within acceptable limits.
- That a system of global taxation to provide for global needs be established.
- That all member- states of the UN that have not already done so should accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court.
- That an international criminal court be founded. (This was done in 1998)
- That the General Assembly should agree to hold a World Conference on Governance in 1998, with its decisions to be ratified and put into effect by 2000.
The last suggestion has not yet occurred to the best of my knowledge, and I cannot say but that I am greatly relieved. Nevertheless this committee rose in 1995 and I suspect that the situation with the U.N has not gotten any better. It pains me to say so, because I know that to say it puts me on the short end of a global stick and perhaps on one or two lists as well, but I find myself willing to do anything, absolutely anything to see such an agenda fail.
To again quote Lord Acton, “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”45 Therefore in order to secure the blessings of liberty including freedom from hunger, disease, slavery, oppression, and poverty, whenever possible decision making, the rule of law, the observance of civil rights, and the protection of those rights must originate from the grassroots, between neighbor and neighbor, family to family, who covenant among each other to preserve it and promulgate it no matter what the cost may be.
1. Aesop (c. 550 B.C.),the Wolf and the Lamb
2. Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, and M. Creighton. Acton-Creighton Correspondence (1887). 2009. .
3. Department Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, SUNY
4. Mandle, Jon. Global Justice. Key concepts (Polity Press). Cambridge: Polity, 2006. Pg 126.
6. Ibid 129
7. Singer, Peter. One World: The Ethics of Globalization. The Terry lectures. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.
8. Washingon Examiner Editorial, “Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S.” December 30, 2009
9. Printz, Sheriff/Coroner, Ravalli County, Montana v. United States – 521 U.S. 898
10. Plass, G.N. (1959). “Carbon Dioxide and Climate.” Scientific American, July, pp. 41-47.
11. Fluorocarbons and Stratospheric Ozone: A Review of Current Knowledge. R. S. Stolarski. The American Statistician, Vol. 36, No. 3, Part 2: Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium on Statistics and the Environment (Aug., 1982), pp. 303-311
13. Watson, Paul Joseph. Monckton: Secretive Copenhagen Treaty Creates Larcenous Global Government Tax. Wednesday, December 9, 2009 http://www.prisonplanet.com/monckton-secretive-copenhagen-treaty-creates-larcenous-global-government-tax.html
15. Singer, Peter. One World: The Ethics of Globalization. The Terry lectures. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Pgs 145-149
17. Held, David, and Anthony G. McGrew. The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2003.Pg 504
18. The Declaration of Independence
19. Held, David, and Anthony G. McGrew. The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2003.Pg 501
22. Held, David, and Anthony G. McGrew. The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization
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24. De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol 2, part 1, ch. 2
25. The Reform of the UN and Cosmopolitan Democracy: A Critical Review Author(s): Daniele Archibugi Source: Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 301-315
27. It’s not just the Muslims who are armed. Presbyterians played a large part in the American Revolution and still remember why.
28. Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819. ME 15:213, Thomas Jefferson page at the University of Virginia. http://guides.lib.virginia.edu/content.php?pid=77323&sid=572858
29. “Chomsky Warns of Rise of the Far Right in the U.S.” Pravda, RU. April 24,2010. http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/23-04-2010/113161-chomsky_warns_of_far_right_us-0
30. Archibugi,Daniele. “The Reform of the UN and Cosmopolitan Democracy: A Critical Review”. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Aug., 1993), pp. 301-315
31. RROR (10th ed.) Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Pg. XXV
32. Demeter, George. Demeter’s Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure; For the Legal Conduct of Business in All Deliberative Assemblies. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969.
35. Held, David, and Anthony G. McGrew. The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2003.Pg 506
36. 1Corinthians 12:31
37. Aristotle. The Politics of Aristotle. Translated by J.E.C. Welldon D.D. London. MacMillan and Co. Ltd. 1912
38. Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. London. Longmans, Green, and Co.. 1913
39. Jefferson, Thomas. Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:221, Papers 2:526
40. Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787. (Forrest version) ME 6:392
41. Buchanan, Patrick J.The death of the nation state. http://www.theamericancause.org/print/052206_print.htm
42. Burnett, John “Sheriff to Texas Border Town, ‘Arm Yourselves’. NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125737965&sc=emaf
43. Machan, Tibor R. The Value and Limits of Democracy, Chapman University. http://mises.org/journals/scholar/machan4.pdf
44. Report of the Commission on Global Governance (ISBN 0-19-827998-1; Published by Oxford University Press, 1995)
45. The History of Freedom and Other Essays. London: Macmillan, 1919.