Mini-Feature: Evaluating Global Government

If a world government did come to power, assuming it wasn’t particularly cruel or evil, would it be a good or bad thing?

Under no circumstances would global governance be anything less than evil, no matter how it conducted itself. Governments are best when they are responsive to the needs and will of the people. Nations are composed of people who share a common bond, either of blood, creed, history, or allegiance. One-world government is definitionally opposed to the interests of nations in favor of an ideological commitment to the needs of Mankind, which is an abstraction. Government based on abstractions will necessarily be equalitarian and progressive, and massive, and therefore repressive. 

-Seth Barron, managing editor of The American Mind

We are already having enough trouble as it is running a national government worthy of the name. What the nature of our crackup suggests to me is that more, not less decentralization should be the desire and aspiration of anyone who wants a sane, healthy, and politically legitimate life in the digital age. Madison’s idea about an “extended republic” was always the riskiest and most ambitious aspect of this whacky scheme called America. Self-government means irreducible plurality. Holding together the many regionally distinct cultures that are bound to flourish among a free people spread over large territory—holding them together loosely enough that they can truly be called free, but firmly enough that they may truly be called a people—is a delicate business. It requires not only prudence but tolerance, and a generosity of spirit toward real ordinary folks in their idiosyncrasy. You have to love people to really govern them. 

The natural instinct of our present ruling class, by contrast, is to homogenize everything to look more like themselves or, if there are things they can’t homogenize, to destroy them. They don’t do this out of spite, exactly—they just really do think they’re better than you, and they can’t for the life of them fathom why you don’t aspire to be like them. This generates the kind of urbane contempt with which they rule, and any kind of global government they formed would not be a government at all, but a hell. 

-Spencer Klavan, associate editor of The American Mind