We often hear an overarching conspiracy theory these days: Behind-the-curtain actors are trying to engineer some kind of world government.
"They" would include the influential British Royal Institute of International Affairs and its American offspring, the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission (Japan invited), the American-European Bilderberg Group, and many international banks and corporations. Various luminaries in these interlocking groups - Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezenski, David Rockefeller - have spoken about the desirability of world government, more or less under the radar, such as this quote from Rockefeller's 2002 book, "Memoirs":
"For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure-one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."
Can't get much clearer than that. "They" have to operate in secrecy, it is alleged, because a world government can only be erected after a diminution of national sovereignty, and this is already strongly opposed by many voices today - "patriots" here and abroad.
Many on the right fear that a world government could become redistributionist, transferring wealth from the affluent north to the poorer global south generally, especially if climate change prognostications prove out, causing widespread agricultural disruptions, famine and resource wars.
Many on the left fear that a world government would further empower an international capitalist elite-multinational corporations and banks - at the expense of local environmental and labor protections (like Monsanto forcing reluctant nations to accept their genetically modified crops, at the expense of genetic crop diversity).
Limiting future wars would be a desirable function of a world government. Modern warfare is so wasteful, devouring increasingly scarce resources (oil) while often poisoning land and air (Agent Orange, depleted uranium, possible thermonuclear contamination), that we may no longer be able to afford our habit of settling disputes by armed violence. Traditional hunter-gatherer tribes (New Guinea, Amazon, Native Americans) engaged in chronic, nonstop warfare with higher proportional death rates even than our 20th century world wars over the long run. It was only central governments arranged by colonial powers that put an end to the ceaseless cycle of revenge killings, and the natives were grateful for that (see Jared Diamond's latest book, "The World Until Yesterday"). Colonial powers also suppressed slavery (the British in Africa), while exploiting and impoverishing many of their subjects (the British destruction of India's textile industry, and fueling of the opium trade in China).
So a world government, like colonial governments or any kind of government, could do both good and bad. The key requirements, essential for any kind of good government, are transparency and accountability. Wherever it exists, institutionalized secrecy breeds corruption, cronyism, and abuse of power; e.g., the massive frauds in our secretive military-industrial complex and the secretive Federal Reserve bank.
David Rockefeller also said this at 1991 Bilderberg meeting: "The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."
Well, David, we have not forgotten that an "intellectual elite" ruling the Soviet Union degenerated into a pampered nomenklatura that impoverished and murdered unarmed millions to keep its grip on power. And the world bankers who gave us the Great Crash of 1929 (and the devastation of WWII that ensued from it), have reprised that disaster with the Great Crash of 2008, and continue to fatten themselves like hogzillas as millions remain mired in austerity as a consequence. I would rather live naked in the desert than under the dictatorship of Goldman-Sachs and company.
So some level of world government might be necessary to remediate certain planetary problems that states alone cannot solve (ocean pollution and decline of fisheries, for example). But it would be foolish to blindly trust the benevolence of any powerful group of humans, however noble their professed ideology. We must retain the right to throw the occupants out of office if they turn incompetent or tyrannical. And one further demand:
Reasonable restrictions can be debated, but to ensure the security of our lives and liberty, we must never absolutely relinquish the right to armed self-defense.
Travis Kelly is a web/graphic designer, writer and cartoonist in Grand Junction. See his work or contact him at www.traviskelly.com.