Global government

We have got global challenges that can only be dealt with through a global structure


M Zeb Khan November 27, 2021
The writer is a PhD in Administrative Sciences and associated with SZABIST, Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected]

Imagine you were living in the cave era — totally dependent on nature for survival and vulnerable to all sorts of dangers — with no instruments and skills to shape things to your advantage! Then you went through some evolutionary changes in the brain and learned new ways of living. But things started going ugly when you were left behind by the very machines/tools you had developed to serve you. It is what has happened to humanity in the name of progress but it is no longer sustainable unless there is paradigmatic shift in the way we look at the entire ‘ecosystem’ of existence!

It was the watershed moment of ‘scientific revolution’ in the early 16th century that the man-matter relationship changed the essence of humanity. We are now living in space and time where human extinction has become a real possibility with climate change, nuclear war, and technological disruption looming large on the horizon. None of us would have thought of the cataclysmic change in weather patterns around the globe today. The planet is getting hotter making it unliveable in some places and the glaciers are melting fast causing the oceans to rise.

Nuclear weapons, which are now in thousands and are powerful enough to destroy the world several times over in a matter of hours, are the most sought-after devices by countries with hegemonic desires in the name of deterrence and defence. Instead of focusing on de-nuclearisation and non-proliferation, countries like Russia, the USA and China are investing in developing even more lethal weapons. Call them by deterrent weapons or any other name, these weapons have taken away our peace of mind since they were first used in 1945 killing innocent civilians in millions.

Similarly, technological disruption, with AI and bio-engineering in the forefront, is on the way of radically transforming life itself into something unfathomable from ethical and legal perspectives. Organism, someone has rightly said, would become algorithm with companies exercising power over our so-called ‘personal choices’. The technology-dependent man would lose his autonomy and agency in making buying decisions, investment decisions, and even making or breaking relations with others.

These existential threats we confront today are far more complex and imminent than those our primordial ancestors might have faced in the wild nature epitomised by droughts, floods, earthquakes, and harsh weather conditions. But they were presumably wiser than we are in dealing with the problems at hand! Strong family bonds, determined by biological needs inside, made it possible to cooperate for food, physical security, and even reproduction. Social norms were developed to live together in harmony. As population increased, new governance systems emerged with tribal structure and religious traditions playing a key role until the Industrial Revolution that marked the beginning of nation state defined by legal framework.

The nation state has, however, outlived its useful life and needs to be abolished. National borders restrict the free movement of people and products and thus unnecessarily divide humanity into distinct nationalities. Spending billions in the name of national security is also a relic of our instinctual fear of ‘the other’. Economic development, which now eats the planet like termite, is also the outcome of national competition for more with emphasis on ‘now’.

The doomsday scenario, alluded to above, can be averted if men (leaders) start thinking globally and beyond the exigencies of the present. Now we have got global challenges that can only be dealt with through a global structure — a kind of global government — founded on the principle of one ‘humanity’ rather than a state defined by a particular race/community living in a designated territory. The global government, unlike the UNO’s structure, can be designed on democratic principles of a government of humanity, for humanity, and by humanity. This government, if created, would banish the curse of national sovereignty and would bring in an era of peace, harmony, and progress for all.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2021.

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