Fourteen Questions on World Government

Just recently, I came across a proposal for “world democracy” and a “planetary social contract,” made by Fernando Alcoforado, a Brazilian professor. Here it is:

Now, I’m entirely in favour of eliminating war from our planet. But I didn’t much like his solution, or the way he put it forward. I interacted with him a couple of times, then decided I ought to set out my own, strongly dissenting, views. And, being the cynic I am, I put them in the form of questions about how his ideas might work when put into effect.

So, I put forward fourteen questions about Fernando’s proposals for world democracy and a planetary social contract. Here they are:

A few questions on the planetary social contract…

  1. Who will write it?
  2. How will it be agreed?
  3. Who will be allowed the opportunity to sign it, or to choose not to sign it?
  4. What will happen to those individuals who refuse to agree to it?
  5. Will individuals later be able to repudiate the contract on the grounds that it has failed to deliver what they were promised?

…and about your planetary government, too.

  1. It seems that your vision still allows for national governments, but they will be subservient to the planetary government. Would individuals unjustly harmed by national governments be able to go to the planetary government for relief and compensation?
  2. Would the planetary government require all national borders to be open?
  3. Would individuals be able to vote for members of the planetary government? Or would only “representatives” of those in power in one nation or another have a right to vote?
  4. If the planetary government itself fails to keep to its side of the planetary social contract, how will those harmed by such a breach obtain compensation?
  5. Will the planetary government hold officials of national governments accountable for the effects of their actions?
  6. Will officials of the planetary government be held personally accountable for the effects of their actions, in the same way as anyone else?
  7. How would a planetary government avoid the forcible imposition of the customs of a majority culture on members of minority cultures? For example:

12a. If Muslims – for example – were to become a worldwide majority, would the planetary government allow them to set and to enforce a worldwide ban on the eating of pork or the consumption of alcohol? If not, how would it prevent them?

12b. If a majority, either globally or in one country, desired the removal of a minority culture – for example, Jews or Catalans – would the planetary government allow them to commit genocide against that minority?

  1. What would happen if a policy imposed by the planetary government was later shown to have been wrong? For example, if green policies imposed on the pretext of “defending the planet’s interests” were shown to have been based on fraudulent pseudo “science?”
  2. If there are enclaves that resist the power of the planetary government, would that government have the right to make war against the people in them?

Fernando hasn’t answered yet. I hope our discussion continues over there…



    I can’t even be bothered to read what this ‘Fernando Alcoforado’ has to say. I’ve heard it all before.

    ‘World Democracy’ is a self contradictory term.

    Apart from anything else, how can you have a single ‘World Democracy’ of over 7 Billion people, all with competing interests, religions, political cultures, and everything else.

    Do we want to be governed by an electoral franchise comprising fundamentalist Muslims in ISIS. Does Saudi Arabia want to be governed by an electoral franchise comprising Jews in Israel?

    And what if these people don’t want to be ‘democracies’ at all, let alone a ‘World Wide’ one?

    The first and indispensable condition for the existence of any ‘democracy’, is that it has to consist of a community in which the residents are willing to consent to taking decisions jointly, and are willing to accept that when they are in a minority, that’s the end of it.

    The World is a huge morass of competing minorities.This ‘World Democracy’ would need a successful imperialist war to set it up in the first place, and would be in a continual state of armed civil war and independence rebellions.

    We in the UK have just voted against a much more modest attempt at transnational Government. We are withdrawing from the EU, an organisation which is infinitely easier (albeit still impossible), to run as a transnational ‘democracy’, than anything ‘Fernando Alcoforado’s might be proposing.

    Other countries have voted not to join it. And the existing EU has made it clear that they don’t want certain people in it.

    In any case, most of the wars we experience are the result of existing states containing ethnically incompatible peoples.

    A ‘World Democracy’ would be the present mess writ large.

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