Global Democratic Alliance

Many Peoples - One World

Stan Kahn

The time has come to elevate political thinking to a global level. It's not just markets that are being globalized, it's all of culture and society that is taking on a global perspective. Notwithstanding the backwardness of many nations as well as the intractable opposition of many developed world people the movement towards world government is certain and inexorable.


And for good reason. Imagine a world at peace with itself where armies and their great expense are a thing of the past. Where everyone has the right to travel freely and live anywhere in the world. Where the strength and stability of a nation like the USA has become the world norm.

At the same time it's just as easy to imagine a 1984ish world government that has run amok with oppressive bureaucracy and the compulsion to control people's minds.
Which only adds a touch of urgency to the need to mold these momentous changes into a form that guarantees the individual and the state and even every distinct race and culture the greatest possible freedom and individuality, still recognizing that we are all one - one human race on one world.

This was first published in April 1996. I've been back in the USA for more than four years now after an extended stay out and about in the wide world. After a nearly five year sojourn, which included the experience of nineteen countries, I started to feel like a global citizen, unattached, in the deepest sense, to any fixed point on earth.

Of course I'll always be an American, and Portland Oregon will most likely always provide my stateside anchor but I discovered that wherever I was comfortable was as good as home.

Everybody needs to eat; I have no problem with multinational industry putting people to work in the developing world. If the wages are unconscionably low, they still most often provide a better living than the local alternatives. Multinationals do not single out third world workers for exploitation. They don't play favorites. They'll exploit anybody. Their only consideration is the bottom line. If taming the power of the multinationals is our goal, as it should be, it's more important to start right here in the USA.

World government has been a part of my world view for a long time, but returning to the states, I've been struck by the extent that the corporations have begun to dominate life here. It makes one think that they could, if allowed, control a world society as well. International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization and the various trade agreements seem tailored to the prosperity and well being of the corporations and the super rich and to hell with the common people.

I'm no less committed to the grand plan, just a lot more wary and patient for the end goal and cognizant of the need to consider people first. Global Democratic Alliance is a bit dated but still relevant to the long view. It'll be a couple of years before I have time to fully expand and update it.

Table of Contents

1 The Inspiration


Regional groupings are taking form or beginning to take form in almost every corner of the globe. Almost every country that considers itself enlightened or modern or seeks to be, is either involved in, or contemplating its participation in some type of supranational alliance. And these changes are happening so fast that attempts to catalogue or describe these many and diverse groupings are certain to be dated before they can be published.

Conversely there are also strong centrifugal forces, mostly based on ancient animosities, and some regions which are too immature politically and socially to adequately or fairly function together, at least in the near term. Nonetheless, the current trend towards combination, taking the world as a whole, is clearly unstoppable. Witness the South Asia region which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, it has some of the world's worst poverty and social problems and highest intensity national enmities, including frequent wars between India and Pakistan, but there is also a firmly established regional organization and talk of free trade.

Outside of the European Union, the inspiration for this movement, most are confined to trade or security, although three of the six central American countries have pledged to work on political unification. There are also numerous overlapping military alliances and international conventions and treaties. Europe began as the Common Market but once markets are intertwined some measure of sovereignty is inevitably relinquished and closer cooperation becomes that much more valuable if not absolutely essential. Free trade engenders common rulemaking. How many Europeans of forty years ago would have forecast the extent of Europe's present cohesion?

It's totally understandable how proponents of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area) would deny any diminution or dilution of sovereignty. Admitting otherwise would be politically impossible. But in a free trade situation there's no avoiding the consequences of financial and trade decisions made by the other participating nations. And once a nation has agreed to place a measure of it's fate in another nation's hands there's no getting around the felicity and logic of creating an official body to make those decisions that affect everybody.

A backlash against international trade treaties has arisen in the US. Much of it is protectionist and based on resistance to job losses to lower wage countries. Ultimately it is a futile exercise - there's no turning back the trade clock.

Much is legitimate concern about institutionalizing multinational corporate privilege. The MIA, Multinational Agreement on Investments, a covert, end run around national environmental and social protection is a good case in point. If signed in present form it would allow corporations to sue nations over environmental laws which hinder their profit making. Multinationalism must not, need not, be allowed to abrogate human rights and environmental protection. These slowdowns are minor blips on a direct upward curve, they will, for good reason, slow the movement but they will not effect the ultimate outcome.

The members of ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma have very different political systems and religious affiliations and they have absolutely discounted any form of European type union. They have gained a degree of trust in each other from meeting and talking together this past twenty years but have only begun recently to work towards a free trade area. Yet should we return to this issue forty years after they've experienced the consequences of creating interdependence through trade we would be certain to see a total change in attitude towards political union.

The communications revolution is ratcheting up the speed of the cooperation process. The advent on a global level of instant information flow which makes it as easy to stay in touch via e-mail from provincial China as Manhattan, free satellite TV beamed across fifty countries and lightning speed multibillion dollar international monetary transactions all point to the potential advantages gained, if not the absolutely necessity, of functioning in harmony. The great size and instant speed of today's currency speculation markets can overwhelm the efforts of even the most powerful nations to influence or control the value of their currencies. Individual countries can no longer go it alone and still enjoy the full benefits of economic progress.

Meanwhile deforestation, destruction of wildlife habitat, extinction of species, worldwide over fishing, depletion of mineral resources and toxic industrial emissions that pollute everyone's water and air all extend their malaise beyond national borders. One country's waste and negligence degrades another country's air or water. One country's corporation fouls another country's land with toxic dumping. We are bound together in a single ecology, a single gaia where no one country can feel completely safe and secure as a separate entity.

Even more than 200 years ago in the formation of the US, generations before the industrial revolution, the obvious benefits of working together were strong enough for the individual states to forgo a measure of their national sovereignty.

The majority of colonists were of a like mind about the need to create a democracy, a new form of government. Many other nations have embraced that philosophy from time to time over the last two centuries only to see themselves backsliding into less progressive forms. It's only the shortest time ago, historically speaking, that some of the world's most advanced countries - Spain, for instance, - were able to rise above petty dictatorship. But in the last few years a sea change has happened; to the four corners of the earth, democracy has become the vast majority's desire and goal. And with democracy as a nation's foundation, there is no longer a rationale in today's world for remaining separate from other democracies.

At the end of the Second World War, America's wealth stood out nearly alone in the world. Today it's been replicated in many and various countries, and many more others are coming up fast. The world and it's accouterments are at one's fingertips throughout the globe, even in some of the most unlikely places, and as a result millions of expatriates are living and working, legally and illegally, spread far and wide, in both developed and developing countries. They are world citizens but without any rights or benefits.

Citizenship or no, the developed world individual's domicile options have multiplied exponentially. There are any number of places where one might live the good life, experience the wonder of other cultures, fulfill one's destiny. At a loss in St. Louis? Maybe your best opportunity, most preferred lifestyle, awaits you in San Jose, California, or maybe it awaits you in San Jose, Costa Rica, or maybe Sapporo, Japan, or Cape Town or Jerusalem or Bombay or Amsterdam or Budapest.

Today all but the most isolationist or belligerent or religious fundamentalist nations have begun to open their economies and their culture to world influence and begun to vie for international trade and tourism. Some nations try to stanch the flow at goods and services, but the flow of people is an inevitable consequence of opening.

The success of the US as a result of the creation of a large market, freedom of movement, stable currency and strong military cover while each state retains much of its individuality will more or less be the pattern of the future on a world scale. Some nations, given the choice, might opt for remaining separate but it would only happen with the clear understanding that it would cost them economically, restrict the movement and potential of it's citizens, and leave them out of a level of decision making that has great impact on their lives.

Earnest Callenbach's fantasy of Ecotopia, the separation of the ecologically minded Northwest from the rest of the US, was contemplated in the context of a nation that cared less about the material plane. Also, it was written before the intensity of current globalization trends. There well may be a rationale, a clear logic behind a country remaining separate because it insists upon a higher or rather unique standard of environmental sensitivity or social consciousness, but that will be the rare exception and very unlikely even unnecessary given the built-in safeguards of the Global Democratic Alliance model.

The US provides the historic model for international union, Europe the current model. The colonies had the same language and the same creator nation. Europe begins with many different nationalities, tongues and traditions, conditions which would have made this type of union out of the question in any earlier time. Now that we've entered the age of instant world communication and global economics and most importantly the agreement on universal human rights and the feeling that we are indeed a single human race, the consideration of world government is no longer an unrealistic, polyannish fantasy. Rather the sooner we settle down to the task of designing a rational workable concept the better. World government may sound and be way ahead of its time but it gets the discussion moving.

In this day and age of fear and loathing of big, uncontrollable government, feelings shared to a very high degree by the author, the task becomes all the more formidable, but since the movement is inexorable, all the more important.

As the European Union Expands

Europe has recently been grappling with the competition between the concepts of loose confederation and federalism a la the US. It seems clear that the will of the people tends toward the loose concept. Thinking solely of Western Europe, strong union is still theoretically possible, though each successive expansion makes it that much less likely. Viewing the larger picture, regionalism becomes nearly imperative; at least it makes far more sense than trying to fully merge such unequal partners.


Using a regional concept while seeing Europe's expansion in a global context could make expansion that much easier since it doesn't require or emphasize that all members be on the same economic level or that they embrace the same religious or philosophical beliefs. There were recent expansion plans to include nations such as Romania as early as the year 2000, though current plans set that date back at least until 2006 and probably a lot longer. Considering the low development level of many of the Eastern European states, open borders to the west would certainly engender massive California type migrations, which even in the US, where free movement has been part of the scene for two centuries, can be socially painful.

Europe's current modus operandi involves large transfers of funds from rich to poor. While many of those transfers might be beneficial and compassionate it's hard to imagine that they could remain at current levels as the EU makes its grand expansion. Except for some very basic transportation, sanitation and environmental type expenditures they may be not necessary, and in some cases not even a good idea. Every nation has to make its own way and it may well be enough for the less developed nations to have the combination of low cost and therefore competitive industry, access to unlimited markets, the ability of its people to migrate in substantial numbers, and the protected and totally stable environment offered by participation in world government to facilitate their own advancement.

Europe does have the tradition of maintaining a human face in its macroeconomic changes. Hopefully it can continue that tradition at least in some measure even while it adapts to the new world order of fierce competition. Social guarantees provide stability but they also institutionalize inertia. Nevertheless regionalism within a universal government that allows for individuality and wide income differences would leave those decisions to each region or country.

But what is actually happening? The EU has recently absorbed three new wealthy members (would Norway have opted out of the union if it weren't blessed with the immense, unearned natural resource wealth of its oil deposits?), now the next stage of expansion is to the east. This is unavoidable regardless of its inherent difficulty considering that the underlying philosophy of the Union is that all European states that meet the basic criteria are automatically eligible to join.

The first countries in the expansion queue - Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic - are culturally and socially within reach. They were not entirely willing participants in the Communist sphere. They have the proper economic attitude and have made many of the hard choices necessary to merge their economic systems into the Western mold. At the same time their per capita income is only half that of the EU's poorest states and barely a fifth that of the EU states that they border. Economically, this is equivalent to the US absorbing Mexico. Nonetheless, the EU could admit these front line states, as long as it understood the level of sacrifice that would stem from the merging of such unequal partners. Under the most optimistic likely growth scenarios relative income parity will require decades.

Later the others, such as Romania and Bulgaria, that are in the same social category but much farther behind economically could theoretically be absorbed. But then a serious problem develops as the borders of the EU reach the states of the former Soviet Union. The transition states - Ukraine, Armenia, etc. - are as European as any and are certain to want to join as soon as they have advanced sufficiently to be within reach of EU standards, but how might it be possible to include them without including Russia? Recently Russia has been taking a bellicose stance based on it's automatic and presumptive exclusion from the European Union. As of the end of 1998, in the midst of an economic crisis, Russia is in no position to worry about being excluded from the EU, but the enigma remains and will haunt the Union's expansion plans far into the future.

For if the US, the world's strongest nation feels the willy-nilly need to partake in all manner of associations, how could Russia not feel somewhat peeved by being summarily excluded? Moreover, Europe's justification for this action is a bit flimsy, after all, since 100 million people live in that part of Russia that lies West of the Ural mountains that has always been considered part of Europe. And further all but a small percentage of the people who live in the Asian part of Russia are of European descent.

Today Russia's population is equal to more than 40% of the EU's. Assuming it were economically, socially and philosophically ready, it's size would overwhelm Europe's institutions. But by the time the rest of Europe is included, bringing it's population up close to 600 million, Russia's share of the total goes down to 20% and becomes much more manageable. If Russia is included the US can not be not far behind. The two countries are in fact only ten miles apart, (in the Bering Straits). The US can easily be considered European since more than 80% of it's population derives from that continent. Besides what rationale would we have for remaining separate from a union that included most of the entire developed Western World? Adding the 260 million US population to a Europe including Russia of 750 million and no single nation is able to dominate the institution.

The Western European countries have gotten used to relinquishing some of their sovereignty but there would obviously be great fear of domination by the US in any multinational government and powerful resistance on many social levels. In America on the other hand, regardless of any real or perceived economic benefits, the loss of any sovereignty not to mention a continued influx of immigrants and anger over loss of industrial jobs to low wage countries would create a massive backlash.

Today, US accession to a world government is unthinkable; it is arrogant, chauvinistic, xenophobic, sefl-righteous and extremely jealous of it's independence. But in the end result the UK to EU syndrome will prevail. It took a long time for the UK to be ready to join but it was forced to realize that, in simplest, most clichéd terms; if you can't beat them, you might as well join them. If you are going to be subject to their rules - and they are big enough to make the rules of the market so you have no choice - you might as well have a voice in making them. In fact the UK has benefited more than most EU countries from membership. Many Japanese and other nation's companies have set up their European manufacturing bases in the UK. Outside of the EU, the UK's employment picture would be much different.

The ideal coupling necessary to give birth to this new entity in the most timely fashion is Western Europe and the US. If either opts out of the initial formation the transition will take much longer. Europe is actually more important; few smaller countries would be willing to accept domination of the US in an entity which doesn't include the balancing force of Western Europe. The fact that Europe already consists of many smaller countries allows much easier, more equitable absorption of newcomers. With neither of the major players this new government will not be possible. With both together the momentum towards global unification on the part of most of the smaller countries would be impossible to restrain.

Japan and Korea, the only major highly developed nations outside the West, present the most interesting and difficult challenge to this scenario, considering they are possibly the two most homogeneous nations on the planet, and among the most insular ones. But they are both also extremely dependent on trade, and since it only makes sense to trade first within the union, being outside would involve tremendous economic sacrifice. It should be a important facet of policy to maintain substantial trade advantages for members as substantive meaningful incentives for qualified developed nations to join. Very high priority should be placed on bringing all developed nations into the union and Japan and Korea more than most nations would benefit by being connected to world culture.

3 Small is Beautiful

Assuming some form of world government is indeed inevitable it devolves to the developed world to put it's stamp on it, to mold it into a workable desirable form. This is not the kind of thing that can be initiated by developing nations. There's a measure of altruism operating in the forming of any supranational government but it always comes with limits. The current nations of the EU are close enough economically, socially and culturally to have made combination a relatively easy step. Any stage beyond Western Europe gets progressively more difficult and requires increasing altruism, though in all cases there remain substantive advantages for members.


It's incumbent upon the developed nations to set the process in motion, establish the framework, and create a design that springs from Western standards with the capability of being universalized. The globalization of the world's economic life is a great equalizer but still will not in itself engender any kind of a political system which finds wealthy nations sharing the same political entity with poorer. But unity is no less inevitable, and understanding that, developed nations need to know that by taking an active role they can tailor it to their concepts and philosophies. Considering the resources the developed world will have to put into this entity in even the most conservative scenario there is no other way. The nations that show they are socially, politically and economically ready for union in it's initial stages thereby gain the right of design.

But some of the world's poorest nations are also it's most prideful. India would rail at the indignity of being subject to the developed world's designs, yet no amount of protest can change the reality of needing to defer to the developed world to birth this new creation. At the same time, every interested nation on all levels will have the right to participate in deliberations and a voice in decision making even if that voice doesn't carry the same weight as a developed country, and of course it will always be possible to make constitutional changes as this new entity expands.

There are many dangers inherent in big government so the greatest effort needs to be exerted towards a design which offers the greatest latitude to the individual units, towards the Jeffersonian concept of government. This has been further expounded in modern times by E. F. Schumacher in "Small is Beautiful". His concept of subsidiarity states that the lowest level of government should always be considered first when dividing up tasks. And by inference, anything that can be done on a lower level should be.

In fact within the context of supranational government the breakaway of Ecotopia could be made that much easier. Two examples within our hemisphere and within NAFTA will help to force and then shape this debate - Quebec and Puerto Rico. Quebec may well opt for independence but will it also opt to separate from NAFTA? Not likely. What will then happen to the other distinct parts of Canada? Will they stay together in present form? Or petition to join the US? Or a mixed bag where some provinces choose independence, others some form of association?

The status of Puerto Rico also begs many questions. In the November 93 ballot giving voters a three way choice between independence, statehood or continuance of commonwealth status, independence garnered only 4%. No amount of feeling of cultural difference or uniqueness could overcome obvious economic benefits of being part of the US as well as the recognition that they gain a world culture and the protection and stability of being part of an advanced country government. But commonwealth status bested statehood by only two percentage points this last time. This has temporarily saved the US from having to deal with the very difficult question of how to include a state with a different language and a very low income. Puerto Rico has less than half the per capita income of Mississippi, America's poorest state. But actually independence, at least autonomy, becomes easier to contemplate, more possible in world government.

Within the umbrella of world government it really doesn't matter how small, within reason, the individual units are. With world government guaranteeing the ultimate in security, stable currency, the greatest possible access to markets and the freedom of movement as befits world citizens, the biggest disadvantages of small units are eliminated. That is not to say that there would be no disadvantages though this rests heavily on a flexible and adaptable design for this larger government. What difference would it make within this larger context if Wales and Scotland were independent of, separate from, England?  Ecotopia from the US?  Kashmir from India?

These minor entities or nations could more easily pursue their individualities in a one world context, although they achieve this independence without some of the prerogatives formerly enjoyed by sovereign nations. They would clearly not obtain the privilege of trying to use legislation to remain ethnically or even culturally distinct, but rather have to stay open to the world and it's diversity.

Control of natural resources often tends to fuel small nation independence movements while at the same time it hardens the resolve of larger entities against fragmentation. But ultimately, in a one world context, those natural resources really have to belong to all humankind. As for now it is politically unimaginable that any nation, especially any well endowed nation, will voluntarily turn over any control or ownership of its assets to the world at large. Or that any nation will easily allow a resource rich area to secede.

But all things considered the breakdown of larger nations into smaller, more ethnically, culturally distinct units seems just as inevitable as the combination of all nations into a single world government. One tends to see the US as homogeneous, Alaska or Florida, Pizza Huts are all essentially the same. But under the surface there are often wide political differences even between states which are outwardly very similar.

Oregon and Washington, very much alike in culture, climate and topography provide a good example. Oregon is only one of four states which has no sales tax, Washington one of a small number that have no income tax. Washington is one of the states that is most invested in nuclear power and dependent on the military and it's related defense industries, Oregon one of the least in both categories. So then, self-determination and the greater efficiency of smaller units may prompt us to actually encourage the fragmentation of today's nation states.

The only way to overcome the stumbling block of natural resource ownership in the breakup of nation states is for all the original parts to equitably share all the resource legacy. In theory at least, that concept needs to be extended to a world level. Every nation that becomes part of world government should place control over a percentage of it's resources in the world's hands. That percentage should start small and increase over time until eventually resource wealth is shared equally by the individual country and the whole world. Realistically, of course, this would be extremely difficult to institute and not essential to this plan.

The other facet that weighs upon our capability of breaking government into smaller units is the need to maintain a high regard for the environment. There have been many instances in the US in which individual states would have perpetrated environmental monsters if not for the intervention of the federal government. And as bad as the federal government's handling of the Pacific Northwest's forests has been it could easily have been worse, at least at many specific points in the recent past, if the individual states had had sovereign control. It is essential then that achievable universal environmental standards be adopted and that individual countries always have the right to go one better with more stringent requirements. When that is done the US, in a larger world context, could, if so desired, be fifty countries as well as one.

Assuming some form of world government is indeed inevitable it devolves to the developed world to put it's stamp on it, to mold it into a workable desirable form. This is not the kind of thing that can be initiated by developing nations. There's a measure of altruism operating in the forming of any supranational government but it always comes with limits. The current nations of the EU are close enough economically to have made combination a relatively easy step. Any stage beyond Western Europe gets progressively more difficult and requires increasing altruism, though in all cases there remain substantive advantages for members.

It's incumbent upon the developed nations to set the process in motion, establish the framework, and create a design that springs from western standards with the capability of being universalized. The globalization of the world's economic life is a great equalizer but still will not in itself engender any kind of a political system which finds wealthy nations sharing the same political entity with poorer. But unity is no less inevitable, and understanding that, developed nations need to know that by taking an active role they can tailor it to their concepts and philosophies. Considering the resources the developed world will have to put into this entity in even the most conservative scenario there is no other way. The nations that show they are socially, politically and economically ready for union in it's initial stages thereby gain the right of design.

But some of the world's poorest nations are also it's most prideful. India would scream at the indignity of being subject to the developed world's designs, yet no amount of protest can change the reality of needing to defer to the developed world to birth this new creation. At the same time, every interested nation on all levels will have the right to participate in deliberations and a voice in decision making even if that voice doesn't carry the same weight as a developed country, and of course it will always be possible to make constitutional changes as this new entity expands.

There are many dangers inherent in big government so the greatest effort needs to be exerted towards a design which offers the greatest latitude to the individual units, towards the Jeffersonian concept of government. This has been further expounded in modern times by E. F. Schumacher in "Small is Beautiful". His concept of subsidiarity states that the lowest level of government should always be considered first when dividing up tasks. And by inference, anything that can be done in a lower level should be.

In fact within the context of supranational government the breakaway of Ecotopia could be made that much easier. Two examples within our hemisphere and within NAFTA will help to force and then shape this debate - Quebec and Puerto Rico. Quebec may well opt for independence but will it also opt to separate from NAFTA? Not likely. What will then happen to the other distinct parts of Canada? Will they stay together in present form? Or petition to join the US? Or a mixed bag where some provinces choose independence, others some form of association?

The status of Puerto Rico also begs many questions. In the November 93 ballot giving voters a three way choice between independence, statehood or continuance of commonwealth status, independence garnered only 4%. No amount of feeling of cultural difference or uniqueness could overcome obvious economic benefits of being part of the US as well as the recognition that they gain a world culture and the protection and stability of being part of an advanced country government. But commonwealth status bested statehood by only two percentage points this last time. This has temporarily saved the US from having to deal with the very difficult question of how to include a state with a different language and a very low income. Puerto Rico has less than half the per capita income of Mississippi, America's poorest state. But actually, independence becomes easier to contemplate, more possible in world government.

Within the umbrella of world government it really doesn't matter how small, within reason, the individual units are. With world government guaranteeing the ultimate in security, stable currency, the greatest possible access to markets and the freedom of movement as befits world citizens, the biggest disadvantages of small units are eliminated. That is not to say that there would be no disadvantages though this rests heavily on a flexible and adaptable design for this larger government. What difference would it make within this larger context if Wales and Scotland were independent of, separate from, England? Ecotopia from the US? Kashmir from India?

These minor entities or nations could more easily pursue their individualities in a one world context, although they achieve this independence without some of the prerogatives formerly enjoyed by sovereign nations. They would clearly not obtain the privilege of trying to use legislation to remain ethnically or even culturally distinct, but rather have to stay open to the world and it's diversity.

Control of natural resources often tends to fuel small nation independence movements while at the same time it hardens the resolve of larger entities against fragmentation. But ultimately, in a one world context, those natural resources really have to belong to all humankind. As for now it is politically unimaginable that any nation, especially any well endowed nation, will voluntarily turn over any control or ownership of its assets to the world at large. Or that any nation will easily allow a resource rich area to secede.

But all things considered the breakdown of larger nations into smaller, more ethnically, culturally distinct units seems just as inevitable as the combination of all nations into a single world government. One tends to see the US as homogeneous, Alaska or Florida, Pizza Huts are all essentially the same. But under the surface there are often wide political differences even between states which are outwardly very similar.

Oregon and Washington, very much alike in culture, climate and topography provide a good example. Oregon is only one of four states which has no sales tax, Washington one of a small number that have no income tax. Washington is one of the states that is most invested in nuclear power and dependent on the military and it's related defense industries, Oregon one of the least in both categories. So then, self-determination and the greater efficiency of smaller units may prompt us to actually encourage the fragmentation of today's nation states.

The only way to overcome the stumbling block of natural resource ownership in the breakup of nation states is for all the original parts to equitably share all the resource legacy. In theory at least, that concept needs to be extended to a world level. Every nation that becomes part of world government should place control over a percentage of it's resources in the world's hands. That percentage should start small and increase over time until eventually resource wealth is shared equally by the individual country and the whole world. Realistically, of course, this would be extremely difficult to institute and not essential to this concept.

The other facet that weighs upon our capability of breaking government into smaller units is the need to maintain a high regard for the environment. There have been many instances in the US in which individual states would have perpetrated environmental monsters if not for the intervention of the federal government. And as bad as the federal government's handling of the Pacific Northwest's forests has been it could easily have been worse, at least at many specific points in the recent past, if the individual states had had sovereign control. It is essential then that achievable universal environmental standards be adopted and that individual countries always have the right to go one better with more stringent requirements. When that is done the US, in a larger world context, could, if so desired, be fifty countries as well as one.

4 Like Minded Countries

We already have the UN. Isn't it the beginnings of a world government? While the UN has begun to take on some governmental responsibilities it is really more a debating society, a forum for national expression. It is purposely designed to include all types of ideologies. There is no possibility of combining dictatorships, theocracies or mortal enemies into multinational government, so this new entity will have to grow alongside the UN, eventually to supplant it. Europe began as the Common Market, went on to be called the European Community and finally European Union. What about a name for this new entity.


World Government is too stuffy, kind of big and frightening sounding. Global Democratic Alliance is less offensive or overbearing than World Union, and GDA is a lot easier to say than WU. Global feels more appropriate than world since it reaches the all parts of the globe but doesn't necessarily include the whole world. Democratic for the unifying principle behind this union and Alliance to signify that it is a voluntary and free association.

Our first task in creating the Alliance is to establish nondiscriminatory prerequisites for joining, i.e., every country that meets the criteria is eligible. This is a grouping of like-minded countries and it is assumed that all countries that met the criteria would always be able to work out their differences peacefully. 1. Every potential member must be democratic with at least one legislative house based strictly on population, that is, one person one vote. 2. They must be secular; countries that currently have a nationally supported or subsidized religion that would otherwise qualify could provide a large endowment as part of a church state separation process. 3. Every constitution would have to include a bill of rights and strong protection of minorities. Merger would accelerate the mixing of peoples that is already happening and further increase the need to protect all minorities. This should not be too difficult since every country that joined would inherently be accepting all peoples as equals.

In addition there are two design criteria, income and region. It does not sound politically correct to include income as a determining factor but the actualizing of this new government would be totally impossible without it. There are two ways, or a combination of both, to consider this income qualification. Either incremental growth which would involve starting with developed countries only or by providing differential voting powers according to per capita income. In either scenario, countries would be divided into income tiers.

For instance, in a four tier division, if calculated to PPP or purchasing power parity, 1st tier would be above $10,000 income; 2nd tier, $6 to 10,000;  3rd, $3 to $6000 ; 4th under $3000. The impetus for this new level of government, not to mention the power to make it happen, resides in the developed nations and it might be best to start with only the developed world before membership is opened to the lower tiers.  In a further adaptation, successive tiers would be added in ten year intervals.

Alternatively all eligible nations could be admitted but income would determine voting power, for instance 2nd tier would receive 75% voting power per person, 3rd tier 50% and 4th tier nations would receive 25%. This facet is essential to the creation and functioning of this government. Otherwise India with a greater population than Europe and the US combined could dominate the government even though it had only 1% of the income. While no country could join without a large measure of altruism, no amount of altruism could convince wealthy countries to give control of their resources to the poorest countries.

It is my contention, after spending significant time living and traveling in the developing world, that poor countries are so at least in part because they have failed to grasp the importance or necessity of wealth, or the necessary prerequisites for obtaining it, or maybe they haven't even desired it. Poverty in large part comes from attitude and culture and in no way can power come without the earning, through hard work, often over a long period of time, of wealth. In essence the same information, the same concepts and motivations that created the wealth of today's developed nations has been and currently is, available to all nations.

Whatever it is in their cultures or national philosophies that's kept some nations poor when others have become wealthy, there is no alternative for them but to defer to the wealthy for some of the expertise and guidance necessary to become developed, assuming that wealth is important to them. Material wealth is admittedly only one form of wealth and arguably it's quest has been way overdone by many developed country people, but without at least a minimum of mammon it's hard to visualize, especially in today's cyberified world, a healthy, educated, productive society living in relative harmony with it's environment.

Nobody has to join, this is strictly for nations that hold to the political and social ideals and concepts that are now extant in the personal-freedom-oriented industrialized world. Many will lament the submergence of ancient cultures in this new global society but few can defend or justify the hardship that results from cultures barely able to feed their people let alone adapt to the modern world. Information technology has moreover insured that all meaningful cultural artifacts can be preserved for all future generations in utmost detail. Different ways will ebb as the world moves toward a single language and culture, a situation, however regrettable, however much resistance is encountered, that is no less inevitable.

Regionalism, the other design criteria, would be essential in keeping manageability to GDA affairs. Europe has already been approached by non-European and non-Christian countries for membership. Turkey and Morocco have both been refused although Turkey was offered a free trade arrangement. Europe's reluctance to accept large numbers of non-European countries is understandable, not surprising, and yet the reality of economic convergence, and the irrepressible flow of people across borders, lends a powerful rationale for some form of merged governance.

The EU has offered future membership to several Eastern European countries - Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic are first in line - and has required them to form an alliance amongst themselves. Free trade in their own little grouping helps bring them up to world standards and gets them used to working multinationally. Thus we already see the appearance of three reasonably distinct regions - advanced Western Europe, recently repressed and relatively undeveloped Eastern Europe, and a representation of the Islamic World.

Meanwhile over in the Americas we have Mexico, even while joining with the US in NAFTA, working on bilateral free trade agreements with Chile, Venezuela and various Central American countries. Meanwhile Venezuela is working on an alliance with other Andean countries and Mercosur which groups Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay has started functioning. Putting President Clinton's All America Alliance and the Asia Pacific Economic Conference on top of that confusing stew of groupings further begs the need to establish generalized rules for regional groups to work together in a single world scenario.

Europe, by itself or together with the US,  by establishing the groundwork for the acceptance of supranational groupings into a single world government would be able to protect its individuality and wealth without discriminating or otherwise disappointing would be members. Everybody benefits from a world that gets closer and therefore safer.

The security and stability enjoyed by all members of the Alliance, not to mention the economic consequences of remaining outside would provide strong incentives for many poorer countries to maintain democracy and respect for all peoples.

It is proposed that the world be divided into nine regions. They would be based on a combination of geography and culture. The division of the regions would be as follows: 1. North America, Central America and most of the Caribbean, population about 400 million.  2. South America, population 400 million.  3. Western Europe, about 350 million.  4.  Eastern Europe and Russia, 350 million.  5.  The Islamic World - stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to Central Asia, about 400 million.   6. Sub Sahara Africa, about 600 million.   7.  South Asia, 1.1 billion.   8.  Southeast Asia and Oceania, 550 million.   9.  East Asia, 1.4 billion.

In all nine of these suggested regions a large majority of people are of a single race, religion, culture or income level, or any combination thereof, which should in most cases make it easier for them to work together. Sometimes next door neighbors have the greatest animosity towards each other, but in the end there's no abrogation of geography. If a nation is not able to partake of economic benefit from trade, or natural exchange of people with it's neighbors because of historic enmity, it's not ready to be part of the Alliance. Neighbors have to learn to function together and regionalism has to be part of this concept if it's to make any sense at all. France and Germany were able to combine because it was obvious that tying themselves together was their best insurance against future hostility and their quickest road to prosperity.  And the same must hold true, with only minor exceptions, for the world's other hostile neighbors.
 

5 Design for the Future


Considering the awesome power such big government is eventually to wield it makes sense to utilize the American design based on the checks and balances of it's three independent branches - executive, legislative and judicial. Under the best and most optimistic imaginings, world government is always going to be at least cumbersome. Occasionally it is certain to descend to the level of excruciatingly slow acting. But better thus anyway, considering it's distance from the governed, than to have such a far away government able to act quickly or rashly. At this level government deals only with the most sweeping and momentous policy questions. Time here, except in rare cases, is not of the essence.

Legislative

The size and complexity of a world government suggests that a unicameral or bicameral legislature would not be diverse enough to encompass the different needs, aspirations and requirements of such a wide community. A tricameral governing body is called for, using three separate basis for representation - Geographical Regions, Sovereignty and Political Philosophy.

1. Geographical Regions.
The US House of Representatives is close to this concept except that the district method is seriously flawed. Its shortcomings would become especially blatant and dysfunctional if used on a world scale where controls would be much more difficult to enforce. Therefore it is necessary to make a digression to introduce an alternative method of equal representation based on geography.

The main flaws of districts include; they make no sense, having strange shapes that can not be easily identified by the average person. Further, exact identification of boundaries is nearly impossible except where they occasionally coincide with major geographic features such as large rivers or mountain chains.

Boundaries in addition have to be changed periodically to reflect population changes which then compounds identification problems. Worse, boundaries which regularly change are easily manipulated to favor the party in power, thereby thwarting the equal population, equal weight purpose of dividing by district. Furthermore, districts commonly bisect single areas of environmental, ecological concern, to the effect that, for instance, upstream river polluters likely have different representation from downstream sufferers. This is compounded in the case of the US House of Representatives where districts do not transcend state boundaries.

The flaws of the district concept are corrected by designing representation from geographical areas which transcend all but national political boundaries. In this scenario unchanging major geographical features - mountains, major rivers, watersheds - form permanent identifiable boundaries.

The problem of disparities in population and changes in population is solved by basing the voting power or voting weight of each area's representatives on that area's percentage of total population.  If an area has .5% of Alliance population it would get .5% voting power, and that percentage is easily and automatically adjusted at every census and with the addition of each new member country. This allows for population to change while voting power remains relatively equal without changing boundaries. Assigning representation when larger countries breakup into smaller units would in addition create no conflicts and present no problems in this system, because boundaries are independent of population.

This concept also recognizes the value of giving voice to large, distinct, but sparsely populated geographical areas. Representatives from these areas would have the potential of persuasive power even though their actual vote was small.

The size of this house expands as the Alliance expands and changes with changing world population. The average member represents about five million people and ten million is the upper limit. Areas with large populations - giant cities - which can not be easily or logically divided receive one member for approximately every five million people. Those representatives then share the percentage vote.

It may be that no lower limit can be established for representation in this house. Canada's Yukon and Northwest Territories combined have only about 30,000 people and yet they are immense geographically and distinct culturally. In addition each country regardless of size should have at least one representative. Large watersheds divided between two or more countries would have a representative from each country regardless of population. The Columbia River Watershed for instance, which covers a large area of the US and Canada has less than five million people. All things considered then, this house could eventually have close to 1500 members.

2. Sovereignty.
Every country that relinquishes its sovereignty regardless of size is entitled to representation. The US senate is the pattern for this. In the writing of the US constitution the small states understood that representation based on population for both houses would overwhelm their minimal power. This necessitated a compromise which allowed the writers to abrogate the one person one vote concept by giving every state two senators regardless of population.
        In expanding that concept to the world at large it would have to be modified to take into account that there is an enormous population disparity between largest and smallest countries - less than 10,000 to more than 1,200,000,000. In this case, the smallest countries would receive a Senator, but with less than a full vote while the largest countries would have additional Senators but not in direct proportion to population, for instance;
                     up  to 1 million  population             1 Senator receiving partial vote (down to .1%)
                     1 million to 10 million                     1 Senator, full vote
                     10 million to 50 million                   2 Senators
                     50 million to 100 million                 3  Senators
                     each additional 100 million             1 additional Senator
A further alternative or adaptation to this proposal needs to be considered for India and China, the world's two giants. Since most of the provinces or states in both countries have country sized populations it might make sense to give them representation as if they were separate entities, though the giants remain as single countries in all other aspects. Only six of the world's countries have a greater population than India's Uttar Pradesh State with it's 140 million people. This house would eventually have about 250 members.

3. Political Philosophy
Parliamentary seats are allocated by population, based on party vote in each country at large and therefore philosophically, ideologically based. Parties would have to have a minimum number of votes in a minimum number of countries or regions to be represented in the parliament. This house could otherwise become much too fragmented, besides these MP's are supposed to represent world political movements. If one representative were to be allocated for every ten million people plus one from each country with less than ten million (who votes a percentage), this house would have about 600 members.

Weighted voting relative to a country's income remains a part of this concept. There are many adaptations possible here, i.e., it could be used in the counting of votes for one, two or all three houses. The rationale for weighted voting is in the need of the developed world to protect it's sovereignty and it's wealth, which does not necessarily contradict the basic Western belief in one person one vote. It is a practical necessity for the wealthy to participate and a recognition of an intrinsic value deserving of special consideration. Moreover since it is a stated goal of this government to bring everybody up to developed world standards as quickly as possible these special voting rights will only be temporary.

Implied in the concept of checks and balances is that the wealthy could possibly be satisfied with weighted voting in only one of the three houses, since each house maintains a veto over all decisions. In the house based on geography it makes sense to maintain one person one vote, thus protecting the more populous, though poor nations. The equal vote concept is already broken in the sovereignty house so the world's small, or small and poor nations can be protected by not using weighted voting there. That leaves the third house based on political party. This is the most logical place to use weighted voting. The wealthy, in essence, are given credit for their philosophy or know-how or whatever it was that made them rich, and rewarded with temporary extra voting power for their willingness to share it.

Executive

Included in this branch is a chief executive and an elected executive council. In spite of the immense scale of such a government, it yet seems that a single chief executive is called for. Anything else is likely to be far less workable. At the same time that single individual would not be sufficient as an elected executive branch. Neither would the election of an accompanying council be that simple. I suggest a scenario which has a chief executive and a 28 member council elected in a regionally based three stage election.

In the first stage each country holds a preliminary executive council election to choose candidates for a second stage election in each of the nine regions. The winner from each country vies in a final regional election for three council seats, the highest regional vote getter also becoming a candidate for a worldwide election for chief executive. Since India and China each cause their region to have at least twice the population of any other area, those regions are granted four council members. Assuming a division into nine regions the executive branch therefore has a chief executive and 28 council members.

In the first stage election the top vote-getters in India and China automatically win seats on the council. The runners-up in those two countries plus the winners in all the remaining countries vie in the second stage for the three council seats allocated to each region. No country is allowed more than one member on the council, except for the two giants which are allowed two. The winners in the second stage regional elections, plus the first elected in India and China (eleven altogether), vie for chief executive in the third stage election. The chief executive is then responsible for assignments on the council.

Judicial

Members of the Supreme Court are nominated by the chief executive, and approved by a majority of the executive council.  Three justices serve from each region except that India and China are granted one extra each. Total number on the supreme court then is 29. No country is allowed more than one justice, aside once again, from the giants. Justices serve for life.
 

6 There's Room for All

In the merging of cultures and economies the free movement of goods would be a lot easier to implement than free movement of people. Free trade between developed nations is a given, it's the engine of this combining effort and the fuel of world prosperity. On all economic levels trade liberalization has become a near universal goal even where there are strong resisting social pressures and calls to slow the removal of trade barriers. Transition periods are always going to be necessary though the more undeveloped economies naturally require more time to adjust. At any rate, if it can be done without causing excessive disruption, the idea is to minimize this time as much as possible, though timelines really don't matter as much as the ultimate goal of free trade.


In many cases where solidly democratic countries languish in poverty with stagnant economies - India, Philippines as recent examples - the fault often lies largely in a combination of closed markets, overweening bureaucracy and corruption or incompetence. Admittance into the union of less developed countries presupposes the revamping and internationalization of their legal and economic systems to synchronize them with the smoother, more efficient or at least more functional, Western developed mode.

The near absolute guarantee of political stability, defensive security and monetary stability would in most cases draw large flows of private investment to undeveloped states. Many of these countries today restrict business investment and property ownership by foreign nationals (misguided or not) for philosophical or patriotic reasons. But many are also loosening up as they see those kinds of restrictive policies leaving them farther and farther behind economically. By choosing to be part of world government they would be choosing the privilege of participating in world culture over the prerogatives of maintaining individual culture. World culture is drowning individual cultures anyway. To the masses worldwide, the lure of world culture is irresistible. To an increasing number of governments, it is a movement that's hopeless to resist.

Free movement of people is more difficult but also more important and the ultimate goal. Uncontrolled or hasty interchanging of people could easily lead to difficult or destabilizing situations, but there is no substitute for mixing to promote understanding and tolerance for other peoples and no better way to advance the one world concept. We are one race on one world and we are all together in it and our ultimate goal has to be a world without borders. The growing transparency of borders is already engendering large population flows, though it is often haphazard and arbitrary when it isn't illegal, and leaves a current 100 million plus migrants with few rights or benefits. Migratory rights have become a reality within Western Europe but those countries are all on essentially the same economic level. Western European countries could not tolerate open borders with Eastern Europe today.

Immigrants are often willing to work harder for less money than the typical lower echelon, developed country worker who demands more respect and better working conditions from his/her employers and expects government social benefits to provide for him/her until he/she finds a job deemed suitable or up to his/her standards even while other less desirable jobs go begging. There's a lot to be said for the dignity provided for in that kind of social policy, but at the same time it's hard to design such a system that isn't easily abused, or that doesn't almost guarantee that some work is only done by immigrants, sometimes only illegal immigrants. But the developed world's lower skilled workers are between a rock and a hard place. It is unproductive when not impossible, for governments to try to regulate or dictate conditions for business that don't coincide with the reality of the global marketplace.

The economic rise of East and Southeast Asia has in part belied that last assertion since they have built their success on keeping home markets closed while they made major inroads into the West's more open markets. They have used their skills and their singular dedication in the context of this economic imbalance to achieve their success. This imbalance was long allowed or tolerated by the US, the one great consumer dominated open market, for security reasons which are now fading fast. Especially when weighed against the social trauma of large scale unemployment, massive US trade deficits have become a heavy and unnecessary burden.

The US has the tendency to act the bully in trade disputes; the world's richest country seems so petty in its attitude. But in the end result no nation can discount the need to keep its people working and unless there's an important temporary reason for tolerating unfair and unbalanced trade between economic equals, this phenomena is going to end, and sooner rather than later. No currently developing nation will be able to replicate the rise of Japan and Korea while keeping their own markets closed.

Closed markets invariably bring costs up and/or quality down. America was willing to suffer large trade deficits with Japan for a long time because we recognized that many of our goods had become an inferior quality and because open markets provided our consumers with the greatest choices at the lowest prices. The often wrenching economic and social changes forced onto America by East Asian competition had their impact, and in the process upheld to a great extent classical free market economics, i.e., the US responded to the challenge by becoming competitive. Japan on the other hand, nominally the world's wealthiest country, that is, based on simple conversion of Yen to US Dollars, goes way down the scale when measured on PPP or purchasing power parity, because it's closed markets make everything so expensive.

Extreme insularity, closed markets and excessive government control have created the 25 dollar cantaloupe, a price that is several times the cost in America in off season when melons are flown in from Chile. And the Japanese suffer living spaces that the typical urban Chinese with one hundredth the nominal income would consider small. Nevertheless the Japanese consumer is catching on to his/her loss and the grand edifice of the Japanese bureaucracy is beginning to crumble. The changeover in Japan to more openness and greater competition is bringing lower prices, which hurts some while it helps others, and higher unemployment. Real estate owners and many businesses are hurt but the consumer gains.  Rising unemployment will be the tradeoff though it's likely to happen in a less ruthless manner than in  America.

There's no getting around competition in the marketplace as the final arbiter. Global business will manufacture where it's most advantageous and Yin/Yang forces will eventually bring wages for the same work, after accounting for productivity, to a relative global standard. The high will have to come down while the low rise, though the current micro yin/yang cycle is happening on the yang or rising curve of a much larger scale world cycle. This will have the effect of engendering large income rises for low skilled undeveloped country workers while income for the developed world's lower status workers will remain level or decline only slightly. Today, most of the wage leveling that's happening in the developed world is in unskilled work, but inroads are already being made into high tech jobs and wages, with for instance, China launching satellites, Indonesia building jets and India exporting software. The developed world got there first and is likely to retain its advantage for a long time but there will also inevitably come a leveling for skilled work.

There's no longer anywhere to hide from the global economy, though at the same time there's no excuse for leaving anyone out in the cold. America has 700,000 homeless, Bill Gates, as of November 1998, has 60 plus billion dollars, equivalent to $80,000 for each homeless person, enough to provide rent money for every one of them for twenty years. Regardless, for most of us retrenchment will have to come, but a simpler, less consumptive lifestyle would hardly be the worst that could happen to the West. Neither does this retrenchment need to cause real hardship if the industrial world is able to overcome the greed factor. The life of the spirit in harmony with nature is easily a least cost, most healthy, in all the ways that matter, lifestyle scenario. Of course try telling that to the recently unemployed worker who can no longer afford his car payments.

The current situation in which income is being bled from the lower classes to feed the coffers of the wealthy is fueled by the reality that, however avaricious or immoral the actual process might be, the Bill Gates' of this world know how to make things happen. There seems to be widespread agreement on the part of the leadership class that the world's need and desire to grow economically and technologically is important enough to give these people free rein. And we, the rest of us, have to let them deal with, wallow in, the spiritual consequences of their acts.

Now I'm not being casual or flippant here, but it's not for nothing that Jesus used the most extreme analogy, that of a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle, to depict the difficulty of trying to combine wealth with sufficient spirituality, even basic decency, to entitle one to the keys to heaven. When pressed further He went on to say that anything is possible with God. Still that should leave Bill Gates quaking in his boots. A couple of decades of all possible earthly power and comforts is hardly a worthy tradeoff for an infinity of heavenly bliss. The gates to heaven will be locked and deadbolted shut against anyone who can walk by a homeless person, who has the power to help that person, who chooses to avoid responsibility. One day that message will get through enough to encourage the world's "Bill Gates'" to divert at least some of their great talents and energies towards higher goals than the pursuit of wealth. When the wealthy start demanding less, prices will go down and there'll be enough for everyone.

Meanwhile, an essential factor in the West's economic life and growth, especially in America, is borrowing on all levels. We are living off the past, taking everything we can today, while we borrow from the future. We are spending heavily the credits earned by getting to developed status first. We are mortgaging the future, staying just one step ahead of the bill collector on the assumption that our economies will always grow enough to absorb the additional costs. But that's no more than a gamble, and gambling always includes the possibility of losing, no matter how good the odds.

We are living beyond our means and one way or another the bill is going to come due. We are going to have to retrench and in some ways it'll be good for the world because we will be demanding fewer of the world's resources. Inevitably - specifically because we are not likely to soon overcome the greed factor - many people will be left behind, get lost in the machinery, fall through the cracks in our current hardhearted but economically sensible and efficient global growth market. Nevertheless, absent war or calamity, every country, rich or poor, has only itself to blame for anyone who is hungry or shelterless while others are wealthy. Every country is responsible for taking care of its own and no reason or excuse can exist for not doing that. Certainly, trying to abrogate or counter the rule of the global market provides no answer to the West's current socio-economic problems.

Also at the same time it must be said that allowing control of economics by multinational businesses brings great danger, as the oil company sponsored oil embargo of 1973 clearly shows. Some industries cannot hardly function on less than the multinational level, most notably energy, and the world today is hardly less dependent on the oil companies than 20 years ago. But even in that case there are alternatives in renewable energy that can be done on a small business scale that are suitable for a less consumptive society. It is not possible to compete with the multinationals on price or quantity, in industries where competition can actually happen, but it is possible to compete on quality.

Brewing provides a good example. Just ten years ago in America almost all beer was brewed by a handful of companies, though they used many labels. Today there are hundreds of breweries in America and just about every one of the new micro breweries produces better tasting beer in more varieties than all the megabreweries combined. Their beer costs more and they still have only a tiny share of the market but they represent the way of the future. In fact the megabreweries have recently recognized the potential in offering consumers a choice, but their mass produced brews can still never approach the quality of hand crafted beer from micro breweries.

Today we need the multinationals. Many people cannot afford to pay for higher quality. Many products, especially pertaining to global communications, from satellites to superconductors, can only be produced in factories built on the kind of grand scale that only the largest corporations can afford. But once in place these communications tools give us a bit of independence and power to choose. We cannot dispense with megabusiness but at the same time, individual nations, under any circumstances, are foolish to not cultivate, to the greatest extent possible, industries based on the uniqueness of their cultures. And foolish to not mold their cultures to be responsive to less consumptive more natural ways and by the way less beholden to the greedy multinationals.

We will all suffer from world resource depletion, but the more prepared, more ecologically oriented, will suffer proportionally less. Some areas of the world are so overpopulated and overutilized and far behind economically they seem hopeless cases; in Bangladesh, for instance, millions of people live on shifting river islands. Every few years their island, with all of their meager possessions, gets washed away and they have to move on a new one that the river has just created. America will suffer in its own way from its addiction to cheap energy. Vast new oil discoveries have pushed back the coming era of energy scarcity by at least a couple of decades. But it will happen nonetheless and Americans without means will also be without transportation since we've blithely and irresponsibly ignored the great ecological and social benefits of efficient electric public transportation.

European countries have always levied very high gasoline taxes which has had the effect of reducing auto use and by extension reliance on oil imports. And at the same time they have made tremendous investments in electric transportation. The next time energy costs spurt, for whatever reason, there will be big time hassles in America but Europe will feel it relatively minimally. Not only are electric trains the most energy efficient mode of transportation by far, but because of the large initial capital cost of track and electricity, the per mile cost actually goes down the more it gets used. Since there is always excess track capacity outside of congested urban cores, Europe will buy extra rail cars, most people will get where they need or want to go, and the cost will change only minimally. America can always wait to get started until the price of oil multiplies but because high energy costs reverberate through the entire production process it will cost much more to make the transition.

Nonetheless, taking the world as a whole and assuming it is done right, that is, intelligently and ecologically, there is no foreseeable future in which the world, under normal circumstances, cannot take care of itself. Any number of exigencies including things like incompetent government and wasted or overused land will cause local hardship and of course we can not rule out biblically proportioned calamity, but otherwise there is truly enough capacity in the world to properly take care of everyone, including providing a healthy rewarding lifestyle, should we care to do so.

This last is based on the author's recent experience living and traveling in parts of Asia which contain a majority of the world's people in some of it's most crowded countries. If China with it's limited amount of quality arable land is able to feed it's 1.2 billion people, then America, cultivated to the same intensity, could feed half the world. Now I don't mean to belittle the plight of China's rural poor, or ignore the fact that much of it's food is grown in narrow strips on steep rocky mountainsides, or the problem that many of it's people do not enjoy an adequate diet, or the fact that it has recently purchased heavily on the world grain market. The fact that China can merely approach self-sufficiency is miracle enough. And so, based on that premise, we accept every little step as an improvement or a beginning and go on from there.

In the merging of cultures and economies the free movement of goods would of course be a lot easier to implement than free movement of people. Free trade between developed nations is a given, it's the engine of this combining effort and the fuel of world prosperity. On all economic levels trade liberalization has become a near universal goal even where there are strong resisting social pressures and calls to slow the removal of trade barriers. Transition periods are always going to be necessary though the more undeveloped economies naturally require more time to adjust. At any rate, if it can be done without causing excessive disruption, the idea is to minimize this time as much as possible, though timelines really don't matter as much as the ultimate goal of free trade.

In many cases where solidly democratic countries languish in poverty with stagnant economies - India, Philippines as recent examples - the fault often lies largely in a combination of closed markets, overweening bureaucracy and corruption or incompetence. Admittance into the union of less developed countries presupposes the revamping and internationalization of their legal and economic systems to synchronize them with the smoother, more efficient or at least more functional, Western developed mode.

The near absolute guarantee of political stability, defensive security and monetary stability would in most cases draw large flows of private investment to undeveloped states. Many of these countries today restrict business investment and property ownership by foreign nationals (misguided or not) for philosophical or patriotic reasons. But many are also loosening up as they see those kinds of restrictive policies leaving them farther and farther behind economically. By choosing to be part of world government they would be choosing the privilege of participating in world culture over the prerogatives of maintaining individual culture. World culture is drowning individual cultures anyway. To the masses worldwide, the lure of world culture is irresistible. To an increasing number of governments, it is a movement that's hopeless to resist.

Free movement of people is more difficult but also more important and our ultimate goal. Uncontrolled or hasty mixing of people could easily lead to difficult or destabilizing situations, but there is no substitute for mixing to promote understanding and tolerance for other peoples and no better way to advance the one world concept. We are one race on one world and we are all together in it and our ultimate goal has to be a world without borders. The growing transparency of borders is already engendering large population flows, though it is often haphazard and arbitrary when it isn't illegal, and leaves a current 100 million plus migrants with few rights or benefits. Migratory rights have become a reality within Western Europe but those countries are all on essentially the same economic level. Western European countries could not tolerate open borders with Eastern Europe today.

Immigrants are often willing to work harder for less money than the typical lower echelon, developed country worker who demands more respect and better working conditions from his/her employers and expects government social benefits to provide for him/her until he/she finds a job deemed suitable or up to his/her standards even while other less desirable jobs go begging. There's a lot to be said for the dignity provided for in that kind of social policy, but at the same time it's hard to design such a system that isn't easily abused, or that doesn't almost guarantee that some work is only done by immigrants, sometimes only illegal immigrants. But the developed world's lower skilled workers are between a rock and a hard place. It is unproductive when not impossible, for governments to try to regulate or dictate conditions for business that don't coincide with the reality of the global marketplace.

The economic rise of East and Southeast Asia has in part belied that last assertion since they have built their success on keeping home markets closed while they made major inroads into the West's more open markets. They have used their skills and their singular dedication in the context of this economic imbalance to achieve their success. This imbalance was long allowed or tolerated by the US, the one great consumer dominated open market, for security reasons which are now fading fast. Especially when weighed against the social trauma of large scale unemployment, massive US trade deficits have become a heavy and unnecessary burden.

The US has the tendency to act the bully in trade disputes; the world's richest country seems so petty in it's attitude. But in the end result no nation can discount the need to keep it's people working and unless there's an important temporary reason for tolerating unfair and imbalanced trade between economic equals, this phenomena is going to end, and sooner rather than later. No currently developing nation will be able to replicate the rise of Japan and Korea while keeping their own markets closed.

Closed markets invariably bring costs up and/or quality down. America was willing to suffer large trade deficits with Japan for a long time because we recognized that our goods had become an inferior quality and because open markets provided our consumers with the greatest choices at the lowest prices. The often wrenching economic and social changes forced onto America by East Asian competition had their impact, and in the process upheld to a great extent classical free market economics, i.e., the US responded to the challenge by becoming competitive. Japan on the other hand, nominally the world's wealthiest country, that is, based on simple conversion of Yen to US Dollars, goes way down the scale when measured on PPP or purchasing power parity, because it's closed markets make everything so expensive.

Extreme insularity, closed markets and excessive government control have created the twenty five dollar cantaloupe, a price that is several times the cost in America in off season when melons are flown in from Chile. And the Japanese suffer living spaces that the typical urban Chinese with one hundredth the nominal income would consider small. Nevertheless the Japanese consumer is catching on to his/her loss and the grand edifice of the Japanese bureaucracy is beginning to crumble. The changeover in Japan to more openness and greater competition is bringing lower prices, which hurts some while it helps others, and higher unemployment. Real estate owners and many businesses are hurt but the consumer gains. Rising unemployment will be the tradeoff though it's likely to happen in a less ruthless manner than in the West, America especially.

There's no getting around competition in the marketplace as the final arbiter. Global business will manufacture where it's most advantageous and Yin/Yang forces will eventually bring wages for the same work to a relative global standard. The high will have to come down while the low rise, though the current micro yin/yang cycle is happening on the yang or rising curve of a much larger scale world cycle. This will have the effect of engendering large income rises for low skilled undeveloped country workers while income for the developed world's lower status workers will remain level or decline only slightly. Today, most of the wage leveling that's happening in the developed world is in unskilled work, but inroads are already being made into high tech jobs and wages, with for instance, China launching satellites, Indonesia building jets and India exporting software. The developed world got there first and is likely to retain it's advantage for a long time but there will also inevitably come a leveling for skilled work.

There's no longer anywhere to hide from the global economy, though at the same time there's no excuse for leaving anyone out in the cold. America has 700,000 homeless, Bill Gates has 14 billion dollars, equivalent to $20,000 for each homeless person, enough to provide rent money for all of them for several years. Regardless, for most of us retrenchment will have to come, but a simpler, less consumptive lifestyle would hardly be the worst that could happen to the West. Neither does this retrenchment need to cause real hardship if the industrial world is able to overcome the greed factor. The life of the spirit in harmony with nature is easily a least cost, most healthy in all the ways that matter, lifestyle scenario. Of course try telling that to the recently unemployed worker who can no longer afford his car payments.

The current situation in which income is being bled from the lower classes to feed the coffers of the wealthy is in simple recognition that however avaricious or immoral the actual process might be, the Bill Gates's of this world know how to make things happen. There seems to be widespread agreement if not consensus that the world's need and desire to grow economically and technologically is important enough to give these people free rein. And we, the rest of us, have to let them deal with, wallow in, the spiritual consequences of their acts.

Now I'm not being casual or flippant here, but it's not for nothing that Jesus used the most extreme analogy, that of a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle, to depict the difficulty of trying to combine wealth with sufficient spirituality, even basic decency, to entitle one to the keys to heaven. When pressed further He went on to say that anything is possible with God. Still that should leave Bill Gates quaking in his boots. A couple of decades of all possible earthly power and comforts is hardly a worthy tradeoff for an infinity of heavenly bliss. One day that message will get through enough to encourage the world's "Bill Gates's" to divert at least some of their great talents and energies towards higher goals than the pursuit of wealth. When the wealthy start demanding less, prices will go down and there'll be enough for everyone.

Meanwhile, an essential factor in the West's economic life and growth, especially in America, is borrowing on all levels. We are living off the past, taking everything we can today, while we borrow from the future. We are spending heavily the credits earned by getting to developed status first. We are mortgaging the future, staying just one step ahead of the bill collector on the assumption that our economies will always grow enough to absorb the additional costs. But that's no more than a gamble, and gambling always includes the possibility of losing, no matter how good the odds.

We are living beyond our means and one way or another the bill is going to come due. We are going to have to retrench and in some ways it'll be good for the world because we will be demanding fewer of the world's resources. Inevitably - specifically because we are not likely to soon overcome the greed factor - many people will be left behind, get lost in the machinery, fall through the cracks in our current hardhearted but economically sensible and efficient global growth market. Nevertheless, absent war or calamity, every country, rich or poor, has only itself to blame for anyone who is hungry or shelterless while others are wealthy. Every country is responsible for taking care of it's own and no reason or excuse can exist for not doing that. Certainly, trying to abrogate or counter the rule of the global market provides no answer to the West's current socio-economic problems.

Also at the same time it must be said that allowing control of economics by multinational businesses brings great danger, as the oil company sponsored oil embargo of 1973 clearly shows. Some industries cannot hardly function on less than the multinational level, most notably energy, and the world today is hardly less dependent on the oil companies than 20 years ago. But even there there are alternatives in renewable energy that can be done on a small business scale that are suitable for a less consumptive society. It is not possible to compete with the multinationals on price or quantity, in industries where competition can actually happen, but it is possible to compete on quality.

Brewing provides a good example. Just ten years ago in America almost all beer was brewed by a handful of companies, though they used many labels. Today there are hundreds of breweries in America and just about every one of the new micro breweries produces better tasting beer in more varieties than all the megabreweries combined. Their beer costs more and they still have only a tiny share of the market but they represent the way of the future. In fact the megabreweries have recently recognized the potential in offering consumers a choice, but their mass produced brews can still never approach the quality of hand crafted beer from micro breweries.

Today we need the multinationals. Many people cannot afford to pay for higher quality. Many products, especially pertaining to global communications, from satellites to superconductors, can only be produced in factories built on the kind of grand scale that only the largest corporations can afford. But once in place these communications tools give us a bit of independence and power to choose. We cannot dispense with megabusiness but at the same time, individual nations, under any circumstances, are foolish to not cultivate, to the greatest extent possible, industries based on the uniqueness of their cultures. And foolish to not mold their cultures to be responsive to less consumptive more natural ways and by the way less beholden to the greedy multinationals.

We will all suffer from world resource depletion, but the more prepared, more ecologically oriented, will suffer proportionally less. Some areas of the world are so overpopulated and overutilized and far behind economically they seem hopeless cases; in Bangladesh, for instance, millions of people live on shifting river islands, every few years their island, with all of their meager possessions, gets washed away and they have to move on a new one that the river has just created. America will suffer in it's own way from it's addiction to cheap energy. Vast new oil discoveries have pushed back the coming era of energy scarcity by at least a couple of decades. But it will happen nonetheless and Americans without means will also be without transportation since we've blithely and irresponsibly ignored the great ecological and social benefits of efficient electric public transportation.

European countries have always levied very high gasoline taxes which has had the effect of reducing auto use and by extension reliance on oil imports. And at the same time they have made tremendous investments in electric transportation. The next time energy costs spurt, for whatever reason, there will be big time hassles in America but Europe will feel it relatively minimally. Not only are electric trains the most energy efficient mode of transportation by far, but because of the large initial capital cost of track and electricity, the per mile cost actually goes down the more it gets used. Since there is always excess track capacity outside of congested urban cores, Europe will buy extra rail cars, most people will get where they need or want to go, and the cost will change only minimally. America can always wait to get started until the price of oil multiplies but because high energy costs reverberate through the entire production process it will cost much more to make the transition.

Nonetheless, taking the world as a whole and assuming it is done right, that is, intelligently and ecologically, there is no foreseeable future in which the world, under normal circumstances, cannot take care of itself. Any number of exigencies including things like incompetent government and wasted or overused land will cause local hardship and of course we can not rule out biblically proportioned calamity, but otherwise there is truly enough capacity in the world to properly take care of everyone, including providing a healthy rewarding lifestyle, should we care to do so.

This last is based on the author's recent experience living and traveling in parts of Asia which contain a majority of the world's people in some of it's most crowded countries. If China with it's limited amount of quality arable land is able to feed it's 1.2 billion people, then America, cultivated to the same intensity, could feed the world. Now I don't mean to belittle the plight of China's rural poor, or ignore the fact that much of it's food is grown in narrow strips on steep rocky mountainsides, or the problem that many of it's people do not enjoy an adequate diet, or the fact that it has recently purchased heavily on the world grain market. The fact that China can merely approach self-sufficiency is miracle enough. And so, based on that premise, we accept every little step as an improvement or a beginning and go on from there.

7 Long Transitions

Europe recently held a governmental conference to determine its future course in regards to governmental structure, monetary union and expansion to the east. The EUís structure has to be adjusted to the reality of a much larger and diverse community. The veto power that each country holds over major decisions would make functioning extremely difficult with the addition of many new members, especially considering the far lower economic status of the new additions.


To the surprise of many, monetary union, with the exception of three countries, has become a reality, essentially dividing the union into two parts. As for the Eastern countries, they've been promised entry, but off in the future, without firm dates. Western Europe knows it can't afford to absorb the East in the current scheme of things, but changing the scheme means a lot less development money for some current members. Neither can the West open it's borders to the East without encountering large numbers of  immigrants.

Time to take a fresh look at Europeís future. The internet and its ability to transcend national boundaries is now engendering to the formation of international political consciousness. Internationalism seems to provide Europeís leaders the answers to their multiple quandaries.

This leads to an appointed commission charged with the following. 1. Establishing initial criteria for joining. The criteria are published and all potential first tier (above $10,000 / year in PPP, purchasing power parity, income) members around the world are invited to take part in this new organization by appointing a representative to sit on the commission. 2. The expanded commission then sets parameters for each country to elect the first members of a reconstitution council, and elections are held. Each participant country is entitled to one seat on this first transitional council.

The first task of the reconstitution council is the drawing of a preliminary regional map. Then potential members of all income tiers are asked to apply and send representation so they can take part in the regional governments, though they might not qualify to vote on the world council for decades. Lower tiered participants receive preference for aid, trade and emigration. The council is also charged with nominating members of a constitutional convention. All regions are included in the appointments to the constitutional convention. The first council remains in office until the constitution is approved.

For the first ten years only first tier countries would be members of the Alliance, at which time the second tier is added. The last two are added in successive decades. This proposed timeline can be changed at any juncture, but probably not until after the second tier has been absorbed.

Lets assume the constitution is approved. Take a look at the first post constitution council; it would likely consist of, one member from each country in Western Europe, Canada, The US (a temporary exception to the one council member from each country rule should probably be made to give more to the US in this first council), Singapore, Australia, probably New Zealand and possibly Israel. Japan and Korea, the only other nations to qualify would probably not opt to be founding members, though the economic and other consequences of remaining outside might well change their minds in a few years. At best no more than five of the world's nine regions would be represented. In order to maintain balance and the recognition that this union is destined to be universal, the elected council would appoint at least one person to represent each region on the council. Western European countries retain their seats to fill out the council's 28 places until all regions are fully represented.

The heavy representation of Western Europe on the first council as well as disproportionate representation for possibly decades until all regions are able to supply the maximum three seats, along with the ability to separate Western from Eastern Europe, and in a sense get them off the hook for fulfilling the Eastís aspirations, should make their advantage in spawning this new creation that much more obvious. The power of Europe in these initial stages is in recognition that they do after all have the experience of combining, of working in a larger multinational context, and deserve some privileges for being willing to initiate this process.

It can be argued that the unified Germany's two halves would both have been better off if they'd remained separate entities for a suitable ten, maybe as long as twenty year, transition. The chaos in trying to hastily merge two totally different systems, the great monetary cost of trying to treat citizens of both parts equally though they are worlds apart, the loss of East German potential in the attempt to quickly bring East German wage levels up to the West in spite of wide differences in productivity, all could have been avoided if the East were given sufficient transition time. Of course it's easy to laud the altruism behind the West's actions but it might have been better to put East Germany on the same political level as the rest of the former Communist countries and save unification until the point at which the East was ready to join the EU on it's own account. West Germany would have, under any circumstances, put large sums of money and great effort into the East.

The same analogy applies to the two parts of Europe. Eastern Europe naturally wants the quickest possible union with the West, but at least temporarily, it really is different from the West in culture and economics and in the long run it stands to gain in this world government by remaining distinct. That's especially true if the subsidies for low income EU members has to be drastically cut back. In the West they are like poor cousins, as a separate Eastern region the individual countries are a larger part among relative equals. Since representation in the GDA is by region they will have much greater power by remaining separate. In fact both the two halves of Europe have the smallest populations of the nine regions.

The executive council includes three members from each region (with the exception of East and South Asia) but no country can have more than one seat. In the beginning many seats will not be claimed. After one seat in each region is filled by appointment of a regional representative, the remaining two are filled by appointments from the runners-up in the other regional elections for council. In the beginning only the various Western European countries would qualify on that basis for extra seats. If one, two or three countries are participating from a region then they automatically get a seat. (China and India will not be in the initial membership in any case so we donít need to worry about their extra seats at this stage).

Europe is the only area that currently has experience with multinational government, every other place will have to build from scratch. One of the primary tasks of the council during the first years is facilitating the organization of the regions, especially Eastern Europe and the other regions in which the second tier is, or theoretically will, because of high growth rates, be well represented - South America, Southeast Asia.

Membership in the GDA of second tier countries after the first ten year transition period only comes along with participation in a regional government, assuming at least two nations in the region, first and second tier combined, are qualified and have been accepted by the Executive Council. If only one nation in a region applies, of course it will be admitted, just that if more than one country is accepted from a region they must combine in a regional government to be accepted for membership in the world government. Some effort should be expended to organize all regions regardless of income since benefits accrue to all countries that have begun the GDA membership process, not to mention the benefits countries receive from regional cooperation.

The regional governments are designed to eventually include all nations, while they are able to function with as little as two. In the beginning, the regional governments will have limited powers, coinciding with their limited experience and partly necessitated by the fact that in some regions there will be large gaps in membership. The Islamic World and Sub Sahara Africa especially will have a difficult time finding more than a few potential regional partners. In some regions there are great animosities between neighboring democratic countries, in other places great income disparities.

First tier GDA members however should not have any trouble at this time starting to function together on a world level and in turn planning for cooperation with the second tier applicants in their regions. Their accomplishments will remain somewhat limited until a substantial part of each region is represented. The underlying foundation of this Global Democratic Alliance proposal is gradualism and minimalism. In spite of my own personal tendency to want all changes to have happened yesterday, it's bound to be an easier transition if this new mega-government widens it's scope and increases it's power slowly. Let the more advanced nations have a little experience at international government before they take on the needs of the less developed.

Each of the nine proposed regions consists largely of, or at least contains a majority of, a single racial type or mixture, and most are dominated by a single religion. Also a large majority of people in each region is at about the same income level. But at the same time each region is so unique there's no possible single pattern for regional government. Each will have to devise it's own plan to be submitted and approved by the Executive Council. As far as possible, to aid identification and minimize confusion, regional legislative boundaries should adhere to the bioregional - natural feature concept and coincide wherever possible with GDA boundaries.

All countries of all income levels whose applications for GDA membership have been approved are automatically part of their regional government and no country can participate outside of membership in it's region. By the time the second tier is added every region, except South Asia and Sub Sahara Africa, would have at least one country qualified to be represented in the GDA. This last assumes that the growth rates typical of the developing world before the Asian crisis will return within a few years.

8 The Global Melting Pot

Opening of borders will have to be undertaken in a gradual and sensitive manner even while it is strongly encouraged. Open borders between 1st tier developed nations should only engender local problems. With no great economic incentive to instigate mass movement open borders should not in most cases cause disruption or overwhelming of resources, although even in the US where free movement has been part of the scene for two hundred years specific migrations can cause tension. Oregonians for years have had a running joke about closing their border to migrating Californians, and bumper stickers which say " Don't Californicate Oregon". Notwithstanding such local tensions it is actually quite easy in most cases, legally or illegally, for current developed world people to live and work in each other's countries.

Developed world acceptance of immigration from the less developed is much different, but actually it's one of the best and least costly ways in which the wealthy can contribute to the world's well being, not even considering the benefits migrants bring with them. Let's assume the more developed world can absorb about five million immigrants a year. For this purpose I am including mid development countries with absorption capabilities, such as much of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the newly developing Southeast Asian states. They are not currently developed but they provide a lot of opportunities and thus constitute a large step upward for many people. They also have the potential to resume or begin   growing at high enough rates to insure developed status within a reasonable time.

Five million immigrants a year moving to the developed world doesn't sound like much when compared to the fact that India alone adds fifteen million people a year, but the economic benefits accruing to those five million also include a large multiplier effect benefiting family members left behind. Often developing world people who receive their education in the West return home with the added knowledge and experience to become civic or economic leaders.

Moreover, birth rates are declining almost everywhere, though they are often still way too high, to the effect that world population will stabilize sometime in the next century at a level that will be tenable even if very difficult. Then, as has already happened in the developed world, population will decrease. So while five million migrants a year may not at first seem significant, when all benefits are accumulated over ten or twenty years this will clearly begin to make a big difference. Low income Alliance members will benefit disproportionally from this migration policy, providing incentive for developing countries to join.

Each country has a different capacity to absorb newcomers. Australia, large and largely empty, currently accepts immigrants equal to 1% of it's population each year. The US with it's off again nonagon immigrant tradition brings in about ½ % when illegals are included. If high density, highly insular Japan, today moved to the Western multicultural concept, a reasonable absorption rate might be closer to ¼% or possibly as little as .1%. Further, developed countries experiencing high unemployment have less capacity on a temporary basis. Financial incentives through world government tax laws would be included to smooth the acceptance of immigrants on receiving countries.

In addition to bringing cultural variety, needed or otherwise stimulative economic skills, and fostering understanding between peoples, immigrants bring economic benefits to receiving countries beyond their numbers since they come with nothing, but they want or need everything. A good analogy being the difference between a retired couple who haven't bought a new piece of furniture in decades and a young couple just setting up their first house.

There are basically five types of migrants. 1. Those with means and or special skills that constitute a benefit under almost any circumstances to the receiving countries.  2. Those who, staying at the same economic level, move for a change of scene or better opportunity.  3. Migration of developed country people with varying skill levels who go to the undeveloped world for a variety of reasons.  4. The unskilled or semi-skilled who seek to migrate up the economic ladder.  5. Refugees.  It's only the last two in which controls are clearly necessary.

In the first three, migrants would seldom, at least in the financial sense, become a burden.  Socially, culturally, maybe yes, but that's not a reason for exclusion. It is possible in some cases that open migration in those categories would overwhelm local resources - too many of the world's doctors migrating to Los Angeles, for instance. Or wealthy outsiders buying up all the beach property in the Philippines. These are special cases which require individual solutions. It is also possible that the US will continue to be such a strong draw for immigrants that special rules might temporarily be necessary there.

The fourth category is at the discretion of the receiving country, some countries need the lesser skilled, others don't. Receiving countries should be able to pick and choose amongst all categories of migrants as long as a wide variety of regions and countries was represented. Admittance of refugees would count extra against each country's quota because of the additional costs associated with those migrants, but migration between first tier countries would not be counted at all since it constitutes no burden.

Welfare dependence might happen occasionally under unusual circumstances but it's just not possible that many developed country people will migrate to another developed country to seek an indigent life on welfare. Otherwise, each developed country would have complete discretion in the filling of it's quota. What if they only accepted scientists?  No problem, whatever helps the receiving country or helps to gain acceptance of immigrants on the part of it's society is good enough. The cultural benefits will accrue in both directions regardless.

Generalized goals would be set for each country (applied to all income levels) to eventually have a minimum proportion of immigrants in it's population. This would probably be 10%, further refined by requiring at least half to come from other regions. Though as long as the movement is gradual and regulated to prevent any one nation from being overwhelmed, immigration in fact, continues until world population balance is reached and economic disparity has lessened and open borders become a reality.   World government will inevitably bring all nations toward the same relative economic, social and cultural level. Europe and America will cease to be such a strong draw for migrants when everyone has many more choices. They are in many ways crowded and expensive and hold fewer opportunities than the developing world. Yin and Yang come into play by bringing all tendencies toward the middle.

The impacts of migration for the less developed tiers, either within each tier or from high to low are completely different. There is a reverse immigration of rich to poor which is based on many reasons including climate, low cost of living, and economic opportunity in addition to the simple enjoyment of other cultures. There are very few situations in which this type of migration would not benefit the less developed country. That is not to say that at times pride will not be hurt, culture will not be degraded, or that wealthy foreigners won't attempt to buy up all the best beach property.

But these or equivalent problems are no more than the developed country has to deal with in accepting immigrants. At least developed to less developed migration almost always comes with the means to live without working or special skills that aren't otherwise present in the developing country. The minimum $300 per month that it costs for a first tier citizen to live or travel on a budget in India, for instance, provides the equivalent of several sustinences for local people considering that many Indians would look upon $30 per month as a good income. There's certainly little chance that Westerners will care to compete for any job but the most skilled considering that top level programmers in India earn as little as $300 month. Culturally these reverse migrants are as important for the developing country as economic migrants are to the developed.

There should be no restrictions therefore - aside from the requirement that all non refugee migrants be financially capable, and the occasional minor rule exceptions - on migration from first to lower tiers. The lower tiered country is then allowed a direct exchange of migrants with the developed country. And this is the only instance in which a developed country would have to exceed it's immigration quota. If it has a quota of 50,000, but 100,000 of it's citizens have migrated to less developed countries it would have to take back the same number it sent out.

In addition to accepting first tier migrants from all regions, second tier countries would have to accept all migrants from other second tier countries within it's region. With no great economic disparity between countries causing big migrations there should be no need in most cases to restrict these migrants. Finally second tier countries would provide a direct exchange with the two lower tiers in it's region and all three lower tiers in the other regions.

A similar sequence is followed when the third tier is added except that it would be difficult for a country at that level of development to absorb much in the way of lateral migration, that is, between third tier countries in the same region. Their social and economic problems are similar, serious and often related to low levels of education. Migrants to those countries therefore come only from the more developed world, with the right of exchange.

In the last thirty years immigrants have made America, in the latest of it's many transformations, into a very different place and by most yardsticks a very improved place. All whose thoughts peruse the realm of conjuring up improved worlds recognize multiculturalism as a first priority.
 

9 Stability at the Bottom and Flexibility at the Top Create Maximum Economic Benefit

From the inception of the world executive council with only developed world members, it will only be a few years until at least two or three regional governments have formed, and only a short time before economic benefits are felt by members of all economic levels, though the greater or at least more obvious benefits come to the lower tiers. Developed countries almost by definition cannot grow very fast and don't need to grow. Aside from absorbing excessive unemployment and some fine tuning there is little place for growth. Population is largely stable and growing older. There is always room for improvements in infrastructure and housing stock, etc., but compared to the undeveloped country which is essentially starting from scratch and needs everything, the developed world's need for growth is very minor.
 
Once a lesser developed country is in the loop and part of a regional government, timelines toward developed status and council membership become accelerated. Several countries, especially in East Asia, have shown that when the proper conditions are established it is possible to sustain growth rates of 7 to 10% for long periods. At those rates it takes little more than a generation to rise from the lowest economic levels to the threshold of developed status. Development in this new world order will come with an explosion and the sky - in this case 7 to 10% - is the limit.

Very quickly after the developed world has established an international currency it will become the currency of choice, or at the minimum used side by side with local currency everywhere. One of the most prominent stumbling blocks to development is currency problems that often can be traced to no more than mismanagement. That, combined with the great currency pressures that bear on the undeveloped world, would no longer apply. Growth potential is unfettered. Meanwhile military expenditures plummet.  There is no imaginable conventional force type external threat to any participant in the Alliance, and the undeveloped country's share, if any, in much lower military costs would be minimal.

With the guarantee of financial and political stability and access to the world market, development money rushes in to take advantage of new high growth potential in developing countries in both domestic markets and production for export. It is accompanied by an influx of skilled and/or knowledgeable people from the developed world. And an outflow of people who are dependent, redundant (with skills that are not required by their economy) or simply poorly paid at home, who because they are used to much lower standards are able to save money in the developed world though they work for less. Consequently they are able to remit large amounts of money to their families, or maybe return with a stash at a later time in life.

On the other hand Europe has been laboring under very high unemployment rates for several years with no relief in sight. One facet of the problem until recently was that most European countries were  paying high interest rates based on maintaining relative parity with Germany's high rates that stemmed from the high costs of German reunification. An international currency would accomplish as much for Europe as for the developing world in it's ability to relieve those economies from the vagaries of relatively small scale individual country problems. Even Japan and Germany, with the world's second and third largest and strongest economies, suffer partly from economic problems based as much on currency than reality.

Also in Europe's favor in economic improvement is not having to provide direct heavy subsidies to Eastern Europe, though all of their industries will have to compete in a much larger free market. More intense competition also means greater opportunity. This larger free market includes developing countries expanding at very high rates with increasing numbers of people with the means to purchase the kind of high quality goods that Europe produces.

Inflexible work forces and the prevailing high cost of doing business also contribute heavily to Europe's problems. In Japan and much of Europe consumer goods are priced much higher than in the more competitive American market. This in itself is a damper to growth. Changes are already happening in making Europe more competitive. Free trade on a much larger scale will accelerate the process, but it will also intensify the continent's labor conflicts.

What's important here is not that specific jobs or job categories receive protection or that workers be provided a cushy safety net but rather that other options are provided. Most people would benefit by the experience of doing different kinds of work in their lives. The reality of working at the same job for a lifetime with the goal of retiring with a good pension is fading fast, the ideal should go with it.

An important key to the developed world's unemployment problems is shorter working hours.  This trend has already surfaced in Europe, but there is resistance both from the workers who are not willing to accept less pay and employers who don't want to bear the overhead costs of additional employees. In a mature economy there is just no need for all of those worked hours, since advances in productivity are allowing a little human endeavor to create a lot of material goods.

Until recently Japan was the only developed country with reasonably full employment and that has only been possible through very high trade surpluses, essentially the export of unemployment. Japan's 120 billion dollar trade surplus directly translates into 2.5 million jobs which if added to it's current unemployment rate would add about five percentage points and place it at about 8%, in between Europe's 11% and America's 4.5%. America's current low unemployment rate is based on the bubble of inflated stock values and heavy debt.-

It costs three or four times as much to support an unemployed Swede in Sweden than it theoretically would in Indonesia and even at that they would live at a high level compared to the Indonesians around them. They likely have skills that Indonesia could use. People with savings that wouldn't get them far in Europe could buy an easy life in the developing world. Lower income members of the Alliance would be advertising, actively seeking immigration from the developed world. Very high unemployment in Europe, of course, propelling this movement. In return there is a corresponding movement of people with motivation, maybe special skills, the ability to work for less and an attitude that lets them do the kinds of jobs not acceptable to the typical European.

I know I'm proposing a form of neo-Reaganomics here - trickle down plus if you can't find a job where you live then move. Nevertheless that philosophy which in fact exemplifies an unfair and lousy attitude within a sophisticated economy may well be good enough both in a larger world context and in a transitional economy within which there are great income disparities. In other words the low quality (low pay, hard work, no dignity) service oriented tourism job in a wealthy country becomes a good career opportunity in a poor country where there are few or no equivalent opportunities. Moreover the motivated undeveloped country worker would consider it a step up to do that job in either place.

Meanwhile the Westerner takes what many would consider a step downward migrating to the undeveloped world. In some ways that's true but at the same time if that person spent six months or a year in a small cabin on a tropical beach he or she would be consuming far less energy and material goods and helping to alleviate the world's pollution problems in the process. In fact and in truth saving the world by working less and consuming less. Now I'm not implying that Europe's unemployed should simply be banished to tropical island paradises, though a year's sabbatical never hurt anyone. Most people need to stay productive and the developing world has overwhelming needs - even on that island there are certain to be worthwhile things to do, either voluntarily, for remuneration, or in exchange for unemployment benefits.

Of course, I'm describing a situation certain to make Europe's workers mad as hell, but Europe is too expensive and there's hardly a way to avoid the current worldwide income leveling. Rather than try to protect locally declining industries, the workers need to have their skill levels upgraded and their attitude softened toward change. At the same time that low skilled workers in Europe are falling behind, the need in the developing world for European financial ability and special technical and entrepreneurial skills is accelerating. Moreover the positive encouragement of migration or just long term travel from Europe to less developed countries also helps to relieve employment pressure.

The migrants who come in exchange will arrive with means, skills or at minimum strong motivation, enough at any rate to not constitute an economic burden. This combination of factors should begin to lower living and employment costs making it easier for low income people to survive and more economic for industry to manufacture. This will be very hard on people who are ill prepared for change but neither is there an alternative in the present scheme of things. The kind of public welfare that the typical European worker is used to is becoming a difficult burden. Any attempt to hold back the coming economic changes will be futile.

10 The International Central Bank


 One of the central points of Europe's recent Maastricht treaty was the commitment on the part of all members (except Britain) to the creation of a single currency. The original agreement required all members to meet certain national financial goals involving inflation and debt levels by a specific date in order to qualify. But then, several countries, merely in the attempt to stabilize their currencies relative to the strongest currency, the Mark, experienced monetary crises which forced them to temporarily give up the quest of qualifying for the single currency. Much to the surprise of all, two years later, eleven of the fourteen EU countries have met the criteria for the single currency and it's a go for January 1999.

In all EU matters, currency being one of the most prominent, concern over loss of national sovereignty has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to further integration. In this case the German people were hesitant to give up their Mark, one of the world's strongest and most important currencies, for an essentially unknown quantity. But in spite of some quite serious and frequent backsliding the trend or movement towards multinational governance is nonetheless unmistakable. In the final result, occasional backsliding notwithstanding, the future of a united Europe does not hinge on the meeting of short term timetables. Integration is by necessity a slow process in which the quality of the outcome is not dependent on how fast it happens.

The fact remains that currency transactions cost a lot of money, adding to the cost of everything that crosses borders while they produce nothing of value. Moreover currency vicissitudes can be a prime cause of economic hardship in themselves. Aside from instances in which a country can take short term advantage of trading partners through devaluation, it's a no win situation.

There were important reasons for Maastricht's strict requirements, otherwise countries with loose inflationary attitudes towards money would be taking advantage of those countries that sacrificed to have strong currencies. Germany, being central to the success of this new currency because of it's size and strength, insisted everybody meet it's own high standards. The next stage is a global currency.

The introduction of this new currency can best be accomplished by a gradual introduction process. The participation of each nation, as well as it's level of participation in the initial creation of, and later growth in utilization of this new money, in tune with much of the philosophy herein, is entirely voluntary. Of course the more participants the better and especially those countries with the strongest currencies. Here I assume that Europe, US and Japan will form a core group of reserve currencies.

The value of Global 'Dollars' is made equal to the total of one US dollar, 100 Yen, and 1 Euro, or about 3 USDís. This proposal will work best with the participation of all three reserve currencies, though possible adaptations can be made for any combination of countries to do this.

At the same time, regardless of the number of participants from the three core currencies, this multinational currency should be pegged to all three. Many businesses lost money recently from the devaluation of the Dollar, because so many international contracts are based on that currency. Basing it on a combination of all three insures stability and guarantees a fair average value. Speculation within the three core currencies does not substantially change the value of GD's, since any rise in one will only come with a corresponding fall in another. One can also be quite certain that Japan, the US and EU will all continue to take decisive steps to keep their money strong whether or not they are members of the International Central Bank.

The capital for the ICB is created by participating nations trading their own currency for the international currency. They can trade any amount at any time at market price, though there may need to be some restrictions in the beginning to keep relative balance between currencies until enough countries are involved and there's a large enough pool to absorb instability in an individual currency. This last is to insure gradual change and the ability to work out kinks in a timely fashion. The problem of maintaining stability in this new currency when it's capital or backing, i.e., the various currencies on deposit, is constantly changing in value is solved by keeping each country's proportionate share of the whole the same.

For instance, when a country's currency declines in value relative to Global Dollars it has to bring up the value of the stock in it's account by either returning GD's or purchasing core currencies.  Conversely, if it's currency goes up it receives additional Global Dollars in it's account.

As a country increases the percentage of it's money in the new currency it is under increasing pressure to maintain it's value. Since every fall in value has to be replenished, inflation and weak money will only come at a high corresponding cost. In the beginning when only a few percentage points of it's money is invested this will not be a great burden, but by the time that level reaches twenty or thirty percent every country will be forced into a hard money policy.

This will be especially true of core countries who have substantial amounts of their money on deposit in other country's accounts. In exchange for losing some freedom over monetary policy they have access to non inflationary low interest (by exigent world standards) Global Dollars. They also have a currency they can use for international trade or travel that bears no transaction costs. Small countries are more likely to have larger percentages of cross border trade in their economies than large countries, and at the same time even large scale participation on their part would have a relatively small effect or impact on the new money. It would thus be advantageous for them to accelerate the full merger their currencies with the international currency.

The process is likely to snowball once the kinks are out and the members get a chance to see how it works. Except in the need to maintain some balance between small currencies and core currencies, there seems little reason to minimize a smaller country's stake or, once a suitable time is allowed for transition, the pace of it's conversion to GD's. For the larger countries the pace of their currency merger will have to be seen. There are going to be situations in the beginning which leave participating core countries vulnerable to market volatility. The value of GD's is based on all three major currencies, but only member core country's currencies can be used in reserve in the ICB. These types of problems are reduced in inverse proportion to the number of the three that take part and the greater their participation.

The only rationale for a country not joining in would be the desire to pursue loose money inflationary policies. As each individual country's commitment to GD's increases it becomes more important to maintain the value of it's currency but at the same time it should also be easier since it's own currency becomes a progressively smaller part of it's money supply. Also as it's stake in GD's increases, it's power to make policy in the ICB increases, though since the core currencies are at much greater risk they wield greater power.

Under any circumstances the overarching policy of the ICB, pretty close to written in stone, will be conservative and non inflationary, but calculated nonetheless to achieve the greatest reasonable world economic growth - 7 to 10%  for the developing world, enough to provide full employment in the developed .
 

11 Diversity and Individuality are Paramount

There are things that wealthy nations can do for the poor that are concurrently also in their own best interest, such as planting trees thereby slowing the increase in global warming. Vast areas of the undeveloped world have been deforested or otherwise degraded. Assistance in the cleanup of watersheds  and airsheds that effects the life of the whole planet comes at a relatively small price but brings great benefits. For instance, a complete sewage treatment system for the city of Bangkok which has about ten million people would cost about eight billion dollars or one third of Thailand's annual budget. In contrast, the US in recent times spent about 100 billion dollars a year as the cost of stationing troops in Europe and Asia. A simple interpolation then shows that most major cities in the developing world could be outfitted with complete sewage systems for the cost of one year's troop deployment.

That is not to say that this new multinational government will have the desire or mandate to get directly involved in such matters, only that the resources are theoretically available. This will be especially true in a situation in which military needs become seriously downgraded. Even so, considering the challenges much of the developed world is facing with high unemployment, declining industries and the need to restructure, it seems unlikely that it will find, or even want to look for, the money to help developing countries.

Of course the developed world should be helping, and for relatively small amounts it could make a big difference, but realizing how fast developing countries can grow on their own when they just establish the right conditions, it's clear that self help, especially in this new global context, is far more important than any likely amount of direct financial assistance.

When there are transfers of resources they are likely to be limited to those kinds of things developing countries would like to do but which they must needs place a low priority on. Saving of habitat for endangered species can't take precedence over basic sustenance. Even if a higher law urged or demanded that it should, even if a country's leadership wanted it to, it would be difficult to justify to an impoverished electorate. Hard enough to protect species in America, for instance, if that protection interferes with the desire of the logging community to cut ancient forests. Even majestic ancient forests.  Even the last of the majestic ancient forests.

In reality the GDA will do best anyway if it sticks to researching, suggesting, maybe cajoling, rating and maybe admonishing rather than financing, dictating and punishing. The classic example of how not to run a big government comes in the American school lunch program in which the federal government, as a condition placed on individual school systems for receiving funds, dictates to the gram the amount of each type of food every child in America is supposed to eat for lunch with total disregard for local taste or climate. On the same day in the middle of winter it might be -40 F. in Northern Minnesota while it's + 90 F in Southern Florida. The citrus fruits which are cheap, abundant and appropriate to eat on a hot day in Florida are no substitute for the grains which grow in Minnesota and are more necessary in frigid temperatures.

If this new government is to be involved in school lunches in any degree it would be solely in the context of an Education Bill of Rights agreed to in principle by all members of the Alliance and in the specific question of school lunches it would simply state that all countries do their utmost to insure that all children receive the benefit of an adequate nutritious lunch every day. The Alliance government would limit itself to researching basic nutritional needs (in the context of differing climates, of course) and rating the effectiveness of each country's program in supplying those needs. If a country's program is deficient they are first encouraged to improve, then admonished if there's no improvement.

All government almost by definition is cumbersome and inefficient. This new multinational government will carry that axiom to the nth degree even if it tries it's darnedest not to. Even if I am prone to a degree of exaggeration here, it's no less clear that the Alliance should deal only with the broadest, most sweeping policy questions and leave all of the details to the lesser governments.

National governments do not need to be dictated to. Loss of face, not to mention loss of economic capability due to poor quality governance will sometimes be enough to force many changes, especially in the context of multinational government. The great debate leading up to the 1996 US presidential election  focused in part on the division of powers between state and federal governments. The Republicans want to turn many programs directly over to the states saying it'll cost less and be more efficient, which I believe is true. The Democrats on the other hand want to maintain federal mandates saying that at least some states will just reduce expenditures and consequently many of society's most dependent people will suffer, which is also true.

The answer as usual is somewhere in the middle. The mandates, or something pretty close stay, but administration goes to the states. Each state is rated and judged by it's performance and if some do a poor job others will have the opportunity to be excellent.

The Alliance will have less control over it's constituent parts than the federal government over the states. But the goals, targets and requirements placed on each nation remain universal. Each must show that it is making a legitimate effort to comply with Alliance responsibilities, but once again, it's necessary, even important that there be enough leeway and flexibility in the system to allow for some nations to do badly. Only in extreme cases should the Alliance take direct action.

There are areas nonetheless in which the Alliance will have to be intrusive. In the case of discrimination against minorities, higher rules from the greater authority take unquestionable precedence. This is a near absolute - every citizen must be accorded the same universally established rights. No deviance is allowed on that account. Situations in which one nation's pollution causes direct harm to another nation are not quite as absolute, but nearly so. Meanwhile those instances in which the Alliance assumes priority are kept to a minimum.

The use of recreational drugs presents an interesting problem for the Alliance, similar except on a much larger scale to Europe's problem with the Netherlands and it's open attitude on drugs. The vast majority of nations with almost all the world's people try to discourage drug use, some going so far as to enforce mandatory death penalties for possession of relatively small amounts. Meanwhile Holland, one of the world's wealthiest, most advanced, safest and most peaceful nations, just thumbs it's nose at everyone else, and to their great consternation and gall, belies the other's most cherished notions about the evils of drug use and demolishes the premises behind their harsh drug laws.

It is essential then that every nation acting in good faith and in the belief that it's direction is proper have the right and opportunity to pursue it's goals and it's special place among nations unhindered.  The worst thing that could happen is a world government that tried to enforce a simple majority view on national cultures and individual identities.                        .
 

12 No Longer a Pipe Dream

By now I've largely covered, in overarching terms, the reasons, rhymes and rationales for our need to move to a large scale vision of the future. It might be interesting and enjoyable to delve more deeply, imagining in detail this idea's outworkings, but the farther this goes from the widest generalities and broadest conceptualizations, the more likely it is for real life to turn out differently.

By the most reasonable and optimistic musings, world government, that is the beginnings of world government, is decades away. And yet political changes can sometimes occur at lightning speed, as in the startlingly sudden demise of European Communism. In the same light the transformation, in only a few years, of the South American continent from one ruled mostly by dictatorships to one that's totally in the hands of democracy is only a little less amazing.

Nonetheless, while it may well seem a bit bodacious to even broach the subject of world governance, not to mention maybe quite foolish to go as far as I have in detailing many of it's possible parameters, the one certainty is that it will eventually happen. It is just too logical and too obvious and too much of an economic imperative to face rejection by any democratic country except possibly those small "independently wealthy" nations most heavily endowed with nonrenewable natural resources.

We are clearly in it together whether we like it or not and it only makes sense then to put it on paper, organize it, design it to function in the most efficient manner with the greatest safeguards to each nation's individuality. We are already dealing with a confusing array of overlapping international organizations, each of which may deal with only a small part of international life. The logical inevitable evolution has to be to create a global representative governing body to make humanity's momentous decisions.

Until today, with the modern world about to enter it's third millennium on a wave of incredible technological progress, world governance could only be considered in the realm of pipe dream or utopia. Now the only question that remains is when.
 

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