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Old May 31 2013, 10:11 PM   #211
TheGoodNews
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
TheGoodNews wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
I'd be wary of the Star Trek future in which the whole Earth falls under one government. It's apparently a prerequisite for us to found the Federation, in which every planet counts as one member (but we're the big dog and don't forget it ). Even so, it has disadvantages.

A single government for the Earth would have so many citizens that it simply could not be responsive to them. We'd be ruled by distant elites who would not necessarily share our values and priorities (much like the European Union today, in the eyes of many of its people).

And those elites wouldn't need to be responsive. A government with six billion constituents would not have to answer to any of them. Assuming you even had an elected representative in the legislature, he would either be powerless because the legislature is so large, or he would have so many constituents that you would mean nothing to him.
ZapBrannigan,

You're assuming that a central bureaucracy or hegemony is ruling over the Earth, when the Earth itself could be a Federation of democratically Self-Governing autonmies. What in anarchist terminology is called FEDERALISM (see Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's "What is Property?") Proudhon was the first anarchist who advocated a decentralized federation of self-governing districts to prevent any centralized power structure from rising. If you look at the anarchist Free Territory of the Ukraine, it was organized along these principles.



Star trek's earth may have a global council made of recallable delegates rather than a government.

Interesting, but...

In the ST universe, somebody is deciding for the whole Earth how to produce and allocate resourses, how much to tax from each part of the Earth for central use, how much of our resources (whether money or physical goods) shall be given to the United Federation of Planets (for building Starfleet, etc).

Then somebody in the UFP is deciding what Starfleet is supposed to do and not do. They're deciding who is allowed to colonize desirable uninhabited planets, the ones with good air, water, and soil that are not too far away. Somebody is deciding what constitutes grounds for war with the Romulans, and what should be tolerated as the price of peace.

These are contentious, irksome issues. There will never be perfect harmony in figuring them out and coming to decisions. Somebody will be very unhappy with each decision. There must be a final authority that imposes its will on the various parts of the Earth, and also a UFP authority that imposes its will upon the Earth and other planets.

I'm afraid your "No centralized power" concept would mean no United Earth and no UFP.
In today's world you have the Zapastista Movement which emerged on January 1st, 1994 and is still going on today.



They control an area in Chiapas, Mexico that has no central authority and is divided into 5 autonomous municipalities that have maintained both their solidarity and seperate autonomy. The Zapatistas have developed an advance form of direct or participatory democracy.

The idea of Federalism (in the Proudhonian sense) is the unity of free equals. No componet dominates the other, yet they maintain their cohesiveness. So a nation or international institution can exist without a dominant hierarchy or central authority. Power from the periphery to the center. Not the inverse.

"Another key element of the Zapatista ideology is their aspiration to do politics in a new, participatory way, from the "bottom-up" instead of "top-down." The Zapatistas consider the contemporary political system of Mexico inherently flawed due to what they consider its purely representative nature and obvious disconnection from the people and their needs. Instead, the EZLN claims to reinforce the idea of participatory or radical democracy by limiting public servants' terms to only two weeks, not using visible organization leaders, and constantly referring to the people they are governing for major decisions, strategies and conceptual visions. As Marcos has reiterated, "my real commander is the people". In accordance with this principle, the Zapatistas are not a political party: they do not seek office throughout the state, because that would perpetuate the political system by attempting to gain power within its ranks. Instead, they wish to reconceptualize the entire system."

Again, a decentralized federation can facilitate rather than negate the concept of a United Earth, but without a central world government. Authority comes from the bottom up, by participating members, not the top down.
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Old June 2 2013, 04:08 AM   #212
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
How can abolishing the right of states to war with one another contribute to the fall of privilege?
With only a few exceptions, the wars we see around the world today are mostly internal conflicts and civil wars. Wars of ideological rebellions, or ethnic rebellions, or secessionist movements, or insurgency for state control. While two or more nations fighting each other are not completely unknown, they very much are the exception.

So, if the world is one day formed into a single nation, how would that (again, in of itself) prevent wars? It isn't remotely necessary for there to be multiple states, for there to be wars.

But suppose an unjust world authority temporarily arose? Revolution against such an unjust government is the obvious remedy. The idea is no problem for me.
But you must realize that the opposite can also happen. A civil war can just as easily replace a fair and just authority with it's opposite. And with a single nation world it would not be a portion of the Human population then being condemned to live under tyranny, but all of Humanity.

And there wouldn't be the possibility of outside help from other Earth nations (diplomatic - embargoes - financial restrictions - military action) because now there aren't any other nations.

Civil wars and the stray war of liberation are the only wars worth fighting!
Yes, but "liberation" according to whose cause? Your ideas as to what constitutes liberty might be in conflict with other peoples concept of the term liberty. And those other people wouldn't alway agree with each other.

As I mention above, even with the relative small sizes of current nations we still see civil wars, so when the world is a single nation, how many different points of view are going to be held within that one nation's "borders?"

Well, the only unified Earth that can stably exist would be one which earns the support of the human majority.
In the future, if there is already a planet wide co-operative community of Humanity, a overarching single world state to bring them together would no longer serve a purpose, because it would already have happen without the single government.

In the world today there are 2.2 billion Christians, it isn't necessary for us all to be in one country.

The Hispanidad are in over 22 countries, it isn't necessary for us to be in one.

Should one day all of Humanity become a community in various ways, that community could exist with one nation, hundreds of nations, or even if Earth's nations existing in the thousands. Having a international organization for governing international and interstellar relations is fine, but not to govern the planet.

... the moral, intellectual, financial and economic bankruptcy of capitalism ...
Where are you getting this?

OpenMaw wrote: View Post
Working together and being under one ruling body are two different things..
QFT.

Sci wrote: View Post
Show me the United Nations can be more than just a speaking platform for totalitarian regimes,
UNICEF, for one.
UNICEF is trying to bring international adoptions to a halt, a horrible idea. And for every dollar UNICEF brings in, only five cents goes to needy. All charities absorb some money for internal operations, but 95 percent is ridiculous.


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Old June 2 2013, 04:52 AM   #213
CorporalCaptain
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
UNICEF is trying to bring international adoptions to a halt, a horrible idea.
Link?

UNICEF's position on inter-country adoption may be found here.

And for every dollar UNICEF brings in, only five cents goes to needy.
Link?

Forbes.com says otherwise. According to them, for every dollar UNICEF brings in, 91 cents go to charitable services, based on filings to the IRS.
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Old June 3 2013, 05:47 PM   #214
solariabsg25
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

I think the makers of Star Trek just assumed a "World Government" would be basically the UN. Each country has a representative (in this case, say the president instead of the normal representative like today), and then the World President. We see it as an over-simplification today, but after World War III and the "Post Atomic Horrors", maybe people went for the idea in a big way?

As to money, Trek has never been consistent.

Kirk said in Star Trek IV that they didn't use money, but didn't he also say in Generations that he sold his house years ago?

His first statement of course could be interpreted to mean that either they do not use currency at all, or that all their monetary transactions are electronic, like a modern debit/charge-card. You have "money" in the bank, but no physical paper or coins.
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Old June 3 2013, 11:47 PM   #215
TheGoodNews
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

In the future, if there is already a planet wide co-operative community of Humanity, a overarching single world state to bring them together would no longer serve a purpose, because it would already have happen without the single government.

In the world today there are 2.2 billion Christians, it isn't necessary for us all to be in one country.

The Hispanidad are in over 22 countries, it isn't necessary for us to be in one.

Should one day all of Humanity become a community in various ways, that community could exist with one nation, hundreds of nations, or even if Earth's nations existing in the thousands. Having a international organization for governing international and interstellar relations is fine, but not to govern the planet.
In one word T'Girl: FEDERALISM

We almost, somewhat agree on this one.

"Federalism is based upon the free and voluntary liaison of all autonomies, from the independence of the individual, the unit of society par excellence, up to that of natural or sympathetic regions, via the free municipality." Jose Peirats - The CNT in the Spanish Revolution.
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Old June 4 2013, 12:22 AM   #216
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
I think the makers of Star Trek just assumed a "World Government" would be basically the UN. Each country has a representative (in this case, say the president instead of the normal representative like today), and then the World President.
For the record, Trek novels of the past ten years or so have assumed a parliamentary republican model, whereby United Earth has a Parliament (Enterprise: To Brave the Storm), a President (Enterprise: To Brave the Storm), and a Prime Minister who is the real executive leader (Enterprise: The Good That Men Do; Enterprise: Kobayashi Maru). The United Earth government is depicted as continuing to exist under the Federation after its founding (Tales of the Dominion War: "Eleven Hours Out;" TNG: A Time for War, A Time for Peace).
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Old June 4 2013, 10:01 AM   #217
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

^Well that's ahrdly unexpected. Given the very limited information we have on the UE government. Which is that the title of Minister was used in the mid 22nd cenutry, which suggested that the UE Government was some sort of Parliamentary based system.
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Old June 5 2013, 03:29 AM   #218
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

MacLeod wrote: View Post
^Well that's ahrdly unexpected. Given the very limited information we have on the UE government. Which is that the title of Minister was used in the mid 22nd cenutry, which suggested that the UE Government was some sort of Parliamentary based system.
Actually, the first piece of Treklit to feature a United Earth Prime Minister was the short story "Eleven Hours Out," published in the anthology Tales of the Dominion War in 2004 -- about a year or so before "Demons/Terra Prime," the ENT episodes that established the existence of U.E. Ministers in the canon.

It is possible that the writers of those episodes read that story and kept consistent with it -- Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens got their start in the Trek world writing Trek novels. But it's more likely that it was just a case of unintended synchronicity.
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Old June 5 2013, 12:31 PM   #219
stj
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
With only a few exceptions, the wars we see around the world today are mostly internal conflicts and civil wars. Wars of ideological rebellions, or ethnic rebellions, or secessionist movements, or insurgency for state control. While two or more nations fighting each other are not completely unknown, they very much are the exception.
This is crazy, using false "facts" and illogic. First, there are practically no wars which are not arenas for conflict between nations. Second, consequent to the first, if there were not sovereign states promoting violence for their political ends, practically none of these wars would continue.

The primary function of these states sovereign power is to maintain the privileges of the rulers against their own populations, not to defend the whole nation against existential threats. Sovereignty is not a necessary part of democracy. In practice, the military that embodies sovereignty is the prime threat to democracy. The claimed right to morally kill contradicts the very idea of democracy. This is obvious in a revolution or civil war. To insist that the world of sovereign states is the ideal is to reject the concept of democracy for humanity, reserved only for the privileged members of a few states (likely enough, tacitly, those with white enough populations.)

So, if the world is one day formed into a single nation, how would that (again, in of itself) prevent wars? It isn't remotely necessary for there to be multiple states, for there to be wars.
You don't have wars without armies. The point to a world state is to disarm the ruling class, which is clearly why you are against the very idea. The notion that "we" have to be "defended" against the evil Other is merely racist BS.

But you must realize that the opposite can also happen. A civil war can just as easily replace a fair and just authority with it's opposite. And with a single nation world it would not be a portion of the Human population then being condemned to live under tyranny, but all of Humanity.
It is crazy to claim it's just as easy for a minority to defeat a majority. In practice that requires a standing army, disciplined to defend the property of the ruling class. A world government does not need a massive military apparatus to defend its sovereignty because there is no opponent with an army claiming the right to wage war. A tyrannical world government without a massive military is in no position to pursue its tyranny.

The hidden assumption is that any government must have a powerful military to suppress internal dissent, but a world government would not be "our" powerful military to suppress "our" enemies. Life is not a war. War is not the way to life.

And there wouldn't be the possibility of outside help from other Earth nations (diplomatic - embargoes - financial restrictions - military action) because now there aren't any other nations.
It's the central government that is not going to be able to get any outside help. A central government with a gigantic military establishment that suppresses the "local" governments, which is what you keep presupposing, is in fact very similar to what the US is trying to do today. It is indeed tyrannical. The point is that nobody should have this kind of military because it is aimed solely at oppression, no matter what the professed excuses.

Yes, but "liberation" according to whose cause? Your ideas as to what constitutes liberty might be in conflict with other peoples concept of the term liberty. And those other people wouldn't alway agree with each other.

As I mention above, even with the relative small sizes of current nations we still see civil wars, so when the world is a single nation, how many different points of view are going to be held within that one nation's "borders?"
In other words, your concept of liberty means a powerful government that can oppress the population on behalf of the ruling class property, and attack other nations for their material benefit as well. It is perfectly true that a world government must address issues of common economic life. If this is done in accordance to the interests of the majority of humanity, this is a good thing, not oppression. It does not require a massive army to defend the material interests of the majority.

The only reason for sovereignty is to exercise mass violence in defense of certain people's property.
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Old June 5 2013, 11:18 PM   #220
sonak
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
With only a few exceptions, the wars we see around the world today are mostly internal conflicts and civil wars. Wars of ideological rebellions, or ethnic rebellions, or secessionist movements, or insurgency for state control. While two or more nations fighting each other are not completely unknown, they very much are the exception.
This is crazy, using false "facts" and illogic. First, there are practically no wars which are not arenas for conflict between nations. Second, consequent to the first, if there were not sovereign states promoting violence for their political ends, practically none of these wars would continue.

The primary function of these states sovereign power is to maintain the privileges of the rulers against their own populations, not to defend the whole nation against existential threats. Sovereignty is not a necessary part of democracy. In practice, the military that embodies sovereignty is the prime threat to democracy. The claimed right to morally kill contradicts the very idea of democracy. This is obvious in a revolution or civil war. To insist that the world of sovereign states is the ideal is to reject the concept of democracy for humanity, reserved only for the privileged members of a few states (likely enough, tacitly, those with white enough populations.)

So, if the world is one day formed into a single nation, how would that (again, in of itself) prevent wars? It isn't remotely necessary for there to be multiple states, for there to be wars.
You don't have wars without armies. The point to a world state is to disarm the ruling class, which is clearly why you are against the very idea. The notion that "we" have to be "defended" against the evil Other is merely racist BS.



It is crazy to claim it's just as easy for a minority to defeat a majority. In practice that requires a standing army, disciplined to defend the property of the ruling class. A world government does not need a massive military apparatus to defend its sovereignty because there is no opponent with an army claiming the right to wage war. A tyrannical world government without a massive military is in no position to pursue its tyranny.

The hidden assumption is that any government must have a powerful military to suppress internal dissent, but a world government would not be "our" powerful military to suppress "our" enemies. Life is not a war. War is not the way to life.

And there wouldn't be the possibility of outside help from other Earth nations (diplomatic - embargoes - financial restrictions - military action) because now there aren't any other nations.
It's the central government that is not going to be able to get any outside help. A central government with a gigantic military establishment that suppresses the "local" governments, which is what you keep presupposing, is in fact very similar to what the US is trying to do today. It is indeed tyrannical. The point is that nobody should have this kind of military because it is aimed solely at oppression, no matter what the professed excuses.

Yes, but "liberation" according to whose cause? Your ideas as to what constitutes liberty might be in conflict with other peoples concept of the term liberty. And those other people wouldn't alway agree with each other.

As I mention above, even with the relative small sizes of current nations we still see civil wars, so when the world is a single nation, how many different points of view are going to be held within that one nation's "borders?"
In other words, your concept of liberty means a powerful government that can oppress the population on behalf of the ruling class property, and attack other nations for their material benefit as well. It is perfectly true that a world government must address issues of common economic life. If this is done in accordance to the interests of the majority of humanity, this is a good thing, not oppression. It does not require a massive army to defend the material interests of the majority.

The only reason for sovereignty is to exercise mass violence in defense of certain people's property.

a "non-sovereign," world government with no military, police force, and no need for violent enforcement of rights sounds absurdly utopian to me.

What happens when a small dissenting group decides to rebel against the status quo? Have you heard of Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Briand? How did "outlawing violence as a means of resolving disputes" work out? I can buy that you'd have much LESS conflict under a post-scarcity, progressive government, but ZERO violence, and NO forces to actually enforce the government's laws?

Sorry, but I can't buy that. A certain amount of conflict is inherent to Human nature, even under relatively comfortable conditions.
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Old June 6 2013, 03:50 AM   #221
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

sonak wrote: View Post
I can buy that you'd have much LESS conflict under a post-scarcity, progressive government, but ZERO violence, and NO forces to actually enforce the government's laws?
How many conflicts are about different political factions, self determination, desire for a independent homeland, local control, things that would not be effected by "post-scarcity?"


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Old June 6 2013, 04:34 AM   #222
sonak
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T'Girl wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
I can buy that you'd have much LESS conflict under a post-scarcity, progressive government, but ZERO violence, and NO forces to actually enforce the government's laws?
How many conflicts are about different political factions, self determination, desire for a independent homeland, local control, things that would not be effected by "post-scarcity?"



that's a hard question to answer, because the true purposes or origins of a conflict are often masked behind convenient ideological slogans. I tend to think that the origins of most conflicts are economic, and that class differences matter more than ethnic, religious, or cultural ones. So I personally would answer your question with "very few," as I think that "post-scarcity" would fundamentally transform society in ways that would make conflict between arbitrary social groups much less likely.

Unlike some here apparently though, I don't think it would disappear entirely. I may be left-wing, but I'm no utopian. No matter how much you change society for the better, conflict will still be there. However, I don't think conflicts like those between the Federation and the Maquis would be very likely though, since I don't think "territory" would be seen as very important given Federation economics.
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Old June 6 2013, 12:00 PM   #223
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

sonak wrote: View Post
a "non-sovereign," world government with no military, police force, and no need for violent enforcement of rights sounds absurdly utopian to me.

What happens when a small dissenting group decides to rebel against the status quo? Have you heard of Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Briand? How did "outlawing violence as a means of resolving disputes" work out? I can buy that you'd have much LESS conflict under a post-scarcity, progressive government, but ZERO violence, and NO forces to actually enforce the government's laws?

Sorry, but I can't buy that. A certain amount of conflict is inherent to Human nature, even under relatively comfortable conditions.
Where did the idea there would be no police force come from? A military is not a police force. The trend towards militarizing police forces has nothing to do with crime. Small dissident groups engage in terror today, and police forces should be handling that problem. Instead, whole nations are laid waste.

Kellogg-Briand merely stated what T'Girl and other political conservatives today deny, that war is an evil that should be treated as a crime, averring instead that war is a necessity, hence a good. The world state must have the police to enforce the law against local governments resorting to war. That power to compel is what makes it a world state! Kellogg-Briand was the equivalent of decreeing murder to be illegal, yet neglecting to authorize a government to enforce that law.

The real issue in something like Kellogg-Briand is the sneaking assumption that any war to overthrow the Empires of the day were immoral and illegal. And when the Emperor rules, all good Christians are pacifists. And after Ashoka conquers Kalinga, then Buddha teaches war is an abomination. A world state limited to police would not be physically capable of widespread, prolonged oppression. National states only need armies to oppress the evil hordes within and attack enemies without (yes, upon occasion actually defend the nation, but this is rarely true.) For all their idle chatter about freedom, political conservatives reject revolutionary violence, the necessary tool in taking freedom. Yes, revolutions are terrible, but not having a revolution is worse.

What is utopian is the idea that "we" can indulge the joy of mass murder endlessly. What is utopian is the ever increasing invasion of daily life by an ever more dense network of firms and financiers unpoliced by any government.

And what is downright evil is the tacit assumption that the US government has the right to keep targeting one nation after another in endless war while no one else on the planet has any rights at all.
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Old June 6 2013, 03:18 PM   #224
sonak
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

stj wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
a "non-sovereign," world government with no military, police force, and no need for violent enforcement of rights sounds absurdly utopian to me.

What happens when a small dissenting group decides to rebel against the status quo? Have you heard of Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Briand? How did "outlawing violence as a means of resolving disputes" work out? I can buy that you'd have much LESS conflict under a post-scarcity, progressive government, but ZERO violence, and NO forces to actually enforce the government's laws?

Sorry, but I can't buy that. A certain amount of conflict is inherent to Human nature, even under relatively comfortable conditions.
Where did the idea there would be no police force come from? A military is not a police force. The trend towards militarizing police forces has nothing to do with crime. Small dissident groups engage in terror today, and police forces should be handling that problem. Instead, whole nations are laid waste.

Kellogg-Briand merely stated what T'Girl and other political conservatives today deny, that war is an evil that should be treated as a crime, averring instead that war is a necessity, hence a good. The world state must have the police to enforce the law against local governments resorting to war. That power to compel is what makes it a world state! Kellogg-Briand was the equivalent of decreeing murder to be illegal, yet neglecting to authorize a government to enforce that law.

The real issue in something like Kellogg-Briand is the sneaking assumption that any war to overthrow the Empires of the day were immoral and illegal. And when the Emperor rules, all good Christians are pacifists. And after Ashoka conquers Kalinga, then Buddha teaches war is an abomination. A world state limited to police would not be physically capable of widespread, prolonged oppression. National states only need armies to oppress the evil hordes within and attack enemies without (yes, upon occasion actually defend the nation, but this is rarely true.) For all their idle chatter about freedom, political conservatives reject revolutionary violence, the necessary tool in taking freedom. Yes, revolutions are terrible, but not having a revolution is worse.

What is utopian is the idea that "we" can indulge the joy of mass murder endlessly. What is utopian is the ever increasing invasion of daily life by an ever more dense network of firms and financiers unpoliced by any government.

And what is downright evil is the tacit assumption that the US government has the right to keep targeting one nation after another in endless war while no one else on the planet has any rights at all.

Ah, I guess I misunderstood the language of that post, then. Seeing the need for a police force seems less utopian. What's your position on peaceful secession from such a world government, though?
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Old June 7 2013, 10:10 PM   #225
stj
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Claiming the right to wage war may not be imminent aggression, but it is not peaceful. Plus, the divvying of territory and property and the creation of economic borders? Peaceful secession is a term that really does smack of the utopian. The example that comes to mind for a US national of course is the Confederacy, where a minority wished for peaceful secession to continue oppressing the majority of its population. (Yes, the slaves plus poor whites constituted a majority, and, yes, the poor whites were also oppressed to a lesser degree than the slaves.) After that example, the notion of peaceful secession leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

But this is probably meant to posit a local area where the majority is persistently oppressed by a the (world) government. The simplest examples I can think of would be a resource rich area that wants to exert monopoly rights over the resource (oil, maybe.) Or a local area where a dissident cultural tradition, maybe an established church, wants secular power.

For the first, I think it is comparable to Texas insisting it can cut off oil to the rest of the US when it wants. Some people hold that's freedom, I don't. For the second, I think that universal human rights are part of ordinary life. Barring the chaos of revolution where courts and prisons cannot deter criminality, or genuine wars for survival, that is the cause for all humanity, not a matter needing a sovereign state that can wage war. Violence to correct the abuses may be needed. But then, the alleged abuses may be self serving libels by forces grasping for power over their fellows.
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