Wednesday, 25 April 2007

World Domination

George Monbiot calls for a world-government with direct popular representation. For a moment, even he is aware of the problem that such a system would bring, but then madness takes him once more:
Global democracy has a special problem — the scale on which it must operate. The bigger the electorate, the less democratic a parliamentary body will be. True democracy could exist only in the village, where representatives are subject to constant oversight by their electorate. But an imperfect system is better than no system at all. [1]
He is not quite right even when he senses the problem; for the bigger the electorate, the less the vote of a single person matters, which is more democratic, not less. A tolerable, even decent, democracy can exist in a small society because the individual is not dwarfed by the vastness of demotic power. But let us imagine something at the other end of the scale: a world-democracy. The world-population is about 6.5 billion, and perhaps 4 billion are of voting-age. If there were a representative for, say, every 100,000 of such persons, as is broadly comparable with the representation-ratio of the British House of Commons [2], then there would have to be 40,000 representatives in the world-parliament. If, on the other hand, we wished the world-parliament to be of manageable size, then we would have to reduce the number of representatives, such that, if we had, say, 1,000 representatives, then each would represent 4 million people.
.....It is rather odd, therefore, that a man who complains about the smallness of his representation on a national scale — a reasonable complaint in a large democratic state — should then seek representation on a global one; for however such “representation” is instituted, a single man’s vote would count for even less than it already does in a large democratic nation-state of today, and anyone bothering to get out of bed to vote in a global election would be doing so quite irrationally; for the chances of his having any appreciable effect on the outcome would be far less than the chances of his tripping over a discarded first-edition of Probability for Dummies on the way to the polling-station and plunging head-first in front of a bus driven by a hard-up student of political statistics. [3]
.....Calls for global governance have an exciting ring, however, and can even provoke wild fantasies of freedom, peace and universal fraternity, as one of Mr Monbiot’s commenters illustrates:
Yes! I have long argued that we need a one-world, secular government that is directly elected and leads us towards total unification. Just imagine: no more passports, no more borders, freedom to travel and live where we want, and to express ourselves as we want, with a proper global constitution that guarantees our rights to free speech and freedom of peaceful assembly everywhere. What joy when that day finally arrives! [4]
What on earth could make a man believe such things? What makes him believe that power on so vast a scale would be less, not more, inscrutable and inhuman than anything we have yet seen? Freedom and human warmth would be the least of things to come from it; for humanity and its greatest expressions — cultural as well as communal — lie in small circles.
Community, fraternity, charity — they are all possible only in the small, easily comprehended circles that are the original patterns of human society, the village community, the community of small and medium-sized towns, etc. These small circles of human warmth and mutual responsibility increasingly give way to mass and centralization, the amorphous agglutination of the big cities and industrial centres with their deracination, mass organization, and anonymous bureaucracy that end in the monster state by which, with the help of police and tax officials, our crumbling society is now actually held together. [5]
If a citizen of a populous state bemoans his alienation and worthlessness therein, such being the typical affliction of a man under the impress of the mass, then he would do well to appreciate the usual source of that indignity — it lies to a great extent in the bigness of the society which his state encompasses. If such a person, seeking the alleviation of that indignity, calls for a greater state, encompassing even all the peoples of the world, then he tragically fails to understand the source of his indignity, and inadvertently calls for its aggravation. [6]
[1] George Monbiot, “The best way to give the poor a real voice is through a world parliament”, The Guardian, 24th April 2007.
[2] The representation-ratio of the House of Commons is one representative for around 70, 000 persons of voting-age.
[3] As with democracy at a national level, moreover, democracy at a global level would tyrannize over minorities, but on a greater scale. If the Chinese and the Indians wanted Liechtenstein turned into a Golf and Country Club, then Liechtensteiners had better hope that others do not agree, for Liechtensteiners themselves would have a tiny say in the fate of their erstwhile sovereign land.
[4] Kimpatsu, commenting on op. cit.
[5] Wilhelm Roepke, “
The Economic Necessity of Freedom”, Modern Age, Vol.3:3, Summer 1959, pp.234-5.
[6] As Leopold Kohr states: “In contrast to his counterpart in great, populous states, the small-state citizen has much greater personal dignity, representing, as he does, not an infinitesimally small share of the state sovereignty, but a proportion that can definitely assert itself. . . .
.....“. . . [T]he greater the aggregation, the more dwarfish becomes man.” (Leopold Kohr, The Breakdown of Nations (Totnes, Devon: Green Books, 2001), p.118.)


Bertrand Rustle said...

Democracy. Is it ever bad? An early example of direct democracy was the story of the election of Barabbas over the Nazarene, in the New Testament Gospel.

james higham said...

...the bigger the electorate, the less the vote of a single person matters, which is more democratic, not less...

Fine logic here. As you know, the global cabals are my main target and your description of lacking human warmth is the understatement of the century.

The colours favoured by them, the godawful designs to their logos, the whole depressing banality of, say, the NAU task force report - ugggh!

dearieme said...

A World Government would combine incompetence with a reign of terror. Wheelie bin Laden, as it were.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Monbiot. Always knew he's a NWO freak

james higham said...

dearieme - you're right on the money.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

as ever!!