Concern about World Dictator
A major criticism of the proposal to create a world government is that sometimes government brings oppression by concentrating power in the hands of a small group of people. A world government could lead to a world dictator. Since two-thirds of all countries have experienced some kind of military coup, what is to prevent this from happening in a world federation? After all, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in a legal way under a democratic constitution.
Best Protection is World Law
The response of a world federation advocate to this criticism is that a world dictatorship is more likely under the present international system which is based on unlimited national sovereignty. If Hitler had made different military decisions during the Second World War, he might have been able to conquer and control the whole world. What is needed to prevent the possibility of a world dictatorship by one or more people, according to world federation advocates, is to change the current international system so that world laws can be created by a democratic world parliament and enforced by a committee of world leaders so that individuals who violate world laws would be arrested by world police, tried before world courts, and incarcerated in world prisons. Local, regional, and national governments would continue to create and enforce laws within their territories. Problems would be solved on the principle of subsidiarity.
Need a World Constitution and World Parliament
A democratic world federation would thus be able to outlaw war, genocide, and terrorism as well as be able to solve global problems that are currently not being solved. Such a system would need a world constitution which would make explicit (a) the powers and limitations of the organs of the world federation, (b) the checks and balances between them, (c) the rights, powers, and limitations of national governments, and (d) the rights and responsibilities of all citizens of the world. If a future world constitution would include all of these safeguards, then the possibility of a world dictatorship would not exist.
In order to eliminate the problems that some national governments currently have in their national elections, a democratic world federal government would need to create a system of choosing representatives for the world parliament which would not involve any money while electing or selecting representatives from each country. It would also be important to rid such a system of any type of lobbying or partisan politics. The number of representatives from each country could be determined by a system of weighted voting that includes the population of each country. If a future world parliament is based on these democratic principles, then there should be not be any fear that a world federation of national governments would become a world dictatorship over nations or individuals.
For further reading on common criticisms of world federation and responses by advocates, check out the book World Federation?: A Critical Analysis of Federal World Government by Ronald J Glossop.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.