Pat Buchanan's nightmare

Just needed a catchy title, but it’s not completely irrelevant to what I’d like to discuss.

Oh, and if it’s been done, I’d appreciate being linked to the thread where I can read up on it.

To business: Mr. Buchanan, along with any number of paranoid nut-cases out there, seems to believe that it is imperative that all right-thinking humans on the planet remain eternally vigilant against the spectre of a one-world government. Some of these people, possibly including Mr. Buchanan, apparently believe that attempts to establish such a government are already underway. I have never encountered any real arguments on the substance of the question, “would the eradication of the concept of national sovreignty be good or bad?” I do not take this to mean that such arguments have never taken place, but the “patriot” (if I may usurp the term for the purposes of this post) position, as I have inferred from their use of “One Worlder,” and “New World Order” in such a pejorative manner, is that it is axiomatic that a world not divided into separate nations would be an undesirable phenomenon.

Did I miss the debate? I can see where some people might envision a one-world government as unachievable without conquest and subjugation of the rest of the world by one nation. Given that as axiomatic, I would be inclined to oppose the notion, myself. But I don’t accept that as axiomatic; I want to have it established before I will accept that it is so.

So is there anything to discuss here?

Another thing the One-Worlders are always shuddering about is that we’ll all get the Universal Product Code stamped on us (aka The Sign of the Devil), and will thereby have a cashless society. “Hey, sounds convenient!” I always thought.

I’ve never seen why a “one-world government” would be such a horrible thing. Indeed, it almost seems to me that it is the natural course of events of human history. Who would have thought 500 years ago that countries as large and diverse as India, China or the United States could have existed?

For example, large scale projects such as colonization of other planets would seem to me to benefit from the cooperation of all of humanity.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Don’t forget now, this one-world gov’t is one of the signs of the end times.

It’ll be headed by the antichrist.

Don’t you love the message boards at

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

A one-world government would be bad for lots of reasons. First, it assumes that the type of governance desired by, say, the residents of Kamchatka is the same as that desired by the people of New York. Second, it reduces human freedom because it takes away the freedom to emigrate to a country more in tune to your wishes. Third, it leaves us no ‘out’ if the government turns despotic. A collection of nations keep each other in check.

The problem of governing people of varying cultures and over large distances is huge, and almost always leads to civil rights violations. Ask the British.

Even in countries like Canada and the U.S. we run into serious problems when some of our citizens have desires that don’t match those of the majority. Canada has separation debates all the time because Quebec doesn’t culturally ‘fit’. The U.S. has had its problems with the south, and still has problems with representation.

I still think Buchanan is a wacko. Here’s a better idea - open immigration for all. Let people go where they wish. This would increase freedom instead of decreasing it.

'Course communications and travel technologies have improved a touch since the zenith of the British empire . . .

I really like your free immigration idea, dh. It could make the world more a confederation of independent nations rather than a single monolithic state.


Yes. It occurred during the ten minutes that you spent reading the article about the particle beam zapping Egyptair Flight 900.

Andros, I wasn’t talking about communications and travel, I was talking about the problems of having a representative government when there are no clear majorities, or when the wishes of the majority are very different than the wishes of the minority. This is the “Tyranny of the majority”, and it happens in every democracy. With a world government this problem becomes insurmountable, because varying cultures have completely different ideas as to what they want from their government.

How do you expect voters in Topeka Kansas to realistically vote for the needs of a shopkeeper in Iran? Do you want Iranian shopkeepers voting to make decisions about your life?

As I understand it there are a number of arguments that are made against a theoretical World Goverment by various groups. Some are simply bigoted; these people don’t like people who are different from them and don’t want them in the same government. Some are patriotic nationalists; they feel an overriding emotional attachment to their own country and don’t want to see it lose its identity. Some people feel that a world government would be the wrong system of government; they worry they would end up subject to a system that was communist or socialist or fascist or some other idealogy they oppose. Some people are anarchists; they don’t like government controls in general and the bigger the government the less they like it.

Easy, dhanson. I was just nitpicking on your reference to large distances. I agree with you.


All of the arguments you mention against a one-world government could be used to justify the break-up of the United States, India, Canada, Russia, or any other large country.

First: Right now, in the USA, we assume that the type of governance desired by farmers in Salinas (California) is the same as the one desired by urban dwellers in Los Angeles (California).

Second: Suppose that I want to emigrate to a country that has a national socialist government. Could you point me to one? You won’t always find a government that functions exactly the way you want. What you can try and do is convince your neighbours to change your government in the direction you think is best.

Third: what is my out right now if the USA government turns despotic? What if they decide to forbid emigration? What’s my out then?

A collection of nations keep each other in check.

How so? That’s the most telling argument for a one-world government.

Example: Pol Pot in Cambodia decides to massacre millions of his citizens. Attitude of other nations: that’s Cambodia and that’s their business.

Example: An ethnic group in Rwanda decides to massacre most members of another ethnic group. Attitude of other nations: too messy to get involved.

Example: General Pinochet of Chile allows/connives at torture and murder of political dissidents of his country. Afterwards he, as head of government, has a law passed to give amnesty to anyone involved in human rights violations during his regime. He lives the rest of his life in a golden retirement. (or would have if he hadn’t left the country, but that’s another story.)

Example: The government of Afghanistan decides to bar women from employment outside the home except in the health sector, discontinue education for girls, and impose a strict code of clothing for women in public, ordering them to be veiled from head to foot. Hey, that’s their country and their business.

The examples above, to me, show the danger of not having a one-world government.

Let me babble on further. How would a one-world government work? Since I’m from Switzerland, I’ll use that as an example/model.

a) Countries of the world gather in a loose federation with a central government deciding only on issues on which the countries must be united, e.g. human rights law.

b) That evolves into a union of states with a common congress/parliament and judiciary. The congress could be set up in two chambers, one with number of representatives determined by population, another with number of representatives fixed for each state.

c) Eventually the central government assumes more responsibilities until (theoretically) a good balance is achieved.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Sorry to say it, but Switzerland is nowhere near as diverse as the world as a whole is.

So? So, it would be a LOT harder to achieve national consensus if the nation spanned the globe.

Who says it would be easy?

Switzerland, for example, took six centuries from the foundation of the country to drafting its present constitution.

And Switzerland was pretty diverse for its time. 4 national languages, 2 major religions (catholic and protestant.) The different groups lived in much better accord in Switzerland than in other European countries during that same time period.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

I recall a good essay about your third point, dhanson - "it leaves us no ‘out’ if the government turns despotic.’ I will try to find it and post a link here. The writer pointed out that large governments have far more capacity to be despotic than small ones, and what happens when it’s the “world government” that turns bad?

Arnold, there are examples of national goverments that commit evil and go unchecked. And there are some that get checked by outside forces. What happens when there are no outside forces?

Well, one argument against world government would be, an organization so large would be necessity be very separate from the voters. It’s really part of the same argument against excessive Federal power in the U.S., or for that matter, for regional assemblies in the U.K. The smaller the population in a jurisdiction, the more say an individual will have over the respective government.

Other posters have mentioned the problems with having so many different cultures and languages in the same country. Naturally, there are problems with having so many different cultures and languages in different countries. So I nominate myself as the cultural model to which everyone in the world should aspire.

Just kidding. Really, I think that world government is not a threat, as such. To the extent that it is a terrible thing, it will probably not be implemented. I mean, unelected government is not a good thing, but the world’s elected governments aren’t in a hurry to surrender power, and their voters aren’t asking them to.

The advantages of world governance tend to be asserting themselves. International security is more than just a phrase these days. I don’t like the idea of a single country (hmm, which one would that be? Actually, it doesn’t matter which) arrogating tons of political power based on its incredible military power. But I do like the idea that genocide can no longer hide behind international borders and masquerade as “an internal security problem”. I’m in no hurry to go tearing down all the borders, but if some heinous genocide were going down in the U.S., I’d certainly be grateful if some U.N. force came in and sorted things out. Not very likely, of course, if somebody had the power to kill everybody of whatever demographic group in the U.S., they could probably see off whatever the U.N. could scrape together, but that’s not the point.

So, that’s my pitch for optimism. I envision, not a world federation, but a world confederation, where a council of governments would oversee disaster relief, human rights, and security. We kind of have that in the U.N., but not really. All the other “world government” stuff is really fluff - I frankly don’t see exactly what problem the World Trade Organization is supposed to fix; ditto for the customs unions / trade blocs which seem to be springing up everywhere.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Arnold writes:

All of the arguments you mention against a one-world government could be used to justify the break-up of the United States, India, Canada, Russia, or any other large country.


Well, I suppose. But more commonly, those arguments are used to justify a government structure like the U.S.'s, in which the individual states retain a good deal of autonomy. Canada’s system of government vests much more power in the federal government, and as a result it is under the threat of breakup all the time. We have the problem in Canada that our federal government is often chosen before the votes in the west are even counted. Also, our political system forces elected representatives to strongly follow the party line, meaning they aren’t free to really represent their constituents. As a result, we have come close to outright revolt in the West on several occasions. As I mentioned, Quebec threatens separation all the time because its culture is radically different from the rest of Canada’s, and therefore many of our federal decisions go against what the people in Quebec want. They feel somewhat enslaved to the wishes of English-speaking Canadians.

Very few people believe that Canada will still be in one piece within 20-30 years. And yet we are a country where everyone was raised in a western tradition, with similar values, religions, and cultural backgrounds (even Quebec residents are relatively close to us culturally). I can’t imagine keeping a government together that tried to satisfy the wishes of disparate cultures around the world, unless it was so watered down as to be meaningless.

I don’t see what’s so bad about what we have now, with a large collection of nations linked through treaties and a large overseeing body to moderate disputes and help manage those treaties. It seems like a pretty good system to me.

I can see a one-world government working only if Cecil were King!

I think the key issue to a one-world government’s success or for that matter Canada’s success is extensive support for local decision making about the concerns most important to people. I don’t think that anyone has yet determined how to do this - and this argument has been raging for as long as the United States has been in existence. I think for now the NWO is not a realistic proposition, and Buchanan is just pandering to the lunatic fringe.

Buchanan is a wierd character. I’ve seen him in talk shows, and while his positions are often wrong and completely indefensible it is obvious he is a man of serious intelligence. What I think he has done is found the niche were he can establish the most cohesive power base (although fortunately not much money comes with it) which is: ignorant knee-jerk hicks.

To say it another way, I don’t think Buchanan believes a third of the crap he spouts. I’m not even sure if he’s a rascist. I think he just makes those comments to pander to his constituents.

Gilligan says:

Revolution. Everyone should keep a biography of Mohandas K. Ghandi at home, and be thoroughly familiar with the teachings of the Mahatma. :slight_smile:

I don’t mean to seem flippant, but that’s my answer. I still say it’s a better solution than the current method of allowing any tinpot dictator to massacre his citizens.

dhanson says:

Suppose that 30 years from now Canada still has the same borders it has today. What would you conclude then?

Another reason I use the example of Switzerland is because, as I said above, they are a good example of a diverse set of people (separated by language and religion) that have been successfully united for over 7 centuries.

I would think the problems of Canada pale besides the situation in India, which has remained as a single country (despite religious and ethnic internal conflicts) for over 30 years.

Or maybe you assume that if countries break up into smaller portions, that would be better? My opinion is that such a proliferation of small countries increases the chances of armed conflict. Look at the former Yugoslavia.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

I forgot this point:

Please refer to the examples I mentioned above. Cambodia, Rwanda, Chile, Kosovo, etc… That’s what so bad about it.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry