World Union – Why (part 1)

The realities of existence must have seemed to be one of inescapable doom to those left in Europe in 1945. A half century of unimaginable human tragedy; pogroms, holocausts, extreme and confident ideas, industrial killing of young men by old generals involved in old military jostles, the decay of civilisation and what must have seemed the veneer of the ability to live with our fellow man without barbarity.
There are horrible incidents in the world now where indoctrinated people kill tens and hundreds of persons unknown to them – or where those following orders, from others who dissociate themselves while playing a global power board game, murder remotely and within social approval. In ways the smaller the tragedy the more the horror of the message is known to the world. The global collective heart broke when little Aylan Kurdi seemed to be asleep on the beach, a victim of adult failures.
As difficult as it is though, we should ponder how we really didn’t want to see another dead little boy, and certainly not another and another…imagine a hundred, a thousand, a million. The heart is incapable of allowing the mind through such a thing. But, as a species, we really, really need to force ourselves. So let’s just ponder the reality from which our peers in 1945 were emerging. Figures give us approximately 25 million military deaths, 30 million civilian deaths, and another nearly 30 million deaths from starvation and war related diseases just in World War II.
This needs to never be forgotten in all we do politically, this is what we are capable of, and what must people have thought about the faith of humankind, remembering that this was following on from the 40 millions that died in World War I, a mere thirty years before.
Colonising and imperial Europe had been the powder keg during this half century that engulfed so much of the globe in battle. By 1940 Germany (previously just Prussia) and France had gone to war three times in 70 years, in a lifetime. Yet, now from the end of that third war another 70 years have elapsed, and people born immediately after the ending of the second world war have lived a reasonable lifetime by the standards of this time and died….in peace. Thankfully, this is what we are also capable of.
Europe in many ways has struggled with monetary matters in a mismatch of economies and economic cycles within the constraints of a single currency and perhaps more generally the very slow movement from 19th century modes of economic management, however, the idea of France and Germany going for a fourth battle thankfully seems incredibly remote. There is a sense of agreement to certain rules, and of self identification at some level, as well as interdependence about the European Union project. It is far from perfect, and societies of just a few people are terribly complex; but, and it is a pivotal but, what should be perfectly obvious is the need for a further extension of this identification and of these very broad agreements and rules observations to a World Union.
Keep in mind that people within the European Union still keep their national laws and identity, what exists is an additional layer not a reduction of those that people hold dear now. It really is possible, and in some ways is quite obvious despite its magnitude.
Many are currently repulsed by the idea of any global union for a number of reasons. Among these it seems generally is that sense of being of a nation which to so many remains so important. If I can provide my own example, if Cork (an Irish country) are playing a hurling match then I will scream for them, if Munster (an Irish province) are playing a rugby match then they will possess my shouts, if Ireland is playing any match then naturally my emotions are behind them, but I have no problem being a part of the European Union also, and having a small amount of my representative identity outsourced to this broader body of a half a billion people.
I elect my local representatives, I elect my national representatives and I even get to represent just a few people to represent Ireland in the European Union.
I think that for many these ideas seem too big, I wouldn’t know anything about these people they fear – 7.3 billion on some forum to discuss anything seems ridiculous. Well the thing is we already give degrees of trust over to society’s ability to manage self-manage, generally.
Ireland is a very small country with a population of around 5 millions. If I wanted a lighting quick look at a person and ask them a few questions about family work and so on, say just ten minutes in their company so I felt I knew something about them, if I never slept and continued without break it would take me nearly 200 years to meet the five million. In other words the illusion of control should be already gone, the idea that you, individually are central should be dispelled, but the idea that we can collectively manage things better should be illustrated by the European experience.
Do I like the Irish government all of the time. In truth I don’t even agree with it some of the time, I am happy though that it is part of a parcel of counterbalancing powers, including police, courts, media and membership of larger international bodies. One more that would provide a method to limit the danger of mutual annihilation shouldn’t be beyond my reason.
If we had to start from scratch with this World Union concept, well then that would be almost a reason not to try….however, this really is not the case as I will deal with in the second post

Martin O'Dea

About Martin O'Dea

Martin O’Dea lives in Dublin, Ireland. His interests and writings are varied and include areas relating to human development through technological and biological advances, as well as the economics and politics of rapid technological advance. His first novel is 'Beyond the Subjectivity Trap'.