So, if not one world, how do we keep from blowing ourselves up?

This really is a continuation of yesterday’s post and a new topic in one.  The comments to that post indicate a concensus that “one world government” is a Utopian pipe dream.  Some commenters even suggested that it was desirable to have many smaller countries.  Okay, but we do have the capacity to blow humanity off of the face of the earth.  The more nations we have, the more people who will have that capacity.  Assuming that we don’t want to blow humanity off of the facce of the earth (and, gee, I hope that’s a safe assumption) what do we do to prevent that from happening?

And, in that is really two questions.  What do we do in the short term?  And what do we do in the long term?  For the second question, what will the world look like in 100 years, or 250 years, or a thousand?  If Wells’ dream is false and we are not moving toward a united world, what are we moving toward?  As always, I’m eager to see your ideas.

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Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    I disagree that we have the capacity to blow humanity off the face of the earth. There’s no weapon or number of weapons—nuclear, chemical, biological—that could do it. We could, however, destroy most of civilization, leaving our descendents to pick up the pieces.

    I think nukes will be used twice more, first by a rogue state like North Korea or Iran, which will then be promptly obliterated by Chinese, Russian, Israeli or post-Obama American nukes. The second time nukes will be used will be when China (and possibly Russia) finally has it up to here with restive Muslims and takes out Saudi Arabia and all of Islam’s other major cultural and religious centers—thus sparing us several centuries of further assault from the greatest danger to mankind besides Marxism. (Yes, I know the irony, supposed Marxists rescuing us from an evil ideology. But Marxism is nothing if not the greatest creator of hypocrisy in history, outstripping even John Edwards.)

  2. SADIE says

    what will the world look like in 100 years, or 250 years, or a thousand?
     
    Wouldn’t be a bit surprised following Martel’s comments, that we’d begin where we started – Garden of Eden.

  3. suek says

    I’ve wondered about that possibility…they find all this stuff and people propose that maybe extra-terrestrials came to earth and seeded it with humans.  Nobody seems to wonder about the possibility that maybe the Tower of Babel was an attempt to describe a former civilization that destroyed itself.  Maybe we’re already doing this all over.  After all…what does it matter anyway?  “It isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”.  Are we moving towards some particular human perfection goal?  or just moving on and on and on…  Is there an end point at which people will continue unchanged?
     
    Maybe we’re not as far from lemmings as we’d like to think!

  4. Danny Lemieux says

    This question required a lot of thought before I could get beyond “just keep muddling along”.
     
    I guess that I would promote three things:
    1) A very strong defense to dissuade the world’s bullies (Iran, Venezuela, China, NoKo, etc.) by making war too expensive for them.
    2) An interdependent global economy where all parties have an economic stake in keeping the peace.
    3) Free and open channels of communications, so that all people can be aware of what happens elsewhere in the world in real time and also make personal connections to people in other countries (consider what FACEBOOK told us about what was happening in Iran, for example).
    4) Foster student exchanges between countries to promote development of personal relationships (my college student daughter’s ever-expanding facebook account spans the globe).
    5) Disband the UN.
    That’s pretty much all that I could come up with.
     

  5. suek says

    Re: #3.  Doesn’t exactly look like we’re moving in that direction…
     
    http://www.alipac.us/ftopict-222939.html
     
    >>I guess that I would promote three things:>>
     
    Heh.
     
    The problem is primarily the power brokers.  There’s a gospel I just sort of remember…something about “the children of the world being wise in the ways of the world.” as opposed to the children of God who are foolish.  In other words, those who want power figure out how to get it.  Those who are not so impelled don’t have sufficient knowledge to stop them.
     
    Sort of like I’d trust the military to take over the country, but then you have to consider the nature of the military man who would be willing to do such a thing – and then you may have a problem.

  6. dicentra says

    what do we do to prevent that from happening? Nuke the other bastards first. An interdependent global economy where all parties have an economic stake in keeping the peace. We’ve got that. And it encourages reckless spending because countries figure no one else can afford to let them fail, cf. PIIGS. Free and open channels of communications… .Foster student exchanges between countries to promote development of personal relationships The lack of relationships between citizens of other countries doesn’t contribute to war. War is fought because two or more parties want to control the same plot of land. Usually the parties consist of just a few sociopaths at the top of the governmental structure. Joe Average, who likes the people his country wants to invade, can’t do a damn thing to stop it. Disband the UN. I don’t know if that will prevent all-out war, but it certainly needs to be done on general principle. Are we moving towards some particular human perfection goal?  Never forget that the Borg became the Borg because of their endless quest for perfection, figuring that a piece of perfection had to be found in each society, and that if they combined them all, they’d find their Utopia. Even in fiction, even in fiction by lefties, Utopias inevitably become dystopian.

  7. Danny Lemieux says

    Ha, Suek…I’m glad you caught that “3 things”. I am fighting a horrific cold that is rendering my writing very sloppy.
     
    Regarding student exchanges, Dicentra, I have found that it helps demystify countries and makes it much harder for demonizing propaganda to take hold.
     
     
    True, this may not help with dictators like Chavez but it remains to be seen what will happen when the next generation of educated Chinese, many educated in Western institutions, comes to power. Will they be more or less inclined to wage war against their former host countries?
     
    Japanese admiral Yamamoto studied and traveled extensively in the U.S. prior to WWII. His was a voice for peace with the U.S., based on his experiences in our country. He lost that argument, of course, but one has to wonder what would have happened had there been far more Yamamotos voicing their views in Japan during the 1930s.

  8. says

    Dicentra…”The lack of relationships between citizens of other countries doesn’t contribute to war”…certainly, the *presence* of such relationships does not automatically prevent war. An excellent example being the many cross-national relaionships…friendships, marriages, etc….among the European aristocracies just before the outbreak of WWI.
     
    I’ve been reading the diary of Evelyn, Princess Bluecher, an Englishwoman married to a German who lived in Berlin during WWI. The war as told from her vantage point comes across as almost like the American Civil War, an affair of brother-vs-brother.

  9. says

    DQ – you’ve done it again – posted another thought-provoking, and yet, an ageless question – what will the world look like in the future?

    Since I will be away from a computer for the next couple of days (and will not be checking in with the Oracle at Delphi) I can only guess at a couple of things.

    About 100 (give or take a couple of decades) years AGO:

    The British Empire was the force to be reckon with; all others were “empire wannabees.”

    The telegraph was still relatively new and for the first time in human history folks were able to communicate “instantly.”  At first, that must have been a marvel to them and then quickly became commonplace changing the way they did business.

    Country folks were migrating en mass to the cities in record numbers.

    Diseases, such as cholera, smallpox, etc., would on occasion “wipe out” parts of humanity.

    Slavery was, for some, a personal memory; not something that was read about in history books.

    Women did not have the right to vote, anywhere (somebody correct me if I am wrong on that)

    Universal education was not so universal; a high school diploma really was an achievement as many folks did not even finish elementary school. Literacy in the third world was unheard of.

    The total human population was a fraction of what it is today; with a rather short life-expectancy.

    Wars were everywhere, or at least it seems that way.  But, they were, mostly, limited wars.

    Anarcharism was a relatively new “movement.”

    As of today:

    The British Empire is all but history, with a few remaining outposts which are little more than tourist curosities.  The “step-child” of the British, The USA, has assumed the role of the world’s leader – and is by far a much greater superpower than the British were or even anything the world has ever seen.

    The internet (along with faxes, cell phones, etc) have taken the world by storm, and like the telegraph of old, has changed the way in which people interact. As with all new technology it can be used for good or bad; But I believe it has been mostly for good; and will continue to be. (Danny’s comment about facebook and Iran is a great example)

    The migration to cities continues around the world as new opportunities become available in the “third world.”

    Smallpox is now confined to test tubes in select locations around the world - the first time (and perhaps not the last) that humanity has truly conqured a disease.  Wow! is all I can say on that.

    Slavery in the Western world is history.

    Women not only vote; but they have been leaders of countries.

    In the Western world universal education is a standard - so commonplace that we don’t even talk about it anymore, instead we focus on higher education.  Universal education is, while not yet, becoming more common in the developing world.

    The world population is now  6 billion or so.  A massive increase from 100 years ago. 

    Wars are much more limited and less than they used to be. The horrors of World War One and Two and changed they way we look at war.  The bombing of Hirosima and Nagaski have change our way of thinking; even if we don’t think it has.

    Terrorism has replaced anarchy (or is it really the same thing, but we have changed the terms?)

    As for the future?

    I expect to see the US still leading in 100 years – even Obama cannot destroy the role that we currently hold.  Only the Americans themselves can give that up.  China and India, while on the rise, are not a real “threat” to the world’s only superpower.  They have too many of their own problems to overcome to be a world superpower (world power, yes, superpower, no)

    The telegraph, telephone and television, and now the internet, only a genie can predict what will come next.

    With the mass migration to cities around the world, I next see a steady growth in the aging of the what will then be called the former third world.

    If Obamacare doesn’t destroy the medical innovation that the US has been achieving in the last 100 years we can expect to see more medical “breakthroughs.”

    Hopefully, slavery will be totally gone from the whole world.

    Women will have global sufferage.

    Universal education will be global; or pretty close to it anyway.

    The human population will be much larger; but it will slow down as more of the developing world becomes more educated and their standard of living rises.

    World Wars will, hopefully, be a thing of the past. But, will we have forgotten the nightmares of two world wars and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    Yes, there will still be “conflicts,” but, hopefully, they will be limited in area (not in the degree of violence).  I would not rule out nuclear attacks; but they will be limited; for example, if North Korea decides to launch a nuclear attack on the South (assuming that North Korea hasn’t imploded by then) and the US or China responds in kind that will send a powerful message to others that such a move is guaranteed self-destruction.

    I would like to think that terrorism will be a thing of the past.  But, much like the anarchists are “no more,” we might still have “terrorism,” but call it by a different name.

    I look forward to seeing what others might have to say about the future.

  10. dicentra says

    I would like to think that terrorism will be a thing of the past.  But, much like the anarchists are “no more,” we might still have “terrorism,” but call it by a different name. Remember the part where “Some people just want to watch the world burn?” I don’t think that ever goes away. And it appears that IE6 is no longer supported. Qué sorpresa.

  11. suek says

    >>I look forward to seeing what others might have to say about the future.>>
     
    Aahh Charles.
     
    I think I’ll just print your view out and read it daily!
     
    dicentra…switch to Firefox.

  12. SADIE says

    Just a few rambling thoughts on the future. I think we’ve passed the threshold where we can look back at history 100%. The last century gave us the tool – nuclear energy. After WWII, we have used it in a positive way, particularly in the field of medicine.
     
    OTOH, there’s Pakistan – a slum with nuclear arms, radical and crazy jihadists run by a corrupt government that is prone to overthrowing heads of state and earthquakes. During the l967 and 1971 Israeli wars with her hostile neighbors, Pakistan aligned herself with Egypt and Syria. Add to the mix, Iran’s goal of nukes and I see the Sunni hitting the Shi’te fan. What the literal and physical fallout of muslim states is beyond a guess. Europe in a 100 years may determine how it all goes, but if muslim immigration is any indicator – not well.

  13. Danny Lemieux says

    I echo SADIE’s concerns about the future. History doesn’t move in straight-line projections but is rather marked by civilization-challenging events that precede each developmental spurt. Hence, I am not optimistic about the future. Here are some of the concerns that I have:
    1) A total breakdown of U.S. social safety and welfare nets as the debt bomb explodes, which it will…in my view, there is no way to avoid it (social security, pensions, medicare, medicaid, etc.)
    2) A total breakdown of the creditworthiness of all Western countries, causing mayhem to economies and international trade.
    3) An alignment of thug countries (Russia, Venezuela, Iran, NoKo, China) that will embroil us in a world war. See this article about the EUros selling military technology to the Russians (h/t No Pasaran) http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/2010/12/is-france-pioneering-sale-by-nato.html
    4) The emergence of new albeit small nuclear states eager to settle local disputes or hold major countries hostage.
    5) Major challenges to the integrity and productivity of the world food supply (esp. if we are now entering a cooling cycle…for example: this year, Canadian crop yields were devastated by “climate change”).
    Each generation gets tested, but perhaps it will force people to better appreciate how good they have it, thanks to those that came before them. One thing of which I am certain, however, is that we were never meant to experience Eden on Earth. Ergo, I try to spend most of my energy coping with the hear-and-now while trying to prepare for the future the best way I can.

  14. Alex says

    The emergence of new albeit small nuclear states eager to settle local disputes or hold major countries hostage.
    If this transpires, it will relegate our concerns about the debt crisis, global warming, etc., to the status of mere vexations.

  15. Mike Devx says

    I like Charles’ #10 and Danny L’s #15 comments concerning the future.  One positive, one negative.  Either or a strange combination of both may come to pass.
     
    As Danny L said:
    > History doesn’t move in straight-line projections but is rather marked by civilization-challenging events that precede each developmental spurt.

    A question is: Are we at the end of the era of USA domination, and if so, does the end spell, as the end of he Roman Empire did,  the descent of Western civilization into the Dark Ages?  Are we in for a similar descent as the lights of civilization dim or go out?

    Charles shows the reasons for optimism; Danny highlights the causes that could be leading the world into, instead, a period of the loss of civilization.

  16. says

    The world is too interconnected, Mike, for there to be another Dark Age in which writing and literacy became the domain of some reclusive monks.
     
    You would need an EMP blast extensive enough to cover several contents for that to happen. Even if it did, full recovery should be a matter of decades, not centuries.
     
    What would most likely cause a Dark Age is political tyranny. People like to create Utopias using centralized power. Which inevitably devolves into pure terror and evil when they don’t get their way.
     
    This is true whether one speaks of banning products as it is of Chavez banning free speech.

  17. SADIE says

    Regarding my brief comment post #14 on Pakistan. The assassinations of names unknown or unfamiliar to us, draw little (no) coverage, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be paying close attention. very close.
     
     
     
    It’s difficult to get past the murder of Salman Taseer today. As Amjad Khan argues at Harry’s Place, the killer Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, smug in the certainty that he’s acted in accordance with the doctrines of Islam, is no extremist. He’s a straightforward traditionalist who happens to believe that blasphemers and apostates should be killed. To judge from his massive Facebook support, and the views of the man-in-the-street, this is what most Pakistanis believe:
    Mohammad Hanif, a leading novelist, said colleagues at the BBC in Karachi had randomly polled people on the street about the shooting. “Everyone approves,” he said on Twitter.
     
    http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2011/01/a-black-day-for-pakistan.html

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