Second Step Toward ...
By William Westmiller
Our greatest fear about world government is that it must entail world domination. The most extreme fantasies and fears are engendered by those who love or hate the conformity that might be imposed by an omnipotent leader of the world. "Imagine there's no countries," sings John Lennon, no possessions, no greed or hunger, "all the people sharing all the world." Whether those ideas suit you or not, a world government that can impose compliance with the loftiest fantasies of others could well be the most horrible and tyrannical government ever imagined. It need not be so.
Rather than a world government dedicated to domination, it is possible to imagine a coalition of nations opposing any use of military power, whatever the motives. An earth alliance could overcome the horrors of war without imposing an ideologic agenda. To some degree, NATO already does that, by committing all members to stand in defense against any military assault on member states.
Any earth alliance must be based on the principle that the only justification for the use of military force is to counter an initiation of military force; an invasion of another sovereign country. Aside from repelling the historic Communist and Fascist desires for world conquest, Desert Storm provides a good example of multi-national opposition to imperial acquisition. It was right and proper for all nations to oppose and overthrow Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Overturning that initiation of force was a completely moral and ethical act. It would have been a worthy objective for a world government.
Absent Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, it would have been a violation of the same non-aggression principle for any nation to initiate military force for "national security interests", including the preservation of a generous supply of oil for world markets. The ends never justify the means, but force used in defense of innocent victims is always justified. Whatever consolidated world military force is necessary to eliminate conquest, imperialism, hegemony or sovereign expansion is both appropriate and necessary.
The technical matter of establishing a solid foundation for a limited military force in world government is not a simple prospect. Who contributes military resources? Who decides how and when they should be used? Should nuclear weapons be in a world government arsenal? It's no minor task to reach an international consensus on resources and methods, but the governing principles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could act as the framework for a legitimate world military alliance.
Without suggesting a precipitous expansion of any world military authority, there is another worthy, non-partisan objective which might be assigned to an international body. Though there are still major holdouts, the expansion of democracy around the world has lent international credence to the principle of the "consent of the governed". When, "in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another," it need not be the occasion for a civil war. Our own Declaration of Independence could be echoed by the Kosovars, the Kurds and many oppressed minorities and regions around the world. Without judging the merits, a world body might accept a petition of grievances against a tyrannic state and secure an opportunity to determine the will of the people. Rather than being a judge and jury of the outcome, a world military force would simply ensure a respite from armed conflict --while a new national government was being formed or a reconciliation with the existing government was completed.
Both of these roles are now being played, almost single-handedly, by the United States. The American people seem content to have our military act as "policeman for the world", with only a few trepidations at the consequences. Those consequences are substantially to our detriment. Even if our objectives are noble, the rest of the world must suspect our motives and envy our means. In the end, it may be more in our national interest to take one step back from imposing our own culture and ethics on others by forswearing any unilateral use of military power, except in self-defense. The world's "last remaining super power" can become the agent for the elimination of military power as a deciding force in world affairs. By doing so, we can clearly renounce and oppose any malevolent intentions of world domination.
©1999, William Westmiller
California Coordinator of the Republican Liberty Caucus
Past Candidate for the Republican Nomination for (24 CA) Congress
Former National Secretary, California Chairman, Libertarian Party
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