One world in the sense of a global State variously described as United States of Earth, World Empire, World State, World Government to express a new world order is a dream of mankind. H.G. Wells in War of the Worlds describes an invasion of the earth by the aliens from the planet Mars with world uniting to fight them but ultimately won by the bacteria for the world. There are many films on the subject, when Governments unite to fight the invasion from outer space. Do we require an invasion from other planets to unite this world?
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The idea of one world was the ambition of ancient conquerors from the time immemorial. Egyptians in bronze age wanted to rule “all over the Sun encircles”, Mesopatamian Kings from “Sunrise to Sunset” and Chinese Emperor “all under heaven”. Napoleon too after successive victories had the ambition of bringing the world under his control. It was the boast of the English that the Sun never sets in the British Empire. Greeks dreamt of a monarch over all mankind with Nature as the body and God as the soul. Holy Roman Empire, which spread far and wide for a millennium gave peace known as Pax Romana.
Dante wondered “Behold! How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”. Francisco de Vitoria, a Spanish philosopher known as the “Founder of global political philosophy” published “Republic of the Whole World”. University of Salamanca came out with basic international law and organisation for such a world with Grotius in the Middle Ages lending support. Immanuel Kant says “one world is the only solution for world peace”. He wanted to abolish independent States, independent armies with no hostilities as between any group to be enforced by iron hand by the World Government with what he called “the law of Nations with world citizenship for all earthlings”. Ulysses S. Grant, a former President of U.S.A. felt that a day will come when the international questions will be resolved by a World Congress, the rules of which will bind like those of the Supreme Court. Henry A. Wallace, a U.S. Presidential candidate publicised his vision of “one world” inspired by pacifism and idealism, a plank for his contest for Presidency, but had to recant for purposes of election reverting to “conservative and patriotic orthodoxy”, but it did not help him to attain Presidency.
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Religion too speculated of a world order following its religion as dreamt by Mormon theodemocracy as kingdom of God. The Christians dreamt of one world with Pope as its head. A sect, Baha “u”llah founded a faith which ruled during first half of the last century with membership all over the world with 7.1 million Bahais in 218 countries with the philosophy “earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”.
The process of evolution
It is realised that one world cannot be realised at one stroke, but it can be evolved as progress from tribal communities to City States, principalities and modern Nation States. After further consolidation to federations and confederations, a world State may well be possible.
The States have often come together to agree on a select programme towards this process of unification. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) formed by the Allies to fight the Axis powers during the war was one such step, when nations come together. The communist world of dictatorship of the proletariat crosses national borders. Organisation of African Nations, Asean, Arab League, United South American Nations, European Union and Organisation of Islamic Co-operation have all emerged achieving a regional commonality.
A major step for one world was sponsored at the end of the first world war to avoid all future wars by the formation of League of Nations. Official agreements between different States gave rise to international organisations like Red Cross, Telegraphic Union and Universal Postal Union among others now more than a century old. At the end of second world war, Atlantic Charter a joint statement by Roosewelt and Churchill led to formation of United Nations. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Childrens Emergency Fund (CEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are some of the organised entities with an all-world perspective. International co-operation has become real and effective by these steps. Universal Declaration of Human Rights became the Charter for humanity.
Agreements like General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) removed major hurdles of international trade, Kyoto Protocol dealt with environmental problems. International co-operation is an on-going exercise.
Individuals have strived by their own efforts for a world order. World Passport was prepared by a non-profit organisation known as “World Service Authority” where its members from many parts of the world agreed to surrender their nationality for the world passport in seven languages English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Esperanto with world birth certificate, world political asylum card and world marriage certificate, with world citizen logo. This document was accepted by over 174 countries and recognised in Section 2 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it did not make much progress.
International law has been developing. Vienna Convention is accepted as binding on all countries. International law is no more an abstract treatise, since international disputes are often resolved in World Court with reference to the Convention.
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Consensus and co-operation as between nations has not been easy. Theory of comparative advantage proclaiming the advantages of free international trade has not helped to avoid import duties, currency rackets, dumping and other evils. Visa regulations strictly monitored keep away immigrants. While the original inhabitants are red Indians, naturalised Americans consider the later immigrants as usurpers in U.S. Donald Trump, a U.S. Presidential candidate is one who is keen to deport a still later day immigrants using it as a plank in his election speeches. An interesting story during rounds in the website lampoons Trump’s animosity against immigrants, so that it is worth repeating it in a lighter vein in –
Little Johnny was in the classroom bored to the back teeth on a Friday afternoon, and the teacher decided to have a game for the kids to get them thinking.
“Okay class. Now I’m going to say a famous quote, and the first person to tell me who said that quote, can have Monday off.” said the teacher.
‘Who is credited with writing the phrase, ‘To be or not to be, that is the question?’” asked the teacher.
Little Pham Lam Nguyen at the front of the class called out,
‘Well done!’ said the teacher, ‘You can have Monday off.”
‘No thank you Miss. I am of Vietnamese origin and it is in our culture to study as hard as we can, so I will be here on Monday studying hard.’ said Little Pham Lam Nguyen.
‘Well okay,’ said the teacher.
The next quote is, “I had a dream!”
Little Fri Sum Kat also at the front yelled out
“I beleiva it was Martin Ruther King!”
“Well done!” said the teacher. ‘You can have Monday off.”
“No thanka you Miss I am of Chinese origin and we also do not take time off a school. Education is everything to us, so I will be in on Monday studying hard too.” said little Fri Sum Kat.
‘Okay,’ said the teacher.
Then she heard a voice from the back of the classroom, “F***ing Immigrants!”
“Who said that?” yelled the teacher in an angry tone.
“Donald Trump!” called out little Johnny.
“See ya Tuesday ………..”
Narrow walls divide the world. Immigrants in search of better living conditions leaving their abodes are drowned in high seas, because no country would admit them. Internecine wars between neighbouring countries are too common as in the course of India and Pakistan or China with its neighbours. There can never be one world, if the immigration is prevented, but countries like U.S. fear what it believes as invasion of immigrants do not realise that prosperity of the world is better assured, where people can move to places where they can contribute more for development, not only prosperity for themselves, but also for the host country. Economic theories are hardly ever acted upon, because of the undue fear of a foreigner taking away his bread as is exhibited by the U.S. visa violations.
International terrorism is often State-sponsored terrorism being part of covert diplomacy. The wrong belief, that it is for its own protection is universally prevalent. U.S. would claim to be policeman to bring peace to the world, but miserably failed in Vietnam and Iraq. No one state came bring peace to the world.
The earth is moving fast with knowledge explosion. But there are miles to go to realise the dream of One World. Compulsions of history should make the dream a reality one day. The earth is a dying planet, but can be revived only by concerted action replacing blind patriotism by humane science backed by rationalism.
One recalls the following poem by Tenniyson on the subject.
For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see
Saw a Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be …/
Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer
and the battle-flags were furled
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the World.
There the common sense of most shall hold
a fretful realm in awe
And the kindly earth shall slumber
rapt in universal law.