Home Rule Globally
Abstract of -
A History of the World Government
Movement in the USA
This is a fact filled history that also traces the motivations that led to various movements and organizations that have aspired to promote world government. Ewbank begins by stating "Any history of world government is necessarily a history of efforts to abolish war." To make the case that war is a relatively recent invention, he starts with human pre-history when disputes between tribes were frequently settled in a relatively controlled or ritual manner, according to mythic accounts, such as by a parlay of "peace-pipe" smoking elders, or by a contest between two champions.
War as we know it became possible with the rise of cities and social classes, when rulers and their bureaucrats characteristically enlisted and directed all-out military efforts. The taking of slaves became a motive for war, as the ruling classes required slaves to support their lifestyles. Territorial conquest has long been another typical motive. In modern times we have seen a variety of additional motives: colonial exploitation, religion, ideology, and neo-colonial economic domination.
This account of the World Government movement begins in 1905, when transportation technology had evolved to the point where it was possible to imagine governing on a global basis. While the initial meetings to promote the idea -- such as the 1905 St Louis gathering of the World Association of Parliamentarians hosted by the US Senate -- attracted widespread attention and support, they also stimulated negative reactions from vested interests who felt threatened by the prospect of an end to colonialism, economic bullying and jingoistic politics.
The movement promoting world government received a boost from WWI, which was a horrible, bloody experience, and an even bigger boost from WWII which ushered in the age of nuclear weapons. While these descents into carnage stimulated popular support for a permanent end to war, the solutions that were adopted -- respectively the League of Nations and the United Nations -- relied on what Ewbank calls "the treaty system," eschewing any authentic concept of world government. With treaties that can be abrogated at will serving to keep the peace, nations have continued to settle their differences and promote their ambitions in traditional ways and as a result war continues to thrive.
Most of this essay is a detailed account of the organizations that sprang up to promote various different flavors of World Federalism during the 20th century, and the ups and downs of those organizations right up to the present. In the wake of the McCarthy Un-American Activities Committee purges targeting US citizens with internationalist leanings, and the beginning of the "Cold War" bringing us a new kind of peace based on assured mutual annihilation, the world government movement lost much of its support in the US. When the USSR split up, the US took on the role of world bully, a sort of modern version of the "pax Romanum" where it has fought wars pre-emptively to suppress perceived threats, whether real or conveniently concocted.
At this point the world government movement is in a sort of hibernation phase, awaiting another global descent into chaos to re-awaken popular support for a true global federation that will end war forever.