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Philosophical Reflections Related to World Government

Five essays that reflect John Ewbank's personal convictions about established authorities, constitutions, democratic self-government, servant leadership, and the roots of terrorism.

1. A Philosophy of Self-Liberation
  Ewbank describes "self-liberation" as the process by which a person builds his or her own story of humanity and model of the world based primarily on personal experience. This involves learning to be skeptical of "experts" and authoritarians -- from clergymen to political ideologues and from academic experts to dominating executives -- while recognizing that personal restraint, meritocracy, voluntary commitment, and individual integrity are required to sustain non-tyrannical institutions.

2. Liberating Each Century
  All institutions evolve over time in response to the changing realities of the societies they serve. We shouldn't expect any constitution to serve indefinitely as the guiding model for how government should work. Accordingly, Ewbank suggests that any prospective global constitution should have a 100 year sunset time limit; and a fresh constitution should be framed up during the last decade of each century. He calls this process "liberating each century."

3. Self-Government and Regulation
  Successful self-government depends upon citizens endowed with a "sense of justice," "social responsibility," and a "desire for individual integrity." Various functions in society need regulation; for example free markets require anti- monopoly/oligopoly measures. Staying with this example, if government regulates by appropriate limits on market share, successful competitors will tend to self-limit their size so as to avoid being broken up -- as was done to "Ma Bell" or Standard Oil. With care to regulate in a manner that stimulates voluntary adaptation, complicated, loophole-prone regulations can be avoided and all participants will feel there is a level playing field where justice, integrity and social responsibility can flourish.

4. "Bottom-up" Governance + Servant Leadership
  This essay endorses Robert K. Greenleaf's ideas about "bottom-up" global government (in contrast to "top-down"). Greenleaf has written that some sudden trauma, perhaps not unlike the world wars of the 20th century, will stimulate pressure to scuttle ambitions politicians and charter a "bottom up" style of global government. Ewbank is skeptical that this will occur spontaneously when the prescribed "sudden trauma" happens, and suggests that if Greenleaf's "servant leadership" ideas are followed once a global government is chartered, even if initially "top-down," it will ultimately lead to the desired "bottom-up" result.

5. Finding a Solution to International Terrorism
  While a "war on terror" may decimate fanatical groups in the short run, in the long run military might is futile and only aggravates the underlying problem. International terrorism is a response to perceived international injustice. The logical and peaceful way to end terrorism is economic and social justice implemented globally in a decentralized manner so that it respects the traditions and autonomy of each locale.

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