The Sub-Conscious Push for Global Government

Apr 20, 2012 by

     The State of Nature, as defined by Thomas Hobbes, is “The time that men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe.”  (pg 185)  It is a period in which no power, no state, exists to govern the actions of men.  It is a state of Anarchy.  In this State of Nature, it is a constant war of all individuals against each other.  “For war consists not in battle only, or the act of fighting;  but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known.” (pg 185-6)  War is not necessarily in the sense of active fighting, but a preparedness, willingness, and seeking for a fight.  Even in the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, you do not see a battle every single day.  And, on the days where there was no battle, we do not believe that time to be a time of peace, but a lull in the war.  Now, it seems strange to begin an article on Global Government from a definition of no government.  However, there seems to be a connection between the governments established and the people of the state of nature.  For instance, “Kings and Persons of Sovereign Authority, because of their independence, are in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of gladiators;  having their weapons pointing and their eyes fixed upon one another.”  (pg 187).  It seems that, similar to those who are in a State of Nature, governments exist in a constant state of war.  Now, it may not be as prevalent or as noticed in today’s society, which I will get to later on, but in pre-1800 Europe, it was very much existent.  In Europe, you had several nations all vying for power:  England, France, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, Prussia, Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire among some of the main countries (with the exception of Italy which was not unified at the time).  Now, these countries were constantly at war.  German countries would team up with England to fight France.  England would team up with Netherlands to fight Spain.  Spain, Netherlands, and France would fund the revolution in America against England.  France and Spain took turns conquering Italy.  Austria, Prussia, and all of the German Kingdoms were constantly at war.  Russia and the Ottomans declared war every year, like an annual holiday.  Alliances did not really exist, they were more alliances of the current war, and lasted no longer than interests coincided.  This is a constant state of war.  Even when they were at peace, they either planned, or knew everyone else was planning, on how to strike.  Now, for Hobbes, the individual in the State of Nature begins to form defensive pacts.  That, in seeing that a group beats off an individual, defensive pacts become beneficial.  However, this degenerates into a constant war of all against all on the group level.  Because this is no better, Hobbes says governments are instituted that one power may over awe everyone.  Now, let us apply this logic to the international level.  Notice I put the stipulation on Europe of pre-1800.  This is because the Napoleonic Wars changed the mentality of Europe.  In fighting off Napoleon, Europe began to recognize the benefit of coalitions and defensive pacts.  This realization is completed in late 1800′s early 1900′s prior to World War I.  Here, Austria and Germany have a defensive pact.  On the opposition, France and Russia, and secretly Britain, have formed their own defensive pact.  It is interesting to note that Russia only allied with France when the defensive pact with Germany legitimately expired.  Thus, unlike in previous times, pacts carried much more weight.  This characteristic in war exists when the war has progressed to groups rather than individuals fighting.  Without this characteristic, defensive pacts would be impossible because you could not trust your ally to remain by you in a time of need.  Now, these defensive pacts resulted in both World Wars I and II.  These epic wars were horrific and showed the true devastation which a state of nature can bring.  Now, what came out of these two wars?  What solution was brought forth to solve the problem of a state of constant war?  First the League of Nations.  That failed to bring peace but resulted in World War II.  Thus, the more powerful, as hard as it is to believe that it has any power at all, United Nations took its place.  But, again, we do not see it as powerful enough.  Still, we have coalitions forming defensive pacts.  The Cold War is evidence of that.  The United Nations, and its idea, prevents the constant wars of the past, but not the readiness or willingness.  If we see a World War III, or a war of mass devastation, even if it does not involve everyone nation, are we not going to insist, once again, on a more powerful United Nations.  What is the purpose of the United Nations?  To bring an end to the constant war.  Since the state of nature is war, how do you end the war?  By creating “a common Power to keep them all in awe.”  Thus, Global Government forms.

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Hobbes, Thomas.  Leviathan.  Penguin Books.  London, England;  1985.

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