Wednesday, January 23, 2019

[GMW Special] Robert Muller's 1947 Winning Essay On World Government

[GMW Special] Robert Muller's 1947 Winning Essay On World Government Idea Dream - Robert Muller's Ideas 3001 to 4000


Essay Contest of the French Universities Movement for the United Nations in 1947
which opened to me the doors of the United Nations

Question: What do you think of a World Government?

Winner: Robert Muller, Law Student at the University of Strasbourg.

Before expressing any opinion about this subject, a conceptual and terminological point of view imposes itself.

What is a world government? What concept underlies it? What is the association of ideas it evokes? In our view, a government in order to be for the world, must fulfill two essential conditions:

- first, it must comprise all organs characteristic of what one calls government: legislative, executive and judicial organs which respond to the functions which taken together form government in the real sense and no longer in the purely institutional sense;

- it must be endowed with a world competence, i.e. have all humans as subjects.
But does not such a concept of world government, which by the way is very different from international government, contain such a great degree of utopia that any serious reasoning would be doomed to failure? Does not the nation erect itself as a sociological reality totally contrary to such a notion of world government? It would be vain and absurd to decide to reject lightly the sociological reality called 'nation'.

But it would be no less vain and ununderstandable to leave to nations alone the task of defining and to satisfy the needs which are common to all humans. International government, the simple result of imperfectly concerted state decisions has been a bankruptcy; it has been unable to provide humans with what they want by common accord: a well-being the minimum of which is peace.

There exist needs which are common to all humanity; the definition and the achievement of that community of interests incumbs to a world government. There exist more limited, narrow human common interests which are the domain of national governments. And within those there are subgroups with their common interests and the very particular interests of individuals. To define these frameworks is to define individual freedom.

It is for humans and on humans that one must build law and its institutions. But law and these institutions must respond on the one hand to the common world interests and on the other hand to the needs of the most restricted communities.

I. Individuals, their common interests and world government

One must reject right from the start secondary notions like those of space, borders and territorial frameworks. Law does not address itself to space, it addresses itself to humans. It is by giving again to the individual his first and foremost place, at the expense of the State, that one can obtain clarity regarding the problem of world government. The rehabilitation of the human person is both a retreat and a progress: a retreat since it seems to disengage itself from national realities, a progress inasmuch as it permits to highlight 'interhuman' needs. The need for peace and well-being, the haunt of wars and of economic crises have become ecumenical social realities which it is high time to equip with their own organs of expression and action.

And to do that one must not take the nation or state as the cornerstone. It is important not to succumb to the simplistic reasoning which consists to climb from the State to international government and from the nation to the international society. Has one ever said that the State was the sum-total of communal or provincial governments, that the nation was the assemblage of the interests of the lower communities which make up that nation? It is because humans still reason, think too much as 'national animals' that the organization of peace makes no progress. The mere reading of the Charter of the United Nations gives an idea of the distance still to be covered.

World government must not be the slave, freed a little from time to time, of a greater or lesser number of all powerful States. It must be the master and the State must be its servant.

But what will be its image, what will be its structure?

1. The legislative organ

In charge of defining the common interests of humanity and to establish the legal rules tending to peace, to security and to the well-being of the ecumenic society, it must be built on the support, on the true foundation of these interests: ecumenic elections must lead to the creation of a world chamber of elected representatives. It should not be said: the USA, Russia, France have so many representatives in such an Assembly. The elected representatives must be mandatories of humans rather than mandatories of secondary collectivities. They would not be simple delegates of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the various States of the world.

Should one fear the birth from such an organ of an exploitation of the feeble nations by the strong ones? Not at all, because here too the world economic requirements would prevail over the national requirements. There will result a certain 'mundialization' of world primary materials, of which one sees already the first signs.

To whom will the rules edicted by the world legislative organ be addressed: To individuals, to the intermediary collectivities and to world executive organs.

2. The executive organ

The framework of this essay contest being very limited, it does not give room for details on a world ministerial system, its organization, its recruitment. But may I be permitted to make the following fundamental remark: the notion of army must be reduced to its true meaning, that of a police. Only a world police would then be allowed to intervene and impose the sanctions of world rules. Each secondary police, national or municipal, will have these secondary collectivities as their fields of activity. Thus, for example a world rule would provide that to respond to a request from any nation to join a military action would be considered as a major breach, a desertion from world order.

3. The judicial organ

The World Court of Justice (and not an international court) would be the last instance to examine the conformity of human and state activities with world rules.

Finally, what would be the relationships between these various organs or power?
Which government would be the best? The choice could be a presidential or a parliamentarian government.

In any case, the total of the central organs must be in charge exclusively of questions concerning the generality of humans. It would be futile and wrong to let it deal also with questions which pertain to secondary collectivities. This is how the problem of decentralization inserts itself into the general problem of world government.

II. The secondary collectivities and the problem of decentralization

The current human society is made of innumerable groupings more or less extensive and important: the family, the local community, the nation, religious communities, etc. These groupings have special interests which can be qualified and realized only by their own organs whose competence is limited to the members of those collectivities. Hence the State itself would be decentralized, respective to the organized world community. But would the existence of such decentralized organs not be contrary, adverse to world government, by definition unique? We do not believe so, because world legislation would be master over the existence of these organs and of their competence. They would have a freedom of action only within the general framework set up by the world government.

Subordination to the world government, fulfillment of the interests of the secondary collectivities, this would be the double way in which the decentralized organs will participate in the government of society. Modifying the competences and the possibility of creating new organs for new collectivities will incidentally permit to this general system to take into account future sociological changes. To the evolution of society will correspond the evolution of the distribution of competences.

Do sociological variations precede necessarily the reorganization of organs? Or do organs have a prime influence on the evolution of society? This problem can only be mentioned here, but it raises another one which is essential and which needs to be pointed out in conclusion.

Every legal institution can be reduced in last resort to a set of competences entrusted to a few selected individuals. It must therefore proceed from a collective thinking, it must be the fruit of 'self-organizational' thinking. One may argue that ecumenical thought, imperfect as it still is, cannot be equipped with the governmental organs recommended above. Historical determinism would not allow to anticipate any international organization as being the only one possible and viable. As a result, the mere subject of world government would be negated and of total uselessness. We cannot subscribe to that, because the future oriented ideas of thinkers and the revolutionary forces given birth by political actors are also essential sociological factors. It is therefore permitted and relevant to construct intellectually a world government on the current sociological factors. Many voices have been raised and have grown over the last fifty years in favor of a proper international government. This is evident proof that the challenge is not at all utopian in an undetermined future.

[Text translated from French]

P.S. This 1947 essay, written 72 years ago, is still valid as far as humanity is concerned, but it ignores the Earth, nature and the elements on which we live, which were not yet of concern to humanity at that time.

A copy of this is in the ANNEX Following ~ Idea 4800 ~.

UN News: UN Chronicle, United Nations News Service, UN Wire Archive
References: Earth CharterUniversal Declaration of Human Rights
Rights of: Children,Women,IndigenousPeople
To Be Written: Rights of Nature, Birds, Animals, Fish, etc.

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