Poor, poor Gideon Rachman.
The Financial Times's chief foreign affairs columnist and blogger can't understand why people got so upset at him.
He responded to a volume of disagreeable e-mails reacting to his December 9 column on the idea of having one world government in two different blog posts (the photo at the top right is from his blog): "Covered in Internet Slime" (December 10) and "Final Thoughts on the world government row" (December 11). His bottom line is that he considered his original column a "dispassionate discussion of the possibility" of a world government.
I think there's genuine reason to question Mr. Rachman's "dispassion." Of course in the process, I run the risk of being criticized by Mr. Rachman (from his Dec. 10 "Internet Slime" piece) as:
- Someone who "can read, but .... cannot think."
- Someone who subscribes to "end days" theology.
- (heaven forbid) Someone who "believes that global warming not only is a hoax - but that it is actually a conspiracy."
- (oh my gosh) Someone "clinging to guns and religion. And clinging is the word."
Nonetheless, I'll plunge ahead into his original column with clear demonstrations that Mr. Rachman is more than a wee bit sympathetic to the one world government idea:
- The title is a not terribly objective "And now for a world government."
- He writes favorably of the European Union -- "A 'world government' would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model."
- His assertion that "climate change," aka "global warming," is among the things that "are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty." I would suggest that human-caused "global warming," to the extent that it even exists (there is tons of evidence that it doesn't), has indeed been hijacked a one-world government cause. In fact, Rachman's assertion is bald evidence of that.
- His "bad" reason why one world government might not arrive "is a lack of will and determination on the part of national, political leaders who – while they might like to talk about 'a planet in peril' – are ultimately still much more focused on their next election, at home." I would suggest that many of these politicians are quite properly focused on representing the interests of the people who elected them.
- His supposedly "good" reason doesn't really involve stopping one world government from happening. Instead, it's only seen as a "good" reason why it shouldn't be done all that hastily (bold is mine) -- "Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic." This would appear dangerously close to an endorsement of undemocratic means to a supposedly desirable end. I guess it depends on the meaning of the word "effective."
Sorry, Mr. Rachman. Your "dispassionate" pose doesn't fool me, and clearly didn't fool many other readers, quite a few of whom you clearly hold in open contempt. Suffice it to say that the feeling is mutual.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.