By Jack Butler
We are in the global age, we are fast becoming a world community, and we will increasingly need to have binding global agreements. For many of us, that picture seems relatively uncontentious. What I believe is contentious is the idea that we will need a centralized or federal world state to implement such agreements. I argue that other viable options may be available—especially if we approach the federalist vision from the perspective of millennials. Please check out this first video (26 minutes), in my two-part video series in which I explore ways that the world federalist vision may need to be expanded or supplemented. In the video, these are some of the issues I discuss:
- The low level of institutional trust in government among millennials
Why would millennials believe that government is the answer? Is government solving any of the problems young people most care about?
- Our most successful supranational institution—the EU—is not fully federalist for a reason
The notion that a world authority would have to have a monopoly on real force seems an incredibly hard sell. For example, we are seventy years into European integration and there is still minimal appetite for defense cooperation. We need to examine why.
- In spite of the principle of subsidiarity, centers of power have the tendency to accumulate more power—regardless of constitutional restraints
Consider: Washington. London. Brussels. Can it be possible that the federalist vision needs to metabolize more decentralized thinking? Imagine what global governance would look like if you left it to Silicon Valley.
- The world federalist vision may rest upon some ideas that are becoming outdated: representative government and the nation state
Is representative government, as currently constituted, fit for our time and for the future of governance? Are countries still the most important organizing units? Could it be that megacities and large cities are the social organizations and political units of greatest significance in the future?
A part two video will follow in the next issue. Here again is the first video:
Jack Butler, a graduate of Cambridge University, is a millennial who is an executive coach and adviser to conscious leaders (www.beingjackbutler.com). He is the founder of the UK social enterprise known as Future Foundations (www.future-foundations.co.uk) and is in early stages of founding Evolution Global, a learning and research center at the intersection of personal and global evolution.
NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.