A World That Could Govern Itself
Libertarians can hold to their faith only on the absurd assumption that my exercise of freedomnever affects your ability to exercise yours. Quite the opposite: The freedoms and the fates of allsix billion of us who occupy this globe are inextricably interwoven.
Herbert SimonWhile all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill - little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago.
John AdamsPower cannot be delegated. Power has to be taken.
I was born and raised in New York City, and cameto political consciousness in the 1950's, during the McCarthy era and theCold War. My parents were distinctly left-wing in their politics, but notunreservedly so: parlour-pink as they used to say, but not completely Red.In the early 60's, while the Viet Nam war was heating up, I was active inthe student resistance movement at Columbia University, and remember telling anyone who would listen that the United States would fight therefor about 10 years, and accomplish nothing. This much was clear to anycollege sophomore who did a week's reading on the history of Viet Nam – but not, tragically, to "the best and the brightest" in the Kennedy andJohnson administrations. In 1966, I left the United States, spent 2 years inIsrael (witnessing the 6-day war in June, 1967 and the first stages of theoccupation that followed.). In 1969, I came to Canada, where I studied andtaught aikido, became a Canadian citizen, and ended up in Ottawa doingcontract work in informatics and program evaluation for the Canadiangovernment. In 2003, I made the mistake of supporting George W. Bush'sintervention in Iraq, – not as a grab for oil, or for the alleged 'weapons of mass destruction,' but as a clever move on the Middle Eastern chessboard.However, on seeing what a botch the Bush administration made in theaftermath of their invasion, I changed my mind: The tasks andresponsibilities of global governance will have to be met in some other way than by American hegemony – though that seemed like the best bet atthe time. Of course, the opinions expressed below were partly shaped byall these experiences.
Introduction: On the Bridge of Spaceship Earth
The image of planet Earth as large-but-finite spacecraft can be traced back