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A Global ‘Senatus Consultum’

Most people would agree that humankind now has a global economy and global society but no global polity. Clearly, as long as we think in terms of nations, and retain man’s tribalistic mentality, there can be no effective global governance and the world will continue to go to hell.

global governanceEffective global governance cannot come about through adding more layers of political complexity however, or through the creation of a new authority.

Peace and order in society and the world do not flow from the authority of law backed by force, but the authority of law flows from peace and order in the individual and society. They cannot be imposed from the outside. That’s why the emphasis by most proponents of global governance on enacting and enforcing global laws is unworkable and undesirable.

The notion that there is a natural progression from city-states to nation-states to United Nations to World Government bears no resemblance to the world as it is and as it is going. Therefore “a good global authority focused on global issues only without interfering at the local level” is a fantasy.

Every form of government so far has been based on the identification of separate peoples with particular groups. This inevitably leads to ‘us vs. them’ mentality, which is at the root of militarism and war.

Without a psychological revolution, the rule by a global authority with the power to make and enforce laws between states is not just unworkable; it is a prescription for evil if it ever should come about. For what would prevent the darkest elements in human consciousness, which now so evidently rule the world, from taking it over?

We must feel and put forth the fact of the sovereignty of humanity. That doesn’t mean doing away with nations, anymore than the emergence of nations did away with cities. Just as the idea of sovereign city-states became history when sovereign nations emerged, so too the idea of sovereign nations will become history when the sovereignty of humanity is given form.

A psychological revolution is essential for effective, limited global governance to emerge. Without a psychological revolution, peace, security, justice and fairness in the global society are not possible, and the fragmentation of the earth and conflict between peoples will continue and increase.

America is dead. But there is a window of opportunity to fill the ethical and leadership vacuum in the world before we’re all saying, ‘President Trump.’

I propose a new component in the world’s political architecture—a genuinely global citizens body independent of the United Nations and all national governments. It would not have power, or the authority to make laws, but it would have great moral suasion. It would put forth, with accountability, practical policy recommendations in all areas of common human concern for the UN and national governments.

Ancient Rome had a body called senatus consultum. It was a kind of seedbed that proposed laws and policies that had to be considered, without possessing law-making ability. That fell to magistrates and other institutions.

Something like it is urgently required on the global level, to embody the truth of the sovereignty of humanity, to reform the United Nations, and to hold nations and international institutions accountable to humanity as a whole. The UN, if it is salvageable, is the rightful institution of global governance, with the Security Council radically transformed and international law-making belonging to the General political architecture

This new component in the world political architecture, a non-power-holding global consultum that holds governments and international institutions accountable to the human prospect, is an urgent necessity and a practical possibility.

Where could it be built? Costa Rica perhaps, the only country in the world I know of without a military. Costa Rica, a world leader in conservation policies with protected areas that encompass over 25 percent of its total landmass (the highest in the world), with a goal of being the first ‘carbon neutral’ country by 2021.

The entire dualism of local vs. global no longer fits the reality of the global society in which all human beings live. What is local anymore? What isn’t global? The world has become so interdependent and permeable that everywhere is both global and local at the same time, the macrocosm enveloping the microcosm, and the microcosm enfolding the macrocosm.

That’s why advocating for some kind of supreme, compulsory authority at the supra-national level ‘externally,’ while upholding the ‘internal sovereignty’ of nations is politically unworkable and philosophically unintelligible.

To break free of the ancient tribalistic/nationalistic habit, and give form to the living principle of the sovereignty of humanity, we must first bring about a radical change in thinking and feeling within ourselves. One doesn’t ‘reduce tribalism’ within oneself; one ends it.

For humankind to change our disastrous course, a psychological revolution is essential and indispensable. Can it ignite and manifest at this point in human history, before the complete collapse of the international order?

Martin LeFevre

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