Albert Einstein outright rejected the idea of continuing with the nation-State even within the ambit of restricted exercise of its sovereign power and expressed the opinion “that the only step towards world government is world government itself’ and regretted that no real progress had been made in this area in the past so many years. Jawaharlal Nehru agreed with Einstein and affirmed that the world government “must and will come, for there is no other remedy for the world’s sickness”. Kingsley Martin wrote in 1959 that war “is always likely until there is an international authority which is strong and universally accepted.
” Robert Hutchins is of the opinion that war can be abolished only by a world authority, the imperative need is to start working for such a government. He argued that any effort to secure international control of atomic energy without discarding the existence of sovereign States is bound to fail and maintained that any “proposal for a world atomic authority is a proposal for world government.” M.K. Gandhi subscribed to the ideal of a world federation or, more accurately, a world confederation. He favourably reacted to Arthur Moore’s idea and said that it was “entirely novel” and considered it as “the true ideal.” There are many more who consider that a world government is the only way to provide collective security for the States. But no one has so far explained how the world government can be brought into existence and what precisely shall be its structure and the mechanism to work it.
There has been an active movement in favour of a world State on a federal pattern, spearheaded by the United World Federalists with its base in the United States. The programme of the movement rests upon two propositions “wars between groups of men forming social units take place when those units exercise unrestricted sovereign power wars cease the moment sovereign power is transferred from them to a larger or higher unit.” Analogy of the original thirteen States of the United States of America is cited and it is argued that realising the “wisdom” of this experience a world government will be set up and once it is done world peace will prevail and wars disappear. But is it possible to realize the ideal of world government in the near future? There is no definite answer to this question. Some argue that gradualism defeats the purpose of the ideal as the nation States shall continue to exist, with the inter-State system of collective security, without eliminating the exigencies of conflicts and wars. As long as suspicion of aggression continues to exist, the States shall, as ever before, indulge in piling up armaments and a chance spark somewhere may endanger the peace of the world. Morgenthau, on the other hand, holds the view that people of the world are not willing to accept the world government, that they are not willing and able to do even what a world State might require of them in fulfilling its purposes. His conclusion is that international peace cannot be “permanent without a world State that a world State cannot be established under the present moral, social and political condition of the world in no period of modem history was civilization more in need of permanent peace, and hence of a world state, and that in no period of modem history, were the moral, social and political conditions of the world less favourable for the establishment of a world State as there can be no world State without a world community willing and able to support it.
” The chances of the sense of a world community to grow under the existing conditions seem to be remote, if not altogether absent. Loyalty to the nation is overwhelmingly predominant over loyalty to the world community. It is true that progress in science and technology and interaction of various economic forces have brought the people of the world nearer to one another, but it is too much to believe that “there is a growing integration of the world community.” G. Parthasarathy has correctly said that in the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America the most pressing problem is the poverty of large masses of the people. “Rapid economic development is not only a must for releasing the masses from the grinding poverty of which they are now conscious, but a precondition of any effective international economic integration.
No doubt, tremendous advance in technology has been made, but the effects of the advance, as regards international economic integration, are by and large restricted to the developed countries.” The task is, therefore, “first to accelerate the pace of economic development in the developing countries to the point where a more unified world system can be built.” The developed countries are in the least interested in this vital aspect of the world order. In all the international conferences that have so far been held to devise ways and means to extend aid to the developing countries, the affluent States have done a precious little.
There is no unanimity among them even on a minor issue, such as, the quantum of aid. A mere lip service to the poor nations does not fill in the gap and as long as the yawning disparities in the fortunes of the developed and developing countries remain, even the idea of a world federation shall be a nightmare, for equality the basis of a federal organisation and, more so, if the tone of nationalism is to be changed. There may be a greater recognition for a world State among some peoples of the world, but political evolution varies from one people to another.
Some older States, and developed too, which wield immense power and influence in the family of nations are averse to the sacrifice of their sovereignty with a view to creating a world State. There are many, if not all, among the newly independent States who would even dislike the idea of compromising their national sovereignty for the cause of world State, howsoever convincing the idea may be to them. No one can, indeed, think of a world State unless all, or almost all, the States, big and small, developed and underdeveloped, abandon sovereignty and spontaneously agree to the authority of the World Government in the sphere of international relations. Then it involves the role of power in the organisation of the World State. Its advocates envisage a monopoly of the power vested in the World Government, as the success or failure of the World State shall depend upon its total effective power. Einstein stands for the “military monopoly of a super national organisation” and asserts that “military power should be completely and solely in the hands of the world federation.” This he deems essential if its laws are to be enforced effectively, the power to make war a virtual impossibility and to make futile all acts of aggression.
Norman Cousins would equip the world organisation with force “adequate to deter aggression, adequate to carry out inspections as part of workable control over nuclear arms, adequate to keep the peace itself.” But is it feasible or even desirable to concentrate total military power at one single centre of authority? As in the case of a nation-State force is not its basis, in the same token it cannot be the only criterion of the world State. No State, national or world, can alone he a power system. Even those who consider “power” as the central organising idea of the State admit that no State can enforce its laws by sheer force, if they violate the moral consensus of the society.
A State that may attempt it shall invite “disintegration of its own fabric in anarchy or civil war and the frequency and destructiveness of civil war demostrate “that the existence of the State does not assure the preservation of the domestic peace.” Nicholas J. Spykman, another supporter of power politics, says, “Preserving order within the State is a question of making daily decisions that will adjust human frictions, balance social forces and compromise political conflicts.” Besides, realisation of the scheme of World State necessitates prior agreement among the States forming the World federation relating to organisation of its structure, and procedures. There must be full, free and firm agreement between the world government on the one side and its constituents on the other side with regard to the nature and extent of division of powers, for the success of a federal polity depends upon this basic principle. Defining the powers of the world government and ensuring uniform exercise of authority over the constituents is a task surrounded by insurmountable difficulties and complications. Then, how the different branches of governments, at both the levels, are to be organised and what should be the nature of representation of the federating States, big and small, on the World legislative body? A federal polity stands for equality of representation for all the federating units in the upper chamber of the legislature.
And the most knotty problem shall be the revenues of the world federation. What shall be its source of income—contributions by the States, and, if so, on what basis? The ideal of world government if not Utopian, is at least unrealizable in the near future. “It may come at the end of a long historical process if those interested in bringing it about continue to make persistent effort in that direction.” The establishment of a world government, if at all it comes, may well be accepted as the last stage in the evolution of mankind towards international amity and peace.
The need of the day is the management and control of power. It cannot be eliminated altogether, but it can be managed effectively if there is determination and will of all nations, big and small, to do it.