“The history of our civilization is reaching its final destination. From a chaotic amalgam of competing and rival nations, the world is evolving into a unitary framework, in which different organized communities cooperate to prevent conflicts and promote the progress of humanity. “
The above eyebrow-raising quote above is from the World Federalist Manifesto. I currently find my interest in the topic of Federalism being increasingly piqued, especially as I learn more about it in the context of it’s central role in the political debate since the very inception of the United States itself. I admit I am torn as I write this. Part of me wonders if the themes presenting themselves in such a discussion are already overly obvious to anyone who would be prone to reading it, and so the whole thing might be an exercise in redundancy, yet at the same time I feel as though the ramifications of World Federalism, and the role in which the U.S. has played in bringing the world closer and closer to it, is of such universal importance that it would hardly seem to be something that could ever be exhaustively treated.
Recently I have begun plodding my way through a copy of the “Federalist Papers”, an endeavor which unintentionally sparked a more pointed study of the whole topic I just described. While I confess that trying that trying to plod through the actual words of Madison and Hamilton has proven quite laborious, (due to the profuse usage of rambling, 18th Century sesquipedalian rhetoric), simply becoming more familiar with the gist of the debate itself has provided a much more focused picture of the early American political landscape, and also gone a long way in tracing the connections between the themes present at that time with those of our own day. In short, I find it fascinating to ponder the possibility that the very creation of the United States itself, has embedded within it’s own “political DNA” the inherent questions, arguments and obstacles connected to the broader challenge of actualizing a true, functioning, global government.
From my perspective, the formation of the United States is such a curious thing, and like so many other matters, I find it increasingly difficult not to view it through some kind of Hegelian lens. The “Federalist Papers”, as I have been recently learning, were a series of what were essentially political op-ed pieces, published bi-weekly in New York newspapers roughly a decade after the 13 American colonies achieved independence and established a government based upon it’s original founding document, the Articles of Confederation…
But apparently there were many in the newly formed American Republic who became convinced that the Articles were insufficient, and so a campaign was mounted to try and convince enough of the newly formed States to ratify something which would provide a more effective and “energized” Union, a more powerfully endowed Federal government. The Constitution… At the time, New York State was one of the most stalwart of resistors against replacing the Articles of Confederation, and so these articles were written in hopes of swaying the voting public of New York towards a more sympathetic stance towards elevating the principles of a stronger Union.
(But hmmmmm… The ideals of Confederacy, pitted against the ideals of the Union. Why does that sound familiar? Ah, who knows…)
But is it not peculiar, when you stop and think about it, that the “Founding Fathers” decided to attempt this precarious approach to democratic government to begin with, in what would eventually be dubbed the “Great American Experiment”, whereby they started off by bequeathing the full privilege of “sovereignty” to each of the original 13 colonies (and I will try my best here to restrain from hypothesizing on the bizarre “coincidence” of them being 13 in number), yet each one a piece of a larger whole, a move which essentially created from the start the quasi-paradoxical scenario of determining which level of “sovereignty” truly held in the long run? The question of how state sovereignty could co-exist with a Federal sovereignty is a theme which fills many pages of the Federalist Papers, and so it is quite remarkable that a political debate which sprang forth in the first few years of the country’s existence has of course endured right up into our own time. It is essentially the quandary behind determining whether goal of the “experiment” was intended to result in the creation of a United States, or the United States…
Okay, I will cease with my lame topical prefacing here, and just get to my underlying point. As I see it, the fabricated political paradox of the State/Federal tension, serves (whether you want to ascribe it to sheer coincidence, or more calculated intention) as a pointedly applicable road map towards the eventual establishment of the same thing on a global scale, whereby the sovereignty of individual nations (“states”) are much less of a contrived and juvenile decision (as applied to the original 13 colonies), but the derivations of centuries upon centuries of combined historical, political, cultural and ancestral contexts. In short, the United States of America is as close a thing to a blueprint for establishing A Federalized (Centralized) Global Government as there ever has yet been.
So much could be touched upon as tangential explorations of this idea over the 200 plus years of history of the American empire, it’s hard to know where to go next. Simply examining the ramifications of these developments on the plane of economics alone could probably fill another ten posts, not to mention the arenas of things such as global militarization, cultural homogenization, technological revolutions, and so on. The ways that the United States of America could be demonstrated to have been steadily preparing and driving the rest of the world towards the eventuality of a true global empire are numerous and almost impossible to overstate. And for myself, the more this reality permeates my conscious reflection upon the nation of my birth, and the various political, economic and militaristic contexts of today, the more I am increasingly compelled to distance myself from the persistent narrative within American citizenry which longs for some nostalgic return to “Founding American Principles”, particularly the strain of this narrative commonly found amongst those who regard America as being built upon some set of allegedly “Christian Values”…
Where did Jesus, or His disciples, or the Early Church, ever agonize over things like the balance of powers between the governmental sovereignty of an individual “State” and it’s overarching Federal counterpart? Where do we find in the New Testament (or the Old…) deliberations on the definitions and protections of property, whether “realty” or “personalty”?
For the majority of my lifetime, I have been surrounded by a good many well-intentioned, patriotic, church-going folks, who have simplistically regarded things like the Constitution as though they had effectively been produced from the minds of more modernized prophets of the Almighty, primarily concerned with issues of individual rights and liberties as understood through a paradigm whereby all men are created by God, when in fact the more I look into it for myself, I find that such questions are themselves really only secondary to the core convictions tied to finance and industry, which the Founders seemed most primarily concerned with. I have come across a book written back in 1913 titled “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution”, by Charles Beard, which puts forth a number of incredibly fascinating proposals indeed. In many ways it does challenge to turn a number of commonly held assumptions about the true nature and purpose of the ratification of the Constitution on their heads, yet at this point in my life I suppose I have become quite accustomed to having my previously-held assumptions and paradigms turned on their heads, and so at this stage this sort of perspective tends to add more light and clarity to such considerations than it does to confuse them. I am still in the process of trying to read this work in it’s entirety, and so I expect I will most likely be speaking more on it’s possible implications in the future.
But where to end this… Bringing it back to the present, I suppose the parallel between the late 1700’s and the modern world which most stands out to me is this question of how/when a centralized, Federally-modeled global government goes from being one which simply exists on paper, or just in some superficially-institutionalized form, to being one that has (as the writers of the Federalist Papers described it) one that has sufficient “energy” to truly exercise governance. That is essentially the transition point at which the world lies right now. After all, the United Nations has already been in existence, to a degree, since the close of WWII (and saw a type of incarnation even prior to that, with the failed “League of Nations”, I suppose), yet everyone knows that despite it’s decades of councils and resolutions and everything else, the U.N. does not hold true sovereignty over the sovereignty of individual nations to the same degree that Washington and the Federal branches hold ultimate sovereignty over the fifty “states” in the Union. The P.O.T.U.S. and the Secretary of State, etc., are still considered to have far more true practical sway over the affairs of global politics than say, the Secretary-General of the U.N. But, I do sincerely believe that this is state of affairs that will eventually change. Moreover, I believe that the intention was always for such a change to occur. The transition will be brought about, (through whatever specific calamity or set of calamities), so that the “Phoenix” of the Global, Federal, Government, will rise from the ashes of it’s precursor. This is why it should come as absolutely no surprise that the symbol of the United States is that of the Phoenix, disguised with the exoteric form of an “eagle”.
The “Great Experiment”, the “United States” (which if you think about it, is merely another way of coining the term, “United Nations”) must “die”, so it can then be reborn on the scale and scope of the entire world, for “Federalism”, as it’s own internal nature dictates, can ultimately aspire to no lesser aim.
I’ll close this post by simply directing the reader to a most intriguing example of what I am talking about, which I found on the Democratic World Federalist’s website, in an article titled “Stop the New World Order”, the argument being put forth that the current New World Order run by Oligarchs and Banksters etc., needs to be replaced by a “Democratic World Order”, where “we, the people” are in charge instead of a small group of people unaccountable to the world.” This kind of sentiment no doubt sounds about as appealing to the global citizenry of today as it did to those in the 1700’s who were tired of the tyranny of ol’ King George, and I fully expect this same type of message to be that which takes a deeper hold on the hearts and minds of people in the coming years, and America breathes it’s final, dying breaths, and it’s long-awaited offspring, the Phoenix, prepares to rise from it’s ashes…