Six weeks into my global odyssey, I am at Heathrow Airport awaiting my flight back to the USA. Various HuffPos have reported on my journey.
Yes, I've had some memorable meals, met fascinating people and continued my tribute to Pearl. Certainly, this trip has reinforced that old bromide: you can best appreciate your life by experiencing how bad it can be. Poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, airline strikes and natural disasters...they all made me stronger and better.
But the one pervading thought was, wherever I went, how badly government was broken. From local municipalities to the U.S. Congress to the United Nations, all signs point toward a declination of our lifestyle because of their inability to govern. Of course, when you come down to it, the real problem, no doubt, is us, the masses.
Remember that Great Recession? Combined with the dual hammer of Global Warming and Peak Oil, the coming economic turmoil can only be worse, much worse. I have already lamented the "canary in the coalmine" position of my State of Hawaii.
That is the fatal flaw of our society: we just cannot make any necessary decisions until it is too late. The resultant agony from another global depression, attack of aliens from Mars or some truly deadly virus, appears to be necessary before united action can be galvanized.
This all led me to envision our future governing mode. The United States began as a ragtag bunch of colonies, and in only a little more than two centuries, became the most powerful, ever. Re-inventing democracy was brilliant. Of course, India probably dreamt up this concept perhaps 10,000 years ago, remaining as the largest practicing nation today, and Greece refined the form, although it is pathetically not the Athens of the ancient past.
The USA will have no serious competition for many generations, China is getting old before it will get rich and Russia is just plain declining, especially in population. Viet Nam will have more people in not many more years. Joel Kotkin, in his "The Next Hundred Million," provides some reinforcement of this superiority. Thus, the presence of only one superpower can provide some stability as the world attempts to save itself.
The European Union (EU) formed in 1993 with the Maastricht Treaty, seeing how well our united concept succeeded. Mind you, they are today a mess, but, still only a teenager, and is a work in progress. We have almost exactly the same Gross Domestic product and they have 500 million people to our 308 million.
There are some definite strengths, for the Corruption Perception Index lists 7 of the top 11 countries from Europe (U.S. is #19), and, again, 7 of the 10 best world cities in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey are from Europe (Honolulu is America's best at #29).
While some have hinted of this coalition fracturing, for only 16 of the 27 members use the Euro, with resistance growing, chances are that several nations will still be added and even the United Kingdom will eventually join in full. Give them another century.
The next consolidation will be an Asian Alliance (AA), every important country touching the West Pacific, plus India. They will have a population advantage more than five times that of the EU. In fact, Indonesia has more Muslims (200 million) than any other country in the world and more than the core of the Middle East, and China's economy has been predicted to surpass that of the U.S. as early as 2020, or by 2035. Sure, China could instead still go the way of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, over time, one Asia will prevail, for economic reasons.
Russia is a particular wild card in this crystallization process, for they belong both in the EU and AA. They could well become that key link to meld the two into one someday.
Then, why not a true United States of America, incorporating Central and South America? The Middle East? In a decade or two they will begin to run out of oil and water. While the G8 nations mostly dabble on economics, they have at least considered poverty in Africa and climate change, but they will need to get very serious soon about this ominous Islamic clash of civilizations. It should be remembered, of course, that there are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in 150 countries.
The trend, though, is clear. First a G3, then, G1, a universal government. This already is happening with one global economy. We are inextricably linked on one Planet Earth and our common environment. World peace will only come when there is one global government.
Let's for the sake of discussion say that someday the world has one government. Won't this be like the United Nations, but worse? Well, linear thinking would come to that conclusion. Let us surprise ourselves and be smarter this next time. Let us design a system that works.
Yet, it remains unclear what will trigger this ultimate consolidation. Certainly, the United Nations (UN) will not morph into this leading role. As the EU has 27 members, should the U.S. then have 50, not one vote? If you've ever had to work with this organization, you can only agree with me that the UN has perfected paralysis by analysis. Thus, the UN cannot be that unifying force.
So what is the simple solution on how, exactly, to attain one world government and Peace on Earth? I really don't know. Perhaps someone out there has a clue.
In any case, the whole point of seeking total cooperation through, maybe, one government, is to end all major wars forever. A glimmer of hope is a pathway I suggested as a strategy for now President Barack Obama in my very first Huffington Post article, when he was still competing for the Democratic nomination nearly two years ago. Click on that posting and let me know if you have a better idea.