Before one can decide if world government is good or bad, it is necessary to define what world government is. If government is the institution that governs society, it seems self-evident that we already have world government. We don’t have democracy. And we don’t have a legislature. But plenty of governments throughout history haven’t been democratically accountable to the citizenry. And legislatures are also optional.

The WTO (World Trade Organization) has rules that get enforced through a judicial process. Effectively the rules supercede national law. The WTO is a theocratic oligarchy with a theology which holds that an economic system is the supreme being of the universe.

Ken Trainor in a recent column [World government may be our best friend, Viewpoints, Nov. 30] alluded to nationalistic citizens distrusting the idea of world government. It should seem ironic that the Republican Party has been able to expand its coalition to include these nationalists while strengthening the institutions that impose neo-liberal economics on sovereign nation-states. The WTO is only the most powerful of a family of institutions that includes the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

How can the Republicans build a solid alliance of world government-haters and world government proponents? Obviously the proponents of world government can’t call the theocratic oligarchy that governs through judicial processes a “world government.” But who cares about labels when you’re getting your way?

World government is here. But we don’t get to debate it as part of our democracy. What was the difference between John Kerry and George W. Bush on policy toward the WTO and other institutions used to impose neo-liberal economics? What was the difference between Bush and Gore? Clinton and Dole? Clinton and Bush? Bush and Dukakis?

One has to go outside the two-party system to candidates like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot to even hear discussions of international economic policy. The power brokers in both major parties are ideologically committed to neo-liberal economics. Their belief is so strong they don’t even consider the possibility other options might be better or even viable.

The international economic elites do realize that other options have significant popular support. Protectionism, socialism and Marxism all have bases of popular support. All these ideas would be represented in a popularly elected world legislature.

But why have a legislature? Legislatures make and change laws. If you have an infallible economic system, why would you let demagogues and populists tinker with the rules? Whether by conscious decision or not, international governance has moved in a profoundly undemocratic direction. More and more international economic decisions are being made by unelected elites that are “true believers” in neo-liberal economics. Their faith is so strong they can’t assimilate information that shows those policies aren’t working for regular folk. A rising tide lifts all boats if you ignore the boats for which the statement is untrue.

National politics remains democratic, but increasingly domestic politics is defined by social hot-button issues. Domestic politics has become a food-fight over abortion, gun control, flag burning, gay rights, evolution, whether liberals hate Christmas, etc.

The big economic decisions are being taken out of the hands of national governments. The international economic decisions are being made in a secrecy created by a tacit agreement between elites?#34;media, political, government and others?#34;not to cover the decisions.

Small and medium-sized countries lost power to make their own economic decisions first. But deficit spending by the federal government will weaken the ability of the United States to resist decisions imposed by the international elites. There’s method in Bush’s madness of deficit spending.

The Republican Party exists to consolidate wealth and power for the rich and powerful. Pat Buchanan’s pitchfork brigades may think they’ve got a chance of attaining power, but they’re being played for chumps. The best they can hope for is incremental progress on abortion. Economic policy belongs to the uber-class.

I wish the Democrats would present an alternative to our anti-democratic trajectory. However, the Democrats see Bill Clinton as the example for how to win by reaching suburban voters. Clinton’s lesson is to be pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control and pro-neo-liberal economics, preferably while projecting a “good ole boy” image. And candidates should be optimistic too.

Even if a Democrat tried to break free of the Clinton mold, the party is too timid. Any iconoclast on international economics would be attacked as a heretic. Howard Dean had it tough for opposing the Iraq War, but it would be nothing compared to a serious presidential candidate explaining the truth about the world government we have. The existing international economic system is an oligarchy devoted to imposing neo-liberal economic policy and completely insulated from democratic accountability.

It took World War I to get Woodrow Wilson to advocate for the League of Nations. It took World War II to get Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create the United Nations. I fear fixing the current mess in the world government will be preceded by the conflict between the West and the Islamic world getting enormously destructive.

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