Covid-19 seeks to expedite one global government

The writer says that Covid-19 seeks to expedite one global government.
The writer says that Covid-19 seeks to expedite one global government.
Image: Jozef Polc/123rf.com

I know there are a great many people experiencing intense discomfort right now during this Covid-19 crisis. I, though, am in the fortunate position to say that I am not one of them. I am well.

My family and loved ones are all well and I have enough bully beef and two-minute noodles to last me. I have been very fortunate be able to continue working. I was lucky to be able to quickly relocate my little household to the flatlet at my suburban office.

It's actually very comfortable and it gives me the ability to be at "mission control" while my exceptional team have almost seamlessly worked from their rapidly established home offices via, VPN, e-mail, WhatsApp (and of course our new friend, Zoom).

I am finding much more time for reading, meditating and reflecting. In fact, I was reflecting just this morning (over a luxuriously drawn-out, yet mediocre, cup of coffee) how true it is that in times of crisis we come to see what is of value.

To me it is clear as day that there is great value in remaining connected, in having loved ones to care for and to be cared for by and in having a curious mind. But there is also a whole list of things I can now see have no value and that I've been doing simply out of the force of habit.

In this list I include commuting, mindless meetings, daily shopping and even my morning fix at Seattle Coffee shop! But in addition to the personal stuff, my mind begins to wonder what it is we have been doing habitually on a political scale, that we can now begin to see makes no sense at all.

There can be no doubt that the Covid-19 crisis is making it abundantly obvious that the world's political systems are not designed to be able to address any of the significant threats that face our species. As we speak, governments around the world are attempting to combat a global pandemic with political tools evolved to deal with threats at a state level.

Over the past 200,000 years or so, our species has formed itself into groups of varying size to deal with the prevailing threat of the time.

In that way genes were passed down that gave us the ability and inclination to function in groups, thus warding off the ever-present threat of starvation or attack.

Historians tell us that larger and larger competing political systems arose over the centuries to defend themselves against continually growing threats. This pattern has continued to the point where today our species is governed by the uncoordinated and competing actions of 195 different countries.

Today, I struggle to find a single problem of any significance that our species is facing that is not global in scale. Climate change, nuclear proliferation, human trafficking, poverty, population, migration, water scarcity and habitat destruction are all global problems.

The threats we face as a species require immediate action to evolve to the next logical step in political organisation. This is of course the incredibly complicated step of forming a new and overarching global government.

This is where our energy should be focused: what this kind of government should look like and what its powers should be. The discussion must start now, ahead of the next crisis, that we know will come and whose shape we know we are notoriously bad at predicting.

We know the conspiracy theorists, flat earthers and anti-vaxxer types, will have a lot to say about a "return to colonialism" and the illuminati lizard people taking over. We will need to rationally and calmly weather this storm. Each of us will need to take to the streets (or to Twitter) and make our voices heard in what will surely be a brutal fight toward One World, with One Government. We may, with time, come to see this pinnacle of all achievements as the lasting legacy of this terrible virus.

- Tim is an award-winning Port Elizabeth Architect in private practice

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