As we write, the economies of advanced countries are once again prostrated by another variant of Covid-19. It could have been avoided. If they had spread every vaccine they had around poorer countries, the virus would never have mutated into the omicron form. And we would have been well on the way to saying goodbye to the pandemic forever.
But why should Britain, for example, give up all its doses if it cannot be sure that others would not? For that would leave Britain at immediate disadvantage. Even if all these competing jurisdictions had got their acts together, it would have been far too late, as the virus was already mutating. Yet, clearly, no nation has benefitted from serving only its local interest.
All of the world’s other important problems, such as antibiotic resistance, climate change, inequality and misinformation require global solutions. it is true that the nation state has, up to now, been the best available model for organising groups of people. Yet History shows that nation states are subjective, and do better when they pool resources. Would the people of Mercia have done so well if they had not joined with Wessex and Northumbria to form England? Did not the 13 colonies of revolutionary America quickly pool their sovereignty into a single nation? Perhaps the best example is China, where the Q’in Dynasty managed to finally merge the warring states into the longest lasting and most successful nation in the world?
We at LSS are always suspicious of simple solutions. We agree with Edmund Burke that change must be considered very carefully indeed before it is considered. And we are aware of the colossal practical difficulties in reconciling the jealousies of the elites in each country, and the superstitions of their followers. But computers replaced adding machines, and even washing with soap was eventually taken up by most people, most of the time. It would be a shame if we did not start to think about what a World Government might entail, and the blessings which it could bring.
#covid-19 #pandemic #antibiotic resistance #climate change #inequality #world government
2 thoughts on “Is the Nation State fit for purpose any longer?”
‘They may say you’re a dreamer’….but hopefully not the only one?! A very good point or perspective on world affairs Keir!
martin it is very kind of you to take time to comment
i know the idea sounds fantastic; but so did abolition of slavery, votes for women and getting rid of gladiatorial games, in their day
which is why it needs to be discussed earnestly first