The Character of a Statesman

This is the title page of an early pirated edi...

This is the title page of an early pirated edition of Rousseau's Social Contract, probably printed in Germany. See R.A. Leigh, Unsolved Problems in the Bibliography of J.-J. Rousseau, Cambridge, 1990, plate 22. This image was incorrectly posted as the genuine first edition and I have replaced that image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi all,

If it weren’t for how I plan to juxtapose this article with current events then I’d have to categorize this as a vanity post. However, this topic has direct relevance to global rule of law and that is why I am writing it.

Theories and debates about law and economics are quite interesting. But at the end of the day the future of humanity is going to depend on the implementation of a durable and just social contract. This ineluctable fact is what motivates my interest in global rule of law. And that implementation, in terms of General Federalism, requires ratification of a Constitution on a global scale. To keep the topic manageable, I’ll speak for now only of the manifest characteristics needed of a Constitution that pretends to politically unite the entire globe.

The best way to explain this is to start by asking what is “so special” about a global federation as opposed to a national one? As a first-order approximation we can break that down into the following parts:

1.) The number of languages spoken within the common jurisdiction is significantly higher.

2.) The cultural artifacts, generally, are considerably more diverse.

3.) The ideologies encountered will reflect greater extremes across the spectrum and appear globally with much greater diversity.

4.) The religions encountered will reflect greater extremes across the spectrum and appear globally with much greater diversity.

5.) Representation of a constituency will have to accomodate a numerically large margin of error in the voting process, something overlooked quite often when speaking of global “elections”.

6.) As an elementary risk analysis, we can say that if the (power) reward is greater than previously seen in national governments, the price paid to usurp it will be greater as well. This requires a considerably more resilient contract in terms of controlling opportunities for usurpation.

7.) It must be durable

While 1 and 2 can be altered or adjusted with a clever and enormous effort, items 3 and 4 do not admit of a solution so simple. From my work in deconversion I’ve come to learn that 3 and 4 are predicated on core beliefs that are not readibly amenable to manipulation. Any Constitution for global rule of law will necessarily have to address, at least, these core problems unique to the global scene; that is, the general condition as opposed to the special. The novelty and ingenuity (hopefully)  of the Constitution for a General Federation is found in the mechanisms it defines to address these issues and more. That has been accomplished (hopefully) and can be read here. Please note the following which is discernible on the first reading:

i.) Article 7 defines an extremely broad set of human rights with a depth and breadth never seen before, necessarily emplaced to accomodate a wide spectrum of cultures. The General Federation treads very lightly in national borders and clearly delineates what battles are worth fighting and which ones are not.

ii.) Elections are held for a Senate, but all others are fixed in a deterministic fashion that cannot be rendered ambiguous by margins of error.

iii.) The meachanisms for controlling usurpation are not just good but deterministic and highly predictable as durable.

iv.) Economics is explicitly included as part of the social contract, powers of delegation and responsibility are considerably more defined than in any national example and lessons learned from the federal system in the United States are addressed explicitly. It is considerably more durable than the system in the United States.

There is much more that I’ve addressed in other posts but my point is that it didn’t take long before I came to realize that these precepts also applied to the statespersons involved in the ratification process; and any person generally supporting the cause.  So, now I’ll flip the coin and speak of the core characteristics needed of people of this ilk. I speak of this because of the deplorable state of multilateral statesmanship seen in our world today; particularly when projected into the purview here ejoined. And I quickly realized that the current mindset regarding this is absolutely disastrous for global rule of law. To be successful, the statesperson involved in this grandest of all endeavors will have to be observant, at least, of these first 4 problems, setting them apart with considerable distance from the typical national statesperson.

And concomittantly I also realized that I was simply describing the ideal statesperson. Focusing on 2, 3 and 4 I note that:

1.) The statesperson is remarkably cosmopolitan; and is not bound to any country by nationalism. This is rare as almost everyone has some nationalistic tendency. Their own birth country must be viewed as a political entity within a larger, global context. This is the only way the statesperson could be culturally well-received in any given country.

2.) The statesperson is so neutral in terms of ideology that they are essentially apolitical, focusing their entire effort on law and economics as pure subjects and being devoid of any interest in Machiavellian design. This is the only way the statesperson could be ideologically well-received in any given country.

3.) The statesperson is an atheist (no, I am not implying that I am a statesman – hardly) who genuinely appreciates the virtues of religions and has no reservation about including religious ideas into the public square. They could not be a “new atheist”, “neo-atheist” or “angry atheist” but would rather need to be more the opposite of those things. As an atheist open to religious thinking and assuming we are not talking about extremists (who are a minority), this is the only way the statesperson could be religiously well-received in any given country.

Not surprisingly these are the same characteristics taught to Christian missionaries. Being well-educated in law and economics (and history) goes without saying.

I am deeply concerned about the current state of affairs vis-a-vis the absence of these characteristics in every statesperson extant I’ve known about so far. There is much bluster about global rule of law by religious zealots (for or against religion), ideologically intense automatons, extreme nationalists and with virtually no real experience living in a multitude of countries.

With Anne-Marie Slaughter’s vision of a New World Order combined with this I am very worried about where our world is going today. But hope is there and it is up to us, all of us, to speak up and substitute sanity for yet more tyranny.

– kk


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