Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.
And yet, the author seems nonetheless to favor the idea, both throughout the article and in his closing:
The world’s most pressing political problems may indeed be international in nature, but the average citizen’s political identity remains stubbornly local. Until somebody cracks this problem, that plan for world government may have to stay locked away in a safe at the UN.
Pesky, provincial voters! Where is their vision? Clearly there’s a need for someone to “crack this problem”. The will of the unwashed masses can’t possibly be allowed to stand in the way of global progress.
The most frightening thing about the idea of a single world government is precisely what gives it such appeal to those who would see themselves in positions of power within it: There is no escape (short of a rocket ride to an as-yet-nonexistent off-Earth colony, and who knows even then what the governing arrangement with the mother planet will be?). Don’t like the regulatory climate, taxation scheme, or laws abridging free speech or free exercise of religion where you are? Tough. That’s the way it will be, everywhere.