I will never be able to understand why one level of organisation (state) is worse than one other (city). Some states, like mine Sweden, have less citizens than cities like Hong Kong or Los Angeles. Why is a hypothetical nationalistic Sweden a worse idea than a self-interested Hong Kong? Globalism in itself does not seem to make sense.

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OK, wow. I'll have to reread this many times, take notes,and otherwise use my brain more in additional readings. I agree with so much of it, but also have some big, fundamental objections. The first is the radical, overwhelming importance of energy, and access to energy, and all the other resources we need and use and rely on (all of which we also need lots of energy to utilize and benefit from). None of that energy and other resources are distributed equally, not even close, nor are they likely to be shared in an egalitarian manner, ever. I love cities, and I agree that local solutions are the best solutions, but most locales are not local to any of the resources societies, let alone civilization (in whatever form), needs to survive, let alone thrive and flourish as you suggest in your vision of the future, though (at least to my undereducated mind). I love it though. Please make it happen and invite me over. Happy new year from a happy subscriber.

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Hey Michael,

Would you be interested in outsourcing your voiceover to a professional? If so, let me know and we can discuss.


Ross Camsell

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GW: Michael, another excellent article from you! Informative, entertaining, and inspiring. I like your new futuristic orientation added to your skeptical orientation.

MS: A better descriptor than utopia for what we ought to strive for is protopia—a place where progress is steadfast and measured.

GW: This is a good idea, but some idea of utopia, the goal, may be needed against which progress is to be measured. I think that nearly every human person has some idea of a utopia. That’s a good thing. Problems arise when force and violence are used by some people in attempts to establish their utopias.

MS: The trend in unification has led ideologues on each extreme end of the political spectrum—from fascist dictators on the far right to One-World Government dreamers on the far left—to imagine the day when there would be a single overarching Leviathan in charge. But how likely is it really?

GW: I think it is quite likely over the long run that we will have a world government, perhaps in a thousand years. To refer to it as “a single overarching Leviathan” is pejorative of the idea.

MS: Cities, not nation-states or a One World Government, may be the future of humanity.

GW: Yes, “may be.” But this is not likely. I think we shall see both a One World Government and thousands of county governments. Already, there are too many conflicts and redundancies of city and county governments, totally unnecessary. We could and should dispense with state and national governments.

MS: Geopolitically, for example, having a massive army doesn’t give you as much power as it once did.

GW: This doesn’t matter. In a world government there would be a need for just one army – the army of the world government.

MS: The Vietnam War is an example, as is the current war of mighty Russia vs. little Ukraine, the latter holding strong after a year of armed conflict.

GW: In many ways Ukraine is not holding strong. It is the sacrificial lamb of the western nations to the god of Russia. The Russian invasion should have been terminated by military action of the UN, EU, and/or NATO after the first week. With a world government such an invasion would never be allowed.

MS: Among Fortune 500 corporations, CEOs had a 36 percent chance of keeping their jobs for five years in 1992, a 25 percent chance in 1998, and by 2005 the average CEO for all 500 companies held their position of power for a mere six years.

GW: This is just a situation of serial monogamy. While they are in these jobs the CEOs make huge amounts of money. This is a big problem, as lower level workers are paid poorly and customers are charged too much for goods and services.

MS: The political scientist Benjamin Barber, whose 2013 book If Mayors Ruled the World—appropriately subtitled Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities—argues that cities “are unburdened with the issues of borders and sovereignty which hobble the capacity of nation-states to work with one another.”

GW: Barber is simply mistaken, partly at least. Apparently Barber is unaware of the border problems between cities and counties. Along with a world government, we should have county governments. All the territory of the Earth has counties or can be divided into new counties.

MS: Mayors, not Presidents (or Premiers, Chief Executives, or Federal Chancellors) are best equipped to handle immediate and local problems.

GW: That is true, but mayors are not well equipped to handle world problems – global warming, pandemics, migrations, natural disasters, human rights, nuclear war, major crime, human trafficking, etc.

MS: Thus, Barber suggests, if we need a parliament of some sort (or a senate or congress or some other gathering of people who don’t know you and couldn’t care less about your immediate problems), it should be a Parliament of Mayors

GW: I disagree. Mayors would represent cities, but the rural areas would be left out. Also, mayors have too much to do in their local areas without having the responsibility to serve in a legislature. Barber has a bad idea here.

MS: Brand also points out that more than half the world’s population now lives in cities, and the percentage is growing rapidly.

GW: So we should just ignore the other half? Counties are the governmental units which best unite urban and nearby rural areas in a functional unit. Rural areas surrounding urban centers should be devoted largely to agriculture to support the nearby urban centers and to recreation for everyone.

MS: I am assuming that we are not going to genetically engineer out of our nature greed, avarice, competitiveness, aggression, and violence, because these characteristics are part and parcel of who we are as a species, and all have an evolutionary logic to them.

GW: I don’t know why you would make this assumption. Genetic engineering is just another tool which can be used for good or ill. I think ultimately it will be ethically used for improvement of our species. What would be wrong if every human had a little extra in the capacities of reason and compassion, achieved universally through genetic engineering? I think this would be a good thing.

MS: I envision not a monocultural civilization on Earth, but a multicultural one.

GW: Yes, I agree. But this goal is concordant with world and county governments only, eliminating state and national governments.

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