Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Can world governments ever succeed?

         The current stand-off between the US and North Korea provides yet another example of man’s failure to achieve true peace and security. It also demonstrates the sheer powerlessness of any human government to come to any agreement over anything whatsoever.
             It’s the same old story. One that has reverberated through every generation – World domination. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Mussolini – you’d need more than ten fingers and toes to name them all. And today, no doubt there are several would-be dictators waiting in the wings.
       But where did it all start, this determination by certain individuals to rule over everybody else? And while we're about it, why do we need human governments at all? A case in point: Thanks to a hung parliament a few years ago, Belgium had no government for several months, yet nobody seemed to notice. (In fact, while the politicians were trying to sort things out, the economy actually improved!)
       Belgium apart, has there ever been a period when humans could live freely, independently, tilling their own patch of paradise and feeding their families with no interference from anyone else? After all, wasn’t that the original plan when Adam was a lad?
       The oldest, most widespread form of human government is monarchy, (the Greek word mon’os meaning ‘alone,’ and ar-khe’ meaning ‘rule’) whereby a single individual is imbued with supreme authority as permanent head of state. If this is absolute, he or she becomes a majority of one whose word is law. As a governmental system, monarchies have been favourable viewed as a unifying force. One eminent teacher of medieval history, John H Mundy, explains,    “Because it transcended particular parties, the institution of monarchy was suited for large areas with diverse and conflicting regional interests.”* In those days, kings invariably conquered such areas by military means – so much so that, as another historian reflects, war was “commonly regarded as the first criterion of successful kingship.”
       This being the case, military genius Alexander the Great was an ideal candidate and the first of the Hellenistic kings to be viewed as a god, setting a precedent for the deification of kings and queens throughout the ages, and such perceived divinity persists to this day in one form or another. Conceited yes - yet, ironically, the very fact so many sovereigns have insisted on being viewed as gods, particularly during the Roman Empire, is a tacit admission that they really don’t have the RIGHT to rule their fellow humans.
       They certainly don't have the ability. The world has now seen every conceivable type of government – capitalism, communism, republicanism, democracy, theocracy and straightforward tyranny – none of which has succeeded in providing the peace, security and justice the human family craves. One notable exception was Solomon’s reign, which kept Israel peaceful and prosperous until the king’s latter years when he succumbed to some of the pagan practices of his 1,000 wives!
       Sadly, throughout history it’s been the strong and the greedy who have commandeered the land; annexing pastures, woods and rivers, and forced ‘common’ folk, or serfs, to look to man-made governments for their means of life as well as paying taxes for the privilege.
       Will it always be this way? Only time will tell.


*“The High Middle Ages 1150-1309” by John H Mundy