It’s been said that only a logical and fearless mind has the courage to follow the truth to wherever it may lead. Indeed, such courageous thinking has led many of us to embrace a rather uncomfortable truth: that urgent global problems will never be solved unless our planet’s governance gets a radical institutional overhaul.
And now, this very logic—the deep thinking that makes us advocates of democratic world government—seems to have moved the likes of Pope Francis. In his much heralded June 17 Encyclical, “Praise Be,” Francis declares that a “true world political authority” is needed to handle climate change and other urgent environmental threats. Here are some pertinent passages:
“Recent World Summits on the environment have not lived up to expectations because, due to lack of political will, they were unable to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment . . . there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. . . [Our interdependence] obliges us to think of one world with a common plan.”
At a minimum, these statements lend additional moral authority to our call for a world federal government. One right-wing commentary on the Encyclical that appeared on Fox News put it this way: “If he means moral authority, then he’s entitled to that. But if he means coercive authority, then I don’t know what he’s talking about. Is he talking about the UN? Is he talking about some super government? Now he’s really, really off the beaten path.”
And indeed, like us, Francis has departed from the beaten path; he, like us, embraces the inconvenient logic that points to the need for a true global authority. And if he continues to follow the logic and the moral import of this idea even further down this rocky path, we are confident that he would also courageously embrace that which can make such a planetary authority fair and functional: for it must be constitutional, democratic, federal, and embrace a “common plan” that truly represents the inherent sovereignty of the world’s people.