The Cosmopolitan Utopia

Hopes for a world government are justified primarily by a desire for universal peace. In this respect, Julien Benda, somewhat of a pioneer in his own way, expresses clearly some of the globalist aspirations of the inter-war period.  In La Trahison des clercs, he foresees, with typical prophetic zeal, that all nations will merge into one.

“The desire to claim to be distinct will be transferred from the nation to the species. And, indeed, this movement already exists. It exists over and above classes and nations, the human race’s desire to transform itself into the master of things.  We can expect this tendency to grow stronger, leading to the disappearance of wars. It is in this way that we will achieve universal fraternity. United as one giant army and brought together in one immense factory, the human race will achieve great things … a glorious control of its environment and a genuinely joyous conscience of its greatness.” (1)

So the pacifist movement supported the noble cause of a unified world. Julien Benda, after the war, became a supporter of the Communist Party. But his generous ideals didn’t stop him from justifying the crushing of the Hungarian Uprising and the trials which followed.

World famous scientist Albert Einstein was one of the first famous figures to publically call for the establishment of a world government. After the war, in November 1945, he published an article in Atlantic Monthly :

“Given that only the US and Britain currently possess the secret of the atomic bomb, these countries should invite the Soviet Union to prepare and present the first plan for the establishment of a world government…Once the proposed constitution has been adopted by the three major powers, the smaller nations would be invited to join this world government…A world government, as I see it, should have the authority to judge all military matters. In addition to this, I would accord it just one power: the right to intervene in the internal affairs of a nation, in the case where a minority persecutes the majority, which could create instability and possibly lead to a war.” (2)

Einstein then has the nerve to claim that:

“While it is true that a minority governs in the Soviet Union, I do not think that the internal situation of the country poses a threat to world peace.” (3)

In an article published in January 1946 by Survey Graphic, he reiterates: “The human race’s desire for peace can only be achieved by the creation of a world government” (4)

The sociologist Edgar Morin also wishes to establish a world government. He denies, however, wanting to promote paternalism or any form of racism towards the populations in the southern hemisphere. Even though, according to him, it is in fact the West which should be responsible for this great project. The West has the technology and power to impose this vision on the rest of humanity. Happiness on planet earth will depend on southern nations accepting universal democracy, whether they like it or not, and such a plan doubtless implies the “right to intervene”.

 “The human organisation to which we aspire cannot be based on the model of white Western male … It should, on the contrary, stimulate multi-ethnic and multi-cultural forces.” (4)

So it is not a question of promoting any form of domination by the white male. The idea is simply to use Western military power and technology to demolish authoritarian regimes in order to safeguard the triumph of democracy in the world. The West will be a sort of laboratory for the planetary multicultural experiment and, at the same time, will act as the guardian of the New World Order.

“We cannot hide from the significant obstacles to the creation of a world society. The spread of globalisation has awoken nationalist resistance movements … and the elimination of these would require ruthless domination” (5)

In his Dictionary of the 21st Century, Jacques Attali also endorses the right to intervene in the affairs of other nation states: “In a globalised world, everybody will have an interest in ensuring that their neighbour does not descend into barbarism. This will mark the beginning of a world democracy.” According to Attali, the New World Order should have the right, where necessary, to exercise “ruthless domination”, as suggested somewhat reluctantly by Edgar Morin.

“The prevention of war and conflicts will mean that a global authority draws an inventory of all world threats, warns the financial institutions, oversees negotiations between countries, verifies the implementation of agreements and imposes sanctions for violations. There will be plans for an organisation for world peace accompanied by the first talks for the establishment of a world government.” (6)

The issue will not be the right to intervene but the “duty to intervene”. The process of globalisation will then be completed:

“Once European authorities have been put in place, there may well be an urgent need for world government” (7)


(1) Julien Benda, La Trahison des clercs, Grasset, 1927, 1975, p. 295.

(2) Albert Einstein, Le Pouvoir nu, Propos sur la guerre et la paix, Hermann, 1991.

(3) ibid.

(4) Edgar Morin, La Méthode 6, Ethique, Seuil 2004. Chapitre : éthique planétaire.

(5) ibid.

(6) Jacques Attali, Dictionnaire du XXIème siècle, Fayard 1998.


Translated from French

Source: Hervé Ryssen, Les espérances planétariennes, pp55-58.

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