Stu with a Cambridge, Massachusetts URL asks if we will ever have a “one world government” and what it would take.
There would be no real problem with one world government if everyone spoke the same language, and had essentially the same customs.
For example, the United States and the Dominion of Canada share a common language, and high percentage of Canadians share American culture. While “there is many a slip twixt cup and lip,” it is likely that some extermal event will cause some sort of confederation; from a council of advisors for the Canadian Parliament and American Congress to an outright addition of the Canadian Provinces to the list of American States.
Conditions may impel other neighbors to join in a common government, as Helvetica, Switzerland, did. There a number of people with dissimilar languages and customs have lived in amity for centuries. Although conversation sometimes gets excited during Schutzenfest.
Larger confederations are theoretically possible, but it would take common language and customs to pull it off.
If you could realize Zamenhof’s dream of a common langage for all of humanity, along with a common set of laws, and enforce adherence to a set of societal norms – as public pressure forced men approaching a pregnant woman to dismount and lead his horse past the lady, you would have a solid foundation for a One World society without borders, passports, or much of anything else.
The risk in attempting to create such a society is that it will grow in an unexpected direction, responding to subtle hints in both language and customs, to be something very different from the desired outcome, and ungovernable. At least by the Napoleons who feel they should control that society.
Perhaps fortunately, since the vast diversity in human societies gives a viability in adversity that is hard to match, we are not likely to see that “one language, one world” nightmare realized.
Why not? Can you imagine the difficulty of teaching almost three million Indians and Chinese a common language such as Polish? There are 6,700,000,000 humans on this planet, and perhaps 40,000,000 of us are fluent in Polish. Teaching the other 6,6630,000,000 to speak Polish well enough to order dinner would take more Polish teachers than htere are Polish speakers.
An artificial language might be invented languages, such as Ludwik Zamenhof’s Russian derived Esperanto, would do no better. Those languages usually forget the words of that express emotions such as love, respect, affection, and so on, leaving rootless words that conjur up images of nothing. The result is a lack of regard for human life that is more than abhorrent, it is barbaric.
Given that, I would rather try to revive dead dying languages, so this planet would be even close rto Babel, rather than develop an artificial language that crates monsters.
And of course, adding more languages is likely to harden borders; which are intended to keep strangers out rather than invite strange customs with unpredictable results in.
Because, to mangle two latin aphorisms, “Strong borders make good neighbors,” and “If you would have peace, prepare for war.”