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  Insights into the supranational power

Benas Brunalas
2012 06 11

Though the concept of global supranational power remains a vague and controversial concept, it is worth discussing, moreover that “supranational power” in Lithuania’s academic and political space and possibilities of its realization have not yet been widely discussed.

Some global scientists are inclined to speak about the existence of supranational power as an inevitable phenomenon. There are scientists who say that single political government could be a reality by the year 3500, the others believe that this would happen by 2300. The main variable of the above forecasts is the reducing number of states during the recent 3-4 thousand years.

The supreme interest of a state and society is national security; therefore it is difficult or even impossible to solve global problems given that national security of one state becomes a national threat for another state. For instance, none of the states would agree to destroy nuclear weapons; yet there are doubts concerning the “honesty” of other states.  A similar logic could be applied with regard to climate warming, terrorism, pollution of the environment, epidemic etc. The question arises: isn’t the state becoming the reason of present and future threats?

According to the supporters of social contract theory, the states have been established as organizations capable of using a legitimate compulsory mechanism; therefore their existence is lesser evil than unpredictable existence in anarchy. But did this eliminate anarchy? Of course, did not. There was no single social contract. There were many contracts embedding the sovereignties confirming the supreme power.  Though natural - anarchy – status among the peoples was surmounted, it still exists at transnational level.  Transnational anarchy which remained in the shrinking world due to globalization also affects the citizens. One of the possible ways out is a contract of global society. One and single sovereignty for everybody.

According to realists, the state is a wide society with the vast majority of population. The idea of one government is not acceptable for global nations, since loyalty to own state is an indefeasible obstacle for the establishment of the above power. According to H.Morgenthau, the founding father of the realist school, an individual acting on behalf of the humankind becomes a traitor to his own state. The factor of loyalty to own nation is the main element of a state as an “indispensable organization”, and the main task of the state is not security of its citizens but the retention of the state institution. The state is idolized and becomes the goal by itself, i.e. a derivation having its own interests.

Thus, state factors impose multiple dangers on an individual not only when separate states seek to ensure their security, but also when state leaders decide to sacrifice somebody’s interests for the sake of the state. Or when decisions of political forces fighting for national welfare impose threat to its citizens.

The example of Syriademonstrates that interests of the citizens are sacrificed to the ambition of Bashar al Assad to defend the idea of own state; it also shows the inability of an international system to solve similar problems. Interests of Chinaand Russiadirected against the West prevent from treating the realia from the position of the Syrian population. The ambition of the West to retain status quo is more important than the tragic situation in Syria. We can also speak about the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, conflicts between Israeland Arab world and many other cases.

Conflicts and the threats “from strangers” are programmed in the state’s nature. This not only makes conflicts inescapable, but also contradicts the democratic values or implementation of the mutually beneficial decisions. For instance, the decision of the state which is not integrated into the international system to increase the interest rates and stop inflation might impose negative economic changes in the world. Construction of nuclear power plants at international borders without considering the needs of citizens of the neighboring countries is a violation of human rights.  Non-coordinated actions of states in the globally connected world create the situation where nobody is responsible for management of economic, social or political trends. As a result decisions of one group affect the life of other societies.

Could the system with the emerging deficiencies be corrected? How? Supranational power could be one of the ways out. According to H. Morgenthau, civilization has never needed the global power more than it needs now, yet we might not agree with his remark that moral, social and political circumstances have never been as unfavorable for the establishment of a global state as now.

Irrespective of the current problems, the EU could be treated as a rehearsal for realization of global power. State integration means establishment of centers based on supranationality and capable of connecting different communities. Whereas integration could be referred to as a gradual destruction of a national state and establishment of a new system.

Regional integration is the essence of what the EU is about, and a measure for solving any problems. Denationalization of certain sectors determines the need for denationalizationof other sectors, whereas the achieved level of integration in one sphere necessitates higher integration of this sphere. A perfect example is resolution of Euro zone problems by establishing a fiscal union.

It is not so important to define the power which will coordinate future global policies.  The most important thing is not to stop integration processes capable of changing the tragic arrangement of the world. Certainly, such reorganization have painful consequences. Yet, if transformations are positive, they could help avoid the threats. Thus, the first step in “killing” the state is to speak about that and develop a globally “networked” society disconnected from the national sovereignty and national territory.

Who knows? Politically uniform world might be a threat of the 21st century.

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