I dream of a world in which there's only one Earth government. Lots of sci-fi works present this scenario.

If I have to make it happen (remove all countries and setup one Earth government), what would be the ways to do that?

Few things which anyone can think:

  • Politics. Some kind of political network which assumed control in all major countries.

  • Military. Let's say a country has developed the ultimate weapon like Antimatter Death Ray (fired from satellites) which can sweep entire countries in seconds and can target nuclear weapons. After demonstration of the weapon on one country, the government can ask for surrender from other countries.

Few things in my mind (which can be non-realistic):

  • Let's say, I launched perfect Self-driving Vehicles (or, acquired Google to do that). After massive advertisement, I managed to replace every traditional vehicle in the world. Now, there are billions of Self-driving Vehicles in the world. Despite all checks by governments, I managed to put backdoor in the vehicles. Now, I have power to control all commercial routes or I can simply turn the world into hell with billions of weapons at my fingertips. Then, I asked for surrender from all countries for better cause.

  • Let's say, I invented psychic field (and permeated the whole Earth) which can hack human's brain. I don't think, I need to say more. :)

I want this to be a mainly political move with enough military backing to enforce it. This must be achieved somehow using modern borders and ethnicity differences via a political power with a sufficient military backing to enforce it. Possibly from the UN? What are your ideas to achieve this?


closed as off-topic by Pavel Janicek, guildsbounty, bowlturner, James, Monica Cellio Mar 25 '15 at 13:53

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    $\begingroup$ The anime series Robotech used the threat of an alien invasion to accomplish this during the midst of a global war. (At least in the version that aired in the US when I was a kid) $\endgroup$ – Tim Mar 25 '15 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ Please try to avoid idea-generation questions. The goal for any of the stack exchange sites is to ask questions that can have a definitive 'best' answer. See meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/522 $\endgroup$ – guildsbounty Mar 25 '15 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ Highly related: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/96/28 $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Mar 25 '15 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ You write essays on the 'net as a teenager, and have your genius sister write essays to oppose you. (ok, THAT is one part of Ender's Game that... did not quite stand the test of reality in the world of facebook and Internet trolling) $\endgroup$ – user4239 Mar 25 '15 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DVK What do you mean? $\endgroup$ – user931 Mar 25 '15 at 15:52

A Common Enemy

As long as we've known humans to live, they are fractured insomuch as the world that they're aware of (save for select, short-term cases). It's human nature to divide into separate groups - There's never been a reasonably long known time in history where a 'nation' has believed itself to be the only one in existence.

"We unite against threat, and divide against prosperity." is something I thought was a quote, but I can't find any sources so maybe I just made it up.

Hostile aliens, off-world human colonies, maybe a natural disaster, even just a totally made up threat. Earth would undoubtedly form some kind of Collective Defense, similar to NATO, which would assume great authority over all signatories to the idea - After all, what's more important, freedom of countries or survival of the human goshdarn race?!

A seemingly dire situation would encourage a lot of countries to join this collective, and may drive the main members to coerce or even force other countries to contribute in some meaningful way.

It's a similar tactic to how countries often play up the idea of terrorism being super dangerous, or other countries being a threat, to keep their country unified. This isn't paranoia, Bush's approval practically skyrocketed after the events of 9/11, going from 52% to 89% in under a week, in October 2001. When people think enemies are out to get them, they'll befriend anyone who'll help fight said enemies.

So that covers during the threat (or lack thereof), what happens afterward? Well, there's one global power controlling 99% of the world's military, it's a very simple step to then say "We must stay united in order to defend ourself against any potential obstacles. And anyone who disagrees gets an army in their land.". Administrative governance follows, and while people would inevitably keep some degree of regional identity, for all intents and purposes, we'd have achieved "one Earth government".

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe, but. When Europeans reached the New World, the Indians didn't all unite together to face the common enemy. They often tried to get the Europeans to side with them against an existing enemy. Which, by the way, isn't particularly irrational. If you have an enemy who has been killing and enslaving your people for decades or centuries, and then a new power suddenly appears, why would you assume that you should unite with a bitter enemy against a total stranger? At a minimum, you'd have to be convinced that the stranger is more dangerous than the old enemy. Etc. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ When the Allies faced the Axis in WWII, neither side unified its governments despite common enemies a-plenty. No reason to think that unification of purpose has to be coupled with a new overgovernment. $\endgroup$ – Oldcat Mar 30 '15 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't a perfect answer but I don't know that there could even be one for this question. However, a common enemy which threatens our basic needs sure would unite people and quick. Disease, aliens, zombies, you name it. The irony is that humans are inevitably and perpetually their own enemy for the foreseeable future. $\endgroup$ – Jacksonkr Sep 8 '16 at 14:56

Extremely competent.

Honest competition, where one party has a clear advantage of getting really good ideas, establishing very efficient administration, deploying the solutions quickly and easily, and open to extend their aid to these in need by providing relevant guidance.

Counterpart parties start in all countries of the world, following the pattern of the exemplary party of the original country and basing their actions on guidance from the centralized "genius" government in ruling their respective countries. In several years most democratic countries simply elect their government from these parties, essentially creating leaves of a centralized tree of governance. Once most of the world is in hands of that one government, they aid the remaining countries to overthrow their dictatorships, bring in charity and high standards of life to areas they control, and gradually expand rulership over the rest of the world - unthreatened, because simply nobody can offer anything better and people want them to remain in power.

...now, how would they achieve such competence? That's a subject for some virtual unobtainium of social sciences.

  • $\begingroup$ Of course this assumes that you can create this super-competent government, that everyone in the world (or at least a very large number of people) recognize that it is super-competent, and that you can maintain this level of competence over time. And maybe biggest of all, that people view competence as the most important attribute of a government. I certainly wouldn't. If there are two candidates in an election, and A is highly skilled, experienced, etc while B is of mediocre ability, but A advocates policies I totally disagree with while B advocates policies I like, the last thing I ... $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ ... want is someone who is very skilled at implementing policies that I oppose. Maybe some policies could be said to be part of "competent", like policies that result in economic growth. But much of what people argue about in politics is not "who is better able to accomplish X", but rather, "what is it we are trying to accomplish". Do we want equal rights for all? Or do we want to destroy that group that we hate? Or less dramatically, is a policy that causes great economic growth but also increases pollution good or bad? Etc. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Jay: First, there's a whole lot that almost everyone wants, but is still not being done. Then, considering democratic basis, the government doesn't need to satisfy all, just 51% of the electorate. Also, people tend to grow restless if they have nothing to hate. So the dissenting minorities would be very useful as a 'vent'. Also, Divide and Conquer. The fact one government polices all of Earth doesn't mean they introduce the same policies everywhere. I can easily imagine countries with vastly different laws and liberties. You don't like the law? Move where it's more to your liking! $\endgroup$ – SF. Mar 25 '15 at 21:13

Loads of money = Buy the votes. Buy the support. Everyone has price tag, even the most fearsome dictators.

If people are generally unhappy about something, make sure you invest even more money in making them happy. Happy people will be not willing or wanting to change things.

Of course, I am handwaving the question "where did you get 700 trillion US dollars," but looking away will cost you something...

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    $\begingroup$ The worse question is what happens to the world economy and value of the dollar if you dump 700 trillion dollars into pockets of random voters. $\endgroup$ – SF. Mar 25 '15 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, true. It jumped into my mind too, but if you do it quickly, you will estabilish yourselves as world leader. And you will own all the bonds and debt certificates. So it can shake the economy, but you will remain at least as owner of the world $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Mar 25 '15 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ True. The handwave in "where did you get all the money" is that it has to be already existing money - or you have to actually have the bonds already. I know it is huge handwave but even the question operates with huge permises $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Mar 25 '15 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think it follows that "even the most fearsome dictators have a price tag". Most dictators have enough income to live quite comfortably. It's not at all clear that they would give up power to get a marginal increase in luxury. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:42

Set up a major world crisis which threatens all of humanity, and can only be solved by all countries working together under one rule, combining efforts and resources in the most efficient way possible.

It doesn't have to be an ongoing crisis during your story, maybe they solved the problem years/decades/centuries ago, but the central rule stayed the same once it was already established because it was working well.

Eg Aliens, extreme climate change, a severe agricultural pest.

  • $\begingroup$ Dammit, just saw someone already posted the same thought. I shouldn't have paused to put on a cup of tea! $\endgroup$ – Kristy Mar 25 '15 at 9:52

There is an interesting book called The Age Of Consent where George Monbiot suggests a path towards achieving this. His basic idea was to elect a world government, one where everyone on the planet gets a vote. They would initially have no power, but they have absolute legitimacy, which gives them a certain amount of sway with other organisation. He put this hand in hand with the replacing of the IMF and World Bank ( which are designed to channel money from other countries to the US ) with a more equitable global clearing house and suggests that the agent of this fiscal change is third world debt- countries in the developing world owe almost as much money as exists, if they decided to default en-masse global finance is toast so they have considerable leverage. If they were to work together in that way it would not be hard for them to push forward on developing a global clearing-house that would quickly draw most international finance through it.

The old international structures die out because they are simply no longer relevant and nobody is using them. The international government increases in profile so more people vote for it. There is no longer a need for war over borders and it becomes possible to legislate effectively around multinational organisations.

National level governments become more akin to state governments in the US the international system is too unwieldy to deal with local problems so there is still a need for that level of government but the big international decisions are made on a global level.

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    $\begingroup$ The idea is riddled with factual inaccuracies. 1) The IMF and the World Bank receive contributions from OECD countries and give out below-market loans or grants to the developing world. 2) 3rd World debt is a minuscule portion of the world's financial system. If they all defaulted, it would certainly not freeze up the world system. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa Mar 25 '15 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ 1) The big picture idea of the IMF/World Bank combo is very sound, the implementation detail creates the ourcome of channeling money to donor countries. 2) You're right- surprised to find that third world debt was ( at the last numbers I can find, around five years ago ) only a little over four trillion dollars, so less than 10% of the global economy. Still a significant leverage and I think the principle described offers a very interesting step to a global government. $\endgroup$ – glenatron Mar 25 '15 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ Who says they have "absolute legitimacy" just because they are elected? People in the minority might well not accept the idea that they should be subject to some leader just because large numbers of people in other countries, with vastly different cultures from their own, support him. I wouldn't recognize the right of, say, China, to decide who should rule America. The fact that in a joint US-China election, there would be far more Chinese votes than American votes, would not make me view this as legitimate, must less desirable. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ BTW Personally I am totally opposed to the existence of the World Bank. But that said, I don't think there is any evidence that it was "designed" to funnel money to the U.S. Certainly none of the people who created the World Bank ever said that was the motive. It's not at all clear that it actually accomplishes such an objective. It gives cheap loans to poor countries. Many of these are for ill-conceived projects and the money is wasted, but the people who fund the WB could surely make far more money investing in US or European stocks. It's one thing to be cynical, quite another to make ... $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ ... unsubstantiated accusations and state them as indisputable fact. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:51

Three things I can think of that would make it possible for us to unite the world under one government.

  1. Finding out we are not alone in the universe and that they aliens are able to travel to us with reasonable effort i.e. FTL travel. We don't like 'other' and aliens would give us something to band against.

  2. We ourselves have started populating other planets and bodies in this solar system and others. Earth bands together to have a stronger front when all the settlers become 'independent' and we need better bargaining power.

  3. We actually continue to develop and become more compassionate and understanding as a whole race and agree that harmony is best for everyone. (least likely to happen in my opinion...)


The weapon hardly needs to be even that powerful. Japan was partially taken out by a couple of nuclear weapons plus a encircling ring of enemies.

Nowadays they could get away a weapon that could take the leaders- an orbitally launched asteroid sling-shot could wipe-out the Congress and White House- would lead to countries over the world capitulating.

If the Death Note had been used intelligently- given that enough details are freely available about every politician of every country in the world- it pretty much a given that they'd surrender in a way that appears not to be surrendering e.g. signing a treaty to give up power.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'm sure there are any number of weapons that could wipe out many top leaders in the U.S., or any other, government, IF the weapon could be used without warning. But if they knew it was coming, they could surely go to bomb shelters, disperse so you could only take out one or two at a time etc. And (b) if you wipe out the government, maybe the nation will surrender. Or maybe the people will dig in and fight back. Yes, Japan surrendered after 2 nuclear attacks, but at that point their situation looks pretty hopeless. In the same war, the U.S. did not surrender after Pearl Harbor. $\endgroup$ – Jay Mar 25 '15 at 16:58

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