FERNANDO ALCOFORADO, sistema economico de um pais, global education magazineFernando Alcoforado 

Member of the Bahia Academy of Education (Brazil). Engineer and Doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona (Spain).




This article aims to demonstrate that current international relations governed by the law of the strongest necessarily have to be governed in the future for a world government that is able to preserve world peace, defend the general interests of the planet making them compatible with the interests of every nation, mediate international conflicts and build consensus among all national states.

Keywords: International relations. War and peace among nations. World government.



Este artigo tem por objetivo demonstrar que as relações internacionais atuais regidas pela lei do mais forte têm que necessariamente ser regidas no futuro por um governo mundial que seja capaz de preservar a paz mundial, defender os interesses gerais do planeta compatibilizando-os com os interesses de cada nação, mediar os conflitos internacionais e construir o consenso entre todos os Estados nacionais.

Palavras chaves: Relações internacionais. Guerra e paz entre as nações. Governo mundial.



The current world situation is dramatic. Humanity feels overwhelmed by the major powers in the service of monopoly groups that command their economies and that do everything to defend their interests, disregarding laws, cultures, traditions and religions. Invasions in peripheral countries, openly or surreptitiously, with unconvincing arguments are part of the daily life of the great powers in their incessant search for world power even if they have to disregard domestic laws and international treaties. What will be the end of our world, of our lives, if the world today has become an unmanageable chaos in which humans beings only think about power and wealth and destroy nature? Can a man be called the Wight most intelligent of the Earth? A Wight intelligent would preach war and jeopardize their future and of their descendants? It’s what they do today with our world, destroy for money, kill for wealth and power, the lives no longer worth anything, nothing has value, all for power and wealth!

World history is largely a history of wars, because we live in the States born of conquest, civil wars or struggles for independence. The earliest historical records that are known already speak of wars and struggles. It isn´t, therefore, to cause astonishment that now, at the time of collecting all the bad actions generated by mankind, the number of wars and revolutions grow on an unprecedented scale, both in quantity and intensity. The violence of the conflict in our time has no parallel in history. The wars of the twentieth century were “total wars” against combatants and civilians without discrimination. The twentieth century was without doubt the most murderous of which we have record, both in scale, frequency and length of the war as well as the large number of human catastrophes it produced, from the greatest famines in history to systematic genocide. All “mega deaths” that have occurred since 1914 reached a total of 187 million dead. Since the end of World War II the world has known 160 wars when died about 7 million soldiers and 30 million civilians.

Wars are still part of our daily lives as shown by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine makes evident the purpose of the Western powers (United States and European Union), together with Ukraine, to weaken Russia’s geopolitical position that seeks to regain global role before exercised by the former Soviet Union. Insoluble Palestinian question, which has existed since the end of the 1st World War when the victorious powers contributed to the occupation of Palestine by the Jewish people and facilitated the creation of the State of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people, makes the Palestinian and Jewish people to live at permanent war. The recent military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya complete the picture of conflict in the Middle East.

In addition to the aforementioned conflicts, humanity is faced with two major threats. One of an economic nature, is represented by the general crisis of the world capitalist system that tends to lead the world economy to depression with the failure of governments, the crash of companies, mass unemployment and even the outbreak of civil wars and new world conflagration as has happened in the twentieth century with the 1st and the 2nd World War. Another threat, environmental, is represented by the depletion of natural resources of the planet, the overcrowded cities and the catastrophic global climate change, which tends to produce a serious impact on economic activities and increased social problems of humanity. Now is the hour of humanity to acquire the urgently as possible tools necessary to take control of your destiny and implement democratic governance in the world.

2.Kant and perpetual peace

How to build a new scenario of peace and cooperation between nations and peoples of the world? This is an old challenge and thought by many philosophers such as Immanuel Kant (1979) to address this issue in his work A paz perpétua (Perpetual Peace). In 1795, Kant launched this opuscule which had great success with the public worship of his time. It was a project which aimed to establish a perpetual peace between the peoples of Europe, and then spread it all over the world. It was an Enlightenment manifesto in favor of permanent understanding among men. The main objective of Kant was to eliminate war that has always been seen by him as something that prevented humanity’s efforts towards a decent future for humans. How to accomplish this?

Kant proposes in Perpetual Peace the foundations and principles necessary for a free federation of states legally established which would not adopt the form of a world state, because it would result, in his opinion, on an unlimited absolutism. Kant defended this thesis because there shouldn´t be a sovereign power above the national states to interfere in its internal affairs. Kant proposes the existence of a federation of free states in which all state would have republican constitutions. The ultimate goal of this federation of states would be, according to Kant, the promotion of the supreme good, which is the true peace between states, ending the disastrous war, to which all states always turned their efforts throughout history as the main purpose.

Kant sought to end the “state of international nature” that characterized international relations so far. It should be noted that the term “state of nature” has been defined by the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (2014) in his work Leviatã (Leviathan). According to Hobbes, in the “state of nature” dominates the absence of law, so there isn´t justice. In this context, everyone seek to defend their rights by force. In the “state of nature”, so as conceived by Hobbes, dominates the war of everyone against everyone. The state of nature is, therefore, the state of freedom without external law, that is, no one can be obliged to respect the rights of others also and cannot be sure that others will respect their rights and much less can be protected against acts of violence of others.

In practice, even after the Peace of Westphalia signed in 1648 that ended the disastrous Thirty Years War in Europe, international relations of Kant’s time did not differ in fundamental current. Today, as then, we are experiencing the “state of the international nature” with the worsening of the international political violence. Perpetual peace proposed by Kant was not put into practice because the precondition for their application is to overcome the real causes of political violence generating of wars and revolutions that have characterized the history of mankind. This means that there would be the need to overcome the root causes of violence, within each nation, with the elimination of disparities in wealth between the “top” and “bottom” in the social scale and at international level with the elimination of disparities in economic and social development between rich and poor nations, for one hand, and the dispute between the great powers for world power, on the other hand.

The achievement of perpetual peace could only happen if these contradictions were eliminated. Humanity must get aware that only will be possible eliminate political violence that leads to war of everyone against everyone in the national and international levels since the above contradictions disappear that still prevail in the world in which we live. Internationally, unlike what occurred in the past when the great powers were facing against other countries, whose differences, when they were not resolved through diplomacy, were resolved on the battlefield by successive wars, today is also facing independent terrorists organizations that proliferate mainly in the Middle East.

3. The need for a new legal superstructure and international policy to address contemporary terrorism

The substantial increase of terrorist organizations in the world at the present time makes in check the current interstate system resulting from the post-war in 1945 that demonstrates impotence in solving them. It should be noted that terrorism is used by organizations as a means to an end. Terrorism differs from guerrilla regarding the targets to be achieved in their actions. While the guerrillas choose military targets, enemy forces, their logistics, ammunition depots, terrorism seeks to achieve civilian and military targets indiscriminately. Terrorism does not seek selective attack, but the mass attack. According to François Geré (2012), a terrorist movement can, depending on the correlation of forces, use simultaneously or separately terrorism, guerrilla and conventional military operations provided they have sufficient capacity. This is the case of so-called Islamic State that has recently emerged in the Middle East.

Currently, terrorism reached large dimension in the Middle East with the rise of so-called Islamic State that aims to expand his caliphate throughout the Middle East, which characterizes itself by the Sharia, the Islamic Law interpreted from the Alcoran , establishing connections in Europe and other regions of the world in order to carry out attacks that may confer upon them authority through terror. On August 29, 2014, the Sunni terrorist group Islamic State – which has also been termed as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (EIIS) and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (EIIL) – also known by the acronym EI, announced that its leader, Abu A-Bagdhadi, had self-proclaimed caliph of the region located to the northwest of Iraq and part of central Syria.

The history of the Islamic State terrorist group is related to the political crisis process that began in Iraq after the war started in 2003. As we know, the Iraq War took place two years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New Yorkled by members of the Al-Qaeda organization, then led by Osama Bin Laden. Al-Qaeda had great performance space in Iraq and part of Syria. The Islamic State was born as an Al-Qaeda branch, based on the same principles of this organization. However, shares of EI were gradually more radical, even for Al-Qaeda standards, which caused the separation of the two terrorist organizations.

The emergence of terrorist organizations raises questions the current interstate system resulting from the post-war in 1945. This situation makes it becomes imperative to create a new legal superstructure and international policy to address these new issues. The fact that there isn´t a new legal superstructure and international policy to address contemporary terrorism does not justify the government of a country like the United States also act outside the law, that is, outside of international law in force to take the law into their own hands as do terrorist organizations. Hannah Arendt (1970) states in his work On Violence, that the practice of violence as any action transforms the world, but the most probable change is the proliferation of a more violent world.

It should be noted that the US government would have a right and an obligation to hunt and capture Bin Laden, Al Qaeda leader, but without invading another sovereign country like Pakistan without their permission and killed Bin Laden without offering him right of defense. This type of procedure is similar to someone who does not believe in the justice of his country, decides to take justice into their own hands. It is permissible to imagine that with the use of intelligence and not of violence, it would be possible to defeat terrorism. One might ask how would the use of intelligence to defeat terrorism? In this case, the US government should seek to gain the support of the leaders of governments in the region and its population, acting proactively to promote the development of these countries, and provide them with technology to monitor and track terrorist organizations. According to the highest principles of civilization, the US government should forward Bin Laden and all the terrorists to be tried by the International Court in The Hague, as with the former president of Yugoslavia, Milosevic and others accused of crimes against humanity. Without the adoption of such a procedure, we will be jeopardizing the highest principles that should guide the civilized life doing prevail the “state of international nature,” that is, the “war of everybody against everybody.”

Why are there wars and terrorism? Will be war and terrorism consequence of social and economic pressures that influence the lives of human beings organized in society or will result only in a natural aggressiveness to man, installed at the heart of something to call “human nature”? . For some scholars, the cruelty of economic systems, the wars, and the domination of man by man would be no more than a reflection of the most fundamental characteristics of man as a species: wild instincts, aggressiveness as an engine for development, laziness and the indulgence as maintenance factors of domination of the weak by the strong. But if we come to the conclusion that man is not a wolf to man, that man does not kill and does not overwhelm the other for pleasure or instinctive compulsion, the way will be open to the demand for other types of societies that allow humans live in a way different from what occurs nowadays.

Rousseau has as its central idea the conviction of the natural goodness of man and that society is that degenerates man throwing him against his fellow man. Marx says that man is the architect of their own development and that human beings are capable of changing the world around them and in doing so, change themselves. In short, it is quite clear that the existence of a world based on social justice and cooperation among all human beings contribute to the existence of a constructive behavior that can change the world where we live in and, in doing so, change the humans beings themselves. This is the way to combat the violence that increasingly contributes to the social disintegration of the world in which we live.

4. War and peace among nations throughout history

Peace has been defined as the absence of war. The formula of Clausewitz (2010), the war as a continuation of politics by other means, is replaced today by the inverse formula: politics becomes the continuation of war by other means. Historically, peace among nations occurred in the following situations: the domain for an empire, the balance between the major powers and the hegemony exercised by a great power. The empire happens when an imperial state holds the monopoly of violence causing the other powers, particularly the subaltern, lose their autonomy and disappear as a political decision centers. The equilibrium state occurs when no great power impinge on the other. The hegemony of power happens when there is acceptance of his leadership by other nations.

The best example is the empire that was exercised by the Roman Empire (27 BC to 476 AD) and the United Kingdom from 1815 to the late nineteenth century in the world after defeating the army of Napoleon at Waterloo. Until the outbreak of the 1st World War, Britain was the dominant empire in the world. Unsatisfied by this situation Germany clashed with England and France for the redivision of the world. The main forms of military tactics used in the First World War were trench warfare or war of position, which was engaged in the protection of conquered territories and the war of movement, or forward positions, which was more offensive and had heavy weapons and equipped infantry.

During the 1st World War, the use of new weapons, improved by the industry, combined with new inventions like the airplane and the tanks, gave fighting a characteristic of impotence among the soldiers. Thousands of men died instantly in bombings or wrapped in huge clouds of toxic gas. It was decisive support of the United States to England and France towards the end of the war against Germany that was no longer the same force when the conflict began. With the end of the 1st World War in 1918, the United States amounted to the dominant economic power condition of the planet without, however, placing it as a great military power that only happened after the 2nd World War on the side of the Soviet Union.

Equilibrium situation between two great superpowers occurred in the twentieth century, from 1945, after the 2nd World War, until 1989, between the United States and the Soviet Union. The end of the bipolar world with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 made to materialize the hegemonic situation exerted by the United States in the world that is threatened today by its economic weakness and the economic and military rise of China that has highlighted in the geopolitical world by great political influence, military and economic in the Asian and international scene thanks to the great extension of its territory (ranked third in territorial dimension on the planet), high number of inhabitants (about 1.3 billion, most populous in the world) and the dynamism of its economy (the economy is currently showing the highest growth rates on the planet). The unipolar moment of American hegemony unchallenged after the fall of the Berlin Wall is coming to an end.

In the contemporary era, the international geopolitical chess indicates the existence of three major players: the United States, China and Russia. From confrontation in the future between these three major military powers may result alternative scenarios to the current that is characterized at the time by the weakening of US hegemony on the world since the end of the bipolar world that confronted the United States and the Soviet Union. The XXI century is marking a qualitative change in the international system and the position occupied in it by the United States. From 2000, Russia will be strengthened through developing a strategic partnership with China that can help it in its resistance to the geopolitical ambitions of the United States both in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or Central Asia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO) established in 2001 an alliance between Russia and China of policy and military cooperation that is explicitly intended to be a counterweight to the United States and NATO military forces.

Note that the absence of war is not related to the approximate equality of forces that reigns among the great powers, preventing any of them, and any coalition of these units to impose their will. The approximate equality of status of forces between the great powers before the outbreak of the 1st and 2nd World War is proof that this did not prevent the onset of these conflicts. The domination of the British Empire did not prevent the outbreak of the 1st World War and the national liberation struggles of the peoples of the nations subject to its domain. The hegemony apparently looking absorb the nation states reduced to impotence, not abusing its hegemony, and respects the external forms of independence of states. The hegemony does not aspire to situation of empire. However, the hegemony currently exercised by the US is a poor way of maintaining world peace as evidenced by contemporary international geopolitical trends.

Given the impossibility of an imperial state power, powers in balance and a hegemonic power to ensure world peace, now is the time the humanity to acquire as urgently as possible instruments for the construction of world peace and the control of their destiny. To achieve these objectives, calls for the establishment of a democratic government in the world that constitutes the only means of survival of the human species able to build a world in which every woman, every man of today and tomorrow have the same rights and the same duties, in which all forms of life and future generations are finally taken into account, in which all the sources of growth are used so ecologically and socially sustainable.

5. The construction of a new scenario of peace and cooperation between nations and peoples of the world

The preservation of peace is the first mission of every new form of world government. It would aim to defend the general interests of the planet making it compatible with the interests of each nation. The world government would also work as mediator in international conflicts and build consensus among all nation states, to make every national state respects the rights of its citizens, and seek to prevent the spread of global systemic risks. Actions to be a global governance was of Nations Covenant in 1815, the League of Nations in 1920 and of the United Nations in 1945 that were in vain because the great powers preferred to impose their will in international relations. Everything indicates that a world government should only occur in the future after the occurrence of major systemic disasters such as extreme ecological crisis, economic crisis of great magnitude, expansion of an economy of organized crime, the fall of a meteorite on the planet and the advancement of the terrorist movement.

Until the emergence of a world government, international relations will be governed by the law of the strongest. And this is the worst scenario because even the most powerful country would not be able to build world peace or solve the planet’s problems. The economic crisis, financial, ecological, social, political and the development of current illegal and criminal activities show that they are insoluble without the existence of a world government. One must understand that the problems affecting the world economy and the global environment can only be resolved with the existence of a truly democratic world government representative of all the peoples of the world. International law cannot be applied and respected in the absence of a world government that is accepted by all countries and to ensure their governance.

Humanity must understand that it has everything to gain by joining around a democratic government in the world representative of all the people who operate above the interests of every nation, including the most powerful, managing the world in its entirety, in time and space. The new world order must be built to organize not only the relations between men on earth, but also their relationship with nature. It is necessary, therefore, that the drafting of a global social contract that provides for economic and social development and the rational use of resources of nature for the benefit of all mankind. The building of a new world order based on these principles is urgent. A world government is an imperative of survival of humanity.


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Fernando Alcoforado, member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, ​​a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia(Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others.


This article was published on 22nd March 2015, for the World Water Day, in Global Education Magazine.

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