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World Government: Mere Science Fiction or Real Historical Possibility?

When:
8:00 PM, Friday 26 Nov 2021 (1 hour 15 minutes)
Where:
California 4 (formerly Miami)
How:
Discussion:
0

I started devouring science fiction when I was a kid. I dug it because it offered both rollicking good yarns and fascinating speculations about the vistas of human possibility. And I discovered, too, almost in passing, that many science fiction works, both in literature and in film, contained something like a world state, a world government, a politically unified human race. Often this wasn't even what the story was about. It was just a background component of the universe created by the author. And almost always, it had sort of an inherent plausibility to it. "A couple hundred years in the future? Of course we will have managed to abolish war by then. Of course we'll have a unified human race by then." So in this presentation, I will examine world government as a theme in the history of science fiction – dating at least as far back as H.G. Wells. I will consider why, when brilliant science fiction writers can make this development seem so believable, so desirable, and so inevitable, real-world political thinkers are dismissed as hopelessly utopian when they assert that we might chart a course toward the political unity of the human race as an actual historical goal. And I will share a bit of my personal interactions with Isaac Asimov just before he died in 1992 -- when I was the chair of the student division and he was a longtime Advisory Board member of a world government advocacy outfit called the "United World Federalists." 

Panelist