In the world today, big governments are virtually useless

By | January 13, 2019

Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

By Prof George W. Kanyeihamba

A study in sizes and styles of world governments has tended to show that in governance small is beautiful and big is useless and wasteful. The governments of China , USA, Russia, and India may be the largest, representing as they do, the biggest populations and nations of the world. They may also be presiding over the largest economies of the world and certainly together with Japan and the European Union, possess the wealthiest citizens on earth. Even though they brag and shout to be the most important governors of the globe, their effect and influence in the world are minimal.

Starting with one whose President and spokespersons call their country the greatest nation on earth, the USA, their President has failed the world in almost every problem other world leaders had thought they had solved. These problems have included global warming, controlling nuclear weapons, peace in the Middle East, Far East and elsewhere not to mention environment and peace problems.
The Americans have failed in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Cuba, Israel, where they faced tiny states some ruled either by dictators or authoritarian regimes. President Trump appears to be afraid of leaders of small states such as North Korea, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and certainly is of Putin of Russia.

Russia is equally undecided as to what to do with countries such as Turkey, Georgia, Crimea or Ethiopia. Instead, it is now interested in taking over where the European imperialists stopped or failed and is recolonising Africa and other developing regions economically, financially and eventually, no doubt, politically. Recently, Japan defied the world and broke an international treaty with impunity to resume the universally condemned whaling trade.

As for Britain, formerly and arguably the greatest power on earth, today, it has nothing that can be described as a viable government. Its elected leader, Theresa May and the Kingdom’s Parliament are bitterly divided as to whether the deal she made to exit from the European Union should be accepted by H.M Queen’s subjects or not. There are bitter disagreements between her own political party and all the others which also disagree with one another and within their own memberships as to what course their country should take.

Ironically, all the major political parties had campaigned before the referendum urging that Britain should stay in the European Union. A tiny majority of those who voted yes to leave, the majority of those who voted yes did so for many reasons other than leaving the European Union. Those who voted to remain are added to those who did not vote in the hope that if they did not vote both will outnumber those who voted yes by a big margin.

Political wisdom should have guided the British leaders to side with the majority who did not want to leave, a principle they had used when Scotland, part of their country narrowly voted to leave the United Kingdom and become independent. Instead, they blindly and expediently jumped onto the yes bandwagon, and continued lukewarmly supporting the minority yes vote. This is what has totally confused the ordinary British. Political parties and their leaders have conveniently ignored the principle that the people’s right to govern themselves can only be accomplished through but is limited to the right to vote in elections or referenda. After that there is no convenient way of people governing themselves except by their elected leaders and representatives.

The way the world is governed today can be illustrated by reference to the way big and small animals live in harmony or disharmony in the wild. Taking the largest land animal on earth, the elephant, many parasitic birds climb on the back of the elephant picking at its wounds and consuming its blood. It is seen irritated and bothered but is hopeless to do anything about it. In the same way that the small nation of Cuba whose brand of socialism annoys the mighty USA has survived despite many USA attempts to destroy its system and leaders. A lion may pursue a leopard, to kill it but if the leopard jumps into a tree and hangs on in the branches, the king of the jungle gives up in frustration.