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RTP Discussions • View topic - Interview "The Utopia of a New World Policy"

Interview "The Utopia of a New World Policy"

See Title!

Interview "The Utopia of a New World Policy"

Postby Stone1 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:19 pm

The following started as an email exchange between Harry and me but we agreed to put it on the board for discussion.

Here is an interesting interview with Mr. Christoph Zöpel, a german political scientist and former SPD secstate in the foreign office. I haven't heard of him before. I consider the interview to be interesting.
Here's the link:

It is in german so I did my best to translate it. I hope I haven't distorted it in any way.

The headline is:
“The Utopia of a new World Policy”

[below the picture]
The german political scientist Christoph Zöpel feels confident: “The economic crisis facilitates the development towards a global society.”

Nine billion humans will live on planet earth in the year 2050. If development follows the “real utopia “of Christian Zöpel (SPD) [social-democratic party of Germany], the former Secretary of State in the Foreign Office under Joschka Fischer [former minister of foreign affairs 1998-2005], the [nation-]states steer against their deprivation of power. A global society develops.

OÖN: You sketch, in times of crisis, the utopia of a good life for all humans and democracy everywhere...

Zöpel: Yes. Many suggest that I am the last optimist.

OÖN: What do you draw your confidence on?

Zöpel: From the fact that there is no doubt - regarding the natural-technological requirements - that the nine billion humans who will live in the year 2050 in the world also will be able to live.

OÖN: Nine billion; more we will not become? [meaning: global population will not exceed 9 billion humans]

Zöpel: Starting from a certain stage of development the birth rate delines to two and below that. The current surge comes from aging and not from the many children in some African states. Where still many children are born, the life expectancy is short.

OÖN: What renders a world society with democratic participation of all [humans] impossible today?

Zöpel: At the moment the equal representation of all humans fails because of the principle
of the same sovereignty of all 193 states [meaning regardless of the population, every state has the same vote]. This principle is outdated and getting dangerous. Iceland, Ireland or Liechtenstein have become a danger by now [he doesn't explain why he thinks that]. Thereof one has to refrain and ask: How can the world be arranged politically in such a way that all humans are represented?
And the first stage where that becomes reality is the Security Council of the UN. That council should be closely connected to a world economy- and social council or a council for sustainability. I cannot imagine that we will get around to a global regulation of the financial markets, a necessity which no-one denies any more, if that is not decided in parallel with the security council.

OÖN: How would that [council] be composed in the future?

Zöpel: In the five largest countries in the world together live more than half of the world population. India, China, the USA, Indonesia and Brazil belong in any case into the Security Council. If one takes the ten largest countries, one has about two thirds of humans [represented]. In addition also countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan or Nigeria belong there. If one continues to ignore these countries, I doubt that the world will grow more secure. All other states have to regionalise themselves along the example of the European Union.

OÖN: Via Latin- and South America, left-wing governments would play a strong part. An advantage?

Zöpel: There is no good alternative to the occasional change between right-wing and left-wing democrats. A basic social welfare statehood on a global scale will only be attainable if there are left-wing governments. By the way the most interesting phenomenon of the current crisis is that the USA and China strive now at the same time for the development of the welfare state.

OÖN: If, as you say, the European Union will play a smaller violin in the global concert [figure of speech here meaning a decreased global importance] in the future, are there nevertheless something like location advantages of the European Union in the global concert?

Zöpel: The European Union still has the largest national product of the world. And because the willingness for social reconciliation [probaly better “balancing”] - on a global scale also - is more strongly pronounced in Europe than it is in the USA, can be an advantage in itself and develop into an advantage compared to the USA. In addition to that Europe has the second largest army after [or behind, I don't know which one is correct English] China. This often gets cut out. With that Europe could become leading in peace keeping and peace reinforcing. And my proposal reads make that together with India. The two largest democracies of the world precede.

OÖN: If justice should increase world-wide, do the rich states then have to share a piece of their wealth? How would that be feasible?

Zöpel: The technological transfer from Europe into poorer countries, in order to build research establishments or refineries there, has to become a completely normal job [probably task], as a result of which Europe could still earn, too [I guess this is not a very elegant translation?]. In town construction that has been going on since a long time. China is built by the son of Speer [Albert Speer, german architect in the “3rd Reich”], to whom democratically nothing can be objected.

OÖN: And the bank landscape of Eastern Europe was built by Austria. Or is it getting ruined?

Zöpel: Austria has earned nicely on Eastern Europe. One did not consider however, in the sense of lastingness[sustainability], what happens, if those there [in Eastern Europe] get into difficulties. It is nothing new that high foreign debt leads – - private to the same degree as on a national scale - – to financial crises. Here one has to distinguish between the putrid-credit-products [what a word, I nominate it as worst word of the year] from the USA and the not-at-all-new high foreign-debt, which leads to speculation against the currency. The Austrian banks would have had to know that.

OÖN: Don't humans do learn anything from history?

Zöpel: Well, sometimes already. Europe already learned to make no more war [let's at least hope so!].

OÖN: How do the lessons from [of?] the economic crisis read? Against greed does a herb grow? [figure of speech, meaning “Is there a cure for greed?”]

Zöpel: Greed has always been around. More problematic is that the economists did not understand the financial products themselves any longer.

OÖN: When will we see first indications whether your utopia of a world society transforms into reality?

Zöpel: We will experience still this year a participation of considerably more humans in the regulation of the global financial markets. That could give a start towards actually making the world trade more fair in terms of social- and development matters. And I hope that, concerning the race for raw materials between the USA, Europe and China -– coupled with the insight that we have to deal with them more efficiently on behalf of climate protection - in the next five years a global raw material policy will develop which will prevent ecological and social imbalance.

[] are suggestions and supplements by me.
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Postby HarryStottle » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:44 pm

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