BOOK NOTES: 'The Little Book of Big Government': Philip Yaffe's New Book Probes Pros and Cons of World Government to End War

By David M. Kinchen
BOOK NOTES: 'The Little Book of Big Government': Philip Yaffe's New Book Probes Pros and Cons of World Government to End War

The First World War -- whose centennial we observe this year -- was often billed as "The war to end all wars." Obviously, it didn't, says Philip A. Yaffe in the announcement of his new book,"The Little Book of Big Government" (Kindle edition only, sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. $4.10).

Barely 20 years later  mankind was plunged into a new war that was many times more murderous than its predecessor. However, it wasn't necessary to wait two decades for a new conflict to breakout, because between the two world wars there were numerous other conflicts that cost thousands of lives and laid waste to cities and countryside. A partial listing would include the Russian Civil War (1918-1921), the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), the Polish-Russia War (1919-1921), the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1922), and many more,

"The 21st century shows little improvement, with fratricidal and suicidal conflicts seeming to break out virtually every day," says Yaffe. "Man's oppression and slaughter of his fellow man seems to be built into human nature. Modern warfare has become so horrible and costly in terms of human misery, with the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation, that we may now be on the verge of an important change. And that is a genuine impetus towards developing and implementing a new type of political structure to put an end to the madness," he adds.

Yaffe admits the title is somewhat misleading: In his new book, big government means very big government, one that would englobe the world.

The idea of a single, all-encompassing world government automatically raises the hackles of many people. This is largely for fear that such a globe-girdling political structure would inevitably lead to worldwide oppression and misery — a cruel, heartless dictatorship beyond anything ever previously experienced or imagined.

"This is not an unreasonable concern; however; it is a knee-jerk reaction," affe says. "Although a possibility, there is nothing inevitable about such a big government ultimately turning into a people-crushing abomination. The same potential for malevolence exists in all governments, no matter how big or small, and always has. This is the perpetual motif of mankind. This is what must be countered."

Yaffe freely admits his support of evolution towards a world government; however, his book is not a polemic in favor of his position. In fact, it is not a polemic at all. Rather, it is a brief primer on the pros and cons of establishing such an all-encompassing political structure. "To this end the book is purposely short. Its aim is to help people who have already thought about the question to better understand the fundamental issues — and perhaps to stimulate people who haven't already thought much about it to do so," he says.

It contains the following chapters.

1.  Basic concepts

2.  Pressures in favor of a world government

3.  Pressures against a world government

4.  Contours of a world government

5.  Quotations about big government

6.  Excerpts from significant charters and treaties

7.  Would the United States of America be a valid template for a world government?

Estimates of deaths due to war in the past century often exceed 100 million. This means that from 1900 to 1999, an average of 1 million persons were killed by war every year. This reduces to about 833,000 persons killed by war every month, 27,400 every day, 1,140 persons killed every hour or 18 persons every minute. This means that in the time it would take the average person to read this paragraph, the lives of 18 people would have been snuffed out by war,

Moreover, in June the United Nations reported that there are 51.2 million displaced persons in the world, an all-time high. In large measure this is because the world is embroiled in a number of murderous conflicts, including the Afghanistan war, the Darfur war, the Somalian civil war, Syrian civil war, the Ukrainian crisis, the Israeli-Gaza crisis, the Iraq-ISIS (Islamic State) insurgency, etc.

"No doubt other such conflicts are brewing elsewhere on the planet, just waiting to hit the headlines. With no end in sight.  No matter how you look at it, the level of carnage and human suffering is staggering. It must be put to an end," Yaffe concludes.

 

About the Author

 

Philip A. Yaffe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1942 and grew up in Los Angeles, where he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)  with a degree in mathematics and physics. In his senior year, he was also editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s daily student newspaper. He has more than 40 years of experience in journalism and international marketing communication. At various points in his career, he has been a teacher of journalism, a reporter/feature writer with The Wall Street Journal, an account executive with a major international press relations agency, European marketing communication director with two major international companies, and a founding partner of a specialized marketing communication agency in Brussels, Belgium, where he has lived since 1974.

 Books by Yaffe:

●The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a Professional

●The Gettysburg Collection:

A comprehensive companion to The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking like a

Professional

●Actual English: English grammar as native speakers really use it

●Gentle French: French grammar as native speakers really use it

●God Doesn't Exist and He Knows It

●What’d You Say? / Que Dites-Vous?

Fun with homophones, proverbs, expressions, false friends, and other linguistic

oddities in English and French

●The Little Book of BIG Mistakes

●The Little Book of Big Government

●Myths and Misconceptions:

Things We Know that Just Aren’t So

●Extraordinary Ordinary Things

●One-line Wonders: Humor in the Fast Lane

●The Eighth Decade: Reflections on a Life

 

Books in “Major Achievements of Lesser-known Scientists” Series

(at October 2014)

 

●Astronomy & Cosmology: Major Achievements of Lesser-known Scientists

●Human Biology: Major Achievements of Lesser-known Scientists

 

Books in “The Essential Ten Percent” Series

(at October 2014)

 

●College-level Writing: The Essential Ten Percent

●Human Psychology: The Essential Ten Percent

●Logical Thinking: The Essential Ten Percent

●Public Speaking: The Essential Ten Percent

●The Human Body: The Essential Ten Percent

●The U.S. Constitution: The Essential Ten Percent

●Wise Humor: The Essential Ten Percent

●Word for Windows: The Essential Ten Percent

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