chapter  17
22 Pages

Moral Progress

WithThomas Pogge

Working out the details of an avenue of moral progress would evidently require much more than an abstract sketch. The notion of a world government with ultimate sovereign power appeals to those who, working in the Hobbesian framework, see nations as mutually disinterested rational egoists; that is, as each concerned only to do the best it can for itself alone. The standard question of whether or not there should be a world government is misleading. Governments and politicians bear a special responsibility for the injustice and violence that permeate our social world. Value-based institutional fixed points might also develop, more formally, through an international ethical dialogue specifically set up for the purpose of identifying and extending shared value commitments that might guide the appraisal and gradual reform of the present global order. The world order is a modus vivendi, although not one in which a Hobbesian sovereign power dominates.