Pirates and the World as a Closed Commercial State
Authorized Users Only
Book part (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
Before I explain this complicated title, especially the quotation marks around the word “Pirates,” and before I reveal my intention and attempt to provisionally justify it (in the title I discretely introduce and transform Fichte's Closed Commercial State into a great world state or empire, always open and borderless; I assume that a world as such cannot be closed), I will first cite a part of the 54th paragraph from Kant's 1797 work The Metaphysics of Morals. My intention is not to simply evoke Carl Schmitt's critique of Kant's ideas concerning preemptive war and the unjust enemy—as we all know, these ideas were not Kant's nor is their critique original (Schmitt, 2006:168–171) after all, both Kant and Schmitt are simply brilliant compilers in international law—rather, I want to preliminarily demonstrate that every project concerning the constitution of an empire, league of nations or world government (or world governance) implies a paradoxical existence of an ambiguous “exterior” (“ou...tside,” “without”). It seems that the existence (or nonexistence) of something “outside” of the world or “outside” of borderless sovereignty, is a precondition for any theory of world governance. In the chapter which deals with public right (the Right of Nations), Kant presents four basic elements of natural rights. We are interested in the third element: A league of nations in accordance with the idea of an original social contract is necessary, not in order to meddle in one another's internal dissensions but to protect against attacks from without (Kant, 1996:482ndash;483). Two editors of Kant's works believed that Kant did not provide an object to which this sentence is referring. Vorländer believed that “enemies” (outside enemies) [gegen Angriffe der äuβeren Feinde zu schützen] should be added, while Natorp thought that “nations,” were in question, meaning that attacks come from other nations/people. I find the existence of any “outside”/“without”, any sort of space for an enemy or nation (for a terrorist, pirate or alien) problematic because a union of nations, as well as an empire, surely assumes that all nations are already inside and together. Why does a project concerning the union of all nations presume the existence of another space? How is it possible that something else exists, another entity or figure, that does not take part in finalizing this new community and new unity? Does every fusion and union presuppose omission and exclusion?
Keywords:World-State / Closed Commercial State / Right of Nations / Kant / league of nations
Source:World Governance : Do We Need It, Is It Possible, What Could It (All) Mean?, 2010, 262-271
- London-Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing