What is society, a bunch of atomistic individuals or an organic whole? Both and none, the very inability to nail it down probably gives the best definition of society.
So a government is not just depending on the elected people but to a large part systemic and independent of individuals. Furthermore in a democracy the job is not to vote good people into office but force the people who are in office to do the right thing. You could call it the Nixon factor. The guy was a crook but he was forced to implement politics which ran against his personal convictions precisely because civil society made him do it. FDR said something similar to some labour guys who talked with him: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it".
That's also why Pu*sy Riot have said that they have nothing against Vladimir Putin the person but against Putin the system.
Back to the main issue, a world government is not feasible because the people don't want it. I wouldn't be surprised if the notion would get a majority after you conducted a worldwide poll.
The question is rather how you can create an entity without directly caring about the population, kinda like when the UN was created, and then giving it long-run democratic legitimacy. You see the trick here, first you implement the general will and then you legitimize it. If political leaders had cowardly asked their population in polls whether they really wanted the League of Nations after WWI it probably wouldn't have been created.
Of course there is a certain ideological difference between continental Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world, the Brits became more and more democratic slowly over time whereas France had to cut off the head of the king to establish a republic. And while I usually favour the less radical way I think that you need at least this kind of retroactive justification, first comes the big act and then the democratic legitimization.
Just think about the fictional history of Trek, how United Earth emerged in the post WWIII Earth. Certainly not by running around and asking everybody whether he prefers a national or a worldwide government. It was done without playing any direct democratic games because "getting our sh*t together" was the most natural thing to do after having met aliens.
Last edited by horatio : 08-22-2012 at 07:30 AM.