Resolving the paradox
You could say that there would be three factors that would have been at play during the development of a global government.
- Firstly there would be mankinds' natural desire to better themselves, the stately tread of humanity as it climbs the path of civilisation.
- Secondly, as stated in "First Contact", the realization that Humanity is in fact part of a larger whole - the galaxy - would have changed a lot of attitudes.
- And finally the help and guidance that the Vulcans would have given.
Also, whilst to us a world government seems like a good idea, in reality there are many who would oppose it. "The powers that be", the established governments, especially minority goverments or those with an especially strong cultural heritage, they would need some strong persuasion.
The position of the Vulcans in "Enterprise" is not handled very sympathetically, either. They are shown as overly cautious and as holding up Earths' development of their Warp 5 capable starships.
Frankly, I think there are enough plot opportunities here for a lifetime of stories! I’m sure that different people will have their own ideas of how the trasition from Anarchy to world government could happen but, without giving too much away, here is my interpretation of those formative years.
All through the 21st century there is a steady development of space exploration which fosters a growing sense of internationalism and globalism. It is not just national space programs, although they remain the backbone and cutting edge, but commercial as well, funded by ethically motivated global corporations and billionare philanthropists.
...and yes, I do believe in Santa Claus.
After the Vulcans make contact in 2063 they are faced with the classic "Post-Prime Directive" dilemma: how much and what type of technology should they give to the people of Earth? Giving the wrong type of technology to the wrong people could destroy the Earth rather than save it. Just imagine a totalitarian government or group of anarchist terrorists with phasers! The answer would be to accelerate the Earths "natural" development along selected lines, to help those who are heading in the right direction.
Another complication is that, if the more militant groups find out about them and their plans they will be the cause of another world war. Secrecy and a sanctuary within which the human and Vulcan elements can grow is essential.
They find their sanctuary in the form of an asteroid mining venture – "Valhalla" – started in 2052, the brainchild of Lars Erikson, a Norwegian shipping magnate, who offers his fortune and the facilities of his ship yards in the service of mankind. Using a combination of Human and Vulcan technology Lars creates a space colony similar to the O'Neil colonies, a design that has been around for over a hundred years!
The "Large Interplanetary Educational Facility Erikson", or LIEF Erikson as it is called, is a combination school / university / research facility that becomes the centre of a movement towards a world government rebuilt on the framework of the New United Nations.
I have always been a great believer that the road to social change is in education and the LIEF Erikson becomes home for children, teenagers, young people, academics, educators, engineers and scientists from all over the world plus the first extraterrestrials: the Vulcans and their allies. Away from national rivalries, mixing freely between ALL cultures and without indoctrination from political or idealogical blocs, the LIEF becomes a melting pot where a new cross-cultural philosophical outlook can grow based on a caring and ethical use of technology.
The work of the LIEF expands across the globe as the advantages of a world government become evident. With time though their security becomes breached and their oponents start a campaign of armed resistence that culminates in open warfare in 2110.
The LIEF Erikson disappears at the height of the conflict and, with time, fades into obscurity becoming nothing more than a legend.
Imagine the argument between two historians from the 24th century, one who believes the success of the Earth was because of the guidance of the Vulcans and the other who holds the theory that humanity has achieved it largely by their own efforts …
[originally published in Tricorder No9, Dec 2004 as part of "Star Trek - From Barbarism to Utopia"]