There’s few Presidents of Earth in science fiction. General world governments are more common.
In tune with Immanuel Kant‘s vision of a world state based on the voluntary political union of all countries of this planet in order to avoid colonialism and in particular any future war (“Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht”, 1784; “Zum ewigen Frieden”, 1795), some of these scenarios depict an egalitarian and utopian world supervised (rather than controlled) by a benevolent (and usually democratic) world government. Others, however, describe the effects of a totalitarian regime which, after having seized power in one country, annexes the rest of the world in order to dominate and oppress all mankind.
One major influence was Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward. The best-known advocate of world government was H. G. Wells. He describes such a system in The Shape of Things to Come, Men Like Gods and The World Set Free.
Some writers have also parodied the idea: E. M. Forster’s The Machine Stops (1909) and Aldous Huxley‘s 1932 novel Brave New World. Wells himself wrote The Sleeper Awakes, an early vision of a dystopian world.
World government themes in science fiction are particularly prominent in the years following World War II, coincident with the involvement of many scientists in the actual political movement for world government in response to the perceived dangers of nuclear holocaust. Prominent examples from the Cold War era include Childhood’s End (1953), Starship Troopers (1959), Star Trek (from 1966), the Doctor Who story The Enemy of the World (1968) and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1968) Later references to a unified world government also appear however in post-Cold War science fiction television series such as Babylon 5.
The concept also appears frequently in science fiction anime, whether in the form of a strengthened United Nations or an entirely new organizations with world presidential election. Examples of anime with this premise are Macross (adapted in America as the first part of Robotech) and Gundam.
Gerry Anderson‘s 1960s supermarionation puppet shows, via their TV Century 21 comic and episodes of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, featured a World President as head of a unified World Government.
In the 1968 film Barbarella, Barbarella is sent out by the President of Earth.
In The New Twilight Zone episode “Lost and Found” and the Phyllis Eisenstein 1978 short story of the same title upon which it was based, a woman named Jenny Templeton (Akosua Busia) will someday be elected the first president of Earth, presumably in the 21st century and will eventually be called “The Great Peacemaker”.
In Babylon 5: In the Beginning, the president of Earth orders all available ships to form a line around the planet in a vain attempt to stave off the final Minbari obliteration of the human race. This, the Battle of the Line, is the final battle of the war.
In Doctor Who, several future timelines – most notably the 26th century’s Earth Empire – have a President of Earth. In the first such story, Frontier in Space, the President’s world government is specifically based on the United States government. The Doctor is assigned President of Earth by the United Nations, with full control over the planet’s armies, in the episode “Death in Heaven” – a role he resumes in “The Zygon Invasion” / “The Zygon Inversion” and later “The Pyramid at the End of the World“.
In Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Earth is governed by the Earth Federation under the rule of a President, who is seen in Episode 2.
The Doctor (12/13)
Michael J. Fox
Who would you pick?