Ditch the UN — Before it’s Too Late
Today in the Washington Post, the suggestion is that we learn from the game for skinny guys who can’t throw, and adapt FIFA practices to the UN:
Though it is difficult to envisage a FIFA-colored bulldozer forcing regime change at the UN, some parts of the organization could certainly benefit by adopting FIFA’s principles, transparency and common vision, and the Beautiful Game’s rules of fair play.
FIFA owes 102 years of success to its emphasis on fair play, which has survived numerous disputes, communism and two world wars. The UN was formed by mostly Christian, industrialized countries after World War II. Like FIFA, it seeks fair play, but in its search for “stability”, has grown and sprawled into multiple organisations. Unlike FIFA, it has lost its focus.
I’ve got a better idea: why not just leave the UN?
In the debates between minarchism and anarchism, there are two common points. The minarchist claims that the anarchist’s society will devolve into totalitarianism and rule by the strong. The anarchist, on the other hand, claims that no matter how well you set up a minarchist society, you will inevitably have sprawling government that infringes on its citizen’s rights.
Thomas Jefferson understood both points very well, when he said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” He knew, and also said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” The natural trend of minarchy is towards statism. And the only way to fight this is to keep statism in check whenever and wherever possible.
Is it not time to do so with the United Nations? All governments tend to accumulate power, and while the UN hasn’t really yet become a true government, it is slowly trending that way. They’re already trying to find ways to lobby direct taxes on member nations, looking to take over control of things such as the internet, and generally trying to be the arbiter of when and where the use of military force is “legal”. Allowed to grow unchecked, the UN will eventually become to the United States what our own federal government is to the individual states of the Union: its master.
When the United Nations was formed, it was largely a puppet of the permanent members of the Security Council, a group who desired world stability. Now it has become a forum for tin-pot dictators to be the tail wagging the dog. It’s a farce, where the UN Human Rights Commission is populated by some of the largest human rights violators in the world. The UN doesn’t serve our purposes any more, and if we don’t watch out, the UN will make sure we serve theirs.
However, we have a chance today to change this course. The United Nations has a crucial flaw, in that it relies on the United States for almost all of it’s military power, a base of operations in New York, and an enormous chunk of its budget. The United States’ withdrawal from the UN, if done soon, could cripple the organization, forcing it to wither in irrelevance.
Every day that we wait, though, the UN grows stronger. If we wait too long, the UN will be strong enough on its own to exist without us, and losing our seat at the table will be a negative. In the 1860’s, we saw what happens when a group tries to break free from a position of weakness, rather than strength. But instead of a group held together to halt such evils as slavery, we will be held in the UN by a group who exalts Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and denigrates freedom and capitalism.
I think that both the anarchist and the minarchist is correct. Anarchism and minarchism both end up somewhere we don’t want to be, although through different methods (and, IMHO, at different rates). We already may be too far down the road to stop the US government, short of expelling the blood of patriots and tyrants. But it’s not too late for the United Nations. Weeds are best defeated before they’re allowed to take root, and the UN is no exception. Let’s uproot them from Turtle Bay, make them pay their parking tickets, and get them on the first plane to Geneva.