I guess the Lord must be in New York City (or Brussels): the UN and EU reflect man's monumental folly.
The UN and EU have proved impotent in the face of Iranian nuclear ambitions that threaten to obliterate a member state. The EU super-state cannot find the funds to bail-out Greece but has been forced to go cap in hand to an outside agency (the International Monetary Fund). When international disaster struck Indonesia and Haiti in the form of tsunamis and earthquakes, it was America and the Anglo (English-speaking) nations that acted swiftly to provide life-saving aid, the only countries with a viable military infrastructure capable of coping with large-scale disasters. This is an investment in which the UN and EU do not approve.
And, just for good measure, the UN Human Rights Committee is dominated by nations with a world class record of committing human rights abuses. And, in a perverse reversal of intellectual reason and common sense, the UNHRC regularly cites the United States as a leading perpetrator of human rights abuses and international terrorism.
In the face of the lack of realpolitik, good judgment and plain old common sense, we might ask: exactly what is the UN for? And how does the EU speak with one voice for 27 European states that are economically, culturally and philosophically so dramatically diverse?
UN AND EU INCOHERENCE AND INCOMPETENCE
The simple fact is that the raison d'etre for both the UN and EU is not simply better international co-operation. It is that each seeks to abrogate national sovereign powers to itself as a prospective trans-national 'government-in-waiting" The aim of both is nothing less than (UN) global and (EU super-state) trans-national governance.
While nationhood has endured in its many forms down the centuries--empires, city-states, tribal and the modern nation-state--in our age there are those who would eliminate democratic and accountable government together with the authority invested in 'nations" at a stroke. For that is what elitist transnational governments must do, being too unwieldy to be accountable to, and thus representative of, the people. The authority and power sought for trans-national governance is nothing more than rebellion against the God-given notion of 'nationhood" In other words, trans-national governance per se has no biblical warrant, having much more in common with the concept that saw the ancients build a Tower of Babel on the Plains of Shinar as a monumental folly to their own human arrogance. And we only have to review the incoherence and lack of reality inherent in UN and EU politics to grasp that their philosophy too is marred by the same conceptual flaw that inspired the builders of Babel. (1)
While the concept of 'nationhood' has evolved through the generations, today most nations base their worldview on ideologies that claim no dependence on a Scriptural worldview or on the teachings of the historic Church. Whether the ideology is liberal, socialist or communist, all claim to be rooted in nothing more than the sovereignty and independence of human will and reason. Even in America, the last bastion of Western Christendom, where the separation of Church and state was written into the Constitution, a powerful and enduring JudeoChristian influence on national affairs has, in recent years, begun to disassemble.
My purpose here, however, is not to pursue abstract theological discussion on the nature of God-instituted governance. Rather, it is to provide pointers to its corollary: strong secular argument that reveals the conceptual flaws in the very nature of trans-national governance. (2)
NATIONHOOD IS 'FAMILY' GOVERNANCE
One thing most anthropologists agree on within the JudeoChristian tradition is that the 'family' unit is the cornerstone of all civilized society. The nation is thus the family unit scaled up yet still within governable social community proportions. At the level of the nation it still remains possible to adopt representative government on behalf of the social 'family,' given that family's shared philosophical values, language and culture. As much as the romantic notion of a 'world family' might appeal to some, in practice the prospect breaks down as soon as any attempt is made to integrate the diversity of language, culture and philosophy/religion into a coherent and governable whole.
This is not to say international or trans-national co-operation is not desirable nor achievable. Plainly it is. But that is a far cry from forcing peoples of varying cultures and beliefs into a 'melting pot' of governance able to act for the 'common good' on law, justice, education, free trade and on values. Not to mention a social understanding of individual freedom and liberty. Hence governance, in a one-size-fits-all arrangement for people of different, culture and philosophy/religions can never be truly representative and workable--not without replacing democracy with a powerful centralizing tyranny. Which is what a UN World Government or EU Federal Super-state would be were either to gain constitutional or 'sovereign' status.
What is particularly galling is the fixation of globalist social engineers through these intra-national blocs to attack the most successful, most law-abiding and some of the least corrupt countries in the world, especially the United States. At the same time it overlooks the cornucopia of human rights crimes perpetrated with impunity by the world's leading despots. The UN and EU, it seems, have an aptitude for turning morality on its head, both failing to grasp the reality observed by former British PM Margaret Thatcher, that, "The USA is the most benign hegemon in history."
As Christians we should also remember how the European Union's oligarchy of 27 unelected Commissioners ignited a furor in Europe by denying Europe's Judeo-Christian heritage when drafting its proposed EU Constitution. It is also a fact that the EU is an organization that remains fiscally unaccountable--never having been sufficiently fraud and corruption free to produce unqualified audited accounts to its constituent peoples. If the EU were run by the same rules and regulations it imposes on European businesses, it would have been dosed down as a failing operation years ago. Yet the EU staggers from one massive fraud and corruption scandal to another. (3)
THE CASE AGAINST TRANS-NATIONALISM
Margaret Thatcher's reticence about the European Union trans-national project is highly instructive. She noted in her 2002 book that its leaders had always been "hyperbolic." Thatcher has warned that the EU'S "attempts to play a role on the world stage have been universally embarrassing:' Most damning of all about the EU, Mrs. Thatcher observes, "Perhaps the most significant shortcoming of the fledgling super-state is that it is not, and will not be, indeed ultimately cannot be, democratic ... The Commission and the Parliament share the same federalist agenda--and it is not democratic." (4)
Mrs. Thatcher goes on to note the attempt of those enthusiasts who want to establish a European Constitution preferring the expression 'United States of Europe" A comparison with the United States that Thatcher warns thoroughly misrepresents the signal differences between the two. "The parallel;' she says, "is deeply flawed and deeply significant. It is flawed because the United States was based from its inception on a common language, culture and values--Europe has none of these things." Thatcher states, "By contrast, 'Europe' is ... a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure; only the scale of the final damage done is in doubt:' (5)
Economist and political philosopher Frederick Hayek describes the inevitable outcome whenever collectivist ideology and democratic capitalism clash: "If 'capitalism' means here a competitive system based on free disposal over private property, it is far more important to realise that only within this system is democracy possible. When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself." (6)
In his essay 'Conserving Nations" (7) modern conservative philosopher Roger Scruton makes a powerful case against the elitist desire for increasing trans-national supra-governance. Scruton points out, "The case against the nation state has not been properly made, and the case for the transnational alternative has not been made at all." Scruton warns, "We are on the brink of decisions that could prove disastrous for Europe and the world, and that we only have a few years in which to take stock of our inheritance and to reassume it:' Like Margaret Thatcher he perceives, "Moreover, every expansion of the jurisdiction beyond the frontiers of the nation state leads to a decline in accountability." Listing the lack of accountability over European Union policies and actions, and throughout the departments of the United Nations, Scruton states, "Accountability, in short, is a natural by-product of national sovereignty which is jeopardised by trans-national governance."
Scruton further makes his point by citing the key example of how the idea of human rights associated with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights incorporated into the UN Charter should, for instance, be "taken with a pinch of salt:' Why? "Rights do not come into existence merely because they are declared. They come into existence because they can be enforced. They can be enforced only where there is a rule of law. Outside the nation state those conditions have never arisen in modern times" For Scruton, as for us, "The nation state is accountable to all its citizens since it owes its existence to the national loyalty that defines its territory and limits its power. When embedded in the law of nation states, therefore, rights become realities; when declared by transnational committees they remain in the realm of dreams--or, if you prefer Bentharn's expression, 'nonsense on stilts.'"
THE (FAILED) COPENHAGEN POWER GRAB
All of this becomes only too relevant when we consider what took place at the global climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. President Obama and numerous other Western leaders went to that summit with the specific expectation of signing away sovereign powers. The object of the exercise was to agree on a global accord with national binding carbon cuts and create an (unelected) climate oligarchy to 'police' those powers. Ironically, it was communist China which sank the prospective deal. Not wanting their own burgeoning economic miracle threatened by international sanction, they, more than any other nation, torpedoed the accord.
Had the anti-democratic, anti-capitalist socialist, 'egalitarian' agenda have succeeded in the Danish capital the resulting unelected oligarchy would have had no truly 'representative' legitimacy. Above all, it would have been wholly unaccountable to any electorate--a de facto embryonic tyranny; a self-aggrandizing political elite, freed from the constraint of democratic accountability before a disenfranchised people. If the fiasco in Copenhagen taught us anything, it should be that there are those who have no compunction in co-opting the latest global alarmist threat to advance ideological aspirations for power.
You would think, given the history of French, Russian, Chinese, German and Cuban socialist 'experimentation', it is a lesson we would have learned well But the subtext of the debacle in Copenhagen reveals only too clearly that the current collusion between planet-saving climate activists and the prospective socialist new world order only confirms the truth of the new century's ideological maxim: Green is the New Red. The trans-national push for a centralized power grab is all too real--and its proponents do not much care which latest media scare they utilize to achieve it.
In the face of this, Christians need to be armed with both secular and theological reasoning. Christ called us to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves in the world. That is our calling. That means confronting the world on its own terms, seeking to argue the 'secular' case for the genuine 'common good' and refusing to concede the public debate by retiring to our churches to pray--and sulk--expecting God to smite all those who may oppose us.
To do so in today's world would be to accept that the final arbiter of morality--as many increasingly appear to believe--resides in the philosophy expounded from within the monolithic 'Twin Towers' of modern Babel; one on Manhattan's east-side, the other in Brussels.
The importance of how nationalism will always trump transnational governance is dealt with in greater depth in "Energy and Climate Wars: How naive politicians, green ideologues and media elites are undermining the truth about energy and climate" (from which this article has been extensively adapted) by Peter C. Glover and Michael J. Economides. It was published by Continuum Books in September, 2010.
* NB. The above, though not a 'Christian' book, focuses on facts and realities and debunks a string of current speculative myths currently dominating in the mass media.
(1.) A charge which applies equally to the Muslim religious ideal of the Caliphate.
(2.) When I speak of trans-national governance I do not include in that phrase 'colonial governance.' There is a gulf of difference between the governance of one nation imposed on another nation and governance that claims to rise above governance by any one nation.
(3.) For a devastating insight into the ethics at the heart of the EU read Brussels Laid Bare: How the EU treated its chief accountant when she refused to go along with its fraud and waste (St Edward's Press). Written by former chief accountant to the EU Marta Andreasen, the books reveals how the EU attempted to clean up its act by taking on its first highly qualified accountant--and then, when she uncovered even more fraud and corruption, the EU systematically set out to humiliate and destroy her.
(4.) Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (Harper Collins), pp. 342, 358, 359
(6.) E A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Routledge Press, p. 73.
(7.) Roger Scruton, essay 'Conserving Nations' from his book A Pofitical Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism (Continuum), pp. 5, 20, 21, 29 and 31.
Peter C Glover is a British writer specializing in international ethical issues. More of his work can be found at HYPERLINK "http://www.petercglover.com"http://www.petercglover.com.
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|Title Annotation:||United Nations and the European Union|
|Author:||Glover, Peter C.|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2011|
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