James C. Bennett joins the ranks of those who think the UN is a hopeless case:
More and more commentators are suggesting that the United Nations, like the League of Nations, is fundamentally flawed, and may need replacing. A new organization may fix some of the flaws in the United Nations' structure, as it itself was an improvement over the League of Nations. However, it may be the fundamental idea of an international organization that is both universal, in admitting any sovereign state, and effective, in that it may authorize specific actions by majority votes of various bodies, may be attempting to square the circle.
It may be that any attempt to reform or replace the United Nations will fail so long as it continues to mix members of very dissimilar characters. Roger Scruton has recently discussed a distinction between states with a "personal character" -- those that genuinely reflect a national community, and thus can represent at least from time to time a consensus of national opinion -- and those that are little more than structures for rule of an area by a particular dictator or ruling clique. (I have written about such a distinction in terms of strong, weak, or nonexistent civil societies.)
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 October 07 03:35 PM UN, International Institutions|