2002 October 26 Saturday
Andrew Gowers on What Is The International Community

Andrew Gowers, editor of the Financial Times, has written an essay in the magazine Foreign Policy on just what is the international community:

It's one of those phrases that trips lightly off the editorial writer's keyboard: "The international community should consider…." "The international community should act…." But the phrase more often obscures than illuminates. It allows bien-pensants everywhere to propose optimal imaginary courses of action for the betterment of humankind to hypothetical enlightened actors. And the phrase makes it easy to avoid hard thinking about who might act, out of what motive, and to what effect. Its use, incidentally, is banned from the editorial columns of the Financial Times.

The rule that bans the use of those phrases in the Financial Times editorical columns demonstrates a wisdom that made me want to read the rest of the essay. Its worth a read. However, when he talks about the international community needing values and leadership its not clear what one should make of that. What countries should run the international organizations when most of the world's countries are members? Governance is always going to be bad as long most governments are bad.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 26 11:34 PM  UN, International Institutions


Comments
Bob said at October 27, 2002 2:26 PM:

I question his assertion that the UK and the US are not providing international leadership. Blair and Bush have a rather united view on what needs doing next, and I expect they will do it.

In the end, they will accomplish far more by acting than by hand-wringing and endless talking. Who cares if we have a consensus among the illegitimate or even among those starry-eyed continentals? Or is it bleary-eyed? Glassy-eyed? I am never quite sure which.

Bobis Tonto said at July 9, 2004 9:05 AM:

I can not read the whole article, so there is not much that I can say.
But I will say that Bush and Blair are more concentrated on war. For them to be leading the international community would only give more power to the united states and less focus on underdeveloped countries. There is much travesty that the United States has created due to its selfishness in the world market. The presidents of the United States need to be greedy for the US, but that should not be held in the international community nor the UN. In the UN, the united states has imposed their own greedy intentions for their own purposes without considering the options of the other countries. For example, there were many resolutions on Palestine that a grand majority, including four of the five veto empowered countries agreed upon. The resolutions would have passed, but the United States vetoed it. There is not much to gain out of the ill intentions of the United States in the world. The US should take more countries into consideration when it involved in organizations that are worldly influencial.
For this reason, the United States would not make a grand leader in the international community, because it already has much control in the UN and many resolutions have been vetoed for greedy US purposes. Controlling the international community would only invoke more greed and corruption.


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