It was the 90s, a new decade. The cold war had ended and the highly contentious relationship, between the United States and the Soviet Union, was no longer being played out in a high profile way, on the United Nations Security Council. Even China was behaving well, as it was dabbling in the global market economy. It appeared, for a time, that the world had become a more friendly place for people reclaiming their right to be the arbiters of their own destiny while expressing themselves through their fledgeling democracies.
Mikhail Gorbachev had relaxed restrictions on private property and introduced initial market reforms. The privatization of Russia’s state-owned assets had begun as Boris Yeltsin, the first President of post-Soviet Russia set a goal to sell state controlled assets to the Russian public. To facilitate wide participation, vouchers were issued so all Russian citizens, including minors could buy shares.
Vladimir Putin had commanded the FSB, a successor to the KGB, as Director. He was later appointed as Prime Minister and uniquely positioned, early on, to manipulate markets and benefit personally from the rise of the oligarchs that had by then captured most of the equities intended for Russian citizens. Putin attached himself to the Russian oligarchy in such a way as to receive a piece of their action that, according to some, amounted to as much as fifty percent.
The oligarchs and Putin had not only redirected the new equities, they also stole the emergent democracy out from under that country’s citizenry. Putin became president in 2012. It would appear that he could hold that position for as long as he wants it. In 2018, China also removed the term limit on their presidency giving Xi Jinping that power for life. These factors, coupled with the diminishing authenticity of democracy within the United States, makes the five member United Nation’s Security Council about equally divided between the forces of Autocracy versus Democracy.
The United Nations was never a federation of democracies nor was it ever intended to be. It was formed and informed by experience gained; from a failure of the League of Nations to the hard fought victories of World War Two. The primary consideration for the Allies then, was to insure there would be no backsliding into the conditions that fomented that devastating war. And so, they gave themselves veto power over any UN initiative.
It is that veto power that stands in the way of humanity’s greatness, of self government, of world peace. The people of Russia, of China, and of other so-called rogue nations are not the enemies of representative government. It is, rather, their egomaniacal leaders, together with others who possess an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
Why is it that the most animalistic savages continue to terrorize the people of Afghanistan? Why do developed nations have immigration problems? Why are there no safe-havens in Central America where people from strife-torn countries can gather to strategize on how best to regain control of their respective homelands? The United Nations, as presently constituted, is largely impotent.
On April 5th in 2000, The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations published a report titled United Nations Peacekeeping Missions and Their Proliferation. In that report it was revealed that “since 1995 U.S. participation globally in U.N. peacekeeping missions has generally numbered 500 to 1,000 troops, less than 5% of the total, and today’s total includes primarily U.S. civilians (not soldiers) at that.”
Even when it does mount peacekeeping missions, it is so internally conflicted as to render those missions ineffective. Why else would UN Peacekeepers be on standby in Rwanda while the Hutu slaughtered 800,000 Tutsis? In May of 2019, The American Foreign Service Association published an article titled Why Peacekeeping Fails. That article included the statement: “. . . U.N. peacekeeping has become a way for rich countries to send the soldiers of poor countries to deal with conflicts the rich countries do not care all that much about.”
It is clear, that the International governing body that our world looks up to, is a politically stymied debating society first and foremost. That having been said, there have been positive developments within the World Court. But, even in that venue, the Security Council members have given themselves the kind of absolute immunity that stems from the supposed infallibility of popes and kings.
The world needs a true federation of democracies with all that implies including most favored nation status for the most authentic of the democracies. For that to occur, the UN must be re-chartered to protect the world from the tyranny of the most self-serving minority. What would incentivize the authoritarian members of the Security Council to agree to such an arrangement? Money!
If the UN fails to evolve into a world federation of democracies, one of the regional federations will undoubtedly succeed. If most favored nation status is then keyed to the authenticity of each constitutionally grounded democratic republic, the business community and the consumers will notice, while the three flows of commerce; capitol, goods, and information will be directed to the most deserving of those entrepreneurial nations.