By Rodney Shakespeare

The anniversary of the United Nations; maybe an end to unipolarity

June 28, 2020 - 15:33

Believe it or not, the United Nations was established to prevent war. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, to prevent war being waged by certain nations. And even that is not true. Maybe it should be to allow war to be waged by a privileged group but not by others. Oh dear! It’s all so difficult!

Yes, it is – and the difficulty starts in New York where the UN is headquartered, making it easy for the American spy agencies to employ their usual tactics (including bribery, blackmail and threats) to ‘persuade’ others to do their bidding whether openly in a vote or, more often, in some sort of hidden arrangement.

Perhaps we would be wise not to condemn the UN for its patent faults (which include a heavy weighting in favor of certain powers and extraordinary phenomena such as brutal, crucifying, beheading regimes such as Saudi Arabia being allowed to chair the Human Rights Council) and, instead ask if something better might be established in the future.”

Surely not!  The UN is (I quote) “an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.” That’s the optimistic theory, of course, for a world of heavily competing nations, backed by immense military forces and – to be fair – if the UN did not exist the situation would be worse and there would be a demand that the UN be, again, invented.

History, moreover, indicates that the UN, for all its faults, is at least an improvement on its predecessor – the League of Nations founded in 1920 after the First World War.  It, too, aimed not only to prevent war but also to improve the conditions of labor, treat native habitants fairly, and end human trafficking and the arms trade.

The League, however, failed. It had no armed force to enforce its resolutions; the USA was never a member; the Soviet Union joined late and was soon expelled; and Germany, Japan, Italy, and Spain all withdrew.  The League, did not, and could not, stop the Second World War.

So perhaps we would be wise not to condemn the UN for its patent faults (which include a heavy weighting in favor of certain powers and extraordinary phenomena such as brutal, crucifying, beheading regimes such as Saudi Arabia being allowed to chair the Human Rights Council) and, instead ask if something better might be established in the future. There are several ways of approaching this question but an obvious one is by observing that a unipolar world is one in which the USA can, and does, use its military, economic, diplomatic and – don’t forget – its blackmailing and coercing power to create a New World Order i.e., one in which the USA shoves everybody else around and, indeed, will attack them if they show any indication of wanting a degree of independence. Putting it bluntly, if a country does have the military, economic and diplomatic power, it can shove everybody else around particularly if it is spending about 40% of the world’s total on arms (with a likely higher percentage because of many substantial, undeclared programs).  Moreover, by its effective control of the SWIFT banking system and ability to sanction individuals, companies, and countries in various ways, the USA is in a strong position to be a nasty bully – and get away with it.

However, the world is changing, and subtly – and sometimes not so subtly – power is being seen to shift away from the USA and its heavily subservient allies to a more complex multipolar world with new groupings and alliances and, in particular, new economic and military powers.  A simple way of seeing this is just to look at the population numbers of modernizing countries remembering that technology quickly becomes available to all.  There’s China and India, of course, and Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.  In the list of countries by population the USA is third but look at the total population of the others!

Moreover, Russia is huge geographically and huge in its resources and technological skills and is fed up with being sanctioned by the arrogant USA just as Iran has been heavily sanctioned for daring to want its oil industry controlled by Iranians and have an independent existence.  NB.  True independence is the one thing that the USA never allows and those who wish for independence quickly find themselves surrounded by military bases (it’s roughly forty around Iran). Ah yes!  Military bases!  The USA has over eight hundred and is able to maintain them because of the privileged position of the American dollar in world trade.  In practical effect, other countries pay for the maintenance of the American bases.

Yet, change is happening and change, like bankruptcy, starts slowly before happening all at once! And the USA is profoundly bankrupt.  For starters, it is now heavily over-indebted and, secondly, its claimed gold reserves are probably completely false (which is why no audit is allowed of Fort Knox).  Thirdly, its moral leadership (think waterboarding, for example, and the appointment of Gina Haspel to the CIA) does not exist; and, fourthly, its political leadership is some sort of apparently impossible travesty in which a vainglorious, narcissistic, orange-faced president is surrounded by swaggering vicious war-mongering goons (e.g. Pompeo) and the whole shebang is so utterly chaotic that it even managed to oust John Bolton!

Yes, slowly, not always sure but, increasingly, inevitably, the world is moving away from uni-polarity and, at some point, will create something new.  Let us hope that the new, manifesting itself in various ways including a new international institution, will be positive and creative and not something dominated by the arrogant USA bent only on its own narrow interests (including the Zionist occupation of the lands of others, of course,) and those of a corrupt financial system now succeeding in putting the whole world into un-repayable debt so that some sort of economic collapse is increasingly inevitable.

Rodney Shakespeare - Former Visiting Professor of Binary Economics at Trisakti University, Jakarta, Co-founder of the Global Justice Movement and author of several books on money, the real economy, and social and economic justice.

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