The ongoing debate over Iraq has highlighted serious questions about the legitimacy of the United Nations as an institution. I have wondered why so few conservatives have sought to revisit underlying issues regarding the UN including the most basic one, the political theory of world government. The UN is the product of a kind of utopian liberal internationalism that seeks to transcend the nation and to produce the homogenous universal state. I also do not understand the “one nation, one vote” principle that reigns in the UN’s various bodies, including the General Assembly. George Will has recently noted how obsolete the structure of the Security Council is, with its permanent members reflecting the world of 1945 or so. Perhaps the reluctance of conservatives to undertake a thoroughgoing examination of the legitimacy of the UN is the difficulty of doing so without sounding like a kook.
In his weekly column in today’s New York Post, the incomparable Daniel Pipes goes as far as any conservative has gone recently in raising questions that go to the heart of the project represented by the UN. Pipes’s column summarizes an article by John Fonte from the current issue of Orbis that begins to raise the kind of radical questions we urgently need to address. I wonder if other serious conservatives will follow Pipes’s lead in pursuing these issues.
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