Last week’s letter to the editor, “Thoughts on globalism,” raises unfounded alarms about globalism: Globalists’ “goal is to destroy America because while we exist the global government cannot exist;” they have “divided the world into 10 divisions;” and they “control the government of the world and they want to enslave every country and people.” Pretty strong stuff.
First let’s understand what globalism is. Definitions vary, but globalism can be explained as a geopolitical policy that regards the world as essentially one country. Globalism develops social, cultural, technological, and economic networks transcending national boundaries, believing that people, goods, and information should be able to cross national borders unfettered.
Global market integration is an ancient concept. More than 2,000 years ago, the Silk Road linked eastern Asia to Europe, providing Chinese luxury items to Rome. The Roman Empire was the first to unite Europe. In America in 1643, four colonies formed the New England Confederation for protection against enemies like “the Indians, the French, and the Dutch.” In 1776, 13 individual colonies each forfeited some of its independence to form a new entity, the United States of America.
The League of Nations was founded In 1920 with the objective of maintaining world peace. Its founding philosophy “represented a fundamental shift from the preceding 100 years.” That change was too abrupt. By the 1930s the League “proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers” and other aggressors. Even before Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill held a secret meeting to discuss starting an international peace effort. That meeting produced the Atlantic Charter, paving the way for development of the United Nations.
On New Year’s Day 1942, representatives from 26 nations met in Washington, DC, to sign the Declaration of the United Nations. They pledged to “use their full resources against the Axis” and agreed “not to make a separate peace.” WWII ended in Europe in May 1945, and the Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco a month later.
The UN’s four main goals are:
n Maintain international peace and security;
n Develop friendly relations among nations;
n Achieve international cooperation in solving international problems; and
n Be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
Are we seeing a trend here? The UN has problems, but as we approach the 75th anniversary of the UN charter in October, we can celebrate the significant changes it has brought to our global civilization. Even before the charter was signed, Allied nations founded these UN agencies: Food and Agricultural Organization; Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization; International Monetary Fund; World Bank; and International Civil Aviation Organization.
Five years ago, Time listed five UN achievements worth celebrating:
n Saving the pyramids, one of many World Heritage Sites preserved and protected by UNESCO.
n Eradicating smallpox, courtesy of the World Health Organization.
n Protecting the ozone, an effort led by the UN Environment Programme in 1987.
n Helping save lives of 90 million children, an effort by the United Nations Children’s Fund, which won a Nobel Peace Prize less than two years after it was founded.
n Promoting arms control in the 1968 Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Has the UN performed perfectly? No. It’s been criticized for “promoting globalization,” among other things. Some of its initiatives have failed, and it has been beset with corruption and sexual abuse allegations. I might ask, what large organization hasn’t? Despite these and other shortcomings, “the majority of international leaders and experts agree that the UN continues to play a critical role in securing peace, stability and prosperity throughout the world.”
Most important is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, foundational for creating a global civilization that recognizes the inherent oneness of all humanity. Eleanor Roosevelt, who led the UN Commission on Human Rights, called it “humanity’s Magna Carta.”
As former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold noted, “The UN was not created to take humanity to heaven but to save it from hell.” Myriad statistics attest that it has.
Globalism affects us all. Positively.
Pete Haug would like to thank his live-in, draconian editor Jolie for substantive contributions. For a list of references, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.