Setting ‘fragmentation’ against ‘globalization’
After suffering through the trauma of two world wars, world leaders founded the United Nations for the deterrence of future wars and the promotion of world peace. The diversities of national, religious and ethnic identities as well as competition for scarce resources, however, have been viewed as the primary causes of wars; the amelioration of the characteristics of diversity and the redistribution of world resources have therefore become interwoven within UN peacekeeping goals. In order to accomplish these purposes, attempts are in process to elevate political and economic power beyond the accountability and control of the nations’ troublesome peoples, while at the same time retaining the appearance of democratic government.
One of the methods of achieving this appearance was to bypass the nations’ peoples and to establish a new “civil society,” made up of ideologically favoured non-governmental organizations (like Planned Parenthood), and operating as a substitute electorate. As Dr. Paul Demeny, former president of the Population Association of America, noted in Cairo, the only way the 1994 Population Conference “consensus” could have been reached was through a selective “invitation list” of participants.
Another way to bypass the democratic process within nations is through the process of “devolution.” Devolution is a passing down of authority, responsibilities and rights from the higher level of government to the lower, while retaining ultimate control at the higher level. An example of devolution is the “Third Way” of prime minister Tony Blair in the United Kingdom, where the process has exacerbated the erosion of national sovereignty through a grant of political powers to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. These “states” within the U.K. now have the opportunity to become little fish in a larger pond, where the goals are established in sync with international, rather than local, interests.
Addressing the 50th General Assembly of the UN in October 1995, Pope John Paul II underlined some of the more serious implications of the erosion of national sovereignty. In his speech, he noted the existence of dual forces in the contemporary world: of the universality of an historical worldwide “quest for freedom,” and the particularity of “an explosive need for identity and survival” expressed as a “powerful re-emergence of (a) certain ethnic and cultural consciousness.”
The Pope reminded delegates that freedom, as the object of the historical quest, “is ordered to the truth … Detached from the truth about the human person, freedom deteriorates into license in the lives of individuals and in political life. It becomes the caprice of the most powerful …” It is that universal moral law “written on the human heart” which will provide the “moral logic” necessary for a dialogue between “individuals and peoples” in discussing the human future.
John Paul then observed that the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights “spoke eloquently of the rights of persons; but no similar international agreement has yet adequately addressed the rights of nations.” He noted that the Second World War “was fought because of the violations of the rights of nations.”
While the commonality of “sharing in the same human nature” provides people with an awareness of their relationship with the larger human family, the Pope argued, people are “necessarily bound in a more intense way” to various groups, beginning with the family and going on to include the whole of their ethnic and cultural group. The “rights of nations,” residing upon this “anthropological foundation” are “nothing but ‘human rights’ fostered at the specific level of community life.” The meaning of personal existence is found in human culture for “every culture is an effort to ponder the mystery of the world and … the human person. It (gives) expression to the transcendent dimension of human life.”
Recently, former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Gali drew attention to the same forces of universality and particularity; but, unlike the Pope, he clearly views them as oppositional rather than complementary. He described a gloomy vision of “globalization” versus “fragmentation,” and instead of affirming the intensity of the human need for identifying with family as well as ethnic and cultural groups, Boutros-Ghali claimed the move toward the particular in human relationships leads to “fanaticism, isolationism, separatism, and proliferation of civil war.”
The debate on the representative nature of the UN has only just begun, but pressures are building among UN bureaucrats to manoeuvre for world government status. A larger question now remains to be answered: Are we about to witness the formation of an undemocratic New World Order, paid for with monies involuntarily extracted from the world’s people by bureaucratic intermediaries?