September 13, 2002

JOE KATZMAN liked Bush’s speech. So, interestingly, did Jeff Cooper, though I’m not sure they’re on the same page as to why. And reader Chris Durnell observes:

However, there is also a bigger story – the UN as it is conceived right now is dysfunctional as is the entire international system. The phrase “post-1945 international system” is the big clue. Is the world anything like it was sixty years ago? No, it’s not, but all the world bodies are designed as if it were. It’s like the big idea after World War II was to preserve the system established by the Congress of Berlin in 1884.

A new international system is needed that reflects the world power structure of 2002, not 1945. Diplomats are a notoriously conservative bunch unable to react to changes in world events especially if they happen slowly over time. The US as “world hegemon” took a decade to develop, and now the world needs to deal with it, the crisis of failed states across Africa and Asia, and the rise of non-state powers. Not only is the post-WWII system irrelevant, the basic assumptions of international law since the Treaty of Westphalia are beginning to become questioned. How can the current system handle this? It can’t.

I agree with a lot of this. One problem with the post-1945 system is that it created a transnational bureaucracy, and a lot of NGOs that feed off of it, and that creates great resistance to change that might cost people their phony-baloney jobs.

UPDATE: Jeff Cooper writes that there’s not all that much difference between his position and Katzman’s.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Porphyrogenitus comments.

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