Why a “League of Democracies” Would not be Better than the UN – Francisco Diaz

The League of Democracies is Jonah Goldberg‘s idea of a perfect international organization with infallible moralistic authority. An International Organization that is exclusive and only formed of countries that are “democratic, have a rule of law and respect individual liberties.” While the idea is worthy of some thought, the fact that he believes that it would be a suitable replacement for the UN does not take into account the great tool for international order the United Nations was created and has proven to be.

The United Nations, while partially a tool to spread civil right, humanitarian rights and peaceful discourse to the nations who joined, was primarily conceived as a permanent tool for nations to come together and discuss national or international issues in a global arena. The organization provides nations a safe haven to have diplomatic discourse and cooperation that might have not taken place if the countries were (or are) having a falling out of diplomatic relations at the governmental level. Jonah believes that the UN acts as a institution that tries to govern international relations through a moralistic lens. When in reality it is a location for nations to participate in the global international order as a united world.

What Jonah tries to argue is the creation of an organization made up of liberal democracies that through an non-detailed process have the moral high ground to govern and exclude others who do not meet the necessary requirements to join. He creates and institution that in his mind will push lesser nations (those that are non-democratic) to be inspired to join the organization, and become part of a exclusive world (and i use the word loosely since many nations won’t be able to join) order that will be able to govern through an actual moral seat.

But through the creation of such an organization to replace the United Nations you exclude nations who do not meet the standards and would just condemn them to “strive to join.” He says that “such an organization might inspire nations to better themselves,” but gives no rational or reasonable way on how that would happen. The United Nations still exists because it needs to exist, its a forum for nations to work together on global issues no matter the composition of its government. By eliminating the organization you eliminate one of the main highways of communication for the current international order and how “successful” it has been. While it might not be perfect the organization and its security council have, in the words of David Bosco’s Five to Rule them All, “prevented great power conflicts for the past 60 years.” This has happened because the organization makes a great forum for great powers to cool down risky situations through “calm” discourse.

The Organization might not be perfect but creating an organization that excludes large portions of the world population for the sake of moral high ground completely overlooks the value of the UN. An organization who’s only requirement to join is existence is essential for the creation of a peaceful world order.

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