I’ve always considered the United

I’ve always considered the United Nations to be the next, best chance for a global structure that could limit not only the power of individual nation-states, but also the newer version of Empire being constructed by transnational, capitalist corporations. The first stated ideal of the UN Charter is “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” (yet someone has just published a book on war being necessary to the existence of the nation-state, I’ll catch you with the reference next time).
The authors of Empire, Hardt and Negri, while criticized, point to another source of resistance: “The newest and perhaps most important forces in the global civil society go under the name of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The term NGO has not been given a very rigorous definition, but we would define it as any organization that purports to represent the People and operate in its interest, separate from (and often against) the structures of the state….we are most interested in a subset of NGOs that strive to represent the least among us, those who canno represent themselves. These NGOs, which are sometimes characterized broadly as humanitarian organizations, are in fact the ones that have come to be among the most powerful and prominent in the contemporary global order. Thier mandate is not really to further the particular interests of any limited group but rather to represent directly global and universal human interests. Human rights organizations (such as Amnesty International and Americas Watch), peace groups (such as Witness of Peace and Shanti Sena), and the medical and famine relief agencies (such as Oxfam and Medicins sans frontiers) all defend human life against torture, starvation, massacre, imprisonment, and political assassination. Their political action rests on a universal moral call – what is at stake is life itself” (p. 321-313).
And then there’s this from Hermann Goering (Hitler’s second-in-command): “Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country” (1939).
Raz will no doubt remind me that it’s also the people who fight the most for social justice who seem to have the least amount of trust in “the people’s” ability to resist. Or did I just read that somewhere recently? Another search!

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