Wanna Fix the World? Fix the UN
The policies of an ever increasingly interconnected planet
In the rise of global populism and a seemingly general public consensus that the current economic system only benefits the global elites, there are several collective steps we can take to reclaim the prospects of real social change. Real change starts in changing the way we act, the way we interact and how we cooperate with a common vision and idea of progress in mind. in today’s struggle, the vision we should be fighting for is economic justice, social equity, environmental protection and social redistribution systems that work for everyone. The only road block to these goals is understanding that when we act together as the common public, we can act to ensure our futures. The policies and corporate structures that create our current systems of oppression are in place because we the public allow it. We leave the mechanisms of oppression in place when we back leaders that offer us quick fixes and promises without real plans. This is no longer acceptable, no social elite is going to offer anyone more than they must, so we the public should design the new system, create the new mechanisms. This is the same mobilisation of the economically disenfranchised calling for change which has created the populist movements around the world. it’s a repetitive trend that can be resolved in one of two global trends: abandoning the global community project of connectivity and interdependence or creating stronger and more accountable global institutions designed by and made accountable to the public. I favour the latter because it is far more efficient and develops a global culture which we need to create global infrastructure and enhance the life quality of every human being. Shutting down global trade is a step backwards and so entrenched that closing our borders only closes our potential. I will attempt to outline the framework for systemic change in order to align the idea of globalisation, to the reality of the components and deliver a real increase in global equity rather than wealth inequality.
As is, the United Nations is a pipe dream of a better future. It has no real jurisdiction and power in the geopolitical stage. The U.N. acts in more cases than not, as a conversation about injustice and as an intermediary apparatus of the worst problems of our world. but left powerless to the real issues of the increasing globalised community. As an international governing body, the U.N only directs the actions of it members in a format/ direction that they themselves as an organisation do not have the power to enforce. It is subject to the will of its member states and is not directly accountable to the people of the world but the politics of nations.
So how do we solve this?
First, we must talk about the control and influence issues within the U. N’s executive branches, like the security council. America and other superpowers use the security council like a board to play geopolitics and employ vetoes which conflict to their geopolitical agendas and special interests. This can be solved through more rotation and stricter requirements on countries to be part of relative councils and positions of power within the United Nations. The idea of leading the world through an international body is not to cater to power dynamics of post-World War II power structures, it is to lead the world to a greater point of connectivity and equity through cooperation.
Now, some might argue that the security council is composed of the world’s military leaders, so it makes sense that their votes coincide with the effects of their independent actions. The fact remains that this issue is present in other U.N branches and the solutions are based on the same principle. Before I explain the linchpin in proper geopolitical cooperation, I will point at another example of the ill governance style of the U.N as it coincides with the way to solving the issue: The placement of Saudi Arabia on the human rights council. Why would one of the world’s largest perpetrator of human rights abuses, be put able to vote on the interventions of human rights abuses? it is illogical and it indicates the type of reform that must be made: a strict criterion of eligibility must be made for each role, council and tribunal in the U.N, Which sees only countries that exemplify the qualities that are needed in the relative field, are put in positions of power over the field.
We may say, this is too strict for the international community and that in the age of international isolationist policy, it would only see the destruction of the international system. I would counter with my reason in selecting this to be the level in which we reform our global system: we are too interconnected to step backwards and countries know that without trade and the international cooperation that our mutually assured survival, is not ensured without it. No country is removed from the planet, it is an illusion of difference that makes individual states, not different worlds. Cooperation is the undercurrent of progress and any person versed in policy-making is acutely aware of this fact.
Rewarding progressive nations by making their voices heard on the international stage to further the social values and ideologies in areas that brought their respective countries a higher level of discourse and stance is the point of international cooperation, not simply avoiding nuclear wars. Most of the countries that have nuclear arms understand what mutually insured destruction is and that military action will enact a return to a shown hostility given the development of social enemies, fiscal gain and geopolitical leeway for retaliation in the global community. Let’s stop playing this ridiculous game of who’s going to end all life on the planet (which proves what? Nothing if you’re dead too) and focus on the real issues destroying the civilisation: corruption and wealth inequality.
To develop the real criteria for participation in the higher levels of U.N positions, we must require a two-tier membership system that discriminates the validity of nations. Countries levels of legislated human rights, freedoms and abuses should be measured; in addition to an assessment of free democratic processes. This should be the factor for their membership to the U.N and higher positions within it. This is the current member vs observer statuses except members aren’t voted in they meet the criteria set forth for a modern global state. First, I will state why we need this, then how we get countries to go along with it.
This doesn’t violate sovereignty but reaffirms the rights of humans. It sets a standard benchmark of what we should expect in this century and age of connectivity while holding countries accountable to the will of their people. This should come at no qualm or domestic opposition. What is the argument? That we want people to have a common standard of voice and freedom? Claims that this meddles in the sovereignty of nations, only indicate that these nations are not operating in the interest of their citizens but in the interest of an elite class. Which the exact issue causing our planet to degrade at an exponential rate, elitism. When properly managed communally resources are often made/planned for in a sustainable way, when planned without the input of the community they are squandered and grossly miss-allocated. This is the trend that has plagued our planet in its half measures in becoming a global community with an emphasis on economics rather than a solidarity of protecting human rights. It is present in the fabric of every country facing a mounting populist movement to shrug off the oppression of the economic hierarchy. Denying this truth, is denying the problem and it will not fix it, and given the current state of our environment, we may not even be leaving it our children to solve.
Collective Cooperation requirements
In this newly reformed idea of the U.N, we must make membership more valuable. This can be done through the coordination and implementation of checks and balances to international trade in the form of international corporate trade taxes, levied against corporations large enough to trade on the international level. We live in a time where corporations aren’t paying their domestic taxes to the level needed by states yet they are using international trade agreements to run rampant and maximise profit margins. Taxing corporations on their size and jurisdictional reach confined to the member states of an international body sees: incentive to join through revenue and checks the very thing that has caused (nearly) every nation to be hostile and behave in a cut-throat manner for resources and to ensure what little employment they can. This means that taxes are evenly redistributed to the states that corporations use and operate in as part of their value chain of production and calculated based on their reported earnings and output. This new system of the international community doesn’t allow for the transfer of funds to in order to avoid reporting and taxation. I outlined the requirements of this type of policy in a previous post so, I won’t repeat it here to save space. This type of policy frees up the competitive arena of the local industry while insulating domestic efficiency to better produce specialised products and creating a focus on the development of surplus exportable products that are regionally tied in production variables.
What is the counter argument to this which nations can float: We don’t want the taxes we weren’t getting? We don’t want to allow our citizens basic human rights?
To quote Malcolm X, “the truth is on the side of the oppressed.”
The truth is when we are transparent and have the open dialogue, we remove the secrecy and diffusion that ensures the continued practice of deceit and manipulation that has given way to the rise of populism and the economic disparity that caused it.
The truth is that economic disparity is caused by corrupt governance pandering to dollars rather than the needs of the voters.
The truth is that politicians faking that they understand the problem won’t solve the everyday struggle that most of the planet’s population is feeling, reform does not need concessions to corporations, it needs concessions to the public’s life and opportunity.
The truth of what’s wrong in the world is the embedded in the very identity of the oppressed. Their stories, frustrations and actions only point to a system that is fraught with wrongdoings and injustices of innocent people trying to survive.
This is piece targeted to the United Nations but it is just an example of the types of policy we need if we want to develop this vision of the future we can with our without the establish mechanism of global governance.
Join us at Project: Human City and together we can build this network of international community, one Human City at a time.