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U.N. or You Ain't


A plague and damnation to the impractical intellectuals who impatiently castigate the United Nations and mournfully declaim that no good can come from so impotent an organization. The myopic hopefuls who would overnight transform an intensely nationalistic world into a blissful brotherhood of man are sadly ignorant of the political facts of life.

Not even its most passionate defenders claim that U.N. is the ultimate solution to the world's troubles. Wars and rumors of wars can be climinated by nothing short of an international state with world wide citizenship; but there is not possibility that within the foreseeable future, certainly within this generation, the world powers will be willing to entrust their sovereignty and security to a federal organization.

Successful representative government, even on the national level, requires general agreement on certain broad policies and a faith on the part of the governed that, no matter who exercises power, the structure of the government and the liberties of the subject will remain intact. In the international sphere this area of agreement is simply non-existant. A common desire for peace is not enough. It is fantastic to think that the United States, Britain, Russia, or China would submit to a majority approved policy which conflicted with an important national interest. The world is not yet ready to conduct its affairs in such a reasonable manner.

Granted the present impossibility of a single world state, U.N. becomes the most feasible substitute. It is the best the nations are willing to accept. If it exercises its limited powers fairly and well, U.N. can create opinion favorable to an international government and can demonstrate that it is capable of assuming greater responsibilities. Gradually, as the nations acquire more and more trust in it, U.N. can wield ever increasing power. This development can be hastened by intelligent discussion and criticism, but not by the ill-reasoned carping or unqualified disparagement that is currently popular among certain fanatic internationalists.

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