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3.0 out of 5 stars Whatever happened to the League, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I can at least claim an interest in that I have been inside The United Nations Headquarters, although only as a visitor much as one might do St Peter's or The Taj Mahal. That the Headquarters are on Manhattan Island really should be the clue that the U.N. is to America as The Delian League was to Athens, (though without those facets that are reserved for NATO) and both organisations had the same type of pretentions, notionally inclusive but merely serving the interests of the lead-power.

The U.N. is thus a reflection of American ideology, that is to say Enlightenment based and with all the delusions that come from that liberal belief. What it is not, despite any appearance to the contrary is Kantian World Peace. In short it is without teeth save in so far as facilitated by America (who conduct their show-trials at The Hague and impose their own financial disciplines via the World Bank and the WTO and the IMF).

On page 5 we are informed that the U.N. is the only really global organisation. What then of the Roman Catholic Church, The British Empire, FIFA or The Olympics? - and of course almost all multi-nationals, and N.G.O.s. Perhaps in the spirit of market competition there should be an alternative organisation attempting the same range of activities as the U.N. - and it has to be said that the E.U. seems on course to achieve that, but that would surely then lead to the problems the U.N. is supposed to suppress. Ultimately then the question - whose answer negates the U.N. - is who controls the U.N., a question which whenever put of any body has no adequate answer.

The cover of my copy is a somewhat darker and dramatic Philip Atkins painting. The book is well done so far as I can tell with somewhat thicker pages than usual for a vsi.
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