When progressives hear the sweet-sounding phrase “world peace,” they no doubt envision doves taking flight into lofty clouds rolling gently above the turmoils of the earth. Progressives imagine a universal brotherhood of man – with no causes for conflict, no ideological or religious divisions, and no income inequality. But people rarely reflect on the question: What does this vision entail if put into practice?
It is the argument of this essay that the creation of “world peace,” as the progressives see it, would necessitate the crushing of political and religious dissent, the social engineering of irrational and docile people, and the formation of a corrupt and repressive world governing body, which would ultimately abuse its power and authority to extract resources and oppress individuals who question its authority.
Firstly, the creation of world peace realistically involves the crushing of dissent. Critics of the inherently totalitarian vision of a unified humanity cannot be allowed to cause others to become skeptical of collectivist aspirations. Religion, nationality, and patriotism are fairly intractable divisions between peoples, and are therefore hijacked and redirected (Christianity through the Unitarian church, for example) or eroded through moral and cultural relativism. Cultural values are diminished through the contrived ethic of “diversity,” which holds that aspects of one’s identity are equivalent to others’ (and are therefore irrelevant). Those who speak up for their particular value system to the exclusion of others, regardless of the merits, are branded intolerant, racist, xenophobic, right-wing, or extremist and are publicly ridiculed and ostracized in schools, universities, and the media. Love of one’s nation eventually becomes passé and the patriot is ridiculed and subjected to the predictable tactic of the reductio ad Hitlerum.
The sum total of the left’s tactics has the effect of chilling the value of American exceptionalism, which is the ideal that America is a “shining city on a hill” and as such is a model for people around the globe who desire freedom from oppression and the opportunity to prosper. This ideal is a threat to the power of statists in the world, who would rather enslave America by subjecting it to (socialist) international law (namely by “fusing” The Hague with the U.S. Supreme Court) than compete with it for power and prestige, which would require the rather painful transformation of dependent peoples into those who learn to adapt to freedom and self-rule.
Thus we see the predictable smearing of America as “imperialist” and “neo-colonialist,” often by virtue of the fact that it is “capitalist” and seeks trade relations with underdeveloped states. Commerce is seen by paranoiac socialists as inherently oppressive instead of economically liberating. The “progressives” would apparently prefer to see poor, indigenous peoples struggle and starve than businesses offer them wages to perform labor. Obviously, those who accept jobs from multi-national corporations do so because it is preferable to eking things out in a state of nature, or, mind-blowingly for progressives, because they prefer productive work with a chance for advancement to subsistence living (if lucky) provided by a paternalistic government or by a charity.
The real reason the United States is the fly in the ointment to those who desire world peace is because the U.S. promotes economic self-sufficiency and private property outside the reach of the statists; real justice, which is an evaluation of right and wrong; and the accountability of tyrants to their own peoples and to customs of international law. The American agenda, that is, the agenda of liberty, is an affront to those who would rather debate “crimes against humanity” in the United Nations while people suffer and are slaughtered. Rather than the U.N.’s reticence to act in response to such atrocities as those committed in Kosovo and the Sudan being reflective of a flaw in the composition of the world body, such blatant disregard for the suffering of peoples in particular nations is endemic to the worldview of the (communist) founders of the U.N. and those who control it today.
For an illustration of the irreparably corrupt nature of the U.N., and indeed the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the left, we have the U.N. “oil-for-food” scandal. While many nations in the U.N. criticized the U.S. for going to war in Iraq, declaring it a “war for oil,” numerous corrupt politicians were decrying military action while grabbing billions of dollars in the “oil-for-food” scandals, which was essentially Saddam Hussein‘s personal end-around the limited trade embargo. It turns out that the United States most certainly did not go to war for oil, a fact that throws a monkey wrench into the numerous conspiracy theories on the left that colored George Bush and his evil cabal as the manufacturer of lies to justify a (costly, unpopular, and possibly fruitless) war in Iraq. The only arguably “noble” justification for going to war in Iraq, by the left’s standards, is the one the left rules out of hand: This is the neo-Wilsonian “democratic peace theory,” which underwrites Bush’s “big bang” theory of transforming the Middle East into a place of governmental accountability. In theory, this would decrease the likelihood of nuclear-armed fanatical regimes and would therefore make the world a safer place. But the recognition of “evil” in the world, and taking action to confront it, does not jibe with the left’s purported “can’t we all just get along” worldview (at the top, much of the world peace movement historically has been fueled by sheer anti-Americanism, as evidently displayed by the communist-penetrated World Peace Council). We can infer that the drive toward world peace requires the obliteration of all distinctions between nations, and the equivocation of essentially just nations with evil ones.
Secondly, world peace requires heavy doses of brainwashing. Academia is the fount of the systematic distortion of reality needed to condition a people to receive the utopian dispensation. In the social sciences, to name one field, often the best explanation for the success of a certain theory is that it promotes the communist vision. The popularity of the tabula rasa theory of childhood education, for example, as first elaborated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Emile, and despite many falsifications of it on the grounds that human beings vary genetically, mentally, and physically, can be explained on the grounds that it justifies the kind of indoctrination the statists desire. Rationality, the indispensable aid to the self-interested man who “lives in truth,” is the mortal enemy of all utopians, who therefore intentionally destroy the logical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning conducive to subjecting one’s wishes to objective reality. Reality itself is wished away in a post-modern fantasy world where “anything is possible.”
Such brainwashing, which includes the manipulation or obliteration of histories, gives the statists carte blanche to pretend like “experiments” with socialism and globalism (see the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war; the failed League of Nations) never happened and that they can indeed usher in a new world order of perpetual peace and prosperity if only given unmitigated power. Of course, this power, once granted, would be exceedingly difficult to take back should the “philosopher-kings” become corrupt and abusive, which they most certainly would. The chances for the virtuous to retake power from a hegemonic global governance body in modern times would be extremely dim indeed.
Thirdly, world peace necessitates the atomization of individuals through identity-crushing collectivism. This requires a bit of explanation, since it is a contentious issue. A high incidence of anomie, or social alienation, is a charge frequently levied at capitalist or more generally, industrial societies. Frequently, this is accompanied by rather simplistically invoking the theories of the eminent sociologist Emile Durkheim. Ironically, empirical studies contradict the left’s narrative. High rates of alienation, social conflict (which can be a result of frustration and desperation), and lack of civil society are most frequently found in socialist countries, or in the United States, Democrat-controlled states and cities. These areas consistently lack what political scientists refer to as “social trust.”
How do we explain this? Despite progressives’ charges to the contrary, those who work for a living and have hopes of upward mobility in a meritocratic economy, one that rewards the virtue of hard work, and one that holds service and goods providers accountable over the long-term, quality and trust being crucial components of the capitalist concept of “branding,” leads to pride in oneself, one’s work, and by extension, one’s community and nation. Socialist economies are necessarily heavily managed by a monolithic bureaucrat class, whose justification of “equality” for intervention into the lives of individuals, being as it is, unnatural and perpetually disruptive; this leads to nearly permanent political entrenchment and economic stagnation. Such bureaucracies as can be found in socialist states, which are insular and do not fully suffer the consequences for their inefficiency, reward the sycophantic, the sneaky, the deceptive, and the corrupt, and as such, they tend toward mediocrity at best, and, as the Peter Principle suggests, toward incompetence at worst.
To sum up, if socialism were to be taken to the highest level, a world communist organization exerting “global governance” over all mankind would be a supreme enforcement body necessarily comprised of the ruthless. The power wielded by a global government body would attract the most deceptive, corrupt, and unscrupulous charlatans imaginable. Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy suggests that this is inevitable in any organization that requires leadership. Even if a global governance body begins as “virtuous” (which I find not only to be implausible, but impossible; there can be no “virtue” of coercing human beings to obey laws contrary to respective individual freedom) it would become corrupt, because, as Lord Acton put it, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Acton’s statement is perhaps the clearest pronouncement of classical political realism, which sees the drive for power as a flaw embedded in human nature (the ancient historian Thucydides is often seen as a precursor of the realists, while the modern formulator of classical political realism is Hans Morgenthau). Progressives, possibly including President Obama, see the consolidation of power in a world body as implemental to create a global “utopia” of complete equality dominated by oligarchic “philosopher-kings” (referring to the proto-doctrine of communism in practice Plato’s Republic). These are irreconcilable views of the nature of power; the realists acknowledge that the power to do good is the power to do evil, while progressives seek unbridled power while denying that good and evil exist.
The reasons for such a divide lay in the left’s idealist philosophy and superficial reading of history. The marxian left claims that the economic development of industrialism in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century is a call for a radical social and political restructuring of the world into an international order of non-stratified human relations. This is a misreading of the emancipatory implications of the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution on the part of the utopian left. But global oligarchs appreciate industrialism’s potential to reverse the true progress gained in the Enlightenment, and as this aim is shared by oligarchs and socialists, both government-aided corporations and radical environmental groups share the ecofascist drive to consolidate control over global industry by carbon proxy. The socialists and oligarchs both aim for political power; the former by purportedly seeking to abolish private property, which is inefficient in practice and extremely rare; or preferably, by nullifying capital through the transformation of it into fiat currency; private property being a key firewall to statist control.
Thus we can apprehend that such international bodies as the United Nations, and its appendages the IMF and the World Bank, presumed agencies for international peace and harmony, are transmission belts for statists to harness the engines of capitalist states like the United States in order to consolidate global control. It is the age-old story of exploitation by the state, taken to the next level. The result of the statists’ drive for power will be the same as it has always been when human beings oppress their fellow man: “Global governance,” whether in the nominal interest of world peace, social justice, or saving the planet from impending environmental disaster, kills the incentive to create and produce, alienates human beings, and renders most people to neo-feudal status as serfs in an over-regulated and necessarily corrupt and inhumane political order.
The alternative to the left’s utopian vision of “world peace” is the development and preservation of just polities where men treat one another as co-equals; who seek voluntary collaboration in intellectual and business enterprises, serving themselves, and by extension, the greater good, by providing goods and services that are confirmed to be desired by people in a free market; where one owns the means to sustain one’s own life, including one’s own capital; and where man is not only free from coercion, but has the mental faculty, the physical ability, and means to defend and preserve his liberty.