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What do you think of the UN?
UN is great.
9%
 9%  [ 2 ]
UN should be disbanded.
47%
 47%  [ 10 ]
They should kick out the dictators.
42%
 42%  [ 9 ]
Are you talking about the Man from U.N.C.L.E.?
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 21

Author Message
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 166
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Location: Libertarian socialism

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So are you suggesting that the US would accept a fully democratic global forum where the voting power was proportional to population and the results were binding? Even assuming that the organization was limited to democracies in some way, so that, say, India had more voting power than the US, Canada, Australia + Continental Europe? I would say such a forum would be a significant improvement over the current situation.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't support any reformation with votes based on population, for exactly the reason that Donald highlights, unless the powers and mandate of the new body were severely reduced from what they are now.
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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votes: 36

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
So are you suggesting that the US would accept a fully democratic global forum where the voting power was proportional to population and the results were binding? Even assuming that the organization was limited to democracies in some way, so that, say, India had more voting power than the US, Canada, Australia + Continental Europe? I would say such a forum would be a significant improvement over the current situation.


No, because it would be equally expensive - that was my first point. I don't want citizens in India to have a veto over my vote in Canada. The UN should be destroyed. It has done nothing save for its humanitarian aid.
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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votes: 10
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Quote:
Time to create a useful world forum - one that has some sort of ability to get things done. Establish a set of rules/reactions for certain events. ie. genocide, nuclear expansion and the like. No more dithering..
What rules would you put in place and how would they differ from specific existing agreements against genocide and the like? How would the member nations be empowered or required to participate and why would they agree to this?


I would set clear and specific rules about engaging perpetrators of genocide. Nuclear expansion would be limited - world powers would enable countries to purchase supplies necessary for power generation at costs affordable to said countries, but limit the proliferation of supplies for nuclear weapons..

Member nation's would be bound by their obligation to comply with world actions, or face immediate sanctions. During military conflicts, countries who could prove undue economic stress would be exempt from participating fully...

Obviously much of the work the UN does is in various shades of gray.. but genocide and the like are issues of black and white... so to speak.

The world never seems to learn its lessons... We wait too long, give too many chances, then we have a hard fight once we are sufficiently convinced there is a problem.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big problem with the above is that, using the current organization and makeup of the UN, we'd be involved in massive wars against the US and Israel by next Tuesday.
biggie





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=genocide">Genocide:</a>

Quote:
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.


clarification: Hezbollah and Hamas have political wings - but their politicians aren't being killed, their militants are.

Focus on the word <a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=extermination"> extermination:</a>

Quote:
to get rid of by destroying; destroy totally; extirpate: to exterminate an enemy; to exterminate insects.
FF_Canuck





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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that. However, I'm sure the mass of socialist dictatorships and fascist theocracies infesting the UN don't see it that way...
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are perhaps a handful of countries in the world that could be described as "socialist dictatorships" even using loose terms, and even most of these (China, Vietnam, etc.) spend almost all of their time thinking of ways to attract foreign capitalists to their highly marketized society.
biggie





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By definition it is impossible to be a capitalist dicator...

the two are exact opposites..
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By definition it is impossible to be a capitalist dicator...

the two are exact opposites..
Capitalism is a system of generalized commodity production in which the means of production are separate from the workers who must therefore sell their labour-power in order to survive. There is no reason why a dictatorship can't exist in such a situation, athough it probably lends itself more to a parliamentary democracy fused with a coordinator class that operates ideally in "technocratic isolation." But it does often seem to be true, as Emma Goldman said, that if voting changed anything they would make it illegal.
jnarvey





Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see a lot of people on this forum topic calling for the UN to be disbanded and for something else to be put up in its place.

But why reinvent the wheel when all that is really needed is a little tweaking? Take violators of human rights off the Human Rights commission, give Security Council status to Japan, India and possibly Brazil and give Taiwan a seat in the General Assembly. That's pretty much it.

Remoulding the UN so that it only includes democracies would be counterproductive in the long run. The existence of the UN helps bolster the sovereign status of states at the expense of regional warlords and small but dedicated groups of fanatical psychos.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jnarvey, there might be something to what you suggest.

However, I'm unsure as to why Japan would be deserving a permanent spot on the Security Council. And it would probably be impossible to get India on the council without also bringing Pakistan on board....

How would you recommend addressing the UN's issue with systemic corruption ?
jnarvey





Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck, Japan has one of the biggest economies and has the sixth-highest military spending budget in the world. With the expected changes to its pacifist constitution, Japan can be expected to play a bigger role on the world stage in the coming decades - not only economically, but increasingly with military muscle.

While that may be alarming to some nations that lived under Japanese imperial tyranny more than half a century ago, it is a likely forecast of things to come. Ideally, its forces could be used to help promote stability in its own region or outside of Asia alongside other UN blue helmets. For these reasons, Japan deserves consideration for the Security Council.

As for India, it has over one sixth of the world's population, a democratic government, a relatively modern military and economic growth that may rival China's very soon. Pakistan is more likely a candidate for UN emergency intervention than participation on the Security Council for the foreseeable future.

As for the corruption, I'm no expert on that. I would point out, though, that any bureaucratic body set up in the UN's place is likely to suffer from the same problem, as in bureaucracies in general.
Craig
Site Admin




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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Capitalism is a system of generalized commodity production in which the means of production are separate from the workers who must therefore sell their labour-power in order to survive.


LMAO - I like the inference that the owners of the means of production don't work. My boss almost went bankrupt trying to build his business. He took huge risks and almost lost everything. Now he is enjoying the fruits of his LABOR. I'm just barely "surviving" selling my labor to the man who has kindly provided me a job. Without him I would be working for some other guy who had the genious and courage to start his own business - errr - I mean "means of production".
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 166
Reputation: 16.2Reputation: 16.2
Location: Libertarian socialism

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
LMAO - I like the inference that the owners of the means of production don't work. My boss almost went bankrupt trying to build his business. He took huge risks and almost lost everything. Now he is enjoying the fruits of his LABOR. I'm just barely "surviving" selling my labor to the man who has kindly provided me a job. Without him I would be working for some other guy who had the genious and courage to start his own business - errr - I mean "means of production".
I would guess that he is a petty-bourgeois manager who is subordinate to capital at some other level. He is part of a class that gets thrown up and down by the tidal forces of capital and can only generally afford to be kind to the degree with which it meets this overarching logic. I suspect he acts as an intermediary sort for some larger system. The point isn't to attack this or that individual, who is forced to obey to larger laws of the system to the point of extinction. The point is to target the logic of the system and eventually transcend it.

As for the kindness of hiring you... I like this quote by Simon Linguet:
Quote:
It is the impossibility of living by any other means that compels our farm labourers to till the soil, whose fruits they will not eat, and our masons to construct buildings in which they will not live. It is want that drags them to those markets where they await masters, who will do them the kindness of buying them. It is want that compels them to go down on their knees to the rich man in order to get from him permission to enrich him. What effective gain has the suppression of slavery brought him? 'He is free,' you say. That is his misfortune. These men, it is said, have no master. They have one, and the most terrible, the most imperious of masters: that is, need. It is this that that reduces them to the most cruel dependence.
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