Blog No 177.
The past week has seen a lot of Trump. The USA is gripped by the prospect of their president’s impeachment. It is a lot of excitement about nothing. This is for two reasons. Firstly, though the Congress has the prerogative to instigate impeachment proceedings, the decision on whether or not to impeach, is taken in the Senate. Congress is controlled by Democrats and the Senate by Republicans. Even were the proceedings justified, they would go nowhere.
Secondly, in a blatant display of the workings of disaster capitalism, the Kerry/Biden private business team, while participating at the top level of the Obama administration and following upon that administration’s overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government, used their privileged position for personal gain. As well as doing all sorts of profitable deals in China, they seized the opportunity to place their close relatives in lucrative directorships in Ukraine. It won’t take the Democrats long to realise the risks involved in delving too deeply into the murk surrounding their presidential front-runner candidate, Joe Biden’s, Ukrainian involvements.
There would appear to be no room for good guys in the USA’s two party system. There could be no better reminder of how bad a guy the current presidential incumbent is than his speech given to the UN General Assembly earlier this week. While the whole world marched to protest the political inaction in regard to the existential threat posed by the so rapid onslaught of climate change, Trump’s address did not mention the subject. What Trump’s address clearly demonstrated was that, for the world’s multiple environmental activists and the protesters at their national governments’ inadequate response to climate change, though battles may be won, there can be no long term victory won at a purely national level.
“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots… If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first.”
And globalists, you had better look out “The United States, after having spent over two and a half trillion dollars since my election to completely rebuild our great military, is also by far the world’s most powerful nation….Hopefully, it will never have to use this power.” (An anachronistic and unveiled jingoistic threat drawn from the depths of 19th Century British imperialism. “We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do, we’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too…”) Hands up anyone who can think of a better way to have spent two and a half trillion dollars?
The problems caused by such as the Trump administration can only be solved at a global level by a self-financing institution with executive powers in specific areas. It is folly to expect sovereign states, by definition, programmed to seek their own advantage (if need be at the expense of others) to discipline themselves. This folly is clearly demonstrated by the original and reform-proof constitution of the UN deliberately skewed to prevent its impinging on the national sovereignty of its founders. There could be no clearer illustration of the failure of national self-regulation than the glaring ineffectiveness of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in the face of the climate crisis.
The two and a half trillion question is ‘how is such constitutional reform, on which the survival of our species is dependent, going to be brought about?’
One of my favourite stories is of the great wit of eighteenth century France, the Baron Francois de La Rochefoucauld. Instructing his head gardener to plant a copse of oak trees at the end of a drive, the gardener had replied that it would take at least a hundred years before the results would change the landscape. “Quite, then you’d best start planting this afternoon.”
The same goes for working for reform of the United Nations Organisation. Paddle Now www.paddlenow.org.nz is a New Zealand initiative to instigate this process. How long it will take before it makes a noticeable contribution, is dependent on how much support from New Zealand civil society activist organisations with objectives dependent on global cooperation, it can attract.