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PRESENT U.N. INVOLVEMENTS
If involvement is a measure of an institution's health, the U.N. system is alive and well.
U.N. Forces at this moment are patroling the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and the Golan Heights. Today under U.N. auspices, the largest negotiation ever in human history, the negotiation over the allocation and setting new rules for the oceans, two-thirds of the surface of the planet, are underway.
The international review conference on the nonproliferation treaty is considering the expansion of the role of the IAEA to keep pace with the frightening spread of weapons-convertible nuclear technology. The IMF (International Monetary Fund), today is being given more responsibility than ever before for steering the relationships between the world's major currencies lest pure unilateralism in altering exchange rates becomes a form of destructive protectionism and international economic coercion. And we have, at the beginning of September, to look forward to the U.N. special session on the new economic order. This session is going to be tackling the most highly charged international political economy issues of the mid-1970's, including the international regulations of commodity pricing.
The special session, belatedly, is being taken very seriously by the U.S. Government and other industrialized countries. Also outside of the Government, possibly within the Government, the policy community is giving serious consideration to setting up some kind of umbrella international institution under U.N auspices that would absorb the functions of the GATT and at the same time deal with the issues of commodity pricing and export controls.
GROWTH OF NEW INTERNATIONAL POPULISM
Now a Martian looking down at all of this activity today might conclude that the U.N. and indeed humankind in general was on the brink of some kind of new burst of creative international activity at least as great as that which resulted in the establishment of a League of Nations and then the U.N. system itself. So why all of the pessimism, why the despair over the future of the U.N.? The source of the despair of many in the U.S. policy community, even among some who are usually the staunchest supporters of the U.N., can be summed up in a phrase, the new-international populism, militant demands by the majority of countries upon the privileged minority, mainly the nonCommunist industrialized countries, for an international redistribution of wealth and political power are being made with greater frequency and greater intensity within the U.N. system. These kinds of demands are injected assertively in all kinds of U.N. forums and negotiations with the insistence they be made top priority agenda items, often with the threat that if the redistribution demands are no given top priority attention, there will be a disruption of the normal processes of these institutions. The would-be leaders of this populist coalition, Algeria, sometimes China, will sometimes, somewhat demagogically attempt to turn even more mundane deliberations into debates on the central populous themes of redistribution. They enjoy bringing matters to a head in the form of yes or no votes on resolutions some of which, while they may have no means of practical implementation, can reenforce the emotional bonds among the populist coalition and spotlight the isolated position of the United States at the same time.
The Arab countries have played upon the populist coalition to good effect for their own causes. They have identified themselves with the populist coalition, and this has allowed them to swing that coalition in back of their vendetta against Israel.
China has tried to effect a similar mobilization of the populists to its side in its conflicts with the Soviet Union but with less success than the Arabs, because the Soviet Union itself usually takes every opportunity to vote with the populist coalition.
INADEQUATE U.S. RESPONSE TO NEW INTERNATIONAL POPULISM
Now I am not most concerned with the fact of international populism, which I believe is a historically inevitable reaction to the dismantling of colonial empires, to the enfranchisement of people internationally who have not had a right even to express themselves, but I am most concerned rather, with the wholly inadequate responses to it, thus far, by this country. The responses to it by this country, thus far, indicate a pessimistic attitude, å withdrawal in a sense from what is really happening in the international system.
There is an exception. Ambassador Moynihan thinks he has found an appropriate response to the third and fourth world militancy which find its most expression in U.N. forums today. Moynihan traces this militancy to the Fabian socialist ideology of former British subjects who are now leaders of some of these new states. He would do just as well to blame the militancy in the former French colonies, on the French Jacobins, and radical nationalists in Latin America on Simon Bolivar. Woodrow Wilson should also be given some of the credit for the rise of this international militancy.
Moynihan's prescription presented in the "Commentary” article of March 1975, which I am sure many of you have read, is to stop appeasing the third and fourth world ideologues, and to go
With what? Well, with a kind of a pudding of Burkean political conservatism to counter the new Jacobins and economic liberalism, ala Adam Smith, to combat the egalitarian state socialism of the new Fabians.
If only we could overcome this U.N. crisis by debate and ideological confrontation in the General Assembly; but the U.N. crisis has its sources in the structural upheavals of world society. Perhaps we can find the guide for constructively responding to these structural upheavals which are the source of the new international populism by looking to our own domestic experience with analogous pressures. After all, instead of Jacobinism or monarchical restoration we produced Jeffersonianism. The bitter populism in the late 19th century which threatened to tear apart our civil society was supplanted by the progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Again, the New Deal was the progressive response to the great world depression of the 1930's, which otherwise might have left the society polarized, as so many societies were, between the Marxist than Leninists and the Fascists.
The essence of the American response, the American progressive response, to populist militism, has been, first, increased accountability of the priviliged and the powerful to wider public interest and institutionalization of such increased accountability. That was the first part of the American response. Second, allowing greater participation by the otherwise alienated in the processes of politics and government.
ADOPTING A PROGRESSIVE RESPONSE TO NEW INTERNATIONAL POPULISM
I believe that an equally progressive response to the new international populism could build on the American democratic experience. The hallmarks of such a response would be U.S. open support for strengthened norms and processes of international accountability, and support for greater participation by the developing countries in important international negotiations and institutions.
A posture of international progressivism would mean that the United States would commit itself internationally to the basic ethical principle of progressivism in our own society, to the principle that those whose action substantially effect others should accord the affected parties a role in the decision processes related to the actions. As a principle, this would obligate governments, and international institutions, to consult with those whom they effect. A fuller implementation would accord the affected parties decisionmaking weight corresponding to the degree to which they are affected. We should demand this kind of international accountability from others, too. Certainly from the OPEC nations who are not acting in a way that is accountable to those whom they affect. But we have to be willing, I suggest, to take the first steps. To demand that the OPEC countries act in accord with the principles of international accountability now that their oil pricing policies substantially effect the U.S. economy is only to invite the outraged retort of the Venezuelan President: Where were you when we were screaming about the price of your industrial exports?
Understandably, others can now accuse us of saying what is mine, what is yours is international.
Now, our present ambassador to the U.N. flails out against the tyranny of the majority; but have we, when we were in the majority, refrained from imposing our will on strongly motivated minorities?
Our top foreign policy officials worry most today about the loss of U.S. credibility. How about the credibility of the U.S. commitments to international processes of dispute resolution and peaceful change? The threats to U.S. security posed by a general deterioration of international order, by a lack of international accountability in today's world, these threats are more real and loom larger in the years ahead than any fantasy of falling dominos.
The threat to the U.N. is only a part of the general crisis in the international system. The international populists are able to exploit this crisis because of the vacuum in progressive leadership by countries like the United States.
A U.S. posture of progressive international accountability, has implications, of course, beyond the way we might conduct ourself in U.N. debates. There are numerous practical applications in a variety of fields. A few examples:
International accountability would mean that despite the sluggish pace of the negotiations on the law of the sea, the United States would refrain from unilateral extension of its coastal zone and from unilateral authorizations of its corporations to exploit the sea bed before the establishment of an international regime. The Congress, of course, must play a crucial role in resisting the pressures of special interests.
If we were serious about international accountability, if we were really as serious about world community, as Secretary Kissinger says we are, we would enter into serious negotiations to develop a prehensive international system for protecting commodity producers and consumers from damaging fluctuations in prices. Now on the basis of Secretary Kissinger's Kansas City speech it appears that the U.S. Government is making some moves in the direction of accepting the legitimacy at least of a comprehensive negotiation on commodities.
PUBLIC OPINION RESTRAINTS ON U.S. POLICY
Senator Case. In respect of Law of the Sea Conference, our Government is far ahead of American opinion. I want to say this again. Our Government, this administration, is far ahead of American opinion, which would extend American unilateral domination not only for fisheries but also for exploration of the seabed, far beyond that which our Government has been trying to work out.
So I want to indicate that I think you ought to be fair about this because you are not talking about a few selfish interests, you are talking about a generality of American opinion. I believe this very deeply because I have been subject to considerable pressure. I have tried to restrain American action in exploiting these things until we could see if we could get an international agreement.
Mr. Brown. I would like to discuss this with you further during the discussion period.
Senator CASE. The only reason I interrupted, I have to leave at 11 o'clock to go to a conference and I did want to make that point here.
Mr. Brown. May I, however, just pose a rhetorical question to you, which maybe we can pick up in the discussion, and that is how do we know what American opinion really is ?
Senator CASE. You ask a politician if you want to know what American opinion is.
Mr. Brown. I understand. But it is an articulate organized opinion. Organized and articulate opinion is one kind of opinion. Opinion that is created by any consistent, new vision is another kind of opinion, and what I am suggesting here
Senator CASE. I might say that is inchoate opinion.
Mr. Brown. Yes, but who makes choate? The pressure groups, the special interests, those who represent the public?
Senator Case. I do not disagree with you. We ought to be striving to be better. But this is not opinion now..
Mr. Brown. Granted. What we are trying to do partially today is create an understanding of why a different approach toward the
law of the sea is so essential. It is in the self-interest of some of the very groups I think are misguided in believing that a dividing up of the sea is going to be in their interest.
I would like, if we could, I am sorry that you are leaving at 11 o'clock, because that is a favorite topic of mine.
Senator CASE. We have no argument about it, but I can tell you fishermen off the New Jersey coast have very clear ideas of what their interests are.
Mr. Brown. I am sure they do.
LEADING IN THE ECOLOGY FIELD
If we were serious also about international accountability in the ecology field, we would take the lead in supporting obligatory international consultations by any country or corporation contemplating projects that might alter natural environments used in common with other countries. These consultations ought not simply to be between corporations and the U.S. government when the corporations want to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, but they ought to be obligatory international consultations. There also should be consultations about other kinds of projects which we can talk about, future projects, such as weather modification.
REGULATION OF MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS
With respect to multinational corporations, if we were serious about international accountability, really serious about world opinion, I believe the United States would champion international regulation of the behavior of multinationals to assure that they do not také unfair advantage of weak national governments and weak national labor movements, to balance our insistence that there be due process and just compensation by countries who take over our multinational corporation subsidiaries.
If we were taking a progressive international stance, I suggest the United States would support broadening opportunities for developing countries to participate in the decision processes of international financial institutions, of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
AVOIDING POLARIZATION ALONG NORTH-SOUTH LINES
What we should be particularly anxious to avoid is an emotional polarization of world society along north-south lines. This polarization is inconsistent with the sense of basic community that is the precondition for the international accountability that is needed. For the United States to fall into the trap of polarization set by demagogic populists, would be against U.S. interests and against the world interest. This is my main argument against the current