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Another possibility is that the U.N. itself will be torn into competing pieces as nation after nation or group after group break away to form their own mini-U.N.'s.
Now, that is not a very pleasant picture. This scenario is certainly not inevitable. No one knows how events will develop. But it represents one dramatic set of possibilities that ought not be ignored, especially since such events, in turn, are likely to intensify dangerous pressures inside the United States for a kind of Neanderthal isolationism. They could provoke us into blind, intransigent opposition to global progress.
To head off the crisis, we need to understand that it is not just a "gangup” or a random or accidental event. It is a direct outgrowth of the decline of the nation-state in the high technology world, a process which is an inescapable part of the superindustrial revolution.
U.N.A PRODUCT OF INDUSTRIAL AGE MENTALITY
Like all industrial societies, the U.N. is nation-based. It is not a United World Organization and never was. It is a United Nation's organization. It takes for granted, right from the start, the perpetuation of and the need for nation-states. This is an industrial-era idea.
The modern nation is a direct product of the industrial revolution. Of course, great territorial empires existed before the industrial revolution. But they lacked the one decisive component that all modern nations share: an integrated economy.
Nations in the modern sense arose because industrial technology required nonlocal resources. It was impossible to build an industrial society out of purely local resources. You needed raw materials from a larger area. Similarly, the new technologies of industrialism made it possible to produce more goods than could be sold in a local market. Therefore, you began to expand, and you developed integrated, national economic markets. The modern nation state includes, therefore, an integrated economy as one of its fundamental components.
Today we have 138 member nations of the U.N. They range from the Peoples Republic of China with 800 million people to 20 nations whose combined population scarcely adds up to 10 million. I would hazard a guess that fewer than 40 or 50 of these have the tightly integrated economic systems that characterize modern nations. This doesn't mean that they are unimportant. The familiar sneers about mininations or “Third World corn flakes” and reflect an arrogance based on ignorance.
Senator PERCY. To emphasize your point, among those smaller nations with nonintegrated economies are some of the most powerful in the world, OPEC countries.
Mr. TOFFLER. That is right.
Senator PERCY. Such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. So when you say they are important, they are not only important, they are absolutely vital.
Mr. TOFFLER. Clearly: The fact that some so-called minination doesn't sit on some crucial resource today does not mean it will not someday soon. As our technology changes, our resource needs change.
So I think we are going to have to get over our cultural arrogance about small states. But we also need to understand the role of nationhood in them because it bears directly on the structure of the U.N.
NEW CONCEPTS. OF DEVELOPMENT AND NATIONHOOD
Today nationalism and nations are crucially important to the socalled developing countries. To the degree that development means traditional industrialism or industrialization, they require the nationstate as a political framework for the emerging integration of their economies. We are going to see soon a new concept of development that is not based on blind implementation of Western industrial experience. When we do, the role of nationalhood will begin to change. But until now development in many countries has meant industrialization. And to the degree that developing countries mean industrializing countries, to the degree that they become enmeshed in the world money system, to the degree that they become dependent upon trade and export, and so on, they will find it convenient, if not necessary, to create or maintain the nation-state.
The crisis in the U.N. springs in good measure from the fact that, ironically, precisely the opposite situation is now the case in the most technologically advanced parts of the world. The nation-state, far from being crucially important for solving problems, is increasingly becoming an obstacle. Too small to cope with transnational realities, it is too big to deal effectively with main subnational problems. This is why we begin to hear more demands for decentralization and devolution of political power, not only in our country, but more dramatically in places like Scotland and Wales, in Alsace Lorraine and Corsica and Quebec and British Columbia and Western Australia, to cite only a few instances.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Toffler, may I inquire how much longer your statement is? We asked that it be compressed into 20 minutes and 12 o'clock is approaching very
fast and I know we will want to ask some questions.
Mr. TOFFLER. OK, I will “zoom” through it. If I may, another 5 minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you will zoom? Mr. TOFFLER. I will zoom.
Senator PERCY. Is it possible for the committee to also to have a copy of that?
Mr. TOFFLER. Well, I do not have it, but I will be able to do that, I can provide it. I have to retype it and get it in later.
To return, there is a reason for these demands for regional autonomy or secession. Just as the industrial revolution “massified” society, the superindustrial revolution now occurring “demassifies” it. As the superindustrial revolution develops, technological societies become increasingly diverse, their consensus breaks apart. They become “demassified”. This means they become more diverse culturally, socially, technologically, ethnically and politically.
MOVEMENT OF POWER NECESSARY
They become so varied internally that key problems can no longer be defined, let alone solved, at the national level. In this situation more
power must return to the regions, states, provinces or cities. Power must, in short move down from the national level.
Şimultaneously, because of the increasing scale and scope of our technology and the global integration referred to earlier, more and more power must move up above the national level to transnational agencies. Thus more and more problems arise that cannot be solved by a single nation. As the superindustrial revolution advances, the high technology nation-state begins to lose control at both ends. In short, power moves up to transnational and down to subnational levels at the same time.
thus live on a planet divided into one part in which the nationstate, as a political form, is growing more important, and another part in which the nation-state is growing less important. The political crisis in the U.N. springs from precisely this split. It is this split which aggravates relationships between rich and poor nations, between the mega-states and the ministates. Indeed, this division can be expected to broaden until it threatens to crack the U.N. wide open.
All this suggests that, if there is to be a workable U.N. in the future, it will have to revolutionize its basis of membership. It will have to become not the United Nations but a United World Organization (perhaps one of several). If it is to remain an umbrella under which all peoples can join, it will have to give up the assumption that the only form of representation is representation by nation.
ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF REPRESENTATION AT THE U.N.
We shall have to begin designing one or more world organizations in which the principle of representation is quite different-in which, for example, representation is extended to the major religions, or to different occupational or professional groupings, from peasants to scientists, or in which racial, or ethnic differences are recognized, or in which geographical regions are represented on a population basis. In fact, one can conceive of the U.N. itself transformed in the future into an organization based on multiple forms of representation and perhaps having several different chambers.
Not only is the present structure of the U.N. not sacred, it is obsolete for all parties concerned. From a long-range point of view, the transformation of the U.N. from the United Nations to the United World Organization is a necessary next step.
The problem of the nation is, however, only one of the fundamental factors in the U.N. crisis.
The second great problem I think facing the U.N., is its international bureaucratic structure, the fact that it is built like a pyramid, rather than in a responsible, ad-hocratic, flexible form of organization. Because of the rapid rate of change and because of the very diverse and unexpected demands produced by the high-change environment, bureaucracies can no longer operate effectively. The internal structure of the U.N. will need to undergo fundamental changes if it is to become effective. I can enlarge on that later, if the members of the committee wish.
But the final point I would like to emphasize is that, if the U.N. is to function realistically, it is going to have to face the fact that it's only one piece of a larger network. And here I think the United States has a crucial and innovative role to play.
PLUGGING TIIE U.N. INTO OTHER TRANSNATIONAL NETWORKS
Our long-term role should be to strengthen other parts of the transnational network and to encourage the U.N. to plug its efforts into them. To understand this, we might think in terms of not one but two world organizations that coexist today. The first is the U.N., which is highly visible, controversial, and political. The second world "organization," and I put that word in quotes, is not a single organization at all, but a vast, complex collection of agencies and organizations—the 2,600 nongovernmental organizations alluded to earlier. These international organizations span every conceivable human interest. They devote themselves to everything from ocean exploration to education; they deal with every conceivable produce of raw materials. They represent every conceivable shade of political interest or lack of interest. The number of these organizations has been growing very, very rapidly, rising from 1,300 in 1963 to twice that number today, and it is expected that from 1,000 to 2,000 more such organizations will spring up around the world by 1985. They represent a great unrecognized global resource. They are, in a sense, an undeveloped part of the transnational network. We have well-developed governments and governmental organizations. We have well-developed multinational corporations. But we have yet to devote much effort—or even do much thinking about—this third layer of the emerging transnational network.
Despite this, last year these NGO's or nongovernmental organizations had an aggregate budget of about $1.4 billion, of which some $800 million was channeled into aid or development projects of one kind or another. And this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg because all of these international organizations have national affiliates and subsidiaries whose budgets are much larger as a rule than that of the international organizations to which they belong.
Many of these organizations are highly respected, high caliber groups, filled with energetic, skilled, and talented members, many of whom are eager to be of service to the global community. Many have strong scientific or other capabilities for dealing with some of the same health, medical, cultural, or ecological problems as the U.N. itself. I don't know that anybody has even calculated yet how many individual human beings are members of this vast, seething, energy-filled system.
Senator PERCY. Do you have a system of a lot of interlocking directors, people serving on multiunits and relatively smaller groups of people that really concentrate on that?
Mr. TOFTLER. I don't think so. I am sure there is overlap, but it is such a diverse group that, in fact, if anything, it is not sufficiently integrated or connected.
STRENGTIIENING NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
The NGO's represent a largely ignored part of the transnational network. Very often they go their own way, as though the U.N. didn't exist—which, apparently, is precisely what the U.N. wants them to do, because, while it is true that 600 NGO's hold what is misleadingly known as consultative status with the U.N., the fact is that the U.N. is very jealous of its “sovereignty.” It regards these NGO's much as it regards cholera and yaws. It sometimes undercuts them, but more often:
it ignores them. So basically we find two key parts of the transnational network, with many common goals, but each operating, by and large, as though the other didn't exist.
When you look at these two parts of the network you see something remarkaśle. The U.N. is heavy at the top, it has a sizable bureaucracy (not compared with General Motors, of course, but within its own terms, a sizable bureaucracy). Yet it has no roots. Its wires run from the U.N. to the 138 nation-states and then stop. The U.N., in a word, is all top and no bottom.
When we look at the NGO's, we find the exact reverse. They are all bottom and no top. They have lines or wires that run down through their affiliates into lives of literally millions and millions of people around the globe. The NGO's are active, doing things everywhere. But there is no coordination, no systematic way for them to interact, no effective way to find other organizations with similar goals, and no way to really connect their energies up with the United Nations system itself.
I would suggest, therefore, that one of our goals ought to be to find a way to strengthen the NGO sector of the transnational system and to channel their energies into the development of improved food supplies, conservation measures, depollution programs, community development and so forth. Here the United States could make a major change at very little cost. If the United States did nothing but simply provide a limited amount of office space, some travel funds, and telephone WATS lines for some of these organizations-facilitative services for them-I think it would significantly upgrade a fundamental piece of this emerging transnational network. Within the U.N., the United States ought to earmark specific funds to be used for the purpose of integrating these two parts of the network, the U.N. and the NGO's. For example, a special fund contribution to the U.N. environmental program for the support of nongovernmental organizations in the environmental field could have long-range structural value to both the U.N. and the NGO's. Where the United States does provide funds to the U.N. for work with NGO's moreover, it ought to stipulate that control over the funds should be jointly shared by the NGO's and the U.N., so that NGO's do not need to come to the U.N. as supplicants. By supporting the NGO or voluntary sector, the United States would be building up an enormous transnational resource of value to all of us—the U.N. included.
There are, of course, problems with this policy, as with any other. Many Third World countries look upon NGO's as essentially Western in origin and outlook.
Nevertheless, the careful, deliberate strengthening of the NGO sector and the integration of U.N. activities with the activities of the NGO's would go a long way toward replacing the present bureaucracy with a flexible, effective ad-hocracy.
To summarize, then, long-term U.S. policy toward the U.N. must take into consideration the larger transnational network that is swiftly emerging as part of the breakdown of industrialism and its replacement with a new, super-industrial world system. The United States ought to begin thinking now about proposals for alternative forms of representation within the U.N. It should support efforts at internal reorganization of the U.N. to reduce the bureaucratization. And it should present a clear, direct program for breaking down some of the