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RE: [ba-unrev-talk] NYTimes.com Article: An Uncertain Trumpet

John,    (01)

> The call today is to retire these flaw supra-governments in favor of far
> more organic, direct and community oriented methods. The same goes for    (02)

I partially agree with your points. True, international governmental
structures induce problems of legitimacy, efficacy, etc. However, where we
seem to disagree is on the necessity of these structures, on whether they
are an 'evil empire' (your point of view) or a 'necessary evil' (my
perspective).    (03)

You seem to confuse type and instance. The UN is an instance of a type of
global meta-government, or rather of a worldwide meta-discussion and
negotiation organization. In today's global system with all its links and
dependencies, such a structure is inevitable. If we'd go your way, we
would still have a global village, but then even more out of control.
Multinationals and governments could - and would - still do their thing,
but now even more unchecked and unbalanced.    (04)

As an instance, the UN is flawed and needs *reform* (NB: one reason it is
so ineffective, is because of the continuous sabotage committed by the
US). However, we cannot do without *some form* of meta-government.    (05)

A good example is the EU. This form of meta-government is also seriously
ill, and needs to be restructured. Just think of the lack of legitimacy of
European policy-making. 80% of European laws are now produced in Brussels,
but the quality of democratic decision-making is highly questionable.
Still, would we want to do without it? Despite all its problems, it has
prevented wars amongst its members for the past 50+ years. Even more
important, it has changed people's mindsets: a war with Germany would be
totally inconceivable. Having achieved the almost complete erasure of the
deep feelings of hatred and mistrust engendered by WWII is a major
achievement, I would say. The very fact that half my colleagues and many
students at the university are non-Dutch, is also a tangible result of how
this organization has increased intra-European collaboration and exchange.    (06)

'Organic, direct, and community oriented methods' are needed, absolutely.
But rather than abolishing the global level and going back to some Thomas
Hobbes kind of brutish tribal society, we need to inject those methods at
the highest levels as well.    (07)

Regards,    (08)

Aldo    (09)

  ---///     e-mail: ademoor@uvt.nl
IN|F/OLAB    phone +31-13-4662914/3020, fax +31-13-4663069
  |///       home page: http://infolab.uvt.nl/people/ademoor    (010)

Dr. Aldo de Moor
Infolab, Dept. of Information Systems and Management - Tilburg University
PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
==========================================================================    (011)