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Thursday, August 15, 2002


USS Clueless, by Steven Den Beste, has quickly become one of my favorite blogs, and I consume an inordinate amount of time reading his frequent, long, and fascinating posts.

Steve's comments today about John Fonte's article on Transnational Progressivism sent an eerie frisson through me as I recalled the "Tales of Continuing Time" series of science fiction books by Daniel Keyes Moran (especially The Long Run). The backdrop for Moran's "future history" portrays the United Nations as a victorious world-governing dictatorship, after it beat down military resistance from the still-rebellious-but-impotent United States of America. French elites dominate the UN behind a fading facade of democracy.

When I first read Moran's excellent books (which I heartily recommend), that aspect required a considerable suspension of my disbelief. It was hard to imagine a plausible path by which we would ever allow the United Nations' power to grow and swallow our sovereignty. Unfortunately the events of the past two years have delineated just such a path. The Kyoto Treaty, the International Criminal Court, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Treaty, the UN World Conference on Racism, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, etc. were all designed to elicit poltically-correct lip service from the United States. After all, who can possibly be in favor of evils like racism or discrimination or the destruction of the environment?

Once that ideological foundation was laid, there'd be a step-by-step process of acquiescence to transnational authority. No single intrusion on U.S. sovereignty or Constitutional protections would be enough to justify our taking a hard-line stand in the face of vociferous world opinion. And eventually the world's one remaining superpower would be bound like Gulliver in a web of restraints, and would no longer have the capacity to resist the inexorable rule of transnational law.

Much of this foundation was poured during the Clinton Administration. Clinton loved to give lip-service to these goals, even though he knew he couldn't actually get the treaties past the U.S. Senate. The Bush Administration has demonstrated surprising back-bone in refusing to go along, although it still tends to back-pedal a bit and look for ways to compromise. It's all still sitting there, and a future Administration could cave very quickly (for that matter, so could this one).

Steven Den Beste cites reasons for optimism that our Constitutional democracy will ultimately triumph over the forces of Transnational Progressivism. I hope he's right, but it is far from certain. As much as I enjoyed Moran's books, I'd really hate to see life imitate art in this case.

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