century. The League of Nations and the United Nations, "utopian" in conception, were both doomed to failure. "Today," asserted McDougall, "as Kissinger observes, the dream of a Wilsonian order has even less chance of success." 8
In the most disturbing, if trendy, proposition that has been contributed to the post—cold war debate, both realists and idealists take some heat. Among others, Professor Paul Kennedy and the journalist Robert Kaplan have argued that the plight of the world may just be hopeless, unlikely to experience the requisite reform, given the limitations of current political regimes, whatever their theoretical stance. Kennedy's Preparing for the Twenty-First Century is a dreary recital of unmanageable worldwide demographic explosion, rampant environmental despoliation, risky biotechnological advances, malnutrition, uncured diseases, ethnic strife, and more. 9 Kaplan's travel journal, The Ends of the Earth, acknowledging Professor Kennedy's groundbreaking work, adds more misery to our picture of the world. Traveling in remote spots in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, Kaplan finds a nether world in perilous disintegration, plagued by overpopulation, lack of education, disease, environmental disasters, rampant crime and corruption, anarchy, and civic collapse. For Kaplan, the situation is without hope: "We are not in control" he concludes (his emphasis). Moreover, "As societies grow more populous and complex, the idea that a global elite like the UN can engineer reality from above is...absurd." 10
Undoubtedly, as we proceed to face the new century more voices will be raised to find wanting any claim that human society collectively and through international organizations can reasonably address world problems and make the situation a bit better. Thus, dismissing the United Nations as irrelevant will continue to be in vogue.____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: To Create a New World?American Presidents and the United Nations. Contributors: John Allphin Moore Jr. - Author, Jerry Pubantz - Author. Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 10.
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