William F. Jasper. The United Nations Exposed. John Birch Society, 2001. See here to purchase the book.
William F. Jasper has served as senior editor of The New American, which is published by the conservative John Birch Society. In The United Nations Exposed, Jasper argues that the United Nations is part of a conspiracy to create a one-world socialistic government.
Here are some thoughts and observations about this book:
A. Before reading this book, I read another Birch Society book against the UN: G. Edward Griffin’s The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations, which was published in 1964. Of course, Jasper’s book, being published in 2001, has a lot more information than Griffin’s book, for a lot has happened since 1964. Griffin focuses on Katanga and the Korean War, but there have been more UN-directed military interventions since then. Environmentalism has emerged as a cited reason for nations to cooperate with each other and impose regulations on capitalism. Discussions have occurred about a UN Treaty on the Rights of a Child and an arms control treaty, which Second Amendment advocates think can lead to a suppression of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. There is an International Criminal Court. The World Trade Organization undermines U.S. sovereignty by telling the U.S. which laws constitute an unfair trading practice, and the European Union imposes rules on member nations. Jasper engages many of the 1960’s UN and U.S. documents that Griffin does, but also documents from the four decades since then. Jasper’s book is far more extensive, but Griffin’s book talked more than Jasper about the governmental structure of the United Nations.
B. Something else that occurred after 1964 was the end of the Cold War. Griffin’s book, consequently, focused more on Communism, but Communism still exists as a problem in Jasper’s book. Jasper cites quotes from Mikhail Gorbachev that, in his mind, support a one-world socialist government. Jasper believes that Vladimir Putin is a threat. That is interesting because, nowadays, anti-globalist conservatives lend to lionize Putin as a bulwark against a one-world government and a protector of traditional values against liberal hegemony.
C. An overarching question in Jasper’s book is whether we can seriously believe that the UN will take over the world. The UN looks so weak, like a paper tiger. One person I know who worked as an intern at the UN remarked, “The UN can’t even start a meeting on time, so I doubt it will take over the world!” Jasper argues, however, that prominent people in the U.S. government and the UN desire a one-world government. They would like for the UN to have more power than it currently has. Whether the documents that he cites point to an organized plot, that is for readers to decide. The documents express a desire for greater global cooperation to solve problems, and even that such cooperation be facilitated by binding agreements and governmental structures. There is a feeling among utopians, some New Agers, and even some in the UN that nationalism creates conflict among nations and should be undermined. The desire for globalism has been out there, but how seriously has it been taken, and how feasible is it believed to be? As one politically-minded person retorted when I told him about State Department document 7277, which talks about the nations disarming and being unable to challenge the UN police force, “There are all sorts of government documents out there.” What is more, how coordinated is the so-called conspiracy? Indeed, there are people in the Communist Party USA who argue that capitalism hurts the environment, but are they seriously in league with powerful elites, or are they people on the margins complaining about the system?
D. Jasper, of course, depicts the UN as part of a conspiracy to create a one-world socialist government. My problem with the Bircher scenario is that it depicts the alleged conspiracy as monolithic. Yes, there are environmentalists who would like more global cooperation and regulations on capitalism. But another challenge to national sovereignty has been neoliberalism, which seeks to undermine national regulations for the sake of global capitalist ambitions. There may be people in the U.S. government who see the UN as a solution to global conflict, but there are also high-ranking people, including people Jasper cites as parts of the conspiracy, who pursue U.S. hegemony and seek to undermine left-wing governments because they are a bulwark against capitalist interests.
E. Jasper talked about Dixy Lee Ray, a scientist who served as Democratic governor of Washington, and who later wrote books against environmentalism. An interesting ally! Jasper also tells a story about how he asked Al Gore about scientists who do not believe in climate change, and Al Gore’s response.
This is a well-written and well-documented book, and, notwithstanding my questions, I enjoyed reading it.