Global Governance

Imagine there’s no countries,

It isn’t hard to do

            —John Lennon, Imagine

You have probably seen that the United Nations is holding its annual international kegger in Midtown Manhattan this week.  Rumor has it that President Obama took a whole 45 minutes out of his daytime talk show tour to give a lecture on free speech and not slandering the prophet of Islam before heading back to the campaign trail, leaving the dirty work of meeting with the various assembled heads of state to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  I understand she may even manage to squeeze Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in between her meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

But you may have missed some of the more sinister goings on. (h/t Drudge Report) is reporting that the World Health Organization—a specialized agency of the U.N. that is supposed to be aimed at working for the prevention and cure of disease—is considering proposals for a global excise tax on cigarettes.  But Rusty, I don’t smoke, so what do I care?  Well let this sink in real good and consider the implications.

An agency of the U.N. is contemplating the imposition of a global tax.

A tax.  Imposed by an agency of an organization you didn’t vote for, and as to which you along with the other 318 million Americans have exactly one representative.

The idea—at least superficially—is that smoking is causing a worldwide health crisis, and the imposition of a heavy tax, it is hoped, will drive more people to quit.  But that in this particular instance it happens to be directed at cigarettes is really beside the point.  This isn’t like initiating a research program to try to eradicate tuberculosis or malaria; the WHO isn’t looking to develop a vaccine or pesticide.  What we have here is the U.N. seeking to use a taxing power in order to control the otherwise voluntary behavior of individuals worldwide.

I understand that this isn’t really a novel concept in the U.S.  We’ve had “sin taxes” ostensibly intended to control behavior by curbing the consumption of alcohol and tobacco for most of our history.  And indeed, the primary driver of Obamacare was to use the taxing power to influence behavior in the purchase of medical care insurance, as the Supreme Court has explained.  But there’s a fundamental difference between that and what’s going on with the WHO.  When we levy a tax on booze, or butts, or insurance deadbeats, those are the actions of a legitimate sovereign power.

A government.

From what authority does the WHO or the U.N. derive the power to impose any kind of a tax?  The answer, of course, is none, and for now the WHO is at least paying lip service to the notion that the actual implementation of such a tax would have to be left to the sovereign prerogative of the government of each individual member nation.  But it’s important to note that this kind of thinking that the U.N. can be involved in global taxation to drive behavior or achieve social ends is not new.  In recent years, the U.N. has considered proposals for global taxes on carbon emissions, currency and other financial transactions, and on billionaires, all explicitly directed at changing behavior and redistributing wealth.  It has also contemplated instituting International Monetary Fund draw allocations as a form of international currency, which would effectively vest the U.N. with the power to coin money.

These moves are part of what appears to be an increasing willingness around the world to look to the U.N. as a governing sovereign in its own right.  Just this week, some leaders of Muslim countries have renewed talk about the U.N. enacting a global criminal ban on blasphemy (it has already enacted multiple nonbinding resolutions against defamation of, and discrimination against, religions).  Back in July, an international restriction on the sale of small arms very nearly passed.  And even here in the U.S., earlier this year we saw the NAACP appeal to the U.N. to weigh in on the validity of U.S. voter I.D. laws, a purely internal U.S. matter.

This is a dangerous trajectory.  The United Nations was never intended to serve as a one-world-order global sovereign.  It was established as a forum for international discussion and the peaceful resolution of disputes between independent sovereign nations, not as an overriding umbrella global legislature, taxing authority, central treasury/mint government, and arbiter of both international and domestic law.  Yet, increasingly we see it viewing itself as, and beginning to act like, exactly those things.  And apparently there are a lot of people around the world, and possibly even here, who are willing to go along with it.

There are 193 member states in the General Assembly, of which we are but one.  Few of the other 192 voting members embrace our republican ideals, and none of them share our constitutional heritage.  Many do not value the rule of law.  Or human life.  And more than a few would like to see us dead.   While we have a “permanent” seat and veto power in the Security Council, in the General Assembly it’s one state = one vote, and no, that doesn’t mean we get 50 (or 57 by President Obama’s map math).  What happens to us if this body actually gains and begins to exercise the power of a global sovereign?

We cannot allow that to happen, which is why these discussions about things like the imposition of global taxes, or the enactment of global legislation under the guise of “treaties” is so important and so dangerous.  If the U.N., via the WHO, can use punitive global taxes to control your smoking, what other behavior of yours can it tax to control?  What other behavior can it control via other means?  And so on and so on, until there is no freedom left, and that Constitution and Bill of Rights that protected your freedoms as an American citizen won’t help you against a one-world government.

These things happen by incremental creep, and those little bits of national sovereignty, once ceded to a global central authority, will be virtually impossible to get back.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  17 days, and still no national address from the President on what the administration now admits it knew all along was an Al Qaeda terrorist operation.  Not only has Obama spent more time yukking it up with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Letterman, and the women of The View than he has talking with the American people (or, I’ll wager, the families of the victims) about this latest Al Qaeda attack on sovereign U.S. soil, but he and every level of his administration has lied—unnecessarily—about what it knew about the nature of the attack.  This President is a joke . . . and he isn’t very funny.


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