Inspector Gregory: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?
Sherlock Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.
Gregory: The dog did nothing in the night-time.
Sherlock Holmes: That was the curious incident.
“The Adventure of Silver Blaze” – By Arthur Conan Doyle
Another curious silence now suffices the entire world: An entire species of supposedly fearsome and reassuring international and supranational watch dogs are silent: The COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world and the most effective measures being taken against it from China and Russia to South Korea and Israel are being carried out by traditional national states acting boldly and decisively to protect their own populations. But where is the United Nations? Where is the World Trade Organization? The International Monetary Fund? The World Bank? The World Health Organization performed with shameful incompetence and complacency in the first months of the outbreak.
Alistair Crooke writing on this platform was right: The COVID-19 pandemic will go down as a turning point in history that finally and irreversibly condemned all these august and revered bodies to the trash can of history.
The UN stands revealed as a ludicrous, futile bystander – as relevant as the League of Nations passing resolutions condemning the Nazi conquest of Western Europe in 1940.
As for the mighty European Union, it has already become – to the amusement and contempt of all – a modern Holy Roman Empire – a ghostly, irrelevant empty set of palaces, not even worth being haunted by any ghosts: An empty, irrelevant joke with no power, integrity or credibility left in the world.
This final implosion, this total collapse of an endless panoply of bodies, of impressively initialed “alphabet” – acronym agencies exposes a simple reality that the liberal elites of the West have refused to recognize for decades now: They were worthless to begin with. They have been failing for decades. The great Audit of Pandemic has exposed them as useless, bankrupt, lifeless.
The huge herd of World Watchdogs were never fierce guard animals at all. They never had any teeth or guts. They protected no one and nothing. They only served as a cover for the predators of the world to suck the developing nations dry and then rob the hard working industrial and agricultural workers of the supposedly developed world of all their own hard-won modest comforts and security under the code words of Open Borders and Free Trade.
Thus, the failure and futility of the supranational agencies in the Time of Pandemic is not a silence of those who were powerful, effective and brave watchdogs: It is a Silence of the Lambs.
To recognize this is to recognize that the supposed liberal domination of the world since the collapse of communism has always been a hybrid horror – half a kumbaya naive fantasy, half a horrific hellhole in which scores of millions of children and young women have been sold into sexual slavery and global crime cartels thrive. This happens where national governments are weak. Not where they are strong.
It has been a liberal democratic mantra endlessly repeated by supposedly wise men and women for three quarters of a century and relentlessly subscribed to the great and mighty of the world: The Age of the Nation State is Over.
Every year, endless conferences and institutions from New York to Geneva and Davos repeat it by rote. The accepted narrative goes like this: “The Problems the World Faces have become Too Great and Too Complex to be tackled by any nation-state or collation of nation-states acting in concert. The World Must Come Together to solve its problems”
But there has always been only one far from small problem with this almost universally held faith.
It just isn’t true.
The global supranational order did not deliver.
Today, the international drug trade is far vaster, more serious, wealthier and more powerful than anytime in recorded history. It has survived a full-scale civil war costing at least 40,000 lives with the effective and otherwise powerful central federal government of Mexico since the beginning of the century and defies the vast and confusing panoply of US law enforcement agencies with impunity.
The horrible scourge of human trafficking, the bartering of (especially) women and young children of both sexes for illicit use is also now more widespread than ever before in the history of the world.
The Geneva-based and widely respected International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates the global profits of this illicit trade to run at $99 billion per year – eleven times the figure for 2005.
All the empirical evidence is clear. Nation states that have retained strong control over their immigration and trade have survived and prospered. Some, most notably Russia that appeared to be disintegrating in the last decade of the 20th century have become stronger than ever, not just in military power but in achieving gigantic gains in prosperity and economic security for their own people.
China, in 40 years of constructive engagement with the West but retaining very strong control over its import policies (despite being in the WTO for 20 years) has seen its per capita income rise for its 1.3 billion people from $200 to $10,000 – The greatest and longest such gain for so many human beings in the recorded history of the world.
This was achieved not by surrendering the power of the national government, but by using it responsibly and forcefully to take advantages of conditions in the global market place.
By contrast, the United Nations has failed to make any significant progress in applying supranational power whatsoever. On the few occasions its leaders have persuaded nation state leaders to let the UN organize any significant initiative the results have been derisory or far worse.
The most notable example of that was when then US Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice prevailed on President Bill Clinton to let the United Nations handle peacekeeping in the small African nation of Rwanda: UN organization and officials proved a horrific joke as more than a million innocent people were slaughtered in a racial genocide around them in less than a month. A few thousand troops sent by Russia and the United States could have prevented the whole thing.
The bottom line is clear: Whenever national governments took the Supranational Creed seriously, as with the members of the EU, those central governments became far weaker and their publics’ resentment rapidly grew against both them and the supposedly stronger supranational one they had surrendered their authority to.
By contrast, governments that stand aside from the Supranational Creed and its organizations like Russia, Turkey and Iran – or that only pay lip service to it while pursuing their own national interests like China and India – go from strength to strength.
The fearsome Audit of Pandemic has confirmed this enormous change in the onward movement of humanity. As Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel would have immediately recognized, the Zeitgeist, the Spirit of the Age has changed. The UN, the EU and their fellow supranational lambs stay silent because they are already dead.