It had never been anticipated that the great powers at the end of World War II would have no community of interest

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

After the Chinese intervened in Korea in November 1950, T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War), Truman affirmed that the atom bomb remained an option:

Above all else, the world wished to avoid general war, and atomic war in particular.


For the first time the U.N. cloak that the United States Government had so expeditiously woven for its action in Korea became not a support, but a hindrance.


With the entry of Red China into the fighting, the sharp U.S. setback in the north, and the prospect of an enlarged war yawning ominously, the nations composing the U.N. suddenly became restive. American leadership, unfortunately, had lost a great deal of its prestige on the battlefield.


The United Nations had been envisioned — however it was sold to the peoples of the world — not as a parliament of earth but as a controlling body on the question of peace and war. Real power, through the institution of the veto, remained where it was in reality, in the hands of the great powers: America, Britain, China, the Soviet Union. The problem, as well as the tragedy of the United Nations organization, was that it had never been anticipated that the great powers at the end of World War II would have no community of interest.

The first U.N. action utilizing force was, in essence, against itself, for the Soviet Union, sponsor of North Korea, continued in membership. Only the fact that the U.S.S.R. was absent in June 1950 permitted the Security Council to take effective action.


When President Truman made the decision to intervene in Korea — with general support — Dean Acheson said to him that the decision “might not always be so popular as it seemed at the moment.”

Secretary of State Acheson, a much-maligned man, was soon proved to be a prophet, though his status resembled that of most prophets as far as honor in his own land was concerned. Acheson, always intensely anti-Communist, had always to be intensely practical. In the months following Korea, any American Secretary of State in addition to other qualifications needed the abilities of a door-to-door salesman of insurance. Acheson, an aristocrat, a brilliant mind, and a practical man, could never be an effective salesman of policy.


  1. Gavin Longmuir says:

    At the end of World War I, the US Senators at the time had the good sense to nix US participation in the “League of Nations”. If the US Political Class had been similarly wise at the end of WWII, we would not have wasted so much time, effort, & tears on the foolish “United Nations”.

    Really, what has “multi-nationalism” ever done for us?

  2. Kirk says:

    Can’t think of a damn thing, but it has occasionally kept the international “luvvies” quiet…

    Very rarely.

    I think the 20th Century “world government” mindset is one that we’re going to look back on and think “What the hell were we thinking…?”. Anything as big and all-encompassing as a “world government” is going to be inherently tyrannical and entirely impossible to control. You’re always going to have insurrections against the center, and the whole thing is going to be horribly attractive to the despotic nutjobs of the human race. By the time we’re mature enough to be able to manage a world-scale government, we’re not gonna need the damn thing in the first place…

    I think a world government is possible, but not with human beings as we are presently constituted, or with the numbers of us. There are too many inherent contradictions and conflicts baked in with our different cultures and mindsets, which are all adapted to local conditions. Imagine an Indonesian trying to tell an Inuit how to live his life…

    That’s why it will never, ever work.

  3. Obaid says:

    The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men’s souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action, must put a curb upon our sentiments, as well as upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference of one party to the struggle before another. (Sen. Doc. 566, 63rd Cong.)

  4. Altitude Zero says:

    It is a measure of how deranged and destructive the world wars were, in that they made people believe in something as obviously nonsensical as world government, out of desperation. Even people who should have known better bought into it.

  5. Kirk says:

    I don’t think that the world wars necessarily had a lot to do with the whole idea… You can see the idea laid out very clearly in the pre-WWI concept of inevitable world socialism and internationalism.

    The wars certainly gave a lot of force to people thinking that world government would be a Good Idea(tm), one that would solve a lot of problems. However, I think that it’s a lot like the idea of term limits or cutting taxes to address the problems of politicians making careers out of politics or spending too much; you aren’t addressing the real problem, which is that the people you’ve put in charge are, essentially, incompetent, venal, and crooks. Term limits don’t help the issue of the electorate not doing its damn job; if they’ll elect Joe Biden to the Senate for a life-long sinecure, and then to the presidency, there’s no way they’ll be careful and attentive enough to prevent a group of eminence grise types from working in the background through a succession of puppets. All you’ve accomplished is to make it harder to work out what’s going on.

    Real cure? Fix the damn electorate and its lazy-ass ways. Term limits, tax base reduction plans, and world government ideas are all essentially swindles perpetrated by the grifters that want nothing but power. And, you only fix those grifters by taking away the power they seek such that they can’t do anything other than work honestly for a living.

  6. RLVC says:

    “such that they can’t do anything other than work honestly for a living”

    Work is for dummies. Only investment is real. Don’t be a sucker. Join the economy. Have an impact.

  7. VXXC says:

    “Fix the damn electorate and its lazy-ass ways.”

    It just was fixed. At 0400 EDT November 4th, 2020. One and Done. And elections are indeed done.

    And the voters were only electing 0.0002% of the government in any case, and that 0.0002% had no real administrative control over them- not to hire or fire, end wars, we were very lucky we didn’t start any new ones.

    Now mind you, the vote had begun to count again. But that got fixed, but pronto.

    One of the reasons there are so many sworn affidavits to the electoral fraud is it was not centrally controlled, like Venezuela. Instead it was a common understanding of thousands of people nationwide working on elections that Trump must be stopped — by which they meant Trump’s voters of course.

    They did.

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