Reason #347 for the UN building to be converted into a giant McDonald’s

By skepticlawyer

Via UN Watch:

Crazy but true: Iran and Saudi Arabia, countries that systematically violate women’s rights, are now poised to become governing board members of the new U.N. agency for women’s rights.

Elections will be held on November 10, 2010. The Asian group of states nominated Iran and Saudi Arabia on their uncontested 10-nation list.

The right of women and girls not to be hanged, stoned, or lashed for medieval crimes should not be turned into a joke.

There is a petition against this excrudescence of silliness hosted by the World Jewish Congress, a body which seems to be quite sincere in its desire to reform the UN. A fat lot of good it will do them. I’m old enough to remember when — according to the UN — the only two evil countries on the planet were South Africa and Israel. This at the same time the world was afflicted with the likes of Pol Pot, Bokassa, Idi Amin, Galtieri, Papa Doc…

Of course, it could be that this body is the UN’s equivalent of MAFF (which became known in the UK as ‘Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fuckups’ because it did so little for Agriculture, Farming and Food). That is, it exists to to undermine women’s rights, not support them…


  1. Posted November 6, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Iran and Saudi Arabia, countries that systematically violate women’s rights,


    It’s funny even tho’ it’s true.

  2. Posted November 6, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    But the UN has its own problem with its “upper house”, the security council. Get rid of that, and make UN General Assembly a bit more like a normal representative chamber, without the artificial demarcation lines for voting for such bodies, and there might be a chance.

    That’s the problem Dave, it can’t happen at this point in history.

    First. the UN is essentially a Westphalian association between great powers. The Americans and the Japanese foot most of the expenses. The UNSC is an institutional stalemate enjoyed by the 5 major victors of WWII. It is what makes it in their interests to support this… well, influence on their sovereignty.

    The General Assembly’s problem is that you can’t really have a representative system. First different nations have different population levels. Australia and Indonesia each have a seat yet Indonesia has far more people. Should we give Indonesia representation proportional to its population? Won’t that be an incentive to larger populations and somewhat unwise in this era of sustainability concerns?

    Or we could just divide the world into seats as with parliament. But that would create problems too. Say Croatia and Serbia share a seat? And then there’s the problem of liberal democratic governance and the culture that supports it, lack thereof.

    The only thing you can say for the UN is that its marginally more useful than the League of Nations. In my view a large global conflict will come along and scrap it consequence of UNSC members having a blue. And then we’ll probably get Mk III.

    I can wait. I already have three layers of government. Enough already.

  3. Peter Patton
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing necessarily wrong with state religion. For example, it has served the English very well. OTOH, it was a disaster for Spain.

    states have no right to act as they please when they act against the basic rights of their citizens.

    This is an argument against the UN and world government. Your point is premised on the State being exogenous to its citizens. This is a highly identifying tic of leftist thought, where socialism is always imposed from above. The difference with liberal democratic nation states, such as the US, Australia, England, and so on, is that the State evolved from below. The reason England has a state religion is because the people rose up and booted out a foreign power – Roman Catholicism and the Vatican. Any power the State has was given to it by the people. See, for example, the constantly accountable plenary powers of our State parliaments, and the most people-inspired and supported creation of state power up until 1900, and arguably beyond; the Australian Constitution.

    The whole pro-UN/world government mindset is an instance of the love affair with Big Daddy top-down authoritarian social engineering which animates the leftist imagination.

    Example A.

    and an alternate history dealing with the troublesome xtians during the century of good emperors would be useful. A hegemony that treats people equally and enforces just – at least for the day – laws fairly is a Good Thing

    Wow. Just wow. State Good. Citizens Bad. Cleanse the polity of citizens, so that the imposed rule of the imperialist invader can be trouble free.

    You should be very careful. At least 20% of the globe’s population believes in your quote above. Their source of ‘hegemonic fairness’ is a Book written in the 8th century of oral history which spread from 6th Arabia. You might not like the particular twist of who is ‘troublesome’. 😉

  4. Posted November 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    One can think of firms as displaying Lamarckian selection processes

    So does biology. Ted Steele has been vindicated. Larmarkian inheritance does exists. Suck on that neodarwinians. The emerging stream of epigenetics will overturn many models of genetics and evolution, it has huge implications for human health(obesity can be inherited from fat parents! – possibly), and is revealing the nature-nurture dichotomy for the nonsense it always was.

    Punctuated equilibrium – creative destruction.

    Note in the inherent bias in “equilibrium”. There is no equilibrium! Biology abhors stillness.

  5. Peter Patton
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    There is one very good reason for a UN. And that is a permanent diplomatic forum whose design is to minimize catastrophic conflict. The rest is just illegitimate provider capture.

  6. Patrick
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I guess, DB, I actually wish the UN would just foad. So it is perhaps not surprising.

    Others have identified lots of problems with your thinking. The most fundamental remains how delusional it is.

    An actually powerful and representative UN would not protect western capitalist liberal rights. It would protect Chinese and Indian collectivist rights, mainly against us.

    Even if wasn’t representative and stayed with 1 country 1 vote like now, if you gave it actual power and scrapped the sanity veto of the UNSC you would end up with UNGA-mandated anti-semitism and anti-religious-defamation ‘laws’, as a first and urgent priority.

    To spell it out: Iran wouldn’t stop stoning women, but you would get locked up for criticising them.

    As for your earlier question about right-wing ways to enforce fundamental human rights, we tried a couple ideas, and you hated them. See Iraq.

  7. kvd
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Peter Patton @54. I think whilst ever the UN members continue to row around in circles, we are safe. I would hate to think of what sort of calamity it might take to get them all rowing purposefully in one direction; if it ever comes to that, then I suspect we would all be doomed anyway.

    And as for democratically electing representatives, democracy as now practised is far too important to be handed to “the people” to decide. What would happen in countries like the US or Australia if ever the ruling elites actually let the people elect their representatives, instead of party-chosen hacks and favourites? Utter chaos.

    But buried in LE’s first speech as ruler of the world @43 is the quite sensible observation that international trade seems to work ok, once each party sees there is something in it for them. Maybe we need a trade-ocracy?

  8. Posted November 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    What would happen in countries like the US or Australia if ever the ruling elites actually let the people elect their representatives, instead of party-chosen hacks and favourites? Utter chaos.

    I don’t agree.

    There’s a profession of politics built around control of population and its perceptions. This is orchestrated by allies in the media like Philip Adams and Andrew Bolt. But the choice is still up to us. Certain seats in Australia chose independents and delivered the country a minority govt. I think that says a lot about people v technocracy in the early 21st century.

    Second there’s a kind of natural self-organization that develop amongst literate populations in the modern world. It’s quite conceivable that Australia could run on people power if the jurisdictions handed to State governments were instead gifted to local councils. And some federal powers too.

    Therefore laws governing, for example, drug use would depend on the suburb you lived in. In Fitzroy Nth you can walk down the street smoking a spliff but cross the line into Clifton Hill and you’re a criminal etc.

    This could also go for gay marriage. In Dubbo poufs who’re married in St Kilda aren’t married. These places that fail to recognize gay marriage can suffer the economic consequences.

    Tax levies on the population for welfare purposes could be in whole or in part taken from the locals. In this situation those on the dole would be aware that they’re being supported by their communities not some large abstraction like the federal govt. In suburbs where there’s no need for the dole, it doesn’t exist. Other suburbs where there is a great deal of such need can better collectivize their resources and monitor misallocation of this resource on things like drink. Again, you know these people.

    The Federal government would retain control of aspects of policy that govern relations between our country and others. And oversee the country with federal police that assist council police when the crime warrants it.

    Just a brain fart o’ course.

  9. Peter Patton
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt a case for greater participatory democracy in Australia. I, for one, support High Court rulings in appellate matters to be subject to citizen-generated referendum, as well as any legislation passed by Parliament.

  10. Posted November 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink


    Strange reference to “natural self-organisation”. If current Russia is an example of how natural self-organisation evolves over time then it would appear that nature really is red in tooth and claw. Perhaps you were having a little dig at that religious notion of “spontaneous order”?

  11. kvd
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Patrick. I hesitated to take up further space setting out a vision of utter chaos. But you have done it very well. I’m assuming each community division would have sort of “wardens” to make sure each man/woman did his/her bit?

  12. kvd
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Patrick – I apologise for taking your name. My comment @60 was directed to [email protected]

    All of which is off the point of SL’s post. I wish somehow this religious/regime imposed treatment of women could be removed from existence. But I don’t have the power.

  13. Posted November 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    A few have mentioned cantonment-like systems, which may have some value (gay marriage in one suburb not another in [email protected] is problematic given mobility and central administration of estates, next-of-kin transactions and privileges, etc), although the civilized world shows some problems, such as the lengths women have to go through for birth control in Ireland (at least until recently, maybe even now), and trivially, you can bet wearing a black/white striped jumper would be a capital offence within at least 25km of Kardinia Park – ok maybe not capital, but still treated as a felony. (Hell… Logical extension… Parterfamilias in it’s worst form).

    [email protected] makes some very good points on practical difficulties of change.

    I’d note that /any/ international organization, where nation states, not people, are in the driver seat, have exactly the same problems as the UN generally.

    That huge debtor, the US, having a big say in the IMF and WB must surely raise eyebrows. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s dominance here can be maintained with the debt owed by the US nation and citizens, if as a whole, Americans cannot generate income on a sustainable basis (current accounts being more important than government budget balance here).

    Could having a massive debtor on international non-UN finance and trade bodies, bodies with some executive power, be that much different from having Iran and Saudi on a women’s rights committee? (OK stonings are worse than unpaid debts in my view, but I suspect I might again be in a minority).

  14. Posted November 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    DB, come on! To pick just one example, the US has a disproportionately SMALL say in the IMF given that, again, it pays for the bloody thing!

  15. Posted November 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    A few things on the UN/EU/Rome/large central government thingy, derived in part from Boris Johnson’s excellent book on the topic:

    1. Ancient Rome was not fascist. Lots of states that copied it were fascist, but not Rome itself. If anything, ancient Rome was under-policed, not over-policed. It was not Sparta (which was, I think, fascist in the proper sense). It was, however, authoritarian. Think Singapore rather than Nazi Germany. Definitely not liberal, however, except in matters of religion and private choice.

    2. Pre-Christian Rome was the last Western civilisation before modernity that could not assume consensus on moral matters, and could not assume that morality translated neatly into law. Funnily enough this point came up in my conversion course yesterday, and I think it’s a very telling one. The Romans stopped human sacrifice in Gaul/Britain and Carthage, stopped Jews stoning women for adultery and stoning apostates for apostacy, and did their level best to stop the creation of and trade in eunuchs. They also got rid of FGM and had a good go (at least under Hadrian) at stopping Jewish infant circumcision. And that’s about it. When Romanisation happened it was because citizenship was like a bloody ‘green card’, conferring huge privileges (in both law and on the employment front) and was generally a massive leg up to get on in life, and also because Greek and Latin were the languages of trade and commerce.

    3. We would probably not want to live in a society that imposed so little of its law on its subjects. Lots of truly atrocious practices (including practices that the Romans themselves thought atrocious) were left untouched, purely because they didn’t involve loss of life or interference with anyone’s sexy bits (of some concern to the Romans, go figure). This meant, for example, that brothers and sisters routinely married each other in Egypt, for example, that whole religious groups engaged in temple prostitution, that certain classes of male priests voluntarily emasculated themselves. In public. Before an audience. Etc etc. And I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of TEH ROMAN EMPIRE WEIRD. Read Robin Lane Fox’s Pagans & Christians. He has an entire chapter on TEH ROMAN EMPIRE WEIRD. It is, as they say, instructive. Show Shariah law to a Roman jurist and he’d go ‘well, I don’t like it, but as long as you don’t go around executing anyone, you can have the rest of it’. Okay, you might say, that gets rid of the stonings and beheadings, but it doesn’t change the mass of Islamic rules with regard to private law (eg inheritance and marriage) or finance (eg usury).

    4. While we moderns may have lost the Christian moral consensus when it comes to the making of laws, we do still have a liberal consensus, a liberal consensus that is struggling mightily with something else — I’m not sure what you’d call it — that wants to let ethnic and cultural groups live by their own laws. The latter is actually closer to the Roman model than the former. So far the liberal consensus (in various forms) is winning. The French have laïcité, there is no Shariah law in Britain, there is a ‘forced marriage task force’ in the UK police etc.

    5. It is this last point (apart from all the other excellent points that people have raised upthread, and which I won’t repeat) that tells against large, supra-national entities. The EU worked wonderfully well when it was simply about trade (LE’s point), but once it became about a great deal more — ‘harmonization’ and common currency and centralised administration, huge structural flaws have been exposed. And this in a part of the world that (a) has a common Christian heritage (b) has had generations of Kings and Emperors try to copy the Roman model and (c) was actually united under Roman rule for hundreds of years. Even in Europe: rich, western, sharing a bank of common traditions, obtaining ‘liberal agreement’ is nigh on impossible.

    In short, it won’t work. The EU only sort of works, emphasis on the ‘sort of’. Anything larger is doomed to fail.

  16. Peter Patton
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink


    What you say is true. And of course, I was committing some version of the historian’s fallacy by retrojecting an early 20th century political phenomenon – fascism – back on to Rome.

    My only point was to warn db that while the Roman imperial example might well bolster the case for some form of world government, there are many strands to the Roman imperial example, and he should be cognizant of some of those strands, which he might not find so pleasing should they manifest in a 21st century UN-style world government. 😉

    [ADMIN: Historians aside, I’m pretty satisfied that Sparta was fascist. Yes, they wouldn’t have called themselves that, but I’m more interested in ‘if the cap fits…’]

  17. Peter Patton
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 6:06 am | Permalink


    I am not a lawyer, so can only go so far on this topic, but I find the relative success of private international law – international trade/economic law – over public international law to be fascinating. How much do you think it comes down to law’s fundamental roots in property ownership and exchange.

    How accurate is my take that the ultimately, most of the law is about the Property, stupid!? If this is correct, there is something deeply ironic about Property Law’s reputation as being dry as.

    Come to think about it, a person who decided to pursue a scholarly career as an historian of property law, would probably make a cracker of an historian full stop. By understanding a society’s laws of property creation, acquisition, and exchange must surely take you into every corner of that society.

  18. TerjeP
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    [email protected] I have never read “The Selfish Gene”. I have never been able to get past the obvious philosophical absurdity of the title (only things with intentions can be selfish: worse, central to natural selection is non-intentional selection mechanisms).

    That’s called judging a book by it’s cover. We all do it so don’t feel bad. Having said that your philosophical objection isn’t one Richard Dawkins would object to. It is in fact pretty much the first point he makes in the book.

  19. Posted November 7, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    [email protected] I believe you meant me @42. And i wasn’t judging it by its cover, but by its title.

    I title you have to disavow as your first point is a bloody stupid title. Besides, it is the title that got into the popular culture, with all sorts of invidious effects.

  20. Posted November 7, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Creative destruction and punctuated equilibrium are not really very analogous concepts. The former is about making new resources available and superseding old processes, the latter about sudden, massive shifts in biodiversity. Creative destruction is more like what happens in the ordinary course of biological events.

    The equilibrium concept in economics is somewhat similar to the thinking behind inertia in physics: a state things head towards, without necessarily ever being reached.

    Biology also abhors a category.

  21. Peter Patton
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink


    I bet you must get very high ratings from those end of course student surveys. I can imagine the comments: “Man, this teacher made property law interesting. Give her the Nobel Peace prize”! 🙂

  22. TerjeP
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I title you have to disavow as your first point is a bloody stupid title. Besides, it is the title that got into the popular culture, with all sorts of invidious effects.

    I understand why he chose that title. Perhaps it was useful early in thr life of the book for creating some shock value and hence publicity. However with the benefit of hindsight I agree that it is a bloody stupid title. And I agree that the title has got into the popular culture more so than the content of the book. However I do still think it is a valuable book in terms of reframing the simplisitic view of survivalism that the lay person attributes to evolution. I would suggest that people ignore the title and read the book anyway.

  23. TerjeP
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    unjust enrichment

    What does this mean? Is it different to theft?

  24. Posted November 7, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Oh no! That’s a thread-ender from Terje if ever there was one! Everyone duck from the unleashed LE!!

  25. kvd
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    What does this mean? Is it different to theft?

    Terge, it means you got more than you bargained for. Or, as Patrick says, just hang about for a demonstration.

  26. TerjeP
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Should I prepare popcorn?

  27. Posted November 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    oh yea, and a lot of beer, especially if I mention that unjust enrichment is just equity for the mentally lazy…or ‘top-down’ equity 😉

  28. Posted November 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Just on The Selfish Gene, may I say that despite the stupid title (quite likely chosen by the publisher, if Dawkins’ comments in the introduction are anything to go by), it is a very good and thought-provoking book, and sets out evolutionary theory with real elegance and elan, helped by a knowledge of mathematics and game theory. I know Dawkins can get people’s backs up, and I can see why, but his science writing is genuinely outstanding and very, very well constructed.

    On Unjust Enrichment: It’s also a Roman law rather than common law concept, so importing it into our law is new, although it’s not new in any civilian system. For a range of historical reasons, the Romans never developed a separate equitable jurisdiction, mainly because they had a major reform of pleadings, drafting and procedure in the 2nd century BC, which meant that many of the procedural and justice problems they had with their courts resolved themselves.

    In late medieval England, by contrast, people with strong cases at common law were losing on technical points of pleading, and so approached the King/Lord Chancellor for redress. Equity emerged as a separate jurisdiction thereafter. The ‘mischief’ that equity looked to undo was very much to do with ossified legal procedure and patently unjust outcomes. Of course, equity in its turn became ossified, hence Dickens’ satire of the Court of Chancery in Bleak House and the 1875 Judicature Acts. These acts ended the separate administration of the law, but did not ‘fuse’ equity and common law. The underlying principles and remedies are still different.

    The effect of this is that remedies common lawyers would associate with equity are built into the interstices of Roman law systems in a way that we find quite foreign. I’m having to deal with it now in Scots law, and there are times when I do feel like someone has unscrewed the top of my skull and is fiddling with malicious intent with my wiring.

  29. TerjeP
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Imagine, for example, that you think it is my birthday tomorrow, and you give me $100. However, you discover that you were mistaken and it is not my birthday. I would be unjustly enriched at your expense if I were to retain the $100, and I should pay it back to you.

    I wouldn’t think you should have to give it back. I think that such an idea would open a can of worms. If you had deliberately and falsely lead me to believe it was your birthday then I’d likely just end the friendship but I wouldn’t want a legal remedy to exist. Perhaps there are better examples but this one does not convince at all.

    Trade is at the centre of commerce. Gift giving (in goods and services) is at the centre of community building. I think we do a huge disservice to the later process if we import the formalism of the first. Certainly if in the process a door is opened and the legal profession waltzed in.

    Gifts may be given with all manner of expectation. However they are gifts.

  30. TerjeP
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    p.s. If somebody does work for my business and invoices me twice and through error I pay twice then in this situation I would expect the money back and I’d expect a legal remedy if it didn’t happen. Maybe this is a better example but I would have thought that this was already covered.

  31. Posted November 8, 2010 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    There are a couple of issues expressed by some commenters that show a narrower view than I’d hoped.

    1) The issue about population-based votes v nation states is not so simple: independence and splitting of nations is encouraged by the current system, and would be further increased by more localized cantonment-like systems apparently advocated by some here. Population increase will be prevented by more natural means relating to carrying capacity.

    2) The problem of too many layers of service providers is real, found in any federation, but amenable, for any particular regulatory and executive service, to rationalization.

    3) A global layer of government should actually be welcomed by competitive advantage types, as nation states have a tendency to erect barriers that can be arbitrary or driven by unrepresentative privileged groups within a nation state. Removal this capability from nations world-wide would present the same advantages as federation in Oz which removed the need for anything like GATT administration.

    4) To give one example of how global regulations might be easier to administer than in the EU, we could look at safety tolerance standards of goods such as food and electrical appliances: a global regulatory regime could not practically apply the /same/ standard universally, but /could/ demand accurate labelling of the tolerance levels, and allow choice by individuals about what they buy (rather than nation states defining what can be purchased) with suppliers satisfying the local demands for the relative volume of goods with different safety levels. The EU, already so close to harmony, could not take this approach.

    5) A properly constitued government can minimize functional overlap and creep of administrative agencies, such as might arise between GATT (trade) and BASEL (financial probity), as well as avoid the bastardization of actions of administrative agencies by individual nations states for political purposes unrelated to the natural purpose of the agency.

    6) You could argue that many rules currently implemented locally should be administered globally. Even tenancy regulations, traditionally local, are problematic when the landlord is in another nation. With global commerce, the problems of “flags of convenience” become evident in everything, not just shipping.

    Bottom line: anti-world regulation by a co-ordinated democratic government with properly delineated agencies aren’t seeing the opportunities for freedoms and rationalizations they desire so much.

  32. Patrick
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Needless to say I thought that the reasoning in Chase Manhattan was very sloppy. I don’t think the same answer would have obtained in Australia, at least not prior to the decision itself. I can’t see Heydon J finding a fiduciary relationship there 🙂

  33. TerjeP
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the insolvency case is a big issue whichever way you rule it. Obviously of concern to the specific companies involved but not that material to the overall body of law.

  34. TerjeP
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Dave – I’d tolerate tariffs between the Australian states and even a different rail gauge if it meant we could abolish the federal government. The federal govenment through the income tax regime imposes a massive barrier to trade between every Australian household. They are a menace.

    We do not need a world government to achieve the key global initiatives. We essentially had a common global currency (gold) for the entire 1800s with no world government. We can dismantle trade barriers unilaterally. And we already have international law. Even the UN represents far too much world government and should be trimmed.

  35. Patrick
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    DB, you are confusing me again!!

    I thought efficiency and centralisation were the classic ideals of fascist/socialists and other dis/utopian delusionists fustrated with the plodding masses.

    Conservatives and liberals alike value the inefficiency arising from competition and decentralisation.

  36. Posted November 8, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    John H – Strange reference to “natural self-organisation”. If current Russia is an example of how natural self-organisation evolves over time then it would appear that nature really is red in tooth and claw.

    The reference wasn’t to the Soviet Union but to Hungary in the weeks following the (eventually) crushed revolt against the Russians:

    the same organization which for more than a hundred years now has emerged whenever the people have been permitted for a few days, or a few weeks or months, to follow their own political devices without a government (or a party program) imposed from above.

    Full quote here.

    I’m sure Arendt’s thesis is disputed. But it makes sense to me.

  37. Posted November 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Dave #82 – I can think of reasons why comparative advantage types might object to global governance; would tax havens persist under one-world government? I think not.

    But its a moot point. In order for world government to, to use your example, enforce accurate labeling, it would require the authority to over-ride any nation-state that refuses to comply. How? What nation -state would allow this?

    Again the problem of representation and composition arises. Any world government has to be constituted somehow. Democratic elections re problematic because of this different size of national populations. The larger you are the more say you have. So the larger countries will dominate, and if history’s any guide, will rig the law in their own interests. Those disadvantaged by this practice will object and deny the world government sovereignty and so forth. The nation-state is a recent artificial construction that still struggles with this problem of sovereignty (pick anywhere in Africa) the human race does not possess enough cultural and moral homegeny to provide support for it, and the idea that there’s one over-arching political apparatus from which we’ll no longer be able to escape is frightening to many of us including myself.

    I think the Earth will probably end up under one state eventually but it’s while off yet. There’s simply not enough support for it. It’s slow process. The UN is 90% useless but one thing it does do is make it impossible for the events that led to WWI to repeat themselves. That’s about it.

  38. TerjeP
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    LE – I think insolvency law is important for the reason you outline. However I don’t think anybody is going to choose a structure on the basis of what happens if somebody accidentally pays them twice.

  39. Patrick
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The real point here TP is that no-one did so choose, but that Peter Gibson J made it happen to them anyway. Thus introducing uncertainty where previously there was none – I am sure you can see the implications of this!

  40. TerjeP
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    LE – I wasn’t talking about the choices the legal profession may make regarding the resolution of this issue. I was saying that nobody is going to set up a structure of trusts and companies to ensure that if a customer accidentally double pays they can make off with the money. The structures people put in place will be driven by other case law associated with tax and solvency as well as other issues. As such how the legal profession rules on accidental double payments in solvency cases does not have any significant implications for how people structure their affairs.

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