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A transformation is taking place in the world of a magnitude unseen since the Protestant Reformation and the creation of the modern nation-state almost years ago. Nations that jealously guarded their sovereignty for five centuries are now willingly ceding it to a plethora of new regional and global supranational institutions, which are being given the authority to sit in judgment of nation-states, their citizens, and their leaders.

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly last year, Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that all nations must come to accept that state sovereignty is superseded by what he calls individual sovereignty — "the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Charter" — and that the U. He is far from alone in this view. Polish Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek has declared that "in the 21st century … relations between states can no longer be founded on respect for sovereignty — they must be founded on respect for human rights.

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott went so far as to say that the ultimate end is the end of the nation-state itself. Just months before joining the Clinton administration, Talbott declared: "All countries are basically social arrangements … no matter how permanent or even sacred they may seem at one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.

Within the next hundred years, nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single global authority. These are not the idle musings of bored intellectuals. They are statements of people with their hands on the levers of power. With the active encouragement of international nongovernmental and human rights organizations, these globalist leaders are laying the foundations of a new system of supranational authority. Ironically, the drive for this new order is coming principally from Europe, the cradle of the nation-state.

Regionally, European leaders are submitting their domestic laws to the scrutiny of supranational courts. Earlier that same month, the court struck down another British law on the books since on corporal punishment, declaring in effect that the spanking of unruly children by their parents is an internationally recognized abuse of human rights. Great Britain formalized its acceptance of the supremacy of European law when it codified the European Convention on Human Rights, replacing with the stroke of a pen the entire body of English common law dating back to the Magna Carta.

Now, if a British law conflicts with European law, British courts will issue a "declaration of incompatibility" that gives Parliament the option of either amending the offending statue — or having it done for them in Strasbourg. It is not just the European democracies that have come under supranational judicial scrutiny.

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Earlier this year, when the United States permitted nato to answer a written interrogation by the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal for alleged allied war crimes during the Kosovo campaign, Washington essentially gave a supranational court jurisdiction over U. This exception notwithstanding, to the consternation of our European friends, Americans remain stubbornly attached to self-government. While it may be commonplace for Europeans to have their national courts overruled — and their citizens tried — by supranational courts, for most Americans the idea is unthinkable. Indeed, most Americans know little about this globalist movement or its aspirations for them.

The creation of an International Criminal Court ICC that could try and imprison American citizens without the consent of their government has gone virtually unreported in the U. And that is just how the globalists want it.

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Because the globalist project is the work of intellectuals impatient with the constraints of participatory democracy. The impulse is dictatorial. Rather than doing the hard work of gaining public support for their agenda, they wish to impose it from above. And so we have the spectacle of the French presidency of the European Union EU recently announcing a goal of admitting 50 to 75 million new immigrants into Europe by with the bizarre and paternalist declaration: "Public opinion must be told clearly that Europe, a land of immigration, will become a place where cross-breeding occurs.

But the new global order is fundamentally undemocratic. It represents a massive concentration of power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats who preside over unaccountable institutions that are further and further removed from the people affected by their decisions. With all due respect to Secretary-General Annan, he was elected not by the "peoples of the United Nations" but by the General Assembly of the United Nations, less than half of whose members are full-fledged democracies, and almost one in four of whom are outright dictatorships.

As for the EU, its only directly elected institution is the European Parliament, which is a toothless farce — a legislature with no legislative powers. All real power in the European Union rests in the hands of unelected commissioners, judges, and an appointed permanent bureaucracy. The globalists object that their motives are pure: All they want to do is create a world with institutions that ensure human rights are universally protected. No doubt the globalists have the best of intentions. But their intentions are irrelevant. The effect of their campaign will be the establishment of unaccountable institutions that will trample, rather than protect, individual liberty.

Worse, these institutions are doomed to fail. The way to promote human rights is not by policing dictators from above; it is by replacing them from below. So long as there are dictators in the world, they will abuse their people, commit summary executions, jail dissidents, trample religious freedom, and commit genocide.

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An International Criminal Court cannot change that. Communism and fascism were not defeated by an international legal framework. Supranational institutions have not fueled the dramatic expansion of human freedom in the last 20 years. Today, that principled projection of power is all that prevents dictators from rolling back democratic advances. What stops communist China from invading and annexing democratic Taiwan?

What prevents 1 million North Korean troops from swarming over the demilitarized zone into South Korea? Fear of United Nations censure and war-crimes prosecution?

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Or fear of the United States military? The answer is obvious. But the globalists want to constrain U. They insist, against all available evidence and experience, that the only way to advance human rights is to subject all nations — be they democracies or dictatorships — to supranational laws enforced by supranational institutions. They ignore history. We cannot afford to let them. I think we agree that something dramatic is afoot: the end of a foreign policy driven by the balance of power between a few strong nation-states.

But before we jump to extreme conclusions, a few facts.

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It was domestic politics, not an internationalist political project, that killed the balance of power. That system relied on a particular conception of the state — with clearly defined borders, a monopoly on legitimate violence, and highly centralized systems of administration and service provision — which has been in decline since the middle of the 20th century. Multilateralism is about rescuing, not destroying, the nation-state.

In the past, the principle of noninterference was sacrosanct because the territorial state provided us with security, prosperity, and democracy; all threats came from other countries. These problems demand multilateral agreements, not military action. Even when military action can help, it will be difficult to persuade skeptical citizens to go along with missions that are not designed to defend territory or natural resources.

That is why we are forming peacetime alliances to govern everything from chemical weapons to currencies: so that we can resolve disputes in the courts rather than on the battlefield or through economic sanctions.

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You are right that this kind of world will sometimes mean changing our own laws. But supranational agreements are not random codes plucked out of thin air — they are signed by democratically elected governments, and they embody universal values such as human rights or free trade.

You think that this globalism is a threat to democracy, but the most dramatic consequence of globalization has been the spread of democracy. It is not just the number of democracies that has risen — free or partially free countries in compared to 76 in Citizens are better educated, better informed, and more assertive, challenging old elites and old ways of doing things.

And these democratic instincts are expanding into the international realm. When Europeans are concerned about genetically modified organisms and hormones, U. Sometimes unrepresentative pressure groups will skew the global agenda as they did in Seattle. But the solution to these new tensions is surely to create new ways of involving people and new kinds of institutions governed by clear rules such as a transatlantic food-standard agency or a World Environmental Organization, rather than retreating into trade wars.

We now need a broader conception of democracy. No international institution needs an 18th-century model of national democracy, because no international institution asks people to risk their lives or pay taxes. Each institution will need to be legitimized in a different way — some by their effectiveness in meeting certain goals, such as low inflation and high employment for the European Central Bank; others, such as the United Nations, by their accountability to international charters; and still others, such as the European Parliament, by direct elections.

Almost all will have to be legitimized by the controlling involvement of national governments.

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And that is what the EU — which you seem to have totally misunderstood — is about. You say that all real power rests in the hands of unelected bureaucrats. In fact, national governments control Europe. They are showing how transnational systems can improve national democracy. Peer review of national policies, protecting individual rights through the court of justice, elections to a European parliament, and the involvement of national parliamentarians in European decisions all create new types of accountability. None of that renders the principled projection of power obsolete. But it does suggest that projection is more effective within a multilateral framework.

History shows that the old rules brought the world to the brink of destruction. It is not a coincidence that the most prosperous, peaceful, and successful period has coincided with the rise of international law. So, Mr. Leonard and his globalist cohorts are here to rescue the nation-state! Ah, but in the new international order, passing is not an option. There are "universal standards" that must be enforced, and every nation be it a dictatorship or democracy must be subject — like it or not. Leonard confuses international cooperation with global governance.

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It is one thing for sovereign states to agree voluntarily to cooperate through "peacetime alliances," something the United States does all the time without ceding sovereignty. It is quite another for a group of nations to impose their vision of "global" moral standards on citizens of a sovereign democracy. Take the proposed International Criminal Court, for instance. The Rome Treaty insists that this court will have the authority to indict, try, and imprison American citizens, whether or not the United States has ratified the treaty.

I demand to know: By what authority? This kind of supranational diktat is precisely what causes Americans to resist and reject the globalist agenda — and that drives the globalists crazy. Consider their indignation at the U. Editorial writers across Europe howled like children who had never been told "no" before.

How dare the Americans resist! But we do resist, because the international order the globalists wish to visit upon us is inimical to our democratic standards. In the very same breath, Mr. Because said law is "offensive.