Only the lazy does not speak now about the collapse of the old world order and the need for a new one. But the question is: Do we really need this new world order? Maybe it could be better to be happy with what is now? Could it be that in the end the world policeman will basically perform the functions of world jailer?
The discussion around North Korea highlighted one problem, not new, but actualized right now. The fact is that many complained of the international institutions’ weakness, that we have no tools to moderate somehow the North Korean leader, and, in general, that we do not have an international police officer capable to cope with any deviations from conventionally accepted international norms.
It is considered that the absence of such a regulatory institution, such a force, is a defect of the modern world. If it existed, then everything would be kept in place, and the world would become much better. But is it so?
The dream of a harmonious world order, agreement between world forces, the dream that there should be a powerful institution to maintain the world order, whose actions could prevent wars and reduce the level of violence, is not new at all. This idea could be read in some sense from Hesiod. The ancient thinkers could very well take part in any Munich security conference and correspond fully to the level of the modern discussion on international stability.
In a sense, the world religions also aspired to world regulation and, what is especially curious, they had a relative success. The world religions truly proceeded from the fact, that first we need to overcome national differences, create a kind of universal humanity, where certain ethnic or regional differences would not be too significant. Christian popes did a lot for this. And at some moments it seemed that a certain success was achieved, that soon it would be quite possible to talk about the management over at least the Christian world from one center, the creation and effective functioning of global governance tools. The emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Henry IV walked to Canossa to Pope Gregory VII in the 11th century. And later there were impressive episodes. But Canossa, Rome and Avignon did not become capitals of the powers that could curb wars and effectively regulate conflicts.
Islam has achieved more, and the idea of the general caliphate, who is ruling the world, is still a vivid illustration of the ancient dream of not only conflicts regulation, but even universal development.
In general, the idea of real world governance safely accompanies the mankind for many years. Perhaps its highest achievement is the UN and its blue helmets, as well as the Bretton Woods Agreements. The latter assumed a sort of world financial director and, at the same time, an auditor.
Although the UN and the world financial system have achieved significant success, it is obvious that the results are still far from expected. Moreover, there is a feeling that the level of world governance today is even lower than it was in times of detente between the USSR and the United States.
But even in those days, the governance could not prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, which actually undermined, if not forever, but for a long time, the very possibility of the existence of a world policeman and, accordingly, the effective global governance. No regulation is possible without coercive elements, the use of force, or the threat of such use. We mean not only bullets, but also, for example, the financial instruments.
With all the good-hearted arguments about world governance, one must clearly understand that such regulation means the emergence of a kind of world government, even with very limited functions. Modern states will not allow this. Moreover, the increasing globalization and the possible unification of mankind as a consequence of progress only encourage national elites for self-isolation, to strive to strengthen their positions, sometimes even at the expense of development of their own peoples, progress and life improvement.
If such a regulating world body appears, it is most likely to fall in the hands of those who are called the "reactionary forces", those who want to preserve forever the rule of the modern elites, and prevent the free self-organization of citizens. The self-organization primarily involves a long and very laborious procedure, resting on a very changeable matter - the mood of people.
After all, the question is what provides more progress - centralization or decentralization, and the world policeman precisely implies centralization.
Finally, if we have the world policeman now, then the war with North Korea started and may have ended. The only question is how many people could have learned that the war was over.
In general, let’s do not dream about the unrealizable. It seems much better to coordinate painstakingly day after day the interests of countries and other actors of international relations, to act carefully and thoughtfully develop plans.
The community of responsible neighbors is better than a lonely policeman who decides that caring for us is his main mission in the world.