Thursday, March 12, 2009

Should We Punish Countries that Don't Financially Regulate?

A "think-tank" says no.


First, I don't think there should be international monetary law beyond the existing trade agreements. This is for the simple reason that international law in other areas which would seem easier to come to common agreements on, such as criminal law, has been a fairly useless endeavour. At best, it's symbolic, though the value of Truth and Reconcilation style documentation is debateable. In the middle, it's arduous and overly technical, recent examples of the Saddam Hussein trial and execution demonstrate the limited satisfaction in convicting a single leader for a relatively minor act of aggression (he was convicted for a single incident that is far from the worst he was alleged to be responsible for, investigations into the other events will never take place as a result of his execution). At worst, it results in heightened rebellion and further damage, like the current situation in the Sudan.

Bluntly, responsibility after the fact is ineffective.

Second, I don't think "best practices", as the think tank would like, are effective. The UN is a useless bureacracy. I said it and I meant it. In the few cases where the UN has actually found consensus to intervene it's been ignored. "Hey guys, there are no weapons of mass destruction!" Response: "we don't care. Bombs away." Further, anyone following draft declarations from the last decade knows how useless they are. The indigenous rights declaration was recently killed following years of academic debate, partly because countries like Canada couldn't accede to the human rights demands.

Finally, there are no impartial third parties. The IMF is a farce and has not met any of the mandates it was created for. I won't even go into that one.

I think reactions should be case-by-case and conscious of history. Germany's economic situation following WWI resulted in chaos and destruction in WWII. We do not want to force countries into economic positions that result in desperate action. However, privileges should be removed for those harming others. The USA should be roundly condemned for deregulation and should apologize to the global community. Countries with stable monetary systems should be able to form allainces and new trade agreements, excluding those who have demonstrated they can't police corruption.

This isn't something that requires law, it's something that requires political foresight. Right now, Canada is too closely tethered to a bad relationship, one that involves us in conflicts we have no interest in, one that siphons resources through taps-on trade agreements. We need to find like-minded countries to partner with in developing millenial currency: communications, medical care, diverse energy sourcing, and mass education. America has fallen behind in the last three, we can't share their lagging priorities.

But what do I know?

No comments:

Post a Comment