A More Perfect Union?rnBuilding the United States of the Worldrnby Philip JenkinsrnAt present, tlie United Nations closel’ resembles thernAmeriean nation under tlie Artieles of Confederationrn(1781-1789). The inherent problems with that system demonstratedrndie need for ‘a more perfect Union,’ which was duly accomplishedrnwirii the signing of the United States Consdtution.rnAnd just as Confederation led to true American federalism, sornthe UN is the precursor of a true Ihiitcd States of the World.”rnIf that analog’ seems stramed or even frightening, perhapsrnwe should not worry too much about it, because the precedingrnpassage only reflects the views of a tiny but well-financed pressurerngroup called the World Federalist Alliance. I’he WFA expressedrnits opinions in a full-page adverhsement published thisrnpast Februan in the i’t’ii’ York Times and oflier papers, under arnbeaming and somewhat inane portrait of the group’s presidentrnand CFO, fonner presidenhal candidate John Anderson. Becausernof the particular event which called forth their prophecy,rnhoweer, the WFA cannot simph be dismissed as a bunch ofrncranks. The WFA manifesto was direcfl}’ inspired b a speechrnb President Clinton which, although irtualK’ ignored b- thernmainstream press, contained a remarkable and wildK ambitiousrndescription of a new global federalism which is incompatiblernwith any present notion of American sovereignty. Andrnwhile American conservatives have long dreaded the erosion ofrnso’creignt’ by means of various international conspiracies, thernmost perilous feature of die new vision is that Americans will berndrawn ever more dccph’ into foreign wars and entanglements inrnpursuit of an unattainable global hegemony. Though nobodyrnis seriously debating such proposals in any democratically electedrnlegislature, legal and diplomahc developments o’er flie lastrnPhilip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History andrnReligious Studies at Pennsylvania State IJniversitwrndecade Iraxe gone ery far toward making these “federalist”rndreams a practical rcalit’, and the lack of outrage is startling.rnWhat exacth’ did Clinton say? The speech in question wasrngien in October 1999 at the Forum of Federahons Conferencernin Mont-Tremblant, Canada, and his major theme was “Federalism.”rnCiven the enue, and the presence of many Canadianrnpoliticians, Clinton’s audience paid the most attention to hisrncomments on Hie Canadian situation, and the relahonship betweenrndie province of Quebec and the nation’s federal goernment.rnHe was wideK quoted as defending the constitutionalrnstatus quo. The American experience, he argued, proved thernN’irtues of federalism. So far, so good, but he also made somernsurprisinglyrndeclared:rnbroad references which delighted the WF.A. HernI personalK’ believe that you will see more federalismrnrarticr than less in Hie years ahead, and I offer, as exhibitrnA, Hie European Union. It’s rcallv a nev- form of federalism,rnwhere the States —in this case, the nations of Europern—arc far more important and powerfid dian the federalrngovernment, but they are giving enough functionsrnoxer to the federal government to sort of reinforce theirrnmutual interest in an integrated economy and in somernintegrated political circumstances. In a way, we’ve becomernmore of a federalist world when the United Nationsrntakes a more actie role in stopping genocide inrnplaces in which it was not inxolved, and v’e recognizernmutual responsibilities to contribute and pay for thosernthings.rnClinton seemed to be speaking positiveK’ of a global situationrnin which individual states gave up power to supranahonal aulULYrn2000/19rnrnrn